Non musicians opinion about musicians


"Uncle Larry"
I wonder what most non musicians think when they are introduced to someone who considers themselves a musician. I'm sure there are varied opinions, but generally speaking, I wonder if most people think of it in a positive or negative light.

In my mind, I view it as a positive thing. We're cool and easy going, hip and open minded. But I wonder what the majority think.
For instance, say I'm single and I meet a new woman. Naturally you want to be honest and reveal who you are a little. But in the womans mind is she saying, "Oh a musician. Great. Late nights with drunk women staring at him. Probably broke too. Just what I need, a man/child. When is he going to ask for my car?

Any thoughts?


Gold Member
I think it depends largely on the person's previous experience with musicians. I remember one girl who wouldn't even consider dating me because I was a drummer, and she had dated two drummers and they both cheated on her. This despite the fact that she told me she knew I was nothing like those guys, thought I was awesome, etc. My now in-laws were bummed when they found out I drum because there is a drummer in the family, and he's the stereotypical tapping on everything, can only talk about music, and constantly complaining about the fact that he never has success with his music at family get-togethers kind of guy. It wasn't until they met me and saw I didn't do any of that, that they were like, "Oh, ok, he's cool." Ironically, that uncle can barely stand my success, but that's another story. I can also say, if I'm being honest, that I've gotten more dates, one night stands, and offers of those two that I turned down for being a musician than for any other reason. It actually amazes me how often a girl will throw herself at me, despite me having a big gut and wedding ring, just because I play the drums.


Senior Member
I think it all depends on the person, just like anything else. If you come across as the arrogant rocker dude who does nothing but get drunk, smoke grass, and have random hook-ups, then absolutely you are going to get looked down upon. But if you are like Mrchattr and have some level of intelligence about you, more times than not you'll be just fine. Being a musician is like any other profession or hobby, some people can do it and enjoy it, other's can't and sometimes look down on others because they can. But before I put much stock in that, I'd worry more about something like if you've been a convicted of something or have a serious addiction problem. Those are things that'll cast you out when it comes to in-laws and such.

As for meeting women and mindless hookups...being a musican performing at the venue will always make you stand out. Though most chicks who get slammed and try to hook-up with the band are usually the same chicks with more STD's than the out-break monkey and about 15 kids at home wanting a daddy. So I don't really see that as a plus side, though sometimes you meet really cool people, but it's not as often as one would hope.


Silver Member
When ever I have meet someone at a party or some sort of get together and find out I am a musician/drummer. They say that's really cool, how long have you been playing, I have always wanted to play drums. I don't play music as a career ( I am trying ). I never go around talking about playing drums. There have been some gigs I played and ran into a neighbor or someone who is friends with my wife. And they say I had no idea you played the drums. I have got nothing but positive opinions from people. My Inlaws come to almost every show I have played. In my opinion non musicians think being a musician is very cool, at least from any non musicians I have ever met.


Silver Member
I think it depends on what type of musician you are. If you play in a bar band and that's your main living then people are going to judge you differently then if you are a playing in say a professional orchestra, broadway show, ect., . There's definately a difference between " I play in bars on the weekend and our band rocks" and " I'm a percussionist who plays with the New York Philharmonic" I think people equate success with steady fulltime employment that has a paycheck and benefits. Those types of jobs are available in the percussion field if you are qualified to get them.


Gold Member
As all common sense will show, there is never, and never will be, one breed of any kind of person, particularly a musician.

There's my (current)kind of musician, which is young, long hair, possibility for success, most likely jobless(a point that makes me very, very sad indeed), and could be called unreliable. These musicians have a very wide range of playing skill from prson to person, and they may or may not be responsible in other aspects of life.

Then, there's an anti-thesis of this breed, the older, experienced-or-not musician. There can be no practical difference between this kind and the former, save for the way they look, and their age.

Just saying, stereotyping is stupid.

But, I don't think musicians generally get the stink eye from a non-musician, unless they've been told otherwise or have experienced otherwise. We're an awesome bunch.

And I laughed when Larry used the word "hip".


Like everyone else so far, my experience is that it depends on the person. Some people I know think musicians are cool and interesting, others think they're pretentious ass holes.


Senior Member
I've always thought musicians were cool, but then again, before I was one, I always wanted to be one. Maybe I'm a little biased.

I do know quite a few folks who look down on us though.


Platinum Member
most non-musicians i know think it's really cool that i play drums and play in bands. i suppose there are people who think i'm some kind of crazy person or whatever, but i have a good day job and am otherwise an ok guy so i almost never run into any negativity.


Platinum Member
I usually get a surprised look. "Oh! So, you're a musician? you play in a band or something?" Most people don't know what being a professional musician entails. Heck, most musicians don't even know...

When I shoot off the list of things I do, there's a second look they give, but this one is more of recognition that "Hey, this guy isn't joking..."


Platinum Member
I agree that it kind of depends on the other person's previous experiences or prejudices. Some folks automatically assume you are a bum, other's think it's totally cool. Then there are the occasional ones that are genuinely curious. They are usually quite surprised to learn what a job it is, how much of your life you've invested and the hours and years of work to be able to do what you do.

When people I know from my civilian life run into me playing somewhere, the reaction is usually positive, together with a bit of shock. "Wow, I didn't know you did that" or something to that effect. Then they usually start telling others "Did you know that Steve plays music?" and so on, like it was something remarkable. It's just another facet of who I am.


Platinum Member
Most non musicians think musicians are flakes, wierdos and broke and to be kept at an arms length at one level and at another they are envious of the talent and sheer pulling power that we have and would secrectly be very happy to be groupies.



"Uncle Larry"
I know my Dad isn't crazy that I play the drums. He regrets the day when he bought me my first kit in 1970, he told me so ha ha..


"Uncle Larry"
Most non musicians think musicians are flakes, wierdos and broke and to be kept at an arms length at one level and at another they are envious of the talent and sheer pulling power that we have and would secrectly be very happy to be groupies.


That's what I secretly think too, so being a musician isn't something I advertise except to like minded people.


Here are a few assumptions about rock and roll musicians I've gathered from my own conversations with non-musicians:

1. We are all potheads.
2. We have many groupies whom we regularly sleep with.
3. We are only in one band at a time.
4. We have no interests or hobbies outside of music.
5. We have gigs all the time.
6. We make a significant amount of money playing music.
7. We aspire to be rich and famous.
8. We listen to and play nothing but rock music.
9. We have an encyclopedic knowledge of every rock artist, ever.

Funky Crêpe

Silver Member
I think it depends on the music you play. Apart from the very stupid question which is " so are you any good?"! of the first ones they ask is what type of music you play. if you say rock, maybe a bit flakey....rock n roll, then you are definatly a heavy drinker who beats people....jazz, then (for some who dont really know what jazz is) they think you are way to sophisticated...and so on


Silver Member
The people that mystify me are the ones that seem to think you are "born with it" all you had to do was aquire an instrument,and presto,musician,these are the same people that don't seem to think it is work either,and won't believe that you don't know every song that ever existed.I have told people at gigs that I have a day job and you can tell by the look in their eyes and the very next thing they say that they don't believe me.


"Uncle Larry"
Lay off the pot, Larry. It's not 'hip' after college. ;)
There's a subjective statement, and therefore can be false if I think it is, according to your logic. I reject your reality and substitute my own!

You imply that if you are in college, it's still hip. Because I'm not done yet.
I take it the word "hip"... aint anymore....
Just for the record, I just learned that from Steelie, who is much younger than me.