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The Undercurrents Series of Music Business Educational Forums is designed to assist musicians, songwriters, bands and music industry professionals with continued growth and knowledge of the music / entertainment industry.  These forums and the information provided is practical rather than legalistic in its approach and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice in relation to any particular matter.   Undercurrents, Inc. accepts no liability for any errors or omissions.

Financial Records

Ways to Make Money

Many creative people ignore their need to invest for the future.  Investing goes way beyond merely saving money and depositing for growth in a bank, stock, bond, mutual fund, etc.  While investing is crucial to real success as a music professional, there are a few other forms of investment to consider.

Run your career as a business.  The first place to invest is in your business. That doesn't mean running out and grabbing more gear. The best place to invest in your business is making it grow. That probably means adding music products and services and also spending resources to promote them. The next pace to invest is in your relationships, both business and personal. Nobody achieves success in a vacuum. You depend on people to help you achieve. Today is the perfect day to start building those crucial relationships. Lastly, always invest in yourself. Make yourself a better person by mastering new skills and savoring new experiences. Making all these forms of investment a part of your daily life is the true path to success in your life.

Now the real money stuff ...

Let's say your humble music business pays you $50 a month, $600 a year. You would need $10,000 in the bank earning 6% interest to make the same $600 bucks in one year. It can be hard to save $10,000. Even socking away $100 a month takes 6.8 years. If your business nets you just $100 a month and you sweep it into an investment paying 6% a year, you will have your $10,000 in 6.8 years. That same $10,000 will now pay you $50 a month without further intervention on your part. You've accumulated a capital base that pays you a dividend of $600 each year. Add that to your $100 from your business and in less than seven years your business and investments make $150 each and every month.

Now nobody is going to get rich on $150 a month.

You are missing my point. It is the combination of earning, saving, and investing that creates a moneymaking music machine for you. You just need to make some money from your music, save it, invest regularly, and watch it grow. Take the same figures from above and multiply them by 10. Can you use your music career to make $1000 a month? Can you in turn save that amount? In the same 6.8 years you will have $100,000 paying you a whopping $6000 a year in interest. That's $500 a month without touching the original 100-grand.

What choices do you have to make right now to allow yourself to earn money from your music, save a sizable chunk of it, invest it, and ultimately reap the benefits of all your hard work?

Spending some money can help you generate even more money. For example: Spend $25 on the book "Moneymaking Music" . Use the information you learn in the book to land gigs that pay you $750. You've earned a startlingly 30 times return on your modest 25 buck investment. You'd have to sock a whopping $10,000 in an investment paying 7.5% to get the same cash return.

I firmly believe that intelligent investing in yourself in a careful, controlled, and cohesive manner will often yield larger dividends than simply plopping the same cash in your savings account. Make sure you keep your perspective, though. Don't become either a miser or a spendthrift. Yet when an expenditure helps you create more success (and more money), you might be better off to write the check.

Financial Records

Paid live performances require that records are kept for accountancy purposes. In most cases the agent, booker or venue who has arranged the gig with the band or artist will provide an invoice or receipt, however, if the act are booking their own gigs, have arranged for a support act or organized a musical event, then they will also need to supply the appropriate paperwork.

Most computers software programs like 'Word' or 'Publisher' contain editable templates of invoices, receipts and other standard business forms. You are welcome to adapt and edit the examples below for your own use. Receipt books and invoice pads can also be purchased from any stationary shop.

Example Invoice

An invoice is a formal notice of payments agreed/due between the booker and artist. It can be issued by either party and should contain all relevant information including dates/times and pricing. It can be issued as a confirmation of booking before the event date or after the event when payment by check has been agreed. A copy is required for both parties.


Name or Logo INVOICE Any Address
Any Town
Post/Zip Code
Tel:000 0000 0000
Venue/Booker Name
Post/Zip Code

Provision of entertainment on: (Event Date)

Example Receipt

A receipt is a formal acknowledgement that monies have been paid to and received by the artist/band or agent/manager. Receipts are issued when payment has been received. A copy is required for both parties.


Name or Logo RECEIPT Any Address
Any Town
Post/Zip Code
Tel:000 0000 0000
Payment Received on (date):


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