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Old 01-14-2013, 02:02 PM   #41
Scott Jones
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Originally Posted by Hail
you don't exactly have a boss to call sick days in. you get the flu, you're f'd in the a. no matter how fiscally responsible you are, how well you save, you're never gonna be invincible when you have the level of career control that's afforded to an independent musician.


VERY true. And to be clear, I DO have health insurance and always have. I have life insurance. Technically, when I was at the mega church, I was full time, on staff, salaried, benefits, vacation and sick days. It was a dream gig for a musician. And no, it was not a day job. I wrote music all day, played live 4 times a week, hired and fired musicians, orchestras. AND I still had time to play in bands, teach, compose, record. It was just a very big piece of the pie until I finally got burnt out and left 5 years ago. Now I just have to hustle a bit more.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:29 PM   #42
Hail
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oh yeah, but you have to pay for that insurance out of your pocket, and any day off is lost profit. i just assume, as well, that 99% of the time you're not gonna get a gig with those sorts of benefits - that's certainly a diamond in a rough - so i exclude it from the equation when people are seriously contemplating taking that plunge.

i do know some directors around these parts for middle schools who gig on weekends and take advantage of their benefits/summers off/the ability to challenge their arrangement and compositional skills to simplify music to a level that kids could perform. that requires a lot of personal stress, and you have to be incredibly dedicated to both teaching and performing to make that arrangement work without slipping in either department, so i exclude factors like that too.

honestly, music is a hard thing. when you're in the game, you might find you're able to spread yourself into more than one niche, but it wouldn't be wise, i think, to try and bite off more than you can chew. find something you love, and run with it - if you get a golden opportunity, or you find something that works to your advantage or challenges you and keeps the food on the table, take it, but never try to bank on that or you may well fall on your face.
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:12 PM   #43
CarsonStevens
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Originally Posted by Hail
this is a good question. any pro giggers i've met (though they didn't play rock instruments) usually had plenty of time to learn the music ahead of time, and the only real time they resorted to sight reading was from juggling several gigs at once rather than a legitimate requirement

outside of auditions, at least


I'm kinda surprised to hear you say this. Most of the time when session guitar work gets discussed, you get the idea they're handed a ream of sheet music and told to play it perfectly, in one take, by sight. I've always felt that was asking a bit much.
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:41 PM   #44
Hail
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Originally Posted by CarsonStevens
I'm kinda surprised to hear you say this. Most of the time when session guitar work gets discussed, you get the idea they're handed a ream of sheet music and told to play it perfectly, in one take, by sight. I've always felt that was asking a bit much.


i should have clarified, i wasn't talking about guitar specifically - most of the people i've met who gigged were through connections in high school and through local college directors, meaning mostly brass (and winds in general)

guitar may well be a completely different ballpark so i wouldn't take that as an indicator, hence why i was asking. if i knew any pro gigging guitarists who could read music at all, much less sightread, i'd have far less time to post on here because i'd be busy shamelessly leeching off of them for gigs

but i do agree there is a lot of emphasis on it that probably isn't warranted. if anything, the only reason you'd be given stuff to sightread would be very demanding, high-level gigs (most of which that come to mind wouldn't typically have an electric guitar in the first place outside of gimmickry, symphonies/operas/&c.), or because it's the easiest way to weed out a guitarist/drummer/electric bassist that actually went to school and/or have some level of dedication to their craft.

in the realm of brass/winds it's kinda a given that you read because, i mean, they actually have classes for it in middle and high school instead of forcing you to learn your instrument through half-assed biweekly jazz band rehearsals and tab sites.

scott said he sightread a lot but it was more for personal challenge, which is a good sign and should be embraced, but i'll reiterate and ask "how much was it actually required by the gig beyond just having a ton of stuff to do in a short timeframe", cause i've always felt like having a good look-through of the music or 2 makes the chart exponentially easier to read when actually performing, even in a time crunch. legitimate sightreading is a lot more intense if you're not well-honed in it, and admittedly isn't the most useful skill (outside of just making your living purely from session/performing, of course, but if you want to dabble pretty much anywhere outside of that realm its usefulness quickly turns into a party trick, a la vai at old zappa shows)

not to say reading isn't absolutely something you should have zeroed in no matter what you're doing, but it shouldn't be the top of the checklist when you're thinking of tools/skills/necessities for your audition. it should be there, in the wide realm of priorities, but even just considering technical skill you should make sure you have a strong ear and clean technique before you worry about sightreading everything you see like some guitarists might fail to understand. i'd rather a performer be able to hear and reciprocate to solid results than someone who sees and reciprocates decently/adequately.

