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Do you enjoy playing less if you are a professional

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by behindthenotes, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. behindthenotes


    Jun 10, 2008
    Musician documentary website
    H Guys

    We have posted this as our weekly discussion on our Forum but would be interested to hear your views on this

    Do you enjoy playing less if you are a professional ?

    Before we kick off lets just clarify the context of “professional” in this post – it is a person who makes their sole income from playing music.

    As a sport lover it’s nice to be able to particpate and enjoy it. The thought of being a pro sports person is an inviting one –full time training, racing. But then there is the flip side – you don’t win you don’t eat. I wonder if this stress would detract a professional from the enjoyment of racing.

    This prompted the same question to be asked of music – everyone would love to be a professional musician, full time playing, practising, writing. There’s obviously no ”race” to win but in musical terms would the enjoyment of being professional be dulled slightly by having to take that “so and so gig” or recording date? Is it more appealing to be semi-pro and be able to choose what you want to play rather than HAVING to play certain gigs to make ends meet ?
  2. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Nope - I love playing!

    Some gigs are better than others, but I love playing bass! I love practicing, too....
  3. Interesting topic. I spent about 15 years as an adult making my living playing bass (and about 5 years prior to that as a kid making a 'living' playing weekends). While I always kept a good attitude, and I was very lucky to typically play with very good cats (I've always been a freelance player), there were times between regular gigs that I had to play some truly horrible stuff (i.e., pickup wedding bands, subbing with 'part time wedding band' type bands, etc.). I must admit, there were some dark days.

    Also, those 6 night a week regular gigs that sometimes went years resulted in a strange lifestyle that was hard to keep 'healthy' (if you know what I mean).

    Now that I am a 'part time but still serious player' (by serious, I don't mean necessarily 'great' or anything like that, but that I practice every day and really try to grow, or at least maintain my skills!), I enjoy literally every gig I do. The difficulty is keeping your chops and skills up enough to still play with the full time cats. That can be very difficult when you have another life.

    All in all, I am happier at this point than when I was playing 320 or so nights a year back in the day. The primary challenge now is to 'not suck' when gigging only 4-10 nights per month.


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