#1
Hi. I am 21 years old and decided to take a year off school at my university to undergo some idea's as to what I want to do, finding self, etc... After boiling it down for a few months I have decided that no matter what, when I return to school I will be pursuing the music industry in some way. However, over the past 20 years we have seen the industry going down a steady steep slope. So when I decided that I wanted to break into this scene knowing of its condition and the probability of it's future, it scared me. I'm not a musician who puts money over passion in any way but at the end of the day I need cut the BS for a second and realize something... This is my career. Through this period of not being in school, I have been paying rent with low wage work and perfecting myself as a guitarist, drummer and audio engineer the best ways I can. The DIY approach . It seems everyday the industry is turning more into a DIY industry and dissolving as an actual network. My question is this. What would be the most beneficial career choice for an up and comer to this business but also an aspiring musician? My idea on a field of study comes blank. However, with this DIY approach i figured i could get bachelors in audio engineering to write, record and perform my music just the way I want it. So here's my mid-midlife crisis and i'd really appreciate your input.
#2
I'm impressed you were keeping such a close eye on the music industry when you were 1. That's some dedication and forethought there.

Sorry

Seriously, though, you probably already know way more than I do. If you're already most of the way through your current degree, and it's a useful subject from a good university and won't take you too long (or too much money) to finish, I'd finish it, just to have a backup plan.

Unless I misunderstood what you wrote and you're already doing a music-related degree.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#3
Cool - well considering you've taken this so seriously and have considered this career for a while then I assume you have done the following:

- Are a part of a number of local bands
- Integrated yourself into the music community, you know who can hook you up with gigs and contacts
- Have recorded professionally a number of times
- Have a decent range of pro level gear to use for different genres
- Already make a type of income from musical activities
- Have the ability to play a large range of genres
- Have no preference as to what genre you're playing, as long as you get paid
- Average over 50 gigs a year

I'm assuming you have all of the above, because I have those and music is NOT my primary occupation. I don't mean to toot my own horn here, but it would be the minimum that I'd personally expect.

If this is not the case, it's quite possible that music is a passion, but just a hobby like me, and you have something else to be your career.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#4
Well actually i fit all that criteria right now but I quit the band that was giving me all that so i've basically gone back to square one to better myself and really concentrate on what I want. Believe me, this hasnt been a hobby for quite some time. I'm really just unsure what to expect as far as a a music career goes besides from being a passionate musician.
#5
^^^ Cool well I guess making it a full time career means doing whatever you're doing and putting it into overload. Up the gigs to 200 and the rest should fall into place. Take up teaching if that's your thing too. Only do paying gigs.

And keep at that degree you've been working on. You'll appreciate it being there if the whole thing falls apart.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#6
I'd say teaching, if you're any good at that. There'll always be folk willing to pay for a few lessons. but with the industry declining i can imagine a lot of people wont be willing to invest in studio time and producing albums professionally as they probably wont see a return on the investment. so i think recording, producing, engineering etc will all drift further to diy and hobby levels. avoid building a career around that cos the money is long gone.

i travelled through eastern europe recently and was blown away by the number of people playing live music in pubs and restaurants. they were earning a small amount and a free meal or drinks. i dont know if the idea will spread but i certainly hope so. the more the industry demands royalties for public playing of tracks the more the idea of local musicians noodling away in the background gets more attractive. thats my prediction and 2c for music in the next 20 years. a return to the roots (recording music is actually a very new concept and i expect its a dying one). live music is a cheap way to add a touch of class to a cafe, restaurant, hotel lobby, whatever
Last edited by innovine at Jan 23, 2014,
#7
Quote by AlanHB

And keep at that degree you've been working on. You'll appreciate it being there if the whole thing falls apart.


Yeah, I think that's the main thing.

Just playing devil's advocate for a second, you could possibly make the case that having the backup plan might become a self-fulfilling prophecy (if you're hedging your bets and devoting a fair bit of your time and energy to something else, other people who are more single-minded might get ahead of you in the music business).

But yeah personally I'd rather have the backup plan. Just in case. Especially when you're a good bit of the way through the degree anyway.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#8
Music is a hustle. You have to work the scene hard to get gigs unless you're already at the top of it.

I play semi-professionally in a cover band with some other people who do music exclusively, and as great of players as they are, they still have to work really hard just to stay afloat.

Guitarists in particular don't get work on shredding skills alone. Very few gigs need a badass guitarist - they need a reliable guitarist. Can you play through a chart on sight? got any country licks? Be practical, not fancy.
#9
Quote by innovine
I'd say teaching, if you're any good at that.

This should come with the extreme proviso that if you aren't called to teach, if it's not your passion, it'll make your life hell. Hell should not be your backup plan.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#10
Yeah. It goes without saying that the backup plan should also be something you'd half like to do or it's not much of a backup plan. A lot of people seem to think teaching is easy or a cushy job and it's really not.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#11
Wow, I really appreciate the input here! I like the wide perspectives. It's such a shame that you have to put so many cards out on the table in order to be successful in music. it's a shame music has become so disposable. My original plan going into college was to become a marketing major so I could become a better self promotor with the help of my music (perfect world scenario). It was tough juggling school with this band (playing on school nights and traveling almost every weekend.) and it shocks me now that I am neither in school or a band b/c I've built up all this free time. That could be an option to go back to So between making tunes on Logic Pro and work, this is all I think about....
#13
You need personal connections with other successful musicians.

If a guitarist shreds in the basement and nobody hears it, does he make a sound? No such thing as a good musician with no gigs.
#14
Plenty of people enjoy making music for their own enjoyment, and it's perfectly valid. Also some people get nervous about playing in front of others which takes a lot of the fun out of it.

