turning pro?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by patrickroberts, May 12, 2005.

  1. patrickroberts


    Aug 21, 2000
    Wales, UK
    how do you turn pro with or then again with any instrument? Do you have to sit exams and stuff and playing ability tests?
  2. ONYX


    Apr 14, 2000
    My definition:

    "Pro" simply means that playing music is your sole source of income.

    Being a "professional musician" does not mean that you can play well ( if at all ) , or that you are better than anyone else. It simply means that you don't have a "day gig ".

    Don't allow yourself to become starstruck or crippled by awe if someone tells you that they are a "pro". Instead, you should be impressed by their actual accomplishments.

    Other opinions and definitions will vary.
  3. If you get paid for it, you'e a pro. :bassist:
  4. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    There are also those out there that will tell you that getting to a point where you can actually feed yourself and a family by playing music, any kind of music, anywhere, even busking on a street corner is one heck of a lot harder that you may think and is in fact an "actual accomplishment"

    I would go so far as to suggest that it is in fact harder to eat off of a bass guitar than it is to play one.
  5. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    I think it depends what your eating...rice might be rather difficult, so would soup or chilli...a nice steak would balance just fine though, but you'd get steak juice all over your bass, which wouldn't be pretty.
  6. dhadleyray

    dhadleyray Guest

    Dec 7, 2004
    If you can pay the rent, eat and afford clothes and such, pat yourself on the back for being a pro.
    If you can be a pro, and maintain the enthusiasm you had when you started playing, then you are a demigod. I think that you can spend decades trying to make a living playing music, and when it starts to happen, you can have a hard time maintaining your enthusiasm. The stress can seriously affect your health, and trying to play doublebass when you are feeling less than perfect is difficult. Being a pro is one thing, but make sure you keep a sense of humour.
    I also think that if you are a pro, you'd better hang around other pro's. Amateurs will inspire you with their positive vibe toward music, but once you are a pro, you could have a hard time dealing with "amateur" thinking and "fantasies" regarding the business of music.
  7. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    There's a hard dose of truth in that. Once you get a face full of the reality..it's pretty tough to keep the same level of enthusiasm. And once you get the pleasure of working with real pros.....people that get the job done right every time without a bunch of stupidity or drama or ego...there's definatly no going back.
  8. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I agree completely. I mean, (insert popular, but barely competant bassist here) makes a living off it. He's a professional bassist, regardless of skill.
  9. I say crackers and chese and a glass of merlot. no problems with steak juice and you can just dust off the crumbs.
  10. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    I dissagree with this. I know a guy who only plays one or two gigs a month for low dollar, has no day job and lives off his girlfriend.
    I on the other hand have a day job and play 6-8 higher paying gigs a month.
    Who is the pro here?

    I consider myself a part time pro.

  11. Ding Ding Ding! That's the mark of a pro! Make a least a little money, but the main thing is to convince some woman to support you!

    We who only make money playing bass salute you!

  12. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    Wait, you mean EVERY bass player doesn't do this? I thought that's why we played bass, to get all the chicks. Don't tell me I should have taken up the GUITAR!
  13. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    True dat.

    Even though I'm only 22, I'm not a veteran, but I've had my ass kicked by the business enough. I've learned to always work with pros though. You're only going to go as far as the people you're playing with. The moment I turned 18 and was old enough to perform in a club, I searched out pro-level musicians. Most of my peers (age-wise) were playing in go-nowhere garage bands while they had stars in their eyes. I knew much better that (it helps that my father was a gigging bassist also, so I've been around the business all of my life).

    Crap's gonna happen: you'll have to play with a crappy monitor mix, drunk dancers are going to knock your bass out of tune, club owners are going to try and stiff you, you're going have to play while sick and tired, etc. It's showing up and putting on a show without letting the audience know that there's anything wrong that seperates the pros from the ametuers (or I should say it's one of the MANY things that separates the pros and ametuers).
  14. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I played with a couple (they were married) who went and did the LA/Sunset Strip scene for a while. From what they talk about, that was pretty much the norm: Musicians finding girlfriends to live with while they played gigs. Of course, they weren't making any money because the scenes so screwed up in LA, but that's why they needed the girlfriends. Ahh, to be a jigolo. :D
  15. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Richland, WA
    Turning pro just means that your main source of income is your playing.

    If you play and get paid but do not make the lions share of your income off playing you are semi-pro or part-time pro.

    How well you play, get along with others and the availability of gigs (among other things) will all factor in on whether or not you can turn pro.


  16. ArtisFallen


    Jul 21, 2004
    Sad... but so so true...
  17. ERIC31


    Jul 1, 2002
    Maricopa, AZ
    Interesting topic.

    I get paid for gigs which I play 2-3 times a month but I don't even consider myself a "pro". I have a day job. I play pretty well IMO but nowhere near as good as I want to be. I've played gigs where there were bassists which made me want to go back to the woodshed or quit!! Some of them don't consider themselves pro either. LOL

    I'm sure most of us know players who are incredible musicians but make little to no money. On the other hand, there are "pros" in chart topping "bands" who make piles of cash and can barely cut it live. (ghost musicians for the studio recordings)
  18. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    In all honesty, if you really love to play I would advise against it. Wanna kill something you love? Make it something you have to do. Trust me, I know what I'm talking about with this one. :help:

    Having said that, if you're Hell-bent then:

    Get your chops together
    Get your gear together
    Get your reading together
    Get yout time and feel together
    Learn ALL styles well
    Get whatever vocals you get happening, happening
    Network till ya puke...making "the hang" is very important
    Get a good demo together
    Look as good as you can, this matters like it or not
    Be smart with money
    Be easy to work with

    That's just off the top of my head, but it's a good start.
  19. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    So the guys that has no day job and plays one $50 gig a month and lives off his girlfriend IS the pro, and me that plays 6-8 $100 jobs a month and has a day job is the amateur. I knew it. :smug:
  20. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    "I'm NOT drinking any stinking merlot!"

    from the movie "Sideways"