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Old 01-21-2015, 06:47 PM   #21
SustaiNZ
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It sort of begs the question of what exactly is meant by "professional musician". Is it the traditional definition of "if you're doing [insert task here] for money (regardless of how often you do it), you're a professional" or is it "the sole means by which one earns a living"?
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Old 02-05-2015, 07:54 PM   #22
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In the strict sense of the word I'd say a professional at anything is someone who is paid for what they do, be it a musician or shoe salesman.
But in my opinion, a true professional is someone who is dedicated and has worked at their profession to the point where it becomes second nature to them.
When it comes to guitar playing, I consider you a pro when you can play your material correctly and error free 100% of the time without thinking about it regardless of whether you get paid for it or not.
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Old 02-05-2015, 09:12 PM   #23
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A professional musician is one who's primary living comes from music. When I was teaching guitar and gigging in my misspent youth I considered myself a professional musician even though I'd never have been able to get by without my lesson income and I only made between $16K-$20 at that
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Old 02-05-2015, 09:12 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SustaiNZ View Post
It sort of begs the question of what exactly is meant by "professional musician". Is it the traditional definition of "if you're doing [insert task here] for money (regardless of how often you do it), you're a professional" or is it "the sole means by which one earns a living"?
My definition is that music is the primary focus of your life and you treat it like work, not just like play, its certainly possible to do both, but its way harder than you think if you haven't done it. This usually means you make some steady income from it. You may still have a day job.

My response to the OP is: Be born as the child of someone in the recording industry that has enough money to support not giving shit if make anything while you are learning to be good enough so they can market you to fame.

Additional:
7) Don't do drugs
8) Don't drink.
9) Don't smoke.
10) Don't associate in any way with women, men, or sheep you you meet at performances.
Oh... Wait... Why the fuck would I want to be a professional Musician Again?
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Old 02-05-2015, 09:14 PM   #25
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BDB, when I was a "professional musician" I couldn't afford drink, smokes or women....so I got a job
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Old 02-05-2015, 09:17 PM   #26
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I wonder what a real pro would say? I'd be more inclined to give more weight to his/her opinion than that of a "trend analyst" blogger.
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Old 02-05-2015, 09:18 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeTurner View Post
A professional musician is one who's primary living comes from music. When I was teaching guitar and gigging in my misspent youth I considered myself a professional musician even though I'd never have been able to get by without my lesson income and I only made between $16K-$20 at that
I'd say that definitely qualifies in my book as a professional musician.

Pretty much all of the pros I've known without a label, big name steady venue, well financed touring, or a Union Card make most of their money from lessons. I think someone that teaches lessons full time is still a professional musician, as is A High School Band director, etc.

When I was a full time "Professional" Musician in the Air Force, I still taught lessons, did Union gigs, electronic repairs, and whatever else I could to pull in a few dollars more.
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Old 02-05-2015, 09:21 PM   #28
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I had (it has long since lapsed) a union card of course, many venues and organizations cannot hire you without it. It was expensive as I recall and never gave me any benefit beyond permission to take certain gigs.
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Old 02-05-2015, 09:49 PM   #29
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I was on the list for French Horn players and got occasional calls when someone need more than there 4-8 regular French Horn players, not many, but the pay was great when they happened. This was the early 70s. Got the card as a fluke, my High School Band was invited to play with the MSO (Miami) and we had to get union card for this, they were free to us, we all got base pay, which was $70 an hour at the time and my check was for just over $400, big windfall for a HS kid. Kept that card, paid to renew it and got a handful of calls over the next few years until I left Florida and moved to Alabama. Don't remember the renewal being too egregious.

I think the Union I was in was a bit different, only Symphonies and studios and such. Basically it served as a call list in addition to being required to work at any of the Union venues, this was Miami Beach/Miami so include shows at big hotels and such. I only used the call list function. If you got a Union job, you got union wages.

Had a friend in the AF Band that played Sax, was given (they are hard to get, but he still had to pay) a German Union card and got calls all the time, he was really, really good big band, jazz, and blues soloist. We were in the USAF Glenn Miller band and played on TV, big concert halls, etc. Probably where he got noticed. I played after beats 70% of the time, rested the rest. He was recording for German radio at least once a month, would have done a lot more if we weren't on the road all the time. I know he was planning to stay there (think he had a full time radio contract waiting for him), but I left before he did. Don't know exactly what he made, but I know it was more that the AF was paying him.
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