Music careers/jobs discussion

Discussion in 'General Music Discussion' started by Obsolete, Feb 29, 2016.

  1. Obsolete

    Obsolete SS.org Regular

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    Hey everyone! I don't know if i'm posting in the right section but i wanted to start a thread about jobs/career related to the music world. I'm currently at a point in life where it's crucial i make a career choice to earn my living and i'd like it to be related to music.

    If you guys can share your jobs, wages, paths you took to be where you're at and anything related would be GREATLY appreciated

    As of me, i thought about sound tech but unfortunately the biggest cons i found was that of working on contracts and i don't have any contacts in the industry

    I've also thought of a major in music but music teaching jobs are hard to come by i guess?

    I'm just curious to know what you guys are up to and maybe some of you guys will inspire me to go down this foggy road regarding my career choices.

    Thanks!
     
    Ram150023 likes this.
  2. ProtoTechDeath

    ProtoTechDeath SS.org Regular

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    I work for a guitar manufacturer, makes my day job a lot easier when I'm surrounded by guitars all day :D
     
  3. DevinShidaker

    DevinShidaker ss.org Addict

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    I'm a touring musician, been on the road since 2006. I've also recently started branching out into the management field so that I can help younger bands to further their careers. I can tell you that in the industry, it's not just "who you know". That's important, but mainly because you want those people to know that you work your ass off for what you want. Hard work is rewarded in this industry. There are a lot of people that go to college to get degrees to work in the music industry, but most people have a close-knit group of people that they trust, and if you don't fall into that group, it's very hard to get in. If you want to be a live sound engineer, I would recommend trying to learn from a local venue. Once they think you're competent enough, they will have you working the monitor board for bands, and it's very important that you pay attention and don't dick around (a lot of guys do this and never progress). You would move on from there to working the front of house, and if you're good enough, bands coming through will recognize your work and you'll eventually have somebody that wants to take you on the road. For you I would recommend looking in Montreal. There are some great venues there you should look into.
     
  4. CapnForsaggio

    CapnForsaggio Cap'n (general)

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    As a young musician (early 20's) I didn't make anything.... Didn't see a way to get to where I would make anything....

    So I got an engineering degree. Now I still play the guitar as much as I did when I was 20, but it is a MUCH nicer guitar.

    Different strokes for different folks, but very few people ever make a career out of music.
     
  5. whatupitsjoe

    whatupitsjoe SS.org Regular

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    I've been eyeing a position at a high end bass company as of late. It would be a huge difference from what I do now and honestly it's terrifying. Trying to find the guts to apply and take a leap of faith.
     
  6. Arkeion

    Arkeion SS.org Regular

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    Same boat here. I chose Computer Science. Never thought I'd own half the .... I do now.

    Not suggesting to hang up your dreams, but DO go to college. I had the time of my life, earned a degree, and now make a good living. Some advice I might be able to give as far as getting a teaching degree in music is move to a rural area after college. Tons of small schools here are looking for music teachers all the time. I have a friend that took this path and got a job right out of college. Lots of times there's not much competition either. Salaries are lower than national average but so is cost of living.
     
  7. Grindspine

    Grindspine likes pointy things

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    I am a guitar tech and obviously (being on here) spend a huge part of my life with music-related stuff.

    I also have a morning job as a histo tech (medical lab job cutting biopsies) since it does pay more than my guitar tech job.

    Once in a while, I still also fill in as a radio engineer...

    Even though the medical job pays more, it has far greater risks... I actually cut a chunk out of my finger on a microtome blade last week and won't be able to play guitar for at least three weeks because of it. If I could make ends meet and pay back my student loans as a guitar tech, I would. But really, guitar techs aren't the highest paid professionals.
     
  8. Grindspine

    Grindspine likes pointy things

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    You could always try to apply for a music sales job.

    Sweetwater Careers
     
  9. Blasphemer

    Blasphemer Bird Law expert

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    I'm a live sound engineer, and the best way you can start making contacts is to just be proactive about it and meet people. Go to local venues and see if you can talk to the Production Manager or house FOH dude (NOT during a show!), and see if they could use any help pushing boxes and doing load ins/outs. Expect to not touch a console or a mic for quite a while if you do this, though. You have to build up a good reputation for yourself, but if you work hard and are trustworthy, reliable, and have a good attitude, the higher-ups will notice.

    Good luck, and feel free to PM me with any questions!
     
