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Old 2009-12-17, 21:46
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Are you Serious in Music making?...or is it just a Hobby?

Once in a while I get the above question, and sometimes I'd say is just a hobby, but to tell you the truth I'm not completely sure. There are a lot of factors that can contribute into your particular answer, but most of the time I think I fall in between those two answers.

In reality, I just bothered to make this thread, because of my 15 year old daughter. She's a sophomore and very involved and devoted into her guitar class at school. She has learned how to play the guitar very quickly, along with her brother (but that's another story) lol. She loves music, she's very open minded as to her music listening, She has taken on singing as well, and she has a beautiful voice (she doesn't take that compliment from me though) Her career goals are very vague at the moment, but whenever she gets asked the question, she quickly replies "I want to be a musician, and I want to go to Berkley". When we tell her there are other options, she doesn't want to hear it!

Now I've had many talks with her about it, and I've explained that relying om music alone for a living is probably not so smart at the present time. She always comes out saying that we don't have faith in her, we don't support her, and that she will follow her dreams no matter what. Then she rubs it in our face, the fact that we did not follow our dreams, and she's right!, but here is where the factors I was talking about before, play a huge part in the decision making.

Now, my wife & I, are not such strict parents, not old fashioned at all, and we don't pressure our kids into thinking like we do, but we like to present as many ideas or options as possible for them to explore and figure out.

The Factors I want her to take into consideration before she decides on a career:

First I wanted to ask you guys personally,

-Is music making Serious or just a hobby? and please tell me why. Also tell me if you're a singer, part of a band, play instruments, just use software.

Now based on your answers, I have the following questions separated by answer:

If you answered Serious:

This would probably mean you're currently working on your musical career, or looking into it, or you have achieved something already.

-Is it/was it worth spending your hard earned money on tuition for a musical career? or do you recommend going for another career and doing music on the side, and see if you get lucky somehow?

-How much of a chance do you guys think a good singer alone has Vs. an accomplished musician alone, Vs. being part of a full band in today's music business structure.

-Do you guys think that music sells well nowadays?, implying that you're doing all these: CDS/Gigs/promoting online/selling merchandise. Do you guys thinks music alone is good enough to make a decent living.


If you answered Just a Hobby:

-Why just a hobby? in your case.

-At any point did you ever want to develop your music skills any further or are you just happy with instant gratification?, as in "I did this quick track and I feel good that it came out decent".
I mean have you ever wondered that your song could be a hit sometime? that it can be used in a commercial, Film, or Video game?

-If you have the chance to prove your skills/talent (get a job offer or something along those lines). Would you leave your current job/career in an instant? even though that would mean you have to move out/relocate, leave your family for a while (if you're not single), and your wife or rest of the family are not supporting you.

-You feel that your life/work/responsibilities are far more important than your meaningless music making?

-Never was given the chance to develop or show my natural talents (I fall in this one). Was raised in a very poor household, wasn't very informed or educated (lack of internet, P.C., or friends), Found out too late in life that I had this talent in music.

-Feel that the music business right now is broken and it wouldn't be worth your time/money getting involved.


I know this is a lot of questions and a very long thread. Sorry I couldn't make it any shorter!
I will really appreciate all your comments, answers and point of views, and I will definitely use your advice and will show my daughter your thoughts on the matter.

Thanks a million!!!

Ed





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  #2  
Old 2009-12-17, 22:04
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It's an expensive hobby for me. I would love a job in the industry in either the composition or business side of things. But I wouldn't want a job in my hobby genre. I think I need the separation I would be happy to write jingles or film scores or something like that but I wouldn't want to create synthpop music professionally. It would ruin what I enjoy about making this kind of music. Mostly, I answer to no one and I can make it sound however I want.

