doing it for a living...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by j-raj, May 17, 2004.

  1. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA!
    OK, so it has been about a month since I have been active on TB... Some changes in my life have prompted me to focus on taking the leap into playing for a living.

    See, I hated my job, actually most day-jobs and I recently asked myself :

    I'm interested to :

    • Hear from other TB'ers that are playing for living.
    • Find out where the 'hired-guns' pool the bulk of their networking contacts from.
    • Hear about tips on getting the traveling/cruise-ship/corporate gigs.
    • Encourage others to take the leap, educated and ready.
  2. atldeadhead


    Jun 17, 2002
    So that explains it. Haven't seen many posts from you lately.

    I've always regretted not taking the plunge into a full time playing career. 10 years ago it would have been a viable option for me. I just never could seem to pull the trigger.

    I applaud your decision, sir. Best of luck to you. Keep us updated on your adventures from the road.
  3. I don't know this from experience, but I've *HEARD* that the playing on cruises really sucks. It's cool that you're playing music for a living, it's cool you're basking in the tropics, it's not cool that you're forbidden any social access to the passengers.

    Personally, I wouldn't want to play for a living. "Work is work, fun is fun, people who have fun at work are called prostitutes." No, I don't remember what movie that's from.
  4. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    So you're playing for a living now? Congratulations. Tell us about your gig(s).
    I have a friend who manages to play guitar for a living. He pays the bills by playing in about 5 gigging bands. He says that the only way that he can make it work is to always use the same booking agent for all of his groups. I have no actual experience to draw from, so that is the only bit of info I can pass along on the subject.
  5. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    As far as networking contacts...well, I get it from playing gigs. The more I play, the more people I meet and the more phone calls I get.

    You can only build up contacts by working steadily, taking every gig you can when offered, etc. Then of course you have to impress your gig-mates so they will keep you in mind for future work.

    I don't think there is any other way.
  6. Funkize you

    Funkize you Guest

    Nov 4, 2003
    Westminster Ca.
    This will be a very good topic, And Good for you J-Ray!! Pretty much I am in the same boat as you are right now!!
  7. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    True, while many jobs you can get through nepotism/networking, the bottom line with music is, can you play?

    There was a recent thread discussing things to do while surviving in the music business. (It's probaly near the bottom of this page, actually)

    And don't let anybody tell you that there's no money in music. There's money if you are savvy about the business, and if you're in the right scene. Yes, it's a hard life, but just about every type of work is unsecure nowadays. You could also look into teaching (if you are good at it). I've seen guys make obscene amounts of money, just from teaching.

    You probaly won't get rich from playing, but you have to ask yourself about your priorities. It looks like you've already did that. Money's a necessity, but having loads of it doesn't always = happiness.

    Happy jammin' :)
  8. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    well, some of the things that you may have enjoyed the most about playing, the release aspect, might not be there now, since it's a job. depending on the regularity of the gigs, and their quality, that may be a good or a bad thing.
  9. Josh Curry

    Josh Curry

    May 29, 2003
    Frisco, TX
    Jai, good for you dude! Let us know how it goes!
  10. Danksalot


    Apr 9, 2003
    Dallas, Texas, USA
    Endorsing Artist: SIT Strings
    I'm actually moving to Branson, MO next month to do the same thing. I hope everything goes well for you!
  11. neptoon


    Jul 25, 2000
    summerville, sc
    don't overlook maybe being a bandsman with the military...some of the best musicians you could ever work with wear a uniform...that's really no lie...
  12. Can I revive a dead thread here? I know J has a day gig again and there seem to be several people in this thread encouraging him to think carefully about it (read: discouraging).

    What are your experiences playing for bread? Who is doing it full time? What are you playing?
  13. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA!
    Sure revive away my friend! :p

    Yeah I found that due to a serious burglary and 2 health-related issues that happened towards the end of last year... I found it necessary to go back to having health insurance and a day gig. I actually like my day gig now, it's better than the financial industry (licensing and compliance) I was working in for the 5 years previous to '04.

    While I found it possible to play for a living and survive (I'm a networking and social junky!), my health was suffering (those who know me, know I have respiratory issues), smokey clubs and no health plan was really skating on a bit of thin ice.

    I'm also interested in hearing from others as well.
  14. In FL, health tends not to be an issue as there are very few venues who meet the strict requirements to allow indoor smoking. I, however, wouldn't trade your current situation (City, House, Job, etc) for full-time gigging in FL at all.

    It really seems like you do enjoy your gig. That's wonderful! My enjoyment comes in spurts :meh: