Child wants a career in music

Mark_S

Silver Member
for some reason people hear the words..."career in music".... and immediately think someone is trying to be famous ..... always thought that was odd
Yes, although I would have liked to have played music for a living, I definitely would NOT want to be famous!
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
And this would be my reply to Will, should he spout such commentary in my direction.
(Not meaning to single you out here mate. Just using the quote you provided to have a dip back at Will. .:))


What a romanticised crock of shite.

Having a "plan B" is not giving you permission to fail. It's providing more than one avenue for success. It's called keeping your options open. Something that every single human being should be willing to do in order to stave off starvation and extinction.
I have to agree. Some things are just out of one hands.
Technology, internet, and innovation, changes in taste, style, and the world have both created and destroyed options.

And the fact is, many name players have non-music income.

Listen to "I'd Hit That" Podcasts. Thomas Lang refers to "other business interests" in his interview several times. Toss Panos discusses having a second income from being a landlord. Several others talk about how much else they have to sacrifice because being a successful drummer doesn't bring them that much income.

In the current issue of Drumhead magazine, Vinnie Paul discusses how he doesn't really make money from music anymore, but he owns several other businesses that do make him money so he can keep touring.

Derek Roddy has obviously been very vocal about making more money outside of music.

And the list goes on.

And outside of drumming, Sammy Hagar and Bono have both sold millions upon millions of records, and yet, they have non-music sources of income.
 

CreeplyTuna

Silver Member
Will Smith was asked once "if the rap thing had not turned out like it did, what was your plan b?" I loved his response. "There was no plan b. Having a plan b is giving yourself permission to fail".
I thought plan b was become one of the highest paid Hollywood actors and then lose all the charisma that made him famous in the first place.

Aaanyway.... I say encourage kids. When they get older you can always discuss plan b's and the reality of the industry. But when a kid's a kid, they have all the time in the world to do what they want. My parents bought me drums because I wanted to be a drummer. Now I don't think I'll ever be famous like the drummer that got me into it, but I still love to play.

Encouragement and support are super important things in a kids life. That doesn't mean you can't tell them pros practice like crazy and have to know what they're doing. But help them out. Be supportive, get them lessons, give positive reinforcement and constructive criticism when their young, and start being more realistic as they get older.
 
The take away I had from the quote (and example I gave) is that for me plan b was presented as either or. I could either try to play drums for a living or I do something else (in my family there was an unspoked "productive" attached to that sentance).

The example billray gave (his own experience) I consider to be plan A.5.
 

MileHighDrummer

Senior Member
It really has nothing to do with being single and childless or ... Anything you want to do in life - law school, medical school, athlete, musician, carpenter has more to do with your desire and ability than luck or anything else. Those who have a passion for something, have access to it, get encouragement and study/practice constantly might make it or correctly will make it to some degree.

There are many levels and layers of every profession. Those with the access, ability and knowledge lead the way. Encourage your "child" to follow their passions to the limit they have interest and ability. Either they will will stick it, change their mind, discover that they lack the ability to achieve their aspirations or they will land somewhere in the middle of all of these. Unfortunately, even with the strongest interest in all the afore mentioned professions, there is no guarantee that your child, or mine, will have the will, patience or aptitude to achieve their aspirations. Everyone can't be astronauts, doctors, lawyers, musicians, plumbers or ... anything else for that matter. However, you can be a very successful musician at a local, regional or national level. There are many, many levels of success in any field but great desire and hard work is at the heart of all of them. Musicians can be writers, performers, teachers or even become agents, managers, promoters - or just enjoy a lifelong fascination with something that gives great pleasure to themselves and/or others.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I'd say buy him a book called "The Way of the Peaceful Warrior" by Dan Millman. If you're going to survive in this business then you'll need to prepare for the hard times.
OK, I just checked this book out at the library.

Thanks BillRay for the recommendation.
 

BillRayDrums

Gold Member
OK, I just checked this book out at the library.