can you guys tell i'm off work tonight? i'm actually being serious and have time for these long posts instead of the usual intelligent musings i pose

Last edited by Hail : 01-14-2013 at 08:44 PM.
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:59 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Hail
i should have clarified, i wasn't talking about guitar specifically - most of the people i've met who gigged were through connections in high school and through local college directors, meaning mostly brass (and winds in general)

guitar may well be a completely different ballpark so i wouldn't take that as an indicator, hence why i was asking. if i knew any pro gigging guitarists who could read music at all, much less sightread, i'd have far less time to post on here because i'd be busy shamelessly leeching off of them for gigs

but i do agree there is a lot of emphasis on it that probably isn't warranted. if anything, the only reason you'd be given stuff to sightread would be very demanding, high-level gigs (most of which that come to mind wouldn't typically have an electric guitar in the first place outside of gimmickry, symphonies/operas/&c.), or because it's the easiest way to weed out a guitarist/drummer/electric bassist that actually went to school and/or have some level of dedication to their craft.

in the realm of brass/winds it's kinda a given that you read because, i mean, they actually have classes for it in middle and high school instead of forcing you to learn your instrument through half-assed biweekly jazz band rehearsals and tab sites.

scott said he sightread a lot but it was more for personal challenge, which is a good sign and should be embraced, but i'll reiterate and ask "how much was it actually required by the gig beyond just having a ton of stuff to do in a short timeframe", cause i've always felt like having a good look-through of the music or 2 makes the chart exponentially easier to read when actually performing, even in a time crunch. legitimate sightreading is a lot more intense if you're not well-honed in it, and admittedly isn't the most useful skill (outside of just making your living purely from session/performing, of course, but if you want to dabble pretty much anywhere outside of that realm its usefulness quickly turns into a party trick, a la vai at old zappa shows)

not to say reading isn't absolutely something you should have zeroed in no matter what you're doing, but it shouldn't be the top of the checklist when you're thinking of tools/skills/necessities for your audition. it should be there, in the wide realm of priorities, but even just considering technical skill you should make sure you have a strong ear and clean technique before you worry about sightreading everything you see like some guitarists might fail to understand. i'd rather a performer be able to hear and reciprocate to solid results than someone who sees and reciprocates decently/adequately.

can you guys tell i'm off work tonight? i'm actually being serious and have time for these long posts instead of the usual intelligent musings i pose


Although I approached the reading from a challenge aspect, it was absolutely vital to playing the gig. I just made it more challenging to stay on top of my game. I required every musician I hired to be slamming readers. The general specificity in the music demanded it.

Last edited by Scott Jones : 01-14-2013 at 09:01 PM.
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:16 PM   #46
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I'm not a professional guitarist yet (in that I don't do it for a living), but one of things that really hit me in the last couple of years is the idea that you have to treat music as an occupation if you want to do it as an occupation. You show up to your own practice space every single day and get things done even when they're not totally pleasant. You put in enough time that you could call it a job.

The idea of the 10,000 Hour Rule was really illuminating to me, and has helped me improve my musicianship greatly even in a short time. Basically, it takes about 10,000 hours to attain objectively "good" skill at anything you do: music, sports, writing, work. When I looked back at how much time I spent at, say, my job, compared to playing guitar, I realized that simply by virtue of spending 40 hours a week at work, I was far more skilled at Retail than at music. Obviously, that behooved me to make a change.

The day you realize you're primary skill is counting cash tills and telling people to please vacuum the floor is the day you realize that professional musicianship is within reach if only you put in the time and effort in the same way you would with a job. If I can stand to put that much time into something that I really don't care about*, why shouldn't I reserve the same effort for something that I find much more satisfying?


*I actually care quite a bit about my job, as my career is in community-based service non-profits; I just don't care much for the retail end of it.

Last edited by cdgraves : 01-14-2013 at 10:30 PM.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:40 AM   #47
axemanchris
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Originally Posted by Scott Jones
Absolutely freaking brilliant blog entry on the subject.

I'm going to MAKE my students read it. Every. Single one.


Thanks, Scott.

Great thread. It sounds like you a LOT to offer folks here at UG, as doing music full-time is an aspiration that many have, but few ultimately venture into.

And yes, music can't be a "fall back" or that's all it will ever be, most likely.

CT
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:41 AM   #48
Scott Jones
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Originally Posted by axemanchris
Thanks, Scott.

Great thread. It sounds like you a LOT to offer folks here at UG, as doing music full-time is an aspiration that many have, but few ultimately venture into.

And yes, music can't be a "fall back" or that's all it will ever be, most likely.

CT


Thanks!

