You’ve got a job. It’s making music. It’s entertaining people. It’s not one that pays regular. It’s not one that will impress most people outside the musical realm. It’s probably not something you can put on a resume that will garner you a $60k a year job. But it’s a job.
It really doesn’t matter if you fall in the full-time or part-time working musician role… you must understand, it’s a job. Every time you play a club, you’re being hired to entertain people. How much you get paid is either part of a “guarantee” or directly in conjunction to how many butts you bring through the door.
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If ego isn’t in the mix… and you are a decent musician. Consider being in a cover band. You make a lot of money, you just have to be OK with being known as “The guy at my wedding that played Erasure” Instead of a serious singer-songwriter. But you know what? It doesn’t matter. It’s a job. You’ll make money… you can use that money to invest in your serious music career and elevate yourself out of the cover-band genre. Of course… you may just want to play music and make some money… and a cover band is a viable option. Someone will always want to hear “Piano Man,” “Sweet Caroline” and “Brown Eyed Girl.”
Just an option. And a little ego ain’t a bad thing… as long as you can back it up. But, think about it… How many people are working somewhere because “It’s a job?” More people than those who are working at the position of their dreams… I’ll tell you that. Lots of people can go through the motions. And that’s fine if that’s what you’re doing with music. But.. if that’s what you’re doing…this column is not for you.
This column is for the ones who believe that the band they are in just might make it. If someday you’d like to quit your full-time job or be able to stop sponging off of all of your friends and make an honest living at music, this is for you.
Treat your musical career like a job. Make sure you work at it every day.. if only just a little bit. Always move forward. Make progress daily. Get your name out there. Get to be known. Move up the ladder. Have meetings. Plan your week/month/year. Brainstorm ideas. Schedule vacation. Have working lunches. Make friends, attend conferences. Make friends with club owners, bands, producers, and other people who you’d like to work with in the future.
Then… here’s the important thing. At the end of the day, walk away from it and be you. Your music career should not define you as a human. You are a musician, that’s your job. It’s not 100% or who you are. Make sure you are able to feed the other parts of your life as well. Get right with God, find and fall in love. Don’t blow off the important people in your life for music.
Music is your Job. It is not your life. It is a job though. Work.
Sean Claes is the owner of Austin's INsite Magazine and has been a freelance entertainment writer since 1996. For an introduction to his "52 Weeks of DIY Music Advice" visit this link - http://www.tinyurl.com/Claes52DIY. If you like what you read... please share. To visit Claes' homepage, go here - http://www.seanclaes.com/.