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  #1  
Old 03-22-2013, 01:51 AM
FridgeBuzz FridgeBuzz is offline
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Default Have I sold out?

I wasn't sure which thread to post this in but I wanted to get the forum's opinion.

I know several musicians who are either unemployed or working part-time. I haven't met anyone who has a regular 9-5 job like I do. yet. When I ask, they cringe at the thought of wasting 40 hours a week in a cubicle or office environment, etc. For as long as I've been playing in bands I've had some kind of job going on. In my early 20s, I went on an extended tour with my punk band and had a taste of what my life would be like if I gave up all I had and went for broke. Unfortunately, the end of the tour revealed harsh realities among my bandmates and within the the next few months, we disbanded. Unsure of continuing to play drums or be involved in music altogether, my dad advise that I get a degree in network engineering so that I am not struggling to make a buck. A few years later I graduated with a degree and began my post-music career in IT.

Today, I'm 30 years old, not married, have no kids and make decent money. I currently perform in two bands outside of my 9-5 job, possibly a 3rd if the audition goes well. Drumming is my passion but somehow I can't see myself giving up the steady income I earn to go on an extended tour like my last punk band did. Have I sold out in a way, have my ideas of success changed as I got older or am I just a hobbyist? Silly as it is, I'm stoked just to be playing at rehearsal or at a bar with less than 10 people.
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Old 03-22-2013, 02:03 AM
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Default Re: Have I sold out?

I'm with you man. I spent a lot of money on college. I've got a decent job with great benefits. I'm sure not giving that up to live in a van with a few other dudes. Not a chance.
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Old 03-22-2013, 02:08 AM
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Default Re: Have I sold out?

Look at it this way. What are you really missing by being in bands that stay local and do local stuff? In the meantime, you're making money in a lucrative field and have a career.

We will always need network and IT guys. But it's one in a million to make that much money in a year as a drummer. You're not a sellout. You're smart.
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Old 03-22-2013, 03:05 AM
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Default Re: Have I sold out?

There are several pros on this board that play whatever it takes to make a living - but they're playing music for a living, which is no small feat and I have no interest in minimizing their achievements, but ... for me, I really like the originals route and there's really no money in that (at least not for us 99.9999 %-ers).

I like playing dingy little bars to 10 people. We might start off playing to 10 people and if 5 are left at the end, and if they have grins on their faces, then I put an X in the 'win' column. I also enjoy rehearsals where we're putting together and nailing down new material because when we're done and like what we've got, then we go into a cheap studio and have someone record us. Because it's always on our own dime, there is nobody to please but ourselves (no producer, per se) and we're not beholden to anyone or entity. It's really the whole process that is fun for me. I prefer having my income come from elsewhere that allows me to do that. How else can you fund band rent, equipment purchases, and studio time?

But back to the original question ...

You can call yourself a sellout if:
1) You get a day job and give up your dream of playing for a living, or
2) You play whatever paying gig is offered you, no matter if it suits your musical preferences, so that you can avoid the morning commute.

It cuts both ways and just comes down to what your personal drivers are.
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Old 03-22-2013, 03:26 AM
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Default Re: Have I sold out?

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Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
There are several pros on this board that play whatever it takes to make a living - but they're playing music for a living, which is no small feat and I have no interest in minimizing their achievements, but ... for me, I really like the originals route and there's really no money in that (at least not for us 99.9999 %-ers).

I like playing dingy little bars to 10 people. We might start off playing to 10 people and if 5 are left at the end, and if they have grins on their faces, then I put an X in the 'win' column. I also enjoy rehearsals where we're putting together and nailing down new material because when we're done and like what we've got, then we go into a cheap studio and have someone record us. Because it's always on our own dime, there is nobody to please but ourselves (no producer, per se) and we're not beholden to anyone or entity. It's really the whole process that is fun for me. I prefer having my income come from elsewhere that allows me to do that. How else can you fund band rent, equipment purchases, and studio time?

But back to the original question ...

You can call yourself a sellout if:
1) You get a day job and give up your dream of playing for a living, or
2) You play whatever paying gig is offered you, no matter if it suits your musical preferences, so that you can avoid the morning commute.

It cuts both ways and just comes down to what your personal drivers are.

You make a good point, at least you kind of see where the money is going when doing originals but to not see any money coming in would be discouraging. I don't expect anything in return for any of the original acts I'm involved in. I did play covers for this dave matthews type of act at really nice venues but the pay was just a bonus. I'll tell you, a 30min set with an original act doesn't cut it sometimes but a 3-hour cover gig will definitely get my fix for the week.
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Old 03-22-2013, 03:34 AM
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Default Re: Have I sold out?

