CaptainCanti
love nectar
Join date: Oct 2012
1,177 IQ
#1
I've got 2 years left of high school. And while I do have some time left to think about it, I honestly have no idea what I want to do with my life. I definitely want something in music, but I have no idea what. I'd like to try to get into being a musician, but I know it probably wouldn't be easy, and the chances of making it would be slim. My second choice is becoming a high school music/choir teacher. So what are the chances of making it as a musician?
¯\_()_/¯
Joshua Garcia
Joshole
Join date: Jun 2009
5,702 IQ
#2
For the most part: Not good.
But that shouldn't stop you from trying anyways.
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v Smash dat mf
whywefight
~I'm not fuckin around~
Join date: Dec 2010
1,725 IQ
#4
nil.

your chances of being a musician are 100%, actually. but your chances of 'making it' are nil.
StewieSwan
Decent User
Join date: Feb 2009
5,001 IQ
#7
Depends on what field of music. If you want to play in a band, the chances are so low it's not even worth it. However, careers like music therapy or music production offer much higher odds of success.
666atheist666
Twofly
UG's official GhostHunter
Join date: Dec 2005
661 IQ
#8
Don't ever give up on your dream...you never know what could happen. Don't think about the odds, because there's always a chance you can make it. Go to college, start working but still play music to your heart's content. One day...BAM sex, drugs, rock and ****en roll!!!
I'm not saying not to trust the internet, but there's an alarming discrepancy between the number of iPads I've won & the number of iPads I own.
takachan
Registered User
Join date: Aug 2011
451 IQ
#10
Play a lot of local shows with your band
Take pictures and record your own album.
If you don't make it, you still have an awesome box of your gig days.
Obsceneairwaves
UG Member
Join date: Sep 2011
1,001 IQ
#11
You'll get out as much effort as you put it. If you're lucky you'll get more than you put in, And if you're not you suck balls(literally, That'll be the only way to make money. sucking balls.)

But really, you're not gonna get 'discovered'
You've gotta put effort into writing good music and enjoy it at the same time, You've gotta work on getting gigs, and You've gotta work on making as many friends as you can.


I didn't actually read the op, So this could all be completely irrelevant...
It's over simplified, So what!

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Faux
Or friend?
Join date: Jul 2006
599 IQ
#12
Somebody's gotta do it. That's the way i see it.
whywefight
~I'm not fuckin around~
Join date: Dec 2010
1,725 IQ
#13
Quote by CALL_OF_TABLE
become a teacher, the music industry is 95 per cent fake and shit

who da hell is this guy and why is he banned

I leave you with this mystery, pit, do not disappoint me
GuitarQ33r0
Deathcore Messiah
Join date: Nov 2009
166 IQ
#14
Work towards the path of becoming a music teacher, it is something I am considering changing my major in as well. It will give you something to fall back on, in a field you love, if your dream as a musician is slow or fails. Also assuming your parents/relatives/teachers are hammering you on what to do in life (still have a lot of time) you have something to tell them that will actually help you towards what you really want to do, be a musician.

Also you get excused to buy random instruments, so when you come home with the national instrument of a random third world country to learn how to play, you won't get as many weird looks lol.
you're never as free as when you are lost
.Joker.
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2008
410 IQ
#15
0% chance...in a few years you'll completely change your mind about everything anyways. Keep music as a hobby.
Vantage
One hit wonder UG'er
Join date: May 2005
855 IQ
#16
Quote by GuitarQ33r0
Work towards the path of becoming a music teacher, it is something I am considering changing my major in as well. It will give you something to fall back on, in a field you love, if your dream as a musician is slow or fails. Also assuming your parents/relatives/teachers are hammering you on what to do in life (still have a lot of time) you have something to tell them that will actually help you towards what you really want to do, be a musician.

Also you get excused to buy random instruments, so when you come home with the national instrument of a random third world country to learn how to play, you won't get as many weird looks lol.

Went the exact opposite way. I wanted to teach music at first and music school made me want to go to a different field. I rarely play my instrument for enjoyment nowadays; have to learn my ii-V licks, learn tunes/read charts, and learn all the other technical requirements for the semester. Just going to finish the diploma (so I have something at least) and going to a better school for academics, since the best program my school has IS the one I'm in right now.

