View Poll Results: What Kind of Player Are You?

233. You may not vote on this poll
  • Full Time Pro - All Income From Music

    26 11.16%
  • Part Time - Weekend Warrior

    60 25.75%
  • Hobbyist - Never or Rarely Play Out

    148 63.52%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Posts 51 to 92 of 92
  1. #51

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    I have been a full time pro for years and years - then part time when jobs got scarcer, still making a considerable percentage of my income by playing music.

    Old school blues btw.

    Quasi retired now making money with guitar lessons and playing with some old fart friends in a classic rock band for fun.

    Regarding jazz guitar I'm a total newbie and hack, trying to learn how to do it and enjoying the journey.
    Last edited by TOMMO; 08-21-2019 at 11:09 AM. Reason: typo
    A long journey starts with the first step...and although I have long forgotten about my destination I'm still enjoying the journey.


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #52

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    I've been a hobbyist for the last 7 years. Played bass in a somewhat regularly-gigging blues band for a couple of years before that, and was a weekend warrior through most of the 90s.

    I've never supported myself with musical income, and don't think I've ever cleared $500/year after gas and gear was paid-for.

  4. #53

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    Guitar hobbyist, bass weekend warrior.

    Never had the motivation (while younger) to put in the hours towards being really good. Plus I never had the networking skills that a professional musician needs.

    But I'm not complaining, it's all good. I can learn, play and write stuff on my own which is enough for me.

  5. #54

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    Full Time. One clarification...all my income came from music until last month when I received my first Social Security Check. Woo Hoo!

  6. #55

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    Full time musician for many years. There were many other years when I did other things to augment my income. But I have never not gigged since I was about 22.
    Now I get Social Security and play out 2-3 times a week. Sometimes more and sometimes less. I could gig more, but as I get older, I'm more selective about what jobs I'll do.

  7. #56

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    I don't really like guitars or jazz for that matter I'm just a forum junkie


  8. #57

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    It's very funny. I am a guitar hobbyist and all of my income is from playing music live...
    2014 Sadowsky Jim Hall
    1996 Gibson GRT18

  9. #58

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    50 years playing and writing music, teaching here and there (Berklee, New England Conservatory, private lessons, retired from that years ago), never bothered to limit myself to jazz gigs when there's so much fun to be had playing Brazilian and Spanish music, working with great singers and entertainers, playing with top orchestras, exploring West African styles, writing arrangements and leading the band for singers and horn-players, etc. Jazz is always part of my music, no matter the setting, but jazz gigs in jazz joints with jazz musicians tend to blur together into one long ding-ding-a-ding.

    Basically, my lifelong word avoidance program.

  10. #59

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    I play in a Trio; we play put out about 12-17 times a year. I work a full 40 hr. a week, so that's about all I want to do... FOR NOW. I'll be retiring in 3 more years, then I intend to play out a whole lot more!

  11. #60

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    If all income from music excludes teaching and by music you're saying jazz, there's probably a few hundred people in the world, if that much, who match that criteria. Even the vast majority of pros teach - it's very hard to rely only on jazz gigs to survive, even if you tour Europe and Asia frequently.

    As Jeff said, I've had a period of my life where I played 5 times a week and it's VERY hard... I started teaching too and reduced the gigs and now it's much easier.

  12. #61

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    100% Full time here as well. Wish i had more jazz gigs though!. I have to play all styles really. Rock, country, smooth jazz gigs. All in the corporate and country club market and some steady club gigs. Id KILL for a steady straight ahead jazz gig duo or trio, but wouldn't we all.

  13. #62

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    Weekend Warrior is the label that fits best.

    I play in an octet every week -- a gig one week, a rehearsal the next. Occasional other gigs.

    I play in a big band once a month, with the occasional gig.

    I play a weekly jam (not a gig).

    I play in a weekly rehearsal band -- all Brazilian.

    And, the occasional additional jams and gigs.

    I taught many years ago.

