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Professional or amateur?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by rontalsaurus, Apr 11, 2006.

  1. Yes, all of my income is derived from playing music and I do not have a second job.

    33 vote(s)
  2. Yes, most of my income is derived from playing music, and I have a second job to fill in the gaps.

    11 vote(s)
  3. I'd like to be, but the majority of my income is derived from work outside of the music industry.

    81 vote(s)
  4. No, I play regularly, but it is not my career. My income is derived from another job.

    160 vote(s)
  1. rontalsaurus


    Aug 19, 2002
    I've noticed that there are more high-end basses and rigs here than any other board on the net. It seems that nearly everyone has a Ritter, Fodera, Smith, Sadowsky, Stambaugh, etc etc.
    I wonder if that's simply because this board is populated with more professional players than other boards, or if it's simply coincidence. So...what do you do for a living? Are you a professional player (defined loosely as a full-time musician--live band, studio player, teacher, all of the above), or an amateur afficianado?
  2. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
  3. rontalsaurus


    Aug 19, 2002
    Maybe it would shed some more light on the situation if people posted their gear along with their response. If you don't feel comfortable, that's fine. But if you do, it would be interesting to see if there's a correlation.
  4. Hi, in my experience a good percentage of people that play professionally don't exactly have extremely lucrative jobs particularly when it comes to having dependants, health care etc..... My expereince is that those with the high end gear can afford it because they have other regular jobs. It's a generalization though which are always dangerous. You'll find golf balls on both sides of the fence.
  5. Ed Goode

    Ed Goode Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    I was a full-time touring/recording pro for almost 20 years, but for the last 16 years (yeah, I'm old ....) most of my living has been from outside the music industry. For 2005, ~ 80% was from my day gig, with the other ~ 20% from music.

    I don't see this changing in the future. Due to a series of personal family issues I can no longer deal with the instability of the music field .... I need a guaranteed safety net (health insurance, prescription plan, pension plan, etc) to insure the comfort of my family.

    The ~ 20% of my income goes towards savings, gear, and other little luxuries for my family ........ :cool:

    edit: Okay, gear list:
    FBB fretless 6
    FBB fretted 5
    FBB fretted 7 (on order, under construction)
    '86 MIJ Power Jazz Special
    '68 Goya fretless J (modified)
    Brice HXB406
    Hartke 3500
    Eden D210XLT
    Hartke 410 VX
    Hartke 115 VX
    Boomerang Phrase Sampler
  6. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    I have a day job. All my gear, though, is financed by gig money.
  7. mlwarriner

    mlwarriner Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2003
    KC, MO, USA
    amateur, gigger, but not bill-paying gigs.

    various cabs
    JAF basses

    (and rontalsaurus, shouldn't you be studying???)

  8. I'm a "weekend warrior" working about 60 gigs a year. I've played as many as 150. Playing bass is far more than a hobby but less than a career (I make $6 - 10K a year playing). My equipment is functional but not particularly expensive and most was bought used: MIJ fretless Fender Jazz Bass, MIM Fender Classic 50's P-Bass, P-Bass clone, USA Hamer 2-Tek CruiseBass.
  9. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    It's kind of a Catch-22 for me.

    Back when it was my profession, I had decent gear (occassionally playing a "high-end" bass), but I really couldn't afford a high end bass as life on the road often left me wanting to eat something decent and sleep somewhere comfortable rather than spending my hard earned money on gear I didn't need.

    Now that I'm older and have a good job, I can afford a higher end bass, but I chose to go back to my roots with a cheap Fender P-Bass that I'm modding. I'm also in the process of building my own custom bass for far less than a great high end bass would cost me.

    So, now being a non-career musician...while I can afford an expensive high-end bass, I don't want it. When I was a career musician and wanted one, I couldn't afford it.
  10. rontalsaurus


    Aug 19, 2002
    I am...I tend to spend a fraction of the time here that I do at ebassist. I can post here every once in a while and not risk getting sucked in and blowing an afternoon. I've had allan ban me until I give the word to come back because I can't stay away from that place otherwise.
    I just can't quit you ebassist...
  11. Eilif

    Eilif Holding it down in K-Town. Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    I think the sheer number and variety of kinds of players of all economic levels leads to the number of high end rigs you see. TB also has more SX threads per square inch than any bulliten board on the planet :D

    As for the relationship between pro-gear and pro players....
    As a former instrument salesman, I can tell you that most high end basses are purchased by people who are not professionals. That is not to say that professionals don't play high end instruments, but without the mass of middle to upper class buyers who purchase (and often collect) high end guitars and basses, their would not be the economic mass required to support nearly the selection of instruments or instrument builders that you see today.
  12. mlwarriner

    mlwarriner Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2003
    KC, MO, USA

    you know i'm just messing with you, right? i happened to stumble on your thread and decided to give you some flak about it :D:D

    it's all good man, you're the one who knows what you need to do :bassist:
  13. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Just a hobbyist.
  14. mark beem

    mark beem Wait, how does this song start again?? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    Alabama, USA
    Shouldn't this be in the "Bassists" forum???
  15. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003

    Good point.

    I could never justify high end gear for 30 years and it has never handicapped my ability to get good paying gigs or getting hired.
  16. Very much an amateur here, I'm 16 and I've been playing for a year... I've already spent over a grand on a rig though! :D
  17. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    You didn't have a selection for "hack", so I guess I'm just an amateur. My gear is in my sig.
  18. mark beem

    mark beem Wait, how does this song start again?? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    Alabama, USA
    I'm a pro BTW... Here's a pic of me on stage with the stones...


    ;) :bag:
  19. Ed Goode

    Ed Goode Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    And that's a great point :D

    A professional (or at the very least, a working-getting-paid-for-playing) bassist definitely does not need to spend several thousand on a bass. There are a massive amount of good to excellent basses that are moderately priced ..... I had a Brice Z6NT 6 string that was a great playing, great looking bass (that I never should have sold :rollno: ).

    The customer/audience doesn't care whether it's a Fender or a Fodera ..... can they appreciate the music, dance to it, clap along? And in fact, in real time applications, does the Fodera really sound that much better than the Fender?

    Don't get me wrong, I love my basses and I wouldn't want to be playing anything else. I'm blessed that I can afford these luxuries at my now ripe old age of 54, and I'm not one bit ashamed that I own them. But my trusty old Fender and even older trusty Goya FL would do the job for me just fine (.... just wish they had a few more strings :bag: )
  20. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    There are lots of folks here at TB with garden variety basses that you might see at GC or a Mom & Pop music store. The number of people actually have Sadowskys, Stambaughs, Celinders, etc. is pretty small, those guys just post a whole lot!:)

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