No idea where to go from here (making it in music)


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bigcheese_1989
06-09-2009, 08:34 AM
So, I'm torn between going back to school OR being in a band.

The problem is, that I can't do both because if I'm gonna be in school, then I want to focus all of my attention on school. Same thing if I'm gonna be in a band. Right now, I don't go back to school (if that's the decision I make) until August.

It's so hard to find band members, so I've been thinking about going solo. I've also been recording my own demo, so I can get it to labels.

I just don't know where to go from here though. I'm still looking for a job. I basically feel like a loser because I'm 20 years old, I don't have a car, I don't have a paying job. I've been spending all of my time on my music and my family basically thinks my music is a waste of time. But of course, I feel different about it being a waste of time.

Most people are successful in music before the age of 30, so I know I better get on the roll!! I just don't know what to do though. I don't know if I should go back to school and finish my degree in English. OR if I should live my dream.

My dream is to be a successful musician. I feel like I was born to live my dream. By the time I get out of school, I'll be 24 years old and my dream would have been on hold for 4 years. See what I'm saying? I'm so torn :sad:

merfsullivan
06-09-2009, 08:44 AM
What exactly do you plan on doing with an English degree?

FionnRuadh
06-09-2009, 08:45 AM
Seasick Steve was about 50 when he got famous............

abysspell
06-09-2009, 08:45 AM
and that is where i will be when i finish high school XD

i think that i'll have the same problem (torn between education and music)

the way i see it, i'm going to take a chance at the music industry and maybe get educated when i'm old and stuff... but then, thats me :P

good luck man!

iKoen
06-09-2009, 08:47 AM
In my opionion you should finish school so you have something to rely on,
but can't you like become a music teacher?
or don't you high school people have music lessons like i have in the netherlands?
(think about the sort of school of rock sort of teacher)
and when you are a music teacher, you have a paying job,
lots of free time, and music..

bigcheese_1989
06-09-2009, 08:48 AM
What exactly do you plan on doing with an English degree?
Writing for a newspaper. No joke

SEALSniper1152
06-09-2009, 08:48 AM
ok, what your doing to yourself is called the "black and white" fallacy. you have created a fake this or that situation, in which you are sacrificing one thing for another. Why would school take up 100% of your time? I am in a band and I go to school. I have recorded solo for 2 years while in school. Playing music doesn't consume nearly 100% of your time. Any time i've been in a band, life has been "hurry up and wait" and solo, ha, inspiration is not a constant barrage. Re-evaluate your situation, I think you'll find that it is very easy to find a happy medium.

and you should re-evaluate your dream too, being "successful" can happen at any point, I think what you want is fame. To which, I would say, is a waste of time.

bigcheese_1989
06-09-2009, 08:51 AM
In my opionion you should finish school so you have something to rely on,
but can't you like become a music teacher?
or don't you high school people have music lessons like i have in the netherlands?
(think about the sort of school of rock sort of teacher)
and when you are a music teacher, you have a paying job,
lots of free time, and music..

My family has brought this to my attention, but honestly you guys, majoring in music or being a music teacher is not my kind of thing at all. I want to be a successful touring musician, not teach it or be forced to learn it as a music major :rolleyes: . I don't mean to sound mean but reall, that's just NOT my thing at all.

SEALSniper1152
06-09-2009, 08:52 AM
and that is where i will be when i finish high school XD

i think that i'll have the same problem (torn between education and music)

the way i see it, i'm going to take a chance at the music industry and maybe get educated when i'm old and stuff... but then, thats me :P

good luck man!

That is a very foolish road. Trust me, I know a few people that tried it. All still live at home with their parents, and have a job that pays minimum wage (if they have a job at all). Otherwise they get drunk a lot, and rant about how they will "make it some day."

good luck.

bigcheese_1989
06-09-2009, 08:53 AM
ok, what your doing to yourself is called the "black and white" fallacy. you have created a fake this or that situation, in which you are sacrificing one thing for another. Why would school take up 100% of your time? I am in a band and I go to school. I have recorded solo for 2 years while in school. Playing music doesn't consume nearly 100% of your time. Any time i've been in a band, life has been "hurry up and wait" and solo, ha, inspiration is not a constant barrage. Re-evaluate your situation, I think you'll find that it is very easy to find a happy medium.

and you should re-evaluate your dream too, being "successful" can happen at any point, I think what you want is fame. To which, I would say, is a waste of time.

I think SOME of what you're saying is right. I guess school wouldn't take up 100% of my time. And no I'm looking for success on my terms, not fame. :haha:

SEALSniper1152
06-09-2009, 08:56 AM
My family has brought this to my attention, but honestly you guys, majoring in music or being a music teacher is not my kind of thing at all. I want to be a successful touring musician, not teach it or be forced to learn it as a music major :rolleyes: . I don't mean to sound mean but reall, that's just NOT my thing at all.

