Is instrumental music marketable?

Sabotage Mac 37

New member
It seems there a growing number of bands in this category that have had some success-Explosions in the sky, Moreau, El Ten Eleven.

I’m not much of a singer, but I can write and arrange music quite well.

How much harder is it to pitch music like this?
 

CrowsofFritz

Flamingo!
It seems there a growing number of bands in this category that have had some success-Explosions in the sky, Moreau, El Ten Eleven.

I’m not much of a singer, but I can write and arrange music quite well.

How much harder is it to pitch music like this?

It’s doable but much, much harder. I’ve never heard of those bands. I’ll give some a listen.
 

VomitHatSteve

Hat STYLE. Not contents.
Are you trying to be a performing original musician like one of those bands (or Animals as Leaders or Russian Circles or Pelican or Polyphia)?

Or are you just wanting to make money as a musician?

If the former, those sorts of bands are still generally the exception, especially if you're trying to do rock rather than EDM. Sometimes they stick in the prog rock/metal circles but rarely in pop.

If the latter, absolutely! Get soundtrack work. Place your music in TV, movies, games, and commercials. Lots of work available for instrumentals if you're not trying to be a rock star
 

RFR

Well-known member
I have two friends that have done quite well with instrumental music.

One does electric “fusion style” music and he’s toured worldwide and made a good living for 20 some years.

Another does traditional acoustic folk / bluegrass / bottle neck slide instrumental tunes. He does ok. Done a few national tours.
Both have put out a few albums.

Neither would qualify as any kind of ‘star’ but have decently supported themselves only doing music.

Here’s the rub however.
They’ve worked their asses off!!!!!
Building a loyal following, developing a fan base, building relationships, keeping those relationships alive, getting to know club owners, putting in the time on social media...... I could go on and on.

With today’s internet connectivity, more communication avenues are available, but the competition for those ‘airwave’ is more intense also. Easy to get lost in a sea of artists.

Bottom line....... If your willing to work your ass off, yes you can do it.
 

mikahawkins1

New member
First give it a try on popular platforms be it Youtube or insta. This journey will be hard but will be easier if you have some folllowing.
 

SAWmixing

New member
you can ask the bands you named directly, they probably can give you a better answer that anyone.
maybe hear what they have in common all the bands you named.
One thing is make music. and the other part is to sell it.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
90% of our music is instrumental - It makes more money than that vocal stuff! BUT - we're looking at different markets. Our music is used for videos, background and assist tracks for live shows, so we're not 'normal'. There are very few non-vocal well known bands - I suppose the shadows probably were one of the early examples. Parsons has a few instrumental tracks that got used for all sorts, but I'm struggling with well known names for contemporary artists.
 

MOSSROCK

New member
I’m glad this is a topic. I love instrumental music but I don’t really know many others that share the same taste in music as I do. I could be biased though cos I can’t sing for toffee in the studio :p
I feel a lot of people dismiss instrumental music until they hear it, then it makes sense to some.
But there does seem to be plenty of instrumental bands and solo artists out there these days that have figured out how to get people to listen.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
If I’m being honest, I started doing instrumental music because my voice isn’t special. However this battle between voice/no voice isn’t new. All the classical composers wrote both, and most also wrote simple vs complex, just like today, and history suggests it has always been audience led. Piano in the parlour with your mum singing was amazingly popular in the early 1900’s. Then jazz came along and instrumentals came back. I suppose it’s just big cycle, in then out, then back in.

My own music doesn’t have vocals because I also cannot write words!
 

DM60

Well-known member
Danny Elfman, Mike Post, Stewart Copeland are some of the older musicians that made just instrumentals. I would think there is more call today for just instrumental music than any other time.

Between independent movie productions, video games and just pushing out to streaming music, there are more opportunities. I think it is like anything else in entertainment, you just have to work at it and hope the right people find you.
 

Dooblay

New member
If the latter, absolutely! Get soundtrack work. Place your music in TV, movies, games, and commercials. Lots of work available for instrumentals if you're not trying to be a rock star

This is something I've wondered about for a while. Where would be a good place to start if you wanted to pursue something like this? Are the any websites, forums or organisations that would be worth a search?
 

VomitHatSteve

Hat STYLE. Not contents.
This is something I've wondered about for a while. Where would be a good place to start if you wanted to pursue something like this? Are the any websites, forums or organisations that would be worth a search?

That I'm afraid I won't be much help with. One of my bands used a company called Tinderbox to get our music placed in a bunch of catalogs for general use in TV. And that's as much placement as I've ever done. It cost us $3k and got us about 30 seconds of time as background music on a couple MTV reality shows.
 

Dooblay

New member
That I'm afraid I won't be much help with. One of my bands used a company called Tinderbox to get our music placed in a bunch of catalogs for general use in TV. And that's as much placement as I've ever done. It cost us $3k and got us about 30 seconds of time as background music on a couple MTV reality shows.

That seems a bit extreme in the value department!

Since posting this I came across music gateway which seemed interesting, then remembered about Reverb Nation which I had years ago. Turns out there are some leads to follow on that website, so thanks for peaking my interest in the first place ?
 
Top