EDIT: If you really want to become a "pro" guitar player, you'll most likely have to compete with guys who can play and read their butts off.

PS I'm not discouraging you, I'm just telling you that you NEED absolute dedication to your instrument (and everything else) to become a working musician.
Dirty betch
Last edited by Vantage at Feb 4, 2013,
WholeLottaIzzy
UGs Only Rhythm Guitarist
Join date: Apr 2011
6,023 IQ
#17
Fairly reasonable I guess. I want to teach and then also have a local gigging band. That's what my guitar teacher does. Gigs and teaches and nothing else. Earns a comfortable living too.
MinterMan22
only smells
Join date: Nov 2007
763 IQ
#18
Quote by whywefight
who da hell is this guy and why is he banned

I leave you with this mystery, pit, do not disappoint me

he is the table

rip dimefield
..::fat
lard::..
byob_soad2
ᕙ༼◕ 
Join date: Apr 2007
492 IQ
#19
Depends what "making it" means. If you want it as your main source of income, you should probably give up that dream. Personally, I'd be pretty happy with playing shows semi-regularly and just having people want to listen

If you really like music, you should get into something that involves music, but isn't playing in a band. I think being a school band teacher would be pretty cool. You'll probably meet other people who like music, and possibly find a few people to play in a band with.
TooktheAtrain
Banned
Join date: May 2012
184 IQ
#20
nowhere near as unattainable as some seem to think, imo.

You can make enough money to live on by playing gigs.

If you're good enough you can get a contract with a cruise ship, which means you'll get to see the world and have most of you expenses paid, which makes up for the mediocre pay.

I'm shooting for a cruise ship gig myself but you have to know a metric ****tonne of tunes, 300 by memory in as many styles as possible. Reading is probably a requirement.
Rawshik
Homophobic Racist
Join date: Oct 2010
2,276 IQ
#21
I think people make it seem much more impossible than it really is. I say 1 out of about every 500 bands that gets a gig in your local area will make it far enough to be considered "successful".
For how can I give the King his place of worth above all else
when I spend my time striving to place the crown upon myself?
BradIon1995
Registered User
Join date: Oct 2012
127 IQ
#22
Spread yourself widely. Do some lessons, do some guitar tech/luthiery, do some performing, do some teaching, fully immerse yourself in what you want to do. Also, find a day job until you can comfortably support yourself off your passion. Who knows, maybe you'll have a day job all your life, but at least you'll be supplementing your living with your passion, and be a figurehead in your local scene. Do it, man!

I'm currently in a local band, and set guitars up for others occasionally. I'm dirt poor. But one day I tell you, ONE DAY!!
Ibanez TSA30 < Boss OS-2 < Custom Frankenstein Strat w/ scalloped board and Epi LP pickup
Last edited by BradIon1995 at Feb 4, 2013,
SlackerBabbath
Est. 1966.
Join date: Apr 2007
264 IQ
#23
Quote by CaptainCanti
I've got 2 years left of high school. And while I do have some time left to think about it, I honestly have no idea what I want to do with my life. I definitely want something in music, but I have no idea what. I'd like to try to get into being a musician, but I know it probably wouldn't be easy, and the chances of making it would be slim. My second choice is becoming a high school music/choir teacher. So what are the chances of making it as a musician?


Depends what you mean by 'make it' really. Are you likely to be able to make a living from it? Sure, anyone can if they have a bit of experience, a decent business-head on their shoulders and know how to get regular paying gigs. Will you be a huge mega-star with oodles of cash in the bank? Well, I suppose it's always possible with the right breaks but there's only ever a very small percentage of musicians who manage to achieve that, so, chances are that that probably won't happen.
TooktheAtrain
Banned
Join date: May 2012
184 IQ
#24
wot slacker said basically...

I think people have rather skewed ideas of success. Success (in music), to me at least, means being able to live from the proceeds of gigs, teaching, etc. without having to work other jobs.

