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#1
I apologize if this isn't the place for this thread, but I didn't exactly want to trust it to The Pit

Long story short, I went from being a Physics/Renewable Energy double major at a 4-year college to coming back home to my local community college and looking at a Music major of some kind. Of the people I know that have changed majors, I think I win for "Most 'Holy Crap' Major Change"; a true 180.

The thing is, just as with Physics/Renewable Energy, I still don't know which direction to take. The two that keep popping up in my mind are audio engineer and video game score composer. Those two examples combine as many of my interests as possible (music, physics, computer science, video games, etc). I just have no clue as to how to look into either of these career paths. How exactly should I proceed?

Any help on this would be highly appreciated, guys and gals.
Heisenberg might have been here

I wouldn't be caught dead with a necrophiliac

I don't clean my room because I'm saving entropy the effort


Drugs may lead to nowhere, but at least it's the scenic route
#2
So you haven't started classes under your music major yet?


Throughout the completion of your major, a good professor might give examples of what types of jobs you can perform with this line of study. Also, a lot of colleges set up internship programs, maybe they have one for audio engineer or composer?


I've worked in the freelance market for a bit (albeit, not for music composure) and I can tell you that building up your portfolio is the most important aspect. Start building references, making songs, and expanding your repertoire.


Further, start finding indie game projects and offer your services for free. Get your name on some credit screens, man!


Good luck, I'm glad you're finding what you want to do. A major change is the next step to your future.
#4
^^^ Yes exactly.

You would think that I, with my law degree and interest in music, would be interested in entertainment law. Wrong, I don't like contracts or intellectual property law.

Is there anything stopping from you following up physics and keeping music on the side as a hobby. Don't worry if you don't know what you want to do yet. You haven't even experoenced the workplace so you wouldn't have had the chance to learn what you like.

I like video games and music too. Should I be a video game composer? Nope. I am not interesed in that at all. Should I just play music and PS3 for fun? Yep.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#5
I don't think I was concise enough in my original post. I don't mean to just take a ton of interests and throw them into one 'dream job'. I mean no offense, but you guys are making it seem like, since I love peanuts, for example, I should find a job creating music for Planter's commercials Composing music for video games actually interests me, but it also happens to combine things I highly enjoy: music, computers, computer science, and video games. The same goes for audio engineering, but you can also add physics into the mix.
Quote by innovine
Don't confuse your interests with your job
Um... I don't have a job (related to my major, that is). That's also a tad confusing as, for all I know, I could find something music related to make a living off of while physics takes the 'backseat' as a hobby/interest. Not to mention the fact that your career path should be something you're interested in, no?
Quote by AlanHB
You would think that I, with my law degree and interest in music, would be interested in entertainment law. Wrong, I don't like contracts or intellectual property law.

Is there anything stopping from you following up physics and keeping music on the side as a hobby[?] Don't worry if you don't know what you want to do yet. You haven't even experienced the workplace so you wouldn't have had the chance to learn what you like.

I like video games and music too. Should I be a video game composer? Nope. I am not interested in that at all. Should I just play music and PS3 for fun? Yep.
I believe your first paragraph to be misleading as you already own a degree and I, obviously, do not. I would agree with you, no doubt, but you holding a degree implies you have already found what you love to do for a living while I have not.

I don't mean to brag, but I'm quite intelligent. However, I was also a terrible student when I was taking my Physics/Renewable Energy courses. Now, I can blame part of that on some of the factors working against me (mild depression, mild ADD, lack of energy/motivation, etc), but the fact of the matter is that music provides immediate gratification for me and isn't something I tend to procrastinate with. I also agree with you concerning my lack of actual experience which is why I created this thread in the first place
Quote by johnturner9
So you haven't started classes under your music major yet?

Throughout the completion of your major, a good professor might give examples of what types of jobs you can perform with this line of study. Also, a lot of colleges set up internship programs, maybe they have one for audio engineer or composer?

I've worked in the freelance market for a bit (albeit, not for music composure) and I can tell you that building up your portfolio is the most important aspect. Start building references, making songs, and expanding your repertoire.

Further, start finding indie game projects and offer your services for free. Get your name on some credit screens, man!

Good luck, I'm glad you're finding what you want to do. A major change is the next step to your future.
Wow, was that a fantastic answer. Congratulations for giving me the best advice I've yet received in the year 2014!

I haven't actually declared myself a Music major, but I am currently in introductory courses for guitar, piano, and music theory. I am also very interested in learning bass, drums, and taking courses for vocals and violin. I already know a decent amount about theory and piano, but I've been playing guitar for ~4 years and decided it was time to take a step back, properly learn everything over again, and, more importantly, slow down.

I can also use my 4-year university as a pipeline considering how many people I know there. I will apply this strategy for them, as well.


