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What are the pros and cons of making it into the music industry?


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Alex’s Answer

This is a great question and one that different people will have a variety of answers for. This will change based on personality, but for me (musician and private instructor):


Pros -

1) The further you get in the industry, the more you get to travel with someone paying enough to make it worth it, or paying for the travel itself. That's the best way to see the country/world.

2) Being self employed and making it will instill a kind of pride no other career can come close to providing. Others might go into panic when they get laid off, but you know that you can make a living without reporting to a company.

3) Having tons of audiences give you a standing ovation every month is spectacular. There is nothing like live music, and you get to be in the middle of it every day!

4) The friendships you make and the people you meet. As fun as performing is, most of my found memories come from rehearsals or during breaks because of these interactions.


Cons - No career is perfect. Often times the pros become the cons.

1) Unless you win an audition, you're on the road a lot and will get tired of living out of a suitcase. Traveling isn't as fun when you've been there a dozen times.

2) Being self employed means that nobody is paying your health insurance for you, or dental. You do all of your taxes or pay a lot more for an accountant because you're now a company, not an individual. There's no paid vacation or any other benefits a company would provide.

3) People will always try to pay you less than what you're worth. They shop for cost instead of quality which makes it very difficult to survive when you specialize on quality. This also opens the door for you to be replaced by a CD player.


In the end, it depends on what kind of steady income you can get going and if it's dependable. When things are going well, it's the best career in the world. When things fall apart, it can feel like one of the worst. But these pros/cons are some of many from a freelance performer/instructor perspective. I'm sure the list would change drastically for someone in music education at a k-12 school vs working for Spotify/Amazon/etc, or a music retail store. Try to find people with experiences in the areas of the music industry you are most interested in, as well as people in parts of the industry you've never thought of. Hopefully some people with other experiences can also chime in. Good luck!


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Steve’s Answer

Pros and cons are good, but you need to try this out to be sure of the full experience. As a Guitarist, I loved playing in rock bands when I was younger and yet I never made it. Too much competition and hungry people that will try to push you out. Get lessons and become amazing in your music craft whether you sing or play an instrument. You will most likely love the band, and the comradery although all can get old quick if the other members goals and behaviors are not aligned with yours. It's a tough gig. You will be asked to do much for free in the earlier days, and the pay is not that great getting started, But if you stay the course, pay dues, work hard and have all kinds of good luck you might just get there one day. I met Lou Graham (Black Sheep) in '74 in Syracuse at a gig. He said just keep on playing as we did the warm up for his group. Our band SWEETWINE never made it but Lou went on to become FOREIGNER several years later. Yes Lou had talent but he also aligned well with his band members on great goals and behaviors. The rest is history as they say.

Happy music playing....Best of luck to you.

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Updated Translate

Steve’s Answer

Pros and cons are good, but you need to try this out to be sure of the full experience. As a Guitarist, I loved playing in rock bands when I was younger and yet I never made it. Too much competition and hungry people that will try to push you out. Get lessons and become amazing in your music craft whether you sing or play an instrument. You will most likely love the band, and the comradery although all can get old quick if the other members goals and behaviors are not aligned with yours. It's a tough gig. You will be asked to do much for free in the earlier days, and the pay is not that great getting started, But if you stay the course, pay dues, work hard and have all kinds of good luck you might just get there one day. I met Lou Graham (Black Sheep) in '74 in Syracuse at a gig. He said just keep on playing as we did the warm up for his group. Our band SWEETWINE never made it but Lou went on to become FOREIGNER several years later. Yes Lou had talent but he also aligned well with his band members on great goals and behaviors. The rest is history as they say.

Happy music playing....Best of luck to you.

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