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> Music: A Style Of Living
Gabriel Leopardi
post Jun 8 2011, 04:19 PM
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Hi! This topic is to discuss about choosing the music as a style of living. I know that many of you are nowadays studying at School, University or doing jobs that you don't like. I wonder...
Are you planning to became a full time musician or something related to that?
Would you like to choose music as a living?
What do you think are the pros and cons of this decision?
Is there something that scares you?


Maybe some of the instructors could also share their experiences about this.. (I'll do it too in this topic! wink.gif )



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mhskeide
post Jun 8 2011, 05:23 PM
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I just finished 9 months at a music study, with something we have in Norway called Folkehøyskole (people high school, directly translated). It has been the best 9 months of my life, just playing, learning about music and be surrounded by creative people (there was also dancers and art-workers attending at the school).

Still, after such a great year, I don`t want to go anything music related next year, or try to make progress with a band (most because I lack a band right now tongue.gif ). In my case, I am also happy when working, and using my head to solve problems of different types. I think (maybe sounding a bit arrogant now, sorry tongue.gif ) I have a pretty decent head for topics such as math and physics, meaning I have lots of options for entertaining and interesting (and well payed hopefully laugh.gif) jobs, as well as I like to study these professions.
I know that when studying the next years, I won`t be able to play as much guitar as I want. But I will always have it as the worlds greateast hobby, not matter what happens.
There were some weeks at school, with many plays, concerts etc, where things got a bit too stressful. It`s these situations I`m afraid of, if going for being a fulltime musician. As well as the amount of hard work, luck and determination you must have...and maybe not get more paid than just enough to manage. And if you grow tired of being a musician, you have lost both your hobby and work, if you are unable to get back on track...

That was my view at the cons!


The pros are:
You do what you like the most!
If being successful, people will look up to you!
Maybe you can get endorsed, and travel around the world to promote stuff? At least cheaper gear laugh.gif
Even better, tour with a band?!
Become good enuogh to be a session musician = meeting and playing with a lot of folks.
You can experience things, live, studio and on tour, which you would never have seen if just being a hobby musician.

Pretty good pros, if you make it biggrin.gif
....even made me think about my own decision.. smile.gif


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jun 8 2011, 10:05 PM
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It's tough to work as musician, wetter it's studio work, live covers, or author material, and I have respect for any musician that is doing honest work at the end of the day, know what I mean?

I guess the easiest thing would be working cover songs, not much creativity going on there, but there is money, people want to hear hits. The competition is big tho, and there aren't a lot of clubs for so many bands, and the bands will always rotate in clubs, so the job is not certain. Planning ahead is crucible. Musicians work late nights, mostly weekends, work in studio on work days, fear for their future gigs every day etc. Who likes it, can do it, although most people do this in youth, cause later on, ages catch up and nobody wants to put you on the stage anymore.

Hired guns, studio and live work, these players are usually fast and precise, cover many styles, but never quite managed to become successful through main band, so they work for whoever offers most. There can be big money in studios and shows, specially working for big stars, labels, or good TV shows. These players can earn a lot, can move in elite circles, although there is always fear of another hard working youngster taking over with fresh licks, and it will happen.

Author bands can earn a lot if they become famous, but that is very hard trip to follow, the hardest, and very few succeed. Without money, believing only in your songs, traveling often by your own expense to far away cities, playing for some unknown crowd, and going back home, waiting to sign for a major label (although they know they will get terrible contract). Spending countless days writing new songs, and being creative, without any motivation other then the Love for Music.

The people in the business are also tough, and don't care about musicians that much. We need to be businessmen as well, have lots of connections, and always keep your image unspoiled, and bring forward fresh material.

Well, that's a grim story right there, but it's not all that grim. People come to appreciate the little things that happen as years go by.


