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Question: How hard is it to make a good living in music!?
Pretty straightforward question!. Just playing in a band I mean!.Www@QuestionHome@Com

Best Answer - Chosen by Asker:
Depends in part on where you live and what style of music you play!. It also depends on your deffinition of "good" :)

Me in me younger days good was being able to keep my guitar in strings, my belly full of booze and hot ladies!. If I ate that was cool, usually I was too drunk or high when not on stage to really care if I ate or not!.

Later when things like kids, mortgages and such came to be important I changed my idea of a good living!.

It is difficult, very difficult and the main problem is getting in a steady band that actually is serious about the effort!. No matter where you live, most musicians are flakes!. They pawn their gear to feed a coke habit or to go on a drunken binge!. They get arrested, their girlfriend or wife gets jealous of the band and makes them quit, day jobs get in the way, some folks just have ego problems ot the point you can't work with them!.

You get past all of that, then you have the hours of hard work!. You have to have the talent to start with but that's easy compared to the work and getting with a steady group!. You have to have a common vision or folks will spend all day argueing!. Then you have to be able to spend hours on end with your bandmates and not hate their guts!.

You get that far then you have today have a decent demo!. Make connections to get gigs!. Build an audience!. Most bars could care less what your music sounds like if you fill the bar with paying customers they are happy!. If you can do that, then you can get on as a bar band with a decent sized bar, gig 2-4 times a week and make a whole lot more after expenses than you would at a decent day job!. If you can hit the regional circuit in your area your making something akin to mid level White collar jobs would!. There you top off until you can get a world wide audience and force a distrubution contract down folks throats!. Very few bands make more off their first record contract than they could have flipping burgers!. Especially with today's market, you really need the fan base first to insist on a favorable deal with the record companies!. From them you get radio play and such and that's really all you need them for any more!. Getting CDs into stores is kinda cool but don't expect to make a penny off that!. You make your sales on Amazon and Itunes and such!.

Many musicians get day jobs at places like music shops or giving lessons to earn a steady income and for the purpose of loans, credit and such so that they have demonstratable consistant income!. The rest they make gigging!. I've been on the cusp of regional success when the two bands I was in that got that far had the wheels come off!. Been in several bands with good local success, enough to either make a living off it or consider it!. Been in a ton of bands that never made a penny or made a buck here or there gigging but never enough to consider quiting my day job!. Some of those were the most talented bands I've been in!. Some of the most margional bands I've been in have had surprising success!. Bands I joined thinking it was better than sitting around at home when I joined turned into a pretty good band after a bit!.

So the question is how commited are you!? You got to be serious about it and be with other musicians serious about it!. The rules I apply from having been in so many failed bands are thus!.

If somebody in the band is buying coke it's not going anywhere!. They hawk theirs and sometimes other people's gear sooner or later!.

If they have a problem ole lady forget it!. It'll tear up the band sooner or later!.
Shared groupies are a big no no!. Nothing good comes from sharing groupies!.

If they can't turn down and play WITH you!. They never will!. No matter how talented the musician is!. There's no reaching an ego freak!.

If you hate being around somebody the first few weeks of playing with them, it don't better LOL!. Might as well save yourself the bitter screaming argument and drama a year down the road and pack it up then or send them packing depending on who's band it is!.

If they don't have gear, can't get gear your always going to wind up footing their gear bill!. Comes a time when bills vs gear make them just impractical to play with unless the band as a whole comes together and just budgets gear for them!. Bass players are often the worst about this!. Singers can be bad about it too!.

Kicking in for gear often means a messy band break up later!. Often best that each member covers certain gear not each kicking in unless it's money you don't care about cause down the road who gets to keep what becomes a real pain if the band splits up!.

If I make playing in a band sound like hell, it can be with the wrong group but there's nothing like it when it's all right and the dream just burns in you no matter what the practicalities are!. I quit playing once for about five years while married!. Man that was the biggest mistake I ever made!. I was literally dying!. Career and family squeezed out my music and that just wasn't me!. The White picket fence is never going to be me!. Just how it is!. If you have no love for the music it's not the career to get into!. If you do love the music doesn't matter what your head says your going to do it anyway or always regret it!.Www@QuestionHome@Com

Just playing in one band - you have to get a bit lucky and have a lot of talent!.

I've worked in music for a long time, from producing large scale festivals to being a musician to running orchestras, etc!. -- it ain't easy!. If you want to be a musician (without a day job), and you're not prepared to live on rice and beans (which is a descent option for a lot of folks -- if you love what you do!.!.!.!.), be flexible!. I know a successful drummer who works in multiple orchestras, runs her own ensemble, teaches lessons, runs education programs, and plays studio gigs!. She reads music, can improvise on the fly, and knows how to play in a wide variety of styles so that whatever gig she gets called for, she can play!. She makes a descent living (but not like a corporate lawyer or something like that)!.

To me -- it seems like, if you are a musician, you want to play in your band and have your passion project (that's why you do these things), but also be prepared to take whatever gig is thrown your way in your instrument and do it better than anyone you know could!.

I would also have a backup plan!. I know too many musicians (even some who have gotten real acclaim) who end up in dire straights!. Go whole hog, but be prepared!.

Long answer short -- it's tough!. Be flexible!. Be the best at what you do!. OR!.!.!. go out there and make it work without regard!. Those are some tough choices!.Www@QuestionHome@Com

It has been a long time, but when I played in a band, If I could work 3 nights a week I made as much as I did teaching school!.
I enjoyed the band, but the hours and some of the hangers on drove me away!.
I think for most of us, it is for when we are young!. By the time you reach 30 you are ready to cut back to a gig a month!.Www@QuestionHome@Com