Thanks BillRay for the recommendation.
Careful, that book will set you on a path! :D

When I read that book I realized that I was not set out for a life of "swimming upstream". I did not want to fight to get where I was going and rather than work tirelessly to gain a bit of upstream distance I turned around and allowed the "current" to carry me to wherever it would.

If you think about it, most people shy away from things like that because of the unknowns that present themselves along the way. "What if I don't have enough money?" "What if everything caves in?" Yeah... "What if?" I have friends I grew up with who did the "normal" thing and went to college for a four year stint, worked and devoted their lives to a "job" and when the economy turned and they were suddenly replaced by a machine, all of a sudden I realized how absolutely fortunate I was to have stuck to my guns for as long as I have. Anything can happen at any time that will knock your entire world off kilter and change will happen. That's what life is all about, the constant rigors and stress tests that make us who we are. "If you're not failing, you ain't tryin'..." said someone ho knows what's up...

Anyhow...Steve Smith turned me on to that book as well as the entirety of Dan Millman's work. Next one you should read is Body/Mind Mastery.

Because you can only practice rudiments only so fast and so long... "what comes after speed and power?" Well that "thing" is your "concept".
 

Diet Kirk

Silver Member
Despite what romantic bullshit some artist may spout from behind the safety net of his multi million dollar bank balance. If the "rap thing" hadn't worked out, you wouldn't be lying broke in a gutter, too proud to rethink your approach, yet staunch in the knowledge that you didn't bother with a plan B......of that I'm convinced. So I think it's worth delving deeper into a line that I see as little more than a throw away. Something to say to the masses because it sounds cool, convincing and somewhat committed to the cause.
This is one of the best paragraphs ever written on any forum anywhere, ever, period.

This is why I cringe every time somebody asks a successful person what advice they would give to young kids today in order for them to succeed.

Spending time reading this forum and the experiences of its members across the spectrum of levels has educated me far more about the variety of careers in music than anything I have ever read from a 'famous' musician.

In fact that would be my advice, tell your son to start reading this forum!
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Despite what romantic bullshit some artist may spout from behind the safety net of his multi million dollar bank balance. If the "rap thing" hadn't worked out, you wouldn't be lying broke in a gutter, too proud to rethink your approach, yet staunch in the knowledge that you didn't bother with a plan B......of that I'm convinced. So I think it's worth delving deeper into a line that I see as little more than a throw away. Something to say to the masses because it sounds cool, convincing and somewhat committed to the cause.
.
Yes. Hang around Hollywood enough, and you'll meet plenty of people who quite clearly needed a plan B. They may have once been signed, and perhaps even once had a gold or platinum album, or perhaps just never got that far. People in the late 40's, or 50's still living for the dream. Living no different that they did at 20.

Once, many years ago, I was talking to a bass player, who was in his 20's at the time. He mentioned his roommate, and who it was. A singer of a band who had sold north of 3 million albums. I asked, why is that guy living in an apartment with roommates almost 1/2 his age? The answer was because said singer had no income.

I think the moral is it doesn't matter how successful you may be at one thing, you still need to have more than one iron in the fire.



. Anything can happen at any time that will knock your entire world off kilter and change will happen. That's what life is all about, the constant rigors and stress tests that make us who we are. "If you're not failing, you ain't tryin'..." said someone ho knows what's up...

Anyhow...Steve Smith turned me on to that book as well as the entirety of Dan Millman's work. Next one you should read is Body/Mind Mastery.
And Steve is a perfect example of this. He certainly wasn't expecting to get fired from Journey. And while he bounced back, he has mentioned in many interviews how much of a blow it was to him at the time.

I've certainly had my share of the unexpected.
 

BillRayDrums

Gold Member
In 1990 I met Dennis Chambers at a music store when the Brecker Brothers came through town. I asked him "How do I get to "the next level?"" And he said "There are no "levels" but there's "circles". It's who you play with and hang with so choose carefully."

He's been right so far! What, 24 years later... still great advice.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I think it's a bad idea to encourage kids to try and make a living from music. It's not 1960 anymore.

This will either: light a fire under his bottom just to prove you wrong

or

he/she will follow your advise and get his money elsewhere, but do music as a "2nd job".

