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#1
So here is my situation. I am 17 and still in school (18 real soon). I’ve played guitar for about 4 years and I’m pretty good I’d say. I really want to become a professional musician and earn money off that. My parents keep telling meI won’t be able to support myself with music and that the music has no security and guarantees. They keep telling me to do something solid like accounting in college so that way I can make money and then do music in time off.

I want to kknow what I should do? I think they might be right since I can’t think of any way to get started with making enough money by playing guitar, but I don’t realy see myself doing anything else for a job that I would enjoy.

Any advice?
#3
Maybe you could teach?
Quote by razorback91
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Yes, its its own kind of metal, but its still metal.
#4
It is unstable, but unstable goes both ways, the question is are you afraid of failure or are you willing to fail to get success? As long as you realise how irrational seeking a music career is and contemplate the risks and can still justify it to yourself then you are free to do what you want.

To me im rebelling against a stable world that is set out for me that doesnt really offer me any happiness outside of what is commonly offered as happiness. but i know that many people will take a more rationalistic approach to justifying music career or turning you off.
#5
If I was you I'd go to college to do something I enjoy, maybe something that could lead to a career in the music business on the management/production side of things, but something I know I can get a decent job from, and use the opportunities you get a college to progress your music in your spare time - join a band etc. Then maybe take a year out to see if you can make it by playing, and if not - well, you already have a fall back plan in place. But thats me. You need to decide what to do with your life.
#6
^ +1 to zhilla

thing is, most people don't make anything that could possibly be mistaken for "good money" from music. my 2 cents is to listen to your parents, go to school/college for something you find interesting and keep playing guitar, do it on the side when you have time to play and if something comes about with it, then awesome. if not, then you still have a good job that you enjoy (hopefully)
#7
Honestly do what makes you happy.

I would rather be broke playing music than have money and be in a job i don't like.

If you are going to make a career out of music you better know all the notes on the fretboard and really get your theory down. Learn how to improvise and sight read. Then you can basically be hired to play in any band. You can make a good amount of money just as a hired guitarist and you can teach others.

There are a lot of ways to make money in the music industry besides just being in a band.
#8
Hmmm... I was going through the same times about an year ago. But then decided to study music in college. Most of the people who wanna do music as a career choose Audio engineering because they are afraid of their creativity. Don't make that mistake, 'cos it's one of the hardest jobs today to earn some money. I'm not talking about making millions, just the moneys you need to pay your bills. This has been going on gearslutz boards lately most of the time.
Learn some thing you like doing like programming, networking, or electrical engineering. I'd get an associate or something in one of them. So you don't have to rely on music only. But hard work, luck, clear mind will take you there. I made that decision. so...
#9
Quote by z4twenny
^ listen to your parents


+1

It's not like your parents are telling you to give up your music passion. They're stating that you need to go to college for something to fall back on and do music in your spare time. If you happen to make it somewhere with music that you can live well enough off of it, then you can quit your job. However, diversifying yourself never hurts. If you're set on doing something with music, you could be a music teacher at a school, or a producer, composer for TV shows (Those catchy chimes you hear) etc.

Seriously, just go to college to have a plan B, it won't hurt you and you can still do music, you'll just have an alternative so you won't be homeless/living with your parents.

EDIT:
If you're into guitars like, on an obsession side, and like to build things. You could become a luthier, an amp builder, someone who just builds gear for people. If you get started and get good and get kinda known around your place, then you could make some decent money off of that. Again though, it's better to have a plan B, the music business is extremely hard to get somewhere with, if it was easy, I bet almost everyone would be a musician.
Last edited by FallsDownStairs at Jul 8, 2009,
#10
Post some samples of your guitar playing on UG in your profile for others to listen to and critique. That will give us/them a better feel for what "pretty good" is as a guitar player.

Your parents are being parents, and they are right to a certain degree. A music career is a difficult thing. Only a handful are able to make a good living from it, but that being said, most who do make a living from it probably couldn't think of anything else they would rather do. You don't say if you are currently in an active band. By "active" I mean gigging at least 3 times a month and getting paid for it (whether a little or a lot). I would start there if you aren't. If you are a good solo musician then you should at least be playing small venues (coffee shops, small clubs, etc.).

