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Bass Related Careers

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by J. Crawford, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    I want a career in music. Something that pays half way decently, and needs a degree, etc.

    I would love to be a bassist, studio musician, even a "bassist booty call," I really would, but I want to have a backup. One of my greatest bass friends, Bernie Bauer from Big Organ Trio is a bassist btu also has a degree in music production just incase something were to happy to BOT.

    I was thinking becoming a Producer, working on a soundboard/mixer in a studio. Or becoming a journalist and attempting to work for BP Mag, Rolling Stone, etc.

    I have a 4.0 and am not worried about being away from home for school. Ill be a junior next year, so I have a lot of time to think.

    But I wanted to talk to you guys, seeing that my only lifeline to anything bass related is TB.
  2. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    Even though Im a junior, I still want some opinions now! ;)
  3. Big Organ Trio rocks....have had their first cd for a few years now...do they have any new stuff?
  4. Junior - in high school, right? NOW is the time to think about what you want to do in life. So many people put that off, and/or don't give it serious enough thought. Ok, you don't need to know what you want to do for the rest of your life, but you should plan something out that you enjoy (or can tolerate on a daily basis), you would be good at (so you can advance in the field), and something that pays you in a manner that supports your lifestyle.

    That last part is the tricky one that a lot of people don't consider.

    I think that last hurdle is what will cause you the most grief too.

    Let's play devil's advocate here:
    Let's say you just graduated college with a degree in music - you name it, you just got it. Now do this - go to Monster.com (or any job site) and actually look for a job in that field. See how many there are with your qualifications (little/no experience, just a degree) and then look to see what the pay is.

    Then look for other jobs with experience to see what jobs you could expect after you work for a while - and see how many there are and what they pay.

    I think you'll find that there are very few jobs out there for what you want, and if you found one, the pay would be minimal - even after working for many years.

    I know people who have started up (and closed down) their own studios. One guy did it in Nashville and got to work with some big names. He never got rich though, and struggled to keep the studio open (rent was CRAZY high) and eventually closed it.

    What I would suggest is to get a degree in something that ALWAYS has jobs - business, etc. And then with that as a backup, try to do stuff in music. You could always double major, or do a minor in music, etc. That way you don't waste 4 years of college on a degree you can't use - or one that doesn't make ends meet.

    At some point you're going to need to support another person (and maybe more!) - and even if you're willing to sacrifice your lifestyle living in a studio apartment and driving a cheap used car - the person you're trying to impress/woo/etc might not be willing to make such sacrifices. And then there's kids, etc...

    Do you need to worry about this NOW? Well... actually, you do. I know people who didn't worry about it, went to college and got a degree in something they were interested in (fun, etc) - and then never was able to get a real job to support themselves.

    Now - getting a degree in journalism isn't a bad idea - but again, the pay is going to be on the lower end. And don't expect to ever get a job at Rolling Stone, etc.

    I've been out of school with a degree in Accounting for 10 years now - and with my love of the music and auto industry, even living in SoCal (LA area), I haven't gotten a job in those industries. Luckily I was able to find jobs that pay the bills and allow me the freedom to enjoy music as a hobby.
  5. gonzilla


    Jan 26, 2009
    I'm going to be the non-devil's advocate here-

    As long as you keep a high GPA, you'll always have graduate school to fall back on if you get a music related undergraduate degree.
  6. jmac


    May 23, 2007
    Horsham, Pa
    You could get a degree in sales and/or marketing. Then get a job at a manufacturer of equipment that you like. That way you can get discounts on gear.
  7. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    They are currently in studio as we speak, new album should be out by Summer.

    Bernie and I email and phone al the time. HE is truelly a great friend, and an amazing bassist.

    For those of you who dont know him check him out here, HERE.

    Great musician, plays a 70's P bass with active EMGs and a J at the bridge. I think I might start a thread soon, while Im thinking about it.

    But back on topic. I have always been a smarter kid. I dont brag, I dont, but I am told all the time and the grades speak for themselves. I have always been interested in stocks/marketing, graphic design (photoshop, ads, etc.), and psychology. I think I may pursue one of those, most likely psychology, and move to LA or somewhere. I cant stand Eastern Ohio anymore. Period.

    Thanks for the help guys, its good to have someone to talk to. Parents love the music, but arent too into the whole mocing across the country thing for school/life. :(
  8. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    It hasn't been mentioned yet, and needs to be: a career in music has very little with what you know, overall expertise, or how well you play - it's more dependent on the connections you make, the contacts you have, and who you know. It also helps immensely to look the part.
  9. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    I fully agree.
  10. You could play bass for John Mayer
  11. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    Man, what an idea! I never thought of that. Ill be off of TB for a while guys, John Mayer is hiring.

