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At What point did you realize you were a Pro or an Amateur?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Dr. Cheese, Aug 1, 2005.

  1. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I think most players, especially if they start pretty young imagine what it would be like to be a pro. I know I did. I started at fifteen, had few lessons, but didn't play out much in high school. In college, I was way behind the curve at first, it was 1978, I loved funk and couldn't slap! I learned how to slap, learned scales, modes, basic theory, and got pretty good after a while. I played in some talent shows but didn't regularly gig. In grad school, I joined a pretty serious band, did some gigs, showcases, and made a studio demo or orginals. I left to work on my Ph.D. and I was pretty good, not studio good, but good enough for a working top forty band. By this time I had some serious offers, I remember one time a guy who recruiting me had me sit in at a local club playing Rick James' "Give It to Me Baby." He had me do a slap solo and I got huge response from the crowd. He a made an offer and I thought it over and I realized that if I really had wanted to go pro, I would be working on a doctorate and that coming in late from a gig and being a grad assistant would not mix too well for a first year doctoral student. I ealized I had held on to the dream of being pro but all of my actions were clearly leading me in another direction.

    Obviously, I still love bass as much as I post, but I know that it is a hobby and academia is my profession.
  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I'd say the thing that always kept me from turning pro was the fear of starving to death :rolleyes:

    Once I started making serious money in my day job I was locked into part time playing. I don't regret the decision as I play out a few nights every week and make a decent second income but when bandmates quit their day jobs to go on the road for some very cool gigs I do feel a little jealous.

    I'm hoping I'm still enough in demand when I hit retirement that I can finally go full-time :D
  3. zac2944


    Dec 28, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    I always knew that I would never be a pro player. Being a pro musician was never really what I wanted to do with my life anyway.

    I think it has a lot to do with my up bringing. I grew up in a hard working lower middle class family. I never new that being a pro musician was an option. All I know was that I had to learn a trade of some sort. So I went into engineering. The idea of chasing dreams like music or art wasn't an option. It was always encouraged as a hobby, but never a career.

    I'm very happy to be an armature musician, it is definitely the a major part of who I am.
  4. eldave777


    May 24, 2005
    I guess I became a pro when playing bass was my only job. Playing Beale Street in Memphis is a sure sign.