  14. #63

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    So just want to add some thoughts as a Full Time Pro Guitarist for the last 40 years. I love Jazz meaning any situation where people are serious pros and are able to improvise and listen. That said good luck ever making money at that even if you're one of the few.
    But that has always been true for the most part.
    What really bothers me is the shift with not only the majority of the public, but some musicians as well. The acceptance of not only Lame Music but how it's preformed like Karaoke with or w/out computers. The public doesn't seem to be able to tell the difference between live playing and machines. The worst part is they don't care, and the mostly younger performers don't care!

    This to me is statement on what we've become as a society overall, and I while I accept change is inevitable, I bemoan the lack of not only HUMAN SPIRIT , but improvement of the craft/art/gift that music brings everyone!

  15. #64

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    59 year old play for the love of it. I first played guitar in my late teens, then played sax for many years on and off till I finally walked away from it. The music wouldn't let me go though and I'm back playing guitar and enjoying it more than ever. I hope to get back to the jam session plus standard I had with sax, but I'm very early on that path...

  16. #65

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    Full time if you include teaching? But 100 % of my income from music or music related activity. It has shifted over the years but now at my age the only other option I could consider is working in some other capacity within a teaching faculty. Like a musicologist for instance.................................

    I've always wanted to pursue philosophy but there lies one of the few other professions besides playing jazz that pays less than nothing....

  17. #66

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    Hobbyist with 2-5 gigs per year. Little string combo with clarinet, mostly of the 30ties. I play rhythm most of the time (and since decades, on and off). And I love to play 'acoustic' music, that's why I play an acoustic archtop w/o cutaway. So I'm limited (or lets call it focused ) which goes well with the amount of time I spend for may day job. But playing just makes me happy (or whatever the right English term would be).

  18. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max405 View Post
    , I get to spend time with my family (although in my case its arguing with my 16 year old.).

    Joe D
    The only thing better than not arguing with a 16 year old is not arguing with your 23 year old. :-)

  19. #68

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    Or your 40 year old...

  20. #69

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    I can't really answer that question because it would need to be related to musical style and what period in my life. So here's my nunaced (or differentiated) answer:

    Past: I have been a pro as a blues player for close to thirty years - same band all that time - our own material and several albums.

    Recent: Hobby player with a selected few gigs with my classic rock band.

    Teaching guitar if that counts...

    Absolute hobby player (and hack/greenhorn) when it comes to jazz.

    Now which box should I check?
    A long journey starts with the first step...and although I have long forgotten about my destination I'm still enjoying the journey.

  21. #70

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    With those 3 categories I would say “Weekend Warrior”is probably the closest fit for me because I do "play out" on a somewhat regular basis and love that aspect of playing .

    “Monthly Warrior” however would be closer to being accurate these days considering the frequency of how often I "play out". I do love to play out with my trio and these days we describe our music as “Acoustic Americana”, a mix of Bluegrass, Country, Folk, Western Swing, Gospel and we now are adding jazz, specifically jazz standards to our mix as well. I have been playing with this trio and the three of us were previously part of a a 5 member band that played together for close to 30 years. As the leader of these bands we probably played out about 2 to 3 times a month a few years back. We all had "day jobs", none of us every relied on making a living playing music, its always been for the fun of it. We were serious enough to record 2 CD's, 16 songs each of similar music, Bluegrass and Beyond, Acoustic Americana,etc. It is only the last couple years I finally got hooked on learning jazz so our trio could add jazz standards to our music. I recently acquired a D’’AngelicoEXL-1 guitar for the purpose of playing jazz and will still use my Martin D-18 for the bulk of the other music we play. I have found this jazz forum extremely helpful and entertaining as well! Bill

    Here is a sample of our trio's music, today which hopefully will include some clips of jazz standards in the near future!

