A: ”Hey, what do you do for a living?”
B: ”I’m a musician”
A: “Oh that’s nice, but what’s your real job?”
B: “Well…how can I explain that?”
Some people have to seat on their desks managing the millions of some multibillion company. Others spend 8-10 hours in factories; some are saving lives in hospitals right this minute; some are risking their lives on war zones; etc.
So wait, what do musicians do again??
There is a gigantic aura of misconception that enfolds this myth of the musician being a “fun” and “pleasurable” profession. For some mysterious reasons, it’s hard to think that what musicians do all day is play an instrument and still manage to earn a living.
So let’s redefine what it means to be a musician in 2018.
In the big pot of professional musicians, very few are exclusively playing gigs and chilling the rest of their time. In fact, most professional musicians (even the ones you see on TV or you hear on your favourite records), do a million of other things. “like what?”
To give an example, this is a very short list of what they have to do to make ends meet:
-Create Their Own Merch
-Networking with Other Musicians
-Work Other Jobs Outside Music
On top of this list, let’s not forget that musicians MUST practice their instrument in order to be always on top of their game. Actually, Practicing is a completely different beast. While in certain professions you can practice and learn while working; in music you can’t walk in a room full of raging people and say: “I’m sorry, but I didn’t have time to practice, so the concert won’t be that great tonight”. Practice is the foundation and end result of the music we hear. Behind a beautiful execution of a piano piece or a phenomenal drum solo, there are countless hours of practice.
Consequently, even though I consider my job to be a “FUN” occupation, if we calculate the amount of hours that a musician need to be “on duty” and compare it to other jobs, you will be sure that musicians are not living this easy, glamorous life portrayed on gossip magazines.