I truly have nothing to gain here, but to shed light on things for young players.

I've been very fortunate and simply want to give back. Though I get paid to teach professionally, i STILL enjoy opening people up to their potential for nothing more than knowing I may have done so in some small way.

...and you're right, it takes extreme dedication, focus and sacrifice to achieve something in this business. For me, Plan B was never given a chance.

Last edited by Scott Jones : 01-15-2013 at 11:42 AM.
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:24 PM   #49
Vin71
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Thanks for all the advice Scott! I've been reading through the stuff you've been posting and it's been really helpful

You seem like a really knowledgeable person not only in music so I'd like to ask you about my situation and what you'd recommend me to do.


My situation:
around 3000$ invested in gear (DAW,software,virtual instruments,monitors,instrumnts,etc)
main source of money is tree work atm I get paid pretty decent
I usually get 5 hours a day of free time to play around with my music stuff I've gotten
I've composed about 10 songs so far, and alot of other "test" ones trying out different things, but 10 full ones that I could put out anytime I want but not sure how to put them out or when etc, a few of them have vocals as well.
I've been doing this for 1 and a half years learning to mix and everything

My goals currently:
Learn to play the guitar (rythme guitarist, rock, maybe some solos)
Learn to compose better pieces
Create PVs somehow with the songs I've made
Release them on youtube with google adsense possibly with a site
possibly offer a CD for sell if they get popular or the stuff for download



Things I'm having trouble with:
1.Not sure how to attempt or if I should learn music theory
2.Not sure if I should invest in a teacher for guitar or continue just practicing myself
3.Not sure how to release my stuff on the internet, I got that PV idea but I would have to make something and I'm not sure what, I know how to do some motion graphics or I could film some dumbass video lol





1.I've been playing piano since I was a kid and have learned to improvise on it really well with both black keys and white keys, though I have never had lessons and didn't learn theory. Having not learned theory I have been on and off of the idea of trying to learn it or not. Everytime I attempt to learn it I feel like it's trying to put me in a box of rules I have to follow, it's scaring me as well in a mental way. I know the basics of it, and been on and off reading up on it looking at books for a year now but for a very short times as I often feel like "just forget this" because I don't understand it and I already usually can play melodys I want to and I figure out what chords will work with them or vica versa, or program them in my DAW but I prefer playing live it gives a certain thing to the stuff thats hard to replica with velocity's etc, Though there are times when I am composing I feel it would be much easier if I knew exactly what would work with certain chords or melodys Ive made as sometimes it takes me a while to find the stuff I'm looking for.

So I'm not sure where to start, how to approach it, or what to do with music theory. If I should get a teacher or if I should just forget about it...


2.I've recently got a guitar after a month of going in shops trying them out being uncertain lol
I've been using it for 3 months, I can't do barres no matter how hard I press I can't get all the strings down I've tried lots of things. I got rythme down pretty quick, was able to sync to tempos really easily, I'm able to somewhat play single notes I learned where all the notes are on the first 3 strings but having trouble remembering the other ones basically I try to memorize it from these two EF and BC since their just like on the piano the two white keys between the series of half step keys and once i get back on one I know where all the other notes will be
I REALLY want to learn guitar currently, it's the main thing I want in my songs, I bought a virtual guitar plugin that works pretty well for single notes but decided this I wanted to learn myself and play it, so I've been at that for 3 months. I learned the open chords and how to go down every fret moderately with my finegrs and go between them somewhat. But I feel like it's becomming harder to learn now stuff and I end up just playing the same easy stuff when I get on it, but you can come up with some great stuff with open e string chords lol but I would really like to learn barre chords and sometimes my hand gets stiff and numb so I thought I'd might benefit from a teacher who could teach me basic theory as well as proper technique.

3. I also got into video editing, motion graphics (some), and filming with DSLRs when I was a teenager but Ive since sold the equipment of those, but I spent a year learning and I know alot of ins and outs of how to create PVs now cause of that even though I don't enjoy it that too much.



I got into making songs, composing, DTM and DAWs a year and a half ago and I have dedicating most of my time to that trying out all kinds of stuff, learning how to do things etc as I always kinda wanted to record the piano and stuff I can easily say it's been the most exciting and pleasing experience in my life and I wish I had got into it earlier as I'm sure this is what I'd like to do now.




lol sorry for the long post, it might be kind of scattered I tried to clean it up. I kinda just started writing and couldn't stop.

Anyway I really like doing this stuff currently, and if I could do it full time that would be awesome!
Working in the hot sun dragging logs getting sawdust on you isnt exactly fun lol

Last edited by Vin71 : 01-15-2013 at 01:29 PM.
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