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#1
Hey everyone! I'm 15 and all I've ever wanted my whole life was to be a musician. I've already become somewhat of a recording session guitarist in my area, playing for various gospel artists in my church, filling in for bands who's guitarists can't make shows and playing with the seniors at school. I also have my own band. When I first came out and said I want to be a musician (age 5 or 6 or so), my parents didnt seem to mind. I don't think they thought I was serious. However, 6 years later, I began playing guitar and decided that I wanted to peruse it (I used to be a drummer). Then my parents began discouraging me. I will find a career in music (not necessarily entertainment but maybe a teacher or so). But i really want to have my parents blessing when I get a job. Is it normal to be able to keep a good relationship with your family? Thanks everyone. I really want advice.
#3
Noone ever got what they want listening to their parents.. Parents always wants whats 'safest' for you, and making a living as a musician isn't the most stable life..
However, life is not necessarily easy, and sometimes you have to go thought some rough patches to make it to where you want to be.. So go with your heart, are you willing to make the sacrifices that might need to be made living as a musician, if so.. Go ahead..! When you finally settle down and if you start making a living as a musician your parents will most likely be proud of you for doing what you want, and fighting hard for it..
#4
Quote by beatreebor
its your life, do what you want.


this. They will come around eventually. Im sure they just have a problem with that fact that you may be making about zero money. Parent s want their children to succeed.
What?! There's a clean channel on my amp?!

Quote by GoodOl'trashbag
omfg i totally forgot about that, you sir are jesus christ.
#5
Why do yore parents have a problem with you becoming a musician?

Do what you want to do, don't let them stop you from pursuing yore dreams.
#6
are your parents jesus freaks or something? or just crazy? not that they're crazy to think it'll be hard. but you'll make it (as a musician, not a rockstar) if you have a get up and go, pro active attitude towards music. you seem to have that. i wouldn't worry. you can tell them i said that, i'm sure a random dude on the internet will sway them!

haha, actually, maybe tell them we said we agree with you. people have the weirdest conception that random people on forums might give bad advice!
#7
meet them half way. Buy a guitar, do the dusting. Join a band, get a job. Beg a lift to and from a show, cook them dinner. My relationship with my parents is completely crippled, but I can VERY quickly pull out the faults (on both sides) of my -teen years. Just show them you're serious and you'll do what it takes.
Grammar Nazi.
#8
Do what you love. Like toby said, parents want their kids to do the safest thing, and sometimes the thing that costs them the least amount of money. But if you really want to do it, then do it. Show your parents how much you really love it. It may take a while to be in a stable life with a music career, but how many people in their early 20s fresh out of college have completely stable lives? Just do what your heart says.
Quote by willT08
Quote by HowSoonisNow
How was Confucius death metal?
You've clearly never read any Confuscius.

As I wait on the edge of the earth,
I can see the walls being torn down again
Only to be rebuilt in another name,
On a different day
#9
You really have to be honest with yourself regarding the guitar. What's your music theory knowledge like? Couldn't be bothered learning how to read sheet music? If you don't have a firm grasp on these by the time you get out of school, you're not going to university for music, and you're not going to be a session guitarist.

However if you just like to play guitar because it's fun, know that it will never go away regardless of what career you choose, and pretty much every other career will pay more.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#10
Quote by beatreebor
its your life, do what you want.


Ignore this person, they're clearly 15 as well. You need your parents, and you'll need them for years to come. Your bad-ass rebel attitude won't get you the lift home in the blizzard or rain you desperately need, the 20 bucks till payday to grab some food or bus fare, or a warm roof to sleep under. Too often teenagers take their parents for granted and don't realize exactly how valuable it is to have their support. I was a kid who ****ed around and got into some trouble with my parents for a few years, but they helped me through music school and supported me for years, encouraging me to follow my dream, because I worked on repairing my relationship with them and not trying to be a free-wheeling musician with a devil may care attitude. Not to say I don't still **** around and do my own thing, but I'm 20 now, and my parents and I enjoy a much better relationship because I sucked it up for a few years and earned some of their trust back.

Try and explain yourself and let them know your dream is to play music and that you're willing to work hard to pursue that. Let them know you have a backup plan (and HAVE a backup plan!). Explain the steps you're willing to take and show positive development. The worst thing you could do is develop a sense of entitlement and start being a would-be independent bastard unknowingly burning bridges for yourself now and in the future. There's plenty of room to be a musician without trying to be a rockstar.
Get baked, study theory.