Thanks for all of the answers, thus far. Even if we disagree about something, everything gets the mind going and thoughts flowing!
Heisenberg might have been here

I wouldn't be caught dead with a necrophiliac

I don't clean my room because I'm saving entropy the effort


Drugs may lead to nowhere, but at least it's the scenic route
Last edited by jhalterman at Feb 10, 2014,
#6
^^^ I don't mean to sound harsh, but aren't you worried that you aren't already in the music industry to some extent? There's guys your age who started taking music seriously in their early teens, and they're touring the world now. They're also the people who you are competiting against to get jobs.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#7
If you want to be a game composer, you need to get yourself out there. Start writing music. Go look for indie game jams online and join a team. Make your talents known. If you want to be a successful game composer, chances are you'll have to be part of many sub-par games before that. Strive to make your music the best part of any project you work on. Make people's heads turn. Don't approach it as the music industry, approach it as the gaming industry. Indie games are your best bet. Good luck.
#8
I have no real advice for you. I'm a composer, just about done my (first) composition degree and still trying figure things out for myself. I took the University path and so far it's working out really well for me, but you have to decide whether it's right for your goals. The only advice I have is go for it. Whether you go the route of school or try and break into the game industry on your own or whatever you end up deciding to do, I guarantee you won't regret. Even if you wind up hating it, treat it as a learning experience and move on with your life. You're a baby, there's no rush. You got time to figure shit out.
#9
^
Great post.

The amount of negativity I see on here sometimes with regards music degree's is pretty mind-boggling.

Quote by TheHydra
Don't approach it as the music industry, approach it as the gaming industry.


This is good advice.

Also this article might be of interest.
.
Last edited by Nietsche at Feb 10, 2014,
#10
Find people who are making mods for popular games and offer to create music for free.

I would doubt that you need a degree in video game music to make video game music.
#11
Quote by AlanHB
^^^ I don't mean to sound harsh, but aren't you worried that you aren't already in the music industry to some extent? There's guys your age who started taking music seriously in their early teens, and they're touring the world now. They're also the people who you are competing against to get jobs.
Uh... I'm sorry, but I really have no idea how to properly decipher this comment. To what extent am I "in the music industry" already? And are these guys my age actually writing their own music or are you referencing some Hollywood, test tube, teeny boppers who have everything handed to them? And while I would like to travel the world on my own time, touring the world sure as hell isn't on my To-Do list
Quote by TheHydra
If you want to be a game composer, you need to get yourself out there. Start writing music. Go look for indie game jams online and join a team. Make your talents known. If you want to be a successful game composer, chances are you'll have to be part of many sub-par games before that. Strive to make your music the best part of any project you work on. Make people's heads turn. Don't approach it as the music industry, approach it as the gaming industry. Indie games are your best bet. Good luck.
All excellent advice, especially that antepenultimate sentence. Any chance you could clarify a bit more, though? I also have no problem working with games that I might consider crappy or sub-par, but [johnturner9] mentioned doing some work for free to initially build up a portfolio and that sounds fine by me. I did have a quick question, though. What did you mean when you said "Go look for indie game jams online and join a team"?
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
I have no real advice for you. I'm a composer, just about done my (first) composition degree and still trying figure things out for myself. I took the University path and so far it's working out really well for me, but you have to decide whether it's right for your goals. The only advice I have is go for it. Whether you go the route of school or try and break into the game industry on your own or whatever you end up deciding to do, I guarantee you won't regret. Even if you wind up hating it, treat it as a learning experience and move on with your life. You're a baby, there's no rush. You got time to figure shit out.
As of right now I'm staying in school no matter what. Even if I do stick with this I still need the knowledge and guidance of those much more experienced than I in music and computers. Care to elaborate about your degree at all?
Quote by Nietsche
^
Great post. The amount of negativity I see on here sometimes with regards music degree's is pretty mind-boggling.

Also this article might be of interest.
I actually had the same mentality up until not too long ago, but it was with liberal arts, in general. Psychology majors, English majors, and Music majors were viewed by me as the "probably won't get far unless you get a Master's" types of degrees. And now look where I am, ready to put in the effort to get the train a-rollin'. Thanks for the link, as well!
Quote by bigblockelectra
Find people who are making mods for popular games and offer to create music for free.

I would doubt that you need a degree in video game music to make video game music.
Wow, that's a damn good idea And I'm not aiming for a degree in "video game music". At the very least I will get an Associate's degree, but it just depends on if it would be music or computer related. Or both, who knows.
Heisenberg might have been here

I wouldn't be caught dead with a necrophiliac

I don't clean my room because I'm saving entropy the effort


Drugs may lead to nowhere, but at least it's the scenic route
Last edited by jhalterman at Feb 11, 2014,
#12
I have faith TS is intelligent enough to know what he wants to do.