It never hurts to have a backup plan, so don't rule school or some other profession out completely. You can always continue to play while getting a degree. You'll most likley meet other musicians and will get better as a player.

One last thing... your parents say that music has no security or guarantees, well, NO JOB has complete security or guarantees as shown by our current economy.

Good Luck!
#11
Get yourself an education but dont give up on your dreams man.

Also you are very young the is your oyster!
Last edited by Nothingface at Jul 8, 2009,
#12
well i ran all this through my head myself and i ended up deciding that i would go to college to get a degree as a producer (always needed in the music industry) thus i can be in the music industry with solid pay and cut my teeth at the same time. my suggestion would be look for a job in the field of music that would give you solid pay and that you would enjoy. that way you can still be in the industry and pass your stuff around you know. and do what
zhilla said, try to find a band in college and do stuff with them. im in the same boat as you though atm. i figured out most of it, but over the course of senior year im cutting my demo (if i can write enough material) with my friends who play instruments. hopefully it gets us noticed. good luck to you though whatever you do
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#13
It would be good to get a job somewhere in the music business (Marketing or Recording), keep practicing, make some money and get connected, then if the opportunity arises for you to get involved in a project, go for it. Its always easier from within. If you are good and more importantly, have a unique sound, people will want you to sit in on stuff.
Last edited by Tempoe at Jul 8, 2009,
#14
Doing a degree in production means nothing, it's pointless, do a degree that has some practical uses in the real world...this year in the UK more people enrolled in media studies courses than there are jobs in the entire industry.
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#15
Doing a degree in production means nothing, it's pointless, do a degree that has some practical uses in the real world...this year in the UK more people enrolled in media studies courses than there are jobs in the entire industry.


And most of them are (leaving aside problems of subjectivity) a load of people who are only in it to "be cool" and to "be with the cool crowd". I.e they dont have any creativity they just think its an easy job. Which is a problem throughout the creative industry of people who have the right hairstyle for the moment but cant actually do the job or be creative.
#16
Quote by akiakstormy
So here is my situation. I am 17 and still in school (18 real soon). I’ve played guitar for about 4 years and I’m pretty good I’d say. I really want to become a professional musician and earn money off that. My parents keep telling meI won’t be able to support myself with music and that the music has no security and guarantees. They keep telling me to do something solid like accounting in college so that way I can make money and then do music in time off.

I want to kknow what I should do? I think they might be right since I can’t think of any way to get started with making enough money by playing guitar, but I don’t realy see myself doing anything else for a job that I would enjoy.

Any advice?


Maybe your parents are right?

Having a job that will allow you to support yourself is actually alot more important than you realize. I'd get that going 1st, while you can. Keep playing guitar and If a good opportunity comes your way, take it.
shred is gaudy music
#17
Quote by srob7001

I would rather be broke playing music than have money and be in a job i don't like.

this statement tells me you've never really been broke.
#18
Quote by z4twenny
this statement tells me you've never really been broke.
+1
#19
Music Education is actually a very stable career path. And if you go to a good school, and by good school I mean one who goes about it the right way, you'll still get ample instruction and opportunity for performance. You might even be able to double-major or get a certificate in guitar, which is essentially the same as a performance degree. I personally think that its like the best of all worlds when it comes to careers in music, but that's just me.
"I love music, it's not like math. In music, 2+2 can equal 5, if it's a pretty enough 5." -Samuel R. Hazo

"Alle menschen werden bruder- all men become brothers"
-Ludwig Van Beethoven, from his 9th Symphony.

-John
#20
Do what makes you happy, for starters to be succesful there WILL be some point where you're just going to have to take a gamble or your chances go from "unlikely" to "miniscule". Also if you want to make the creation of music your career i wouldnt worry too much about music school and perhaps just do academic subjects that interest you a lot.

