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Thread: Giving up Music as a profession.

  1. #31
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    this is an issue I've been faced with. I've chosen a path. But haven't chosen a path. (yea I know) I was a music major. Then I switched to Interdisciplinary studies. Its studying Music and Theatre Tech. Kinda cool I guess. A means to an end more than anything. I don't know what I want to do. I love you music. But studying at the Uni I'm at really sucks the life out of you. I started to hate classes. But this wasn't until my guitar instructor changed. When I had my old guitar teacher I loved it. I want to finish my BA eventually. But right now well...life gets in the way. But the thing I've learned is that there may not be a clearly defined route for you to take. Just do the best you can and keep keeping on.

  2. #32
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    Deja Vu?

    This threads been here awhile, but I'm new......Jessmanca, this coincidence is absolutely true.
    When traditional theory wasn't helping much with jazz harmony, microtonal scales, or ethnic rhythm, I was fortunate to study privately with an incredible composition teacher. He traveled with big jazz dance bands right out of high school(they actually made enough money to pay everybody then), eventually went back and got a degree in mathematics. With a wife and kids, he continued playing and studying music. He played (bass & others) and taught (Schillinger System of Musical Composition) into his seventies all the while working for.....NASA.
    P.S. It's really great to see such caring and down to earth responses instead of "if you can't take the heat.." crap that permeates more lucrative professions.
    P.S. As guitarists, we have to be total optimists ( or*#?!) to think we can master an instrument with complex tuning that requires 7 fingers on one hand and 6 on the other- that more people on the planet are trying to play than any other instrument.....and then there's G.H.!

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by coldair
    This threads been here awhile, but I'm new......Jessmanca, this coincidence is absolutely true.

    When traditional theory wasn't helping much with jazz harmony, microtonal scales, or ethnic rhythm, I was fortunate to study privately with an incredible composition teacher. He traveled with big jazz dance bands right out of high school(they actually made enough money to pay everybody then), eventually went back and got a degree in mathematics. With a wife and kids, he continued playing and studying music. He played (bass & others) and taught (Schillinger System of Musical Composition) into his seventies all the while working for.....NASA.
    Yep, I think it can make an important difference if you meet someone who is inspirational & who really cares about working with you.

    Still, I understand if Jessamnaca or others feel like quitting music as a profession, because there are certainly many easier ways to make a living.

    Quote Originally Posted by coldair
    P.S. It's really great to see such caring and down to earth responses instead of "if you can't take the heat.." crap that permeates more lucrative professions.
    Yes, I don’t think that sort of "can't take the heat" attitude is any use to anyone ... we are all trying for heavens sake!

    Quote Originally Posted by coldair
    P.S. As guitarists, we have to be total optimists ( or*#?!) to think we can master an instrument with complex tuning that requires 7 fingers on one hand and 6 on the other- that more people on the planet are trying to play than any other instrument.....and then there's G.H.!
    Yes when you first start, guitar can seem totally impossible. And then, many years later, after a zillion hours of dedicated practice .... much of it still seems impossible LoL! The only compensation is that most other experienced guitarists are quite happy to agree how tough it is. Of course some people claim it's all easy & say they are fantastic players, although that usually means they can't actually play very well lol ... in their defence, I think they mostly realise their mistake eventually.

    Ian.
    Last edited by Crossroads; 11-21-2008 at 05:13 PM.

  4. #34
    Registered User Madaxeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jessmanca
    So that was reason Number 1 that I am giving up Music.

    Reason #2) When your hobby becomes your job, it becomes your job
    This is true of almost anything, even job jobs. I have found for myself, at least, this is an idealistic goal many people have. I was caught up in this ideal myself when I was starting out. I went into a career field and have since found out through talking to others, that almost all career fields have the same things in common. They have many people lined up for a chance to get into the field. They treat these people as if (and there are) 1,000 people lined up behind them that will put up with all the low pay, scheduling, poor treatment etc...just to get "in" or to "pay their dues". I am not in that field anymore, and have seperated myself from the myths surrounding it. In the process, I returned to music as a dedicated serious hobby and have never been more satisfied with it.
    In a sense this is the opposite of your story, as your struggle is with music being the career field, so I can relate to you being fed up.


    Quote Originally Posted by jessmanca
    #4) Majoring in Music is the most stressful thing I have ever done, it's rediculous when you put it all in perspective. What other Major requires placement tests in 3 instruments (guitar, piano, voice), scholarship auditions, recitals, composition portfolios, performance reviews, etc etc? An Art Major paints his piece on his own time and puts it on display. A Music Major has to paint his piece flawlessly in front of a crowd entirely focused on him. You cannot paint over your mistakes.
    Try a field where you are evaluated through your entire career, in an industry that historically will lay off thousands at a time to save the company, where making a wrong decision can not only end your career but the lives of everyone you are responsible for. I understand your stress, but is not exclusive to a Music Major, and the stakes can be much higher.
    Of course, I am not using this to trivialize your problems, but there is stress and frustration all around. I did not end up with a choice to leave my career field (subtext:laid off) but I am glad I am not in it anymore.
    This is the ultimate question you can only answer by doing some soul-searching.


    Quote Originally Posted by jessmanca
    #8) Most importantly, again, when your hobby becomes your job, it becomes your job.
    Maybe there is a chance you are putting a lot of self-induced pressure on yourself to succeed and achieve an ideal that is not realistic. Is there a possibility you can change majors, and still have an active enough participation in music to satisfy the desire that got you interested in music to begin with?