I would be happy for the rest of my life just messing around with music and working a completely unrelated job.
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  #3  
Old 2009-12-17, 22:13
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@selfdude,

I hear you, but what if you were given the freedom to do whatever you like with your music (even though there's probably no such thing). Wouldn't you want to create some Synthpop the way you've always envision it to be. Have you ever heard a Hit Radio song, and said to yourself "I know I can do that song so much better"
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Old 2009-12-17, 22:21
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Hi Ed,

I guess I would always say follow your dreams...for a reasonable period of time. That means don't burn any bridges, and have a plan B. It's a hard nut to crack the music business, but if she's good give her support, if it's a parental ego thing...look out! It has to be her love of music that's only going to make it work. I've only been playing less than a year, and only compose originals...that way no one knows when I play, if I made a mistake(that's supposed to be funny). One of the songs I produced is smoking the competiotion in a contest it's in, and these other bands are good. Had I listened to anyone about spending $4,000 for a keyboard, I never would have ordered one, and wouldn't be doing what I am. I just dropped another $600 today for my PH software, and I'm not looking back. I'm more satisfied with my self now than I've ever been, and I'm 56...so I say give her all the support she needs...oh, and lots of money! You never know! By the way I do it for pleasure, it's just as hobby for me.

Mark

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  #5  
Old 2009-12-17, 23:42
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SERIOUS

Is it/was it worth spending your hard earned money on tuition for a musical career? or do you recommend going for another career and doing music on the side, and see if you get lucky somehow?

I would never aim to get lucky, but rather increase my chances with calculated skill. Tuition is an investment of both time and money, and such investments are important in increasing the value of the music you create. So yes!

How much of a chance do you guys think a good singer alone has Vs. an accomplished musician alone, Vs. being part of a full band in today's music business structure.

Neither here nor there; all that matters are the right decisions being made. Now the first and most important question one must ask is, "what is your life purpose?" Without knowing that all other questions can never be answered.

The success of any act can only be determined (or assessed) in reflection and probably predicted based on how they relate to the current trends - and by trends I don't mean what the masses are following, just which dots on the map can relate to the act.

Do you guys think that music sells well nowadays?, implying that you're doing all these: CDS/Gigs/promoting online/selling merchandise. Do you guys thinks music alone is good enough to make a decent living.

Entertainment sells period! Edit: that being said, you can sell your musical services; it's not all about being an act. Sure you can sell your act, but your services are just as valuable and can create a nice and comfortable income.

---

Disclaimer: I answered to "being serious about my music" but am still amateur as I am still working on my plan at the moment (as well as my craft). I have decided to pursue music and the arts because it supports my life purpose, the part where I create works that can help bring people to enjoyment/relief, strengthen communities with positive viewpoints, etc. This is not just through music but through other creative means, such as film ... not sure if that's helping

---

I hope things work out for your daughter as a lack of preparation for the world of music can lead to lots of heartache when presented with new cultures and ways of life. She will succeed so long as the right decisions are made, and she is showing good character already by declaring her intentions to achieve her music career through studying.

However I think it is a danger to refuse to understand more of how the world works, not least the fields surrounding her intended career. If she only knows how to tune guitars she will have no say in the wood used, so if she were to try to sell a brand of guitars she could make some terrible mistakes. Likewise it is good to have a grasp of other fields, such as business, economics, sociology ... well there are lots of fields involved in music. And not everything has to be about music; it's great to be well rounded.

Where I worked our MD had already sold millions of music CD's is a Bafta judge and heads a few charities. The company founders tried it in the music business too with a band, and just about half of the office had serious musical skills, be it engineering, mixing, DJ'ing or music ... and their main profession was software development. You don't have to be a one trick wonder/dog I don't call it plan B, I call it support of plan A - my life purpose </essay>
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Last edited by avasopht; 2009-12-17 at 23:44. Reason: Clarity my brother ...
  #6  
Old 2009-12-18, 00:04
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hi ecopro,
making music for me is having fun.I wouldn´t mind releasing a track in the future.
It´s a kind of teenager dream as i got infected w/ electronic music nearly 20 years ago.
I´m just using software,coz i really don´t have a clue to play an instrument.In school i hated music class which is mandatory to take till a ceratin grade.Learning to play the flute was ARGHHHH!!
And since then i never touched it again.
My mom got some bongos for me years ago and i play these now and then.I also recorded them to incorporate them in one of my tracks.
This year i got a bit more serious w/ my ambitions to release a track and invested about 2 and a half k.
Which is a lotta money for me.
I took part in a contest from a well known electronic music label and was kinda full of hopes to score sth.
My then girlfriend and friends encouraged me to do it,coz they love my stuff.
But the day as the email from the label arrived which told me i didn´t make it ,i was well...pissed.They declared an act as their pick which already has a record contract and this bugged me very much.
Coz that day i realized that you NEED connections in the music business to get ahead.Or even worse kiss butts! And this isn´t my style.
I know someone in the music business but i´m probably to stubborn to ask him to do me this favor.
Why?
Coz i wanna make it on my own,which would be the true me.
But in the end i know even w/ a record contract i wouldn´t be able to make a living w/ it.
Not w/ my style of music.