    I thought he played for Disturbed? He quit? ;)
  12. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    A few years back I went and saw a singer/songwriter/guitarist's band, an exceptional regional blues artist outta Spokane WA, PAT COAST. Horns, B3, a bassist that could take it from the early days right up though Johnny Gayden slap, great outfit really. Pat has this tune called "Day Job" that kind of outlines his findings on careers for dedicated musicians...

    i was just 14 when i got my first guitar
    i laid awake at night and dreamed of being a star
    i dreamed i'd grow up and travel the world
    big money, fast cars and girls
    i learned some chords, and i learned a few songs
    my friends said "man you know you're playing 'em all wrong
    better practice"
    so i did

    time went by and i got a little better
    i learned which chords went with which letter
    my guitar felt like magic in my hands
    i bought some gear and started a band
    i booked a gig for my big debut
    my friends said "great band - all except for you
    you better get a day job"
    a day job

    better get a day job, yeah i really think you should
    a day job, 'cause you're really not that good
    we know you want to make it man - so bad it hurts
    but you're testing for a job with your name on your shirt
    better get a day job
    a day job

    {killer long solo with interspersed comping}

    i worked real hard for the next few years
    i started getting some respect from my peers
    i tore it up for the home town crowd
    i even made my mom and dad real proud
    i waved my guitar like a magic wand
    'til dad said "son your a big fish in a little bitty pond
    it's time you move on"
    so i did

    i bought me a poncho* and a cool black hat
    apache boots and a '59 strat
    i went to austin, man i knew i was gone
    the second coming of stevie ray vaughan
    but when i got there man - what did i see?
    ten-thousand stevie clones all better than me
    had to get a day job
    a day job

    had to get a day job, yeah i really think you should
    a day job, 'cause you're really not that good
    we know you want to make it man - a million guys do
    but almost every one of them is better than you
    better get a day job
    a day job

    ...ah yeah would you like fries with that order?
    would those be the crispy ones or the jo-jos?
    well we could super-size your meal for you
    who me? - oh, you think i'm a little too old for this job?
    well let me tell you something buddy
    i'm not really a fast food waiter - i'm a guitar player
    that's right - i'm just waiting for my big break {etc}

    * shades of Zappa: is that a real poncho -- or a Sears poncho? ; }
    ...wind up working in a gas station

    So always keep in mind the full spectrum of what is possible in this reality. Same applies to actors, artists, anyone who has to invent it as they go along : }
  13. Cyber Soda

    Cyber Soda

    Sep 24, 2008
    Whoa, this could be a lot of help to a lot of our fellow TBers!
  14. TheHegemon


    Feb 20, 2009
    Amarillo, TX
    This can be true of most anything lol but more so in music.
  15. funkometer

    funkometer Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2006
    Birmingham AL
    I got my degree in finger wiggling!
  16. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    Im hoping this is bass related. ;)
  17. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    And I agree. If this picks up, it should be stickied.
  18. J. Crawford

    J. Crawford Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2008
    One of my best friends who graduated last year is attending Ohio University, not OSU ( Thought she could have ), for Music Psychology. She is going to be a traveling psychiatrist who plays the piano for children with special needs, mental disabilities, or poor home lives, etc.

    She graduated with a 4.0, and tons of scholarships, but chose to do her dream. She will not make the amount of money she could have, but she will be happy. And IMO, thats what it important.
  19. bearshimmy


    Feb 14, 2005
    I'm doing music education, you get to inspire kids, get great benefits and summers off to tour with a band?

    yes please!
  20. Not to burst your bubble - but if you're going for psychology, be prepared for the long haul - ie, doctorate degree. Anything less and you will have trouble finding a job. I know someone who graduated with a psych degree about 15 years ago, and never found a related job (which means she ended up working jobs that didn't require a college degree at all). She went back to grad school, but once you're working, that's tough to do. You still gotta work to pay the bills and try to do school 1 class at a time at night - that drags out for many years. Well, she got her masters in psych - but still, no jobs to be found. And now she's 15 years out of college, with no experience in psychology, so any job she did find would be a step backwards in pay from her current position.

    If you're going to plan on grad school, do it right after you graduate college b/c otherwise life gets in the way real fast.

    Here's a realistic practical: imagine yourself 10 years out of college, doing what you want to be doing, earning what you want to make, etc. Now work backwards from there to see what it would take to get there.

    And yes - in the music biz, it's more who you know than what you know.

    Perhaps, if you are really motivated, go to school for Engineering, and then you could work in the sound industry designing stuff. You could be designing amps for a bass company, or stuff like that.

    Look at people in the industry with positions you'd like to have, then look at their credentials. If they don't have much of a degree, then it's most likely right place/right time/knowing the right person sort of thing. For those with degrees (and advanced degrees), consider that what it takes to be considered for that position.

    (side note - for me, I chose Accounting b/c every business needs accountants. This would allow me to work for any company, any industry. Looking at the guys who run a bunch of the big companies, the CEO's and whatnot, they usually have a business degree (and usually multiple ones, or advanced degrees). I would keep an open mind when you choose a major so your options aren't limited when you graduate.)

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