#1
Okay so i'll try and keep this as short and informative as possible, please advise;

I'm in a rut of my life at the moment at 17 years old (18 in just over 3 weeks) and having left high school with mediocre (2 B's, Cs, D in Maths, rest lower) grades, it feels like I don't know what I'm doing.

I wanted to have a musical career back when I was picking my subjects, but my Nana convinced me that music would be too hard for me at GCSE level, and so I didn't take it and instead chose Geography.. Big mistake, which I highly regret ever since.

I then went on to do a course of travel and tourism at Sixth Form, but again that wasn't for me and so I dropped out and spent most of 2010 at home literally doing nothing but playing guitar..

I'm at the point now where I want a career in either Professional Guitar (Studio work, etc) or a 'proper' band that is actually looking to make proper music and not just do small clubs and local gigs (although I would gladly take ANY public performance at the moment) but I honestly don't know what I can do.

I don't have a job, I've been looking and applying, but nothing, and I have no money to buy new gear, I don't even have an amp, but it isn't strictly necessary because my other friends who I would ideally like to form a band with have amps that I can use when I go to their house.

Anyway, my best friend is pretty much my carbon copy when it comes to guitar, although we differ slightly in our style, we love the same bands (I have an extremely specific musical taste, but I will play anything because I enjoy playing the guitar) and we fit together well when we play together, and we're trying to form a band with our other friend, the only problem being he is very commited to other things over music, and as such he doesn't divert much of his time to the level needed if he were to be our drummer.

So I was wondering what I should/could do, I'm 2 years behind if I were to have to study Music for GCSE, because I think if I wanted to do any form of Music studying I would have to go through the GCSE levels first (correct me if I'm wrong), and ideally I would like to just make a band and get going from there with 3-4 other people who share my passion for musical success, but of course no one else I know does, and it's never ever that easy because we don't live in a movie.

If it's worth anything, I live near Manchester in England.

Any advice on what I can do at this point?

Quote by DecaPodge
I don't have a job, I've been looking and applying, but nothing, and I have no money to buy new gear, I don't even have an amp


Yes I know, what I really need is a new amp.

Thank you if you can help, sorry if wrong forum, I think the Pit seemed most suitable.. If not, please move to the relevant area.
Quote by Moggan13



FUCK YEAH GHERKIN PALS!!



Yeah, I use a Squier Strat.
#2
1) Sell your body
2) Inbetween that busk on the streets
3) ???
4) Profit!
5) New amp
6) Gig
7) World domination
Quote by lambofgod127
btw im in hs and im almost 18 so if u do think she was flirting with me dont say that its wrong im almost a grown man.




༼ ▀̿Ĺ̯▀̿ ̿ ༽ WE ARE ROB ༼ ▀̿Ĺ̯▀̿ ̿ ༽
#4
Look into further tertiary education for things relating to music maybe? Performance, sound eingeneering, maybe even event management? I have a friend who did tertiary studies (tafe) in event management and although he doesn't perform music as his main job he manages to find bits and pieces to make money out of his hobby as well as working with people who do it as their main job.

Once getting into something like that you'd be able to talk to your teachers about how to progress into the industry.

Other than that, maybe try getting an entry level job at a big theatre or studio or similar and talk to people and work your way up that way.

Either way, it won't be easy.
#5
Quote by Greenie_777
Get a job because chances of you becoming any of those things are slim.


I didn't know that, thank you for the input.

And thank you slash.


Thanks ShaggyDan, I think I understand what you mean..
And yeah, I know it won't be easy, but I have no plan on giving up so hopefully I'll find something, I just don't know where to even start looking.
Quote by Moggan13



FUCK YEAH GHERKIN PALS!!



Yeah, I use a Squier Strat.
#7
Quote by DecaPodge
And thank you slash.

Listen to me kid, you'll go far

Quote by ShaggyDan
Either way, it won't be easy.

Also this
Quote by lambofgod127
btw im in hs and im almost 18 so if u do think she was flirting with me dont say that its wrong im almost a grown man.




