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how do you integrate this music thing meaningfully into your life Modular Synthesizers
Old 17th October 2018
  #1
Gear Head
how do you integrate this music thing meaningfully into your life

I know there are a lot of pros on here but I think a lot of hobbyists (like me) also and I just wondered like... how do you do it?

I have just turned 30, lived in Bristol for a decade before running off to the middle of nowhere (because of a girl... classic), I was a Music Technology lecturer for a few years having failed to make it making tunes / do anything significant musically, I now work some random pointless job, I have been learning a lot about sync and library music etc. and I have a good idea for a kontakt instrument and stuff and I really want to just sort my life OUT so I can actually monetise the one skill I have (lol) but it seems so impossible... like how do you deal with the possibility of spending all this time trying to construct a meaningful lifestyle and it just... doesn't work? Like a lot of musical people I know a lot of people who have made music work for them (to various extents obviously) but then even some of them it seems aren't happy doing it... sometimes it feels like if I don't write, if I don't attempt to get all these ideas out of my head etc. then my brain is going to explode but then pursuing music at the cost of everything else seems mad as well. I just do not know.

I know gearslutz probably is a dumb place to unload my brain like this but I've seen some wisdom fly about here amongst all the other stuff so I thought I'd give it a go
Old 25th October 2018
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
GearFiddler's Avatar
 

Most things worth doing carry some risk. The risk that it won't pan out. The risk that you'll find a rut and it will get old.

It might be a good idea to put the horse in front of the cart. You are free to make the music you wish to. It helps when it comes to doing the work if you feel some reward from your efforts apart from $, recognition, etc.

IOW, since you have a job, it could be about the art and not the lifestyle. Produce the music and then see what's possible.

Or if you really have found a hole that looks inviting, shape the peg to fit. You have to do the work either way.

FWIW, I don't think I was ever happier than when my life was all about music. The sacrifices I made weren't always easy. It wasn't easy to shut the door on the many tempting possibilities the day presented and spend the day with the violin instead. But, for the row I generally wanted to hoe, that was the price of admission. And once I started to feel like I was actually expressing myself, the other things I maybe could have been doing disappeared from the picture.

Last edited by GearFiddler; 28th October 2018 at 10:14 PM..
Old 27th October 2018
  #3
Lives for gear
 

I don’t make my living from music but from what I can see, those who do are pretty constantly doing some music-related work. I mean they’re not sitting down in front of the TV after a day’s work, they’re prepping for a band gig, or a teaching session, or trying to line up a show to play. Successful composers for media may only have one job, but it’s long hours and lots of work.

If I were in your shoes knowing what little I know, I’d say two things:

1) Start making music creation a regular part of your life, even just a little, but keep at it. You already have that compulsion to make music, but it’s easy to get in your own way and distract yourself. Try to build that habit and it’ll benefit you a lot even if you decide you don’t want to try to make money from it.

2) If you want to get paid, get your face and your music out there. You’ve got to be knocking on doors, finding people who are looking for music, whether that’s through Facebook or a label page or down the pub or at a premiere of a local indie film. Keep at it for YEARS. It’s a ton of work, and it probably won’t work anyway. But if there’s a common thread to the stories of how famous / professional musos got that way, it’s that they were constantly out there in the world playing and presenting their music, and not taking no for an answer when they saw a chance, any chance at all, to get their foot in the door.

If you do both, worst case scenario is you’ll make music, hopefully some of which you like, and you’ll have a bunch of real experience about whether you can get paid or not, and whether the effort is worth it.
Old 29th October 2018
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
GearFiddler's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lysene View Post
I know there are a lot of pros on here but I think a lot of hobbyists (like me) also and I just wondered like... how do you do it?

I have just turned 30, lived in Bristol for a decade before running off to the middle of nowhere (because of a girl... classic), I was a Music Technology lecturer for a few years having failed to make it making tunes / do anything significant musically, I now work some random pointless job, I have been learning a lot about sync and library music etc. and I have a good idea for a kontakt instrument and stuff and I really want to just sort my life OUT so I can actually monetise the one skill I have (lol) but it seems so impossible... like how do you deal with the possibility of spending all this time trying to construct a meaningful lifestyle and it just... doesn't work? Like a lot of musical people I know a lot of people who have made music work for them (to various extents obviously) but then even some of them it seems aren't happy doing it... sometimes it feels like if I don't write, if I don't attempt to get all these ideas out of my head etc. then my brain is going to explode but then pursuing music at the cost of everything else seems mad as well. I just do not know.

I know gearslutz probably is a dumb place to unload my brain like this but I've seen some wisdom fly about here amongst all the other stuff so I thought I'd give it a go
If you are still there and reading..a few more thoughts.

Aa a roadie buddy of mine used to say once in a while, "You don't have to be good to be in a band, and you don't have to be in a band to be good." By the same token, you don't have to monetize your *onliest* skill or pursue music at the cost of everything else in order to write and realize ideas. And if you want to go for a swim, don't spend forever on the river bank ...wondering if it's a good spot to jump in. Better watch out for the crocodiles though.

