The Savvy Musician (Helius Press, 2009)

If you’re a musician, there are several things you’ve probably learned. You’ve figured out how to play your instrument or to use your voice with skill. You’ve learned many, many songs and practiced for hundreds of hours. There’s one thing, however, that you probably have never spent time learning.

How to make money.

The ugly truth of being a musician is the difficulty of earning a living while doing what we love. While we are passionate about performing, most musicians also know the struggle to find consistent income.  Many artists live meagerly from gig check to gig check, hoping in vain that they will join the tiny percentage of artists that get the big record deal. Sadly, real financial and business strategies are rarely, if ever, taught or shared with these musicians.

That’s where David Cutler’s book, “The Savvy Musician”, steps in to teach musicians how to turn their careers into respectable and reputable businesses.

David Cutler Media PicIn his how-to guide, Dr. Cutler, currently Director of the Music Entrepreneurship program at the University of South Carolina, covers a myriad of topics relating to working musicians in a practical, matter-of-fact style. He outlines strategies to confront common issues, from budgeting and setting prices, to marketing and promotion. Real-life testimonials from working musicians (over 150 examples!)  in all genres of music are included throughout the book, helping to show how these strategies enable musicians to enjoy a more predictable and consistent standard of living. Dr. Cutler repeatedly emphasizes how we can make a difference in our world and the communities we live in by being productive champions of the arts. It’s quite evident how passionate he is about musicians becoming more business-savvy.

While other famous books about the music industry focus on production and getting a record deal (which is an out-dated model in this age of streaming music and independent labels), “The Savvy Musician” focuses on the needs of the everyday musician. It’s the most comprehensive resource I’ve seen thus far in this market, and I highly recommended it if you want to make your music career more profitable and meaningful.

For more info on David Cutler’s resources, check out

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