༼ ▀̿Ĺ̯▀̿ ̿ ༽ WE ARE ROB ༼ ▀̿Ĺ̯▀̿ ̿ ༽
#8
Dude,

You're situation seems really fücked up, BUT you should keep in mind that most famous musicians (or at least the ones I know about) all had pretty shitty jobs and a rough time building their career, but that made them stronger and that's how the prevailed.

I can sense that you really LOVE music and guitar. That's the most important thing. It's a strong fundament on which you can build on.

You really need to find other musicians. Use everything in your power and try to find people as dedicated as you. Of course, this will take a lot of time and effort but it'll be worth it and most importantly, you have no other choice.

My suggestions (on how to find band members)
- Flyers. A LOT OF FLYERS. EVERYWHERE!!!
- Ask everyone you meet if they know any musicians.
- Search for pubs and bars that attract musicians like jam-afternoons, open-mike and concerts of course.
- If you suck at writing lyrics, go to a poetry slam. Perhaps you'll find someone there who can also play an instrument slightly (rhythm guitar), but mainly focuses on lyrics.
- There are tons of other stuff, I just don't remeber them right now

good luck!
#9
Okay thanks for noticing G.
And thanks guys (ta for the link Greenie)
Quote by Moggan13



FUCK YEAH GHERKIN PALS!!



Yeah, I use a Squier Strat.
#10
I didn't do Music for GCSE, but I got onto a a-level course in my college. You just have to show that you're proficient with your instrument.

If it's something you're interested in and want to pursue then do it. Even if you get a bit behind your friends - i'm 21 in June and this year i'm going back to college. My advice is to go and get educated whilst you're still young, ok you might be a bit poor for a couple of years but better to start learning now rather than not being able to in the future because you have bills to pay.
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#11
If I was going to do Music as A-level, I'd have to take other subjects as well wouldn't I?
I'd rather just concentrate on music if possible, not to sound blunt but yeah.. if not I guess i'll have to do other things too, I just don't want to get too distracted.
Quote by Moggan13



FUCK YEAH GHERKIN PALS!!



Yeah, I use a Squier Strat.
#12
Something simular happened to me, I decided to take music tech at college this year.

http://www.themanchestercollege.ac.uk/courses/school-leavers/music-performance-1

Have a look at that, Plus I go there. I can really recamend it, its a good college and tis right in Manchester city center, its near Chorlton street coach station (the one facing Dawsons) near picadilly.

I think its the best option at this point, I know a few people doing the course and there all really enjoining it.

Guitars:
Fender American Standard Strat 2009 Limited Edition
Ibanez Gak30

Amps
Jcm 800 2203 '82

Pedals:
John bull jr overdrive
Boss Equalizer GE-7
Boss TU-3
Boss CH1

My Band
http://www.myspace.com/hereliesnuggetband
#13
I only really glances over the original post I must admit, but:

Music at GCSE was nothing! I did it, didn't do the stuff, just jammed with people for most of the year and ended up with a B.
But a career in music isn't really about grades at all.
So you CAN take A-Level music, but it won't really do much for you to be honest.

I too am after a career in music (as unrealistic as it is, but I already currently live with no money, so I'm used to it. ) and I haven't taken music at A-Level.

What I recommend, don't re-do GCSE music, it teaches you nothing that a basc music theory book can't teach you (simple notes on the staff, treble and bass clef, key signatures, and even then it's barely needed), and the actual qualification won't do anything for you.

If you take A-level music, make it along with at least one other A-level subject.
Then after that, look into unis which could help you achieve your goal.
I'm looking into the Popular Music Practice course through RNCM at Manchester (pretty ideal for where you live, eh? )
Bristol Institute of Modern Music
And the Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford (not for the September coming, the year after, taking a year out for what I'll speak on next).

Before applying to uni, make sure you've been working on your theory grades (all of these places want a minimum of Grade 5 in theory and a Grade 8 on your instrument, but if you're serious you should either already be at these levels roughly, or be fine with working towards them).

Also these places often rely on a sort of "portfolio", similar to any art (photography, graphic design, animation, etc) degree.
So what they'll want to see is, experience gigging, they'll want to hear recordings, maybe even see some good press you've receieved.