Any blanketed statement about how he can't achieve that due to preconceived notions about an industry you're not even involved in would be coming completely out of your ass.


Changing degrees to suit your passion is admirable, kind of rude to bring him down for that, isn't it?

edit:

TS, maybe you can keep your eye on gamedev.net for people looking to build teams. Every once in a great while someone will come around asking how to compose music for their game.
Last edited by johnturner9 at Feb 11, 2014,
#13
Quote by jhalterman
Uh... I'm sorry, but I really have no idea how to properly decipher this comment. To what extent am I "in the music industry" already? And are these guys my age actually writing their own music or are you referencing some Hollywood, test tube, teeny boppers who have everything handed to them? And while I would like to travel the world on my own time, touring the world sure as hell isn't on my To-Do list .


Yes, it's guys writing their own music. The people who are really successful in the music industry generally already have their foot in the door by the time that they're your age. Why not check out the bios of some of your favourite musicians or video game composers and check out the steps it took them to get where they are, and what they were doing at your age.

As far as I can tell you haven't REALLY wanted to pursue music as a career yet. Why are you entertaining the proposition now?
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#14
Quote by AlanHB
Yes, it's guys writing their own music. The people who are really successful in the music industry generally already have their foot in the door by the time that they're your age. Why not check out the bios of some of your favourite musicians or video game composers and check out the steps it took them to get where they are, and what they were doing at your age.

As far as I can tell you haven't REALLY wanted to pursue music as a career yet. Why are you entertaining the proposition now?



That's silly. There are plenty of people who've become successful that don't have an early background in music, also. The only evidence you're providing is entirely anecdotal, based on what you've heard or read. I'm a bit confounded at why you'd try to dissuade someone doing what they want to do with such a weak argument.

Unless you're trying to validate your own self for not pursuing music professionally?
#15
Quote by AlanHB
Yes, it's guys writing their own music. The people who are really successful in the music industry generally already have their foot in the door by the time that they're your age. Why not check out the bios of some of your favourite musicians or video game composers and check out the steps it took them to get where they are, and what they were doing at your age.

As far as I can tell you haven't REALLY wanted to pursue music as a career yet. Why are you entertaining the proposition now?



Pretty sure the OP is like..21.. Is that too late to join the game? Didnt realize that you HAD TO MAKE IT before age 18 to even have somewhat success.
Im 26 almost 27 and Im just starting a band, am I too late?
#16
Quote by xbouncer927
Pretty sure the OP is like..21.. Is that too late to join the game? Didnt realize that you HAD TO MAKE IT before age 18 to even have somewhat success.


That entirely depends on what you mean by "somewhat success". My main point is that he hasn't gotten himself out there yet, and he's 21. Which means he didn't want a career in the music industry that much, otherwise he'd be out there.

Quote by xbouncer
Im 26 almost 27 and Im just starting a band, am I too late?


To get signed? Yes probably. At the age of 27 you will moat likely be seen as "old" by the teen market, who are the biggest consumers of music.

I know these views aren't making people very happy in this thread. Like I said, check out some of your favourite artists and what they were doing at your age.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#17
There's always room for a new biography that doesn't follow historical trends.
Si
#18
If you were 50 and wanting to be a pop star you might have a little trouble, but I never took into consideration how old someone was when I was younger, did you?

A lot of popular bands didn't even release some of their biggest "hits" until their later 20s and into their 30s. Roger Waters was probably close to 40 when the Wall came out....that was a choice album for 16 year olds who wanted to sit and smoke weed in the basement and zone out. Kids still do that, and the record is 35 years old.

Mark Knopfler from Dire Straits was almost 30 when they got their record deal; and they weren't even popular for another few years and on top of that he was balding....not exactly the fountain of youth, but the material was good.

Why would a record label care if you are 6 months in the business and have popular material vs someone who has been around for 6 years and is just now releasing popular material on say, your last contractually-obligated album release?

With things like youtube, one can gauge popularity with little investment or risk. I think the big ticket is just finding the way to cut in front of all of the other bands and guys who want to do that same thing.

For the video game stuff....look on youtube and see how many people watch "let's play" videos, reviews of this game or that game, people getting killstreaks on COD or battlefield. Pursue some of those avenues. All of it is free.

I would imagine that with game composing, you are going to need your material to sound much more polished than a normal band could get away with, since you basically are the studio...If you get hired or contracted from a developer, you would most likely be expected to do a lot more of the production/engineering than just the composing. You would probably have a lot to do with sound design as well, so learning about sound effect creation is probably important too.
#19
There is a huge difference between "notoriety" and "success".


