Where Can I sell My Bass Tabs and Sheets?

Discussion in 'Tablature and Notation [BG]' started by GeorgeX006, Nov 19, 2020.

  1. GeorgeX006


    Oct 27, 2018
    Hey guys!
    I am a professional bass Transcriber and I want to start making more money through this.
    I have a Patreon Page and a Fiverr, but the income from there isn't good...
    I was wondering If there are any sites where I can sell individual tabs, fulfil other people's requests or even sell whole book tabs (for example "Full Led Zeppelin IV Bass Tabs").
    Thanks in advance!
  2. TKenrick


    Jun 13, 2008
    London, UK
    The main obstacle is getting permission from whoever owns the publishing rights to the music that you've transcribed. Otherwise, you're in danger of copyright infringement by selling material that you don't have the rights to.
    Stevorebob, Troy Eggen and MonetBass like this.
  3. dadglasser


    Oct 11, 2009
    In addition to the above and resisting my normal urge to not to sound discouraging notes: I think you would have a tough time. Even if you could find someone to publish your work, you'd be competing with Mel Bay. Also, by the time the first copy was sold, it would be scanned and available on the web for free.

    I really don't know anything about the music publishing business. I'd imagine the first thing to do would be to hire a lawyer to make sure you are protected when you approach potential publishers (like Mel Bay).

    Ooooh! Look what a web search for "legal guide publishing music transcriptions" turned up:

    Free Songtrust Resource | The Modern Guide to Music Publishing

    Copyright: Arranging, Adapting, Transcribing - NAfME

    Transcribing music and the legality of using musical transcription

    Music Law Resource Guide

    I could go on; however, my brain is getting sore just trying to read the first paragraphs on these pages.
  4. slagheap

    slagheap Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2011
    in the 80s & 90s you could place ads in the rock mags classifieds and make money if you were fast and good. today it's a much different world. the first hurdle is differentiating yourself from the hundreds of others offering the same service, not to mention the fact that the web is choked with thousands of free transcriptions and play-alongs.
  5. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    A good step in the right direction is to become a TalkBass Supporting Member! Then you can advertise your products and services. :)
    12BitSlab likes this.
  6. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    Try putting out a book called "Full Led Zeppelin IV Bass Tabs" without securing permission from the copyright holder and negotiating points on profits. That should be a fun lawsuit.
  7. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    @Constantine Isslamow has probably transcribed and posted a play along to YouTube already. Thanks Constantine!!
    Constantine likes this.
  8. ChrisDev

    ChrisDev Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2009
    Ritter Instruments Team & Owner BassLessons.be
    I have looked into that and it's not easy. If you want permission from one band it's OK. Although, it took someone almost a year to get an Jamiroquai e-book published (Jamiroquai wanted 50% of sales). If you want to sell a collection of different artists, well, good luck...
    There was a website that got shut down only a few months after starting to sell bass transcriptions. Pretty sure it was because of copyright infringement.

    There are sites where you can sell your transcription, but I don't know what the terms are and how much you actually get from the sales.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2020
    Constantine likes this.
  9. BluesWalker

    BluesWalker Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2008
    San Diego
    You could consider doing transcription orders like Tom Read.
  10. Semi Actuated

    Semi Actuated

    Jun 29, 2015
    I thought this article might be helpful to the OP:

    Licensing Music for Print... - Bassline Publishing

    My takeaway from this article (as others here have indicated) is that licensing is the big issue and can be a pain, though with patience it is feasible (and apparently sometimes it requires a lot of patience).

    The writer of the article (Stuart Clayton) has quite a number of bass transcription books for sale, and if you go to the bassbooks website Aidan Hampson must have about 80 or 90 complete "e-books" for sale, and Eric Beaule must have another 10 or so. So those guys prove it is doable, but requires the patience (and wherewithal) to deal with the licensing of the music (and of course, the ability to do high-quality transcriptions).

    I thought it was interesting that, according to the article, occasionally even the artists involved are concerned about the quality of the transcription. Also it seems that, generally, it is easier to get licensing for a a song or songs that haven't been done before.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2020
  11. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jun 17, 2021

Share This Page