Quote by :-D
Why are you bringing Cm into this?
#11
They're right, being a musician sucks, people don't care about your beloved hand-crafted songs, you don't get all these chicks you see in the movies, you're more likely to pay rather than get paid and -last but not least- there's alway a 7 year old korean kid that play better than you ever will

btw you have to do with your parents what it's essential to do in life.. keep 'em satisfied enough to make them let you do anything you want.
you want to be a musician? ok, get good grades at school so they can't complain on what you do in your spare time. you're not sleep much, but meh, you're a rockstar, **** it.
#12
Quote by Instrumetal
Ignore this person, they're clearly 15 as well. You need your parents, and you'll need them for years to come. Your bad-ass rebel attitude won't get you the lift home in the blizzard or rain you desperately need, the 20 bucks till payday to grab some food or bus fare, or a warm roof to sleep under. Too often teenagers take their parents for granted and don't realize exactly how valuable it is to have their support. I was a kid who ****ed around and got into some trouble with my parents for a few years, but they helped me through music school and supported me for years, encouraging me to follow my dream, because I worked on repairing my relationship with them and not trying to be a free-wheeling musician with a devil may care attitude. Not to say I don't still **** around and do my own thing, but I'm 20 now, and my parents and I enjoy a much better relationship because I sucked it up for a few years and earned some of their trust back.

Try and explain yourself and let them know your dream is to play music and that you're willing to work hard to pursue that. Let them know you have a backup plan (and HAVE a backup plan!). Explain the steps you're willing to take and show positive development. The worst thing you could do is develop a sense of entitlement and start being a would-be independent bastard unknowingly burning bridges for yourself now and in the future. There's plenty of room to be a musician without trying to be a rockstar.


Thanks for the replies everyone. I totally understand you. I love my parents and respect them. I really don't want to become a "rockstar" as I do have hopes of raising a family one day and life on the road would complicate that. Not to mention how long it would take to get there and the chances. I really want to be a music teacher. My theory is good, I don't take lessons but I have alot of material such as books and DVDs that helps me learn alot of theory. I'm not AMAZING but I do give guitar lessons to family members such as my nephew and they seem to be coming along well. I'd love to teach guitar but I also wouldn't mind being a general music teacher at a high school to start with then maybe working my way up and going back to school to become a college/university professor in music. I understand the work it would take but I'm truly dedicated. I also keep my grades up because to be a music teacher you obviously have to go to university. I'm pretty responsible too, I don't go to crazy parties, I do have a band but it's not music that's extremely rebellious (it's mostly soft rock, stuff like the foo fighters). Music really is my life and I'm willing to put as many hours as required into it. I've only been playing guitar for three years and I've already surpassed the 1000 hour mark. (I time each actual practice session and add it up at the end of the year. I don't coun just random noodling and stuff). I'm not bragging, just trying to show how dedicated I am. I did use to be a drummer when I was younger so I wasn't starting music fresh on a clean slate tho.
#13
Alright, you're dedicated to music. Meaning you play LOTS and LOTS of guitar. Jam a lot with your friends, maybe put some chords together for a song every now and then. Gotta be something worth a few views on youtube in there, I guess.

That's what your parents are seeing. That side of music will likely get you nowhere outside of having a hobby. If you want to go all in on this (personally, considering your age, I would keep your options open at this point and allow for some sort of backup plan), show them that you're dedicated to the real-world application of it: say, music education. You want to be a music teacher, right? If you're only teaching family, your parents probably just see it as something that's cute. Make it a job for yourself. Take some theory classes, to be able to get a better hold on the academic side of music.

Trust me on this, they want the best for you. Music isn't a profitable industry (honestly, education isn't either, but it's better respected by learned people), and won't let you live prosperously. Show them that you're diving into the real-world application for it. At that point, they'll likely be more open to it, but still keep a backup plan in case music falls through.
#16
How exactly are they discouraging you?
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#17
If you're being realistic about careers in music (and it seems that you are, more than most), you have to realize that money will come from a variety of places, and you have to be savvy enough to find them. Teaching is good, but from my understanding, music programs are being cut around the US, so finding a high school job can be dicey. You have to know how to read music so you can get a lounge gig, a big band gig, a cruise ship gig... any gig at all, and be able to pick up the music instantly. So, my advice is to get your reading up to a pro level, then do a few years of music school, and once you have the diploma, get to work. Hell, don't wait to graduate. Your career begins now. It's never too early to network. Start looking for the guys who are big deals and make an impression. In a few years, when you're ready, you'll want to give them a call and be on their good side.
Keep in mind, as a professional musician, you're going to go to school for as long as people in other professions, paying the same tuition and racking up the same debt, but your earning are projected to be significantly lower. Understand what that means (trust me, it sucks to have debt collectors on your ass for overdue credit card payments), and if you're cool with it, go for it. But if you have any other interests, I suggest you pursue them. Odds are, they pay much, much better.
#18
Just think how many bands are famous, and how many bands are out in the world.