What you said is a bit like saying you don't enjoy sport if you don't compete in tournaments, which is nonsense. Do whatever you enjoy.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#15
Quote by NinjaStrez
I am neither in school or a band b/c I've built up all this free time


How are you playing over 50 gigs a year then, and are a member of several local bands?
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#16
Quote by AlanHB
This should come with the extreme provison that if you aren't called to teach, if it's not your passion, it'll make your life hell. Hell should not be your backup plan.


+1

Id like to add that teaching at a small music stores is the deepest level of hell. Apart from gaining experience initially, the only way to go is to teach privately imo
Quote by The Spoon
Unless you're sure she likes you, telling her you like her has a 110% chance of failing.

But hey, at least you have a 10% chance of absolutely guaranteeing failure.
#17
Quote by AlanHB
How are you playing over 50 gigs a year then, and are a member of several local bands?

Well I quit the band that was doing 50 gigs yearly. This whole "me having free time" effect has given me a lot to think about! So basically you could say I went back to nothing =/
#18
This depends what you mean being in the music industry.....there are degrees that can be taken to become a sound engineer, or go to school to learn classical music and theory and teaching and so on. No one will hire you for any of that cause you have a "DIY"-degree. On the other hand if your all stary eyed and thinking your the next slash well then your dreaming.....especially if your asking for advice here....cause this ain't where the stars hang!!....for that you need a band and a shitload of luck...and talent..and basically if your last band had been that you would already of been made.

Get a good back-up plan, preferably a degree in something that leaves you free on weekends and evenings, don't bother with wives and kids for a while and put all your hard earned cash into your music and hope it pans out.....if not your not going to have to be a depressed middle-aged bus boy/night clerk/ janitor and wonder what the f+ck happened.

Sorry to be honest and grown up but I know enough professional-musicians to know that the money that pays for the food on their tables is not coming from their passion.
I believe in god, jesus and the holy ghost.....or as i call them Angus, Kirk and Lemmy
#19
If you want a useful philosophy on being some kind of player in the industry you can't go far wrong reading Tommy Tedescos' book 'For guitar players only' which has been re-printed after all these years.
Obviously the hard drinking and gambling part may not be good advice but tips like:
A Gig should have the following
Fun
Money
Contacts
If it hasn't got at least two of those three don't take it.

The man was a session legend at a time when being a legend meant something and he was top dog for over two decades!

Thought it a useful book to motivate.
#20
Quote by NinjaStrez
Well I quit the band that was doing 50 gigs yearly. This whole "me having free time" effect has given me a lot to think about! So basically you could say I went back to nothing =/


You should join back with more then. It's sounds more like you're slacking around home than doing anything else, including music.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#21
Quote by NinjaStrez
Hi. I am 21 years old and decided to take a year off school at my university to undergo some idea's as to what I want to do, finding self, etc... After boiling it down for a few months I have decided that no matter what, when I return to school I will be pursuing the music industry in some way. However, over the past 20 years we have seen the industry going down a steady steep slope. So when I decided that I wanted to break into this scene knowing of its condition and the probability of it's future, it scared me. I'm not a musician who puts money over passion in any way but at the end of the day I need cut the BS for a second and realize something... This is my career. Through this period of not being in school, I have been paying rent with low wage work and perfecting myself as a guitarist, drummer and audio engineer the best ways I can. The DIY approach . It seems everyday the industry is turning more into a DIY industry and dissolving as an actual network. My question is this. What would be the most beneficial career choice for an up and comer to this business but also an aspiring musician? My idea on a field of study comes blank. However, with this DIY approach i figured i could get bachelors in audio engineering to write, record and perform my music just the way I want it. So here's my mid-midlife crisis and i'd really appreciate your input.


First of all the music industry isn't failing.

The current business model of the major record labels is failing but musicians are still making a living playing music and they always will.

However in order to do this you have one option an one option only. Put together a good band, drop everything else in your life and hit the road. This takes capital so you're going to have to have a damn good chunk of cash before you even think about this. You're going to play to a lot of bars with 5-10 people in them who didn't know you even existed when they showed up and chances are, no matter how well of a job you do, they won't know you exist after they leave.

You'll play basically for free most of the time. Why? You ask. Because from the bars perspective it is your job to put drinking bodies in the bar. That's going to be difficult because you've never even been to Baton Rouge before. Much less have the means to promote the show. If you're lucky you'll get booked at a good venue who knows how to fill a bill and you'll be sandwiched between two local acts. If that's the case you may make enough to pay for your gas to get to the next town. Hopefully they'll buy a couple tshirts and CDs, enough to at least buy a burger.

The Brightside is that you're not doing this to make money right now. If you are then quit right now, this job isn't for you. The name of the game right now is building relationships. Become friends with the local acts you get on bills with. Play with them wen they come through your hometown. Be professional, be friendly and make friends with EVERY SINGLE TALENT BOOKER WHO TAKES A CHANCE ON YOU.

If you're any good and if you're lucky after doing this for 10 years you might start making enough to call it a living. It's not easy but it's not supposed to be


All that's assuming you want to be a tourin musician. If you want to be a studio musician then you better be the best musician you know and you better know a lot of musicians and you better live in a vibrant musical city.

What I'm really trying to say is you better make goddamn sure that you really have what it takes mentally to dedicate your life to this. Because if not it's going to chew you up and shit you out and you'll wind up completely bankrupt and a half decade gap in your resume when you try to re-enter the real world. And no offense but to be honest you not actively gigging locally right now doesn't do much to convince me that you have what it takes.

I've been on the road. It's not glamorous. It's not sex, drugs and rock n roll (most of the time). It's a job and it's a grind. You will always be tired. You will always be sore. You will always be dirty and you will always be broke.

This isn't Almost Famous it's the real world and the real world is a hard ass bitch
Last edited by dmiwshicldply at Jan 31, 2014,