  22. #71

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    Fulltime theatre

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  23. #72

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    I am now officially an at home hobbyist. The gigs I was doing with another guitarist ended when he became incapable of playing anymore. We had a pretty regular gig for an individual to perform "jazz" at his private club or his private parties at his house. But being part of the tryer outer fraternity is now my

    "Ok, loan me $20, but only give me $10....that way you still owe me $10, and since I owe YOU $10, we'll be even......"

  24. #73

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    To be perfectly honest, my response to ' What kind of guitar player are you ? ' should be: " Not all that good "..

    ......There I said it........

    Ok but I'm a much better listener, so at least this good ear I've been born with lets me appreciate good playing. If I'm lucky enough to see a decent player on a gig, I see my job as paying attention and letting the player know, if I can catch him or her, that I was listening and that I appreciate his playing.

    Then it's back home to the couch and ' parlor archtop ', to see if I can get even close to something the player may have done. Of course most ( all ) of the time I can't, but that's ok.

    The music does me just fine, thanks !

  25. #74

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    I guess I'd go with "Hobbyist+". Which is to say, I'll play whenever, wherever, as often as I can. If there's payment in the offing, awesome, but it's not necessary.
    "I'm opposed to picketing, but I don't know to show it." --Mitch Hedberg

  26. #75
    Started out playing for fun - singing, drums and other percussion, blues harp, loads of jams and parties. Improved my drumming skills and joined a Brazilian group after relocating to Vancouver. Got obsessed with "Celtic" when that was a thing: combination of Irish trad, Newfoundland, and Irish and Scots folk revival, and made that a solid weekend-warrior proposition for a good few years, then started a family and like some others here, back to college for some "serious" work that pretty much crushed my soul. Still looking for something that won't have that effect and fingers crossed, think I've found it.

    Got obsessed again, this time with the stuff I heard as a little kid: vintage country, through which I discovered the stuff that really gets my heart racing and my pupils dilating: Western swing. Took up lap steel, and a bit of guitar so I could accompany myself singing. Got sidetracked by Irish folk again for a while but my heart just wasn't in it, so am now settling into my lovely new Godin Fifth Avenue.

    I am still a total hack but am getting my head around non-folk harmonies for the first time. I've been listening to jazz in one form or another since 1976, and it was always obvious that knowing more harmony is what has made it possible to compose a wider range of melodies (hope this makes sense at some level), and have recently found a lot of real book and fake book stuff that I love and am working at it. The real book stuff is great, coming from a folk background I love the challenge of playing in keys written for horn players. Will always be primarily a self-accompanying singer, but want to expand beyond that too. Might take up steel again, and I know I'd make a better go of it armed with my new harmonic knowledge. Best of all, my wife is encouraging me to play out again now that our son is a teenager. I love their company best of all things in life, but have been a bit too cocoon-y and am gonna take her advice.

    That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

  27. #76

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    How about 'retired from playing out.' I have not played out since the late 1990s. Now I record in home studio.

  28. #77
    Quote Originally Posted by jads57 View Post
    What really bothers me is the shift with not only the majority of the public, but some musicians as well. The acceptance of not only Lame Music but how it's preformed like Karaoke with or w/out computers. The public doesn't seem to be able to tell the difference between live playing and machines. The worst part is they don't care, and the mostly younger performers don't care!

    This to me is statement on what we've become as a society overall, and I while I accept change is inevitable, I bemoan the lack of not only HUMAN SPIRIT , but improvement of the craft/art/gift that music brings everyone!
    We're 100% on the same page. My brother doesn't even call that stuff music - it's "entertainment product." I said this in a PM to a like-minded guy on another forum a few years ago:

    "How can you have joy with a robotic arts culture?"

    People who defend it always talk about "evolution." Might I remind them that evolution is not necessarily of benefit to the evolving organism. It could in fact result in extinction. Nuff said.
    Last edited by Mike Anderson; 12-23-2017 at 01:24 PM.

  29. #78

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    Evolution is change. There is no connotation of better or worse, it's just change.

