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  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hep To The Jive View Post
    Well, I dunno about that... How did you get to that statement?

    First, you can't really choose. By the time you are an adult looking for work, you are already who you are. I'm more on introverted side myself, and I'm always amazed how in America being loud, outspoken, and overtly friendly are often considered good traits. Not to me though. So for some being extroverted means faking it, which is a bad thing. Being natural and comfortable is more important, no?

    Then it might work in a short run, but eventually people get tired of mediocrity, no matter how good at BS you are. So introverted genius will get the spot in the end anyway.

    So I'd rather substitute it with Don't Be A Jerk, Be Nice To People. Now that's the important rule in getting work! And it's a good rule to follow in general
    My comment 'be an extrovert' was tongue in cheek. What I was trying to imply was that if you tend to be introverted, it's important to be aware of it and make sure you develop good interpersonal skills.

    You're right. You can't choose. But that isn't an excuse for "Hey, this is who I am, take it or leave it." Unless perhaps you're Mick Goodrick or Keith Jarrett. (No crack on those guys, I love them.) I love spending entire weekends alone practicing, but it wasn't good for my wallet.

    It depends on what the OP is going for. If he's going to teach and play a few quiet jazz gigs that's one thing. If he finds himself having to play weddings, corporate events, birthday parties, anniversaries, then either he or the guy running the band better have his Ryan Seacrest skills together.

    Perhaps your experience has been different, but this has been my experience. Maybe you've been luckier than me.

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    As a bit of a loudmouth myself it’s taken me a long time to appreciate where introverts are coming from, since they can seem haughty or unfriendly at first.

    Congratulations. I haven't got that far with extroverts.
    Last edited by Dana; 02-17-2018 at 10:22 AM.
    Check out my new book, Essential Skills for the Guitarist on Amazon.

  2. #92
    The issue isn't really about being loudmouths or not.

    Can "jazz" musicians support a"normal" life with a house, apartment, car, family.

    In London they can't, and anyone who who says they can is lying.

    Unless they are subsidised by their parents, or the state (ie the tax payers in real jobs).

  3. #93
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    The OP didn't actually ask how to make a living as a jazz musician. He said he was studying jazz in college and wanted to know how full time musicians make a living.

    You can't make a living as a jazz musician here either. But you can make a living if you're creative. For most it's a combination of teaching and gigs (jazz, corporate, parties, etc)
    Check out my new book, Essential Skills for the Guitarist on Amazon.

  4. #94
    Dana you're right. We've gone well off the OP's original question - many times.

    Personally I considered developing a new thread based on this, but the xenophobes would never have contributed to it. Much easier to coat-tail on a US neophyte.

    Also, the OP possibly has learnt a lot about asking the relevant questions rather than getting easy answers.

    Ouch, was that patronising - hope not.

  5. #95
    Still, there are numerous people on the forum claiming to be professional musicians.

    Some of them are. Some of them are just lying.

    No professional musician would spend all day on this forum would they.

    Unless they're desperately hunting for inexperienced buyers of "educational services".

  6. #96
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    Can "jazz" musicians support a"normal" life with a house, apartment, car, family.

    In London they can't, and anyone who who says they can is lying.
    i wouldn't put it in such absolute terms, i have a bunch of friends both in London and NYC that make a living playing music, many of them don't even teach at all. A few play only jazz gigs.

    Here is one in London (the sax player), -- with Nigel Price on guitar!


  7. #97
    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Reichbart View Post
    Thanks for the mention by Steve above, yes, I make a full time living as a jazz guitarist and I am fully and even overbooked. The "secret" is that at the center of all the sessions, sideman and wedding gigs I have developed a solo guitar ability. Walk into any establishment/cafe/restaurant/cocktail event with a guitar and a tiny amp, entertain the patrons as background music and collect money nightly. If anyone wants further advice/ideas/introduction into the style, feel free to email me jake.reichbart@gmail.com. You can easily find my videos on YouTube. Thanks, Jake
    Possibly the only response in the whole thread to the actual OP. Not that I haven’t reading all the other responses!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  8. #98
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    Musicians without day jobs, how do you make it work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alter View Post
    i wouldn't put it in such absolute terms, i have a bunch of friends both in London and NYC that make a living playing music, many of them don't even teach at all. A few play only jazz gigs.

    Here is one in London (the sax player), -- with Nigel Price on guitar!

