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Pro bassist vs. Amateur Bassist

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Buogon, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. Buogon


    Feb 2, 2009
    New Jersey
    Is there a REAL difference between the two ?
    Would you consider a pro bassist one that has years of experience and never played at the high profile level, or would you still call them amateur, or would you call some one with little experience who is or has played at the high profile level
    a pro bassist. Second, when someone ask you what do you tell them pro or amateur and why ?
  2. PSPookie


    Aug 13, 2006
    Ocoee, TN
    If you make a living playing bass then you are a pro.
  3. mkrtu9


    Mar 2, 2006
  4. snapple


    Nov 25, 2003
    Victoria-Vancouver Canada
    Endorsing Artist: PCL Vintage Amps
    a "pro" bassist is somebody who makes all or at least a good chunk of their income from playing. an amateur bassist is someone who makes little or no money through music. music is mostly a hobby for them.

    i call myself i pro because i make my living through bass. and while i'll probably take up a day job again, i'll still consider myself pro because a large chunk of my income will still come from playing.
  5. Liguically speaking:

    A 'Professional' is someone that gets paid for their actions. An amateur does their action for pleasure or non-financial gains.

    So: Yes :)
  6. Tired_Thumb

    Tired_Thumb Guest

    Is Dr. Nick Riviera a professional doctor? He may not know what's connected to the red thing, but he gets paid for his services, and therefore, he's a professional doctor.
  7. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Well that's a loaded question. Are you talking in the pure definition sense (amatuer plays for free, professional does it for a living), or to designate a quality of player? Because there are bassists out there who hardly make a dime or who only play for a couple hundred dollars on a weekend, that can play circles around guys out there who are making a living playing music with some second rate touring band, yet can barely do more than hold down eighth notes on the root.

    I use the term "Semi-Professional" to describe myself. I do not make a full time living at it, but I do play a lot, and for pay (with exceptions for my church and the occasional benefit).
  8. +1

    That's where I'm at too. I wouldn't call myself a professional by trade but I definitely take on every project with a professional attitude and strive to get better every day, which is more than I can say of some professional bassists I know. It's not that they're bad players but they just don't strive to get to the next level like I do. They do what they do well but that's it.
  9. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Don't think professional or amateur, think serious or not serious.
  10. Godbody


    May 27, 2008
    That's what first came to my mind. I'm pretty sure, from a financial standopint, music will only ever be a black hole for my money to dissapear into, but that doesn't stop me from practicing as much as possible and playing any and every show possible, no matter how dodgy or poorly organized.
  11. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Think skill set, you can be serious but still lacking in skill.
  12. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    I'm not sure I'm with that Phil, there are cats out there who may not have my skill sets but are DEFINITELY hitting it harder than me right now. I'm serious, they MO serious, even if they aren't quite caught up yet.

    I hear what yer sane, tho'. Wherewithal is wherewithal, recompense or naught....
  13. Mikio


    Feb 21, 2009
    Santiago de Chile
    well, a Pro tends to be better, haven't seen any really outstanding amateur, not even in youtube or stuff like that Dx [Pro being a guy who lives from playing bass]
  14. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    Always a loaded question for me - I've seen, met, and known a number of "professional" players that fit the description by standard definitions that weren't really accomplished or knowledgeable by any means. I'd call those guys "lucky" or "in the right place at the right time".
  15. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    The pro player makes better mistakes than the amateur. He also knows how to either cover them up, or get away with them.
  16. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    You can have awesome amateurs (I've known many) and mediocre pros, all that counts is the paycheck.
  17. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    True dat!
  18. I would describe a Professional Bass Guitarist - or indeed any professional Musician as:

    Someone who is able to play any style of Music - rock, pop, funk, reggae, jazz, mor, etc.

    Know standard songs by heart and fake (busk in British) the ones he doesn't.

    Read Music.

    Fit in with the rest of the band around him.

    Turn up on time time and stay (reasonably) sober!!

    If you don't like the Gig - smile and take the money - it got me through anyway :).
  19. von buck

    von buck

    Feb 22, 2008
    wolcott ct.
    That's it.

    I'll say hi to Pete Friday.

  20. So money is the deciding factor between being Pro and Amateur?

    Money (as we've seen as of lately) can easily lose all of its value, then what? we're all amateurs?

    In my eyes, a Pro musician is someone who takes his music as seriously as any job, regardless of whether you are successful in a financial way.

    PS: Punk legends BLACK FLAG never made much money during their original 10 year existence, more like what you guys would consider "LITTLE MONEY" but I would never dare consider a guy like Greg Ginn an amateur.

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