  30. #79

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    Therapy for me. I’ve played the guitar for 40 years and whenever I need to chill out and relax, I just pull out the guitar. Whether it’s by myself, with a buddy or two or a one off gig every now and then, it’s been a good friend over the years and I always feel like there will be endless ways to approach it depending on the time and season.

  31. #80

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    Does not play well with others.

  32. #81
    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
    Evolution is change. There is no connotation of better or worse, it's just change.
    Indeedy. I've had some great discussions on the topic over the years, because as a guy who has always made an effort to hear all kinds of music, I have heard everything from jaw-droppingly beautiful new music to new music that would, to use my own phraseology, make a vulture retch - stuff that literally sounds like aliens or computers made it, or sadistic psychopaths. But of course it's all subjective. I think most people in North America stop exploring in their early 20s (at the latest) and are stuck there for the rest of their lives. Lots of other people use music as a sort of soundtrack to the movie they have running in their heads about how cool they are; the more disconnected from the real world the person is, the more their preferred soundtrack sounds like it was made by machines rather than human beings. Some guys' movies are about how tough they are, so they inflict it on passersby from their cars - not, obviously, because it sounds better at hearing-damage volume, but because they know it pisses people off. Weaponized music.

    Music can be a lot of things to different people. A lot of the things it is to a lot of people nowadays just makes me want to despair, because it kind of screams about what an alienated emotional wreck the listener must be - but then I just smile and remember that it ain't my job to improve the minds and souls of perfect strangers, that my hands are full enough taking care of myself and my family, and I go play or listen to something wonderful.

  33. #82

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    I call myself a semi-pro in that I have a day job that pays the bills and my student loans! But my chops are pro level, or at least that's what the full-timers I play with tell me

  34. #83

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    Every other weekend, and that's fine.
    I detest getting home at 2am. I have little kids.
    Thankfully, I don't require a ton of sleep and can cat nap. Always have.
    I teach occasionally, and that's fine, too. I do it to remind myself of the basics, theory.
    I don't need the cash. I do it because I still love playing and playing live.

  35. #84

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  36. #85

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    I am a weekend warrior I guess.

    Work in a desk job 9 to 5 - but do 3 or so gigs per week. I play in a big band and several combos.... from trad jazz to bop. Usually at pubs and clubs or the casino. I am lucky to earn some money from the gigs but finding work is getting harder and harder.

  37. #86

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    Amateur as a jazz guitarist, just working on a stuff. I'll probably start getting together with other musicians soon, I'd like to hear my own compositions played at least.

    I used to play in public as a microtonal guitar player. Ambient looped soundscapes. I wrote a 30 min microtonal string quartet that was released, so I've been paid for that kind of stuff. I may get back to it someday.

  38. #87

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  39. #88

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    I admit to being a hopeless amateur as a player, after a 60 years' crush on archtops (with a 25 years' black hole called business career in between.) Not enough talent, trouble with the tadpoles between the lines, always something that goes ahead of practicing. Hence, the hobbyist category comes closest, but it doesn't do full justice to me or my fellow senior amateur musicians. We are finally living our high-school dream. No-one has a daily practicing routine, and at our age it's routine to forget what was agreed at the previous rehearsls. But we enjoy making music together, practicing weekly and appearing perhaps once a month at pensioners' meetings, old age homes, hospitals etc. A very egotistic form of charity. We play swing, even older stuff, where my plectrum banjo draws the smiles. The audience just loves us, as we bring them the music of their youth. But our audience will soon be younger than us, demanding Beatles & Rolling Stones. My bandmates have other bands of similar stature, and I play at jazz jams 1-3 times a month. This is also a way to test and promote my TOOB ultra-light speaker cabinets. So: a retiree amateur and a determinate gearhead who plays more on the stage than on the sofa. The audience beware!

  40. #89

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    I’m the guy that can play about 60% of maybe 4 or 5 standards before learning the into/verse of a different standard. In short, I’m a quitter.