I don't think it's an issue. If the regular job allows you to indulge your hobbies then I see no harm in that. It's a case of making informed financial decisions. If the band starts making serious money, then treat it seriously and eventually you may very well be able to cut some of your employment commitments. Without a family and with the age you are, I can see no harm in that provided that you are able to get another job if the band doesn't work out.

Really, if you are pursuing music as your sole source of income then you have to take what you can when you can. There are many professional musicians working on a regular level that have very long and varied back catalogues. Weighing up what is important is the key. Stability and guaranteed income or a big risk and instability.
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Old 03-22-2013, 03:35 AM
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Default Re: Have I sold out?

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Originally Posted by alparrott View Post
Look at it this way. What are you really missing by being in bands that stay local and do local stuff? In the meantime, you're making money in a lucrative field and have a career.

We will always need network and IT guys. But it's one in a million to make that much money in a year as a drummer. You're not a sellout. You're smart.
Thanks for the kind words. Shouldn't they have the like button on forums by now?
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Old 03-22-2013, 03:36 AM
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Default Re: Have I sold out?

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Thanks for the kind words. Shouldn't they have the like button on forums by now?
Let's not talk about the 'like' button. We've just had a long (and sometimes heated) discussion on this very topic!
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Old 03-22-2013, 05:22 AM
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Default Re: Have I sold out?

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Shouldn't they have the like button on forums by now?
They have "ze deserts" in Scotland now?


No sell out. MikeM has pretty much covered my thoughts as to why.
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Old 03-22-2013, 06:37 AM
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Default Re: Have I sold out?

For most people, life after your 20s is a gradual process of settling down, all the way until old age and death. It sounds like you had some great times on tour and it was what you needed and wanted at the time. I wish I would have done something like that, instead of being so conservative.
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Old 03-22-2013, 06:40 AM
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Default Re: Have I sold out?

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Shouldn't they have the like button on forums by now?
I'm reporting this to the mods. Extremely offensive.
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Old 03-22-2013, 06:51 AM
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I'm reporting this to the mods. Extremely offensive.
Nah. Just threaten to meet him in person and beat him senseless.

I mean, it's the only reasonable conclusion one could come to when they live an entire hemisphere and numerous time zones away from the other one, right?
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:59 AM
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Default Re: Have I sold out?

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I'm reporting this to the mods. Extremely offensive.
Most of us are quite pleasant.
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:43 AM
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Default Re: Have I sold out?

I don't think you're a sell out. Heck, I tried to be a working local and was making pretty good money, but there's always that tinge of "what do I do next"? feeling. I couldn't imagine buying a house and getting married, much less have health benefits for both me and my spouse while struggling to make it as a local player. And I wasn't even doing things that make me famous - it was just the day-in-day-out grind of making the attempt to keep working. It was hard and I eventually moved into what I do now.

I'm like you, I cherish the chances I get to play 'like me' and I'm totally happy to be playing, period. It could even be to an empty room. I still push myself to be as good as I can be, but I'm no longer worried if the phone stops ringing (and sometimes it doesn't ring at all).

You've made a good move.
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:49 AM
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Default Re: Have I sold out?

I think you should be very happy with what you have - a decent job and still in 2 or 3 bands!
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:31 AM
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Default Re: Have I sold out?

You have a decent job most likely with some form of benefits which allows you to pursue drumming on your terms. You win!

I was in the same boat back in the 1980's when I viewed playing as an "all or none" kind of thing. Took me a long while to get through / over that and have long since moved on to a career so far outside of music it's not funny.

I love what I do and make good money at it. Able to support a home and family not to mention my drumming passion.

Lastly, having a non-musical career allows me to be the decider on what I do and do not want to play. The notion of playing music I can't stand listening to or playing just to earn a buck makes me want to sell everything I have and never play again.
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Old 03-22-2013, 05:38 PM
FridgeBuzz FridgeBuzz is offline
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Default Re: Have I sold out?

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Originally Posted by dmacc View Post
You have a decent job most likely with some form of benefits which allows you to pursue drumming on your terms. You win!

I was in the same boat back in the 1980's when I viewed playing as an "all or none" kind of thing. Took me a long while to get through / over that and have long since moved on to a career so far outside of music it's not funny.

I love what I do and make good money at it. Able to support a home and family not to mention my drumming passion.

Lastly, having a non-musical career allows me to be the decider on what I do and do not want to play. The notion of playing music I can't stand listening to or playing just to earn a buck makes me want to sell everything I have and never play again.
Man, that's interesting, I never looked at it that way. I somehow felt I was on some kind of timetable with life as if I wasn't playing drums I was just aging away (proof that drumming keeps you young). While I was in college, I played in a band but it wasn't as serious as the one I toured with. That's a great perspective, I guess I did choose the right profession that allowed me to do what I want and still have time for it.