Music composure and audio engineering are both extremely valid jobs. Both have a market and a concrete way for applying/gaining experience without relying on luck. OP isn't trying to tour the country becoming a rock star. He wants to get a degree in music, so he can have a career in music. That's extremely possible.
#20
Quote by bigblockelectra
A lot of popular bands didn't even release some of their biggest "hits" until their later 20s and into their 30s. Roger Waters was probably close to 40 when the Wall came out.....


Roger Waters was 24 when Pink Floyd was signed to EMI. At this point the band had been together for four years by this point.

Quote by bigblockelectra
Mark Knopfler from Dire Straits was almost 30 when they got their record deal; and they weren't even popular for another few years and on top of that he was balding....not exactly the fountain of youth, but the material was good.


Yep I'll give you that one. Mark is extremely talented. He was also active in bands for quite a while before then (15+ years).

Quote by bigblockelectra
Why would a record label care if you are 6 months in the business and have popular material vs someone who has been around for 6 years and is just now releasing popular material on say, your last contractually-obligated album release?

With things like youtube, one can gauge popularity with little investment or risk. I think the big ticket is just finding the way to cut in front of all of the other bands and guys who want to do that same thing..


Don't fall into the trap of thinking that youtube views and facebook likes = popularity. Your popularity is gauges by how many people show up to gigs and pay for your cds/merch. You can increase your views and facebook likes quite easily through paid advertising, this doesn't mean that you're necessarily going to make more money for the record company however.

Quote by johnturner9
He wants to get a degree in music, so he can have a career in music. That's extremely possible.


I believe this is the wrong way to approach it. You don't need a degree in music to have a career in music, so you have to reanalyse exactly why the degree is being completed.

I know many people who graduated with music degrees who do not work in the music industry as their primary income because the demand for musicians simply isn't there. To say it's "extremely possible" to complete a degree then walk into a full-time music industry position is a bit of a stretch when you compare it to something like a medical degree.

I'd be more on the side of TS if there was prior evidence that he actually wanted to do what he says he wants to do. If he had already scored computer games for his friends or short movies for student buddies, created a wealth of home recordings and ideas, invested a lot of money building up a home studio etc, because he likes it and now wants to consider doing it full time. But I don't really see that. I just see "physics is boring, I'm gonna do music now".
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#21
Quote by AlanHB
Don't fall into the trap of thinking that youtube views and facebook likes = popularity. Your popularity is gauges by how many people show up to gigs and pay for your cds/merch. You can increase your views and facebook likes quite easily through paid advertising, this doesn't mean that you're necessarily going to make more money for the record company however.


Of course not, but I think you would agree that Rebecca Black "Friday" getting millions of views in its viral status along with the death threats and negative feedback etc. is different from a band or person that has lots of positive online feedback on original material. View count, likes, etc don't equal a paying customer, but I think there will be a lot more of the online/DIY stuff in the future and some sort of national/worldwide publicity via the internet could possibly strike more interest from a label.
#22
Yes, I understand you're not convinced this is what he fully wants to do. He might not end up doing it, but that doesn't invalidate him. Yes, it is a highly competitive field. However, as it stands, you don't seem to have yourself any experience in either the industry or the freelance market - so I doubt your ability to analyze his path with an informed perspective.

That's why I think your post is silliness. It's based off of what you heard or what your friends told you. Which is fine, unless you present the evidence with absolute conviction that you're correct. Which you do.

I'm sorry if I'm coming off kind of brash towards you, I really don't mean to attack you personally. It just felt extremely rude, in my mind, to tell this guy what he can and can't do, based off some of abhorrently flimsy evidence. I'd expect more concrete reasoning from a law major.

You might as well go on ConceptArt.org and tell them they can't be graphic illustrators; because drawing is hard and your friends can't sell their paintings.
Last edited by johnturner9 at Feb 11, 2014,
#23
Quote by AlanHB
...
Sorry, I read your original comment incorrectly. I think I got caught up seeing "aren't" twice and in such close proximity, lol. Anyway, I'll try to sum things up for you as best as I can. Right now, my job is to convince you I'll break this down into answers to your questions and personal examples to help strengthen my position:

--- To be fair, those who are successful in the music industry nowadays aim their stuff at teenage girls, know how to market and advertise well, compromise their integrity just to increase their status, or let others do the heavy lifting while they take the credit. I still think this guy should be tried for crimes against humanity. Nevertheless, it's obvious that people who have studied and played music since they were 8 are better than me. Life lesson: there's always a bigger fish.
--- You are only partially correct in one regard. I had entertained the notion of a music career before (combining physics and music, actually), but I had not given it this level of thought up until quite recently. See my anecdotal support below.
--- If I would have known, 100%, that I wanted a career in music I agree that I would have been 'out there' already, but let me ask you something. At what age did you decide that a specific type of law was your calling? If you knew at a fairly young age then you're actually one of the lucky ones. Many people's career decisions are molded while in college and, more importantly (and accurately), through hands-on experience. It doesn't matter how long it takes as long as you don't stop looking.


--- I needed to write a 10-page paper my sophomore year of high school. My chosen topic? Black holes. I think it's safe to say that's what cemented my interest in physics, never mind the fact that my dad's a huge geek and I was exposed to a lot of Star Trek as a kid So, in a way, I can agree with that you I found entry level physics boring as I started on astrophysics which is quite a few rungs up the ladder. And yet just as that paper led me into physics, listening to the first "Mass Effect" game's soundtrack led me to video game score composition as a viable career option.
--- Obviously, you wouldn't have known this, but mental health has, without a doubt, played a huge factor in all of this. I couldn't tell you where I'd be right now if I wasn't in my current condition, mentally, but I sure as hell wouldn't be on UG asking for career advice. To be honest, and not to come off as an elitist turd, but without these mental barriers I'd probably be 3/4 of the way through that Physics/Renewable Energy double major at the University Of Michigan. Maybe I'd even have a hot, nerdy girlfriend, too. Who knows? Alas, it all boils down to a few, simple truths: I've left mild depression go untreated for many years (where my lack of energy/motivation stem from), I have mild ADD (that may/may not be influenced by the depression), my schoolwork has been negatively affected, and, despite those things, music gives me instant feedback - an immediate sense of gratification - that I can't ignore.
--- I've known since 5th grade that I wanted to play the guitar. I've known since my junior year of high school that I wanted to play more than just guitar. Right now I play guitar and piano. Soon I will add bass guitar to that list. Then vocals. Then violin. Then drums. And then kazoo; I just can't master it.
--- My interest in physics and even renewable energy has not waned. I still try to grasp new concepts even though I'm not currently taking any physics courses and I still want to learn about electricity and magnetism more in-depth (both physics topics). Also, despite no longer attending Illinois State University, I'm still working with their Sustainability Department on creating a more efficient water pump system for my old dorm room. (The largest building in between Chicago and St. Louis and they decided to put the washers on the top [28th] floor? I guess someone enjoyed paying water and electricity bills )
--- As I said, hands-on experience is easily the most accurate way of gauging your interests and what you want to do in terms of a career. Look at how easy it is to grab an instrument and start playing. Now look up how many sustainability engineering internships are available. Unfortunately, employers demand previous experience from college graduates and making internships competitive isn't intelligent. I guarantee my situation would have been different if I could have just walked into three, different internships and decided which I liked best, if any. Overall, it's not healthy for the U.S.'s education system and future job market, but I digress.
--- In the end, classroom physics did not give me that sense of purpose that sitting at a piano bench does. I would still love a science related career, but not at the expense of music becoming a part time hobby.
Quote by AlanHB
I believe this is the wrong way to approach it. You don't need a degree in music to have a career in music, so you have to reanalyze exactly why the degree is being completed.

I know many people who graduated with music degrees who do not work in the music industry as their primary income because the demand for musicians simply isn't there. To say it's "extremely possible" to complete a degree then walk into a full-time music industry position is a bit of a stretch when you compare it to something like a medical degree.

I'd be more on the side of TS if there was prior evidence that he actually wanted to do what he says he wants to do. If he had already scored computer games for his friends or short movies for student buddies, created a wealth of home recordings and ideas, invested a lot of money building up a home studio etc, because he likes it and now wants to consider doing it full time. But I don't really see that. I just see "physics is boring, I'm gonna do music now".
I agree that you don't need a degree in music to have a career in music, but I am going for a music degree because I want/need the structured environment of a school setting for now. And, being at a community college, it's more than worth the money.

I'm not exactly sure how competitive this market is, but don't be so certain about the status placed on certain degrees. That medical or engineering degree doesn't do you much good when you're flipping burgers (well, the engineering one might help) because you didn't have the experience needed to get your first full time position.

While I currently do not have the funds for a home studio, I have the basics and will collect more equipment in time. Please don't think that this is the typical, "Turns out chemistry sucks. I'm just going to be a Communications major."