I can't exactly help you a lot as I'm only in the process of this sorta thing, but I'm currently the guitarist in a covers band, I've just joined a funk covers band as the bassist and I'm working on my own recordings, teaching and other stuff like that all the time. This should ensure that I end up with some good stuff to show whichever uni wants to interview me (if they even do!).

Now. I've gone on enough and this is probably a huge mess of a post. But, the goal in going to uni to do this is not for the qualification, while qualifications mean a little bit to people if you're a session musician or something, what going to uni to do music will provde is a chance to network, it's about who you know.
It will also give you a chance to meet more musicians whom you could form bands, jams, etc with, which could also boost your reputation.

Two things that are vital to a career in music are a good reputation and who you know.
If you're known as having a good work ethic and always producing good quality stuff and always learning what you need to know, then people will want you to session on their record (or whatever you're aiming for). So if you know people who can inform people of your reputation you're half way there...if that makes sense!

I've really rambled, and I may be a bit hazy in some of this but this is the situation of going for a career in music (which doesn't involve dreaming about getting big all day!) as I know it.
#14
easy, sell your soul


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#15
So put a band together, play some gigs, earn some money, buy some gear and keep doing it.

It's no good talking about it, you just need to get out there and do it.

But, having some sort of regular income will be very useful at first, there's all sorts of things that will need paying for before you start earning money with a band, such as rehearsals, recordings, CD production, printing costs, transport, ect.
#16
Yeah you'd be wasting your time going back to study music at GCSE level. Cant you enroll in a shorter music course about the same level/higher at a tech college or something?

As for what your Nana told you TS, I appreciate that she's your Nana and she was just giving you advice, but never listen to anyone who tells you you cant do something you want to do "because it might be too hard". You do it anyway and if you fail then at least you wont be left wondering. The only way any of us get better is by being challenged. If theres no challenge, hen theres no improvement. You cant really be challenged if success is assured.

My advice would be to keep practicing your playing and write as often as you can. Keep looking for a job, keep looking for people who you would like to play with, and look for some kind of study that can help you with your music. Even if the course itself ends up being a waste of time it will let you focus on your music and you will meet lots of people in the same position as you.
#17
Actualy, although a music course will help you inprove your knowledge of music and playing ability, a business course will be more useful to you for making a career out of music.
#18
Quote by SlackerBabbath
Actualy, although a music course will help you inprove your knowledge of music and playing ability, a business course will be more useful to you for making a career out of music.

Definitely. I would say that it depends on what he wants out of a career in music. If all he really wants to do is play/be in a band then his time might be better spent elsewhere, but if he just wants to cover all his bases and make sure he has ANY kind of career in music then a business/music business course in probably the way to go.
#19
I guess to be blunt I wouldn't be in it for the money, because if I was I would have no chance, I just want to be able to do it enough for me to live without having too many other work commitments, because I struggle with motivation (other than with guitar, for some odd reason) so I don't really output much effort-wise unless it's in music related terms. I'd love to know why, and I'd love to change, but I guess that's life.
Quote by Moggan13



FUCK YEAH GHERKIN PALS!!



Yeah, I use a Squier Strat.
#20
Buy a GCSE book (Music one ofc) and start studying.

You can take your Music GCSEs online, or you can find a place in manchester that will give you your music GCSE exam.

But you gotta study hard, cuz some people said (from the previous posts) that they didn't really do shit and got good grades.
In my school the music GCSE was pretty complex and requires a lot of studying. (well actually i was doing IGCSEs, but I hardly think there's a difference)

This is the site that shows the syllabus :
http://www.cie.org.uk/qualifications/academic/middlesec/igcse/subject?assdef_id=875

I would start studying if I were you.
#22
I feel lots of education coming along.
Oh how I wish things could be simple.
Quote by Moggan13



FUCK YEAH GHERKIN PALS!!



Yeah, I use a Squier Strat.
#23
Quote by DecaPodge
I feel lots of education coming along.
Oh how I wish things could be simple.


