The career path of a musician can be pretty difficult. I was reminded of this last weekend when visiting a favorite hangout which serves decent food, good drinks, and the occasional band. This night, the band was rather excellent, playing cover songs like “Free Bird” from southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd. What made it a bit sad was the obvious talent of the band coupled with the low crowd attendance. One can imagine the possibilities of the band with the right opportunities and luck.
Most musicians probably do not have that planning session where they consider the benefits and downsides of their chosen career. Being that it can be a tought road, here are some things to consider before you decide to be a musician:
- You will not have a “real” job with a steady salary
- First prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Second prize is a set of steak knives.
- Forget health insurance
- No boss (could be a good and a bad thing)
- No one is out there waiting to discover you
- Working hard is hardly a guarantee of any success
There are also numerous activities that go into being a musician that you will not get compensated for. These are things like:
- The hours of practice
- Years of doing above to make it seem “easy”
- Research time spent on music instruments such as guitars or even a microphone
- Endless hours on the phone trying to get the next gig or talking to people to make it happen
- Visits to the clubs or with club owners and lunches trying to get the job
- Years of music lessons, band practice, and frustations that go hand-in-hand
- Frustration of making things work on a short-notice
- The stress that goes along with having equiptment or instruments fail during performances
- Endless work of other people trying to help you promote via: website, home made CDs, t-shirts, cards, etc.
So why consider a career as a musician?
- The love of music
- The crowd and the fans
- Inspire and motivate others through your work
It was pretty obvious from the band that night that they loved what they did. It showed in their talent and effortless musical skills. Their cold-hard cash payment for that night’s work was probably dismal. Their real payment was the crowd’s genuine admiration and respect for the band at having their classic songs played by a band worthy of playing them.
While this step is far from being necessary,
it may also be a good idea to take a look at the various programs your favorite artists in
the industry use to make their songs. Before buying a beat maker,
you should make sure that it comes with a lot of sound files that you can play with,
as well as easy export options.
You have only yourself to blame. I will be king. Everyone on this thread are truly d*cks. If your good you suck. If you great you’ll be f****d. If you have any ideas apart from trying to say cons, well get your self a ‘c**k in your mouth for money’ cause that’s what you all are. Pr*******. Working for the man. Later introverts.
What if u did nt have experience of singing but u want to be a musician what will u do? I mean can some1 still learn and becme perfect? Please send the answer to my mail [REMOVED]
I wana b a star nd m working hard nd i blv i hv somethng to offr ths industry.just enrol 4 drama n uct bt knwing ths country sa dnt apritiate talent il imigrate to shine else where.coz seriously sabc lacts talent these days…bt i wana b a presenter of a talk show nd pls these days artists sound lyk a broken record.i plan to bring change.wath th spce yal bt ts true wat thy say ths industry z nt abwt hardwork bt connections whch m working on
pls help me to be a superstar
Music is what i feed on but all i need is a little motivation, someone to believe and honestly love what i want to do…
Working hard is hardly any guarantee of success.
You need more than just work on your music, you need to work on promoting it. But despite all your effort, it might not be enough: you need luck and that means having the right time in others’ mind and time, in order for others to buy your music and pay for a concert ticket.
Inspire and motivate others through your work.
It means that you can inspire other people on their life time when they go to work, or to motivate other musicians to do their own music.
I’d like to comment on this statement…
“Working hard is hardly any guarantee of success.”
What does that even mean?
“Inspire and motivate others through your work.”
That sounds like a pre-programmed response that you don’t even have to think about. How would you specifically aim to inspire or motivate other people? These are answers I’d like to know.
What if you had a plan to make it? I do…
I’d love to hear your honest appraisal of modern day virtuosity. Not trying to put you down or anything, im serious, I would actually rather enjoy talking to you about this further. email me at [removed] so we can discuss…
I look forward to hearing from you.
Are you serious? Virtuosity is at an all-time low? I feel any honest appraisal of the situation would prove otherwise.
I would like to hear your picks “from a few decades back” that vindicate your claim. If virtuosity is what you’re all about I’m pretty sure I can assemble a dream team of current artists that would be more than capable of holding their own, and perhaps even, surpassing your hall of fame.
And if I cannot, is virtuosity the true litmus for musicianship? Are you going to throw Handel and much of Mozart’s work under the bus just because they don’t take as much practice as Paganini?
To the writer of this piece: Kudos for the Glengarry Glen Rose Quote. I’m ashamed to say I wasn’t the biggest fan of the film, but that’s a great reference.
cover bands playing in bars seem pretty ambitionless as it is. what a life of defeat.
I just read your blog talk about minds thinking alike
wish I had read your first I might have phrased mine a little different. It’s a great article though. With reference to the other response most of the professional musicians who play in my band don’t need to practice that much, they are playing almost every night so they are very good readers and very tight. Most of the guy’s and Gals who don’t play very well I have found are very poor sight readers, but there are even exceptions to those. If you get a moment check out my sites musicanscall.com and sheetmusicman.org . All the Best
3 family members were college educated in music, this is the exact same discussion they had with my youngest son when that son wanted to play bass guitar as his career. I’ve watched how their lives have progressed for the past 25 years. I feel that this information is exactly correct.
i want to b like chris brown
This is a nice piece for musicians who are need to take that long, hard look at the lifestyle. I think every musician goes through the same indecisive period, when they take a look at the facts and wonder if they can truly pull it off. Although there are always those that are so confident in their abilities that they don’t need to think about this; there is simply no other choice then to be a musician.
The biggest problem of all, which this piece does mention, is that many musicians aren’t doing it for the music. As it says, it requires hours of practice. But do you think most of the ‘famous’ musicians around today spend that much time practicing? Im sad to say that i’m a little skeptical of that… Evidence of this fact is the true lack of musician virtuosity that used to be often seen a few decades back.