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Do you play live because it's a fun pastime, or because you want to make money?


I stopped drinking about 25 years ago. I've gigged up to around 200+ shows a year for a long time. Whenever I have a local gig, although it's fun and all that, I still need to be paid. Even church. Exposure bucks, feel goods and attaboys don't buy groceries or gas. I love playing, and it doesn't cost a dime to play for hours and hours at home. Same goes for my other job skills. I like to be fairly compensated for my time, talent and skills. That's just how life is.


Silver Supporting Member
I played for a living for a lot of years, but earning a living with music hasn't been a priority for a while. I play for fun and I make a little money doing it, so it's all good.

this is me. I do turn down gigs that don’t pay enough. My rule is I have to have 2 out of 3:

1) money
2) really like the people in the band and like hanging out with them
3) playing music I actually like


Silver Supporting Member
What started as a hobby became about making $.
I still enjoy good shows, but once you've played enough of them, it can, and does feel like a job.

For example I played a big $ wedding yesterday for people that were zero fun.
I really earned that $!
Other times it's so much fun you can't believe you get paid for it.
Musicians gain energy from people.
I always half jokingly say that every time you finish a song to silence it takes 9 minutes off your life.

But yes, if you've played thousands of gigs in your life some of the fun tends to fade.
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Silver Supporting Member
At my age (66+) I play for the therapeutic value. Extra cash is always nice and fun gigs are always a big bonus, but for me I'm just not a healthy, balanced human if I'm not playing music. My wife knows this and will ALWAYS push my butt out the door if I'm on the fence about a particular band or gig. For her, it's happy musician, happy life.


Silver Supporting Member
The two are not mutually exclusive.
when I was a kid, I was so happy to spend my little money on an album or concert, anticipating the music so much.
I wanted to become good enough that someday others would feel the same about my music.

I never saw making music and being compensated for it to be at ends with each other.

In my heart, I play for free. I get compensated for all the other stuff that goes along with it.


Started for fun. Then it was all for the money, how I made my living. Now back to fun.

The definition of amateur means to do something for the love of it.


david torn / splattercell
Platinum Supporting Member
Started for fun. Then it was all for the money, how I made my living. Now back to fun.

The definition of amateur means to do something for the love of it.

for me, the definition of professional musician --- moreso, the definition of a "full-time commitment" --- means to work for the love of it.


Both, I love to play and have been doing it for over 40 years. My band gets paid well, this last week I played 3 gigs that payed almost as much as my day job.


I started gigging for fun. Then I thought it would be a fun way to earn my living so I did it for money. Gigging for money made it not fun so then I quit gigging for a living. Now I just gig for fun.

Don A

Gold Supporting Member
I knew when I picked up the guitar over 40 years ago, that it was just for fun.
Music is too much a part of my life to call it a hobby. My hobbies are stamp collecting, coin collecting, and exploring old graveyards.

I reckon the main reason I play live is because I know how to do it. And playing guitar is the thing that I am best at. Although I have played a lot of gigs and work as a musician I don't have a strong desire to entertain.

Often it is a job. Money is one of the things that might be what makes me accept a gig. Money is also the thing that makes me travel, be prepared, show up on time, and to do what a particular job requires me to do. But I usually enjoy it.

I like the people watching. I like to observe characters and watch them interact with each other. Sometimes I make up stories about them.

I have sometimes taken a gig or a series of gigs to explore some places I've never been to before.

Sometimes I like to see how what I have been practicing works into my improvisations.

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