IMHO nowadays you have to have a plan B.There´s no way around it.
Get a decent degree in school but still follow your dreams.
If you get lucky and get a chance to release a song,crab it.You probably won´t get another one.

I still will keep going and spend nights infront of my computer.
Coz i damn love it.To accomplish something very personal.To express your feelings in a different way.Through music.

I guess people in here will disagree w/ me.So what.

Sorry for the long post.These are just my personal thoughts about this topic.

Btw ecopro....I´m keeping my fingers crossed for your daughter.

And everybody else

i.
  #7  
Old 2009-12-18, 00:22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonsensef View Post
... Coz that day i realized that you NEED connections in the music business to get ahead.Or even worse kiss butts ...


<_<

-_-

>_>

Hmm; I see!
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  #8  
Old 2009-12-18, 00:32
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Koshdukai Koshdukai is offline
 
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(Warning: This is going to be a looooooooooong, boring and cheesy tear dropping post, so... skip to the next post, please )


-Is music making Serious or just a hobby? and please tell me why.
Just a hobby.
Although I had the opportunity to play in a band when I was younger (teen), that didn't go anywhere. We were all broke, didn't have any cash to buy or even rent our own sound system, we only had our own crappy instruments. Then some had gone to the university, others to obligatory military service, then I got married and had to find a money earning job, so... my next passion had to kick in to save the day: information system analysis and software development.
Unfortunately, this is such a (time and thought) demanding job that I have to keep reminding me of one of my hobbies: Music, Sound Design and Music related contraptions.
As I rarely have any spare time to do some serious music related work, sometimes I only have time to read/write about it (as you can see here)


Also tell me if you're a singer, part of a band, play instruments, just use software.
I play keyboards (not at all a virtuoso, btw) and only sing for myself when composing. Only have enough spare cash to buy controllers and software (I use mostly freeware or open-source).

-Why just a hobby? in your case.
Read above please. Can't miss it, it's that big pile of words up there

-At any point did you ever want to develop your music skills any further or are you just happy with instant gratification?, as in "I did this quick track and I feel good that it came out decent".
I mean have you ever wondered that your song could be a hit sometime? that it can be used in a commercial, Film, or Video game?

Initially yes, but soon I got very frustrated. I had no way to make the music I imagined in my head. As a teen, I only had a crappy Yamaha organ with preset FM sounds, an embedded PCM rhythm machine and 2 track monophonic sequencer. I made a lot of songs and recorded a lot of tapes with that little keyboard, a mic and an old Phaser pedal someone gave me ("hey kid, do want this? SURE!" -.-'). But... I missed the possibility of having a true synth, after having tasted for some weeks a borrowed Korg MS-10. I tried to save enough cash to buy a Casio CZ-101, then an Amiga500 (for MIDI composition initially, but then I understood the power of the included sampling capabilities and music tracker that I eventually started using on PCs in my adulthood). I never had enough cash to buy neither the CZ nor the Amiga500, so... I became frustrated about the small palette of sounds and tools I already explored (one can only make enough variations of the same FM presets with a phaser box and a tape deck).
Now that I have the possibility of buying some "toys" almost as a kid's revenge (Reason reminds me a lot of the hardware gear I never had the chance to have as a kid, so now I have it virtually), I don't have the spare time to be serious about it, so... I can only deal with it by considering it a hobby.

-If you have the chance to prove your skills/talent (get a job offer or something along those lines). Would you leave your current job/career in an instant? even though that would mean you have to move out/relocate, leave your family for a while (if you're not single), and your wife or rest of the family are not supporting you.
Only if I had a secure way to continue to support my family (as I do now) while pursuing a carrier change... although, now, I guess I would be more interested in music software development than serious music making as a "new" carrier.
I remember dreaming of the "perfect" job: Working in a Synth factory (yeah right...)