    Nice!

    I know and have worked with both Vas and Nigel. Hardworking dudes, organised, terrific players and vibey.... you need it all, a lot of skillsets.

    Haven’t seen Vas for ages..... live on the other side of london now...

  9. #99
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    Musicians without day jobs, how do you make it work?

    I think it’s getting harder though. Wouldn’t like to be in debt from college still.... in the UK higher education used to be free.... in fact my first couple of years they GAVE me money...

    Seems very unfair on the young uns

  10. #100
    There's more to life than music. Get out and see the world when you're young. You'd be surprised how much easier it gets to play guitar when you're older if you just keep playing.

  11. #101
    So true Stevebol.

    But here's another twist. It is possible to travel as a musician - tours.

    That's one of the things I enjoyed most about it.

  12. #102
    Quote Originally Posted by sunnysideup View Post
    So true Stevebol.

    But here's another twist. It is possible to travel as a musician - tours.

    That's one of the things I enjoyed most about it.
    DIY tours?

    The Musician’s Guide To Touring Japan (and other Countries) | grassrootsy

    Japanese musicians claim club owners were throwing too much money at foreign bands. Probably true. I don't know where it stands now but they did clamp down fairly recently.
    no situation is perfect. I did a residency in the stone age but those are long gone. They were seedy. These days you can go with a band or go alone.
    There are other places in that region like Hong Kong, Singapore..

    I'd like to go back and just be a tourist.

  13. #103
    That's a new one on me Steve.

    I never toured in the far East, but in Europe and the US.

    The tours were organized by a collaboration of record label managers, band managers, and local tour managers.

    Most of the logistics would be handled by the tour managers because of their local knowledge of venues and accommodation and transportation and stuff like that.

    I guess most workaday jazz pros or semi-pros wouldn’t have those luxuries. And doing it all yourself really wouldn’t be possible in most situations. For all sorts of reasons, not least of all there are several languages involved in European tours.

    It often seemed to me that their were several languages involved in the US too, even within the English-speaking community! That's a joke, don't take offence :-)

  14. #104
    Quote Originally Posted by 1958Wes View Post

    2) Your wife has a killer job. This would be the most common solution. Most of the "cats" I know that "just play" have a wife toiling away at some 40 hour (or more) a week job earning $70k or more a year. This affords them their days to rehearse, hang out, practice, record shop, etc... and then they are free to gig every night and contribute what they can to the family finances.

    4) You must be exceptionally, talented. Like top .01% talented. Then you can tour the world and support yourself just playing "jazz". You MUST, in fact, tour the WORLD because the money is overseas. You might be careful what you wish for here, because 9-10 months or more of every year will be spent on the road. Mostly sitting in airports, on tarmacs, in customs, etc. So how does this model work if you have a family back home?
    This is a really excellent and accurate post. I have an acquaintance who's a famous jazz pianist, works with a well known singer that tours all over the world. One day I was talking with his wife, and I asked where he was, and she said he was flying to Indonesia to play TWO GIGS, and then coming back. something like 20 hours of flying each way for two gigs. This is probably an extreme example but this stuff does happen, all our favorite full-time top-shelf jazz musicians spend a significant amount of their lives in airports, planes and cars.

    Also there are tons of well known jazz musicians whose spouses have good gigs (doctors, lawyers, etc). This is kind of the only way to raise a family in a major metropolitan area like NYC. Not that everyone stays in NYC, plenty of people move out of town to an area with a lower cost of living once they are established. Bill Frisell moved to Seattle, Steve Coleman has lived in Allentown, PA for like at least 20 years, etc. I think Kevin Eubanks also lived in Allentown for a while.

  15. #105
    Survival in NYC (where I live) is a complex puzzle to be solved for many and it is not only musicians
    for whom having a partner with a second income is an essential component.

  16. #106
    Very true bako. So why chose a career that stacks the odds even further against you?

    Take the simple issue of loans - will a bank make a loan for a house or car to a jazz musician?

    Well yes if you're George Benson (who I'm sure doesn't need the loan anyway). But not 99% of jazz musicians. Not just because their income is too low, but because it's too unstable.

  17. #107
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    Unsubscribing from this BS, negative, counter-productive thread.

    Making music from anything creative is hitting a moving target. But, you know what? Technology is changing everything. Music is the thin end of the wedge. Your job will be replaced somewhere down the line. Unless you are a Silicon Valley tech mogul.

