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It's kinda sad how many people waste their youth chasing a music career

olimassaquoi

Member
Messages
243
So many dudes I went to high school with are still holding on to a music pipe dream. One guy I know turned down jobs that paid decent amounts of money because he felt like like the hours would destroy his music career. The biggest problem though is this whole "Don't let anybody tell you what you can't do" mentality, That mentality works for people reaching for Ceo, Congressman, Law firm partner, or whatever cause the alternatives to fallback on are pretty great.
 

gigs

Member
Messages
11,237
We gave up on the dream in college in the late 70s. None of us could write a decent song, so get a good degree and a decent job... and play in a cover band for fun and laughs. Great hobby. Always good to know (and accept) your limitations after you've given things your best shot.
 

swiveltung

Member
Messages
14,484
Yeah... life's tough. I have quite a few friends that have hung with music a lot. Many of them are just a step away from living on the street at this point. Some haven't worked consistently enough that they will even qualify for Social Security. At some point in life I think you have to think long term and set yourself up to survive well. To each his own though. Music's a lot more fun if the pressure is off a bit.
 

geetarplayer

Member
Messages
1,131
From the time I was 9 to when I was 16, I was dead set on becoming a rock star. One morning I was riding the bus to school, and it hit me... "no - that ain't gonna happen. Start thinking about something else to do that is actually feasible".
 

gigs

Member
Messages
11,237
Hmm...pursue a dream by rocking out 3-4 nights a week versus working 80 hours a week for the "man". Some may say the latter is the "sad" one.

No one works 80 hours per week on a consistent basis for the "man". Gross exaggeration never helps a point. 50 sounds about right. Don't forget that there are more beautiful women married to engineers than are married to rock stars.
 

NoQuarter

Member
Messages
642
Obviously, there are many who took the chance. Some succeeded, most failed. I found this to be true, if you are waiting around in your hole in the wall little town waiting for it to happen...it wont. You need an incredible amount of drive, talent, connections, and desire to move somewhere where it can happen. Hooking up with like minded people helps also. You have to be realistic and most musicians aren't. We are dreamers to our own fault. I consider myself successful because I attained the main goal I wanted. And that was to be a musician. Not a celebrity or star, but a working, creative musician.
 

bearbike137

Member
Messages
1,661
So many dudes I went to high school with are still holding on to a music pipe dream. One guy I know turned down jobs that paid decent amounts of money because he felt like like the hours would destroy his music career. The biggest problem though is this whole "Don't let anybody tell you what you can't do" mentality, That mentality works for people reaching for Ceo, Congressman, Law firm partner, or whatever cause the alternatives to fallback on are pretty great.

Too often the problem is compounded by an inverse correlation between talent and a realistic outlook...
 

chrisr777

Member
Messages
25,165
I had a really, really good time playing music. We wrote some damn good songs and had a decent following (and some of them were very beautiful girls). We never made it big. Oh well, there are other things in life. When I decided I was not meant for a rock star's life in my mid 20's I got married and went back to school. I did not, however, stop playing music. I was going to, but my best friend did not like that and dragged my ass back into the studio. Now, 30 years later, I still play music, I am still married to the same woman, I have grown children and I never cut my hair. Not sure what part of my youth was wasted. Well, I was wasted quite a bit in my youth, but that's not quite the same.
 

Heinz57Pep

Member
Messages
11,228
After graduating college I spent the better part of my 20s chasing the dream, and yes, I subscribed to the theory that getting a full-time job that someone with a degree would typically have would inhibit my creativity. To this day I still go back and forth on whether that attitude was actually valid or outright ********. And waiting until my early 30s to enter the proper workforce kinda set me back. But the memories are priceless, as are the people I met and of course the music I made.
 

aiq

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,231
Chased it until age 33. Made it to the "minors".

Nice career in the tech end of TV and a great one as a teacher. Never stopped playing.

No regrets whatever and will never have to wonder "what if?".
 

olimassaquoi

Member
Messages
243
No one works 80 hours per week on a consistent basis for the "man". Gross exaggeration never helps a point. 50 sounds about right. Don't forget that there are more beautiful women married to engineers than are married to rock stars.

And the irony of that is you still work for the "man". Who runs record labels? certainty not artists.
 

hubberjub

Member
Messages
4,596
I completely disagree. Personally, I wasted my time in college. Now, I'm 36, have a job that makes me miserable, and I'm envious of my friends who stuck it out and are doing well as musicians. Yes, the industry has changed, but there are opportunities for those who know what they're doing.
 

taez555

Member
Messages
8,642
I have a lot of friends who are in their mid-late 30's who are professional musicians, and have been supporting themselves on their music alone for years. But the thing is.... they're all mostly just one kickstarter campaign away from being essentially homeless. I'm sure they could keep it up for years to come, but then what?

Is it insane? Probably.

Although sitting here in a suit and tie behind a computer, while my guitars are sitting at home, makes me wish I could change places with them in a heartbeat.
 

JWDubois

Member
Messages
8,071
I was a hot shot bass player in HS and scored a music scholarship to UT. I made the jazz band and played in the marching band (sousaphone) and orchestra as well. I wanted to be a performing jazz player.

It took less than a year to figure out that I was pretty average at best compared to all the other college level players, and wasn't really going to cut it in music school.

I got into electronics and then engineering after that. I still play as a hobbyist.

But if you can actually play, and want to go for it, by all means go for it.
 

xjojox

Tardis-dwelling wanker
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,736
The disconnect here is the presumption that "making it" in music means being a rock star, or more broadly, someone who forges their own thing. But that's not reality in the music biz. The overwhelming majority of professional musians (as in they make a living playing music) play other people's music. Classical. Jazz. Rock. Pop. Folk. Session work. Musical theater. Union gigs. Whatever. Only a tiny fraction of musicians "make it" in the way that seems to be suggested here, but that doesn't mean that the others are failures.

I think the "wasted" lives the OP refers to belong to those who chase a dream of stardom rather than committing themselves in a disciplined way to the art and craft of music. You can make a decent living as a musician if you educate yourself, learn your craft, and approach it as a career as well as an artistic dream. Unfortunately, in the world we live in, making a good living playing on a cruise ship and doing jingles between cruises is seen by many as failure rather than success.

One of my best friends became a mechanical engineer because he dreamed of designing sailboats. He of course spent most of his career working for defense contractors. Not sure if that qualifies as a wasted life but he seems pretty happy.

I figured out pretty quick that I didn't have the goods to be a "star", and I had some things going for me that would make me a better living than doing sessions or playing the boat gig. But I knew I could still play music, and I still do. And I never wear cargo shorts onstage.
 
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