Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by Mourguitars, Aug 1, 2021.
I'm betting most of us are worse than our wives in that department
I am hobbyst, retired semi pro musician that happen to play guitar to fast and write shitty music nobody cares, even my wife. I still compose and sometimes record my shit just for the sake of it. I also became gear hoarder thanks to You, maniacs. Recently I become gear modifier freak. I modded or made over a dozen of guitars. I am finishing my some crazy idea guitar project with swappable tops to cure my color driven GAS.
When somebody asks what is my hobby? I say that music is my LIFE and guitar is my passion. When they ask me how many guitar do I have, I must focus and count them in my memory. The reaction I got on my counting is like „oh, forget it.... you must be crazy freak.”... I think they are right.
To summarize, I am just about as crazy as 90% folks here. At least I know it. At least I know it.
I think of myself as a musician (bass, guitar, hand drums, hardware electronic) and also many other things. Played in prog metal bands for like 10 yrs solid, recorded, had glory on stage back in tha day. It was good. Hard to invest so deeply into a project these days with competing priorities. The fun of doing anything music has not decreased for me though, it's gotten deeper and expanded (expanded into various setups haha).
I am happy earning tha money to be able to explore whatever I like. I got my first job Subway when I was 15-16 so I could buy a bass and rig (it took me about a year an a half). I am a software development project manager now and I dont think I have changed that much, I get the same excitement and satisfaction. Not a big collector but I like to upgrade to one awesome/legit setup for each thing. When I was gear-exploring I'd often have multiple amps at a time, A/B-ing and stuff like that, but I'd find that I'd have all these awesome/$$$ rigs that I would barely get to touch. I've never been disappointed plugging into my Tremoverb or Mesa Bass 400 non-plus with 6550's.
The other day three of my chick musician friends wanted come over to jam and sing, basically one after the other. I thought- never expected my music life to turn out like this.
I always just say I’m a musician. Guitar is only one of the instruments I play and it’s not even my favorite one (drums, by a mile).
Before I changed careers and got into something with more stability/financial reward, I had it in my head that music would have to become my hobby as a result. It’s been the entire opposite.
The stability and financial reward the career awarded me allowed me to build a home studio and it’s been the most liberating thing I’ve ever done musically. I spent 2020 making sure I could record anything that popped into my head within seconds by setting it up so everything was in arm’s reach. When I get on a good kick, the ideas fly out of my head so fast I can’t keep up with them, so I need to be able to jump from instrument to instrument as quickly as possible.
I spent so many years in bands just playing one instrument and only being allowed to contribute my parts for that instrument. I’ve sang in more bands than I’ve played guitar in and I hated it. I’ve been writing full songs on each instrument for years now, so I found it incredibly stifling and constrictive being in bands I couldn’t contribute music to. And then the whole thing about having someone else engineer/mix whatever the band I was in was working on…..I’m way too picky about things to let someone else control that.
So now I write as much as I want, whatever I want, whenever I want and no one can stop me but myself. After 5-6 years of really dedicating time to learning how to mix, I’m getting stoked with my mixes and overall, I’ve discovered more about myself as a human and a musician as a result of it all.
The older I get (I’m 38) the more important music is. I’m still passionate about it, I’m just more passionate about the music itself than I am about any kind of success surrounding it.
I'm not a professional musician but I cringe when people call it a hobby. It's more than that for me. It's akin to being a religion for me. I know many people (even other musicians) may not understand that. And that's ok.
I never understood why people get so caught up with the word "hobby" being used to describe a musician - particularly when it comes to a band. I've taken some flak here for calling music a hobby before. If you enjoy it, and it's not how you make your living, then it's a hobby. You don't even have to be good at it to call it a hobby. Nor does it need to be useful or meaningful to anyone else.
Personally, I usually am taking part in 2-3 bands at a time in some capacity (not counting during 'rona times), but I've got a full-time job that pays the bills, so the music obviously takes second place. It's a pretty close second though. Playing multiple instruments certainly doesn't help the GAS situation. Countless hours "wasted" looking at random ads for things I don't really need. Oooooh fancy drum pedals, a remote hi-hat stand - I wonder what that's like, a fretless bass... I don't have one of those yet, cool guitar pedals that I'll never use, etc etc.
I feel this.
I think people get caught up because the word is often used to denigrate or gatekeep, as in "oh they're just a hobbyist" (because don't gig/record/practice X hours per day/whatever the arbitrary metric is) It doesn't seem like you hold that as a negative identifier, but not everyone is operating with the same sense of the word (and, it can be argued, none of us are operating with the exact same sense of any word, but that's getting a little far afield)
"Dilettante" is a word that isn't used so much anymore but perhaps captures this distinction well (while still being inherently subjective) without insinuating any negative qualities.
In my life I delineate hobbies and passions. Hobbies come and go easily. Some for me are gardening, video games, tabletop RPGs, etc. Music is something I am passionate about in a way I'm not about those. It ignites my passions, my feelings, man, and makes the idea of not-playing-music absurd in a way that giving up/growing out of hobbies could never be.
I'm also not personally invested in that delineation. It serves me but I wouldn't necessarily prescribe it for anyone else.
