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Old 02-04-2013, 03:44 AM   #21
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Being a musician is easy if you're a good musician.

Hardly anyone is a good musician. Especially guitar players. Seriously, like 95% of guitar players are shit.
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:44 AM   #22
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I think people make it seem much more impossible than it really is. I say 1 out of about every 500 bands that gets a gig in your local area will make it far enough to be considered "successful".
For how can I give the King his place of worth above all else
when I spend my time striving to place the crown upon myself?
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:50 AM   #23
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Spread yourself widely. Do some lessons, do some guitar tech/luthiery, do some performing, do some teaching, fully immerse yourself in what you want to do. Also, find a day job until you can comfortably support yourself off your passion. Who knows, maybe you'll have a day job all your life, but at least you'll be supplementing your living with your passion, and be a figurehead in your local scene. Do it, man!

I'm currently in a local band, and set guitars up for others occasionally. I'm dirt poor. But one day I tell you, ONE DAY!!
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:04 AM   #24
Est. 1966.
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Originally Posted by CaptainCanti
I've got 2 years left of high school. And while I do have some time left to think about it, I honestly have no idea what I want to do with my life. I definitely want something in music, but I have no idea what. I'd like to try to get into being a musician, but I know it probably wouldn't be easy, and the chances of making it would be slim. My second choice is becoming a high school music/choir teacher. So what are the chances of making it as a musician?

Depends what you mean by 'make it' really. Are you likely to be able to make a living from it? Sure, anyone can if they have a bit of experience, a decent business-head on their shoulders and know how to get regular paying gigs. Will you be a huge mega-star with oodles of cash in the bank? Well, I suppose it's always possible with the right breaks but there's only ever a very small percentage of musicians who manage to achieve that, so, chances are that that probably won't happen.
“Our life is what our thoughts make it.”
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:12 AM   #25
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wot slacker said basically...

I think people have rather skewed ideas of success. Success (in music), to me at least, means being able to live from the proceeds of gigs, teaching, etc. without having to work other jobs.

It does not have to mean sleeping on a mound of coke with models and owning a classic car collection.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:15 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by TooktheAtrain
It does not have to mean sleeping on a mound of coke with models and owning a classic car collection.

Although that would be ideal
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:19 AM   #27
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:25 AM   #28
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Never turn down a gig.
Never stop writing.
Don't make any enemies.

I go on tour in March for the rest of the year for preciseley these reasons. I'm playing 90's hits at holiday camps but its £150 a week for 2 nights work and 100,000 people are going to watch me play.

Be prepared, always have a business card with a link to who you are, what you do, demos etc.
Don't get complacent, always be on the look out for what's next.
Put yourself out there, does a band need a rhyhthm guitarist for a few nights, does a local student need a score for his film project? Get your name associated with everything you do.

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Old 02-04-2013, 12:14 PM   #29
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There was a thread about what genres are best for being successful. I'll just copy what I put there, since it's still relevant.

Originally Posted by theogonia777
It's all about supply and demand. There are certain genres that have a very large demand, but a very large supply as well. This would be stuff like "pop" music. On the other hand, there are some types of music with very low demand, but very low supply. This would be stuff like very niche styles of music, particularly in EDM and extreme metal.

As a result, even though more bands make it playing pop than say brutal death metal, there isn't necessarily a higher chance of success.

Really though, genre isn't as important as instrument. Playing upright bass for example is not particularly common, so a skilled upright bassist will have a comparatively easier time finding constant work playing jazz, rockabilly, bluegrass, etc.

This is even more true with incredibly niche instruments like pedal steel guitar. This goes back to my first point as well. While there is a very low demand for pedal steel guitar (an ever decreasing demand in pop "country" and a still continuous demand in contemporary country (alt country and murder swing, for example) as well as more traditional country acts), but there is an even smaller number of skilled players around, so a proficient steeler will always be able to find work.

And of course location is very important. Most large cities have decent scenes for most genres, though some are more famous for certain genres. Some major music cities in the US for example are LA, NYC, Chicago, St Louis, Austin, Kansas City, Nashville, New Orleans, Detroit, etc.

Also "music career" is extremely vague.

Originally Posted by theogonia777
See, this is what I'm saying. If people seriously want to be successful as working musicians, learning styles and instruments that are not popular in America is the way to go.

It all goes back to supply and demand.