The post from krylenko is a good one. Though he/she doesn't make a living from music, it's the same as it is for many pursuits. You have to be in it to win it, and practically all that are successful give it all they have. But, again, it doesn't have to be that way just to express the music in you.
Old 4th November 2018
  #5
Gear Addict
 

The way I see it today...if you want to be good at something you have to get involved 100%. Some think that they can do a little bit of this, a little bit of that...no, doesn't work like that in 2018. You can't be good if you don't invest everything you got in that thing alone, unless you're a special talent with incredible high IQ or something. If that's not the case work your ass off on one thing and one thing only, music, lecturing, whatever you want. You need to master a given skill. Take your pick and go full turbo with that. It will pay off, it's only a question of time.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #6
Gear Head
thankyou thankyou your thoughts are very appreciated <3
Old 2 weeks ago
  #7
Gear Head
I guess I'm interested in people's experiences / strategies with regard to like ...accepting the state of things? like say you only have X amount of time to do music cos of work / family / whatever, like how do you engage with that positively instead of just getting frustrated with all the ideas that you don't have the opportunity to realise?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
GearFiddler's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lysene View Post
I guess I'm interested in people's experiences / strategies with regard to like ...accepting the state of things? like say you only have X amount of time to do music cos of work / family / whatever, like how do you engage with that positively instead of just getting frustrated with all the ideas that you don't have the opportunity to realise?
I flip it around. IOW I might say to myself that there are quite probably people in the world with ideas equal to or better than mine who have zero time, zero opportunity, no job, no money, no love, etc. Or maybe consider all the young men that died in WWI, for instance. Think of all the writers, poets, philosophers, and musicians who never got the chance.

Also, bear in mind what a shame it is to spend the time you do have being frustrated. You are getting in your own way when you do that as much or more as the limitations you list. It takes some self discipline, but put such feelings aside. Switch them off and get straight to work. Your sitch may never be ideal, but progress is progress and making headway will help in not feeling frustrated.

Take a load off. You are the only one pressing the matter in the entire universe.
This world is now littered with people's music, much of which goes largely unheard. Nobody cares but you, really.

But it really will help to stay positive... and if you start fretting switch it off by getting to work on one of those ideas. It's ten times harder at least if you don't believe and think of yourself as lucky to have what time and opportunity you do have.

Old 2 weeks ago
  #9
Lives for gear
 
bitman's Avatar
I demand a lot less from music once I resigned to the fact that it's my hobby.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lysene View Post
I have just turned 30,
Turning 30 doesn't necessarily have to spell the end of your musical hopes and dreams unless you simply give up as many people do at that age. I know plenty of people who have continued to make progress beyond 30.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lysene View Post
lived in Bristol for a decade before running off to the middle of nowhere (because of a girl... classic),
I don't know if you're still with this woman, have kids, and all that, but if not, why not move back to the city? Or embrace being the guy from the middle of nowhere, take advantage of the lower cost of living and be the weird musical hermit in the country. Make music that reflects your surroundings so that you have a story that sets you apart.

Also, Australia has some pretty good subsidies for independent musicians doesn't it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lysene View Post
I now work some random pointless job,
i was recently killing time in a bookstore, skimming through a book about the art market and how to break into being a professional painter/sculptor/etc. One section that jumped out at me was somebody talking about how everybody has a day job and pretends not to but there are certain categories of day jobs that suit artists. I don't remember the exact categories, but basically they were like time, money, connections, tools, something like that. You can find a job that's so easy to do that you have lots of free time to work on your art, possibly even at work. Or you can get a job that pays you so much money that you have the luxury to spend time on art. Or find a job that gives you access to the tools (like working in a recording studio and getting to use it at night). Or a job that gives you connections to people in the industry (working at a label). Easier said than done obviously, but if you live in the middle of nowhere working "some random pointless job" is there a way you can be thinking about and working on music while at your job?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lysene View Post
like say you only have X amount of time to do music cos of work / family / whatever, like how do you engage with that positively instead of just getting frustrated with all the ideas that you don't have the opportunity to realise?
The first step is to recognize that it's going to be very hard work and be honest to yourself about whether or not you're actually using your time wisely now. Yes work/family come first but what's "whatever"? Do you spend time watching TV, playing videogames, hanging out with friends, or anything else that would be better spent working on music? How many hours do you sleep and could you get away with less?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
GearFiddler's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by xamatsni View Post
Turning 30 doesn't necessarily have to spell the end of your musical hopes and dreams unless you simply give up as many people do at that age. I know plenty of people who have continued to make progress beyond 30.
I had just finished playing with a band I was in for the end of the year party in high school. I was 18. This fellow I was only barely acquainted with walks up to me after the show and with tears in his eyes hands me a rack mount blue face MXR digital delay and says, " I just turned 21 and it's over for me, it's never going to happen... you can have it. "

I still have the delay. I'm 56.

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You'll have to weigh it out Lysene and make a choice. Be brutally honest with yourself. Do your ideas have enough merit to warrant your full attention? Are you willing to do whatever it takes?

And if you do have family, try not to be too rough on them. I had an uncle who was an artist. He left a job doing commercial art in a big city to move out west and paint. Cowboys, Indians, buffalo, etc. He left a wife and 5 kids. He did quite well, but I'm sure there were hard feelings that never mended. To a lesser degree some artists of one sort or another make sacrifices, regularly. They miss school plays and birthdays and baseball games. I never had a direct family conflict, but I probably should have gone home to visit the parents more...and I was rarely seen at after concert parties, etc. I was consumed. Songs don't write themselves though...

Good Luck!
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