When did you decide to go pro?

eddiehimself

Platinum Member
I'm not sure I understand what you are saying here... Lots of pros (myself included) have to play in as many bands and situations that we can handle. At the risk of generalizing, I think that there might be a lot more pros who have multiple projects, than those who are fortunate enough to have plenty of work with one project.

I'm with frank0072; it just kinda happens. Whether or not you choose to run with it becomes the 'decision'. life shouldn't be without risk ;-) Personal choices will set the paths we travel.

elliot
yeah definetly, people should definetly take some risks sometimes because if you don't you'll just end up being an agoraphobe.
 

con struct

Platinum Member
It's a real shame that the old nightclub scene no longer exists. That was the way guys my age got into the business. There were clubs all over the place and they all needed musicians. It was great on-the-job-training in a sink-or-swim situation, and playing every night really got your chops up. The money was good, too. And, it got you into the studios by making all those contacts with other club players.
On weekends a bunch of us would get together somewhere and play whatever music we wanted, just for ourselves. And there were always after-hours places where we could go to jam after we got off work.
It was a life of music 24 hours a day, week in and week out, year after year, until all the clubs started shutting down.
I don't know what I'd tell a young person who wanted to go into the music business now. Maybe you'll get lucky, join a band that's destined for greatness, I just don't know.
What are the opportunites that exist today for the free-lance musician, outside of the studios? (And let's face it, studio work just doesn't grow on trees like it once did.)
 

baz

Silver Member
...if I ever turn pro it will be strictly by accident.

Any dreams that I may have had before I started playing the drums had already been crushed or abandoned, so all that left me with was fun.

I was 35 when I started playing, I will be 50 this fall. One of the resons that I was able to start at all was due to my day job. If my drumming would have kept pace with my career, I would probably still be a garage band wekend warrior wannabe, the only difference would have been my frustration level.

Right now, as simple as my drumming life is, I get a great deal of enjoyment with just being able to go out on a regular basis and play with others. I don't have to be great, but I want to be good. As long as the people that I play with, or for are happy with the music, then I am too, regardless of how bad I might suck.

Somewhere on this site I once posted my goal of owning my own acoustic coffee bar, with live music, and me as the house drummer. When that happens, I will call myself a pro.

Or a dishwasher.

Barry
 

Steady Freddy

Pioneer Member
It's a real shame that the old nightclub scene no longer exists. That was the way guys my age got into the business. There were clubs all over the place and they all needed musicians. It was great on-the-job-training in a sink-or-swim situation, and playing every night really got your chops up. The money was good, too. And, it got you into the studios by making all those contacts with other club players.
Yep, you got that right.I came up in the LA area club scene. We called it paid rehearsal. We were making $200-$300 a night each. Life was good and this was in the early 70s. You could play a different club every week and still not hit them all. It was a meca for young musicians. Venues were every where. I was very lucky to be part of it.

Those really were the days!
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
It's a real shame that the old nightclub scene no longer exists. That was the way guys my age got into the business. There were clubs all over the place and they all needed musicians. It was great on-the-job-training in a sink-or-swim situation, and playing every night really got your chops up. The money was good, too. And, it got you into the studios by making all those contacts with other club players.
On weekends a bunch of us would get together somewhere and play whatever music we wanted, just for ourselves. And there were always after-hours places where we could go to jam after we got off work.
It was a life of music 24 hours a day, week in and week out, year after year, until all the clubs started shutting down.
I don't know what I'd tell a young person who wanted to go into the music business now. Maybe you'll get lucky, join a band that's destined for greatness, I just don't know.
What are the opportunites that exist today for the free-lance musician, outside of the studios? (And let's face it, studio work just doesn't grow on trees like it once did.)
So true.

It makes me kinda of sick to read how players in the past were able to do it.
In her autobiography, Grace Slick said she formed her 1st band because she realized the band at the bar she was at made more money than she did working at a deparment store.