*Disclaimer: I apologize for the wall of text and I have no "TL;DR" summation. For those of you that actually read the whole thing (including, hopefully, [AlanHB])
Heisenberg might have been here

I wouldn't be caught dead with a necrophiliac

I don't clean my room because I'm saving entropy the effort


Drugs may lead to nowhere, but at least it's the scenic route
Last edited by jhalterman at Feb 12, 2014,
#24
Moving on!
Quote by xbouncer927
Pretty sure the OP is like..21.. Is that too late to join the game? Didn't realize that you HAD TO MAKE IT before age 18 to even have somewhat success. I'm 26 almost 27 and I'm just starting a band, am I too late?
I'm 20, actually. God... And I'm sorry, but you're too late. Just break up the band now. And a Fender Telecaster? Pffff, everyone has one of those...
Quote by 20Tigers
There's always room for a new biography that doesn't follow historical trends.
Oh, I'm going to have to borrow that one.
Quote by bigblockelectra
I think the big ticket is just finding the way to cut in front of all of the other bands and guys who want to do that same thing.

I would imagine that with game composing, you are going to need your material to sound much more polished than a normal band could get away with, since you basically are the studio...If you get hired or contracted from a developer, you would most likely be expected to do a lot more of the production/engineering than just the composing. You would probably have a lot to do with sound design as well, so learning about sound effect creation is probably important too.
And that is where one of two things comes into play: creativity (creating something new/different) or 'going with the flow' (making more of what already sells).

That last paragraph was great, as well, especially that last bit.
Quote by johnturner9
...
Not to go all "He's my Internet savior! " or "I like him because he agrees with me" on you, but those were all fantastic replies. Definitely ranks up there with some of the best advice I've ever gotten on UG before so thank you.

Hm... Where did these tears come from?
Heisenberg might have been here

I wouldn't be caught dead with a necrophiliac

I don't clean my room because I'm saving entropy the effort


Drugs may lead to nowhere, but at least it's the scenic route
#25
Quote by johnturner9
as it stands, you don't seem to have yourself any experience in either the industry or the freelance market - so I doubt your ability to analyze his path with an informed perspective.

....

You might as well go on ConceptArt.org and tell them they can't be graphic illustrators; because drawing is hard and your friends can't sell their paintings.


It's true that I have zero experience in music composition for computer games. However you do have experience in the market, maybe you can point out more exact steps you took to engrain yourself in the market.

I'm basing my opinion seeing how professional artists have become successful, either ones I know personally or others as they have reported through interviews and biographies. Although their paths have varied, they have all been completely dedicated to their art. I wouldn't go on conceptart and tell them such nonsense, because they are actually creating and trying to sell their art. They are taking steps to achieve their goals.

And I've noticed that you've started resorting to attacks against me. One claim that I'm "validating myself" another questioning my worth as a lawyer. Please stop. It's not relevant to the argument and I have not made any such attack against you.

Quote by jhalterman
stuff


There's a fair bit of stuff you wrote mate, but some things popped out to be so I'll just address those.

Quote by jhalterman
If I would have known, 100%, that I wanted a career in music I agree that I would have been 'out there' already, but let me ask you something. At what age did you decide that a specific type of law was your calling? If you knew at a fairly young age then you're actually one of the lucky ones. Many people's career decisions are molded while in college and, more importantly (and accurately), through hands-on experience. It doesn't matter how long it takes as long as you don't stop looking.


I still haven't decided what specific type of law is my calling. I turned 30 last year. I wasn't even thoroughly convinced I wanted to do law until half way through my degree.

At the end of school all I knew was that (a) I didn't want guitar to be my primary source of income and (b) I wanted a job that would let me play guitar. I just happened to end up in a law degree because my score was high enough.

The thing is I don't really care what area of law I practice in, because the primary function of the job is to allow me to play music. It's only important that it gives me the time and money to play.

This situation is actually pretty similar to yours, because you say here:

Quote by jhalterman
I would still love a science related career, but not at the expense of music becoming a part time hobby.


And this above really depends on what you mean by "part-time hobby". I'm pretty active in my local music scene, I've averaged a little over 50 gigs a year over the last couple of years and don't have time for more. It's enough to satisfy me, it may not be for you. It's not uncommon for the super pro guys to do 150-200 gigs a year.

Quote by jhalterman
As I said, hands-on experience is easily the most accurate way of gauging your interests and what you want to do in terms of a career. Look at how easy it is to grab an instrument and start playing. Now look up how many sustainability engineering internships are available. Unfortunately, employers demand previous experience from college graduates and making internships competitive isn't intelligent. I guarantee my situation would have been different if I could have just walked into three, different internships and decided which I liked best, if any. Overall, it's not healthy for the U.S.'s education system and future job market, but I digress.


The thing is that on the basis of what you've said so far, you wouldn't have had that much "hands-on" experience composing for computer games, or really making any music at all.

As for the "employers demand experience" thing, this applies to all degrees including music. It's not limited to any country either. You need to go out and get experience to get a job, you need a job to get experience. You will have the same issue with music as renewable energy if you take the same approach, except music will have even less jobs.

