The current state of live music

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by larryr, Nov 19, 2020.

  1. larryr

    larryr Synchromatic

    532
    Mar 6, 2012
    Camarillo, Ca.
  2. SAguitar

    SAguitar Gretschie

    384
    Jan 17, 2020
    Oregon
    The truth hurts. Or, maybe not!
     
  3. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Country Gent

    May 14, 2013
    Initech, Inc.
    Yeah, kinda funny that we'll happily load up $5000 worth of gear into our truck and burn up $50 in gas driving to and from a gig that'll allow us to split $150 5 ways.
    We do it because it's fun. When people ask what I do I tell them "I'm a musician that pays for it with a 9-5 engineering gig."
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2020
    Tadhg, new6659, OleDangy and 2 others like this.
  4. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    That’s about it for me, as well. I always wanted to be a national caliber Jazz guitsrist, until I realized that I couldn’t afford the pay cut. :)
     
    new6659 likes this.
  5. Teledriver

    Teledriver Synchromatic

    Age:
    52
    501
    Feb 12, 2011
    Iowa City, IA
    I've been referring to myself as a guitarist in exile.
    Not a covid quarantine thing either. This goes back to about 20 years ago when gigs became kinda non-existent because of age, lack of a band and the hours devoted to actual $$ at the real job. My work hours went to graveyard shift, so even jamming until 8 or 9 o'clock became really hard to do.
    I love to play live and with a band, it's just not been in the cards since all of the above I mentioned.
     
  6. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    The sad thing is, there are a lot of players out there that would love to jam, but can’t find anyone to jam with.
     
  7. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Age:
    71
    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    That's like the farmer who won the lottery.
    When asked what he was going to do with his winnings, he replied, "I guess I'll keep on farming till the money's gone."
     
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  8. BFTmarshall

    BFTmarshall Gretschie

    409
    Jan 12, 2020
    York
    So true, have everything & will fund it all..yet no one wants to work at it. I miss it severely. our hiatus was not by choice. Did learn to play guitar & drums & record & just keep making after song,, guess it would only die if i let it.

    The hardest part for me is just recording so much & never having to take the 10 to 12 songs to studio to record &practice with a band & then play out behind it..every year doing a new 10.

    slowly organizing & going to do Album's of 10 songs & just put em on the website..maybe 10 song themes..based on gear at the time & change up every album to keep the creativity..hard to believe the 64th full song this year is in Reaper with drums & rhythm on it .. keeps me motivated to progress as a musician
     
  9. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    Indeed.

    I am thinking in terms of more recording, myself. I’m really thinking of a Zoom R8.
     
  10. oneforsorrow

    oneforsorrow Gretschie

    216
    May 15, 2020
    Iowa
    Perhaps it's just that I feel the need to vent a little ...

    I'm 51. I've been playing music as a full time career for about 4 years now. That's after a hiatus of about 9 years when our first go at it hit a brick wall. It wasn't easy then and it's not easy now. As many folks here probably already know, it's very difficult to make a living doing this. For us, most of our income (about 93%) comes from being on the road -- performance fees, CD sales, merch sales. And while most of the sales of recorded music have mostly gone the way of the dodo (lost to streaming), what recorded music we do sell happens on the road at shows when we have the chance to connect with people face to face and share a moment around music.

    So while it's a very humble living, it's a living nonetheless. One we accept for what it is and make due with while we strive to improve it. And it is a business. We're never lost money playing a show but we have made more at some shows than others. We've always come home with a profit (small as it may be).

    When I first saw this post, I got excited thinking I might hear some good news about a return to live music and subsequently, a return to earning a living. I told myself I'd refrain from getting too heavy and bringing folks down but I feel compelled to say something here. I've probably heard most of the musician jokes and told my fair share so I hope I don't sound sanctimonious. But the thing is ... this is the business I'm in and it's really hard right now. I'm not sure how we'll weather it nor am I sure what it may mean if we don't. It's pretty scary.

    Rant over.

    Thanks for listening.
     
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  11. larryr

    larryr Synchromatic

    532
    Mar 6, 2012
    Camarillo, Ca.
    In response to your post one for sorrow, I can empathize with your pain. I have several friends who are full-time Pros who depended on touring for their income and are not able to sustain their income at all at the moment. I have been on both sides of the coin myself, having spent years as a full-time pro, and then since then semi professionally through the years. In other words it did not pay my mortgage but I always got paid. Being semi-retired, my game plan was to supplement my income with music money. Right up until last March the plan was playing out brilliantly and working. All that came to a screeching halt. I really do not see what the future holds but by virtue of the fact that I worked day careers while playing music it has given me income to live on. Some of my friends not so fortunate . For those who are full-time Pros dependent upon music income, it is not a good picture at the moment. I wish you all the best.
     
    Xochi2 likes this.
  12. oneforsorrow

    oneforsorrow Gretschie

    216
    May 15, 2020
    Iowa
    Thanks. I appreciate that.
     
    larryr likes this.
  13. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    A good friend of mine is an exceptional guitarist that has never made his living at anything except music. While he is financially stable, his gigs have dwindled to near zero and he’s not happy about that. A player needs to play.

    I played for a living and taught, at one time and know that it can be rough. It was feast or famine with me. I haven’t played for an income in quite a while and don’t regret working a day job, but I still want to perform and I still taking my playing every bit as seriously as I did when it was my occupation.

    I would like to perform more than I do. There’s no telling when or if that will happen. Our band hasn’t rehearsed since March. In fact I haven’t seen Cactus Andy, the bassist I am privileged to work with, face to face, since our last rehearsal.

    Even though I’m avoiding expense, I think I will buy a recording device, like a Zoom R8, so I can easily make some backing tracks for myself.
     
    Gretschmen65 and larryr like this.
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