    Quote Originally Posted by jessmanca
    Convince me otherwise, please! I am about to switch my major to Physics...
    I think the only one who should do the convincing is you...it sounds as if you have answered this question already, but may not be ready for the answer.
    If you are young, you still have time to explore other options.
    If you are older, there are still options but the decision has more consequence.
    If you are single, the choice is yours.
    If you have family/significant others, their opinion and the effects of your decision on them need to be weighed and considered.
    In the end, you have to decide what you want, and what you can live with (or without).

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by jessmanca
    #7) I believe Music as we know it (the 12-tone system) has already reached it's limits. Tonality and Chromaticism (and their combinations) have already been nearly fully explored. Everything we do in this system is just variations on a theme by someone else. I don't feel like risking my future/reputation on developing a quarter-tone guitar and trying to make music out of it. I hope someone does though, someone who has the money, not me.
    While I agree with most of your points, here is something that I would have to make an attempt to refute. While the essentials of music (the tone and chromatic system) may have been fully explored, the stylistic usages of such elements are not even close to being understood. Why does a C sharp on a piano sound different than one on a penny whistle or organ? Why do certain instruments have different capabilities to be arranged together? There has been no significant explanation of the timbre of an instrument that I have yet seen.

    For examples, think back to the 50s or 60s? Who would have imagined techno or electronic music? In the 19th century, heavy music was inconceivable because of technology. Not only do technological advances make for new musical styles, but fresh inspirations are very possible. Who says that breaking the 12-tone system needs fancy equipment? Have you heard the band Battles? Released in 2007, there is no basic, simple musical structure that can be pulled out of it and said to have been already used and recycled.

    Remember, music is more than theory. It doesn't matter if the notes are recycled, but the overall sound of the composition is what makes it appealing for us to listen to.

    Anyway, I applaud you for making this decision instead of 5 years later, in the middle of a dramatic mid life crisis

  6. #36
    as long as youre happy with your decision then everything will work out

  7. #37
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    Sound Engineering seems great to me.

  8. #38
    Registered User zildjidan's Avatar
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    I've personally always struggled with wondering which path in music I want to pursue: recording, performance or business.

    though it doesn't hurt to have skills in multiple aspects of music.. it's been tough figuring out which path is the right path for me.
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  9. #39
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    I graduated yesterday with a B.A. in Mathematics, beginning my M.A. program next month. I find Math expands my understanding of music theory to even further depths than i imagined possible. I want to see how far it can take me.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by jessmanca View Post
    I graduated yesterday with a B.A. in Mathematics, beginning my M.A. program next month. I find Math expands my understanding of music theory to even further depths than i imagined possible. I want to see how far it can take me.
    Congratulations. Well done!

    I agree - maths and mathematical sciences offer an important route to understanding everything in the world around us, not just music ... in a way which is impossible for anyone without that level of scientific education.

    Still it's not a magic bullet. It won't directly give some instant boost to your musical/playing ability (well, I don't find it ever did that). It won't directly solve issues of dexterity in playing, ie physical skills. And it does not really give you any very significant advantage when it comes to studying music theory or analysing what you are doing right or wrong.

    But it can, and should, give you a different perspective on how best study and learn about music and about playing your instrument.

    On the other hand, too much reliance on science (hey, that's poetry!) might lead to over-analysing things, over-complicating them, and perhaps to missing important elements of spontaneity etc. Though overall I think those dangers are far less than the advantages of scientific insight.

    But when all is said & done ... music and instrumental playing remains for me a somewhat mysterious thing, by which I mean it's not always clear to me why some people seem to succeed with it quite easily, whilst others will struggle with it all their lives ...

    ... still, for me, that level of complexity, difficulty, and perhaps even mystery, is partly what keeps me determined to succeed in each little thing I try to do in my playing/music, regardless of whatever else arises to blow me off course.

  11. #41
    Registered User urucoug's Avatar
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    I think music could be a great side job. If you make as much as the average American, and put away 10% of your earnings, and then put aside all your earnings from music, assuming you make $320/month in music, you'd be doubling your saved income. And, how many people with regular jobs would love to have your musical talent? Plus, you can still get in your state orchestra or something, and do some really cool stuff.

  12. #42
    chewing bubble gum Chim_Chim's Avatar
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    All that's left anywhere any more is doom.

    Some days I seem to do OK. Other days I feel like just shoving an M-80 right up my guitar's butt.

  13. #43
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    "All that's left" for me is to practice even more (and to persuade myself to read more theory at the end of each day/night) ...

    ... practice it, read it, understand it (try!), apply it all on your guitar ... it does work (eventually!).

    Nowadays it's all vastly easier because there is so much more help in the form of many great instructional books, DVD's, and thousands of songbooks in full TAB & notation ... whereas when I started I couldn't even find one single sheet of printed notation for any relevant electric guitar playing/song ... and none of the guitar books I bought even mentioned the notion of scales or keys!

    I just say that to stress that - whilst it's undeniably difficult to learn any proper musical instrument (and guitar is certainly not easy), I am eternally grateful for the brilliant help I can now get from scores of great books and DVD's etc., not to mention great resources like this on the net .

  14. #44
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    Re:

    I am a composer; I used to download music from internet. if you need some specific sound effect like Game Sound Effects, Animal Sound Effects etc try Audiomicro,it is very popular for music and sound effects. It’s not free but very well priced and then you are free to use the music forever.


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    Last edited by smith; 03-21-2011 at 10:33 AM.

  15. #45
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    In the case that you are not happy then the biggest escape is to give up on it. I understand your part as I've experienced like that before, you cannot be happy and good on something if you don't like it that much. Probably you like music as a profession before but now you realized that you need to change path. Just do what you want and give your best shot.


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