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Sinisa Cekic
post Jun 8 2011, 10:17 PM
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Just a short note: In the next life - i would be a musician again biggrin.gif


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jun 9 2011, 12:21 AM
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QUOTE (mhskeide @ Jun 8 2011, 01:23 PM) *
I just finished 9 months at a music study, with something we have in Norway called Folkehøyskole (people high school, directly translated). It has been the best 9 months of my life, just playing, learning about music and be surrounded by creative people (there was also dancers and art-workers attending at the school).

Still, after such a great year, I don`t want to go anything music related next year, or try to make progress with a band (most because I lack a band right now tongue.gif ). In my case, I am also happy when working, and using my head to solve problems of different types. I think (maybe sounding a bit arrogant now, sorry tongue.gif ) I have a pretty decent head for topics such as math and physics, meaning I have lots of options for entertaining and interesting (and well payed hopefully laugh.gif) jobs, as well as I like to study these professions.
I know that when studying the next years, I won`t be able to play as much guitar as I want. But I will always have it as the worlds greateast hobby, not matter what happens.
There were some weeks at school, with many plays, concerts etc, where things got a bit too stressful. It`s these situations I`m afraid of, if going for being a fulltime musician. As well as the amount of hard work, luck and determination you must have...and maybe not get more paid than just enough to manage. And if you grow tired of being a musician, you have lost both your hobby and work, if you are unable to get back on track...

That was my view at the cons!


The pros are:
You do what you like the most!
If being successful, people will look up to you!
Maybe you can get endorsed, and travel around the world to promote stuff? At least cheaper gear laugh.gif
Even better, tour with a band?!
Become good enuogh to be a session musician = meeting and playing with a lot of folks.
You can experience things, live, studio and on tour, which you would never have seen if just being a hobby musician.

Pretty good pros, if you make it biggrin.gif
....even made me think about my own decision.. smile.gif


Thanks for this post man! It seems that you have a very clear view about what do you want to do with your life and that's very important. It you know what you want to do and you set your sights on it you'll be definitely successfully. I don't disagree with the cons and pros that you listed but in my personal case it would be so difficult to be much of my time doing things that aren't related to music. I wouldn't feel happy.


QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ Jun 8 2011, 06:05 PM) *
It's tough to work as musician, wetter it's studio work, live covers, or author material, and I have respect for any musician that is doing honest work at the end of the day, know what I mean?

I guess the easiest thing would be working cover songs, not much creativity going on there, but there is money, people want to hear hits. The competition is big tho, and there aren't a lot of clubs for so many bands, and the bands will always rotate in clubs, so the job is not certain. Planning ahead is crucible. Musicians work late nights, mostly weekends, work in studio on work days, fear for their future gigs every day etc. Who likes it, can do it, although most people do this in youth, cause later on, ages catch up and nobody wants to put you on the stage anymore.

Hired guns, studio and live work, these players are usually fast and precise, cover many styles, but never quite managed to become successful through main band, so they work for whoever offers most. There can be big money in studios and shows, specially working for big stars, labels, or good TV shows. These players can earn a lot, can move in elite circles, although there is always fear of another hard working youngster taking over with fresh licks, and it will happen.

Author bands can earn a lot if they become famous, but that is very hard trip to follow, the hardest, and very few succeed. Without money, believing only in your songs, traveling often by your own expense to far away cities, playing for some unknown crowd, and going back home, waiting to sign for a major label (although they know they will get terrible contract). Spending countless days writing new songs, and being creative, without any motivation other then the Love for Music.

The people in the business are also tough, and don't care about musicians that much. We need to be businessmen as well, have lots of connections, and always keep your image unspoiled, and bring forward fresh material.

Well, that's a grim story right there, but it's not all that grim. People come to appreciate the little things that happen as years go by.


There is a lot of great & true stuff in your post Ivan. Can't agree more with this sentence...

"We need to be businessmen as well, have lots of connections, and always keep your image unspoiled, and bring forward fresh material."