It does not have to mean sleeping on a mound of coke with models and owning a classic car collection.
BradIon1995
Registered User
Join date: Oct 2012
127 IQ
#25
Quote by TooktheAtrain
It does not have to mean sleeping on a mound of coke with models and owning a classic car collection.


Although that would be ideal
Ibanez TSA30 < Boss OS-2 < Custom Frankenstein Strat w/ scalloped board and Epi LP pickup
ProphetToJables
Tight Tight Tight
Join date: Dec 2008
1,529 IQ
#27
Never turn down a gig.
Never stop writing.
Don't make any enemies.

I go on tour in March for the rest of the year for preciseley these reasons. I'm playing 90's hits at holiday camps but its £150 a week for 2 nights work and 100,000 people are going to watch me play.

Be prepared, always have a business card with a link to who you are, what you do, demos etc.
Don't get complacent, always be on the look out for what's next.
Put yourself out there, does a band need a rhyhthm guitarist for a few nights, does a local student need a score for his film project? Get your name associated with everything you do.
Gear:

Gibson 2005 Les Paul Standard
Fender Road Worn Strat w/ Noiseless pickups
Marshall JCM 2000 401C
Marshall Vintage Modern 2266
Marshall 1960A cab (Dave Hill from Slade's old cab)
Ibanez TS9DX
EHX Little Big Muff
Freshman Acoustic
theogonia777
Miss Kristen
Join date: Jun 2009
2,130 IQ
#28
There was a thread about what genres are best for being successful. I'll just copy what I put there, since it's still relevant.

Quote by theogonia777
It's all about supply and demand. There are certain genres that have a very large demand, but a very large supply as well. This would be stuff like "pop" music. On the other hand, there are some types of music with very low demand, but very low supply. This would be stuff like very niche styles of music, particularly in EDM and extreme metal.

As a result, even though more bands make it playing pop than say brutal death metal, there isn't necessarily a higher chance of success.

Really though, genre isn't as important as instrument. Playing upright bass for example is not particularly common, so a skilled upright bassist will have a comparatively easier time finding constant work playing jazz, rockabilly, bluegrass, etc.

This is even more true with incredibly niche instruments like pedal steel guitar. This goes back to my first point as well. While there is a very low demand for pedal steel guitar (an ever decreasing demand in pop "country" and a still continuous demand in contemporary country (alt country and murder swing, for example) as well as more traditional country acts), but there is an even smaller number of skilled players around, so a proficient steeler will always be able to find work.

And of course location is very important. Most large cities have decent scenes for most genres, though some are more famous for certain genres. Some major music cities in the US for example are LA, NYC, Chicago, St Louis, Austin, Kansas City, Nashville, New Orleans, Detroit, etc.

Also "music career" is extremely vague.


Quote by theogonia777
See, this is what I'm saying. If people seriously want to be successful as working musicians, learning styles and instruments that are not popular in America is the way to go.

It all goes back to supply and demand.

Let's say for pop music the demand is 10,000 and the supply is 10,000,000. Those numbers are the number of musicians needed in the industry and the number available, and they are just completely made up to make a point. Your chances of making it in that case would be 1 in 1,000.

For blues guitarists, the demand might be 1,000 and the supply is a third of every single guitarist ever. This makes your chance... more or less none.

For country PSG, the demand might be 100 but the supply is only 500, meaning you have a 1 in 5 chance of "making it" on that instrument.

For dūdmaišis (Lithuanian bagpipes) players, the demand might be 10 but the supply is 20, so you have a 1 in 2 chance.

Like I said though, those numbers are just made up, and if you are particularly skilled on your instrument, you have a far better chance, particularly in niche areas where being skilled means almost guaranteed work.


It really depends on what your thing is. Based on my limited knowledge of anything about you other than your list of favorite bands and guitarists on your profile, chances are your thing is probably not too favorable on the supply-to-demand ratio pyramid, so you probably might want to reconsider your strategy if you plan on "making it" (whatever that means) as a musician.
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Shut the mother#%$& up, $^%got. You have a #$%^ing terrible muther&@$#ing taste in %#$@ing music, @&%$ing movies and %&$#ing video games. Every time I see you on the forums, you are always saying something overrated and some $@&#ing sh*t. You are just mother$^@%ing ignorant as a whole.