A lot of huge turing musicians were music majors, like all of Dream Theater. Everybody in Queen had mastor's degrees in music theory. all of COB had years an years of classical violin training. You are making this harder than it needs to be, and you seem to have your head up your ass. Is doing bitch work at a law firm my thing? god no. But I do it because that is what will get me to my end goal. Maximized gain, Minimized risk.

bigcheese_1989
06-09-2009, 09:08 AM
A lot of huge turing musicians were music majors, like all of Dream Theater. Everybody in Queen had mastor's degrees in music theory. all of COB had years an years of classical violin training. You are making this harder than it needs to be, and you seem to have your head up your ass. Is doing bitch work at a law firm my thing? god no. But I do it because that is what will get me to my end goal. Maximized gain, Minimized risk.

But isn't that like a huge waste of time? I could be following the road to my true goals.

SEALSniper1152
06-09-2009, 09:12 AM
But isn't that like a huge waste of time? I could be following the road to my true goals.

Education is the one investment that never looses value. No, because you can record, write and learn all at once. And like I said... you CAN do both.

lt22
06-09-2009, 09:29 AM
Writing for a newspaper. No joke

seriously? newspapers are dying off, man. Just so you know. My uncle used to work for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, but now the office that he was manager of doesn't even exist any more.

Anyway, you shouldn't be so single minded then. Just do school, and during summer and on weekends play some music. It's not that hard... I do it all the time. Plus there should be some people you can start a band with at college, unless people at your college are just boring.

iKoen
06-09-2009, 09:30 AM
True dat Sniper!
nicely said!
its like you put it in the open the way cheese doesn't want to hear it,
he actually wanted like
GO FOR MUSIC
and he would've done it, this makes him seriously concider i think

koslack
06-09-2009, 07:36 PM
But isn't that like a huge waste of time? I could be following the road to my true goals.


Every loser never-was who works in a music store giving attitude to everyone who comes through the door was following the road to their true goals.
It's not like this is the kind of thing where if you work hard enough, you are guaranteed success. If you work hard, you might be able to make a living. If you can't read music, the chances drop. If you insist on only playing rock, the chances drop much further. The only way to ensure success in the music industry is to be an excellent, diverse musician. That means being able to sight read jazz and classical charts, know how to play as many genres as you can think of, and having no problem playing other peoples material.
In short, if you are ok with that, go to music school. If not, if your thing is to be making a career playing songs you wrote, get used to the taste of Kraft Dinner, because it's pretty much all you'll eat for the next 50 years.

Besides, there's no reason you can't have both. I play in a band, and I go to university full time. I also work a full time job. You can accomplish as much as you want as long as you aren't lazy, and use time wisely.

Myshadow46_2
06-09-2009, 08:25 PM
You're young, it's time to make as much of your music as you can because you normally inherit more responsibility as you get older and that takes up more time. However, if you are intelligent and want to make the right decision, you'll carry on educating yourself. Work hard on your education and work hard with your music. I used to want to be in a touring band and just do that for the rest of my life, and I still do, but I just enjoy my music for what it is and what will be will be. I'll work hard at it, but there is no way I will take a step back from everything else that supports me while I make my music.

zephyrclaw
06-09-2009, 08:53 PM
Why don't you study a music course instead? Also, even if you plan on returning to your English degree, I'm sure you'll be able to dedicate at least a little time to music. I pity you if English fills all hours of your waking - and possibly sleeping - life. o_0

In the end, which is more stable? Education or a band that doesn't yet exist? Or, are there other options? You could always just find a job instead and create a healthy income for yourself while you search for band members. If you have the option, though, I think studying a music degree would definitely be the happiest thing for you to do. I'm undertaking a business course at the moment and I have to admit that I sometimes honestly wonder what would have happened if I'd gone down the music route instead, or something similar. I seriously don't think that commerce and economics are what I want to do in life, so it's kind of pointless in that sense. If you're certain that what you truly want to accomplish in life is to be in a successful band, then you should go for that and not waste time on major things that will only detract from that dream. I guess that in the end, you alone have to decide how important music is to you and what benefits you gain from studying English. Good luck.

AlanHB
06-09-2009, 09:06 PM
But isn't that like a huge waste of time? I could be following the road to my true goals.

The band members getting degrees wasn't a huge waste of time because;

(a) if the band wasn't successful, they'd still be great diverse mucicians, capable of employment, unlike yourself

(b) they met eachother in university, and created a band, which you don't have

Kino Chan
06-09-2009, 09:11 PM
Go to a music school
If someone posted that before, too band. My band and I allhave our sights set on Berklee

axemanchris
06-09-2009, 09:59 PM
Here's a response I gave a while back to a very similar thread....

this from a 39-year old who was in your same shoes back many moons ago....

