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you got to study to go pro?

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by cappei, Mar 25, 2019.

  1. guitarface

    guitarface Senior Stratmaster

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    It depends on what you want to do- play originals in a pink band, maybe not. Do sessions that require sight reading- more likely.
     
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  2. Buster Jingles

    Buster Jingles Strat-Talk Member

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    I've been pro since the 80's making a good living playing guitar. My formal education resulted a degree in English lit and history. Practice your ass off, learn to get along with people in difficult circumstances, always show up 15 mins early, be flexible, NEVER judge other peoples music and you might have a fighting chance. You have to have a personality that will make people want to spend hours with in a small room with you. Music is a difficult business. It aint easy, its corrupt and dirty. Its also uplifting and fantastic, just like just about every other industry in the world. Iv been to pretty much every major city on this planet with a strat and tele in my arms. In 30 years Iv never been to session that required site reading. Those days are gone. Be reliable, work with producers, don't work against them. Its personality, personality, personality, get along with people; Both in your playing and in your demeanor. Don't step on the vocal and listen to the kickdrum. Anybody can get that first call, its the second third and forth, then long term relationships with producers and other artists that make a career. Don't undersell yourself but at the same time don't expect anything from any gig, just take the work, smile and move on. Oh yeah, have fun too. There's nothing worse than a guitar player that looks like he's "working".

    Here's a man who really knows, he's the guy who played on everybody's record for a few bucks and no credit.

     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2019
  3. rolandson

    rolandson Most Honored Senior Member

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    Study certainly won't hurt.

    Having the ability to communicate with other musicians in the language of music is a plus. A necessity if one wishes to become sought after composer or a first call session player.

    But formal education? No, not at all. You can acquire what you need to know from any decent library.

    So the short answer...Yes, you need to have the tools necessary for the job. That requires study and practice. Lots of both.
     
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  4. ido1957

    ido1957 Senior Stratmaster

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    Not really. I learned everything off records/cassettes/etc etc.
    Most guys I know working PT are not educated musically.
    FT is a kind of fleeting nowadays. I watch guys struggle to get work.
    Some belong to more than one band and do solo acts etc to make a scanty living.
    The usually couch surf or have a sugar mamma.
     
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  5. mjark

    mjark Senior Stratmaster

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    You don't need a formal musical education although it couldn't hurt. You do need an education though. You have to be able to play songs you might not know when you're told what the progression and key is. So understanding music is essential. Sight reading would be a a plus. Being able to play many styles. Being familiar with a a broad range of music. It's hard work and doesn't pay very well. I know a few people who do nothing but music two in particular both teach as well. One plays stand up bass, banjo and guitar. He's a national champion bluegrass banjo player but gets most of his gig on bass. The other guy teaches about 10 hours a day, plays various gigs with anyone, almost never gets his band together. Both are married to wives with good jobs and health insurance.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
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  6. amstratnut

    amstratnut Peace thru Music. Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Hiw old are you and how good are you? If you dont have it together super young, Id say forget it.
     
  7. amstratnut

    amstratnut Peace thru Music. Strat-Talk Supporter

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  8. Neil.C

    Neil.C Most Honored Senior Member

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    Try to get into songwriting.

    Guitarists are two a penny, plenty of them around, but somebody who can write a catchy song..... few and far between.
     
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  9. henderman

    henderman Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    the 2nd most financially successful guy i know is a bonafide genius and did not graduate high school and the richest guy i know can hardly read and is not real intelligent. life is funny ain't it?

    but the richest person i have ever known is a woman who has 2 degrees, but they have nothing to do with how she earns money. she just wanted them and can afford to go to college as a working adult.

    one way or another they "got educated" or they could not perform at the levels they do, but none of them have a formal degree in their field.

    you either know how and can do what needs to be accomplished or not.
     