Come to think of it, having worked during the day, what do the full-time musicians do during the day? I would probably be giving lessons all day long until my gig in the evening whatever that may be. I couldn't see myself teaching not because I don't have the patience but probably because I'm horrible at explaining things. Most of my gigs happen obviously in the evening and the same for rehearsals. Gotta give props to the pros who play drums for a living and manage to get by.
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Old 03-22-2013, 05:42 PM
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Default Re: Have I sold out?

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I think you should be very happy with what you have - a decent job and still in 2 or 3 bands!
I'm stoked man and way grateful. I'm having more fun than I did in my 20s. It's just crazy how I didn't plan any of this out. Had I not listened to my dad I'd probably be living on the streets or on people's couches.
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Old 03-22-2013, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
I don't think you're a sell out. Heck, I tried to be a working local and was making pretty good money, but there's always that tinge of "what do I do next"? feeling. I couldn't imagine buying a house and getting married, much less have health benefits for both me and my spouse while struggling to make it as a local player. And I wasn't even doing things that make me famous - it was just the day-in-day-out grind of making the attempt to keep working. It was hard and I eventually moved into what I do now.

I'm like you, I cherish the chances I get to play 'like me' and I'm totally happy to be playing, period. It could even be to an empty room. I still push myself to be as good as I can be, but I'm no longer worried if the phone stops ringing (and sometimes it doesn't ring at all).

You've made a good move.
I agree completely. There's so many auditions that pay well and if I don't get the call no big deal, it's nice having the assurance of a steady paycheck that's non-musical. At the same time it's pretty humbling rolling up to a gig with a truck (an expensive one that I paid off with blood and sweat) and people get the notion that my drumming has earned me this truck. I stop them mid-sentence and tell them "Naw man, I'm an IT during the day." it's pretty humbling though.

###next time I'll use the mult-quote button####

Love this discussion so far. I've been coming to drummerworld for years but never thought of joining the forum. Guess I have something else to help me get through the work day, ha!
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:18 PM
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Default Re: Have I sold out?

Sell out? heck no.

There are a lot of musicians who seems successful, but really, it's only appearance. They only get by because they have a side day job, married someone with a great job, or still live at home with their parents in between tours. The music business is a tough place to make money.

There are a lot of guys walking around in their 40's and 50's working near minimum wage jobs living like in cramp apartments with multiple room mates because they spent their entire lives "not wanting to sell out." Nothing wrong with securing the ability to not have to live like that.
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:43 PM
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Default Re: Have I sold out?

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Today, I'm 30 years old
As in today, today? If so, Happy Birthday...if not, Happy Friday!

I'm personally sick to death of the term "sell-out". I don't think that it applies to anyone who is happy with their life and happy with what they are doing. New opportunities can come from any angle at any time, and as long as you are open to taking these into consideration, you haven't sold out on any level. That's how I see it anyway...
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:00 PM
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Had I not listened to my dad I'd probably be living on the streets or on people's couches.

+1...........this should be shown to every teenager.
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:02 PM
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Lastly, having a non-musical career allows me to be the decider on what I do and do not want to play. The notion of playing music I can't stand listening to or playing just to earn a buck makes me want to sell everything I have and never play again.
+10. This, in spades.
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:12 PM
FridgeBuzz FridgeBuzz is offline
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Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
I don't think you're a sell out. Heck, I tried to be a working local and was making pretty good money, but there's always that tinge of "what do I do next"? feeling. I couldn't imagine buying a house and getting married, much less have health benefits for both me and my spouse while struggling to make it as a local player. And I wasn't even doing things that make me famous - it was just the day-in-day-out grind of making the attempt to keep working. It was hard and I eventually moved into what I do now.

I'm like you, I cherish the chances I get to play 'like me' and I'm totally happy to be playing, period. It could even be to an empty room. I still push myself to be as good as I can be, but I'm no longer worried if the phone stops ringing (and sometimes it doesn't ring at all).

You've made a good move.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jornthedrummer View Post
I think you should be very happy with what you have - a decent job and still in 2 or 3 bands!
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmacc View Post
You have a decent job most likely with some form of benefits which allows you to pursue drumming on your terms. You win!

I was in the same boat back in the 1980's when I viewed playing as an "all or none" kind of thing. Took me a long while to get through / over that and have long since moved on to a career so far outside of music it's not funny.

I love what I do and make good money at it. Able to support a home and family not to mention my drumming passion.

Lastly, having a non-musical career allows me to be the decider on what I do and do not want to play. The notion of playing music I can't stand listening to or playing just to earn a buck makes me want to sell everything I have and never play again.
Quote:
Originally Posted by StickIt View Post
As in today, today? If so, Happy Birthday...if not, Happy Friday!