Thing is, a hell of a lot of it is down to luck.
There have been people who have become world renowned while putting no effort in, where there are people who have slaved over their instrument for years and have gotten nothing from it.

All you can do is gear yourself up for a very intense committment and get ready for some hard times!
#24
If you want to do the a-level in college yes you'd have to do two other subjects. I meant i'd gotten onto the a-level equivalent which is a level 3 btec, its the same as 3 a levels.

I'd recommend doing a music course like that.
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#25
I wish I wasn't so superstitious so that I ONLY believed luck was a part of it, and not karma and the other stupid things that swarm my mind.

Well not karma necessarily, I don't believe in karma really but I knew what I meant.

Well, okay, no I didn't.

Hold me.
Quote by Moggan13



FUCK YEAH GHERKIN PALS!!



Yeah, I use a Squier Strat.
#26
if you want to be sure you'll make money as a musician, you pretty much have to be a music teacher. find a way to get a music ed degree.

any other music-related career is kind of a gamble, even if you have a degree for it. I know for a fact that music technology degrees are becoming more and more useless every year, because everyone and their mother is learning how to produce music by themselves. If you're looking into music performance, you're probably better off just finding a really good private teacher and taking lessons from him/her rather than paying college tuition, since most high-paying music ensembles don't really care about your academic credentials as much as they care about how good you are.
#28
Well find a job and when you aren't at work practice all the time. Seriously, everyone wants to be a musician but you actually have to work very hard at it.
Quote by the_white_bunny
your just a simpleton that cant understand strategy apparently.

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#29
Write music, write write write, play gigs play gigs play gigs. Then do that as much as possible, keep at it and don't give up.

As for going to music college there are a few places that would take you even if you haven't done a GCSE in music you just need 5 at C and above.

BIMM

The Institute

ACM

I recommend the top two as I attend BIMM and know people who have been to Institute, ACM I hear is okay, but the others are better.

You can get government funding if you take the higher courses, just like a Uni degree. Call them up and inquire !

Hope that helps. Good luck
#31
Quote by DecaPodge
I wish I wasn't so superstitious so that I ONLY believed luck was a part of it, and not karma and the other stupid things that swarm my mind.

Well not karma necessarily, I don't believe in karma really but I knew what I meant.

Well, okay, no I didn't.

Hold me.




It might be a lot of hard work, but I think it really is worth it (I think, because I'm not a worshiped man yet...I think)

It's never going to be ONLY luck, you require some skill and knowledge.
Also what kind of career in music do you want?
Musician? Teacher? Producer? Audio Engineer?

There's a lot of choice, each needing a different kind of study.

Best of luck to you anyways man, really hope you get what you want
#32
dude you dont, get to the manchester college Sheena Simon Campus near dawsons on portland street, ask for Billy Glew, Rosie Giles or Jackie, they'll know who you mean, i went there to study and now im in uni, before there i had no musical training

and its an ace college,
you want the popular music course, ace course. and as long as you can play your in

and if you need a drummer per chance hit me up, i live pretty close to manc as well. nice to see a fellow mancunian in the place
i'm Ginger its fun
#33
Yeah okay.
Just looking at a Diploma at The Institute.. very appealing.. I don't know the total cost though, £300 reg and then materials fee, but tuition funding for 16-18 year olds so I would have to start it in September this year, and it's 40 weeks long.. so I guess I'll have to consider it.
Quote by Moggan13



FUCK YEAH GHERKIN PALS!!



Yeah, I use a Squier Strat.
#34
Well the reason that your Nana said that GCSE music would be hard is because it involves analysis of classical music and gamelan style stuff (that's what they do at my school.)

However they do BTEC music now instead and it's really easy if you put the work in and gives you a bit of insight to what a musical career is. It includes stuff like planning concerts, technology, composition and performing. The only really annoying thing is that there is A LOT of paperwork to do.

But yeah, it will involve getting another job at first, but it could be cleaning up at a music rehearsal space or something I dunno, then tell them that you're interested in moving up and work your way up. Just like the music course, if you're willing to put the effort in then you should get where you want.
My name is Jack.