About being a musician:

I think if you have hopes of making a career in music, you'd best make that your plan. If you get a big fat record deal and get famous, then awesome. If not, you're still following the course you've planned for - to be a professional musician.

First: You have no pretenses of being a rock star. That's fine. Do you know what it's like to be a full-time musician? I mean... *really* know?

There can be really decent money in playing gigs. It's a tough road, though, full of balancing business with pleasure. Weddings and corporate gigs pay really well. You'll walk out of there with a few hundred in your pocket for only a few hours work. Problem is.... how many hours do you work in a week? Solution = hustle, hustle, hustle.... you've got to be out there pounding away to get those gigs.

Of course, weddings are generally only on weekends. If you're really, really, really lucky you can round out your week with corporate events. Problem#2 is..... you want to play Disturbed, not Neil Diamond. Solution = suck it up. Don't bite the hand that feeds. You know what side your bread is buttered on. Some people call it selling out. Professional musicians call it making a living. Smile and sing along.... "Sweeee-eeet Car-o-liiiine.... ba DA-ba-ba...." Sure, don't laugh all the way to the bank, but at least all the way to the grocery store. Geez.... that's still only a few gigs a week. Sounds sweet as a teenager, but eventually you have to take on the real world. "when you're an adult, it's no cliche.... it's the truth..." (go ahead... identify that quote... )

So how do you round it out....well.... If you go to school for music and get a classical background, you can open yourself up for solo/duo gigs outside of your wedding band for other functions, corporate events, etc. People will hire a classical guitarist for whatever. Since there's nobody to share the money with, you do okay. Of course.... still no Disturbed. You're still sucking it up playing some version of Hotel California 'by request' (or even not....) right along side your Sor, Tarrega, Dowland, etc. That gives you a couple more shows.... but you still need a 'real job' as an adult - that is, one that pays for rent/mortgage, food, car, etc.

The poverty line for a family of four in the USA (I'm not American either, but they provide a handy bench mark) is $21, 200. For an individual, it is $10 400. That's about a thousand a month... just to live above the poverty line. Another point of comparison... take an average city.... Cleveland Ohio. Rent for an average apartment seems to be about $600. Then food, phone, insurance, gas, hydro, internet, spending, etc. Yikes.

So wadda ya do? Well... you can rent yourself out to bands as a hired guy. Need a guitarist? I'm your guy! I'll do it for $XXX. Artistic freedom? Nope. Now you're totally selling your soul. More Sweet Caroline. Maybe some Shania Twain or Dwight Yokum. Maybe some Bob Seger and Tom Petty. Who knows, really? Of course, you have to be able to sit down and learn these tunes on very short notice, and know them well enough to gig on them with one rehearsal if you're lucky.

Of course, you can't always count on those. Take on a few students (remember that hustle thing?) to help round things out. So, now you're above the poverty line. You've got sporadic hours that seem to pretty reliably fill up your evenings and weekends, and see you working quite late. At least you get to sleep in. Or not. Because tomorrow you have to learn some Green Day and Blink 182 and U2 for a cover band on Friday, and you don't have all day because some kid is coming over at 4:30 for his lesson and another at 5:30, and then you have to eat and start getting ready to head out for your gigs. And then at some point, you have your OWN kids and family to work into that crazy schedule!! (of course, with the screwed up hours you keep, you may wind up being single for the rest of your natural life... "Wanna go on a date? How's Tuesday afternoon for you?"..... another career hazard!)

Still sound like fun? If it does, you have what it takes to be a professional musician. If it sounds pretty crappy, then..... keep music as a hobby. Or incorporate it into some other career path. (that's what I did....)

About being a teacher:

My choice was to take music in university as a means towards a teaching job in the public school system. Careful, now... do NOT go into teaching unless you really feel called to do it. It will eat you alive otherwise. However, I get a good salary, a great pension, great benefits, holidays, etc... and best of all, I love my job. I'm NOT one of those people that others have described. Yes, it IS all about choices and taking charge of your own fate.

I just want to say again for the record...DO NOT GO INTO TEACHING UNLESS YOU REALLY WANT TO TEACH!! You haven't implied that you might, but some of the advice recently might be taken that way.

I'm a teacher. I love my job. But!! If you don't love it, it will eat you alive. You'll be happier at a desk somewhere selling insurance policies over the phone. The people who get into it for the wrong reasons often don't last long. Those that do are just eternally miserable.

It is a ridiculously demanding job. Demanding enough that if you don't *really* want to do it... you're screwed. Most days, I don't have time to eat lunch. That's the truth. Sit down at my desk?! Yeah, right. Dreamland!! The people who have no idea and look at it only for the $$ and holidays are often in for an awful surprise. Twelve years in, I still put in roughly a 50 hour work week.

