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Making it all happen...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by JazznFunk, Nov 9, 2000.

  1. JazznFunk


    Mar 26, 2000
    Asheville, NC
    Lakland Basses Artist
    I've been discussing this a lot lately with the guitarist in my band and with the other musicians I work with a lot and wanted to see what others thought about it...

    As a college student with ambitions of making it as a musician, while NOT studying music full time in college, it is very hard to find the time sometimes to accomplish all that I want musically. What I'm doing in school is sort of a backup plan for me later on, and to further enrich my character and my life experience. The trouble with this arises when you want to play more than do other things (like homework), even when those other things take priority. Even though I want to play more, I can't neglect my other tasks. Music and my schoolwork occupy the same spot on my list of priorities, but sometimes one gets more attention than the other. I freely admit to slacking off on my schoolwork sometimes to play more, but I always rebound. I always balance it out. I feel that I will eventually reach the potential I believe I have as a bass player and musician on down the road, but school is sort of an obstacle or roadblock that, for me at least, cannot be avoided. I'm working just as hard at my music and know I'll get there 100%, but it will take me much longer than if I were concentrating on music alone.

    Some of my fellow musicians here at the university feel this isn't possible... that it isn't likely that you will reach your full potential if you are not focused on music 100%. I disagree, and feel that if you want it badly enough, if you recognize obstacles and deal with them, that you will be able to reach your full potential.

    What do you all think? I would dare say that in some form or fashion, EVERY serious musician who loves and reveres their craft has had to deal with this. Any comments, experiences or words of wisdom out there? :)
  2. the Qintar

    the Qintar

    Jul 24, 2000
    i could see you reaching your goal sooner if it was the only thing you were focusing on, but i think its possible to still reach it if youre not focused on it 100%, itll just take a little longer, because of the other things you have to worry about at the time, youd be slowed down a little, but id think youll still reach it.
  3. Deynn

    Deynn Moderator Emeritus

    Aug 9, 2000
    I can only speak from MY heart and mind about music. And for me...it is a passion...a religion.
    When I was a young musician....music was ALL I did. I would play all day and all night....with anyone...anywhere.
    I was fortunate enough to receive a musical education that one could never get from a school.
    Should YOU do that? Well, you have to follow your own heart, but I do not see how one could "make it"..without giving 100%. Of course....even that is no guarantee....:)

  4. JazznFunk


    Mar 26, 2000
    Asheville, NC
    Lakland Basses Artist
    I agree, because I share that same passion. This past summer when I was not in school, music was literally all I did. I gave up getting a job so I could have extra $$ in my pocket to play 4 and 5 hours a day, and it paid off. With school in the mix though, I'm STILL that passionate about it, but I have other things in the way. I'm generally either practicing or playing by myself or with my band, or with other guys at least 6 out of 7 days and/or nights during the week. I guess I'm having to give 200% overall... 100% to music and 100% to my studies. :) At least that's how I feel about it.
  5. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    You don't need a backup plan, you can always go back to school if you want to get out of music. If you want to be a musician, why NOT major in music? You can always minor in some other subject or even do a dual major.

    If you are not gonna be a nusic major, at least take any and all music courses available at your school. I studied theory and piano as part of my humanities requirements.
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I think the answer here is in what you mean by two key phrases - "making it as a musician" and "achieving your full potential".

    Over 20 years of playing music, I have met musicians who have "made it" - that is made a living out of being in a successful band, but who put nothing like 100% into music and are quite frankly "not that good" - but they were in the right place at the right time, picked up the bass spot and have stayed with it. (I think we could all nominate people like this!)

    Conversely, I have met dedicated musicians, with incredible skill and originality - who will go away and practice solidly for weeks and months to get to the state where they are expressing their full potential on their instrument - but who still don't really make a living out of music. They might earn a few thousand a year, but not enough to live on.

    You have no guarantee that whichever option you choose will get you the life you want - life's not fair, but we just have to get on and do what we think is for the best. Most careers advisers will tell you that there is a very limited chance of a career in music - but, somebody's got to get that chance and it could be you. Only you can say whether you are prepared to sacrifice a lot for music, in the knowledge that you might never be successful.....
  7. JazznFunk


    Mar 26, 2000
    Asheville, NC
    Lakland Basses Artist
    Up until a couple of months ago, I *was* a music major. I'm doing a music minor along with my other major (Multimedia Arts and Sciences) However, the music program at my university is quite slack. None of the professors who teach in the department want to be here. They've told that to students before, and I've experienced it firsthand in some of my lessons I've taken as part of the music curriculum. They're only here for the perks, and the money. It's sad, but true. I became disenchanted with the music program as far as a major is concerned this term. I decided that instead of putting myself through an inferior program and possibly getting burnt out and losing my passion for music (which began to happen earlier this term till I reworked things), I'd simply minor in it, continue studying and playing on my own, and go for it that way. I've already taken a lot of music courses and plan to take them until I graduate, but it's not my focus of study school-wise.

  8. JazznFunk


    Mar 26, 2000
    Asheville, NC
    Lakland Basses Artist
    For me personally, "making it" means achieving my full potential. I'm not looking at money as an issue with my music. I'm simply looking at being able to achieve my full potential as a player, and if I can make money at music, that's icing on the cake. I'd rather make nothing playing music and feel artistically fulfilled, and have others enjoy it as well.

    Looks like I didn't make myself as clear as I wanted in my original post as far as my goals/ambitions are concerned. But this is good, it's helping to get to the core of the issue(s) I'm dealing with. Thanks, Bruce. :)
  9. Deynn

    Deynn Moderator Emeritus

    Aug 9, 2000

    I thought about this a bit more last night...and I CAN sympathize with you. I did go through the same thing, but as I was into music at a early age...my dilemma came in high school. I had to divide my time between trying to "make it":) in music...and make it through school.
    Somehow...I managed it and I am sure that you will too. :)
  10. mikemulcahy


    Jun 13, 2000
    The Abyss
    I certainly know what you are going through. I stuggled with those same issues in pre med. But what was the determining factor was, can i eat, pay rent, and all those other small annoyances while i try to reach my full potential. IMHO you have plenty of time to practice and hone your skills, but maybe after school. Why struggle when you can make it a little easier on yourself be getting an education first, it gets harder to go back the older you get.

    But thats my opinion, I wish you well.

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