Quote by jhalterman
I agree that you don't need a degree in music to have a career in music, but I am going for a music degree because I want/need the structured environment of a school setting for now. And, being at a community college, it's more than worth the money.


I'll say that it's worth the money to have fun, hang out and play music, meet new friends and stuff. That's all cool. However in my experience (and on the assumption that community college is the US equivalent of TAFE in Australia), this qualification will do little to further your music career.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#26
Alan maybe ur biased.

I haven't seen many musicians from Aussie, whether it be a shred guitarist, producer or famous rock singer.

Yes u have Ac/Dc and Tommy Emmanuel, and a few other's who I find great, but there the list pretty much stops.

It depends where you go.. Here in the netherlands there's basically one gaming company that exists, thus only 1 business to get into the music department thus it's pretty dead.

Are you a half decent techno DJ however, you can pretty much gig 3 times a week, since partying hardly stops in Amsterdam and there are many legal and illegal venues/raves, but both get you paid.

You don't get paid much or steady, but you can live from it, and most people just do it because they love the parties, meeting new people etc.

I can see it's hard to shake off the financial security even thinking about it, but you'd be surprised how many people don't care and genuinly love it and all that comes with it.

..but maybe I'm biased here, since the netherlands is a really "easy" country to live in.

The "Re-incarnation of Plato" Award 2009
(most intelligent)
The "Good Samaritan" Award 2009 (most helpful)

[font="Palatino Linotype
Who's Andy Timmons??
Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Feb 12, 2014,
#27
^^^ Sorry mate, I'm not sure what your point is in the Netherlands/Australia comparison.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#28
Being a video game composer would be such a sweet job. A buddy of mine I used to game with was also a very talented composer and guitarist. He eventually got hired by Nintendo to do soundtracks. I haven't talked to him in awhile, but if you want I can try to track him down through mutual friends and see if he got advice for you.

As far as what I can remember he did to get where he got... he had a band and composed all the music for the band in powertab (this was a decade ago) and once people we gamed with caught wind of that, the people that ran the server we played on asked if he wanted to contribute tunes to the server for free and he obliged. My guess is once he had a nice portfolio of tracks he had made for our game, he somehow got in touch with Nintendo's recruiters and wham bam.

But yeah, I'll see if I can get in touch with him as I'd like to pick his brain too, he's a pretty brilliant guy.
#29
Quote by AlanHB


And I've noticed that you've started resorting to attacks against me. One claim that I'm "validating myself" another questioning my worth as a lawyer. Please stop. It's not relevant to the argument and I have not made any such attack against you.




I apologize for those remarks, they were entirely unnecessary.
#30
Oh, oh!

One other thing.

It's never too late to do anything in life. Dave Mathews, whether you like his music or not (I don't) didn't get discovered until he was like 40 or something ridiculous like that. Pretty sure Guthrie Govan was unknown until he got older too. My friend who actually become a video game soundtrack composer was like 25 or 26 when he landed that job.
#31
Quote by AlanHB
^^^ Sorry mate, I'm not sure what your point is in the Netherlands/Australia comparison.



It was a anecdotal view of mine based on musicians I hear about abroad like yourself, and musicians I (personally) know here.

It seems a lot of people here in general tend to go more for what they like, instead of what is needed for "surviving" in society.

Cultural difference basically

The "Re-incarnation of Plato" Award 2009
(most intelligent)
The "Good Samaritan" Award 2009 (most helpful)

[font="Palatino Linotype
Who's Andy Timmons??
#32
^^^ I see. So the fact I got a job to make money rather than relying on playing guitar for money was a result of the Australian culture, whereas if I lived in The Netherlands I would have become a techno dj.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#33
Quote by AlanHB
That entirely depends on what you mean by "somewhat success". My main point is that he hasn't gotten himself out there yet, and he's 21. Which means he didn't want a career in the music industry that much, otherwise he'd be out there.


To get signed? Yes probably. At the age of 27 you will moat likely be seen as "old" by the teen market, who are the biggest consumers of music.

I know these views aren't making people very happy in this thread. Like I said, check out some of your favourite artists and what they were doing at your age.



Do you think I care if a bunch of justin beiber teenie boppers come to my show? do they REALLY care about the MUSIC????? No, Id rather play at coffee shops and bars and connect with actual MATURE people that still buy music. Id rather gouge my eyes out with a dull spoon than play some carlie rae jepsen bull**** genre for a bunch of people that live off of mommy and daddy's money to buy records when they cant even spell half the words in the lyrics.


Ohh and some of my "favorite artists and what they were doing at my age"
Marc Byrd from hammock was an electrical engineer who played in bands but didnt get huge until age 32. He celebrated his 40th birthday with their second CD release.


The members of The Airborne Toxic Event:
Mikel Jollett, their vocalist, was almost 32 when the band STARTED.
Their youngest member was 24 when the band started, average age: 28-29.