Hard industry to make a great living, and it is not guaranteed. Go get a job and eventually a career and continue to create music, play in bars in your free time, try to get signed, but always have a back up plan.
#19
Here is my perspective as a person who went to school for music and is now a teacher and a parent.

I have responded to most of this in this thread here:

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1431101

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#20
if you want to be a music teacher, you'd better start practicing a lot. if you want to be hired by a school, you'd better start learning a lot of genres of music. you'd better learn about jazz guitar, which is by far the most difficult genre of guitar i've ever played (and yes, i've played metal). you WILL need to know how to read music, unless you think you can get by on teaching $20/hour guitar lessons in your attic (get enough students every day and maybe you can survive).

my uncle owns a private music school, at which i'm an instructor. he's been playing for 50 years, and he's had the school for 35. and he recently told me that nobody wants to teach music -- it's just what brings the bread to the table, as a supplement to playing. i mean, obviously, opinions vary, but he's been doing this for virtually his whole life.

i've taught at several schools, i play several different instruments, and i know enough theory to write my own textbook. and let me tell you this -- i'm 21 and for the last couple of weeks or so, i've been having a crisis, during which i've thought about completely abandoning music just so i can get a job with the city (NYC treats you well if you stay long enough) just so i can be stable (even if not rich) for the rest of my life. being a musician sucks. that's what i can tell you.

but don't take it from me -- chris knows it far better than i do. he has twice my age and four times my experience. i suggest you read the reply he linked you to.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#21
If you're good at music go for it. If you're not, dont stick around you'll get nowhere.
Music isn't any tougher than any other industry, people just make it out to be because they didnt work hard enough to get where they want. Sure the lure of the music industry seems to be 'write music, hope to get famous n rich' its NOT a shortcut through life.

Music is about a few main things - a) being a talented mofo b) being a hardworking mofo c) being a lucky mofo.

If you're talented you'll make a decent living, if you're hardworking but not very talented you'll make a decent living with an increased chance of being rich in the industry some other way (there is more than just being a musician!!), if you're lucky you'll have some spotlight.
If you're 2 or more of those you'll most likely succeed and be a successful person of the music industry.
Always waiting for that bit of inspiration.
#22
A career in music can be more stable than any other job. It just requires you to be personally accountable for everything that you are doing. If you are focused enough, determined enough, have a clear vision of where and what you you want to do/go, nothing on this earth can stop you. My family encouraged me at a younger age and then to this day still have their qualms about my choice of profession. These same people always praise you when you are up and discourage you when you are down but you only live once and you MUST follow your own heart regardless of your age. Noone can do it for you! One last thought...leave nothing too chance. Don't expect to 'get lucky'! Expect to dedicate your life to your passion and to expect results...then get them!
Andty
#23

my uncle owns a private music school, at which i'm an instructor. he's been playing for 50 years, and he's had the school for 35. and he recently told me that nobody wants to teach music -- it's just what brings the bread to the table, as a supplement to playing. i mean, obviously, opinions vary, but he's been doing this for virtually his whole life.


I disagree with the statement 'nobody wants to teach music'. Personally I love teaching music. It is my outlet for all the information I learn every day to advance my own voice on the guitar. I have many friends who teach and they are all passionate about it too. I have an older guitar teacher, Jim Conquer who prefers teaching to playing. His friends who include Martin Taylor, love teaching. My personal opinion is that no-one should be learning from a teacher who is not passionate about what he does. A good teacher can be the make or break it for a great number of players. A bad teacher can ruin a students ideas about playing music forcing them to give it up.

Now, this is certainly not a personal attack on you but I do have a strong opinion about how music is taught and I have taught many discouraged students who owe at least some of their negative attitudes to music towards the attitudes of the people whom they have been taught by previously.The best teachers have that radiance about them which comes from their great desire to share what they know with the world.
Andy
#24
Quote by AeolianWolf

but don't take it from me -- chris knows it far better than i do. he has twice my age and four times my experience. i suggest you read the reply he linked you to.


THIS THIS THIS. Axeman tells it like it is. I only have my gigging experience from the last 7 months and I can tell you that it doesnt pay great and my wife would leave me if I didnt have a day job.