I think it's irresponsible to encourage kids to make money from music. Not in 2014. Money taints music. But as a personal development tool, music is fantastic. But there's SUCH a glut of musicians these days. It's just not a smart path to go if you want to buy a house someday. Only a miniscule percentage of people actually make enough from music to live comfortably. Plus it's not a healthy lifestyle, living on the road, up all night, sleeping all day, drugs, alcohol, crap food, questionable sex partners.

I am SO glad I get my money elsewhere. If I had to take every crappy playing job just to make my bills, I wouldn't be NEARLY as happy as I am. Plus the money just plain sucks. Factor your expenses in and McDonalds workers make more. I do it for love because making a decent living from music these days is not lucrative anymore like it used to be.

Financially, with music, my best year was 2012. I did 106 dates. I made a grand total of $7518.00 USD. If you subtract all the money paid out for gas, tolls, sticks, heads.... it probably cuts that number in half. I can make that in 2 weeks doing electric. There's really no contest.

Much respect for guys like Bermuda, Tony, Dave Major, Bill Ray for actually making it work. You guys are the exceptions.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
In 1990 I met Dennis Chambers at a music store when the Brecker Brothers came through town. I asked him "How do I get to "the next level?"" And he said "There are no "levels" but there's "circles". It's who you play with and hang with so choose carefully."

He's been right so far! What, 24 years later... still great advice.
This is outstanding advice. The only problem is is that people don't know when to jettison people or stay with them. And how do you choose the cool people to hang with without looking like a desperate person looking for cool people to hang with? That could easily lock you out of alot of circles too. But Mr. Chambers makes a good point if you know how to be cool.
 

Otto

Platinum Member
"child, learn to live on a very small income surrounded by warped personalities that are bent on taking advantage of you whenever possible all so you can play music that someone else enjoys and will likely grate on your nerves after the first few play-throughs"
 

BillRayDrums

Gold Member
"child, learn to live on a very small income surrounded by warped personalities that are bent on taking advantage of you whenever possible all so you can play music that someone else enjoys and will likely grate on your nerves after the first few play-throughs"
If that's all one asks for, then yes. "You will be treated only as badly as you allow yourself to be."
 

BillRayDrums

Gold Member
This is outstanding advice. The only problem is is that people don't know when to jettison people or stay with them. And how do you choose the cool people to hang with without looking like a desperate person looking for cool people to hang with? That could easily lock you out of alot of circles too. But Mr. Chambers makes a good point if you know how to be cool.

Well that's just where experience comes into play, and experience cannot be taught. It's just gotta be lived by the owner!

I look for things that are tangible and intangible- "Is the person driven? Is their spirit good? Is this someone I want to live in a van with for three months on the road?" Those are the important questions.

And the sad part- Facebook has all but ruined more than one person for me, with the material and viewpoints they care to share publicly regarding race, religion and politics. Inflammatory attitudes are something I shy away from as a general rule because they can get you in big trouble if the wrong thing is said to the wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time. If they turn out to be a kook online then I usually suddenly become unavailable for their gigs.

Let's just say that I won't be working with Ted Nugent anytime soon. ;)

Shut up and play yer guitar. :D
 

rogue_drummer

Gold Member
I had this conversation with my youngest daughter about a month or so ago regarding a career in music. She's going thru the public school music programs in band and choir and doing very well in choir and musical theater, but foundering on flute because she doesn't have the drive to practice. But she's pretty good at drumming since she's grown up with my kits and hearing me play and gig and such. So much so that she complains to me when the band's drummers can't get a part right, which is kinda funny.

Her mom is a public school music teacher and she's grown up around that environment, so she's got the pedigree, just not the drive sometimes.

She's seeing all these pop bands have hits and stuff and the youtube vids of all these "stars". I tell her very, very, very few of those "stars" are actually making a living at it, or will be around making music in the next 3 - 5 years because it's such a tough business to be in.

