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Berklee College of Music

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by melodiaopus, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. henry2513

    henry2513 Supporting Member

    May 9, 2011
    Los Angeles, Ca
    That's about what I make when I play with my trio, after gas, setup time, tear down etc, it's not all that much. If I were you I'd look into arranging and film scoring while at berkley. I have some friends who are world class musicians, a large portion of their income isn't coming from playing their primary instrument.
  2. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Always keep in mind - becoming a professional musician is probably a bad idea financially, no matter how talented you are. There are exceptions, but statistically speaking. This is especially true if you want a family. Just know that music will be your *job*. You will do what your employer tells you to do. After 20 or 30 years of that, your job may not be as enjoyable as your hobby. If you still want to do it, and your fiancee is on board, then go for it.

    I went to Berklee for 1.5 years in the early 80's, studying jazz violin. This means my experience was quite different than a bass player today. But, one thing is probably still true. I learned a lot, about music and the music business. Possibly the most valuable part of my education there was the nightly jam sessions, and being around a large number of musicians, both dedicated and lazy, talented and not. By seeing first-hand how good and how bad other musicians can be, you learn a lot. As has been said, Berklee is not a hand-holding environment. If you are really good AND motivated, you will excel and succeed. If you are not, join the ranks of kinda ok rock guitarists that filled the halls when I was there.

    By the way, another one of the most valuable things I learned was that although I love and need to play music, I did not want to be a professional musician. I went back to engineering school, and now I have a family and a house and can afford decent gear. I play quite a lot, and every time I make music it feels like an amazing gift from the universe, because I only play music I want, when I want.
    BassChuck and remcult like this.
  3. Hapa


    Apr 21, 2011
    Tustin, CA
    Really :rolleyes: you got up @ 7 am took only an hour for lunch, dinner, pooping, and showering finally putting the bass down at midnight? :eyebrow:
    You should have more chops than a steak house IF that's true. :smug:
    Its great that you have the passion but my point was the reality of a schedule of Berklee. As you stated "kid at home" no income, no real costs, supported by others, (musician jokes aside), maybe one could shed that much... why weren't you in school for almost a year?
  4. GZ2


    Oct 21, 2009
    Dude, I don't know whether you've been able to find skype lessons or not by now, but I'm taking skype lessons form Jeff Berlin at the Player school and they are AWESOME...I'm definitely gonna figure out how to go down and at least do the one week course.
  5. henry2513

    henry2513 Supporting Member

    May 9, 2011
    Los Angeles, Ca
    Yep, I'd wake up before school, practice for an hour. Go to school, I went to an arts/music magnet, had class until noon, practiced non stop until 4:30 or played in combo or big band which Is why I knew jackpoopie about harmony and all the other things that would have made me a better musician when I graduated. Got home at 5:30 and would play until 10.

    That's lets see...almost 10 hours, summer time, xmas vacation, I literally did what you said. Woke up, ate, practiced, stopped for a poop, ate, practiced went to bed after 10. My parents had a giant fit haha.

    The next year I got a girlfriend so I practiced less :p

    Sadly that was about a million years ago and I took a loooooong break from bass but I did have some decent chops back then :)

    Now..well it's a different story lol I get in 3-4 hours a day.
    remcult likes this.
  6. melodiaopus

    melodiaopus Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2007
    Austin, TX
    You know I was going to sign up for those lessons, but never got around to it. I have ping ponging back and forth the idea of either going to Player's School of Music or Berklee. Since PSOM is simply a Player's school. Learn all the aspects of being an amazing musician. The only thing is, is that they don't offer scholarship/financial Aid which I'm pretty sure I would get if I went to Berklee. From my understanding if you were born before 1989 at Berklee you get $5,000 off your tuition. I have spoken with Vicki from the Player's School of Music about the One-Week Intensive and also taking Skype lessons. I have not spoken with anyone from Berklee, which I really need to since it'll be a possibility.

    Thanks for the suggestion, I hope I can schedule a lesson with Jeff Berlin, or better yet go to the Player's School of Music.
  7. henry2513

    henry2513 Supporting Member

    May 9, 2011
    Los Angeles, Ca
    You ought to schedule some time with one of their counselors. If I had the opportunity to do what you're about to do I'd jump at it, just make sure all is well on the homefront.
  8. melodiaopus

    melodiaopus Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2007
    Austin, TX
    You mean speak with one of the Berklee counnselors? I think that would be a good idea. If I do go to Berklee I would go through the Diploma program not the Degree since I already have the Degree. I want to solidify any thing that I didn't learn while going to college locally. Since there wasn't even a good Jazz Studies program at the school I went to. The program as brand new when I went to the school. So, I feel like I missed a lot and paid too much for what I got from the school. Hardly any resources and no bass instructors... how is that possible:confused:
  9. I highly recommend anyone considering a undergraduate music major to learn the difference between a diploma, certificate, BA, BFA, BM, BMUSED and a music minor. Once you fully understand the differences and similarities, play dumb and ask faculty in prospective music departments to explain it to YOU. If they can’t, they failed the audition.