I'm personally sick to death of the term "sell-out". I don't think that it applies to anyone who is happy with their life and happy with what they are doing. New opportunities can come from any angle at any time, and as long as you are open to taking these into consideration, you haven't sold out on any level. That's how I see it anyway...
Way to stick it! Kidding. It's not my birthday today, but I'll tell you, 30 is not anywhere close to some other people in their 30s that I know. I actually feel like I'm still in my 20s but with more money and not living with the parents hehe.
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Old 03-23-2013, 11:53 PM
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Default Re: Have I sold out?

It is my full-time job that allows me to pursue drums. Otherwise I would not have the capital to invest in the equipment or the gas to get to practice and gigs. While I love to play drums and I love music in general, that was not the career I picked. As a matter of fact, I didn't even start playing drums until I went to college. Since graduating from college, I have worked my way up through the ranks at an engineering company to a very high level of management, making a very good living through a lot of hard work and dedication. So now I get to play in two bands as well, so it is the best of both worlds. Being a sellout is the furthest thing from my mind. What I've done is use my God-given talents to establish a good life for me and my family, and hopefully set myself up for retirement in about 10-12 years. The fact that I can gig regularly with two bands just adds to the quality of my life.
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Old 04-07-2013, 02:00 AM
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Default Re: Have I sold out?

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Originally Posted by FridgeBuzz View Post
I wasn't sure which thread to post this in but I wanted to get the forum's opinion.

I know several musicians who are either unemployed or working part-time. I haven't met anyone who has a regular 9-5 job like I do. yet. When I ask, they cringe at the thought of wasting 40 hours a week in a cubicle or office environment, etc. For as long as I've been playing in bands I've had some kind of job going on. In my early 20s, I went on an extended tour with my punk band and had a taste of what my life would be like if I gave up all I had and went for broke. Unfortunately, the end of the tour revealed harsh realities among my bandmates and within the the next few months, we disbanded. Unsure of continuing to play drums or be involved in music altogether, my dad advise that I get a degree in network engineering so that I am not struggling to make a buck. A few years later I graduated with a degree and began my post-music career in IT.

Today, I'm 30 years old, not married, have no kids and make decent money. I currently perform in two bands outside of my 9-5 job, possibly a 3rd if the audition goes well. Drumming is my passion but somehow I can't see myself giving up the steady income I earn to go on an extended tour like my last punk band did. Have I sold out in a way, have my ideas of success changed as I got older or am I just a hobbyist? Silly as it is, I'm stoked just to be playing at rehearsal or at a bar with less than 10 people.
Hey man, there's no one who's judging you for the decisions you've made (except maybe some dumb teenagers who are reading this thread). All that matters is if you're happy with the decisions you've made and the life that you're living. Sounds like you are, and I'd say that's about all you can ask for.

For what it's worth I'm only 24 so what do I know, but as someone who has no degree and is pursuing music full time...well. Let's just say if I didn't feel like music was the only thing I could do, I would do something else. Even with that said, I still think about quitting like, 3-4 times a week. Count your blessings, stability is a huge achievement and it sounds like you have fun with music - that's why we all started in the first place, right?
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Old 04-10-2013, 01:55 AM
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Default Re: Have I sold out?

Threads like these I really enjoy reading. Guys (gals) on this forum have shown me a more mature and stable way of approaching music. I'm so glad i stumbled upon this site 2 years ago. 21 here and almost done with my degree. Once my career starts I'll be dong the same thing, working during the day, rocking face at night.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:05 PM
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I've been taking lessons with a local instructor here who doesn't have a full-time job from somewhere else. Instead, he runs a drumming school and has about 50+ students. Mostly kids and early teens (I'm one of his oldest students, heh). So he does that during the week and on the weekends he performs in a cover band for upscale venues/bars/clubs and makes a pretty penny with those gigs. He says he makes enough to be comfortable and has plenty of time for his other hobbies. Like me, he just wants to play and at the same time he's kinda giving back to the music world by bringing in more musicians. I guess there's more than one way to earn a living involving only drums. He's done pretty well for himself.
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:05 PM
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Default Re: Have I sold out?

You are not a sellout unless you are going against your own integrity for money. I know rappers who dissed Hammer for rapping and dancing in commercials who now do commercials I consider that more of a sellout movement.
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:37 PM
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Default Re: Have I sold out?

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Originally Posted by dmacc View Post
You have a decent job most likely with some form of benefits which allows you to pursue drumming on your terms. You win!
1+ Being a professional full time musician is not for everyone. My wife and I are both musicians who perform regularly and still have a "day gig". We met in our college band many years ago and both of us still play orchestra, ensemble or pit work. We own our own business which gives us enough security to be able to afford our "habit". We view our ability to still play as therapy and much cheaper than a "shrink".
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  #31  
Old 04-18-2013, 02:26 AM
wildbill wildbill is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Midwest - USA
Posts: 3,348
Default Re: Have I sold out?

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Originally Posted by FridgeBuzz View Post

...Have I sold out?...

Depends on what your intentions were.
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