    9-5 is no longer a thing.

    You want to find out how people make a living in music? Ask musicians who are doing it. Ask Nigel Price. Ask Adam Neely. Or any of my friends and colleagues.

    There are a few people seeking to validate their own life options through argument. That's fine, but I'm not going to dignify it with the idea that it is some sort of sensible and helpful debate. They have no interest in finding out how or why, just perpetuating their own BS.

    See ya.

  18. #108
    Depends what you mean by "making a living".

    Playing supermakets, weddings and funerals is just going to make pocket money. Which is fine if you're living in public housing or off mum and dad's beneficence, or a partner's income.

    But it's naive in the extreme to think that a workaday jazz pro or semi-pro is going to be self-supporting in anything like a real sense in a city like New York or London.

    It's also irresponsible to give that BS to youngsters.

    By the way, I've made a living in music and worked as a musician in London and New York and numerous other cities and countries.

    And IT is eroding the musician's business faster than anything else is.

    A degree in IT will get 99% of graduates a house and car, a degree in music more like 1%.

    I hope your life options work out for you. Good luck.
    Last edited by sunnysideup; 02-20-2018 at 09:21 AM.

  19. #109
    Quote Originally Posted by sunnysideup View Post
    Depends what you mean by "making a living".

    Playing supermakets, weddings and funerals is just going to make pocket money. Which is fine if you're living in public housing or off mum and dad's beneficence, or a partner's income.

    But it's naive in the extreme to think that a workaday jazz pro or semi-pro is going to be self-supporting in anything like a real sense in a city like New York or London.

    It's also irresponsible to give that BS to youngsters.

    By the way, I've made a living in music and worked as a musician in London and New York and numerous other cities and countries.

    And IT is eroding the musician's business faster than anything else is.

    A degree in IT will get 99% of graduates a house and car, a degree in music more like 1%.

    I hope your life options work out for you. Good luck.
    It sure is.
    it is possible to start on Youtube and build some interest. Then you have to hit the road.
    Trying to make a living in jazz is no different than any other music. It may not be very popular but there's a network of support surrounding it.
    I don't have any words of wisdom for young musicians. I got where I wanted to be but the circumstances were unusual. As someone pointed out the money was overseas.
    Arranged marriages don't seem to be a thing in jazz but they are in R&B. I hit a roadblock.

    I don't know if music should be 'free' but a lot of people think it should be these days.

  20. #110
    Wasn't it 'free love' in the 60's? How did that work out in the long run?
    Now it's 'free music'.

    I'm not a child of the 60's but I believe in doing your own thing. I also believe love is all you need.

    OP, do you own thing.

  21. #111
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Unsubscribing from this BS, negative, counter-productive thread.

    Making music from anything creative is hitting a moving target. But, you know what? Technology is changing everything. Music is the thin end of the wedge. Your job will be replaced somewhere down the line. Unless you are a Silicon Valley tech mogul.

    9-5 is no longer a thing.

    You want to find out how people make a living in music? Ask musicians who are doing it. Ask Nigel Price. Ask Adam Neely. Or any of my friends and colleagues.

    There are a few people seeking to validate their own life options through argument. That's fine, but I'm not going to dignify it with the idea that it is some sort of sensible and helpful debate. They have no interest in finding out how or why, just perpetuating their own BS.

    See ya.
    Right on! It wasn't supposed to be a debate about a career choice in the first place. The OP just asked those who do make a living from music how they do it.

    It mostly turned into lecturing on why music shouldn't be your career. And some commenters don't even qualify for the job to begin with!

    If you hate the idea someone is actually living or preparing to live the life of a working musician, maybe you're not that happy with yours and maybe a bit jealous you don't have the guts? Otherwise why do you even bother?

    Let me tell you, the absolute majority of musician I know are the happiest human beings I ever met, even if they are poor as dirt. OTOH, I know more than a few who are miserable with all their good paying jobs and mortgages.

    Your choice is your choice, but just a reminder, the OP didn't seem to need your validation, just experience of those who are actually doing it.

  22. #112
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    after all these years, Keith Jarrett 's words describe it pretty accurately for me. Something along the lines of "if you want to become a musician don't do it, cause it's a hard profession, but if you have to become a musician, it's the greatest job in the world"

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