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Who here has guts enough to..

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by tubajoe, Jul 30, 2004.

  1. Quit their full time job and decide to make music their career? How many people here put up with dip wad bosses, living paycheck to paycheck and have finally decided to practice every day with their band and start to go on the road gigging with professional musicians? huh? huh? anybody got enough guts to do this?
  2. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone. Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    I guess the guts:wages ratio needs to be determined. If your working full time for minimum wage, I think less guts are required.
  3. Nick Gann

    Nick Gann Talkbass' Tubist in Residence

    Mar 24, 2002
    Silver Spring, MD
    I decided to go straight to being a professional musician. I'm going to college to major in Music Education and Performance, with the tuba as my main instrument.
  4. lbanks


    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
    Been there and back and there and back and there and back...
  5. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    I did it backward. I started out as a full time musician and then after 10 years decided to get a straight job to support my living habit. The real reason is that the IRS nailed me pretty good and I just figured it was time to get a job that took taxes out for me because I wasn't very good at it. :(
    On top of that, the club scene around here was drying up and a lot of the bars were going to weekends only for live entertainment.
    After I got out I told my self that music was not going to make or break me and it had to be fun or I would leave it behind. I am happy to say that I am gigging again part time and it is fun, and the money's not bad.
  6. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Or if you are unemployed, even less.

    Guts, or bravery is a relative thing. Guts is directly proportionate to what you have to lose. The less you have to lose, the less guts is needed.

    Guts work in the opposite way as well. It takes guts to leave, or trim down something you love for another calling. For some of the guys who decided to be a weekend warrior, or basement jammer instead of working to become the next <insert name here>, it took guts to do what they had to do for family, country, etc..

    As for me, I did leave a career to pursue music full-time. The biggest challenge was overcoming an addiction I had. I was addicted to eating. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't give it up. Worse yet, I had to do it everyday. So years later, I'm still addicted and I work a day job to support the addiction. My wife is also addicted as well, so I'm supporting her addiction as well. What a co-dependent life I live. ;)

    Anyway, I gig a little less than I used to, but I make better money for the gigs I do play.
  7. ConU


    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    Going"on the road"with your band does'nt necessarily qualify you as a professional musician. ;)
    I'm with Jive1...the determining factor is how much food you have in your walk-in fridge at any given time. :D
  8. Jeb


    Jul 22, 2001
    When I was younger (early 20's) I did leave a job as a small market local TV news photographer to play 6 nites a week, live in motels and drive all day to the next town on Sundays. I turned 21 on the road.
    We all make bad choices, and this was one for me.

    I took a float trip down the Kenai river for king salmon a few years ago and the guide had to take clients out every day whether he felt like fishing or not. You'd think that a job like that would be great if you love to fish. But then it becomes a job and fishing isn't as fun anymore. Thats my analogy.

    I've committed myself to a couple of projects now and I make a few extra bucks a month and I love to play. But if playing was a full time job, I have to wonder how much I'd like it after awhile. I guess it depends who you are, everyone is motivated by different goals. I'd rather come home at night.
  9. Davehenning


    Aug 9, 2001
    Los Angeles
    I spent 8 of my last ten birthdays in either a venue, studio, hotel, airport or tour bus. I love it, but it is not for everyone.

    There is not really a "guts" factor involved. You just have to learn to do without.... I still get woozy in the presence of Ramen noodles.

    But if you want good financial/home/personal stability and to be able to sleep in the same bed every night, then touring or "the dream"(whatever they call it) might not be for you.
  10. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    I have enough guts to not try very hard at my day job, save money and pay off debt while I still have it, and then try to be a fulltime musician when I eventually get fired. If for some reason they don't fire me I might quit within the next 5 years.
  11. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    To be professional, you do whatever it is you do well enough to be invited back. Whether it's the studio or the assembly line. And one learns through experience.

