View Poll Results: Do you play as a job or as a hobby?

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  • Career

    56 15.86%
  • Hobby

    174 49.29%
  • I get paid occasionally/not full time musician

    123 34.84%
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  1. #176

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    It's ironic, isn't it?
    Those "fighting" for LIVE music, are the very musicians recording CD's to replace LIVE music...

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  3. #177

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    Quote Originally Posted by StringNavigator View Post
    It's ironic, isn't it?
    Those "fighting" for LIVE music, are the very musicians recording CD's to replace LIVE music...
    This is not fighting already, it is a battle lost long time ago(((

    I remember reading how Alban Berg went from Prague to Vienna to listen to Mahler's symphony.
    How Bunuel in his memoires write that they played new operas and symphonies at home in four hands becaus eit was the only way to get to know new music without going to another city... and he was quite critical about LPs - critisizing the lack of effort from the listner to get to know music... what to say about now? When this easiness and comfortability reached tremendous level.

    We live in the era of accesability - but not many of us understand that accasability means will and resposibility for making choices.
    To survive in this world spiritually one has to a person with strong individual opinion - to say no or yes when needed firmly.

    recording spoiled performers school - they check every technical fault on record (that would have been forgotten during great live performance), and decreased the audiemce competence - one day advanced amateur musicians playing operas on piano from the score and participating in aamteur home string quartets turned in specialists in Hi-Fi equipment and experts on faults on 100 recirds of the same symphony by various conductors...

    The battle has been long lost... but I guess the revival is possible. Now it is the time of minor communities that open up individual creative possibilities. I do not know if it helps keep culture in general alive (I guess culture needs at least one Rembrandt to be vital and even dozen Vermeers would not help it without this one powerful universal genius - and today we do not have conditions for that).

    But it in some sense helps artistic activities - and music performances - return to chamber musical practices, to live performance... to some degree, to make small interactive enviroment that would support musicians and make audience participate more actively.
    The only thing as I said above I am afraid that will make general level of musical culture lower (has made it lower already).

  4. #178

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah View Post
    I remember the title page of Benedetto Marcello flute sonatas
    'Il nobile Veneto, dilettante di contrapunto'.)))
    Dilittelare... he is doing that for the pleasure not for the money.
    Is "Dedicated Amateur Musician" The New Reality?
    I think you have something there. It's unfortunate that the word "dilettante" has garnered a negative connotation. But its meaning, "Dedicated Amateur" (Amateur, but dedicated.) hits the nail as a description for most guitar owners today. At least, those who are not professional musicians. Like those people who collect Cuban cigars, smoke 'em and know a lot about how the leaves are rolled, etc...

    Is "Professional" A Victim Of Newspeak?
    "Professional" should never be used to describe one's skill level. It's best reserved for musicians who get paid for a service and can make a living at it. As most know, one doesn't even have to be good to make a living at music. Oddly, the word "unprofessional" has nothing at all to do with earning an income. "Professional" has been hijacked by management types to brainwash their underlings into giving the company their "all" while working for peanuts. Their command is continually quacked out at "morning meetings". "Be A Professional!". Today, the English Language is continually manipulated, in a dishonest fashion, to feather one's cap. Lines are blurred as schools reinvent the past and cancel those who disagree, regardless of logic. In fact, in the face of logic. Logic is no longer a contender in our decaying society.

    Can Music Alone Be The Best Pay-Off?
    For years, in the seventies, I received $180 three nights weekly for playing in a popular country band. I never considered myself a pro. It was not the "Big Time". It was just pocket money. Luckily, I had a moderate career and could enjoy music as a hobby. Plus the camaraderie of being in a band. Jazz was always a "garage" activity that I typically pursued alone. The best I could find was a Dixieland band, which I loved, and that was all about "dedicated amateur" playing, whether at rehearsal or on stage.

    Does Being A Professional Musician Pay-Off In The End?
    Dedicated Amateur Musician is the most honest description I've heard, yet. It's easy to confuse our passion and dedication for the guitar, with those in the past who once earned a living and supported their family by being a professional musician. Today you'd have to live like an unstable monk to get by on a musician's income. I feel fortunate when I think of all those who have trudged the district begging for gigs. I'd have no retirement, today. How many poor and pathetic musicians are there on public relief for every Michael Jackson or Paul McCartney? Hobby is a good thing.
    Last edited by StringNavigator; 05-04-2021 at 06:05 AM.

  5. #179

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzkritter View Post
    There was a young guy playing wineries who played chord/melody (sorta))) with his face literally in the fake book, never making contact with the audience, you get the picture. He was a full time pro. Not in my book)
    Was His Book A Best Seller?
    Oh, he was a professional musician, alright. He just didn't have "stage presence". He provided a service by playing "background" music and hopefully, he was paid, and he earns his living at it. That alone, pegs him as a professional musician.

