Do you play guitar Professionally or for Pleasure

shallbe

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Apr 26, 2012
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Mobile. AL
Both. I have been playing for pay since I was 17. I'm 57 now. Music was a full time career for about 6 years, but the economics of it and the professional jerks in the biz made it a point to try to suck the joy out of it. And while I needed to make decent money, what we often had to do for it was not what I wanted to do.

I had met a truly wonderful woman at the time, and I tried to pinpoint the important stuff for me. I really wanted to be a good husband and father at some point, and being on the road is not great for that. Married, full time job, kids, playing music on the weekends----that would be ideal. So I quit the band, got a degree, got married, got a career. Did a lot of sub gigs and eventually ended up in another band.

So, 33 years now married and 25 years in the same band. I LOVE playing music. It has been a gift that saved and then helped focus my life.
 

dmatthews

Dave's not here...
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Apr 26, 2012
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Vancouver, B.C. Canada
I've been musing on how part time work like playing music is described differently than other work. If you only perform occasionally, you're a "semi-pro" musician. So if you also moonlight at the local grocery store for extra money, are you also a "semi-pro" stock clerk?

"I mean, I could go pro, but you know how dog-eat-dog the stock clerk game is. I just like stocking shelves for the enjoyment, you know? You should check out my awesome collection of aprons some time."
That makes me a semi-pro golfer... even though I "pay to play":p
 

Axis39

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Beaumont, CA
I've been musing on how part time work like playing music is described differently than other work. If you only perform occasionally, you're a "semi-pro" musician. So if you also moonlight at the local grocery store for extra money, are you also a "semi-pro" stock clerk?

"I mean, I could go pro, but you know how dog-eat-dog the stock clerk game is. I just like stocking shelves for the enjoyment, you know? You should check out my awesome collection of aprons some time."

I guess it depends on how you part-time, or even just how serious you are. When I referred to myself as a Semi-Pro, I meant that I earn a recognizable percentage of my income from music. It is a growing part of my income on my taxes over the past couple of years. I approach my music creation like it is my business.... Because it is. I practice for set times each week, and my practice is somewhat structured. I spend time and money on marketing. I think I spend more time working towards gigging, than I do marketing my regular 'day job' company (I'm a self-employed carpenter). I also have business plans in place... and sometimes follow them! LOL

Four or so years ago, I would have referred to myself as a hobbyist... I gigged, but it was just me and the guys doing a few gigs. I had a day job and the minuscule amount of money I made making music wasn't even worth declaring on my taxes.



I dunno if I could compete aa a stock clerk. Really, I'd just say that's my hobby. I do it just for fun (while my wife is paying, that is). :p
 

CVS

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I’ve made my living in music since 1991. I play guitar on most of the tracks I record for tv ads, documentaries, etc., though I hire great session players for styles I don’t play well (that would be a lot of styles!).

Here’s something I’ve posted before that I wrote for Cadillac. It’s a good example of the stuff I write for picture. I started on piano, then brought in strings, and kind of rocked out for the running footage, then brought it back. I played guitar on this one as well.

Do you live in Michigan? ;) BTW - Great tune!
 

CVS

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I will keep my story short. Currently play instrumental music solo (smooth jazz & light blues) at gigs about once every other month for nada or close to it....I prepare my own backing tracks on a Boss looper (because I don't know any other way) and play over them. Also sit in with a band about once a month and play songs from Santana, Allman Brothers, EC, etc. and do not get any $$$

I am in the hole big time financially :D and my back hurts occasionally.......but I love retirement
 

Glide-bpm

We were small but we were slow...
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I will keep my story short. Currently play instrumental music solo (smooth jazz & light blues) at gigs about once every other month for nada or close to it....I prepare my own backing tracks on a Boss looper (because I don't know any other way) and play over them. Also sit in with a band about once a month and play songs from Santana, Allman Brothers, EC, etc. and do not get any $$$

I am in the hole big time financially :D and my back hurts occasionally.......but I love retirement

I won't complain about $100 a person most gigs for awhile... LoL!
 

Glide-bpm

We were small but we were slow...
Joined
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Coastal SC
I will keep my story short. Currently play instrumental music solo (smooth jazz & light blues) at gigs about once every other month for nada or close to it....I prepare my own backing tracks on a Boss looper (because I don't know any other way) and play over them. Also sit in with a band about once a month and play songs from Santana, Allman Brothers, EC, etc. and do not get any $$$

I am in the hole big time financially :D and my back hurts occasionally.......but I love retirement

If you're sitting in for no pay with that band, I sure as heck hope they're not expecting you to help pack any gear other than your own.

I'm "the guy" with the huge trailer and the $100,000.00 practically worth of PA and lighting equipment. If you help setup and teardown and play, you get offered a full cut, even as a special guest/sit-in. Basically, you work, you get paid.

I don't play evil overlord just because I have the killer sound systems. I'm all about fair!

People in the band have to pull their weight most nights, too. If someone has a bad back, they get to roll mic cables onto the cable reels and fold and pack Mic stands and speaker poles. Just stuff within their physical means.

It's all about fair if you play with me in a group!

Your job cause you to be late for setup, you get heavier duties than those that could make it early.