I can name about two-three musicians who many people have heard and who are among the level of "significant musicians" of who had high level education in music or music tech. A lot of the time instead of going to college etc they've spent their time refining and being creative rather than being told how to think and be creative by teachers who may or may not be succesful/creative musicians themselves.
Last edited by RedFez64 at Jul 8, 2009,
#21
Quote by z4twenny
this statement tells me you've never really been broke.


And that's where you are wrong. I make 400 bucks a week and live with my girlfriend. After all my bills I have about 60 bucks for me a week. So i guess I'm not bum broke, but my budget is pretty tight.

Im almost 28 and have been working since I was 17. Trust me...having a job doing something you love is far better than a job you hate that pays well. Been there done that.
#22
Quote by srob7001
And that's where you are wrong. I make 400 bucks a week and live with my girlfriend. After all my bills I have about 60 bucks for me a week. So i guess I'm not bum broke, but my budget is pretty tight.

Im almost 28 and have been working since I was 17. Trust me...having a job doing something you love is far better than a job you hate that pays well. Been there done that.



But what if you find a good job, make 3k a month, and you can make your own studio, get new guitars, and spend time further developing your music realistically, recording an album for example.

If you really care about music, then the job doesn't matter, unless the job takes away all the time you can spend in making music.

Making money with music =/= love for music.

Music business is not if you're purely in it for the love of music.

It's about satisfying other people there needs, and what they want in music.

They come first, your own creativity comes 2nd.

Unless you can find a way to do both, but this trait is reserved for very few people (these days).

There's a difference between love for writing music, and the love of 'writing music'.

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Jul 8, 2009,
#23
Bottom line it's not a decision anyone else can make for you.

This is your life.

You get one and that's it.

You need to decide what the purpose of your life is and what you're willing to sacrifice in the pursuit of that. Your parents can't make that decision and a bunch of strangers on the internet certainly can't.

You could go all or broke for a career in the music biz and end up penniless working at a gas station at the age of sixty with some nifty guitar skillz or you could give up music completely hoping for CEO career earning 14million per annum and end up in middle management with three kids a nice house and nice wife that likes to shop and a good retirement saving.

Or you could aim for something in between. Decide what you would be happiest pursuing and not getting then pursue it ruthlessly and don't stop until you get it.

You need to decide for yourself what you want from life. The only wrong thing you can do is to lead a life someone else wants for you or thinks is best for you instead of the life you want for yourself. In 70 short years it's likely to be all over so make every minute count.

Peace.
Si
#24
Quote by 20Tigers
Bottom line it's not a decision anyone else can make for you.

This is your life.

You get one and that's it.

You need to decide what the purpose of your life is and what you're willing to sacrifice in the pursuit of that. Your parents can't make that decision and a bunch of strangers on the internet certainly can't.

You could go all or broke for a career in the music biz and end up penniless working at a gas station at the age of sixty with some nifty guitar skillz or you could give up music completely hoping for CEO career earning 14million per annum and end up in middle management with three kids a nice house and nice wife that likes to shop and a good retirement saving.

Or you could aim for something in between. Decide what you would be happiest pursuing and not getting then pursue it ruthlessly and don't stop until you get it.

You need to decide for yourself what you want from life. The only wrong thing you can do is to lead a life someone else wants for you or thinks is best for you instead of the life you want for yourself. In 70 short years it's likely to be all over so make every minute count.

Peace.


This, FTW
"I love music, it's not like math. In music, 2+2 can equal 5, if it's a pretty enough 5." -Samuel R. Hazo

"Alle menschen werden bruder- all men become brothers"
-Ludwig Van Beethoven, from his 9th Symphony.

-John
#25
Quote by 20Tigers
give up music completely hoping for CEO career earning 14million per annum and end up in middle management with three kids a nice house and nice wife that likes to shop and a good retirement saving

No thanks I'd rather have any number of strange tropical diseases
.
#26
Quote by 20Tigers
In 70 short years it's likely to be all over so make every minute count.

Peace.



Exactly my point.

I worked at a mortgage company for 5 years and I made really good money, but I hated it there and hated my hours.

Now I work in a metal shop makeing about half of what i was, but I can tell you know I am a lot happier and not stressed out everyday.

