I know there area lot of bassists here who do music strictly as a hobby, rather than as their main profession. I cannot fathom this. I've played electric for about three years now (fretted at start, fretless for almost a year now), and I've played upright for a month. I know that I can make a living in music because I'm confident in my own skills, as well as my drive, passion, and dedication to music. It wasn't until this year that I decided I wanted to do music as a career consciously, but it's been there ever since my first lesson (I'd been playing for about six months at the time.) I don't mean this as an insult at all. I just can't comprehend someone being content with not exploring new ideas with their music, whether it's in their technicality, advanced harmonization, or just plain grooving evey moment. Is it just a lack of (or at least, a pretty small degree) of passion, a lack of confidence, or a cold hard sense of practicality that says you can't make a living at music? Maybe a family gets in the way? I would love kids, but I can sure wait until I'm middle aged for 'em. Almost all of my friends play, or have played an instrument at one point in their (relatively short, I'm 17 and most of my friends are +/- 3 years) lives. One of them is incredibly gifted with a fantastic ear. She's a good trumpeter, and if she really worked at it, I know she could more than make a living doing it. Good voice voice too -- and she's by no means a hideous troll, so singing gigs aren't out of the question either. But she doesn't want to do it professionally. Mind, she's also an incredible artist (visual) and that's what she wants to do, so I can't blame her too much -- at least she's pursuing one of her (several) gifts. Out of all of my friends, a number of whom have an incredible potential to make it at music if they put in the time, only 4 want to do music as a career and are actually working at it. A pianist (mostly classical, but he's got the chops to do jazz -- I've just got to find a way to introduce him to some Bill Evans,) a sax player (jazz,) guitarist (all styles, loves jazz, very talented, but he needs to really listen to more music,) and a drummer who could walk into a music school tomorrow if he wanted to (he's staying for an extra year of school though.) There's probably half a dozen more, and half a dozen others if given a couple more years. So what is it that holds the others back? What is it that holds you back?