#1
Ya, well i've been thinking about it for a long time, about pursuing music as a career. I mean i'm not looking to be the most famous musician in the world but be able to make the music i love and atleast get a decent living out of it. Well my backup plan is something like a computer engineer but i'm not gonna go into too much detail about that. It's just that i don't wanna look back at my life when i'm old and regret not following my dreams. as far as i know you only live once and i wanna make the best out of it.

Well my question is how much money do average musicians make? what are the chances of even getting signed by a label? the music i want to write would probably sound something like frank zappa-steve vai: you know mostly virtuoso stuff (im not looking to start arguments between playing fast or slow - which isn't even what virtuoso means as well) and it's not very mainstreem so i don't really think it would be "money-making" music, you know like rap or pop/rock.

i was thinking that if i was to ever to get married or start a family that i would have to quit being a musician and get a more stable job - probably something that i hate but am good at. may sound wierd but i am okay with living by myself for the rest of my life just to be a touring musician - that is if the money coming in sucks balls.

so anybody here ever think of this or have any insight on any of this? oh ya, and does anybody know where the money comes from when an album is released or when a band tours? my friend told me musicians get like nearly nothing from album sales...?
#3
the chances of you succeeding in a band or as a solo artist are extremely small, but there are plenty of other jobs you can get besides being a musician
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#4
We probably all want music jobs but our parents always tell us we're never gonna make it and tell us to be a lawyer or some ****. I hate it too man. Especially when all your family's a loser and never went to college so you have a ****load of pressure to be a millionaire.
#5
you can make a decent living off of doing gigs. if you made a cd and it sold, and if you had songwriting rights, then you might make some money off of that.
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#6
im looking into double majoring in performance AND in studio engineering so i have something to fall back on.
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#7
My mother supports me being a musician. I have yet to hear any objections from either my mother or step-father. Nothing wrong in getting 4-12 years of professional training. If you just want to to do what i want to do, get a degree -> open a store -> give lessons and defend the faith -> Me = ....

People care too much about what people say. Doing something "dumb" can be fun, at times, and others can be terrible. It's all about optimism. Which is why i don't care where i get my degree as long as i'm able to teach kids how to play, and keep them interested. I'd love to tour with a band around the U.S., but big deal if we go "big" or not. I never picked up an instrument and thought, "Damn! This should be able to make me some money!..." EVER.

Too bad thats all people think about these days..
#8
Dude, my old guitar teacher when I was about twelve used to teach guitar by day, then go out and do small venue gigs at night. From what I can tell, he makes good money as his daughter was able to study abroad and go to a decent college when I knew him. He also went to big venue concerts, like, every other day too...
#9
To be honest, I've been wondering the same thing but I went around my city asking for professional advice This is basically what I was told.

-If you form a band that does seem to atract some local attention it won't last for ever, if you were gigging 4 or 5 times a week in you 20's or 30's, itwoul probably end up being 2 or 3 times a month as you get older thus less money.

-The best way to make money in the music industry is being a teacher

-You will need a second job to start off before you do possibly get noticed

-Success may come early and it may come late (My guitar teacher released his first CD this year at around 60)

-It is incredibly hard to support a family

A lot of those comment were negative but the basic vibe I got from talking to a few people was, work you ass off, learn for everyone around you, take risks, and know when to call it quits.
#10
id like to be a famous muscian,but i think the more reasonable dream would be to be a session guitarist
#11
man,i'm in the same situation as a lot of you guys...want 2 B a musician. my backup is an engineer...parents never went to college...
i say just do it...if nobody took a chance music would suck...if we did the "smart thing" we'd we nothin...personally i'd rather fail at it,then not try
ps...frank zappa is awesome
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#12
My plan is similar to you'rs.

Make you'r own stuff up as soon as possible. Make alots of riffs and stuff. Then show it to people (Myspace etc) Go to college as soon as possible after Highschool, study computers like i am after you'r first year keep trying to get noticed, try you'r best to get a record label. And there you go, you have an oppurtanity to become a big musician.

And even after you quit you'r job for some reason, you'll have a backup plan making the college worth it.

Well thats what im doing hope that helps.
#13
The only real way to make money of music is to cater to the mainstream or create a new mainstream genre
#14
Quote by mentalwarfare
To be honest, I've been wondering the same thing but I went around my city asking for professional advice This is basically what I was told.

-If you form a band that does seem to atract some local attention it won't last for ever, if you were gigging 4 or 5 times a week in you 20's or 30's, itwoul probably end up being 2 or 3 times a month as you get older thus less money.