Get a #%$@ing life or you will get banned for life.


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Read this please.
mtshark
is the bees knees
Join date: Jul 2009
1,497 IQ
#29
If you're dead set on playing guitar for a living you're best of learning everything. Learn to fluently read music, you could pick up some session work. Learn to play jazz, country, rock, bluegrass, pop, metal, blues. Can you name it? You better learn to play it, it just increases your chances of getting a gig.

Even if you want to become a music ed teacher, you're going to need to become proficient on an instrument, so if that's a possibility, don't throw your guitar out the window.
I pride myself on my humility.
smartguyreviews
Kenny G on Ecstacy
Join date: May 2008
863 IQ
#30
You'd basically have to gig most nights and do a ton of private lessons. Doable, not the most desirable life for everyone though. I'll be happier with music ed
Wolfinator-x
Teeth
Join date: Apr 2007
1,337 IQ
#31
I'm starting to seriously doubt whether I want to be a touring musician. I'm more and more interested in writing scores.
You are now using UG Black.
You are now using UG Classic.
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if you truly loved me, you'd watch them (psst; it's not just glam stuff)

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MrDo0m
Blessed Sisyphus
Join date: Jun 2011
772 IQ
#32
People always ask this question, and the answer is always: it depends on what you define as "making it." Does that mean being famous? Well how popular does your music have to be before you consider it "famous?" Does it mean making enough to live off of? Depends on how you're willing to live. It all depends on your perspective.
adamgur96
Not caring no more
Join date: Apr 2011
865 IQ
#33
Quote by SuperKid
get a music degree then


lol
I Have An Avant Garde Fetish....
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Woffelz
Mmmm...donuts...
Join date: Apr 2009
3,342 IQ
#34
Music at a relatively high level [not that high - A level. That's for 16-18 year olds in the UK] may actually kill your interest in music unless you love jazz or classical music.
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I'm a student. I've got no time or space for an amp!
badfish_lewis
Tab Contributor
Join date: Jan 2012
1,924 IQ
#35
If you're good enough (technically), smart enough, tough enough and you have an extremely good resolve then you have a chance, albeit a very small one but if you're the type of person I just described then you won't let that discourage you.
Otherwise unless you have tits, ass and bubblegum lyrics spewing from every orifice then you are essentially f**ked
Sir-Shredalot
Banned
Join date: Oct 2009
3,918 IQ
#36
I have taught and performed live paid music for 15 years privately and been a full time muso for 6. Also did support tours with snow patrol muse etc in the late 90s.

bands.. crazy hard. you can't even get a decent support slot as a unsigned or small band. We used to get every gig in town as 2nd support

teaching.. very competitive in the UK schools due to cutbacks. Wales are cutting out music teaching in schools.

tutoring.. tough to get the numbers for full time work.

paid gigs.. used to run wedding and event band I got £500 per gig per week. now most wedding bands I know do pubs for a fraction of the cash due to recession and lack of weddings.

sessions.. Most session guys I know are desperate for wedding and function gigs. A friend who did session tours now plays solo gigs again for 80quid per night.

In the famous session world, and there are a handful of guys session in in studio and tours.

recording studios.. Round my area desperate for clients and most have shut due to advances in home recording

rehearsal studios.. tend to make a decent buck but takes a lot of capital but they ain't booked out in advance like 5 years ago


In a nutshell if you want to make little cash, and be fed up of music doing it all day ad nauseum, then this is your career. My 45 and 60 yr old teacher still struggle to pay bills BUT have freedom and don't give in to 'The man'

If you diversify and have a strong business model you can make an average wage. At this stage where music is a job your business may as well be in anything that pays more.

TLdr... great part time income booster, but very tough career. I still regret leaving my good job for full time music.
Last edited by Sir-Shredalot at Feb 4, 2013,
Vantage
One hit wonder UG'er
Join date: May 2005
855 IQ
#37
Also, if you're REALLY that good/dedicated, you can push for a masters and teach post-secondary. Should make a comfortable living from that.
Dirty betch