    Are Professional Behaviours Being Confused With Professional Status?
    Professional behaviour is a different thing. It's a set of good behaviours that are practiced on the job. Professional status is simply about receiving the money for goods and services rendered. It's not a new age religion. Unless you work as a Quality Control Expert in a factory and you're giving a "pep-talk" at 7:30 in the morning. I've met a lot of amateurs and volunteers that had a professional attitude. But they weren't professional volunteers...

    Why All The Wannabee Pro's?
    As an aircraft mechanic, my work behaviours were professional. But I would never claim to be a "Professional Mechanic". Other mechanics would have you locked up for saying that. I'm a Professional Doctor... I'm a Professional...! Really... ? It seems that only amateur musicians are desperate to claim that title. I never heard George Benson referring to himself as a "Pro". It's always the teenager with a guitar who got $5 for playing at the corner pizzaria last summer that claims to be a "Pro". Perhaps, Twisted Logic will be the new pandemic.

  6. #180

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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker View Post
    ...And while Manhattan has more real jazz clubs than anywhere else in the world...many of these clubs are struggling and featuring indie, blues or pop music on some nights...So yeah, festivals will always do well and that's where the better money is for a jazz musician,,,
    So, Why Did The Priest, The Minister, And The Sinister Giraffe Go To A Bar With A Pair Of Jumper Cables?
    Back in the day... you could not drink the water at home. Alcohol was simply a way of purifying water. But it caught on... Cities and towns were dreadful. Rooms were tiny. Just a bed and a table and chair. Few people had homes, except for cold, damp, draughty hovels with no lighting, no showers, no toilet... As the English say, "Gardyloo!" (from their cousins “Prenez garde a l'eau!”) Pneumonia was common. Death was not far off. People went to bars because it was a relief... And there were people like yourself to socialise with. And as bars competed for business, they invented entertainment!

    So Why Go To Bars Today?
    Today, staying at home is preferable. You can get groceries or take-out from all over the world. Recorded music by the best players and vocalists of all time. TV, Radio, Internet, Movies, DVD's, affordable books, video games, call-girls, dating services, central heating and air-conditioning and good non-poisonous booze.

    One serious deterrent is the type of people you'll meet in public today. Lunatics roam the streets freely. And then they start drinking... That's enough cause to avoid bars entirely. Society is leaning hard into decadence. Alcohol is grossly overpriced. All manners of immorality and illegality are practiced there. Not to mention bouncers like Derek Chauvin inside and the local police outside waiting for you with breathilizers, tazers and strangle-holds. Public gatherings are even targeted now by proponents of mass execution. Don't invest in these businesses unless you're foolhardy. They won't be around much longer, regardless of the entertainment.


  7. #181

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah View Post
    This is not fighting already, it is a battle lost long time ago(((

    I remember reading how Alban Berg went from Prague to Vienna to listen to Mahler's symphony.
    How Bunuel in his memoires write that they played new operas and symphonies at home in four hands becaus eit was the only way to get to know new music without going to another city... and he was quite critical about LPs - critisizing the lack of effort from the listner to get to know music... what to say about now? When this easiness and comfortability reached tremendous level.

    We live in the era of accesability - but not many of us understand that accasability means will and resposibility for making choices.
    To survive in this world spiritually one has to a person with strong individual opinion - to say no or yes when needed firmly.

    recording spoiled performers school - they check every technical fault on record (that would have been forgotten during great live performance), and decreased the audiemce competence - one day advanced amateur musicians playing operas on piano from the score and participating in aamteur home string quartets turned in specialists in Hi-Fi equipment and experts on faults on 100 recirds of the same symphony by various conductors...

    The battle has been long lost... but I guess the revival is possible. Now it is the time of minor communities that open up individual creative possibilities. I do not know if it helps keep culture in general alive (I guess culture needs at least one Rembrandt to be vital and even dozen Vermeers would not help it without this one powerful universal genius - and today we do not have conditions for that).

    But it in some sense helps artistic activities - and music performances - return to chamber musical practices, to live performance... to some degree, to make small interactive enviroment that would support musicians and make audience participate more actively.
    The only thing as I said above I am afraid that will make general level of musical culture lower (has made it lower already).

    Hi, J,
    Beautifully written! This is a response that could only have been written by someone with a serious knowledge/depth in music and life and has thought much about this madness for which many of us are so tragically addicted. Five stars!
    Play live . . . Marinero

  8. #182

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    ""Professional" should never be used to describe one's skill level. It's best reserved for musicians who get paid for a service. . . " StringNavigator

    Hi, S,
    That's it . . . No More . . .No Less.
    Play live . . . Marinero

  9. #183

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    I am a hobbyist. I love music and that is why i play. This is how it had allways been. There were times i got paid, but it never paid any of my bills (except dinner and drinks).