I relate a story of when I was a young drummer going thru school and hanging out at the local music store years ago. Professional musicians would come and work there at the shop if they couldn't find a touring gig or had to pad their incomes from teaching. Guys would work a month or so, then go off on tour for a while, then come back and so on and so forth. Wild tales from jazzmen or bluesmen who knew the touring "stars" but didn't have any other income unless they were playing or touring, so they had to work at the music shop to make ends meet until the next gig came along. I told her those guys at the shop were probably making minimum wage while there, even though they were outstanding musicians and were teaching when not touring. Several cats I know now are barely scraping by and lving very minimalistic because they refuse to get a second income stream other than music, and it shows, they have their Texas government assistance card.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Rogue, you should let your child read all your threads, so she can get a first hand insight about what to expect from playing with others. If that doesn't make her head for the hills I don't know what will lol.
 

bigd

Silver Member
Rogue, Your wife makes a living from music. What's wrong with that? Teaching music is making a living from music. Bo right here from this thread makes a living in music at Disney. Another very respectable job. Too many people on boards like this think making a living at music means playing in a band and gigging. Trying to write a hit song and go on the road. Most people I know who make a living in music don't play in a band and never play in bars. I know quite a few people who make a very decent living in music. They get paychecks and benefits and even endorsement deals.

I am just one of many, many parents who whole heartedly supports there children in pursueing a career in music. My own child may never play a bar gig in his life the way it looks, yet I have no doubt he'll make himself a very decent living.
 

Diet Kirk

Silver Member
I think it's a bad idea to encourage kids to try and make a living from music. It's not 1960 anymore.

This will either: light a fire under his bottom just to prove you wrong

or

he/she will follow your advise and get his money elsewhere, but do music as a "2nd job".

I think it's irresponsible to encourage kids to make money from music. Not in 2014. Money taints music. But as a personal development tool, music is fantastic. But there's SUCH a glut of musicians these days. It's just not a smart path to go if you want to buy a house someday. Only a miniscule percentage of people actually make enough from music to live comfortably. Plus it's not a healthy lifestyle, living on the road, up all night, sleeping all day, drugs, alcohol, crap food, questionable sex partners.

I am SO glad I get my money elsewhere. If I had to take every crappy playing job just to make my bills, I wouldn't be NEARLY as happy as I am. Plus the money just plain sucks. Factor your expenses in and McDonalds workers make more. I do it for love because making a decent living from music these days is not lucrative anymore like it used to be.

Financially, with music, my best year was 2012. I did 106 dates. I made a grand total of $7518.00 USD. If you subtract all the money paid out for gas, tolls, sticks, heads.... it probably cuts that number in half. I can make that in 2 weeks doing electric. There's really no contest.

Much respect for guys like Bermuda, Tony, Dave Major, Bill Ray for actually making it work. You guys are the exceptions.
This should be how it is anyway though to a degree. There are really two strands to this.

1. I want to make my living as a drummer playing original music in a band.

2. I want to make my living playing drums.

The first one you should never bank on. That should be for the love of music, write what you write and play what you play and if it takes off then great. And yes there is likely to be a tipping point where you have to make a tough decision. A bit like the thread on the Katatonia drummer.

With 2, you can do number 1 as well, but you have to check your thoughts on the commonly percieved music industry at the door. And by that I mean your teenager is unlikely to know much about session work, teaching etc etc, because its not in the public eye.

Rogue, Your wife makes a living from music. What's wrong with that? Teaching music is making a living from music. Bo right here from this thread makes a living in music at Disney. Another very respectable job. Too many people on boards like this think making a living at music means playing in a band and gigging. Trying to write a hit song and go on the road. Most people I know who make a living in music don't play in a band and never play in bars. I know quite a few people who make a very decent living in music. They get paychecks and benefits and even endorsement deals.

I am just one of many, many parents who whole heartedly supports there children in pursueing a career in music. My own child may never play a bar gig in his life the way it looks, yet I have no doubt he'll make himself a very decent living.
This links with my point 2 above and I think its an important lesson. I wish someone had told me about all those types of possibilities when I was young. I was far too focussed on being in an original band.
 
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