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Thread: Confused about mixed feelings about music career

  1. #31
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Quote Originally Posted by walternewton View Post
    Maybe some acts at the highest levels (U2, Springsteen, etc) can afford their own traveling "personal chefs", but it sure isn't the way it works for your average working musician!
    Yeah I didn't think so. I think if I'm gonna do this, I'd have to have my own RV/bus and pay for the food myself. In other words, i'd have to be a millionaire first!

  2. #32
    Divine Foundling
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Peoria IL
    It is interesting that you should bring up this question, Rockchick. I am in a similar position that you are. I have wanted to be a professional musician from the time I was very young. Let me state here that I am a Christian, although I am not given to necessarily to being what is known as a Contemporary Christian Musician. I am more of a fusion guy, or at least I would like to think so.

    Recently, in a totally unrelated field, I took a course to be certified by a certain company, and in the course, it was said that primarily the difference between successful and unsuccessful people was that successful people set goals for themselves, and actually write them down.

    Again, I am a Christian, and I do at least a modicum of praying. I came to a juncture in my thinking just the other day when I felt just downright unsuccessful in life. I am unemployed, and I happen to not own a vehicle, or even an amplifier for my guitar, at this time in my life. I have been praying and asking for many material things with hopes of great success, spurned on by some very hope inspiring words of the one I call the Master, Jesus Christ. And then it dawned on me that I had never assessed what kind of life I want to live. I mean I want to be, in regards to profession, both an artist and musician, all things in those two things being equal. I mean, it is easy for a Christian to say, both to God, others and themself, that they want to live a life that is pleasing to God, Christ-like, etc. But I came, in the course of my prayers and meditation, to a moment when I realized I wanted to live a life similar, or, all things being possible if you believe, according to the Master, to a very good friend of mine, someone I have known since I was 17 (I am nearly 47 at this time), an artist musician named Preston Jackson of Peoria, IL, where I also reside at this time in my life. He has always been a sort of second father to me, despite the fact that he is an African-American and I a caucasian. But out of everyone I know, or perhaps even heard of, I find my friend Preston to be the most enviable person I know. He is both a musician and artist of good standing in this locality. And I believe that God, in a most sublime way, was asking me not what I want to do in and with my life, but what kind of life I desire to live, not that the very heavens opened and that God spoke to me audibly, etc. After whom, in other words, do I wish to pattern my life after? And I came at least to an essential conclusion that, at least initially that I would like to go after my friend. He is affluent, kind and successful, and he is in demand, perhaps moreso as an artist than as a musician, but he is thought of very highly on both counts nonetheless. I mean, there is the dynamic involved that I can later change my mind or add to that pattern and path I have chosen. I doubt I will change my mind, but it is possible that I will add to my list of influences, though.

    I hope this is helpful to you and not just a bunch of meaningless drivel. I guess my overall point in this reply is to perhaps inspire you to ask and subsequently assess what kind of life you want to live. Who do you find most enviable and respectable perhaps first and foremost among people you know personally? Start there, perhaps imitate them, and get started on the same path in this life, if it is not too presumptuous to impose a small burden upon you. I believe you'll have, in so doing, a greater sense of direction, and resultantly, have abetter idea as to where you are going in life.

    Cheers and regards,


  3. #33
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    I think for getting a good career in music filed you must improve self confidence in yourself, then it is very easy for you to choose the best option.

  4. #34
    Afro-Cuban Grunge-Pop Bongo Boy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Colorado Springs CO
    One suggestion, and it's a rather 'mechanical' or 'analytic' approach, is to grab a big piece of paper and a pen and do a 'LIKE' and 'DISLIKE' thing--sort of an affinity table of what attracts and what doesn't. This may help, if you can be honest with yourself--and that's one reason for the technique: it isn't necessarily shared with anyone.

    For example, you say 'everything' you've tried ends up in disappointment (let's avoid 'failure'...that applies more to manufactured parts than to people). So start with writing down everything you've put into this bucket of things you've tried. For each one, write down (you can't just think about it then decide you don't want to write it down--this is stream-of-consciousness we're trying here) what you liked, what went well, etc., and what your negative experiences were. You may even want to write down very brief comments about what you had hoped to get from the experience.

    But yes, you may have some practical issues that you need some help with. For example, to set up a web site is no small task IMO, regardless of all the tools available that 'make it easy'. You, however, had in mind a site with a page for all rock bands. Was that a serious expectation of yourself? That's not a project, first of all, because there is no definition of "all rock bands". What you've described is a lifelong, ongoing activity--not something that could ever be achieved. My Big Point is that your expectation was to eat the elephant in one meal, and no human would have been able to achieve success by that standard.