  41. #90

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    Music has always been a great avocation for me. I learned really early in life that I didn't have the talent, drive, and the courage to do music as my life's vocation. To those players who have, I am in awe and have enormous respect for their commitment. One of my earliest teachers was a role model for me, emphasizing that it was tough to make it as a full time musician and that I should pursue an alternative career while continuing to do music as an avocation. I followed his advice and never regretted the decision. Having said that, I can still vividly remember being torn over whether to major in music or to pursue another field.

    Like many of us, I suspect, I got away from music when my life was distracted with career decisions, work pressures, mortgages, kids, etc. I came back to it only because I felt a compelling need to learn as much as I could. I had no illusions about gigging on a regular basis. I just wanted to grow as a musician and work as hard as I could at it in the years that I have left. I approach the guitar from the perspective of a student and hope that I always will. At age 59, I found a great jazz teacher and for the past 12 years he has helped me enormously as jazz guitarist.

    Ironically, I had a couple of unusual experiences, some might say supernatural, that led me back to music. They were not experiences that I anticipated; they just happened and as it turned out, led me down the musical path. What I learned from all of this is that for some reason, I was meant to do this and for a long time in my life, I truly didn't understand that. I jokingly refer to myself as a "Recovering Musician." I was in denial for many years that I needed to do music in order to be a complete human being.

    When I retired a few years ago, I gigged a fair amount. After about 4 years of it, I really burned out. I got tired of all the BS. So I made a decision to only do gigs that I wanted to do. Right now, I am connected with a couple of churches. Sometimes I do solo stuff; other times, I perform with an ensemble of like minded colleagues. Its fun and its always interesting because I am always learning new stuff and getting challenged. I continue to jam with other musicians when I am able and I rehearse with a vocalist who while trained as an opera performer, loves jazz. For several years, I did solo work in a Continuing Care Community, playing mainly for dementia patients as well as Hospice patients. I learned about life and death issues that helped to prepare me for what I eventually would go through with my elderly (and now late) mother. I continue to do "hired gun" work from time to time, but frankly I don't enjoy it as much as I used to.

    While I am not sure the word "hobby" describes my musical experience, with out a doubt my musical experiences have been trans-formative in my life. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to develop and share the musical gift that has been a part of me for a very long time.

  42. #91

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    I’m an amateur. There was a time years ago when I might have been able to claim near-weekend warrior status. I was in an acoustic guitar/vocal duo and my partner (who is a pro) and I played gigs regularly for a couple of years. I was honored that he considered me worthy of the collaboration. We played a mix of covers and originals - his and mine. We worked hard on arrangements and harmonies, and got some nice feedback from the audiences for whom we performed. I did it for the love of music, and I learned so much about listening and playing in an ensemble during the time I played with Josh. I got busy with work and family, and Josh moved to another town, and that was the end of my weekend warrior days.

    Now I practice at home, at work during lunch, and jam with friends and with my son when he visits from L.A. where he’s a full-time professional musician. I am not cut from that cloth. And he’s a better musician, singer, guitarist, mandolinist, arranger, and songwriter than me. He likes the lifestyle he’s created for himself. I like the steady paycheck and benefits of being an engineer. I am in awe of you pros. From where I sit it looks like a tough way to make a living, but we need beautiful music in this world to make it bearable. I am so grateful to those who create that joyful noise.

    I like recording myself. I often don’t like to listen to what I recorded. I’m really impressed by the quality of the videos that forum members here have posted. Once I suck a little less at jazz, I will post something. I’ll spare you all for now, unless you want a video of a bald guy playing a fiddle tune on a mandolin or guitar.

  43. #92

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    I'm a hobbyist, but it's more like I'm just making money outside of music... I studied at a good school and with some of the best teachers in NYC, and I've played with good people.... but I can't imagine paying New York rent on guitarist income... I'd like to move to weekend warrior, but I work as a bartender.... soooooo