Anyone here who prefers making music as hobby even if you have possibility to turn semi-pro or pro? why?

Anything about MUSIC but doesn't fit into the forums above.
dasen
KVRist
81 posts since 15 May, 2012

Post Fri May 17, 2019 8:24 am

Anyone here who prefers making music as hobby even if you have possibility to turn semi-pro or pro? why?

Winstontaneous
KVRAF
1553 posts since 15 Feb, 2006 from Berkeley, CA

Re: Anyone here who prefers making music as hobby even if you have possibility to turn semi-pro or pro? why?

Post Fri May 17, 2019 2:19 pm

dasen wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 8:24 am
Anyone here who prefers making music as hobby even if you have possibility to turn semi-pro or pro? why?
If you haven't already you need to check out Ari Herstand's How to Make It in the New Music Business. Other than established acts, the only folks I know making a living are either jobbers (taking any paying gig, often teaching lessons or adjunct college faculty) or independent artists spending all of their non-musicmaking time hustling for their careers.

In 2004-6 I was a professional freelance bassist. I had 2 house band gigs (a terrible one in a hotel, a good one at a club) and took every gig I could get. The hotel pretty much burned me out, luckily it caused me to start writing my own music and I haven't looked back. Here's the first song I ever completed, about the hotel gig.

Have you ever heard of the Gig Triangle? It's a great way to evaluate opportunities by considering the musical interest, people, and pay of a gig. You can imagine the interrelations here...lousy music, played with/for idiots - better pay well. Incredible music with cool folks - might do it for free. All three - sign me up and call me back! None of them - why the fvck am I doing this?

There are many factors involved - How old are you? Do others depend on you financially, or want to hang out with you on nights or weekends? Do you live in an area where it's possible to get paid to make music regularly? Can you get health benefits either by virtue of where you live, or a domestic partner/spouse/parent? How do you feel about paid vacations (or the lack thereof)? Are you OK playing or recording covers/other peoples' music if that's what it takes to call yourself a pro?
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ShawnG
KVRian
622 posts since 27 Apr, 2005

Re: Anyone here who prefers making music as hobby even if you have possibility to turn semi-pro or pro? why?

Post Fri May 17, 2019 5:47 pm

That's a decision I made about 25 years ago, and I'm glad I decided to have a normal life instead of a music career. There's so much more than just the simple joy of making music, unfortunately. You gotta deal with bandmates, management, club/bar owners and other scum (who steal from you). You have bad gigs where everyone hates you, you end up hating your own tunes because you play them so much. In short, It's full of all the sort of things that make your own real life job suck, only that has the side effect of making you start to hate the main thing you love to do in life. And that was at a time when there was actually a functioning music business. I have a nephew that gigs now, and after talking with him about how hard it is to find gigs, and how little it actually pays to be a live musician (in the bar/club band world) I'm not sure why you'd go through the hassle.

Now, the late eighties early nineties were fun for me and a good experience. I got over being an introvert (by being maneuvered into being the lead singer/frontman) I got to rock the house (nothing beats the buzz you get from a good show) I had a reason and an incentive to write and finish songs, met some, umm... friendly young women that would have otherwise not given me a second glance, and I got to hear some of my songs on the radio. (ok, it was my college radio station, but I'll take it)

Now I still get to enjoy music, I have access to all the toys that I never could have dreamed of before, I just don't have any of the hassles. I would LOVE to play live again, but It's hard to find the time for that sort of commitment. The main thing tho is this, if I had decided to pursue a music career, I wouldn't have met my wife or had my daughter, and I'm glad I chose as I did. YMMV

Jafo
KVRAF
1831 posts since 20 Dec, 2002 from The Benighted States of Trumpistan

Re: Anyone here who prefers making music as hobby even if you have possibility to turn semi-pro or pro? why?

Post Fri May 17, 2019 6:59 pm

Never had a job which wasn't terrible (just lucky that way); music is my escape.
Joy and kindness are acts of resistance -- fight the power!