    Anyway, I feel you really need to get some things down on paper--so you can then go thru your notes and look for patterns, cycles, common themes, etc. You may not have even thought about what you like about music in a way that helps you. Let's just take a few music related activities:

    - music web site
    - road crew
    - performer

    I've selected just 3 'music related' activities. They are about as far apart in terms of what might motivate a person to do them as I can imagine, and still be music related. To put it another way, the rewards one might get from these 3 activities are, or certainly could be, vastly different. What you would need to do in order to get on the path toward success in each of them--same, or different? Totally different. Completely different technologies, skills, interests, resources and people that you would likely have to immerse yourself in.

    You might also take the analytic approach with this: get a list of a dozen music related careers and ask yourself what the personal draw is to each of them, and what aspects you don't care for. ALL of them will require communication skills, all of them will require that you interview with someone, all will require embarking on a new path of unfamiliar, scary things, and all will require work and perseverance.

    It's okay to try to look from the outside in, gain awareness of yourself and your strengths and weaknesses. Just don't ask "what's wrong with me?". My suggestions above are aimed not at finding what's wrong with you, but at finding what it is you keep doing and getting the same undesired results.

    Another analytic tool--SWOT. Do a quad chart of YOU...your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. As always, you have to gain the courage to be honest--don't say "I love people" because you know it's the 'right' thing to list as a strength--if you truly prefer them in small doses.

    I hope this perspective from Neptune can help you.
    Pulsing the System with Confirmed Nonsense.

  5. #35
    I am also contemplating ending my music career. I have been experiencing some chronic back pains which I think are a result of me playing the guitar for a number of years. I have recently been researching different types of things to do to help the pain (cure back pain & back pain shoes), so hopefully with some exercise and proper routine I will be able to keep the love of my life going...GUITAR!!!!

  6. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Rockchick26 View Post
    I'm a 37 year old female who loves music more than anything in the world. It has been my favorite thing since I was probably 7 or 8 years old. I have been to about 120 concerts, traveled across the country to see my favorite bands, and all my favorite memories were of something musical-related.

    The problem is...naturally, I want to get into music for a career, but so far everything I've tried has felt wrong to me. And this has left me extremely confused and depressed.

    I played violin when I was about 9 or 10. I don't remember enjoying it as much as I should have, and only did it for one year.

    I took piano and voice lessons a few years ago, but was too shy to sing in front of my teacher, and I could not learn sheet music for the life of me. I tried on my own before this too (using lessons from the internet) and both times it just didn't sink in. I hated practicing but I loved to play, on my own. I could play a song on a cd player and play along with it and learn the damn thing in sometimes as little as 5 minutes but yet I could not bring myself to learn sheet music, and I eventually quit the lessons.

    I volunteered at a recording studio for a few months, but that was a disaster. The guys there barely talked to me and acted like I shouldn't have been there. And what's even stranger, I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would. I sat in on a few recording sessions, and the music was bad so I wasn't that interested in it and the guys barely talked to me and I didn't have a clue how to help and it was just really awkward, so I just quit going. I felt like a fish out of water which confused the hell out of me since I've always dreamed about being in a recording studio helping a band record an album.

    I started my own music website, and I had it going for almost 2 years, but the more I did it, the more I lost interest in it. My site was about rock music and I wanted to have a page for every rock band out there. It was a bit daunting, but I was determined. Well, towards the end I did not have the motivation to keep going, I was only 1/4 of the way done and I just didn't care anymore. My writing had lost it's spark, because I found that you can only describe music in so many ways before you start repeating youself. It started to feel like a chore. So, I got rid of my site.

    I really can't figure out why every time I try to advance myself musically, it backfires. I love music more than anything so I can't figure out why it always turns out wrong.

    I really wanted to be a music journalist, I LOVED Almost Famous, but I am not good with speaking and I get shy and nervous around bands so I could never interview them.

    I think I love the concert aspect of it the best, and would love to work on tour, and I've asked bands before if they wanted any more roadies, but of course nobody wants me because I don't have any experience!

    What is wrong with me!? Why can't I make this work? I have been looking into other completely different careers that I have an interest in but I keep coming back to music and wondering why this doesn't work when it's still the most important thing to me!? I feel like my life will be wasted if I don't do something in music! I can't afford music school either (I'm currently unemployed for the most part so I can barely afford my bills).

    Does anyone have any advice for me?
    It sounds like your main problem is confidence. That you're worried you don't "fit in" and somehow manage to talk yourself out of whatever place you're in. If you're still interested in the singing aspect, I'd recommend SLS (Speech Level Singing). Just keep in mind that there are many students out there that start off really bad and awkward (I'm one of them), but you stick at it with a tutor you get on with and you'll notice improvements in both your tone and your confidence.