"Hey, where's my 15 minute morning break?"

"You're kidding, right?"

"Uh.... oh.... okay, then."

The luxury I have now is that I get to make music on my terms... because I want to. I am in complete control of my musical activities, because I don't depend on it for a living.

One thing I'll add here is that, here is what happens with pursuing a career "to fall back on" via the college route:

You meet tons of girls. You meet a girl that you like best out of all of them. (for me, it was a couple years after university, but whatevs) You finish school. Inevitably, you find yourself with a girl, a job ticket into a career, and a girl who wants to get married.... and so do you. And you have the means to make money and start enjoying things. So you take that job that you've worked hard to get.

Music really does become something that you do in your spare time. You still have to make it a priority, or else you will have no spare time in which to justify making music, and then it gets forgotten. If you make it a priority (and make sure your partner is supportive of your music), then you can make it work. Because you're not always going to have very much spare time - especially when kids come... unless you make time to do it.

I know all this seems light-years away, but it comes a heck of a lot faster than you think it will. Trust me.... I spent a few years laughing about someone who said, when I was 23, that "30 is just around the corner." And after what seemed like only a couple of years, it became eerily UNfunny.


CT

... a couple more posts about teaching
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showpost.php?p=17506737&postcount=20
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showpost.php?p=16688779&postcount=7

toaster_poodle
06-10-2009, 12:39 AM
Another thing to think about is that the music industry consists of a lot more than the actual performers. There are tons of specialized schools that offer Associate's degrees in audio production/recording and stuff like that, maybe kind of a "safer" way to still do what you love.

I'm basically in the same boat as you though. I just finished my first year of college, and I hated it. I went in with an open mind, wanting to "live the college life" and eventually find my calling or whatever, but it wasn't long before my music aspirations crept back into my mind. And once that happened and I stopped lying to myself about what I really cared about in my life, school just became a distraction. I could hardly motivate myself to even go to class, I just wanted to get out of there so I could live my life and chase my dream. Needless to say I've chosen not to return (Well, they're not letting me back for a semester anyway because they're biased against students who's GPA starts with a decimal point...) and as of right now I'm pretty sure I'm going to pursue the music school route I mentioned earlier. I wish I had the guts to just pack up and head for some new city with a good scene to start a band in and whatnot, but as of right now a two year program in audio production seems like a good way to get a solid education and buy myself some time while still being involved in what I love and working towards my goal of making music my life.

bigcheese_1989
06-10-2009, 02:05 AM
Another thing to think about is that the music industry consists of a lot more than the actual performers. There are tons of specialized schools that offer Associate's degrees in audio production/recording and stuff like that, maybe kind of a "safer" way to still do what you love.

I'm basically in the same boat as you though. I just finished my first year of college, and I hated it. I went in with an open mind, wanting to "live the college life" and eventually find my calling or whatever, but it wasn't long before my music aspirations crept back into my mind. And once that happened and I stopped lying to myself about what I really cared about in my life, school just became a distraction. I could hardly motivate myself to even go to class, I just wanted to get out of there so I could live my life and chase my dream. Needless to say I've chosen not to return (Well, they're not letting me back for a semester anyway because they're biased against students who's GPA starts with a decimal point...) and as of right now I'm pretty sure I'm going to pursue the music school route I mentioned earlier. I wish I had the guts to just pack up and head for some new city with a good scene to start a band in and whatnot, but as of right now a two year program in audio production seems like a good way to get a solid education and buy myself some time while still being involved in what I love and working towards my goal of making music my life.


The same thing happened to me. Packing up and moving away doesn't sound so bad, man.

Most of you guys make "the dream" sound so impossible, but i know in my heart that it's not impossible for me. I don't think I'll regret following my dream. Thanks for the advice.

AxemanChris, I felt like you really went out of your way to help me and believe me, I did read and understand everything. thx guys

SlackerBabbath
06-10-2009, 05:16 AM
Writing for a newspaper. No joke
Ever thought of writing for a music based publication? That way, you get to mix your chosen profession with your passion for music and it will probably help you build up a good list of contacts too.

Also, nice feckin' post axemanchris.
:golfclap: :golfclap: :golfclap:

AlanHB
06-10-2009, 05:21 AM
A lot of people say they'll put all their time into music and just don't. Take you for example. After two years you don't have a band. That hardly sounds like you're putting all your time in. Not enough guts to leave? Geez.

Do the parents say "get off the couch and get a job" alot?

Nietsche
06-10-2009, 05:35 AM
Ever thought of writing for a music based publication? That way, you get to mix your chosen profession with your passion for music and it will probably help you build up a good list of contacts too.