-You feel that your life/work/responsibilities are far more important than your meaningless music making?
Unfortunately, yes.

-Never was given the chance to develop or show my natural talents (I fall in this one). Was raised in a very poor household, wasn't very informed or educated (lack of internet, P.C., or friends), Found out too late in life that I had this talent in music.
My frustration as a kid was that I was well informed (read a lot of Music & Technology magazines and went to a lot of hardware demo shows, to droll over what was presented), so I knew what was "out there" but had no way to put my hands on and use it.
Story of my life: Explaining to my rich friends how to use their hardware (now software) their parents bought them -.-'
The most recent episode was with Reason 3. I used a friend's copy for about 2 years (I think he buys everything that "moves") because he didn't knew how to use it so he gave it to me so I could explore it and then explain to him how to use. Eventually he asked for his copy back to upgrade to Reason 4 (and I had to buy my own too).


-Feel that the music business right now is broken and it wouldn't be worth your time/money getting involved.
I think there's still a lot of money to be made in music for <insert here your favorite trend: Adverts, Movies, Documentaries, Jingles, etc...> and maybe, for some lucky ones, in the mainstream music business, in live gigs and such.



I also have a daughter that's starting out in the music field. I let her do whatever she wants in that field as long as she doesn't forget about school and within my possibilities I try to help her as much as I can. She proved me over and over again that she's got composition talent (although not the kind of music style I like, but I don't mind). She's an excellent singer and almost by accident, she turned her classic guitar skills into guitar bass playing (her uncle had an old bass guitar at my father house, so...).
Will she make it in the music business ? I don't know. But this is the right time to try and explore as much as she can, while making friends and expanding her connections within this business.
As long as she keeps her good grades in school and understand that she needs a backup plan for a future, I think she can keep her hopes high and give it a go and see what happens... at least she'll have some fun while trying
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Old 2009-12-18, 00:33
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Just a Hobby:

-Why just a hobby? in your case.
Cos I got into using Reason only a couple of years ago, previous to that I only had experience in making mixes for DJing, and that wasn't exactly a serious career move but I made a few quid.

-At any point did you ever want to develop your music skills any further or are you just happy with instant gratification?, as in "I did this quick track and I feel good that it came out decent".
I mean have you ever wondered that your song could be a hit sometime? that it can be used in a commercial, Film, or Video game?
I do want to take my skills further, but I am probably less interested in developing my musical skills than I am in understanding the mechanics of the software. If I was to come up with a hit it would be a fluke. I don't have the skills to think of an idea and manipulate the software until it sounds like what I set out to achieve. That's what I am hoping to eventually achieve, not looking to take the charts by storm.
-If you have the chance to prove your skills/talent (get a job offer or something along those lines). Would you leave your current job/career in an instant? even though that would mean you have to move out/relocate, leave your family for a while (if you're not single), and your wife or rest of the family are not supporting you.
I'm in a good position to do that, it depends what the incentive was and whether I thought I'd be punching above my weight.
-You feel that your life/work/responsibilities are far more important than your meaningless music making?
No, I feel that if music became a job I would hate music as much as I hate my job, which currently isn't very much, but you get my point. Reason is part of my leisure time, if it became work I'd have one more source of stress and one less thing to enjoy.
-Never was given the chance to develop or show my natural talents (I fall in this one). Was raised in a very poor household, wasn't very informed or educated (lack of internet, P.C., or friends), Found out too late in life that I had this talent in music.
I didn't get along with my music teacher at school, she was a cow. I picked up a guitar in my teens, and a keyboard, but nothing held my interest until I could take having my fingers in the right place at the right time out of the equation, that was a couple of years ago when I found reason 3.
-Feel that the music business right now is broken and it wouldn't be worth your time/money getting involved.
I'd not turn down free cash if someone liked my tunes, but I'm making them anyhow. I don't think I've come up with anything worth 79p yet anyhow.
  #10  
Old 2009-12-18, 01:02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pushedbutton View Post
... I don't think I've come up with anything worth 79p yet anyhow.
Pushedbutton - I don't know what 79p means, but I do know that your "Where's Me Chair" gives me Happy Feet and Tingles every time I play it and it will be one of my favorite tunes for all times!
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