Let's say for pop music the demand is 10,000 and the supply is 10,000,000. Those numbers are the number of musicians needed in the industry and the number available, and they are just completely made up to make a point. Your chances of making it in that case would be 1 in 1,000.

For blues guitarists, the demand might be 1,000 and the supply is a third of every single guitarist ever. This makes your chance... more or less none.

For country PSG, the demand might be 100 but the supply is only 500, meaning you have a 1 in 5 chance of "making it" on that instrument.

For dūdmaišis (Lithuanian bagpipes) players, the demand might be 10 but the supply is 20, so you have a 1 in 2 chance.

Like I said though, those numbers are just made up, and if you are particularly skilled on your instrument, you have a far better chance, particularly in niche areas where being skilled means almost guaranteed work.

It really depends on what your thing is. Based on my limited knowledge of anything about you other than your list of favorite bands and guitarists on your profile, chances are your thing is probably not too favorable on the supply-to-demand ratio pyramid, so you probably might want to reconsider your strategy if you plan on "making it" (whatever that means) as a musician.
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:58 PM   #30
is the bees knees
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If you're dead set on playing guitar for a living you're best of learning everything. Learn to fluently read music, you could pick up some session work. Learn to play jazz, country, rock, bluegrass, pop, metal, blues. Can you name it? You better learn to play it, it just increases your chances of getting a gig.

Even if you want to become a music ed teacher, you're going to need to become proficient on an instrument, so if that's a possibility, don't throw your guitar out the window.
I pride myself on my humility.
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:02 PM   #31
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You'd basically have to gig most nights and do a ton of private lessons. Doable, not the most desirable life for everyone though. I'll be happier with music ed
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:02 PM   #32
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I'm starting to seriously doubt whether I want to be a touring musician. I'm more and more interested in writing scores.
You are now using UG Black.
You are now using UG Classic.
Artists I'm listening to a lot lately:
Stray Cats, Gustav Holst

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if you truly loved me, you'd watch them (psst; it's not just glam stuff)

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Old 02-04-2013, 04:07 PM   #33
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People always ask this question, and the answer is always: it depends on what you define as "making it." Does that mean being famous? Well how popular does your music have to be before you consider it "famous?" Does it mean making enough to live off of? Depends on how you're willing to live. It all depends on your perspective.
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:09 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by SuperKid
get a music degree then

I put my sig in a spoiler because i view UG sigless anyway.
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:11 PM   #35
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Music at a relatively high level [not that high - A level. That's for 16-18 year olds in the UK] may actually kill your interest in music unless you love jazz or classical music.

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Old 02-04-2013, 04:21 PM   #36
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If you're good enough (technically), smart enough, tough enough and you have an extremely good resolve then you have a chance, albeit a very small one but if you're the type of person I just described then you won't let that discourage you.
Otherwise unless you have tits, ass and bubblegum lyrics spewing from every orifice then you are essentially f**ked
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:47 PM   #37
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I have taught and performed live paid music for 15 years privately and been a full time muso for 6. Also did support tours with snow patrol muse etc in the late 90s.

bands.. crazy hard. you can't even get a decent support slot as a unsigned or small band. We used to get every gig in town as 2nd support

teaching.. very competitive in the UK schools due to cutbacks. Wales are cutting out music teaching in schools.

tutoring.. tough to get the numbers for full time work.

paid gigs.. used to run wedding and event band I got £500 per gig per week. now most wedding bands I know do pubs for a fraction of the cash due to recession and lack of weddings.

sessions.. Most session guys I know are desperate for wedding and function gigs. A friend who did session tours now plays solo gigs again for 80quid per night.

In the famous session world, and there are a handful of guys session in in studio and tours.

recording studios.. Round my area desperate for clients and most have shut due to advances in home recording

rehearsal studios.. tend to make a decent buck but takes a lot of capital but they ain't booked out in advance like 5 years ago

In a nutshell if you want to make little cash, and be fed up of music doing it all day ad nauseum, then this is your career. My 45 and 60 yr old teacher still struggle to pay bills BUT have freedom and don't give in to 'The man'

If you diversify and have a strong business model you can make an average wage. At this stage where music is a job your business may as well be in anything that pays more.

TLdr... great part time income booster, but very tough career. I still regret leaving my good job for full time music.

Last edited by Sir-Shredalot : 02-04-2013 at 05:52 PM.
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:12 AM   #38
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Also, if you're REALLY that good/dedicated, you can push for a masters and teach post-secondary. Should make a comfortable living from that.
Dirty betch
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