#1
I'm in the last semester or my second last year at uni, studying music, and I'm still not playing with anyone or doing any gigs.

I have done some work with guitar teaching and have a possible guitar teaching job by the end of next year, but I'm feeling a bit nervous that Im almost finished my study and I'm still not gigging.

Now there are a few things that I'm not sure about.

How much as a working musician do you need to actually go out there and ask people if you can play with them? I watched an interview with the jazz pianist Bill Evans (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QdM0oxWOZw&feature=related) who said "All I must do, is take care of the music, even if I do it in a closet, and If I really do that, somone's going to come and open the door of the closet and say "Hey, we're looking for you""

But I was having a talk to my mum last night, she's an amatuer pianist herself, and she was saying that I really need to get out there and ask people and create opportunities for myself.

Part of it is I feel like I am not very good at playing gutiar and at music in general so I feel like I'm not good enough to play with others, and asking if others if I can play with them is just going to get me nowhere.

There's a two musicians round the uni who seem to have taken a dislike to me (I don't know why, I think I'm generally a pretty easy guy to get along with) so that doesn't make the situation any easier.
#3
If you aren't good enough to gig, you aren't good enough to teach. If you feel you're good enough to teach, you are good enough to gig. You just gotta find people who play instruments you'd like to have in a band, and if possible make sure they aren't arses. That's the basic answer.
#4
I've known people who've played with a band and started gigging within 6 months of playing seeing as you have at least 2-3 years of experience with music I think you're most likely good enough. Also, generally it takes a lot more to teach than to start gigging.
#5
No matter how good you are now, you have zero to extremely little experience playing with others. Like it or not, this puts you squarely at the rank of amateur in terms of experience playing live. The only way to get better is to get out there and jam with others.

How much of it is getting out there and asking if you can play with others? Well, how is the passive approach you're taking now going for you?
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#6
I've had at least 5 years of serious guitar playing experience, and my guitar teacher recommended that I should start teaching.

Im just talking about in comparison to a lot of the guitarists (and other musicians) at the con, most seem better than me.

AlanHB: I used to get a few gigs with another guitar player I knew in college, but he's now studying medical research, so that door is closed. I've jammed a bit with another guitar player at the con, just on a few standards.

I've also had two years of playing in ensembles (3 jazz bands and two guitar ensembles and a blues band) but that is stuff that is required for uni.
#7
Quote by jesse music
I've had at least 5 years of serious guitar playing experience, and my guitar teacher recommended that I should start teaching.

Im just talking about in comparison to a lot of the guitarists (and other musicians) at the con, most seem better than me.

AlanHB: I used to get a few gigs with another guitar player I knew in college, but he's now studying medical research, so that door is closed. I've jammed a bit with another guitar player at the con, just on a few standards.

I've also had two years of playing in ensembles (3 jazz bands and two guitar ensembles and a blues band) but that is stuff that is required for uni.


I'm not sure what the "con" is...a convention of some sort?

Anyways,

I'm sure that you're a technically proficient guitarist, that's not what my qualm was. You need to recognise that playing with others is a different skill to playing by yourself. The ONLY way you can get better at playing with others is by playing with others. In some of my bands other members have attended/are attending jazz school at uni, and they'll always point out that there's a pretty big difference between those people who are actively gigging, and those who are not.

It's good that you've taken some steps in the past, the next step is to really get out there. Aim to join/form a band that gets regular gigs. If you want to be "known" as a good guitarist and make some sort of career out of it (other than teaching) you have to get around playing guitar regularly in the public eye.

As mentioned, craigslist/fasterlouder/gumtree/local classifieds/music shop ads etc are all good ways to hook up with other musicians.

Also that quote from the pianist above:

Quote by Pianist dude
"All I must do, is take care of the music, even if I do it in a closet, and If I really do that, somone's going to come and open the door of the closet and say "Hey, we're looking for you"


This is akin to saying "I'll find the perfect girlfriend if I just sit in my room and make myself attractive". Not going to happen. However if you take the statement simply as saying "if you get yourself out there, people will come to you", that's agreeable. But you have to get yourself out there first.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#8
Thanks for your advice, sorry for my shorthand, Con is short for Conservatorium of Music.

This "This is akin to saying "I'll find the perfect girlfriend if I just sit in my room and make myself attractive". Not going to happen. However if you take the statement simply as saying "if you get yourself out there, people will come to you", that's agreeable. But you have to get yourself out there first." is a fair enough comparison, but I'll assume you know that Bill Evans is probably one of the (if not the best) jazz pianist in history, however, I can accept that I don't have his talent, and so there's every reason why that wouldn't work for me.

I'll try and start playing with others, putting myself out there more.

Some of the problems have to do with my guitar (this may seem a bit of a cop out, and in some ways is is) but the only two electric guitars I have are the OLP MM1and Cort Full Hollowbody.

The OLP is a pretty old beat up guitar (it was my first guitar, and it has some pretty rubbish pick ups in it)

The cort is a nice guitar, but you can't really play much on it apart from straight ahead jazz, and not too many people around here like that sort of jazz (I'm talking like Tal Farlow, Charlie Christian, Joe Pass)
#9
Quote by jesse music
but I'll assume you know that Bill Evans is probably one of the (if not the best) jazz pianist in history, however, I can accept that I don't have his talent, and so there's every reason why that wouldn't work for me.


I apologise, I'm not familiar with Bill Evans. However I'm familiar with his wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Evans

From his page:

"At age 12, Evans filled in for his older brother Harry in Buddy Valentino's band."

"In the late 1940s, Evans played boogie woogie in various New York City clubs." (He was born in 1929, so he would have been 19/20 ish)

And his career seems to explode from there.

It seems very odd to me that he'll say "just wait and they'll come" when he was actively gigging around the place throughout his teens. He got his break through his brother, you could say he was the one who came "knocking on his door", and he was fortunate enough to have a musical link in the family. However if you don't have that link (I'm guessing you don't) you'll just have to find the opportunities yourself.

As for your guitars, I'm not sure how they're limiting what genre you play. Time to take the power back and go "look you guitar, you're gonna play whatever I want you to play damnit!".
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#10
Dude, just start playing with people. It's that simple.

Don't talk yourself down or worry about being shit - everyone MUST go through that stage. the ones who get through that stage are the ones who create opportunities. Go to a local gig, meet some other musicians. Let people know that you're looking to jam. In my experience, there's almost ALWAYS people willing to jam.

So get out there, talk to people and start mixing with the people you wanna mix.
"We weren’t too ambitious when we started out. We just wanted to be the biggest thing that ever walked the planet."
-- Steven Tyler