#1
Hey guys,

I'm writing this post for all musicians who are wondering if they should go professional in music or not. I find it hard to know if i'm up for the trip, because it requires lots of dedications, and sacrifices in life.

But anyways what are your thoughts?

If you want to know more about what I do, please look for yvikervyn on youtube.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqwNrVWBbpo

Y-vi.
#2
It really depends on what you want to do. Do you want to teach music? Do you want to play in a band? Do you want to record music? Do you want to compose?

A lot of musicians do all of these.

I'm going to be a professional musician - I'm going to teach music theory. That's what I'm studying right now in a university. I think in the future I may also play in a band (or bands). I already play in an original band.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#3
As MM said, it depends on what you want to do. It is really hard to make money doing one thing in music these days, you have to do multiple.

I am currently teaching privately and doing session work for local gigs/recordings. It works currently because i live in a big city with many options to do so. However, i am thinking of going back to university and study Pedagogy for 1-2 years so i can teach college level music classes and get a steady job/income.

Another thing to bare in mind is you can always aim on going professional, while working another job. Before i was able to live on private teaching/session work, i was working half-time in a supermarket. So i have worked my way up to where i am now.
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”


Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
#4
If you want to go pro you have to be a professional.

You need to be able to teach/arrange/compose/produce/perform at a high level, across all genres, especially the ones you don't like.

Granted, I'm only exaggerating slightly, but the days in this industry of being "that guy who does one thing really well" are gone.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#5
Being a `pro` guitarist in any form is so much more than just being a great player. Working on your chops, technique and song repertoire is only half of it. Being organised is such big part of it all too.
Get a free copy of my eBook at Guitar Domination


If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can happen through music.
Jimi Hendrix
#6
first.its very hard work and very competitive...fully realize..YOU are working for you-you are a business..you have to motivate yourself at every step..you cant wait for someone to tell you what to do..or how to do it..if you don't know something..find out how to locate that information..be prepared and be early..if you have an audition or recording date @ 10AM..be set-up with all your equipment etc. before 10AM..if it take you 20 mins to set up be there @9:40..keep current on trends..and how to get to the essence of the trend..you may not have to play every song the beatles ever wrote but you can play something that is an amalgam of their work - "sound like" --do this with as many "bands" as you can..be able to play different styles..from metal to acoustic folk.and have the equipment/transportation to make that happen..don't accept failure or make excuses

and a priceless tip...don't be rude!! you may not know who you are talking to..and that person is having a bad day..or that person IS a bad day..(ok the guys an asshole) don't call him on it..he may be your next employer..and may refer you to a series of your next employers..or NOT..egos are fragile..and some are very unforgiving..

just some stuff I have learned along the way...hope it helps
play well

wolf
#7
Let me recap the above posts for you.

1) It's hard to make money so you need to be dynamic and have a lot of skills that are useful in your field.
2) You need to be organized.
3) You need to work hard.
4) You need to be proactive.
5) You need to be on time.
6) You need to be polite.

Protip: these things aren't what make being a musician hard they're what make being a human being on planet Earth hard.


Here's how you decide whether or not you want to pursue music.

Question 1: do you want to?

If you answered yes to question 1 then do it. If you answered no, then don't. Everyone already knows that being an artist is hard and you won't make a lot of money and starving blah blah blah. You don't need us to tell you that. If you want to do it then do it and you'll figure shit out.
#8
I'd like to amend question 1 to this:

Can you do something else?

If the answer is yes, then do that instead. If you can't...then good luck.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#9
Quote by Jet Penguin
I'd like to amend question 1 to this:

Can you do something else?

If the answer is yes, then do that instead. If you can't...then good luck.