    There were many times in the beginning where I'd just fall about laughing at myself knowing I probably looked really odd "woofing" and making motorboat noises for warm ups... but I got over it. It can be fun when you shake off your ego!

    Set yourself short term goals. I set myself one that I'd sing on the karaoke on a night out; so the tutor and I worked on a specific song I felt comfortable with. I, by no means, blew everyone away but it was very liberating, a lot of fun, and people seemed quite happy to listen (no bleeding ears, honest!)

    Are there any local bands you like, or know? Maybe offer to do promotional work for them like leaflet drops, a blog dedicated to them, social networking for them (maybe this will give you a 'free' pass to gigs too? Bonus!). This may give you experience in the industry, but still doing fun stuff.

    It may also be worth looking at tips on building confidence and self-esteem - you have to believe in yourself for others to see your worth.



    Hope this helps!
    Last edited by C.W; 02-20-2013 at 06:18 AM. Reason: Correcting an error

  7. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Rockchick26 View Post
    I've thought about music school, but I was just discouraged by the fact that every time I've tried to do something music-related, I end up losing interest. I didn't want to go into debt $30,000 for something I would most likely lose interest in. I already wasted at least $500 on that website that I couldn't make a go of. Not a very smart idea for someone who is unemployed for the most part.

    I have tried on my own to learn music theory at least, but I didn't do very well in high school and even worse in math so I just felt like I wasn't smart enough or something. I lose interest and feel overwhelmed after only a few days. Even after 3 months of piano lessons I could barely read simple sheet music.

    I had a crazy idea a few months ago to buy an RV and travel around the country following bands around, picking up fans along the way and charging them for a ride and a bed to sleep in, I thought that would be a really lucrative business since there are tons of fans who road trip for shows or who want to but don't have transportation. But, buying an RV would most likely take me many years, especially since I don't even have a full time job right now.
    I don't know what resources there are where you are, but we have a home-learning option over here through a company called Open University (http://www.open.ac.uk/). From what I'm aware, they do take foreign students though I don't know how useful that is to you. Anyway, my point is that they're far cheaper than going off to college/music school (though it does require self discipline). You can also learn something specific with short courses in a relevant field (stage lighting and set design, for example). Think outside the box! Maybe volunteer in a theater for a while? You'll get some experience working 'behind the scenes', and build up from there.

    Also, a lot of concerts advertise for volunteers - you get a free pass, you just have to work there manning doors, directing drunken fans, helping clean up... etc.

  8. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Bongo Boy View Post
    One suggestion, and it's a rather 'mechanical' or 'analytic' approach, is to grab a big piece of paper and a pen and do a 'LIKE' and 'DISLIKE' thing--sort of an affinity table of what attracts and what doesn't. This may help, if you can be honest with yourself--and that's one reason for the technique: it isn't necessarily shared with anyone.
    And there's me thinking I'm the only one making lists... haha. I find them super helpful! Things don't always come of them, but it's a great tool for self-reflection.

  9. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Rockchick26 View Post
    Well I thought I wanted to, and I still feel like I do, I don't feel like I want to any less just because I don't have enough money for school. I know I have the same amount of time as anyone else, but I'm starting late in life (I'll be 38 next month), and if I wanted to start building a music career now, it would most likely take until my 50's to get really established enough to make a living from it. I just feel like it's already too late and if I can't do something NOW then the payoff will come when I'm too old to enjoy it anyway. How many 50 year old females do you see in the business?
    Does it matter how many? The important thing is focusing on what you want? Why live a life of regret? Put yourself out there, and don't let anyone stand in your way. It's better to start late than not at all, or you'll be asking yourself these questions many times over, until the end of your days.

    You've said a few times you're not really interested in performing professionally anyway (though I do still recommend SLS for confidence and attitude), so age isn't a massive issue. If you're working on the road, at gigs, promoting, etc... it doesn't matter one iota. The important thing is passion, in my opinion.

    What I keep repeatedly seeing though is you shooting yourself down before you get within a hair's breadth. You worry too much about what others seem to think of you, or your own technical skill. You keep trying to make yourself fit into a box - job specs are just a general outline of what they think they want. That doesn't mean you have to be a cookie cutter of a person, you just have to work hard to show them you can do the job.

    For example, if you're interviewing, you may be nervous (who isn't?) but, if you prep what you want to ask, go over them frequently, do your research, and be original - you'll reap the rewards!

    If you love what you do, and you know what you want, why would you let anyone take that from you? The cliche: "Stand up for what you believe in" comes to mind. You may not be a confident person, but having confidence in what you love may carry you through. You really have to work at that though.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by C.W; 02-20-2013 at 06:17 AM. Reason: Correcting an error

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