    During a 20 year stint in the graphic arts industry, I've been laid off many times. Yet I still found other work in the same industry. 7 years ago, I switched careers. There's no "secure" job anywhere anymore.(in the real world anyway)

    I was young when I started, but that's (usually) the case for musicians too. It's not neccesarily guts, as it is desire to learn, stay curious, and learning to use the criticism you get constructively.
  12. while I for one have not had to be in a situation like this, I am perfectly content with sleeping on peoples floors, touring in a van, and playing for 4 people in the audience.
  13. Humblerumble


    Feb 22, 2004
    + 1
  14. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    I gave up my "straight" job, (a pretty doggone good one at that), some years ago to devote my time to playing bass........but I don't see where it takes any exceptional amount of "guts."

    Sure, you're going to live on a diet of Ramen noodles for a time while you're elbowing your way up to where you can make a living in music.......but many college students put up with some pretty rough times, too, as they go for the education that will establish them in their chosen field.

    Nope, to me, the guy in the Kevlar vest, walking down a street in Iraq or Afghanistan, is the person with the real "GUTS!"
  15. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    Hmmmm, lets see.
    Sleep in a van down by the river with 3 or 4 other guys and hope you have enough money to make it to the next gig so you can play to a bunch of drunks?

    Or sleep in a $600,000 house on a couple of acres with woods and a stream running through the property and cuddle up to my wife every night and and wake up to find my kids snug in their beds and play to drunks on the weekends.

    Tough choice, guess which one I made?
  16. Yah, that's kinda how I see it too... I finished my post-secondary schooling back in April, and the first way to make money I found when fresh out of school was picking up more gigs. 3 months later and I'm playing 10 shows over this week and last... I'm not sure I'd consider myself a professional musican but at this point I am a full-time working musician.

    I love playing but I'm really not sure if this is going to be the career choice for me... I wouldn't be surprised if I bounce back and forth like someone else mentionned.

    I'm finding that being on the road as a bassist for me is about 50% like being on a paid vacation and 50% like being at work 24/7... I guess I'll see which way that balance swings in the future.
  17. if I could find people with the guts (and the talent) to pull off the set list/influences I want to do (Black Flag, Stooges, Minutemen, fIREHOSE, Husker Du, Velvet Underground, New York Dolls, etc.), I'd go pro in a heartbeat (well, once the band gets seriously going anyway.)

    That having been said, if it weren't for my ability to play bass back in the Reagan years (after I graduated high school in 1985), I'd be homeless or dead.
  18. sincity

    sincity Supporting Member

    Oct 16, 2002
    I play with an aspiring solo artist (singer) who is incredibly talented, has killer songs and should be signed.

    Well, she did get "signed" as she put it, on Friday night. Not with a label, but will be represented by an entertainment manager / producer with label and distribution contacts.

    I am sure many of you have been in this situation and know how this game is played.

    Before she told the band she got signed, we had the "how committed to the band are you" talk and the "will you be able to drop everything you are doing and tour on an extended basis"?

    She said the going rate for a touring musician is around $1,000.00 per week whether we are on tour or not. Plus meals and lodging.

    She also offered points from album sales and equal share in profits.

    I am 40 years old, married with 2 kids who are 4 & 5 years old, mortgage and a single wage earner.

    My initial thoughts, because she wanted an answer right then and there, was no way based solely on the income.

    I make more money than the proposed $52,000.00 a year, and I am barely staying afloat.

    So, there is no way I could do this and support my family.

    Now, if the money was enough to support my family and I could work out getting home whenever I had the chance, then I would give it some seroius thought.

    I know some of you may be saying, "$52,000.00 sounds pretty damn good to me", but unfortunately, it is not enough for me at this junction in my life.

    If a label did pick her up, it could be a terrible decision on my part.

    The good news is that we are going into the studio to record her album and do showcases for interested labels.

    So, I need to figure out what a studio musician makes and what percentage points I can hope to receive if the recordings are picked up by a label.

    I have the guts, and the support of my wife, but my financial responsibilites take precedent over a life on the road.
  19. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    This is hilariously misinformed. One hardly knows where to begin.
  20. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA

    I chose the house, wife, kids stream option. :D
    OK so I don't have a stream but I have some nice big pine trees in my back yard and a screened in porch with a hot tub in a nice quiet neighborhood.
    It kinda beats the van down by the river option.
    Now if I was younger I would give the van another try. ;)