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  10. cappei

    cappei Strat-O-Master

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    inspiring :D
     
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  11. cappei

    cappei Strat-O-Master

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    I think im good, people tell me Im good. I got some inspiration strikes and write something nice, then drought for months. Im 29, so I think Im done. Ive always discarded guitar playin' cus I thought I wasn't good enough. Playing with other people made me ralise that I was actually good, but I could get better. People say im versatile and a lil' wild for my playing... I could tell I was a motivator when I played a powerfull rif and move my bandmates into headbanging. My main problem is that I turn every stuff into metal, even Madona songs that I used to play with a bar band years ago.

    The thing is, Im maybe "to old for this "shirt"" but i've realised in the last few years that there was an artistic vein on me, im good on writing, acting and such ... but it never got developed cus I grow up in a country where only bein' a college boy is making something with your life. Besides bein' a musician in this country means basically that your parents can maintain you for a long while, and my folks are rather tight on their pennies so as soon as I could work and make a livin' for myself I had to move on.

    Last year I got fired, my unit was closed in the justice sistem and I was down. Now I got a life lasting job, cus Im in a job that was created by a organic constitutional law, so if this country doesn't go into anarchy, I'll always have a job.

    Im not sayin im gonna leave my job to became a musician, maybe, but I would like to make money Out of music, playin' around, with many people and many styles. I love metal, but im done with it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
  12. davidKOS

    davidKOS over 48 years playing gigs Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I've been to sessions where there WAS still sight-reading...but overall, yes, those days are mostly gone, sad for me to say.

    Shows and theater work still often requires reading, though.
     
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  13. davidKOS

    davidKOS over 48 years playing gigs Strat-Talk Supporter

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    And the writers get the backend payments for their composition.
     
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  14. amstratnut

    amstratnut Peace thru Music. Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Its really hard to know how good we really are, as opposed to how good we think we are.

    Being into metal isnt bad. One thing you might have going for you is where you live. I have a friend who is a touring pro and he frequently visits South America. I get the feeling people down there arent as blase about music as here in the USA.
     
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  15. amstratnut

    amstratnut Peace thru Music. Strat-Talk Supporter

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    One thingIve found is that connections and marketing seem to matter as much if not more than how good you are.

    Ive seen some mediocre musicians have success because of being part of the "in" crowd, and/or relentless booking.
     
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  16. davidKOS

    davidKOS over 48 years playing gigs Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I've seen the same thing.
     
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  17. Strat-Slinger

    Strat-Slinger Senior Stratmaster

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    If you want to know and understand music and how it relates to you and your guitar playing.. yes, learn about music... this can be on a University level or in private one-on-one interaction with a professional teacher...

    It's true that you do not HAVE to do this to have success in the music business (as others have already pointed out)... but, that has absolutely nothing to do with what your aspirations may be... in a nutshell... YOU have to WANT to learn more about music... if that's the case... yes, seek out the instruction... if this is not in the equation for what you desire... then don't...

    It really is that simple... you have to want to do it... not because someone else said you should.. YOU... have to want it.

    With that said... having an education (whether private lesson or at a university) isn't going to hurt you and your guitar playing... frankly, the more you know about music... the more it's going to inspire and empower your creativity... That's my experience with it.. I perform on guitar in bands... I also write my own music.. and... I professionaly teach guitar/music in private lessons... the teaching is much more reliable in terms of steady income... and I have had university level instruction and have studied privately with working musicians... and of course, I have played... and played.. and played my butt off for over 30 years... but, the reason I studied music is because... I WANTED to.. not because somebody said I should...
    The choice is yours... follow your heart... that's the ticket.. nothing else really matters in the end... be happy... be awesome.. and most important... be yourself...
     
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  18. Jeffl

    Jeffl Strat-Talker

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    You don't have to, but you'll have a lot better chance of making a living if you do. I regret not doing it when I was younger.
     
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  19. amstratnut

    amstratnut Peace thru Music. Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I havent sight read anything since college.

    I played in Hair a bunch of years ago. There was a chord chart but no reading for that either.
     
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  20. amstratnut

    amstratnut Peace thru Music. Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I did go the education route. I was a little younger than you.

    If I were you Id skip the education and start playing with anyone who will hire you in any situation anywhere. Always smiling and always prapared. Avoid drama.
     
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