I work to live. Sounds like a lot of you on here live to work.
#27
Quote by srob7001
Exactly my point.

I worked at a mortgage company for 5 years and I made really good money, but I hated it there and hated my hours.

Now I work in a metal shop makeing about half of what i was, but I can tell you know I am a lot happier and not stressed out everyday.

I work to live. Sounds like a lot of you on here live to work.



The goal is living to work, don't you think? If you work to live, then work for you is no more than an obligation. Live to work is an amazing quote to live by. And I'm not talking about regular work, I'm talking about our own body of work in our lives, work to play the guitar, work to make a living, work to follow your dreams, work to have good relationships. It's all work! So you should LIVE TO WORK, not the other way around.
#28
Quote by srob7001
And that's where you are wrong. I make 400 bucks a week and live with my girlfriend. After all my bills I have about 60 bucks for me a week. So i guess I'm not bum broke, but my budget is pretty tight.

Im almost 28 and have been working since I was 17. Trust me...having a job doing something you love is far better than a job you hate that pays well. Been there done that.


LMAO

no no no, thats not broke

broke is no job, no paycheck, no money coming in from anywhere, you pawned all your unnecessary possessions for a little money that lasted about 2 weeks and now you have no food, no place to live and no money.

now, live that way for an indefinite amount of time.

the only reason i made that statement and its no personal shot against you, but i've been that broke. i've gone weeks without really eating (unless you count a packet of ramen every 5-9 days or so as eating) and lived off of water from peoples garden hoses and public fountains. the only thing i had to my name was some music equipment that i obviously would've rather died before selling. i lost over 90 lb's in a matter of about 3 months.

when you start enduring that kind of poverty, thats when you realize you don't care how much money you have coming in because its better than the $0 you had coming in over the last several months. anybody who's been there and gotten out of it knows what i'm talking about.

i'm 28 also and i've had jobs i hated and jobs i loved. if i can squeeze by and make ends meet with a job i like then thats awesome (same goes for anyone i think) but if i have to take the job i dont like to stay alive then i will. personally i agree, i'd rather just squeeze by and enjoy my job, but with that being said it is nice to have a somewhat stable job and paycheck and be able to look at my bank acct. and say "yeah buying a $600 guitar isn't gonna kill me, i should be fine"
Last edited by z4twenny at Jul 8, 2009,
#29
Doesn't even have to be that broke. If you have $60 disposable income a week atm, try knocking just $80 off your weekly income and see how fun life is, when you're trying to work out how to pay the bills. Its not fun. Its even less fun at christmas, or your kids birthday, or any time any maintenance needs doing, or the kids need new shoes.....

But you should have a job you enjoy. You spend too much time at work to do something you don't like.
#30
Quote by symba05
The goal is living to work, don't you think? If you work to live, then work for you is no more than an obligation. Live to work is an amazing quote to live by. And I'm not talking about regular work, I'm talking about our own body of work in our lives, work to play the guitar, work to make a living, work to follow your dreams, work to have good relationships. It's all work! So you should LIVE TO WORK, not the other way around.



Some people bass there entire life around work: live to work

Some people bass there work around there life: work to live

I get where you went with this, but thats not what I meant at all.
#32
Quote by bolivardogman
"bass there" <facepalm>


Whatever. I'm in a hurry at work.

Would you like me to send all my post to you first so you can proof read them?
#33
Don't you think succeeding in a music industry is pure luck? Don't we all know thousands of really talented musicians that got nowhere, yet you can see those talentless clowns on MTV, each making more money than all of these "talented thousand" together? Not saying everybody successful is talentless, there certainly are a lot of talented musicians who made a serious career in music, but that's one in a million, if not one in 10 million. Everybody here dreams of living from playing guitar, but I'm pretty damn sure that not more than 10 people from this entire site will make even a half-decent career as a musician, not even to live (poorly) of it. Get a degree, get a decent job and gig on weekends for some extra money, who knows, perhaps by gigging you might even become quite popular and get a contract.
#34
bro, no disrespect to yur parents but unless they are professional musicians, they don’t understand how the biz works….period. there are lots of myths about being a pro musician that many people believe in and its the main reason why a lot of them aren’t making money.

