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What is a great city for a musician to live in?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by A-Step-Towards, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. A-Step-Towards

    A-Step-Towards Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2009
    Los Angeles California
    As of a few days ago I am officially a college graduate. I received my Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice with a Minor in Homeland Security. I got great grades so going on to get a Masters Degree is something I want to do eventually.

    I just turned 23 a few weeks back and now that I am graduated I want to move. I have never lived out on my own,but have wanted to move for sometime now. Most kids getting out of college are strapped with debt so they jump right into whatever job they can get. I took zero loans and was able to pay for college due to flipping basses, getting full financial aid due to my unemployed dad and also working. Thus I have no loans , no debts of any kind and I also have a bit of savings. Rather then jump right into a career I want to move to a more music oriented city and have a good time playing in bands. I don’t really care about what job I have as long as I can pay bills, thus once I decide on a city I want to start job hunting there.

    I know most people may think that I should get straight into a career related to my field of study but I rather have fun for 5 or so years and make a lot of memories.

    I am really just a small town guy , but I want to either live in Portland, Seattle or the LA region. Opinions? Any other opinions on other cities? I am really leaning towards Portland, I have family there and I have seen postings that its one of the top 10 musical cities.
  2. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    I'd say Portland or the SF bay area.

    Congratulations on getting your degree with out being buried in dept.
    My oldest son is ready to graduate with the same degree.
  3. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    No place like NYC for music. New Brunswick had a killing scene a few years back. Plus it's close to NYC and has herds of college gals.

    Nashville? Get to play with the best and that CJ degree will really come in handy. Madison Wi is one of the coolest cities I've been. Don't know about the music but it's a cool town. Boston has some of the best music going and is a cool place to be.

  4. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    BTW let me second you getting out of school debt free. I worked my way through school and got flack like just get a loan. I don't like debt. I see you don't either. That will make your life better. Believe me.

  5. A-Step-Towards

    A-Step-Towards Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2009
    Los Angeles California
    Thanks guys.

    Hdracer: I have thought about SF but I know living costs are crazy high there, but honestly it seems like a good place to look into , see what kind of jobs I can get there and so forth. Its a pretty handy degree in current times.

    Bawanarik:Great suggestions,2 friends from highschool live in Boston and went to Berklee-both are musicians and love it there. To be honest I have never been farther then Airzona so that side of the country is foriegn to me. You are correct though, I hate debt and I never want to take a loan for anything other then a house. It wasnt super easy but It was worth it graduating with the ability to do whatever.
  6. Nashville, cats

  7. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Tampa, FL.
    If you're interested in pursuing original music, I would not highly recommend Nashville.
  8. Congrats on the graduation and being debt free. I too have traveled down a similar path. I have spent eight years since graduation being a music / sports / travel bum playing in a bunch of bands and having adventures. I've had to live pretty cheaply at times but I am still debt free and find it amazing to see so many people around me with great careers who are paralyzed with debt. It rules their life and affects all their decisions. Brutal.

    If you find the promised land of a good music city let me know. I love it out west but IME thus far the east coast is better for gigging.
  9. hgiles


    Nov 8, 2012
    New York
    LoS Angeles
  10. bolophonic

    bolophonic SUSPENDED

    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    I did something similar when I graduated from college. I moved to Chicago and lived in Wicker Park in the early 90's and worked a million terrible jobs and played with a bunch of bands and went to thousands of terrific shows. It was an experience that I wouldn't trade for anything.

    What made that experience possible was the incredibly low cost of living in that city at the time, coupled with my willingness to put up with dangerous neighborhoods, sketchy jobs, tenuous living situations, cruddy dirtbag $300 apartments, walking everywhere, eating like a hobo, etc.

    I have a younger friend who moved to New York a couple of months ago. He had a semi (barely) convenient place to crash with his sister while he looked for an apartment. He managed to find a place for $1300 a month, but he has a career job.

    So by all means, do it. But if you are going to pick San Francisco or L.A. or New York, you will need to have a quasi-comprehensive plan besides playing music, because those are some of the most expensive places to live in America and it will be extremely rough starting at the bottom.
  11. jasper383

    jasper383 Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
    In a high cost of living city, you will likely need to work full time + just to make ends meet. This will really eat into your musical opportunities.

    For this reason alone a place like Memphis, imo, would be far more attractive than SF or NYC.
  12. Paul M

    Paul M

    Jul 21, 2005
  13. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Why bother getting the degree if you plan to spend the next 5 years wasting it?

    Today's employers have many candidates to choose from for every job they post. The guy who spent the last 5 years "finding himself" won't be on the list for long.
  14. bolophonic

    bolophonic SUSPENDED

    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Graduating from college in a bad economy already puts you at a disadvantage when you consider the amount of seasoned vets willing to accept entry-level positions in a stagnant job market. The willingness to rough it as a vagabond can expose a person to way more alternatives than just worrying about resumes.

    In my opinion, the best way to lay the groundwork for a long, interesting career is to develop a wide-reaching network and constantly improve your skills. That means technical skills, people skills, etc. A degree should be about more than a job. The OP is clearly adept at supporting himself creatively, so why wouldn't he want to continue to do so? Instead of just trying to get on the list to be a cop or a parole officer.
  15. arbitrary

    arbitrary Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    Boston, MA
    I think Austin might be up your alley
  16. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Because that's exactly what he worked so hard to achieve? And what alternatives will "roughing it as a vagabond" expose one too, exactly? Improving your skills is a great thing, but completely ignoring ones education in order to "make a lot of memories" does nothing to improve one's skills. AND, it sends a negative message to employers.
  17. bolophonic

    bolophonic SUSPENDED

    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    I can only speak for myself. Not everybody has to follow the standard plan for things to work out.
  18. gustobassman

    gustobassman I'm only here for the after party.. Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2011
    Sandy Eggo
    San Diego is great! A very diverse scene here too. Indie, electronica, metal, rock, reggae, you name it, we got it. :p
  19. Stilettoprefer


    Nov 26, 2010
    Portland for sure. Great music scene around here.
  20. Bryann


    Apr 28, 2012
    Definitely not Singapore thats for sure..
    Musicians are discouraged as most people are pressured to focus on their studies.
    The music scene and crowd here is dead too.
    Among Asia I would probably go with Japan and Thailand.