  10. A-Branger

    A-Branger SS.org Regular

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    like any other jobs, contacts is important. So even as a musician you still would need some contacts to open the door and from there your experience

    Like others said, start with your local music spots. Even small bars who only had 2 acoustic guitar players, chances are they dont have a "audio guy", so you can ask (if you already have the knoledge) to manage those gigs.

    Work experience. work experience, work experience.

    I know you dont want to hear this, but you would have to work for free.

    The main problem with graduates from audio school (to the industry guys) is that thanks to a few, they think we all are "know it all" and we want to get paid. Sadly you need to shut up, nood, agree, shut up, do what you are told, shut up, work fast, shut up, work fast, bring cofee, work for free, work fast, and shut up.

    Thats how I manage to work as an assistant in a big (famous) recording studio next to my uni. Also I must said, I got this gig because contacts, my roommate was the main assistant in there as he became really good friends with the main engineer so he get to eventually get paid and work for couple of big artist recordings. And how did he get that job in the first place?,he went there and knock the door and talk to the guy in person (as opposed to hundreds of uni guys sending emails). I didnt follow this path as I was concentrated in finishing my uni degree (as hours clash a lot) as having the degree was extremely important if I wanted to get a visa in this country.

    For live sound I worked back home (thanks to contacts of my music friends), in this country my uni gave me a nice 5 days work experience with a big company, and latter I found a small gig doing the monitors. I eventually left that job due to poor pay and a lack of grown. I need to pay rent and food. But couple of bands did ask me if I wanted to be their sound engineer for their tour (an extra member of the band).

    I also got to see an add for one of the biggest sound companies in here. The job supposed to you to start at their warehouse jsut loading trucks and learning the gear. I guess its a "climb the leader" from there. I didnt took it as it was in a different city and I still needed to complete my degree. So ahve a look at the big names in sound companies, chances are you can start from loading gear trucks.


    More than live sound for bands, there is the field for A/V audio visual for conferences and events. This is a huge field out there, with BIG jobs (you wont believe how much some companies spend $$$$$$$ on their conferences) so there are lots of companies out there who always are looking for people. This would be the best job, as it would give you a steady pay check. Lots of conference talks, but they also do live sound for the bands who plays at thse parties (including med size stages)


    Things like cruise ships. You can apply for jobs as a musician there. Im considering to do so at this moment for a couple of seasons.


    At the end of the day, do what you love, and see where life takes you.

    This is my crazy story as an example:

    I played bass all my life, too scared to go into music school for uni. I went into audio engineering. I graduate, work a few times assisting live sound for my friends company (as I talk up there), I didnt follow this path much as I didnt wanted to work in live sound, but If I pushed I could have been a regular or under contract with them. I eventually found a small recording studio job (due to me asking personlly everywhere till I found one), I also worked in band practice rehearsal rooms studios helping settups. I eventually found a full time job doing audio post-production. I landed this job as I was one of the top students at my uni.

    I moved to Australia to search for a bachelor degree and move away from my country's economical/political problems

    I got my bachelor in audio production. Due to visa requirements I needed to study for longer so I jumped into Film production at the same uni. I now got two degrees in Audio and Film.

    I landed those little jobs I mention before. I started to do some free work in film for a couple of guys but I stop them due to being free, I needed to pay my rent. Now I regret them as I could have been full time with those guys and not loose soo much time.

    I also lost good potential jobs due to the lack of a decent portfolio. Pretty good jobs, but they do not care about your degree, they do not care how much you claim to know stuff, the want to see it. So build as much portfolio as you can. If you record and mix, then record as muhc as you can, if you do film, do as much videos as you can. Even when you think you had enough, then do some more. If you d live sound, then do more free bands, so the more bands/venues/references the better.

    These days (or at least back a few years) lots of companies use DSLRs to do videos, so I needed to learn how to use one. I borrow one and bought myself some photography "how to's" magazines. Software is the same. I found out I like photography, plus more jobs available easy to find.

    I discover a new passion for photography. Eventually landed a few small gigs doing photos for different stuff. I also lost big gigs due to a lack of a good portfolio. I eventually landed a fulll time job doing weddings videos and photos.

    Now I do photography full time. Mostly weddings, I consider myself not "one of the best", Im almost there, but way better than the average joe, at this point the matter is more about your business skills. And now Im in the middle of starting my own thing, and being contracted full time by another guy editing videos, all this while I free-lance paid jobs for 3 other guys


    so, you never know what ride life would take you. Enjoy it and learn from it :wavey:
     

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