Unfortunately it's is not just music when you are in a band or working with your solo carreer. You have to know about sales and marketing... or get some good professionals that do it for you... I have to say that my band achievements improved a lot when I get a good Manager.


QUOTE (Sinisa Cekic @ Jun 8 2011, 06:17 PM) *
Just a short note: In the next life - i would be a musician again biggrin.gif


hahaha definitely!



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jstcrsn
post Jun 9 2011, 01:57 AM
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QUOTE (Sinisa Cekic @ Jun 8 2011, 10:17 PM) *
Just a short note: In the next life - i would be a musician again biggrin.gif


I would be one as well
I would make sure I could of alternat picked ,as I lived out in the LA area during the eightes wink.gif
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Cosmin Lupu
post Jun 9 2011, 08:30 AM
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Unfortunately, the working conditions in real life, are very close and even worse sometimes than the ones stated by Ivan. I myself am battling with this decision everyday - should I leave everything else behind and stick to making music only? Or keep a proper balance like I used to until now and make things happen anyway?

It would be very nice to live off only by making music but, the uncertainty of the future combined with the responsibilities lurking at every step are still holding me back a little. I'm still young and I can manage them together but at some point, maybe I'll have to re-think my life. Who knows? Maybe I'll become proficient enough (knowing other fields than music helps a LOT - just like Gabriel said) and of course find the right people to delegate responsibilities to, so that I could focus only on what really matters - the things ONLY I can do smile.gif

I believe that we can do a lot of things in life, as long as we do the important ones and figure out a way to get the others done without concerning ourselves with them. Does it sound off the hook?


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Jun 9 2011, 09:04 AM
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I work full time in the industry albeit not as a musician.

It's a strange industry as it ranges from people who see it as art to those who see it as a business and also varies from those who behave poorly to those who act professionally in what they do. (By professional I don't mean making money but those who work hard, turn up on time, are polite etc...)

It's not an easy industry to make a living in partly as some exploit those who are a little naive. In addition, rates of pay vary hugely and are often based on how big a name you are, who you know and who you deal with rather than having anything to do with talent, ability, experience. It's also an industry that suffers from some who think everything that they want/need should be free, ignoring that people work and have to make a living.

So based on this my advice would be:

Don't rely on talent - get to know people, network and make good contacts.
Act professionally - people will not want to work with you if you behave like an idiot.
Don't be naive - there are no gift horses, it's an industry.
Pay your dues - give credit where it's due and pay the going rate rather than expecting hand outs and favours.
Don't expect over night success.


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jun 10 2011, 08:36 AM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Jun 9 2011, 04:30 AM) *
Unfortunately, the working conditions in real life, are very close and even worse sometimes than the ones stated by Ivan. I myself am battling with this decision everyday - should I leave everything else behind and stick to making music only? Or keep a proper balance like I used to until now and make things happen anyway?

It would be very nice to live off only by making music but, the uncertainty of the future combined with the responsibilities lurking at every step are still holding me back a little. I'm still young and I can manage them together but at some point, maybe I'll have to re-think my life. Who knows? Maybe I'll become proficient enough (knowing other fields than music helps a LOT - just like Gabriel said) and of course find the right people to delegate responsibilities to, so that I could focus only on what really matters - the things ONLY I can do smile.gif

I believe that we can do a lot of things in life, as long as we do the important ones and figure out a way to get the others done without concerning ourselves with them. Does it sound off the hook?


yeah Cosmin! I also have this kind of feelings... and I like your final conclusion. smile.gif


QUOTE (tonymiro @ Jun 9 2011, 05:04 AM) *
I work full time in the industry albeit not as a musician.

It's a strange industry as it ranges from people who see it as art to those who see it as a business and also varies from those who behave poorly to those who act professionally in what they do. (By professional I don't mean making money but those who work hard, turn up on time, are polite etc...)

