Play bass for a living, or just a hobby...

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Thumpinthenight, Dec 31, 2013.

Main reason for playing Bass

Poll closed Jan 25, 2014.
  1. Play Bass for a living

    27 vote(s)
  2. Play Bass just for hobby

    157 vote(s)
  1. Thumpinthenight


    Apr 13, 2004
    New York
    This may have been brought up before, but just wondering how many of us are playing bass as a main source of income, and who is playing for a side hobby and a few x-tra buck$. Of course, we all love playing bass or we would not be here reading this.
    For myself, I have a semi-proffessional day job as a Chemical Lab Research Tech, and also work the same place as a relief Stationary Engineer boiler operator. I somehow find some time for my bass, and playing in my own personal band project as well, but am thinking about an "early retirement" and picking up the "bass pace". I have several band friends that are always asking me to play for them as well. What are thoughts and your situation? :bassist:
  2. You should have done a poll ;)
  3. Dbt25677


    Jun 9, 2013
    Just as a hobby for now (since I'm only 15), but I'm hoping I can get a career in it.
  4. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    You need to do the math. How much do the gigs pay? How often do they really gig? Can you live on that amount?
  5. Thumpinthenight


    Apr 13, 2004
    New York
    Good advice, Phangton.
  6. Adam Wright

    Adam Wright Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2002
    I am a fulltime professional musician. I do ok at best but I do make as much and usually more playing every week as I did working for my family as an inside salesman at an electrical supply ac(fun in Texas summers) and lots of heavy lifting. I had a decent musical education but always tried to do the original band thing after I got out of school and didn't really take the plunge into being a full time musician until 28, which I feel puts me at a big disadvantage considering one of the local colleges(UNT, which I did not attend) has one of the best music programs on earth and a lot of these guys stick around.
  7. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    Weekend warrior/ hobbyist.
    There are very few here who make a living playing bass.
    Most of my buddies teach full time to make a living in music.
  8. pfox14


    Dec 22, 2013
    Making a living as a musician is not too easy, so I'll keep it as a hobby.
  9. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    I took up bass, my first instrument, in my early 40s, just for fun. I already had a successful career, so never wanted anything more than fun out of playing bass.
  10. VeganThump


    Jun 29, 2012
    South Jersey
    I would say I'm a serious hobbyist. I literally make no money at all from playing bass, in fact it actually ends up costing me a lot more than I make. I'm in an original band though so it's pretty much impossible to make any decent money in a local, original band. I don't do it for money though, I do it because I love it. I look at it this way, some guys race cars, some guys work on motor cycles, I play music. For some reason, a lot of people can't wrap their head around that analogy, every time I tell someone I'm in a band, they ask me if I'm trying to be famous or if I'm making any money. When I tell them the answer is no to both question, they look at me like I'm an idiot and ask me why am I in a band then.
  11. Limadito


    Mar 5, 2011
    Just a sitting room hobbyist.
  12. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    I wish I could do it for a living but at this point I would have to say I do it as a hobby with hopes to make a decent living off of it. I have no delusions like my guitarist, Im more realistic. I have all the confidence in the world in my band regardless, but Im real about it. So as much as I would love to say I do it for a living, I have to be honest and say I am at the hobby point with hopes of it becoming a moderate to successful living.
  13. NailDriver


    Dec 27, 2008
    Honestly, I like being a weekend warrior. I have a day job which affords me the gear I want (mostly,) but I am concerned that if I were to try to squeak out a living playing I might not like the playing as much. That, or I would have to take crappy gigs to make ends meet.

    If I were in a major city it might be a different story, though.
  14. FerK

    FerK Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2011
    Hobby only. I have a very good paying job in Marketing, and I'm "only" 40 years old. Retirement is still away, and can't imagine making anywhere close to what I make as a musician. Although the local market pays hobby-bands pretty well (around $1000/night, no matter how many musicians are in the band), the local circuit is too small, and touring would be out of the question. So...hobby it is, at least for the next 20 years or so.
  15. edpal

    edpal Banned

    Oct 3, 2007
    Your poll is too limited (I could swear it was created by bluewine). "playing bass seriously while hoping to transition to pro gigs." "Playing at a pro level but not expecting pay because it's all originals". The contention that playing is either hobby or make-a-buck work is insulting to the approximately 60% of TBers that have no interest in cover band work but do not consider their efforts "hobby".
  16. Maz


    Jan 9, 2011
    Hobby player. I got over wanting to "make it" when my first band went sour 20 years ago and I realized I don't really like the music scene. I even quit playing bass for 8 years at one point, but came back to it, and now I'm in a garage band with no ambition to become more than that. I have full time stable work and am going to school part time in addition to having two other hobbies :woodworking and keeping a reef aquarium. Playing bass for me is a creative outlet and a way to blow off steam. I love it, but I would never try to make a living off it.
  17. RedLeg

    RedLeg Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2009
    Kaiserslautern, Germany
    Nov Shmoz Ka Pop?
    i play for the army. I consider it semi-pro. Pro's have techs, roadies, and groupies!
  18. Marial

    Marial weapons-grade plum

    Apr 8, 2011
    100% hobbyist, I'm not even playing in a band at this point.
  19. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
  20. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
    I have done both over the past 35 years. I do a lot of gigs and recording work. I have also done some music for a couple of television shows and some foreign films.