5 tips on how to save money as a musician: by The Great Emu War Casualties

Words by The Great Emu War Casualties

Being a musician can be an expensive exercise these days. If you want to try and get yourself out there, expect to shell out for rehearsals, gear, taxis to and from gigs (for musos who can’t afford to drive), sound guys, video guys, promo guys, social media guys, photo guys, merch guys, artwork guys, distribution guys, and any other random guys you can think of that might eventually help coax someone into paying $5 to see a gig or buy a little CD from your random unknown band.

But do you have to funnel thousands of dollars into trying to make it big? Well, it certainly helps… but we don’t have thousands of dollars, so let’s look at some areas where we can try and save some of those hard-earned dollarydoos!

how to save money as a musician the great emu war casualties
The Great Emu War Casualties

Wondering how to save money as a musician? Squeeze those books to their limits with these pearls of wisdom from The Great Emu War Casualties.


Well okay, you’re not one of those lucky bastards who has a free and available rehearsal space right in their garage where they can bash away all night every night because they live in the middle of nowhere, so you’ll have to cough up for a weekly studio session.

But what about doing like our drummer and saving on your housing rent by permanently living in a 12-bed hostel dorm? I mean, you’ll never have any privacy ever again and live in constant fear of your stuff getting stolen, but that’s totally fine if you don’t value privacy and don’t own any stuff anyway!


If you want to record a professional-sounding EP, expect to be charged at least $3,000 (usually more) for the studio time, engineer, producer, mix, master etc. Good luck trying to recoup that cost back!

What’s our solution to this? Simply don’t have a professional-sounding EP! We just recorded everything for absolutely zero dollars using a dodgy version of Logic (don’t tell anyone) and some crappy drum machine, and then harassed our old synth player (who has been working on a cruise ship for like a year, bless him) to mix and master it for good will and appreciation (and also he’s stuck on a ship so we figure he hasn’t got anything better to do anyway).


Well, you could pay a thousand dollars for a good video, a few hundred dollars for a mediocre video, or one euro for a hilarious video that is perfect in every way and shot entirely on my phone. We paid one euro for googley eyes. Worth it.


Dreading logging onto Uber and seeing that little line about how “due to increased demand” your fare is now going to be twice as much?  Screw that – simply place your amps and guitars into a shopping trolley (always one nearby any train station) and wheel them for the hour across town it takes to get to the venue. Genius!


Save money on food by foregoing meals entirely. As a bonus, it’ll keep you looking trim for that next important make or break photoshoot (which you’ll have to pay for by the way, unless you have a girlfriend/boyfriend bored enough to do it for you).


To witness the frugal ways of The Great Emu War Casualties in person, catch them live at any of the following shows:

Sun 18 Nov – 221 Barkley St, St. Kilda – Details
Tues 20 Nov – The Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy – Details
Tues 27 Nov – The Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy – Details