It's not an easy industry to make a living in partly as some exploit those who are a little naive. In addition, rates of pay vary hugely and are often based on how big a name you are, who you know and who you deal with rather than having anything to do with talent, ability, experience. It's also an industry that suffers from some who think everything that they want/need should be free, ignoring that people work and have to make a living.

So based on this my advice would be:

Don't rely on talent - get to know people, network and make good contacts.
Act professionally - people will not want to work with you if you behave like an idiot.
Don't be naive - there are no gift horses, it's an industry.
Pay your dues - give credit where it's due and pay the going rate rather than expecting hand outs and favours.
Don't expect over night success.



Those are really good and positive advices Tony!

Can't agree more with the things that you guys are posting here... I hope that students find this ideas useful to know how to develop their music careers in an effective way.




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Fusar
post Jun 10 2011, 09:34 AM
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Great topic for me, as I'm hesitating about what to study!
I'd say I'm a talented saxophone player and I could move on study that instrument...but there's something which holds me back. I don't want to loose my favourite hobby. I graduate now from school and I will spend the next year only thinking about my hobbies. Therefore I will start volunteering in Belgrade (I've already contacted our instructors smile.gif) in the field of media. I think media business is closely linked to music business, in sort of organisation etc (you have to have a reputation, you must have some creativity), but the volunteering time will also give me a lot of leisure time which I can spend on making music and travelling. I hope that after these six months in Serbia, I've got a clearer idea what to do. If I want to do something media related (probably languages) or more scientific related (as sciences were my main education point in school). For example I'm interested in electronic engineering. With this study subject, I'd have the opportunity to become a sound engineer later on.
But I don't really know. As I stand here at the moment, I'd go for a study, which interests me and will give me a sure job. I could imagine working as a teacher, where I have enough free time to concentrate on my hobbies. Don't know where I'll stand in a year's time smile.gif
One question to Cosmin: I'm interested what you're working besides teaching and playing guitar? smile.gif


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Cosmin Lupu
post Jun 10 2011, 09:41 AM
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QUOTE (Fusar @ Jun 10 2011, 08:34 AM) *
Great topic for me, as I'm hesitating about what to study!
I'd say I'm a talented saxophone player and I could move on study that instrument...but there's something which holds me back. I don't want to loose my favourite hobby. I graduate now from school and I will spend the next year only thinking about my hobbies. Therefore I will start volunteering in Belgrade (I've already contacted our instructors smile.gif) in the field of media. I think media business is closely linked to music business, in sort of organisation etc (you have to have a reputation, you must have some creativity), but the volunteering time will also give me a lot of leisure time which I can spend on making music and travelling. I hope that after these six months in Serbia, I've got a clearer idea what to do. If I want to do something media related (probably languages) or more scientific related (as sciences were my main education point in school). For example I'm interested in electronic engineering. With this study subject, I'd have the opportunity to become a sound engineer later on.
But I don't really know. As I stand here at the moment, I'd go for a study, which interests me and will give me a sure job. I could imagine working as a teacher, where I have enough free time to concentrate on my hobbies. Don't know where I'll stand in a year's time smile.gif
One question to Cosmin: I'm interested what you're working besides teaching and playing guitar? smile.gif


hey Fusar! Well, I have a little web development company (me and a good friend) he is a programmer and I'm the process designer - I literally talk to clients, find out what they need, design a process for their applications or advice them and then, my friend, along with a graphic designer build what I planned. This is roughly it, because afterwards we advise them on sales and marketing processes and implement their campaigns. I also organize events. tongue.gif


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Fusar
post Jun 10 2011, 05:00 PM
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Sounds like hardworking but also fun, Cosmin! I also want to find something for myself, which I like and I want to work in - I could play music all day long, but it's a tough decision to turn your hobby into a profession...


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jun 10 2011, 10:11 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Jun 10 2011, 10:41 AM) *
I also organize events. tongue.gif


Mate, if you ever need any music for covering these events, perhaps we can make a deal? (gotta use every opportunity biggrin.gif ) cool.gif


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