  10. #184

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    This kind of discussion erupts almost daily in one forum or another, and people get very prickly about it. That's probably never going to change, but pro vs. hobbyist seems to be a pretty limited description of the spectrum. I've borrowed some distinctions from the skilled trades.

    Professional: Peer-based assessment based on skills, who hires you and what they hire you for
    -Master
    -Journeyman
    -Apprentice

    Full / part-time: An economic distinction, influenced by musical and business skills, spouse, trust fund etc.

    Hobbyist: Self-contained, not involved in pro activity at any level

    Artist: Hard to define, but not for you to decide (ref: Betty Carter)
    Last edited by unknownguitarplayer; 05-04-2021 at 09:59 AM.

  11. #185

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero View Post
    Hi, J,
    Beautifully written! This is a response that could only have been written by someone with a serious knowledge/depth in music and life and has thought much about this madness for which many of us are so tragically addicted. Five stars!
    Play live . . . Marinero
    Thank you for your kind words...

    Well, yes... I think (and have thought) about it a lot. And there is some big share of dispare in those thoughts actually)))
    Not sure that I really know that much though.

  12. #186

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    Consider reading "Rockonomics" by Alan B. Krueger. It is not about rock music, but the economics of the music industry. Krueger extends his analysis from the music industry to the current 'winner take all' economy.
    It will answer all your questions; I promise.

  13. #187

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    Pro or hobbyist? It's a simple question. I'm definitely not a pro.
    I'm a hobbyist. I decided on a Blackstar 20 watt head. Also a 1X12 cabinet but I want a particular Jensen speaker. I'd knock out the cab myself but I don't have many tools now.

  14. #188

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah View Post
    This is not fighting already, it is a battle lost long time ago(((

    I remember reading how Alban Berg went from Prague to Vienna to listen to Mahler's symphony.
    How Bunuel in his memoires write that they played new operas and symphonies at home in four hands becaus eit was the only way to get to know new music without going to another city... and he was quite critical about LPs - critisizing the lack of effort from the listner to get to know music... what to say about now? When this easiness and comfortability reached tremendous level.

    We live in the era of accesability - but not many of us understand that accasability means will and resposibility for making choices.
    To survive in this world spiritually one has to a person with strong individual opinion - to say no or yes when needed firmly.

    recording spoiled performers school - they check every technical fault on record (that would have been forgotten during great live performance), and decreased the audiemce competence - one day advanced amateur musicians playing operas on piano from the score and participating in aamteur home string quartets turned in specialists in Hi-Fi equipment and experts on faults on 100 recirds of the same symphony by various conductors...

    The battle has been long lost... but I guess the revival is possible. Now it is the time of minor communities that open up individual creative possibilities. I do not know if it helps keep culture in general alive (I guess culture needs at least one Rembrandt to be vital and even dozen Vermeers would not help it without this one powerful universal genius - and today we do not have conditions for that).

    But it in some sense helps artistic activities - and music performances - return to chamber musical practices, to live performance... to some degree, to make small interactive enviroment that would support musicians and make audience participate more actively.
    The only thing as I said above I am afraid that will make general level of musical culture lower (has made it lower already).
    The US is headed into an abyss.
    Guitar players play. I have to remember to pick up the guitar everyday no matter what.

  15. #189

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzkritter View Post
    I’d like to throw out the idea that professionalism has more going than just flat out musical ability. To me it’s an overall attitude towards your work and those around you. I think it’s fair to use my professional photography (full time, no other job) experience to comment on the grey line twixt the “semi pro” and hobbyist. When I hired added staff for larger events I expected them: to be bringing pro quality equipment that could handle anything on that job, be on time, be courteous to the clients, represent my company not themselves, not need technical support while working, know what to do when things went to the sewer, did what I wanted and asked for, not what they considered their personal artistic needs...I suppose you have the idea. Note none of that has to do with the picture they made (music they played). That was taken for granted. Nothing more than what my client expected from me.
    Those in sum are not learned by a hobbyist, it’s practice that teaches.
    I hired ‘card carrying’ professionals that could not meet those criteria.
    And I hired ‘semi pros’ (had a day job) that blew the doors off a lot of full time pros.
    So Yea to me a jazz player with good equipment, timely to gigs, courtesy, adaptability to any band mates, knows how to place a tip jar), knows his /her worth (none of that ‘so happy to play I’ll pay you mr bar owner’), not need hand holding when calling Misty in Ab for a weird singer, and knowing how to improvise out of a hole you find yourself in,
    If a cat with a day job not in music can pull that off they deserve to be considered acting as a professional if not in fact a professional. A part time or semi pro.
    There was a young guy playing wineries who played chord/melody (sorta))) with his face literally in the fake book, never making contact with the audience, you get the picture. He was a full time pro. Not in my book)
    Here. My student. She stands up at around 25 seconds;




    Very serious and smooth as silk, just like me. She makes the instruments.
    I don't know how she wound up working in a mafia funk dive when she was younger. Her ex is controlling so she probably waited a long time to do something in music.
    It's Japan, a lot of people with brown hair die it black, people with black hair die it brown.

