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Why do you play music?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by cosmicevan, Jul 9, 2019.

  1. Just for fun

    228 vote(s)
  2. I hope to make it my career (rockstar or bust - ie. be in a successful touring band)

    4 vote(s)
  3. I hope to make it my career (I may never be a rockstar, but my goal is to earn a living w music)

    21 vote(s)
  4. It *IS* my career

    29 vote(s)
  1. Reg Braithwaite

    Reg Braithwaite

    Oct 21, 2018
    “Simplifying” things is valuable when it gets rid of extraneous complications that obscure the fundamental truth. But when it removes the fundamental truth, it should be avoided.

    IMO, describing non-career interest in music as “just for fun” actually obscures all of the things that are interesting about the relationship humans have had with music in our written and unwritten history.

    Some people play music because they feel it brings them closer to God. Some people play music because it is therapy. Some people play music because it is a way to “listen to music with their hands.” Some people play music because they can’t not play music. Some people play music just for fun, and if they didn’t do that for a hobby, they’d put ships in bottles, it's not that meaningful to them.

    Lumping all those things together obscures the very thing that is interesting about the question “Why do you play music.”

    If we want to simplify things, we should throw away the distinction between career and non-career. It’s actually not that important, most people who want a career in music like playing music for its own sake, and also want a career. Separating them from those who don’t want a career in the industry doesn’t tell us much.
    sears and Knavery like this.
  2. I voted Just For Fun, but it IS side money (job).
    NO dreams of making it a full time career.
    I could see stepping it up and being my only income if and when I retire.
    Assuming I still have all my fingers and they still move...
    foolforthecity likes this.
  3. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    Because..............."I get off on it."

  4. DrayMiles


    Feb 24, 2007
    East Coast

    I don't think you can pacify G.A.S. and "get chicks..."

    at least, not in todays environment... ;)
  5. ELG60

    ELG60 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    I voted for fun.

    I picked up the bass again to increase my self-fulfillment. That, and I thought that it would improve my memory and thus my mental acuity since music is math. It also helps fill otherwise idle hours with something which I find enjoyable and productive. I also figured that it would help relieve stress, just like lifting weights does for me, with the additional benefit of increasing/maintaining hand-strength and dexterity as I grow older.

    I make my money with other businesses which often limit my availability to be in a band, but the income far exceeds anything one could reasonably expect to make playing music at my level. I am however, open to the right musical situation playing songs which I would enjoy, with people with whom I would enjoy working/playing
    and of course, receiving some reasonable compensation for our efforts. At this stage of my life, I prefer to live it on my own terms as much as is practical thus there are some limitations and compromises inherent to those choices.

    Having played in live situations, albeit on a limited basis, I find it stressful but enjoyable, and I believe that it is important to push one's self in order to grow, be it physically, psychologically, and/or mentally. Music does all three for me. The only down-side is that it has cost me economically, but that's on me because I've bought way too much $#/+ !!!
  6. MCS4


    Sep 26, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    I play music because I love to create my own music and share it with others. The only way I would ever want music to become a "career" would be if someone wanted to pay me a lot of money to play exactly the music I want, which of course is not going to happen. So, I would rather play exactly the music I want and have a day job than try to turn music into a "job."
  7. NeonVomit


    Jan 29, 2013
    London, UK
    None of the answers apply. 'Secondary career' is the best description. Certainly no aim of being a full time professional musician barring drastic changes, and I certainly don't do it 'just for fun' (not like there's anything wrong with that!).

    I dislike playing covers and have no interest or inclination to teach, and have no desire to do session work (I only do it as favours to friends). Playing only original material does not pay the bills in this day and age, simple as that, but I am not in a position where I have to spend any of my music-designated time doing stuff I don't like or am not interested in.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
  8. BooDoggie

    BooDoggie Typical Dumb-ass with a degree

    Mar 29, 2014
    I was encouraged to play music by my father and further supported by my mother, siblings and teachers in school. I never wanted to be a rock star, but I thought it might help with my shyness with the ladies...
  9. outoftune

    outoftune Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    I voted rockstar because that was the dream when I started playing.
    Today I play because I need to. Music is therapeutic and brings joy and calm in an otherwise crazy and busy life.
  10. RichardW


    Feb 25, 2016
    near Philly
    As someone who started playing when I was 45, I voted "fun." But playing for fun doesn't begin to describe what it means to me and the pleasure I derive from the bass.
    BOOG and Reg Braithwaite like this.
  11. Garry Raines

    Garry Raines

    Sep 16, 2018
    Mostly just for fun, but it is who I am. Just quit a band after almost 4 years because it became "not fun". I'm 62 and been at this for about 47 years. I'm putting together another band. I know my wife asks why, but she supports me. I want to make a little money, but I've never dreamed of being a star. I've always wanted to be a competent, reliable bassist in an entertaining band with a solid sound.
    Reg Braithwaite likes this.
  12. Mantis Tobaggan

    Mantis Tobaggan Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2015
    Tampa, FL
    I play music to distract myself from the world.
    ELG60 and Reg Braithwaite like this.
  13. fourstringburn


    Jun 30, 2009
    New Mexico
    I previously posted:

    The poll should have a

    "To get the chicks"


    Why not?

    Assuming you're a girl loving guy, many of us can admit to checking out the girls while they're checking us out playing live is a time honored tradition.

    Look up some classic portraits of the great Classical composers playing on front of the ladies and notice how many music scores are dedicated to woman.

    Does Beethoven's Fur Elise ring a bell?

    While for many it may not have been the only reason for getting into music but many others it was on the agenda but many just won't admit it.

    I'm not ashamed to!
    teh-slb likes this.
  14. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    i'm not a career player nor did i ever plan to be, but i don't play "just for fun", so i didn't vote on the poll.

    as others have said, for me playing gives me deep satisfaction, it's spiritual and it relaxes me when nothing else does. music is a large and important part of who i am. without it, i'd lose a huge piece of myself.

    previously i've been paid to play bass, guitar and/or to sing, but i never had dreams of "making it" - i dislike travel and schedules, so even when i was making money, it was never about a career or being a star.
    ELG60 likes this.
  15. I also chose for fun but it is 'in me'. I have been around music most all my life. We had piano in our house, I was in the school band for 6 years, played in several churches, did sound, sang. Still play.
  16. couldn't vote... I play to prevent a slip into total madness... it's my escape, my vent, my drug that makes everything else balanced.
    SteveCS and Reg Braithwaite like this.
  17. I play music to get more carrots
    pcake and mc900ftj like this.
  18. grinx


    Mar 24, 2003
    Raleighwood, NC
    As Opus the Penguin once replied in an interview about why he played (see the Bloom County strip where Opus became Gene Simmons).......
    "3 reasons. Chix, chix, dough and chix..."
  19. mc900ftj

    mc900ftj Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2014
    Well said! :D
  20. foolforthecity

    foolforthecity Supporting Member

    Having slaved as an engineer throughout my career, I built up enough baksheesh to retire quite comfortably at 60, so these days I play professionally. I'll play anything. I can't stop.

    61 going on 16.
    LYNCHMAN likes this.

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