Fred from Taking Back sunday/ the color fred joined TBS when he was 26 when they were already an established band and started playing in bands when he was 21.
Their other guitar player started TBS when he was 29.


Not really a favorite, but the singer of My Chemical Romance was almost 25 years old when he joined MCR. He was about 27 when they played their first world tour.


I know family members that just picked up playing guitar at age 30+ and started cover bands and are making quite a pretty penny off of that. I should just tell them to stop cuz the teenie boppers wont like them cuz theyre over 18


And you said you just turned 30, why are you still playing music? since you clearly havent "made it before 21" You should sell your gear right now if you havent made it already!!
Last edited by xbouncer927 at Feb 13, 2014,
#34
There's other programs I think you should be looking at if you want to land a job in the game industry. Because lets face it. That's the actual industry you're looking at, music composition in your case is a specific job under the gaming industry.

With that said, go through some computer science programs. There's tons of programs out there, that'll teach you animation, world building, and then maybe minor in music composition. At the College of Charleston here in S. Carolina they even have a degree program called "computing in the arts" where you can follow music, theatre, or fine art courses while getting a much broader education in the field. Basically combines computer science and some sort of "art" dedication.

Start broad and then narrow down your job. There's tons of people that do music as a hobby and make music and try to sell their work to companies, I have a close friend that does this. Learning how to make games and combine that with music will make you much more desirable to actually get hired somewhere as apposed to freelancing which is more than likely what you're going to end up with.
#35
get some professional advice. go out and meet some people in your local university, music tech students/teachers. most people here are just hobbyists/beginners/procrastinators (there's nothing wrong with that, not making any judgment), so go out and see for yourself before making any crucial decisions. you're still young, i know some international students in their 30s still studying music and following their passion
Last edited by SuperKid at Feb 13, 2014,
#36
Quote by xbouncer927
And you said you just turned 30, why are you still playing music? since you clearly havent "made it before 21" You should sell your gear right now if you havent made it already!!

Read what I wrote above mate, this clearly addresses this point. I never wanted guitar to be my primary source of income.

And I reckon "Call Me Maybe" is a pretty cool song. Lots of fun to play, the crowd loves it.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#37
Quote by AlanHB
Read what I wrote above mate, this clearly addresses this point. I never wanted guitar to be my primary source of income.

And I reckon "Call Me Maybe" is a pretty cool song. Lots of fun to play, the crowd loves it.


I like how THAT was the cut of your point. Not the other points Ive addressed. So just because you turned 30 and didnt want guitar to be your income means that others cant because theyre "too old"??
#38
Quote by xbouncer927
I like how THAT was the cut of your point. Not the other points Ive addressed. So just because you turned 30 and didnt want guitar to be your income means that others cant because theyre "too old"??


All I said was that the chances of being signed are far less likely at your age. Not that you had to stop playing.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#39
I write songs influenced by video game music so I bet I can help. The best suggestion would be to get the trial of FL Studio and write a little Electronic Music. First learn some music theory and download a composition program (I use MuseScore myself and it's free). Now let those creative juices flow and start stringing together your own licks. Keep doing this until you get confident (writing something good takes practice, dedication, and passion) and have a decent composition.

Remixing is another way to get a feel for this. A good place to submit your video game remixes is OCremix.com. I've been trying to come up with something worthy of that site for a while. Anyway remixing is good practice and can help one develop their own style.

These are just things I do but I think they're places to start. Just hang in there and let your passion take you to new artistic heights. Oh and have a good day.
"I don't know what you're trying to suggest. There's no shame in taking what you need to hold your position!"

Super Buu (DBZ) on assimilation (it could also apply to blues guitar and guitar soloing in general).
#40
Meh I saw your thread just now and I want you to know that Jimmy Page even though he started playing guitar at age 13 he was already working in a studio playing on tracks by the age of 15. My point I wanted to make is that he's been playing for near half of his life, but in my honest opinion he didn't even hit his prime years till he reached the age of 25 years old back in 1969, and most the band members Led Zeppelin were in their early- mid 20's I think he was the oldest member in the band.

All I really wanted to point out that even though Jimmy has been playing in bands, and working in a studio at such a young age he's not the best technical guitarist his technique is sloppy as hell and it always sounds like he's playing with a broken hand for gods sake.

It's not about your technical ability or at what age you start at there's plenty of technical shredders that have started at a very young age, but aren't very musical they just have great chops. You real think anyone wants to listen to someone shredding? Hell no it might be impressive, but it's all about the music you compose. For **** sakes there's people out there who can only strum a handful of chords, but yet they're professional musicians.
Last edited by Black_devils at Feb 14, 2014,
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