Mick Fleetwood said in autobiography he moved to London and got instant work at 16 just because he owned his own drum set, even though he had no experience. In Hal Blaine's book, he discusses how he made money for years working clubs before he became a studio legend.

Meanwhile, I worked clubs for years, and most nights it was just for little money, or just the honor of playing the club.

These days, 1/2 the clubs don't even have bands anymore.
 

con struct

Platinum Member
When I was a kid most of the clubs were gangster-owned. The RICO act had recently been passed and Atlanta was booming. This was in the early seventies. There were New Yorkers everywhere you went it seemed. Lots of gambling and the clubs were all over the place. The "authorities" were in on it and everyone knew it.
These guys, these mob guys, were terrible dressers. A lot of polyester. But they were very friendly. And musicians were treated really well, almost protected. The managers didn't give a damn what you played as long as people were dancing and buying drinks.
Beautiful high-class hookers always at the bar. They thought I was the cute little drummer boy.
I worked for one piano player who ran afoul of some of these guys over some gambling debts. Apparently it was arranged that he get busted for pot, and then he had a tax examiner after him. We all had to file income tax forms for the first time in our lives. That was a real lesson in reality!
After all that was over he hired me for a house-band gig at a real nice club that lasted for almost three years until I started moving out of the club scene.
I myself got busted once and the club-owner had a lawyer there the next morning to get me out of jail. Dig this: the pot I got busted for was still in my car, right where I'd stashed it before the cops found it. Everything was taken care of. I never had to go to court.
I was just a kid, really. It was great time to be a young musician.
Then Atlanta started a big anti-drunk-driving thing and it became very inconvenient to be driving home from a club at 5:00 in the morning. One thing led to another and all the places started shutting down. I wonder whatever happened to all those guys, those friendly gangsters.
All of this is absolutely true.

Edit: I know that none of this has anything to do with the topic of this thread. It's just a story about my introduction to the world of the professional musician.
 
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Funky Crêpe

Silver Member
When I was a kid most of the clubs were gangster-owned. The RICO act had recently been passed and Atlanta was booming. This was in the early seventies. There were New Yorkers everywhere you went it seemed. Lots of gambling and the clubs were all over the place. The "authorities" were in on it and everyone knew it.
These guys, these mob guys, were terrible dressers. A lot of polyester. But they were very friendly. And musicians were treated really well, almost protected. The managers didn't give a damn what you played as long as people were dancing and buying drinks.
Beautiful high-class hookers always at the bar. They thought I was the cute little drummer boy.
I worked for one piano player who ran afoul of some of these guys over some gambling debts. Apparently it was arranged that he get busted for pot, and then he had a tax examiner after him. We all had to file income tax forms for the first time in our lives. That was a real lesson in reality!
After all that was over he hired me for a house-band gig at a real nice club that lasted for almost three years until I started moving out of the club scene.
I myself got busted once and the club-owner had a lawyer there the next morning to get me out of jail. Dig this: the pot I got busted for was still in my car, right where I'd stashed it before the cops found it. Everything was taken care of. I never had to go to court.
I was just a kid, really. It was great time to be a young musician.
Then Atlanta started a big anti-drunk-driving thing and it became very inconvenient to be driving home from a club at 5:00 in the morning. One thing led to another and all the places started shutting down. I wonder whatever happened to all those guys, those friendly gangsters.
All of this is absolutely true.

Edit: I know that none of this has anything to do with the topic of this thread. It's just a story about my introduction to the world of the professional musician.
sounds incredible!..........
 

con struct

Platinum Member
sounds incredible!..........
Yeah, it was pretty wild. But the point, I guess, is that it created a great pool of talent because of the interaction and the exchange of ideas between the old-timers and the new-comers. Music was everywhere, everyone had a Real Book and everyone sat in with each other. Jazz guys played with rock guys, old played with young, and everyone seemed to be learning and experimenting.
Without all that infrastructure I don't know how I ever would have gotten started in this business. It was a lot easier to want to go pro when you knew you could be working starting next week!
 
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