    Adjuncts in a music department can be solid gold or pure marching-in-place junk. Ask questions… do THEY have at least the equivalent of the degree you want? Never mind the cool bit… what can they DO for you?

    If you can’t tell an educator from a salesman, you’re in big trouble.
  10. The real purpose of going to a music school is not to learn, but to prove yourself to others who can provide you with work, during, and after school. Sure, you will learn while on school, but your main purpose is to show to your instructors and other better than you musicians that you can play, are easy to work with, dependable, reliable and have good ideas, when called upon to be creative.

    To succeed in music school you essentially have to always be one step ahead of your class. Sorry to be harsh, but, having been there, that's the way it is. I went back after years of playing, to fill holes, and while my jazz skills were not as good as others, I had a better grasp of music, work ethic and the realities of playing live, so I got the calls for the pickup gigs.
    When you go to music school you will be given a lot of information, but you need to understand the framework of how to use it, so that all those scales, modes, etc., do not become a mess of souless wanking. I mean, I look back and laugh at some of my post school recordings, where I thought I was "it" because I could play this scale against that chord, really fast. Now I hear it as "it didn't mean S$t". To quote Mingus- "Better Git It in Your Soul"

    That said, consider Loyola School of Music in New Orleans, my school. Learn Jazz where jazz was born..
  11. :confused:
  12. melodiaopus

    melodiaopus Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2007
    Austin, TX
    I just spoke with Rich Appleman from Berklee. Amazing guy, he spent his time talking to me about all the possibilities as a bass student and things that I should be able to do before coming to the school to audition. He has sort of cleared the air of my conscious for going to school here. Sadly enough his next week is his last week as the Bass Department Chairman. He told me about the 5 Week Berklee workshop and possibly attending the Berklee International Network (BIN). There is a school that is credited in Fullerton, CA. Might be something I should be looking into. Applications for Berklee must be in by July 1st to attend Spring 2013 (January) Whoa!!!
    Spin Doctor likes this.
  13. Whit Browne

    Whit Browne Berklee Bass Department

    Feb 27, 2013
    Just to provide some clarity about Berklee Ensemble ratings... there are no "9's" that I can ever remember in my 40 years of teaching in the Berklee Bass Dept. We've had some students with "8's", which may or may not include the previous mentioned wonderful bass players that spent some time at Berklee. Your goal is to be the BEST you can be . The number
    you want to strive for is 120% and be the best at what you do.
  14. So 3+ years later, I'm curious how all this turned out... Did he make the big time? Did he make any time?
  15. Yes, I want to know, too! Normally, I'd be all against zombie threads, but I need an answer to this!

  16. Daconil


    Sep 29, 2015
    Northern Virginia
    Click on the links in his sig.
  17. Thanks, Daconil, I should've thought of that. :facepalm: Looks like he's doing really well!

    Daconil likes this.
  18. melodiaopus

    melodiaopus Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Hey everyone!

    Thanks for awakening the beast. It turns out I didn't end up going to Berklee (if this wasn't obvious). I did receive a partial scholarship to Berklee, but after speaking to several other past students I made the choice to decline their offer.

    I've been playing A TON of music in the Bay Area, but due to EXTREMLY high cost of living I'm working a day job at Google. Still figuring out how to take my playing to the next level, as I am sure we all are.

    I was working as a freelance musician for about a month before things got REALLY rough. I had a lot of work, but not enough to support my end of the rent. I'm still considering PSOM or possibly attending UNT for a degree in Jazz Composition.

    Thanks for getting this back up, it's super inspiring.


    -Adam Prado
  19. Working for Google sounds like a good gig!
    melodiaopus likes this.
  20. wrench45us


    Aug 26, 2011
    yeah, nobody goes hungry working for google -- literally -- there's a policy of provided food and drink within 50 feet of any workspace

    otherwise living in the Bay Area is incredibly expensive -- in part due to people getting google salaries
    and traffic is pretty insane -- I get almost daily traffic reports from a friend who lives in Alameda

    but then there are google busses and google boats to get google employees to work

    it could have turned out worse
    Bob_Ross and melodiaopus like this.

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