#1
What does being pro guitarist mean? Is it just a status people give themselves when they can play anything and know loads of theory or something they have achieved by reaching grade 8 in music or whatever. Whats after 'Basic' theory, is it just more complex chords or something? And how long has Satriani being playing and can anyone get as good or close to his skill level?
#2
Well, it depends who's saying it

Some people call theirselves professional guitarists for all sorts of reasons except... They aren't.

The Oxford dictionary defines it as being engaged in an activity as a paid occupation rather than as an amateur. Ofcourse, this could be as many things. Session work, being in a high profile band, teaching, whatever. It doesn't say much, usually.

And yes, plenty of people have surpassed Satriani in skill level. When it comes to technique anyway, because that's the only thing you can somewhat objectively measure. He's been playing for around 36 years.
He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt.
He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice.


Remember: A prudent question is one half of wisdom.

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#4
Pro means professional. This simply means that you earn nomey by playing. Generally, these guys are unbelievable, though many question the abilities of the guitarists in modern popular, bands.
#5
pro=proffesional=profession=paid to do it.
you could be the worlds greatest bedroom guitarist and not a pro, or kurt cobain who knew not of the 12th fret or higher, but is a pro because it was his job.
"Marty Friedman > You" Club.

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#6
Pro guitarist is when you can play 5,000,000 bpm and your strings dont melt when they exceed temperatures higher than the sun, and also when you can play so fast that people
just die.

Also if your guitar is made from ancient Chinese oak, and the fret board is made of your
own home grown trees.

To be pro you also have the have a way to activate "World Domination Mode"
#7
Quote by fragydig529
Pro guitarist is when you can play 5,000,000 bpm and your strings dont melt when they exceed temperatures higher than the sun, and also when you can play so fast that people
just die.

Also if your guitar is made from ancient Chinese oak, and the fret board is made of your
own home grown trees.

To be pro you also have the have a way to activate "World Domination Mode"



I can play at 5,000,000 bpm. Anyone can. Idiot.

I'm a "professional guitarist." I teach a bit, I do some session work..so therefore I suppose I am.

Hey guys! I just started playing electric guitar should I get a Gabson Lay Pall or a Femdor Startokaster. I like the picks on the gabsons but i like how sweet femdors look. Beforre i get a gabson what company makes them?
#9
Quote by Ben Jammin
The audience will let you know.


But what if you don't have an audience? What about session guitarists?

My defintion is, you are a professional musician when your principal source of income is through music and you have the ability to play with musicians of other styles/levels, etc and can read other musicians.

One of my drum professors and I were in a discussion about being a pro musician the other day and his arguement was some guys in these hardcore/grind bands are highly skilled, but they are a one band/sound musician and although they are paid can't be considered pro.

I don't know if I agree with all of that, but I am for the part of being as versitale as possible. It opens your outlets as much as possible. I consider myself a "Semi-pro musician" It's my principal source of income, but I don't make enough to support myself fully. I'll call myself a professional when it gets to that point. But so far in the last 2 years I've done live performance with:

1. An acoustic duo
2. A post-hardcore/electronic band
3.A classic/Modern Rock cover band

That's about as diverse as it gets musically in my area since there are practicaly 1 Jazz band, 0 Latin bands, etc. But the point is, I am the only musician in my rural area that I know who played across the board like that. Suppose I just played post-hardcore music and didn't know how to perform with an acoustic duo? I would have turned down a paycheck!

Also don't forget that you have other avenues of making money through music and you should take advantage of them. I like to have at least 2-4 music projects going at once, so in case something goes south fast, you always have a back up and are busy. That way if someone asks "What are you doing?" you can say something besides "Just practicing"

Here are some ideas:

1. Private Instruction- This is probably the easiest route to take and you can make a LOT of money with it.

2. Session work- if you are diverse enough and in the right area

3. Promotions/Marketing

4. Jingle writer- again if you are diverse and have outlets.

5. Record other musicians/bands

6. Repair instruments

7. Manage groups

8. Run sound for people

9. DJ- hey it may not be "artistically satisfactory" But it's a chance to make money


The list goes on. You should probably take advantage of buying some literature concerning this. Do some research.

As for your theory question, with my guitar student. I told him I'm going to teach him the "basics" and stop. The reason being, the more advanced theory isn't used that commonly unless you are doing some serious composing. Many musicians in my area couldn't tell you what the key signature of Bb major is if you asked them. I encourage learning more theory after the basics, but don't require it. When I was a student at Berklee, some professors even told us that after a certian level of theory, you won't hear 90% of it on the radio. But it's good to have handy just in case something else comes up.

If you are really interested, you should check out books such as Tonal Harmony, which is used in a lot of college class rooms. Also I heard there's this really crazy book called "The Theory of Harmony" that may interest you. Go to a college library and they should have these on the shelves. Maybe they'll have them at a public library if you are in a metro area.


Good luck.
I was once heavily prominent on these forums from 2004-2007, let's see how long I can stay now that I'm back.
Last edited by Dutch_Apples at Jan 6, 2007,
#10
Quote by Sadam
What does being pro guitarist mean? Is it just a status people give themselves when they can play anything and know loads of theory or something they have achieved by reaching grade 8 in music or whatever.
Being a professional guitarist means you earn your full-time living playing the guitar. If you pay all of you bills by trading your guitar-playing skills for money, you are a professional guitarist.
All things are difficult before they are easy.
- Dr. Thomas Fuller (British physician, 1654-1734)
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