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Where to go from here?

Discussion in 'Ask Anthony Wellington [archive]' started by Birdland11, Jan 4, 2012.


  1. Hello Mr Wellington, it is a pleasure and an honer to talk to you, even on a forum. I am a fan and have been for years. I love the groove workshop and learned alot from it. My question is this ; I love playing bass, I take it very seriously, I am in a pretty successful Philly area coverband, I do some sub work, I write and record my own stuff.... You get the idea. I am 33 years old and not sure where to go next... I love the coverband thing but I really wanna get into more. I live in the Philadelphia area and im wondering if there are better opportunities elsewhere??? ( LA) (NY) I love to play all styles of music and would love to start doing some studio work. I just dont know what steps to take. Should I look for auditions, should I play in cover bands? How can I take this career to the next level??? This is my full time job, I have the skills and the drive, Im just a little lost. Any advice from you would be so great, Just a point in the right direction. Thank you so much!!! I will also include a few links to some videos and if you have the time, maybe you could check them out, and let me know what you think. Much Respect and Much Love....Thank you Funky Christmas - YouTube Edwin Mccain and Second Majesty - YouTube Second Majesty @ The Deer Park Tavern - YouTube
     
  2. Ant Wellington

    Ant Wellington

    Jan 4, 2011
    Maryland
    Hey Birdland,

    I think that is a question that only you can answer. I mean,...I can answer it for myself but I can't answer it for you or anyone else.

    You have to know what it is that you're in this for. You have to define what 'success' means for you.

    For me,..

    I love playing in cover bands in bars and clubs. It's so much fun to do that. I hope that I can always do that! But it isn't enough. I really love touring. Mostly because I like going to new places and experiencing new cultures. But if I only toured it wouldn't be enough either. I love being a studio musician and engineer. I love writing, producing and playing keyboards, guitar and drums. Because of that I built a commercial studio. I created the scene I wanted to be a part of. But if I were only a studio musician I'd be unfulfilled. I love teaching! I have a unique way of seeing and presenting musical concepts that resonate with a lot of people. And I like that some ideas that I've come up with is becoming part of 'expected' music curriculum. But I'd go insane if I only taught. And Clinics are a way for me to teach large groups of people and therefore require a different set of teaching/performance chops. But if I only did that I wouldn't nearly work enough.

    I think of myself as have 5 'major' jobs and a lot of 'minor' jobs. My jobs are: local musician, touring musician, recording musician, clinician and teacher. I treat them separately. I consider myself a successful musician because I'm able to do all 5. They balance each other out and take up the slack for each other.

    But the thing that I realize the most is that I'm a small business owner. Most musicians aren't financially successful because they fail to realize that they are running a business. Musicians shouldn't be majoring in music in college. At least not with a performance degree. We should be adoring in business or music business. I'm not even sold on a music education degree anymore. Those degrees are just passing on outdated teaching concepts. Sign up for some business classes at your local community college to learn how to promote your work and manage the money that you make. A business saavy average musician will be far more successful than a great musician with no business skills. We see it all around us every day.

    By the way, I didn't move to New York, Nashville or Los Angeles. I didn't need to relocate because I can operate out of the little beach town that I live in which happens to be only 40 miles from DC. If you have the a desirable skill set people will seek you out,...no matter where you are.

    Decide for yourself what would make you happy and provide a living for you. Then make sure that you are prepared in every way that you can be. And know that your definition of 'having skills' may be very different than the people who you want to hire you. Can you sight read proficient enough to read anything someone may put in front of you? If you can't answer yes to that then you aren't prepared to be a studio musician.

    I'm sure that you know this but I teach at Bass Specialties in the Philly area once a month. Drop in and say 'hello' to Glenn and me.

    peace,
    anthony

    "Smells Like Funk"
     
  3. Well said, thanks Ant. You are right about the skill aspect, I hope I didn't come off cocky by that, my sight reading is pretty bad, but I'm working on it. ( I forget that means the difference between getting a job or not.) I would love to book a lesson with you, when are you in Philly? Thanks again for the response, you have given me alot to think about.
     
  4. Ant Wellington

    Ant Wellington

    Jan 4, 2011
    Maryland
    Hey Birdland,

    No, you didn't come off as cocky. But like most bass players, our reference for how good we are at anything is based on the other musicians around us and not the musicians who do it at a high level.

    Almost always when a new student says he knows the notes on his bass, music theory and how to read music,...they usually don't know it. Most bass players can eventually find the notes on their bass. But that's not the same as knowing the notes. And if I ask most bass players what minor key is F Phrygian in they can't answer. But they will be the same players who say they they're knowledgeable.

    Your gauge of where you are and someone else's gauge will almost always be different.

    Glenn Marrazzo sets the appointments in Philly. Give him a call. As you can imagine I stay pretty booked there. A lot of guys usually end up just making the 3 hour drive down and doing a 3 hour lesson.

    peace,
    anthony
     

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