Also, nice feckin' post axemanchris.
:golfclap: :golfclap: :golfclap:

Brian hugh warner wrote music articles for a south florida lifestyle magazine before he donned the white makeup and became marilyn manson.

Gurgle!Argh!
06-10-2009, 06:57 AM
What exactly do you plan on doing with an English degree?

:facepalm:

axemanchris
06-10-2009, 07:37 AM
Another thing to think about is that the music industry consists of a lot more than the actual performers. There are tons of specialized schools that offer Associate's degrees in audio production/recording and stuff like that, maybe kind of a "safer" way to still do what you love.



Terrible idea. You'll be out there looking for work, and competing with experienced engineers for the precious few jobs out there that actually open up. Why are there so many experienced engineers out there? Because studios are closing down all the time. It is a dying industry... big time. Most people who used to do pro studios start up their own home studios or something similar and try to eke out a living that way. The others - those who have an established clientel and a track record for drawing talent and producing great product are out there actually *getting* the jobs at large pro studios.

And if you were a studio owner, who would *you* hire - they person with the track record for success and whose name alone will draw clients into your studio in a market that is dying, or the kid fresh out of audio engineering school?

I have another post somewhere that I can find, if you're interested, all about how to get work in pro recording.

CT

Damascus
06-10-2009, 08:52 AM
You meet a girl that you like best out of all of them. (for me, it was a couple years after university, but whatevs) You finish school. Inevitably, you find yourself with a girl, a job ticket into a career, and a girl who wants to get married.... and so do you. And you have the means to make money and start enjoying things. So you take that job that you've worked hard to get.

Could read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ethical_Slut

Jus' sayin'.

Otherwise bow to your experience.

EDIT: Actually,
I have another post somewhere that I can find, if you're interested, all about how to get work in pro recording.

CT
I'd love to see those.

koslack
06-10-2009, 12:01 PM
Not really related, just saying, newspapers are not going to die. They are going to get smaller, and specialize a lot more in local news, but they will still be around once they figure out a way to better serve their markets. So don't laugh at the guy for wanting to work for one.

tagyoureit
06-10-2009, 12:46 PM
Give up the dream, for it destroys more souls than it rewards.

Damascus
06-10-2009, 01:18 PM
Give up the dream, for it destroys more souls than it rewards.

If there's one thing I've learnt from listening to people who have achieved their dreams, it's never ever ever listen to anyone who tells you this.

axemanchris
06-10-2009, 05:49 PM
Could read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ethical_Slut

Jus' sayin'.

Otherwise bow to your experience.

EDIT: Actually,

I'd love to see those.

Thanks, man... :D

Here was that post on getting into recording:

First, there are studios closing down daily because the market is just not there anymore to support many of them. Your potential number of employers is dwindling all the time, and those people who had jobs at those studios (and therefore experience) will be competing with you looking for work at the handful that are still standing.

Second, most real-world studios don't care that much if you have qualifications on paper. They look at what your track record is. What have you done? Can I hear your work? That sort of thing. Someone whose work speaks for itself without training will get the job pretty much every time over someone whose work is okay who has training.

By extension of both of those, most studios don't put out ads "wanted: studio engineer." They take advantage of their existing set of contacts and connections and fish from that pond. It is very much a business of who you know.

So.... given all that, the best way of getting a job at a major studio is:
1. Show up at their door and introduce yourself. Do this many times if necessary. Be a polite, cordial, eager and pleasant pain in the ass. You're not there for a job yet. You're volunteering to make coffee, vacuum carpets, be a gopher when someone in a band needs smokes, water plants, whatever. In return, all you ask is for the chance to watch a few sessions so you can start learning some stuff.
2. Once your foot is in the door, be the best coffee maker, carpet vacuumer, corner-store runner you can. It shows you're worth the effort for them to have you around. They'll start to like you and be more willing to let you watch. They'll even teach you the proper way to wind cables.
3. Eventually, you'll be given jobs like setting up mics and moving them around the room as the engineer tells you what to do - "closer... closer.... back it off a bit... now left... "

Little jobs at a time, and you'll be trained on site by the people who know what they are doing. It won't cost you anything but time.

As they get confidence in your knowledge, reliability, etc., there will come a time when the studio makes some concession to band where they'll give them a cut rate if they're willing to come in at 6:00am and work with one of their interns. That would be you. Maybe it will come up as one of the regular studio assistants is sick, or quits, or whatever, and you'll get called up to help out. Sure, you're last picked, but at least you're picked.

You'll start noticing that other people with genuine credentials are sending in their resumees. The studio, already with a full complement of staff, including interns, assistants, lackeys, etc. does not typically call those applicants back.