In some fairness, I've always received said flak in the context of talking about bands where people are annoyed the other members aren't taking it seriously enough. And I get it - nobody wants to invest in something where they aren't going to be met with the same level of investment from their collaborators.
I tend to like the word enthusiast because it gets across the "I really like this, it's important to me on some level" aspect of it, without any implications regarding skill level or professionalism or anything like that. Anything can be a hobby. Anyone who picks up a guitar is a guitar player. But if you spend hours a day on SSO, and skimming instrument ads, and having internal monologues about justifying your GAS, you've crossed the line into enthusiasm.
So much of this thread reminds me why I laugh at people who say "I refuse to get/got rid of my modeller, because I hate the constant tweaking"
If youre a tweaker at heart, you'll always be tweaking. Modeller or not xD
Buy a new Cabinet to get "that sound". Nope, not it. Swap speakers. Maybe in that cool cross pattern you read about!
Ok. Now its a bit dark, but almost there. Lets try swapping pickups! Hmm not tight enough now. Maybe switch to a new overdrive! Hmm... maybe the tubes need switching! Repeat
So much that I agree with on this page and that brings the feels. There's never really been a point in my life where music wasn't a passion of mine although there were certainly short bursts that for one reason or another, I felt less than passionate about playing guitar. I don't label my guitar playing as a hobby but whether one want's to say 'hobby' or 'passion' or 'interest' , I don't honestly care... just so long as I continue to do it and enjoy it.
I dunno... Put me down for "Therapeutic Finger Sports".
My audio interface died a few weeks ago and I was without music (or anything to plug the guitar into) for a week.
Longest week I remember.
I am not even sure I am hobbyist. I am more of a smooth brain gear collector that occasionally make noise.
With bands it's often best to discuss the goal each member has. If there's one member who would like for the band to "make it big" and the others would prefer "just a bit of fun with friends over the weekend" then they are going to be at odds. There isn't anything wrong with either of these but the goals of the band members need to be aligned.
I definitely am way too deep in the enthusiast department and I like that description. There's a lot of people who can strum a tune on an acoustic but never moved beyond owning a cheap acoustic they sometimes play at parties or something. They are a guitar player, but they are not passionate about it. There's also different areas of enthusiasm. Some are all about songwriting, some all about just playing, some are deep into the gear and most are a bit of everything.
My only gripe about that is that "making it big" isn't a realistic goal on it's own, and you'd really need to drill down into what they mean by that. I've joined some groups before where everyone was on the same page except for that one guy whose idea of success was "you're either the next LoG or Gojira, or you're shit", and thinks the way to get there is to do any drugs you can get your hands on "for inspiration" and play every show you can just in case a powerful producer type happens to wander into your tiny venue and discover your stardom so they can grant you fame and riches.
IMO if you're going to go full-on "this is going to be how I make my living", come at me with an actual, viable, grounded-in-reality plan that isn't just "work hard and get lucky". Even the people I know who have done this - the most successful bands that I've encountered so far - still have day jobs that pay the bills, and/or have diversified their income in such a way that they aren't relying on their own music to get by. These are people who work in music stores, have youtube channels, do lessons, run their personal/project studios as a business, do content creation for media, etc.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying "don't try". But there has to be some level of realism to that discussion. For 99.9% of people, you're not going to "make it big", whatever that means, and there's nothing wrong with that. Maybe we're biased by how we only really see the successes or something, I don't know.
I'm with you on the general principle that goals ideally should be aligned though. I wouldn't get as far as saying everyone's goals need to be identical, but they can't be contradictory to eachother. If one guy wants to do tours, and another just wants a place to drink beer on weekends while loud noises happen, then yeah, obviously it's not going to work out very well for very long.
I never said the people in my example were smart!
Whenever I have heard someone think of becoming a musician the first thing I say is to have a backup plan. Get an education, do odd jobs while you work on your music and maybe at some point you can transition to being a fulltime musician. When your rockstar dream doesn't work out you will not be left with nothing when you start over.
Some of my friends have gone from video editors and graphic designers to musicians, working at recording studios etc. Some of them have worked on some fairly high profile projects now. To get there has been a lot of hard work and stress for them. I have absolutely zero regrets supporting myself as a programmer and having music as a hobby. Many jobs have more stability, better work/life balance and earn you more money than becoming a career musician.
Trying to decide if I think the choice of "when" over "if" was intentional.
Very intentional because it's the reality for most people with dreams of rock stardom. So much of it is down to luck like hitting some trend at the right time, meeting the right people etc that just being the best guitar player is not enough.
I suppose the counter-argument, just to be contrarian would be that most people fail at most things most of the time, so the key would be perseverance, right?
On some level yes... but also no.
At least not in so far that I'd gamble a stable full-time job on it.
Absolutely. It's fine to give it a honest try as long as you have that backup plan to fall on. Out of my friends the ones that have been successful made some money of a previous career, then slowly transitioned to being a fulltime musician over the span of several years and now are able to do that for a living. But they are more studio musicians rather than performing artists so things like COVID haven't hit them hard.
I've made a solid $100 off my solo project so I can confidently say I'm a ProFfESSionAl MUsiCiaN.
Kiss my feet you hobbyist plebians.