-The best way to make money in the music industry is being a teacher

-You will need a second job to start off before you do possibly get noticed

-Success may come early and it may come late (My guitar teacher released his first CD this year at around 60)

-It is incredibly hard to support a family

A lot of those comment were negative but the basic vibe I got from talking to a few people was, work you ass off, learn for everyone around you, take risks, and know when to call it quits.



i would agree with a lot of this. Making it is just a lottery which even those who do make dont find financially rewarding. most bands now have to sell 1/2 a million records to break even because of illegal downloading. I knew a guy previously a teacher whos band got signed-they were rock/metal and were told they would be marketed as emo 30 secs to mars style. they told them to get fked and now is is back teaching and doing wedding gigs. Record companies aint taking any chances on bands now you will have little creative freedom and money that almost certain.

I teach myself and play in a wedding band..teaching makes about £10k pyear ($20000) and the band playing every saturday night makes about £20000-$40000 (i run the band and dont pay the other guys equally its session rates) You have to consider you add tax, pension, insurance, overheads...but i do get tax relief on all musical equiptment!

It is not a way to make big money but its a great lifestyle and if music is your life you may not be happy doing a 9-5 like me.
#15
Ok. This is kinda what I'm thinkin:

If you wanna be a rock star, you gotta do this:
1. Don't get married or have any kids UNTIL you're already signed and have pretty good success. In short, wait till your 40's.
2. Again, don't get married 'cause it'll ruin your image if you keep singing about your wife and not hot babes in LA.
3. Move to a big ass city such as LA, NYC or London. This is where a lot of famous bands come from. You'll probably never get signed in a small town in Arkansas!
4. Book MANY gigs. The more you play shows, the more people notice you. They'll be like "This band comes here a lot. I guess they must be good. I think I'll go to their show."
5. If you wanna be mainstream, play songs people are gonna like that will get stuck in their heads. If you don't wanna be mainstream, that's fine too.
6. Spend money wisely! Don't buy like 50 million dollars worth of gear cause that dosn't matter.
7. Don't pay too much to make a cd. Just self release it on your computer or something. Record Companies will kill you.
8. Write your own freakin songs so you make all the money.
9. Try to look attractive for the ladies and play some ballads.
10. Don't curse too much cause that turns a lot of people off.
11. Have a name people will remember. If your name is "Joseph Lemypankelz", change it to "Joe Lemy" or something. Or make up your last name like "Joe Arrow" or something.
12. Try to have as less bandmates as possible so you can share less money which means more for you.
13. At concerts, have a big ass banner in the back with your band name on it so people don't forget it.
14. Makes lots of music videos and have a myspace and or youtube account so anyone can see you.
15. iTUNES!!!
16. Never give up. It takes some people 10 years before they get signed.
17. Interviews! Radio Stations!
18. Treat the audience VERY well. Get them going. Don't just play and walk off. Make them wanna stay.
19. Music videos are good. Even if they're from your crappy computer phone.
20. After shows, sign autographs and sell t shirts and cd's. That's always a good thing right?
21. Don't play the same instruments the whole show. If you only play one instrument, you'll be kinda boring. Don't let the show get stale really fast because people will leave. Jump around and ****.

That's how I see it. Don't flame me if you don't agree.
Last edited by KileManA7X at Sep 7, 2007,
#16
I've thought about getting a job and doing gigs and to just kind of take it as it comes. i want to attend a music college but at the same time i want to take coarses for other jobs just incase. and to Derek <3's You!, hell if i had the choice i would sit around playing my guitar all day and writing music for people for free but obviously you need money to live and survive. i have some friends who just want to become famous and get rich, not that there's anything wrong with that, that's just their opinion. it's just that if a had some really professional job and a family, i would probably never have time to play guitar.
#17
Its really about persevering. You're never going to be a rich musician if you stay independent and don't fall into teaching, session work or sort of sound technician things. But a lot of bands do just make a go of it by making small budget recordings, playing shows and appealing to a niche market. You're doing what you love but its hardly the most stable of incomes.
I think half the people here probably [myself included] want to do music as a career but very few will make it. I know that I'd only accept playing music I have written as a viable career in music because beyond that there is little else that interests me.
#18
thanks for all the advice guys, and how hard/ how much would it cost to release your band's music yourself? is getting signed by a label the only way to sell your music at big stores, or can you sell your music yourself at those big stores?
#19
Its really not so difficult getting signed its what you do after that that is the tough bit. Having said that its painful to hear some band you can see are lacking in key areas..singer is weak, band are not presentable, band lacks character and individuals are not characters, band lacks good songs, band lacks overall message, no key fan base, band lacks stage presence.

Take Guns n Roses or Zeppelin or Metallica or Maiden..all these bands have individual characters, strong rock songs, good vocalists, stage presence. Even tho some of their material is not wholly original if you tick all the other boxes you are there. If a rock band came out with an equivalent of paradise city and had a stong charismatic vocalist and individual charcters like slash and duff they would sell millions. There hasnt been anyone who has managed it since them.