CT

PS. Just in case you're thinking that I'm one of those "anti-education.... school is no good for anything" kind of people, I have a degree in music and teach in a school... so no. I'm *very* pro-education. I'm also very practical, and that means taking the steps you *really* need to get there rather than assuming that a piece of paper will be your ticket.

z4twenny
06-10-2009, 06:20 PM
^ srsly, thats awesome. music is a business and thats a really good crash course on getting your foot in the door (i've read articles from several sound engineers where they said they got in the door exactly how you described, they were basically studio roadies/techs/gophers) hell, trent reznor was a janitor in a studio just so he could get free recording time in the middle of the night to complete pretty hate machine. seems to have worked out well for him.

bigcheese_1989
06-10-2009, 07:40 PM
AxeManChris, you are loaded with wisdom. Seriously, man.

You know, I've never even considered getting a job at a recording studio. It just never crossed my mind. So, when I go up there, what should be my first words? "Hi I'm interested in employment." I have no idea. Can you kinda walk me through that really quick?

SlackerBabbath
06-10-2009, 08:28 PM
Brian hugh warner wrote music articles for a south florida lifestyle magazine before he donned the white makeup and became marilyn manson.
Yeah, another music journalist turned musician was Mark Manning who became Zodiac Mindwarp, he used to be the editor of 'Flexipop' magazine back in the 80s.

axemanchris
06-10-2009, 09:13 PM
AxeManChris, you are loaded with wisdom. Seriously, man.

You know, I've never even considered getting a job at a recording studio. It just never crossed my mind. So, when I go up there, what should be my first words? "Hi I'm interested in employment." I have no idea. Can you kinda walk me through that really quick?

I considered it a while ago, just for kicks. I wasn't serious enough about it to pursue it with the vigor that I should have, if I was interested in making a career out of it. But we do have a pro studio here in Hamilton (U2, G'n'R, etc.) I could have gotten my foot in the door, though, with more perseverance.

1. Present yourself professionally. Be serious. Sure, you're only volunteering to water plants and buy smokes for people and stuff, but if you come across as a flaked-out dope-head, they don't want you near their gear, or their clients. No matter what your role, you represent the studio. No room for idiots. Start with a phone call that describes in very general terms what you're interested in. Find out who you need to speak to, and when you can come in to talk to him/her in person.

2. Be up front about what you want, and what you're willing to offer in return. Don't ask for money - just an opportunity to be around so you can pick up some knowledge. Be willing to do practically anything in return. Don't ask to mix the next client's project. Remember, at first, you're a lackey. Tell them, though not in as derogatory a way, that this is all you expect your role to be and that you're willing to do it.

3. If you actually know something about recording, get them to talk about recording. Most of those types are really interested in talking shop - at least the ones who enjoy it. The more competent they perceive you to be, the more willing they will be to share information with you. (hint... you want to get them to like you? Research what the studio has done, and even better, what that engineer has done and be able to talk about his/her work... how much you really liked such-and-such about it, etc. Also, complement them on their choices of gear, if you're equipped sufficiently to do so. You know.... "LA-2A s.... I love the sound of those" or "Hey, you're using an RE-20 on the kick there. I like them a lot better than the D12's.... they're more robust and not as clicky" or whatever.)

4. Be prepared to provide references. It's not likely they'll want a resume. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to make coffee and vacuum carpets. But they will want to know that you're reliable and that you're not going to bugger off with some client's money when he asks you to fetch him some iced tea. (or worse, lift a key and break in after hours....)

5. Expect a little bit of a run-around. "Call me back mid-week" kind of thing, and then the guy isn't around, so another studio lackey says to try back Friday around 10pm, etc. Those people are often legitimately busy, and sometimes they just want to see how committed you are to working for free.

CT

bigcheese_1989
06-10-2009, 09:20 PM
Okay, I will definitely look into this. I live in a small city, so it's not many recording studios around, but I'll keep looking. Thanks so much

zephyrclaw
06-10-2009, 11:22 PM
I thought that generally, if you attend an established audio production institute, they'll help you find work when you finish your degree (if you're a good student and everything, of course).

Kenny77
06-10-2009, 11:42 PM
Give up the dream, for it destroys more souls than it rewards.

Some people are just ****ed up to begin with. Music is my life, I can either die alone doing something I love, or die alone working at some desk job.

axemanchris
06-11-2009, 06:00 AM
I thought that generally, if you attend an established audio production institute, they'll help you find work when you finish your degree (if you're a good student and everything, of course).

Sure, they'll help you find work. Just like there are doctors all over the world helping to find the cure for cancer.

It might be instructional to call, say, 10 pro studios and ask them, "I want to get into audio production. How important is getting a certificate or diploma towards achieving that goal? Do you look more at someone's academic credentials or their job experience in determining who to interview, if you were hiring?"