Yeah I can do something else, i'm currently studying Administration for a bachelor degree, i manage to get good grades. I chose to do that becayse of the diversified jobs that it leads to..
I do see myself working as a adminstrator, but I just find it not as fun as playing guitar. I know it sounds childish, of course evryone have something else that is much more fun to do that every day work routine, but it's just that.. you know there could be a way in music, but that is not the easiest way, and it all goes down to what type of lifestyle you want, and how you want to earn money to live.
#10
^ You can have a day job and also play music. That's not a bad option at all. If you get "big", it might be that you can quit your day job and focus 100% on music. Also, it may be more fun when music is more like a hobby than a job. If you need to make a living with music, it may take the fun out of it - it may make playing music too serious.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#11
Quote by MaggaraMarine
^ You can have a day job and also play music. That's not a bad option at all. If you get "big", it might be that you can quit your day job and focus 100% on music. Also, it may be more fun when music is more like a hobby than a job. If you need to make a living with music, it may take the fun out of it - it may make playing music too serious.


I agree with this. As i mentioned in my previous post, when i came out of school i couldn't make a living doing 100% music stuff. I took a job, and over time i was able to make more and more money from music related stuff until i was able to quit my day job. If you want it enough you can make it happen, but it won't happen over night.
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”


Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
#12
Quote by Sickz
I agree with this. As i mentioned in my previous post, when i came out of school i couldn't make a living doing 100% music stuff. I took a job, and over time i was able to make more and more money from music related stuff until i was able to quit my day job. If you want it enough you can make it happen, but it won't happen over night.


Can you be more specific about how you got to only do music as a living? some valuable advices? what i want to know is what kind of things you did, with music, to be able to quit your non music related job.. teachning music, gigs, renting spaces for jam, renting equipments, composing?

That's really what people want to know in order to have a better idea of how hard it is to be a musician.
#13
You probably just need to build up a client base. For example if one day you decide to teach music its not like you are going to have a ton of students after one day so you'll need to keep your day job until you get more. I assume the same goes for being a studio musician where you just need to work with a ton of bands and getting your name out there as a good studio musician.

I'm not a teacher or a studio musician so I could be wrong on both accounts but I feel like they would work like any other business.
And everything that once was
infinitely far
and unsayable is now
unsayable
and right here in the room.


- Franz Wright
#14
Quote by yvikervyn
Can you be more specific about how you got to only do music as a living? some valuable advices? what i want to know is what kind of things you did, with music, to be able to quit your non music related job.. teachning music, gigs, renting spaces for jam, renting equipments, composing?

That's really what people want to know in order to have a better idea of how hard it is to be a musician.


A lot. But i'll try to make a quick recap.

Finished high school, where i studied at a music program. Started attending music college, dropped out later on because of financial reasons. Started working part time in a store to be able to make a living, as well as put some money away for going back to college. Then it just started simply by doing other activities outside of work.

There were local festivals (rock, jazz, funk etc) that i would get together a few friends for and we would play, i would then start printing out businesscards with contact information and such on and hand to the other bands/songwriters there and said if they ever needed help to give me a call. I started helping out in a local music store by offering to give lessons to people, given that the store owner got a cut of the money and i got to borrow a room in the store. I started helping with local music events, helping out the audio-firm that does all the sound for concerts/festivals. Got calls from the bands when members left/were sick/needed more members and i started making good money from being in several cover bands and teaching.

There is probably a lot more i did to make this happen, point is you have to put yourself out there. Go to everything music related and say that you can help in any way possible, some things i didn't get payed for from the start, but then people started asking for me at these events and such. (Especially with the cover bands and the sound-firm) Also, keep in mind that this is over an extended period of time. (5-6 years now i think)

Now i have saved up quite a bit, and developed a lot. So i am probably going back to college this year or next year, get myself a degree in improvisational music and then take a year of pedagogy, which will allow me to get a good teaching job at a music college.

Just remember that because it worked for me doesn't mean it will work for you, you will have to find your own path to being able to do music full-time. I don't think it something you should ever give up on though, as cheesy as it sounds i have always advocated "following your heart" and eventually things will sort themselves out.
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”


Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
#15
Well if you commit to do it then go for it!

Just keep in mind how to financially structure your musical adventure so you can be the creative one and sustain your music to the public.

All you need is good songs people want to buy and great knowledge of how to market you and your music.

Now you can actually finance anything by online methods and part of your time should be figuring out how as you only have corporate life trading time for money otherwise.

To be a musician you need something working for you 100% 24/7 365 days a year.