10 ways to support musicians

Everybody loves to download, rip, stream and otherwise obtain recorded music for cheap or free. Nobody likes paying more than they have to for stuff. But how can you can support the artists who performed, recorded, and manufactured those recordings? How can you encourage them to keep on making music for you to enjoy? Here are 10 easy ways, depending on your budget: 1. Throw a $5, $10 or $20 into the tip jar. The performers get a morale boost knowing they are appreciated. 2. Offer them that old amplifier, trumpet, piano or drumkit that has been gathering dust in your basement. 3. Buy an extra ticket for their show and bring a friend who has never seen the artist before. 4. Buy an extra CD (or 5, or 10) and give them to friends. You can ask the performer if they'll give you a volume discount. 5. Hire live musicians to perform at your private party or company event. It will make the event special and memorable to everyone there. 6. Take lessons on an instrument or voice from the artist. Most musicians also teach, and most enjoy working with motivated beginners. 7. Commission a song for a special occasion. This makes a one-of-a-kind gift which will be loved more and last longer than that kitchen gadget you were going to buy. 8. Host a house concert. Offer the performers a guaranteed minimum, and invite your friends to come listen. You can sell tickets or give them away. 9. Offer to take photos or video of the performers for their website. 10. Be a producer on the artist's next album by contributing $500, $1000, or $5000 toward expenses.

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