CT

superfish1232
06-11-2009, 05:49 PM
So, I'm torn between going back to school OR being in a band.

The problem is, that I can't do both because if I'm gonna be in school, then I want to focus all of my attention on school. Same thing if I'm gonna be in a band. Right now, I don't go back to school (if that's the decision I make) until August.

It

that is plain retarded im sorry.
you can't focus all of your attention on one thing
physically your brain won't let you otherwise it'll get bored
the poor thing is on average reluctant to concentrate on topic straight for 45 minutes
let alone four years

go back to school do your work then spend free time writing and trying to form a band. you can gig and record in your holidays. most educational institutions actually appreciate people having outside interests as it means they have some way of releasing stress. music is one of the best ways of doing that it only becomes a problem if you prioritise it

eaton1012
06-11-2009, 06:08 PM
I'm sure you can do both.

zephyrclaw
06-12-2009, 05:24 AM
Sure, they'll help you find work. Just like there are doctors all over the world helping to find the cure for cancer.

It might be instructional to call, say, 10 pro studios and ask them, "I want to get into audio production. How important is getting a certificate or diploma towards achieving that goal? Do you look more at someone's academic credentials or their job experience in determining who to interview, if you were hiring?"

CT

Of course, job experience and contacts are major selection criteria for almost any job industry, but that doesn't mean that there's no reason to obtain education. After all, SOMEONE has to be involved in the audio production sector, so if not you, then who? While it's necessary to be realistic and possibly even pessimistic at times, it doesn't mean that there's no value in obtaining qualifications and training.

That said, that catch 22 situation or whatever it's called is almost definitely one of the most annoying things ever. For example, when walking down a busy street, you might see advertisements in restaurant windows for experienced waiters, but the only way you'll gain any of that is to find a job...but to be employed, you need experience! Damn it! Why is life oh-so-hard? :(

Heh, anyway...what's the best way to break into audio production, music studios and things like that? Surely the learning must come from somewhere. I mean, most people aren't born with magic audio production skills, right? Or maybe I'm not retarded and deprived. Noooo! I'd imagine, though, that you'd have to obtain training from somewhere. If not a music institute, then from where? Darn those kids who used to do all the sound stuff at assemblies back in school. Sometimes I think it would have been beneficial to have done that. ><

(...then I remember how much more fun it was to watch Power Rangers on the TV in the library during free periods instead.)

axemanchris
06-12-2009, 01:20 PM
For some jobs, you *need* qualifications. If you want to be an electrician, it doesn't matter who you know or how much 'unofficial' experience you have, no paper means no job.

In audio production, once you water their plants, and wash their coffee cups, and take empties back to the beer store, and take a run down to Long and McQuades to buy another mic stand to fix the one that got busted last night, they will start teaching you stuff. You'll receive on the job training. It might be during a dead hour or two or four between clients, or it may be while the client is in the room and they need a pair of hands, or it might be from watching and learning and asking questions. (after the fact is better.... I can't imagine trying to get the gate right on a snare track and have some idiot behind me asking me questions about it).

If you want to help yourself further, you need to get a setup where you can try some of this stuff out yourself. Set up a project studio at home. Start with something good, but inexpensive like Reaper for software. Move up to something more expensive like Cubase or ProTools or whatever once you're sure this is not just a passing fancy. Get a couple of decent mics (or a box full) and an interface and start recording stuff.

You'll learn tons about what works for mic choice, mic placement, mixing, etc. just by doing it. Also, there are tons of print resources - Recording Magazine is awesome. (www.recordingmag.com) There are also a couple of great forums on the net that are pretty hospitable to beginners. (here, but there are some that are recording-specific as opposed to guitar-specific, like www.recordingproject.com and www.homerecording.com and their forum, www.homerecording.com/bbs . )

Read, do, read more, do more. Talk to people. Participate in forums. Read more. Do more. Then get yourself in as a lackey in a pro studio and learn more and do more from qualfied pros on gear that most mortals are not able to afford.

Oh, and about 'who' is getting the jobs.... Remember the market is shrinking. Huge. Studios are closing all the time. There are more so-called recording engineers out there than there are positions, probably at a ratio of 4:1. If you're looking for someone, there's certainly no shortage.

However, there's no need to look. You've already got a lackey in your studio now who is learning the ropes and is being trained in a way that represents how your studio wants to do things. (ie. If you're looking for a Mutt Lange and a Steve Albini shows up, you'll have an uphill battle on your hands) If that already-in-place person isn't the one you hire, it will be the person who has shown up to the studio who has an established client list. "Hey, we can hire the guy who has recorded Gin Blossoms, Sheryl Crow and Megadeth, or we can hire..... our lackey." Meh. This guy with the track record will draw clients to your studio based on his name alone. Chemical Sound would be 'just another studio' if people didn't say, "Hey, we get to record with the guy who did the In Utero album!!"