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Aleatoriac
KVRAF
1696 posts since 31 Dec, 2004 from betwixt

Re: Anyone here who prefers making music as hobby even if you have possibility to turn semi-pro or pro? why?

Post Fri May 17, 2019 8:09 pm

Biology and sentience is a horror show (terror management theory obtains).
If people want to pay me, I'll take the money. I'm going to make the music (and noise) I'm going to make, even if the entirety of the rest of conscious life doesn't like it... too bad, I'm going to do it anyway.

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jancivil
KVRAF
18240 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: Anyone here who prefers making music as hobby even if you have possibility to turn semi-pro or pro? why?

Post Sat May 18, 2019 6:56 am

I would have to severely contort myself and what I do to appeal to enough of a market for it, and even then, I don't see evidence that music by itself sells like that. It takes a lot more and I wouldn't be up to that amount of work physically in any case. Promotion taking up a lot of time, you need backers to market it, you have to be seen constantly, you have to have a performing act. There are other ways to monetize musical skills, that isn't it. The chances for me weren't all that good at my physical peak and at that time I was too asocial for that.

Yeah, 0% of people caring doesn't mean I won't, I know what I'm doing.

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vurt
addled muppet weed
44319 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Re: Anyone here who prefers making music as hobby even if you have possibility to turn semi-pro or pro? why?

Post Sat May 18, 2019 7:02 am

few years back, i joined a band. not huge, but your with some bigger bands a lot.
at first was great, rehearsing for an upcoming tour. till about 6 weeks in i realised i was getting bored playing the same things repeatedly.
it didn't really fit me, so whether that's choosing not to do it? i dont know? but i walked away and have carried on enjoying the noise for the sake of doing it, or rather have decided on play before work.
ymmv.

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jancivil
KVRAF
18240 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: Anyone here who prefers making music as hobby even if you have possibility to turn semi-pro or pro? why?

Post Sat May 18, 2019 10:28 pm

For the outside music I do and was doing a long time ago, I found one way to make money off of it, and this is something one should know as a truism if one is considering doing business: rent venues as a non-profit organization and take advantage of the fact that booze costs less (research this) with the idea you're going to push booze at shows for a goodly profit. Also something I learned is to make a cool-looking t-shirt, and other brand paraphernalia to sell. And get friendly with people that make t-shirts and get a volume discount. Et cetera. It takes a little doing to become non-profit, just like it does to write grant proposals, but the first idea is to not be taxed. I was advised of this doing a show at the Modern Art Museum, she hipped me to the insider info. So, note well, it's not just rock 'n roll that relies on people boozing it up at the venue, classical music is the same type of hustle. And you want a whole social event for a night.
This is key in the music business, you have to be very adept at being social.

THIS is where the money is at, concessions. It's like movie theaters, they're really in the business of the concession stand.

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pekbro
KVRAF
2619 posts since 29 Sep, 2010 from Maui

Re: Anyone here who prefers making music as hobby even if you have possibility to turn semi-pro or pro? why?

Post Sat May 18, 2019 10:55 pm

Because of the tourism and culture related industry here, it's pretty easy to earn a living playing
music if you want. Though, not a particularly good living. Being a dancer (hula) pays far better,
and the ultimate end to that would be the organizer of such events. Those guys make tons of
money, a weekly luau contract for one of these resorts can pay easily $80k per month. Even
after paying everyone, it's stupidly profitable, though a hard gig to get.

That might sound like a lot, but to the resorts it's nothing and well worth it. $80k per month
isn't even close to their monthly electric bill.

*Still the way to go is to be a famous rock star. I am reminded of that every time I talk
to Dave Murray. He has two multi-million dollar homes where I work, across the
street from each other.

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Distorted Horizon
KVRAF
1915 posts since 17 Jan, 2017 from Planet of cats

Re: Anyone here who prefers making music as hobby even if you have possibility to turn semi-pro or pro? why?

