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Topic: Any Professionals Amongst Us???

  1. #1

    Any Professionals Amongst Us???

    i was just curious who in this forum does music professionally (this is your main means of income) or semi-professionally (you make money in music, but it is not your main source of income)?

    if this is too personal a question please forgive me. i am just curious seeing as how there are tons of talented musicians that take part in this forum.
    -Keith Fuller

    iMac Quad i7 * MacBook Pro * Logic Studio 9 * WD 320GB & 1TB Externals@7,200RPM * Presonus Firebox * M-Audio Axiom 25 & Keystation 61 * Rode NT1-A * Epiphone Hollowbody * Fender Amp * KRK Rokit 8's

  2. #2

    Re: Any Professionals Amongst Us???

    wwll, im a student studying to become a professional, and am earning a little on the side through writing. but what about yourself?!

  3. #3

    Re: Any Professionals Amongst Us???

    thats great to hear that you're earning something for your music, and good luck with your studies.

    i on the other hand have earned a whopping doughnut in music sales. so far i've only written for fun. i'd love to make some money, but i have no clue as to how to go about it.
    -Keith Fuller

    iMac Quad i7 * MacBook Pro * Logic Studio 9 * WD 320GB & 1TB Externals@7,200RPM * Presonus Firebox * M-Audio Axiom 25 & Keystation 61 * Rode NT1-A * Epiphone Hollowbody * Fender Amp * KRK Rokit 8's

  4. #4

    Re: Any Professionals Amongst Us???

    Quote Originally Posted by keithjfuller
    i'd love to make some money, but i have no clue as to how to go about it.
    I guess you have to specify what kind of music you can write.

    I used to play semi-pro rock about 30 years ago (reached the fork in the road and took it college or music - I chose college). What I found is that everyone concentrated on (insert Man character from Cheech & Chong here) being the best guitar (or bass/keyboard) player on the entire Earth - man. No egos there.

    In reality, there's always someone better at the instrument than you. But, very few people can actually write music. A lot of rock groups are monkey see, monkey do. The guys that are successful are the ones that have someone in the group that can write. BTW, in my experience, if you write music with a catchy hook and lyrics that can be sung by a drunken crowd, you have the beginnings of a successful song. Look at Def Leopard, they made a career out of it (not putting them down - in fact, they were very clever). So keep it simple.

    Use your songwriting as a strength. For example, if you can write rock music, hook up with a local band that's on the way up and talk to them about supplying them with lead sheets or whatever format they want (demo tapes even work). If they make any CDs you can negotiate royalties with them (ahead of time).

    If that doesn't work for you, see if you can get a contact in your local recording studios (pro ones, not the ones in someone's bedroom). Semi-pro groups are always on the lookout for good material.

    If you aren't oriented towards rock, check out your local theater groups and see about providing music for them. It may not pay in the beginning, but you'll meet people and opportunities will present themselves.

    Here's an idea I had:

    The "Theater in the Square" here in Marietta always put on the "1940s Radio Hour" at this time of year, but had to abandon it because it was too expensive to hire professional musicians to play live every night. It's a play set in a radio station in 1940 and they put on the old time musical radio show at Christmas with singing and dancing to songs from - you guessed it - 1940.

    This show ran for 20 years and sold out almost every performance. If the Big Band music were scored with JABB they might be able to put it on again. You can't cut the singers/dancers. So I'm thinking on it.

    There are other things like this that are probably around your area. You have to investigate.


  5. #5

    Re: Any Professionals Amongst Us???


    I've been writing (actual writing!) professionally for about 27 years, wind ensemble, orchestra, studio work, theatre, variety-type shows, pageants, whatever I could get paid for! I'm also published (and have been published) by several companies: Southern Music Co, San Antonio, Wingert Jones Music in Kansas City, MO, Studio P/R then Columbia Pictures Publications then Warner Bros. Publications, mainly now by C. Alan Publications, Greensboro, NC (all print media).

    I've just recently completed a score for a student film using GPO, CMB and Virtual Drumline. Garritan Products are a life-saver!

    All the best,

    Reber "Chip" Clark
    In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

    http://reberclark.blogspot.com http://reberclark.bandcamp.com http://www.youtube.com/reberclark

  6. #6

    Re: Any Professionals Amongst Us???

    It took a little while, but I took the plunge and became a full-time professional musician about 10 years ago.

    "Full-time" in my case means I have 8 or 10 part time jobs. I play viola in two semi-professional orchestras, plus I'm librarian and composer-in-residence for one of them. I also free-lance as a gigging musician, playing weddings and the like.

    I teach as a part-time adjunct at Indiana State University. I do Finale work for Theodore Presser Co. I take commissions for original works and arrangements. I self-publish most of my own work, and have started publishing other works as well.

    And I'm happy to report that I just got my first paycheck for work done with GPO. A company in Branson Missouri licensed my arrangement of "Joy To The World" from the first GPO Christmas album to use in an e-mail web advertisement. Many thanks to Gary for putting them in touch with me!
    Dan Powers

    "It's easier to be a composer than it is to compose."
    --Ray Luke (1928-2010)

  7. #7

    Re: Any Professionals Amongst Us???

    I've been working as a full time composer since I graduated in 2000. I studied composition and conducting 1994-2000 at the Academy of Music in Malmö (Sweden) and postgrad studies at the Royal College of Music in London.

    The last years I've been working mainly with orchestral commissions so GPO is a good aid while composing. I use Finale 2007 and full Kontakt2 and the sample libraries I need for the time. My "final product" is always a written score for a real orchestra or musician. Having said that, I do appreciate to work with sample libraries (such as GPO) while I'm composing. But my "mockups" will never leave my studio (unless someone threatens my with a gun or something...).


  8. #8

    Re: Any Professionals Amongst Us???

    I don't know if I count by your definition of "professional".

    I am in a financial situation that allows me to compose full-time. I don't live richly (actually, by the skin of my teeth), but I compose and teach music. That's pretty much all I do, with the occassional conducting job mixed in for pleasure.

  9. #9

    Re: Any Professionals Amongst Us???

    Hi, Keith - It's an interesting thread you've started here.

    Awhile back when some problems on the Garritan demo page were being ironed out, I remember one of the side-issues that came up was that some people wanted there to be a more clear distinction between demos that had been done by professionals as opposed to amateurs.

    I think that was because some members who are professional musicians/composers in the strict sense you mean are justifiably proud of their accomplishments and would prefer their work to always be designated as the output of professionals.

    From that discussion and other various threads, I've gotten the impression that there are many members who stay invisible on the Forum due to lack of time - They're busy being professionals!

    As for me, music has always been a serious "hobby" for me but I've rarely pursued making money with it. Over the years there have been bits and dabs of income, but just as with my other central preoccupation - theatre, it's always been done strictly for the love of it.

    I've never been any kind of business man and have never understood how to go about using part of my brain to make either music or theatre my "profession." I feel it's a talent I lack - that combination of ambition and money savvy that leads some people to change their creative interests into money making endeavors. Hats off to them!

    Randy B.

  10. #10

    Re: Any Professionals Amongst Us???

    Hi Randy, and all:

    I am a semi-professional musician. I perform for money for parties, receptions, weddings, etc. I also perform with a local orchestra that pays its principles. I am a retired music instructor and still give lessons on trumpet/brass and violin. I have been commisioned by local civic groups to compose specific or arrange specific music for them. I am a former member of the Cleveland Composers Guild (Inactive right now because of a busy schedule.)

    I do not make a living at my music, but I do suppliment my retirement with it.
    We dream to write and we write to dream.

    Challenge #10 Winner

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