CT

asator
06-12-2009, 02:03 PM
A lot of huge turing musicians were music majors, like all of Dream Theater. Everybody in Queen had mastor's degrees in music theory. all of COB had years an years of classical violin training. You are making this harder than it needs to be, and you seem to have your head up your ass. Is doing bitch work at a law firm my thing? god no. But I do it because that is what will get me to my end goal. Maximized gain, Minimized risk.
Well, no. COB didn't all have classical violin training....one of them did. And one had classical piano training. The others just learned their instruments and joined a band. And I'm fairly sure Queen didn't all have Music Masters either. If I remember right, Brian did something ridiculous like Astro Physics or Astronomy or something.

johnczyk
07-04-2009, 09:34 AM
trust me.get an education.you can always do music on the side.As harsh as it sounds following your dream may not pay your bills for a long time.There are too many unemployed musicians.Plus having another job will allow you to have money to buy gear!good luck :cool:

frog_friend
07-05-2009, 04:18 AM
How hard is it really to split your attention between school and music? I go to school, have a job, am doing the same stuff you are music wise (being a solo artist and writing my own stuff to make a demo). That is just the main things too. That is not including the time I spend at the gym, and all the time I sink into doing my homework. Really man just learn to manage your time. You don't have to pick and choose.

axemanchris
07-05-2009, 08:47 AM
As much as I agree with you guys that you can stay involved in music while you go to school, if the OP's main objective is to 'make it' in music, then there's no point in going to school. He will be spending 8 hours a day on academia that he could be/should be spending investing in his career gamble. Yes, gamble. He will also be spending loads of $$ for something that won't help him in that gamble.

The music industry is competitive enough that you have to make it your full-time commitment if you intend to get asked to play the game. Have to. Have to. Sure, it's all about luck and connections, etc., but you create your own luck and your own connections by doing that stuff every moment of the day when you're not sleeping.

Here's an analogy: The odds of making it in music are roughly the same as the odds of getting struck by lightning. Sure, there's a lot of luck, but you can position yourself in such a way that you can maximize that luck.

You *could* just run outside to the front yard whenever you see it lightning out. That's kind of akin to playing in an original band on weekends. You *could* get struck by lightning.

You *could* go outside every time it rains and wave a golf club around. That will increase your odds. That is akin to staying in school and playing in an original band whenever you get a chance. Sure, the odds are a lot better than they were before.

Best bet - You create an aluminum suit. You become an expert on the weather and not only wait for it to rain, but will be willing to drive for hours on any given day in order to chase rainstorms. You drive from town to town - maybe 8 hours a day - and when you get to that town, you find the highest vantage point you can sneak up onto - roofs of apartment buildings, etc. You wear your aluminum suit, and you also have a home-made collapsible TV antenna that you erect for when you sit out there. Sure, the odds of being struck by lightning aren't generally very good, but if you do that, your odds start looking pretty realistic.

That is akin to spending every waking moment you have learning how to write songs, investing in your 'rockstar image', grooming your contacts and developing new ones, gigging, submitting to publishers and labels, meeting with agents and managers, promoting yourself, building your fanbase, touring, etc. Lather, rinse, repeat.

And then if it doesn't work, you can always go back to school, keeping in mind all the while, you'll probably spend a number of years fending off the ' I told ya so' people who won't want to shut up about it all.

Don't get me wrong. I'm very 'pro' education. I have a degree in music myself and am directly involved in the education system. However, different careers require different paths.

CT

frog_friend
07-05-2009, 10:33 PM
^^^ I've talked to some musicians who are fairly successful in the industry about their thoughts on going to school for music. Some people are for it, some people say its not really that important. I guess its really just up to the person on what they want to do. I decided to go to school for music because it helps with networking a lot, and am going to get a degree in composition. I've talked to a guy who is pretty successful at writing music for commercials and stuff like that and he says his composition degree has really helped him find jobs. I guess it all comes down to what you want to do with music. If you want to try and play in a rock band then maybe school isn't to important, but if you want to be composing for the new york philharmonic then you might want to try for a degree.

axemanchris
07-06-2009, 12:58 AM
Agreed entirely with your examples. Highway is looking to 'make it' as in getting signed in a rock band.

CT

frog_friend
07-06-2009, 01:13 AM
yeah then your getting hit by lightning example works perfectly :P Getting signed as a rock band is so ridiculously hard and even harder to "make it" You have to ask yourself what you consider "making it". Do you want to be rich beyond your wildest dream, or just be able to support your family? Also I suggest not pigeon holing your self when it comes to music. Learn to do as much as possible because it makes you more valuable as a person. The more you know how to do the more jobs you can get.