However, it's not nitpicked down to micro-analysis...
You won't get called out unless you're consistently a slacker... LoL!!!!:D
 
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Alnus Rubra

Loving nature’s wonders
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If you're sitting in for no pay with that band, I sure as heck hope they're not expecting you to help pack any gear other than your own.

I'm "the guy" with the huge trailer and the $100,000.00 practically worth of PA and lighting equipment. If you help setup and teardown and play, you get offered a full cut, even as a special guest/sit-in. Basically, you work, you get paid.

I don't play evil overlord just because I have the killer sound systems. I'm all about fair!

People in the band have to pull their weight most nights, too. If someone has a bad back, they get to roll mic cables onto the cable reels and fold and pack Mic stands and speaker poles. Just stuff within their physical means.

It's all about fair if you play with me in a group!

Your job cause you to be late for setup, you get heavier duties than those that could make it early.

However, it's not nitpicked down to micro-analysis...
You won't get called out unless you're consistently a slacker... LoL!!!!:D

So you don’t get to “Glide” along for free in your band?!;)
 

Glide-bpm

We were small but we were slow...
Joined
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Coastal SC
So you don’t get to “Glide” along for free in your band?!;)

Nope... But you get paid unless you're an absolute lazy azz... LoL! And I promise you I don't get to GLiDE along without working hard, too. Nobody owes me anything for being the equipment dude.

We all get along very well and enjoy each other's company.

Point is, if the other poster is invited to play, he should have no obligation to pick up other people's crap if they're not paying him! :)
 

bricel24

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Feb 17, 2014
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Sacramento/SF Bay Area
I just started getting back to being in a band after so many years but no, i don't play for money, yet. I just enjoy it. Feels really good playing on stage and with great people. And I know I am not good enough either.
 

Boogie

Zombie Two, DFZ
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Apr 26, 2012
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Indy, IN
I’ve made my living in music since 1991. I play guitar on most of the tracks I record for tv ads, documentaries, etc., though I hire great session players for styles I don’t play well (that would be a lot of styles!).

Here’s something I’ve posted before that I wrote for Cadillac. It’s a good example of the stuff I write for picture. I started on piano, then brought in strings, and kind of rocked out for the running footage, then brought it back. I played guitar on this one as well.

This piece gives me goose bumps every time. The epitome of ‘pro’.

Nope... But you get paid unless you're an absolute lazy azz... LoL! And I promise you I don't get to GLiDE along without working hard, too. Nobody owes me anything for being the equipment dude.

We all get along very well and enjoy each other's company.

Point is, if the other poster is invited to play, he should have no obligation to pick up other people's crap if they're not paying him! :)
As it should be. The problem starts to be the lack of able bodied players when everyone is 50-70 years old. That’s when the dumba$$ed vocalist that insists “he sounds better” brought his ancient Peavey towers/power amps/mixer that weigh more than my car becomes his own roadie. He doesn’t help me load in/out, but I always pitch in to haul his crap (not ‘stuff’. The word Peavey on the front denotes ‘crap’. Sorry). Now, don’t get me started on the drummer that brings his double-bass kit with 25 cymbals and 3 floor toms to a bar gig on a 6x12 stage. /rant-mode :D
 

CVS

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Jun 6, 2014
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Southern California
If you're sitting in for no pay with that band, I sure as heck hope they're not expecting you to help pack any gear other than your own.

I'm "the guy" with the huge trailer and the $100,000.00 practically worth of PA and lighting equipment. If you help setup and teardown and play, you get offered a full cut, even as a special guest/sit-in. Basically, you work, you get paid.

I don't play evil overlord just because I have the killer sound systems. I'm all about fair!

People in the band have to pull their weight most nights, too. If someone has a bad back, they get to roll mic cables onto the cable reels and fold and pack Mic stands and speaker poles. Just stuff within their physical means.

It's all about fair if you play with me in a group!

Your job cause you to be late for setup, you get heavier duties than those that could make it early.

However, it's not nitpicked down to micro-analysis...
You won't get called out unless you're consistently a slacker... LoL!!!!:D

I like the way you do things! When I sit in, I don't have to bring any equipment, the guitarist has known me for years and just lets me use his stuff. I usually play about 5 songs & I have never had to move any equipment in or out.
 

Glide-bpm

We were small but we were slow...
Joined
Feb 10, 2016
Messages
2,585
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Coastal SC
This piece gives me goose bumps every time. The epitome of ‘pro’.


As it should be. The problem starts to be the lack of able bodied players when everyone is 50-70 years old. That’s when the dumba$$ed vocalist that insists “he sounds better” brought his ancient Peavey towers/power amps/mixer that weigh more than my car becomes his own roadie. He doesn’t help me load in/out, but I always pitch in to haul his crap (not ‘stuff’. The word Peavey on the front denotes ‘crap’. Sorry). Now, don’t get me started on the drummer that brings his double-bass kit with 25 cymbals and 3 floor toms to a bar gig on a 6x12 stage. /rant-mode :D

LoL!

Digital rack mixer in a very very light rack. Hehehe
 

Glide-bpm

We were small but we were slow...
Joined
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Messages
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I like the way you do things! When I sit in, I don't have to bring any equipment, the guitarist has known me for years and just lets me use his stuff. I usually play about 5 songs & I have never had to move any equipment in or out.

Cool! Gives you a chance to just cut loose for a few, huh? :cool:
 
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