many people will tell you why they failed but nobody who is successful will tell you that they are successful because of luck.

its not true that the music biz is more risky than any other industry. it can be much more stable and secure than any normal day job. when you are in the music industry you have to think like an entreprenur starting a business, no matter if you are teaching, performing, doing session work, working as a producer etc… you are in business for yourself and you have to treat it that way.

what you need to do is to learn how to treat your music career like a business (cuz it is) and build several sources of music related income and you will be on your way to making money doing what you love.
#35
I'm kinda in a simillar situation cept I know that getting a band togehter and actually being successful isn't likely to happen, but I am going to go to uni and then hopefully form a band, that way even if the band doesn't go anywhere I can still earn money.
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#36
Quote by shreddyboy
but nobody who is successful will tell you that they are successful because of luck.

are you kidding me? almost every interview i've ever seen with a musician you could consider professional has them talking about "well we busted our as$es alot and for a long time and we just happened to luck out " or "i feel so incredibly lucky to be able to do what i do"

i think any professional musician whose head isn't completely up his own as$ would admit that getting a good music gig is mostly luck. not that i'm dismissing hard work and effort, that obviously has a lot to do with it, but you could write 5 albums of the awesomest songs ever and promote the hell out of them and go nowhere...... or you could be green day
Last edited by z4twenny at Jul 8, 2009,
#37
Quote by z4twenny
are you kidding me? almost every interview i've ever seen with a musician you could consider professional has them talking about "well we busted our as$es alot and for a long time and we just happened to luck out " or "i feel so incredibly lucky to be able to do what i do"

i think any professional musician whose head isn't completely up his own as$ would admit that getting a good music gig is mostly luck. not that i'm dismissing hard work and effort, that obviously has a lot to do with it, but you could write 5 albums of the awesomest songs ever and promote the hell out of them and go nowhere...... or you could be green day



True;

The true talent lies in the producers and companies.

They posses the talent to make you sound what the 'big audience' wants to hear.

Talent is very debatable though.

You do need potential and be able to be shaped in a way producers see fit.

I don't know if you'd call that talent though, cause there are many people fit to be shaped, but not everyone gets famous, thus talent =/= fame (this has similarities with you last sentence Z4).

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#38
Quote by z4twenny
you could write 5 albums of the awesomest songs ever and promote the hell out of them and go nowhere...... or you could be green day


HAHAHA!!!!!
#39
Quote by srob7001
HAHAHA!!!!!



It is true though;

I have a very good example;

Vai, Satriani etc. made there most popular albums in the 80 (over 20 years ago).

(Well Satch did, en P&W by Vai is made a long time ago as well)

Yet there music was in the 80's not very popular, and now they are known by every guitarplayer in existance.

The music on the album stayed the same (obviously ), yet the popularity is shifted.

So this indicates that music is not succes.

You have got to have the luck that the music is fit for the audience, which in this case is the younger generation liking their music.

Maybe 'bedrooms guitarist (enter random name), is seen as innovative in 30 years, but not now, and if metallica existed in the time of classical music, it would probably been seen as noise.

The "Re-incarnation of Plato" Award 2009
(most intelligent)
The "Good Samaritan" Award 2009 (most helpful)

[font="Palatino Linotype
Who's Andy Timmons??
Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Jul 8, 2009,
#40
Quote by xxdarrenxx
It is true though;

I have a very good example;

Vai, Satriani etc. made there most popular albums in the 80 (over 20 years ago).

Yet there music was in the 80's not very popular, and now they are known by every guitarplayer in existance.

The music on the album stayed the same (obviously ), yet the popularity is shifted.

So this indicates that music is not succes.

You have got to have the luck that the music is fit for the audience, which in this case is the younger generation liking their music.

Maybe 'bedrooms guitarist (enter random name), is seen as innovative in 30 years, but not now, and if metallica existed in the time of classical music, it would probably been seen as noise.


+1 sad huh?
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