    I could probably learn from her. Everything I do is BLAM!!
    It was quite a shock to google her name and see this.

    She's part of 'legit' society now. She doesn't need to hear from me.

  16. #190

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    The US is headed into an abyss.
    Guitar players play. I have to remember to pick up the guitar everyday no matter what.
    For me the problem of today's world that there seems to be no definite right or wrong side socially or politically...

    it seems like today the best thing that a reasonable intelligent man can do is just to stay away from it all... the further the world goes the more I seem to myself some kind of hermit or monk...

  17. #191

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah View Post
    For me the problem of today's world that there seems to be no definite right or wrong side socially or politically...

    it seems like today the best thing that a reasonable intelligent man can do is just to stay away from it all... the further the world goes the more I seem to myself some kind of hermit or monk...
    You don't have to retreat from the world but no one cares about a blue collar man. I don' trust anyone these days.

  18. #192

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevebol View Post
    Here. My student. She stands up at around 25 seconds;




    Very serious and smooth as silk, just like me. She makes the instruments.
    I don't know how she wound up working in a mafia funk dive when she was younger. Her ex is controlling so she probably waited a long time to do something in music.
    It's Japan, a lot of people with brown hair die it black, people with black hair die it brown.

    I could probably learn from her. Everything I do is BLAM!!
    It was quite a shock to google her name and see this.

    She's part of 'legit' society now. She doesn't need to hear from me.
    That is mesmerizing. Are those cylindrical bells porcelain or glass what? In any case, that is etherial.

    "Legit" - I feel the same about many of my erstwhile friends. So I let it be.

  19. #193

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    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74 View Post
    That is mesmerizing. Are those cylindrical bells porcelain or glass what? In any case, that is etherial.

    "Legit" - I feel the same about many of my erstwhile friends. So I let it be.
    She's like my father actually. He taught 'world music' before it was cool. He was into the math behind non-classical music.
    Her CDs aren't available except from Japanese sources. I don't know what the bells are made of. I would imagine they have to be tuned accurately.
    I like it. It's good chill out music.

  20. #194
    These days I dont think it matters so much.You can be in a third rate Branson,Mo. comedy novelty act and work 6 days a week get paid and even help clean the theater.Or have an awesome job thats helps other people or animals and be a high skill knowledge level musician who does not totally depend on music performing for income. People used to call part timers weekend warriors but I think Times Have Changed! Wes had a day job at first and Pat Metheny did not. When you listen to their records what difference does it really make now?

  21. #195

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    Wow has this thread got legs! 9 years old, and it's only gotten worse for musicians who want to get paid.

    I'm definitely a hobbyist and plan on staying that way. When I was much younger there was always the "maybe someday" idea, and that daydream persisted for a whole engineering career. It's easy to hold on to a fantasy when it's still out there as an intangible thing. A few years ago my sax playing buddy put together a loose agglomeration (it was not organized or consistent enough to call a band) to play a regular gig at a bar. I joined in, and also played out more than I had for years before. It was kind of fun socially, but a real drag musically once the novelty of performing again wore off. I realized I certainly didn't want to do it as a job.

    I kind of think of jazz as a form of folk music. It doesn't have to be a livelihood or source of popular entertainment. It's no more or less valid to sit on the porch and play chord melody Autumn Leaves than fingerpick Freight Train. I think there wouldn't be so much bitterness and elitism among jazz guitarists if there was more realistic perspective about it.

  22. #196

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    For every person that goes to college to learn jazz, there are 1,000 that go to college to learn how to hate jazz.

  23. #197

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    We'll I'm not sure what I am

    The majority of my money comes from music, the other is passive income from internet marketing (just a small amount each month bon autopilot).

    I teach, busk and play occasional gigs. I'm fairly solid but don't play like Joe Pass so wouldn't consider myself a pro. I just love to play.

    But apart from my money making endevours with the guitar (the fairly solid part) I love learning new things on it (which makes me sound like a beginner).

    It's all for the love of music and the guitar so on one hand I could be a pro ( the earning money aspect) on the other hand I am a hobbyist in that I love learning new stuff and sound terrible doing so.