That being said. I'm just average Joe who picked up guitar 3 years ago. A real virtuoso with a good background in theory would have a much easier time finding other gigs/teaching gigs etc.
#25
If you don't enjoy teaching, then you shouldn't be teaching. I chose teaching *first* and music second. Music was my way of getting into teaching.

That said, I love playing as well. Strangely, I don't enjoy teaching music, but I love teaching grade five. Go figure.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#26
Seeing that most musicians have a very hard time making a living off being a musician, it's prolly a good idea to have a plan B, to support your music career, like, get a career in something that can never be outsourced, and that you'll always have a job in, and do your music career in your off time.

Your parents are prolly looking out for your best interests, and it's a tough world out there, very few lucky people actually can live off of a musical career.
#27
Quote by Andy_Mclaughlan
I disagree with the statement 'nobody wants to teach music'. Personally I love teaching music. It is my outlet for all the information I learn every day to advance my own voice.


"i mean, obviously, opinions vary..."

i teach music as well and it's something i enjoy -- but i'd rather play for $60 than teach for $60. i do like teaching, but let's see how we all feel after doing it for 30 years.

also, guys, don't knock my uncle -- i phrased it wrong. he doesn't teach anymore. he just runs the business and we teach. but he's taught since he was 20 and he's 58 now.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#28
Quote by ethan_hanus
Seeing that most musicians have a very hard time making a living off being a musician, it's prolly a good idea to have a plan B, to support your music career, like, get a career in something that can never be outsourced, and that you'll always have a job in, and do your music career in your off time.

Your parents are prolly looking out for your best interests, and it's a tough world out there, very few lucky people actually can live off of a musical career.


I dont agree with the Plan B theory. I think that if you focus your entire time into your Plan A you will get your maximum results. Parents tend to enjoy the concept of a fall back plan. My advice is to burn your bridges. It might seem like a risk to take. But life is full of risks so why not make the risk taking worth it and work towards your ultimate goal.
Andy
#29
Quote by Andy_Mclaughlan
I dont agree with the Plan B theory. I think that if you focus your entire time into your Plan A you will get your maximum results. Parents tend to enjoy the concept of a fall back plan. My advice is to burn your bridges. It might seem like a risk to take. But life is full of risks so why not make the risk taking worth it and work towards your ultimate goal.
Andy


That's just foolish though, if you have no backup plan, and you do crash and burn, you'll wish you had made one, cause it'll be easier to pick yourself up again and try again, instead of starting with a cardboard box and a shopping cart.

The majority of musicians I know have a part time job at the bare minimum. Putting all your time into music doesn't pay the bills sadly, and too many kids think that it will. I know many musicians that are dead broke and live on the streets cause they thought exactly like you.

No offense, just sayen.
#30
TS, have you considered what your goals are with music? To be a bedroom guitarist? To play in a vovers band on the weekend? To make an original band and get a local following? Or to make it big on the world stage?

This is important because only one of those things doesn't work with an alternative career.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#31
Those who want it badly enough will get it. No matter how much they struggle to get there! Its not only about your musical knowledge. Its about you being the right person in every possible way plus the playing. Its certainly not easy but if you dedicate your life to this exclusive plan a you will get there. I am 100% believer in this. Everyone I have ever spoken to who suggested plan b's was not achieving the level of success they desired. Seemingly impossible feats are performed daily in many walks of life. A career in music is very obtainable and luck has nothing to do with it. If somebody else has done it, you can too. Take for example Louis Armstrong. How possible would people have thought his success was back in those days. Black people were treated like subhumans in America, Louis himself had a very poor upbrining and yet look at the success he achieved through relentlessly pursuing it. There are plenty of examples of people who have similar success storys. My thinking is that the only advice to give anyone is the same advice you would give a young child...pursue your dreams until they are reality and don't let anyone stand in your path. The relatively short time we have on this earth should never be one of regret or what ifs.
Andy
#32
Yea, in my experience its difficult to get parents to be on the same page with going into music, even if you go to university or college for music and get a formal degree, what are you going to do with it? Music isnt the most stable career path yea, but if you really love it, youll find a way to make it work.

like for me, Im applying for uni this year, and Im applying for a bunch of things, Earth sciences, Anthropology, Astronomy, and music. but the big 2 for me are Earth sciences or music, Just always have a backup plan, especially with music.
#33
Quote by Andy_Mclaughlan
Those who want it badly enough will get it.


Not with music you won't. You have no guarantee of getting signed, even if you're the best musician in the world.

