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Seeking advice for making music more than just a hobby...


Like many of you, music is my passion but not something I do professionally in any capacity. I studied something else in college and work a full time, white collar job to make ends meet. I am only 22, and am completely dedicated to doing what it takes to transition into making music my primary means of income.

My experience is pretty varied: I have played guitar and bass each for over a decade, have plenty of performance experience in bands that play music across a wide range of genres, have dabbled in composition for student films, and am currently completing a comprehensive audio engineering course with a local studio. My approach thus far has been to exercise and hone these skills in what little free time I get in the evenings after work and on weekends, but I can't help but feel that I am stretching myself incredibly thin, especially when I try to balance this stuff with other hobbies.

Should I just stay the course until a music related opportunity comes along with a financial incentive that could justify me pursuing it full time? Should I quit my job (or find something part-time) and throw myself into making music work for me on a more professional basis? This is the option that my gut is leaning towards, but my brain tends to disagree. I should also note that I don't want or expect to make a lot of money pursing musical interests, just enough to allow me to keep doing it. I also have enough money saved to live comfortably without a job for at least several months.

How have you all addressed this issue? What was the tipping point that encouraged you to seriously devote yourself to musical interests? I worry that by not giving music a legitimate shot as a career and trying to shoehorn it in as this ancillary, background thing to my regular job, that i'm selling myself short and not living up to my potential. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Community Star

I am a professional cellist, @Minato009.


I'd say it takes 2 - 3 years to get a toe hold, and constant fresh starts when colleagues move on  or away etc, so you burn up a lot of energy setting things up, and you need to also check out probably being self-employed, with all that that entails. 


Now is probably not the time to start out.....


The world is currently awash with musicians with nowhere to play - and every Tom, [oh dear, another censored turn of phrase....] & Harry will be chasing every gig when live performances become possible again. 


Recording/film music may have more immediate promise, but again highly competitive. 


The music world is always tough, but we rely on the world around us to be in pretty good shape. When the economy is thriving and people have more surplus cash, we are in with a chance.


The world around us is in a dire mess at the moment. Elton John has been summing up the plight of musicians here:

Gliwmaeden2, a fellow customer.