Post Sat May 18, 2019 11:55 pm

I'd love to be able make my living with music.. But I'm not ready for the sacrifices it'd take. Can't have everything you want :shrug:

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pekbro
KVRAF
2619 posts since 29 Sep, 2010 from Maui

Re: Anyone here who prefers making music as hobby even if you have possibility to turn semi-pro or pro? why?

Post Sun May 19, 2019 12:27 am

My friend and co-worker, a drummer for 45 years, was often very close to stardom, but never quite made it. When you ask him if it was worth it? He will tell you f*ck yeah! Some times you just have to go for it, if thats what you really want...

Here is a clip of him on Soul Train, hes the drummer of course.

*Honestly, stardom is probably not the right word. To be ultimately successful as a musician is more
like it. Although, that would have entailed stardom in his mind. Success like Dave's was certainly
the goal.

https://youtu.be/ghrQWCzyDB8
Last edited by pekbro on Sun May 19, 2019 12:47 am, edited 2 times in total.

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aMUSEd
KVRAF
30792 posts since 14 Sep, 2002 from In teh net

Re: Anyone here who prefers making music as hobby even if you have possibility to turn semi-pro or pro? why?

Post Sun May 19, 2019 12:40 am

I don't care about making money - it's simply not what drives me to create - that doesn't mean I consider music making (or my painting and poetry) to be a hobby though. Artistic creation existed long before people started commodifying it and fulfils a much deeper function for many people.

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Scrubbing Monkeys
KVRian
726 posts since 21 Apr, 2017 from Bahia, Brazil

Re: Anyone here who prefers making music as hobby even if you have possibility to turn semi-pro or pro? why?

Post Sun May 19, 2019 2:32 am

aMUSEd wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 12:40 am
I don't care about making money - it's simply not what drives me to create - that doesn't mean I consider music making (or my painting and poetry) to be a hobby though. Artistic creation existed long before people started commodifying it and fulfils a much deeper function for many people.


This!!!

Any real money will come when someone with backing feels they can make money off of you.

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foosnark
KVRAF
4650 posts since 9 Jan, 2003 from Saint Louis MO

Re: Anyone here who prefers making music as hobby even if you have possibility to turn semi-pro or pro? why?

Post Mon May 20, 2019 4:46 am

dasen wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 8:24 am
Anyone here who prefers making music as hobby even if you have possibility to turn semi-pro or pro? why?
I'm a software developer. It's not thrilling, but I'm good at it and make decent money.

And then on my own time, I make the music I want to make -- I just get to create, with no obligations.

For a couple of years I performed in a taiko drumming group. The group charged for gigs to cover studio rent and instrument repair, but performers weren't paid except for special circumstances. It was fun to play with a group of people, but less fun to spend 9 hours a week in group rehearsals plus personal practice, physical training, hauling and setting up a half ton of instruments for gigs, etc. I didn't have the time or energy for my own creative work, I was literally just going through the motions of other peoples' creations.

I'm much happier and more fulfilled doing my own thing.

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bmanic
KVRAF
8395 posts since 3 Feb, 2003 from Finland, Espoo

Re: Anyone here who prefers making music as hobby even if you have possibility to turn semi-pro or pro? why?

Post Mon May 20, 2019 4:52 am

pekbro wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 12:27 am
My friend and co-worker, a drummer for 45 years, was often very close to stardom, but never quite made it. When you ask him if it was worth it? He will tell you f*ck yeah! Some times you just have to go for it, if thats what you really want...

Here is a clip of him on Soul Train, hes the drummer of course.

*Honestly, stardom is probably not the right word. To be ultimately successful as a musician is more
like it. Although, that would have entailed stardom in his mind. Success like Dave's was certainly
the goal.

https://youtu.be/ghrQWCzyDB8
That is some ridiculously tight drumming right there!! Any more clips where he is drumming? Any other genres?
"Wisdom is wisdom, regardless of the idiot who said it." -an idiot

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