You can increase your chances of getting signed though, by pushing your band and getting a local following etc to compete with other bands in the area. Then push for interstate and national exposure, with regular gigs bringing in 400-500 fans a pop. By that stage you "might" have appeared on the studio's radar. But then there's other things - do you have the right image? is your music what's selling now? are you too old?

And once you get through that stage, lets say an A&R guy picks you up promising the world. You go for it and get an awesome deal making a 5 song EP. They listen to the initial demos, decide they don't like it and throw you back into the wild. That's pretty possible.

That's really the problem with aiming to get signed, because once you're there, not many musicians actually make cash, let alone get "famous".
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#34
Quote by AlanHB
Not with music you won't. You have no guarantee of getting signed, even if you're the best musician in the world.

You can increase your chances of getting signed though, by pushing your band and getting a local following etc to compete with other bands in the area. Then push for interstate and national exposure, with regular gigs bringing in 400-500 fans a pop. By that stage you "might" have appeared on the studio's radar. But then there's other things - do you have the right image? is your music what's selling now? are you too old?

And once you get through that stage, lets say an A&R guy picks you up promising the world. You go for it and get an awesome deal making a 5 song EP. They listen to the initial demos, decide they don't like it and throw you back into the wild. That's pretty possible.

That's really the problem with aiming to get signed, because once you're there, not many musicians actually make cash, let alone get "famous".


I never mentioned getting signed or being famous once. If thats what success means for you as a musician then maybe it is a bridge too far. I make a comfortable living from teaching aswell as some low paid gigs. I consider myself a huge success because my life is about music, I earn a living playing and teaching music and this gives me alot of freedom in my life. I have no aspirations of getting signed or becoming famous as I play fusion guitar.

The biggest problem with young people is the media portrays success as a multi million dollar industry for the elite only. Success is what you make it. Every single person on this forum can make a living in the music industry if they truly devote their time to it and work on every single aspect of them as a person...not just their playing. The concept of 'getting signed' is dead.
Andy
#35
Quote by Andy_Mclaughlan
I never mentioned getting signed or being famous once. If thats what success means for you as a musician then maybe it is a bridge too far. I make a comfortable living from teaching aswell as some low paid gigs. I consider myself a huge success because my life is about music, I earn a living playing and teaching music and this gives me alot of freedom in my life. I have no aspirations of getting signed or becoming famous as I play fusion guitar.

The biggest problem with young people is the media portrays success as a multi million dollar industry for the elite only. Success is what you make it. Every single person on this forum can make a living in the music industry if they truly devote their time to it and work on every single aspect of them as a person...not just their playing. The concept of 'getting signed' is dead.
Andy


I agree. You must set goals. You have to define what "making it" means to you, or else you'll never be satisfied. For me, making it would be being able to make a living teaching music. I don't want to be famous, if I could sell a few albums here and there, gain a reasonable following, that's okay. My main goal is to be able to teach music. I like working with peopl, and have a soft spot for kids. I enjoy helping people, and music really is my escape, so I'd really love to help teach others music so they can express themselves as well. I'll always be a songwriter, but as I mentioned before, to be able to raise a family (something I want to do eventually) will be hard if you're a musician who tours alot, especially at the beginning of your career. If you're touring long enough, hopefully you will have gained some fans and be bringing in a fair amount of money, but there's no guarantee which is why that's not the road I want to travel on.
#36
Your window to be a rock superstar is very small, but it sounds like that's not your plan anyways.

The music can never be taken away from you. But here's a thought: Having a great job that makes good money means that a) you will have to work less to maintain an adequate standard of living, and b) more money means sweeter gear. And c), working less means more time for music, family, or both. Sorry to sound so old and square, but it works. I had the same discussion with my daughter a few years ago.

But you are only 15. Don't close any doors on one path or another. You will change your mind several times in the next couple of years.
#38
mine were like that too, but then i showed them that i wasn't going to just not do it because they didn't want me to, and they began to encourage me to follow my dreams.
no matter what, don't give up, they'll realize what's right eventually (:
#40
Quote by Seanthesheep
Yea, in my experience its difficult to get parents to be on the same page with going into music, even if you go to university or college for music and get a formal degree, what are you going to do with it? Music isnt the most stable career path yea, but if you really love it, youll find a way to make it work.

like for me, Im applying for uni this year, and Im applying for a bunch of things, Earth sciences, Anthropology, Astronomy, and music. but the big 2 for me are Earth sciences or music, Just always have a backup plan, especially with music.


U sound lik a Björk fan. Just like me!!!
Though honestly I hate since
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