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View Poll Results: what makes people basically afraid of being a musician?

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  • feel lacking talent, or the "it" factor

    21 56.76%
  • feel lacking passion, or persistence

    12 32.43%
  • afraid of overwhelming expectations they'll be getting

    9 24.32%
  • afraid of the amount of spotlight, and thus lack of privacy

    7 18.92%
  • fear of lack of money, for daily living needs

    19 51.35%
  • not according to standard common society's wants of you

    9 24.32%
  • other (please explain below)

    8 21.62%
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  1. #1
    Senior Member niki's Avatar
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    Default what makes people basically afraid of being a musician?

    what do you guys think?

    is it mainly because they feel like they're lacking talent, or the "it" factor to succeed?

    or feel lacking passion, or persistence to really really strive for it, 'till you succeed? (but isn't it the same as other kind of professions?)

    or is it because people basically afraid of the overwhelming expectatations they'll be getting? (from public, fans, spotlight, media, labels, etc etc)

    or is it mainly because of the amount of spotlight they'll be getting, and lack of privacy?

    or is it mainly because of the fear of lack of money, for living needs?

    or is it mainly because it's not according to what most common society (ie: parents, family, relatives, friends) wants you to do? they think it's just a stupid even "not real" career?

    or other things?

    These all might seem 'negative' things that held people back from pursuing full-time career in music,
    but
    I wonder if people have actually thought about the 'positive' things they'll be getting at, like:
    - the touch of human soul. consider that this is such a benevolent task to do, when you're a musician.
    - some musician friends of mine often told me that being a 'true' musician is not about money, but it's about "a good karma". very abstract indeed..
    - seeing those smiles in people's faces = priceless ?
    - inspiring people

    for this thread, i'm specifically talking about musician (although the same could be applied to any other artistic field/career).

    Please share your thoughts.

  2. #2
    Senior Member swordpath's Avatar
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    In pretty much any situation, I get flustered and angry at myself if I don't perform to a certain level. I've always wanted to be an instant professional and get angry when I don't advance as quickly as I think I should or want. At a time a few years back, I wanted to get into the music business as a recording engineer (it's what my dad does) and before that a professional drummer. I learned that the music business is a very competitive and hard field to work and you must rely a lot on connections as well as talent. I was overwhelmed (but also simply just took on other interests as well) with the notion of being involved in a field that lacks a guarantee of stability as are most jobs in the entertainment business.

  3. #3
    rawr Costrin's Avatar
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    I think for most people, it's a negative feedback loop where they aren't good, and they think they'll never become good.
    "All humour has a foundation of truth."
    - Costrin

  4. #4
    Shaman BlackCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Costrin View Post
    I think for most people, it's a negative feedback loop where they aren't good, and they think they'll never become good.
    This.
    () 9w8-3w4-7w6 tritype.

    sCueI (primary Inquisition)

  5. #5
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    Depends on the human. I'm a composer and I'm afraid of music sometimes. Probably for a different reason. Has to do a lot with extraverted sensing.

    You're probably asking the wrong guy.

  6. #6
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    I doubt a lot of people realize this, but it is not uncommon for people in the U.S. with Master's and Doctorates in music to earn 20K a year at best freelancing without retirement or health insurance. That's something worth being a little afraid of especially if your students loans are many times that amount and your competition for employment are hobbyists because they can offer lower rates. I've known retired Metropolitan opera singers who barely made a living like I described above and Yale doctorates in musicology who couldn't get work at a small private college. You're better off styling hair because not just anyone can do that. You have to be licensed. The supply and demand are also more in your favor.

    It's worth going into if you love it, it rests at the core of who you are and how you think, and you realize it isn't the path to riches and fame. It can actually be quite the opposite even if you able to reach a high skill level and impress the clever folk. I would typically suggest a second career option that can overlap with the arts if needed.

    edit: It is important to have people go into this career, but idealism must be joined to a rigorous pragmatism to insure the individual's well being.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  7. #7
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Costrin View Post
    I think for most people, it's a negative feedback loop where they aren't good, and they think they'll never become good.
    bingo
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  8. #8
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    I doubt a lot of people realize this, but it is not uncommon for people in the U.S. with Master's and Doctorates in music to earn 20K a year at best freelancing without retirement or health insurance. That's something worth being a little afraid of especially if your students loans are many times that amount and your competition for employment are hobbyists because they can offer lower rates. I've known retired Metropolitan opera singers who barely made a living like I described above and Yale doctorates in musicology who couldn't get work at a small private college. You're better off styling hair because not just anyone can do that. You have to be licensed. The supply and demand are also more in your favor.

    It's worth going into if you love it, it rests at the core of who you are and how you think, and you realize it isn't the path to riches and fame. It can actually be quite the opposite even if you able to reach a high skill level and impress the clever folk. I would typically suggest a second career option that can overlap with the arts if needed.
    I'd say it has more to do with:

    1) How much artistry you're willing to compromise in order to be marketable, and
    2) How much work you're willing to put into building the business side of your art.

    Being successful in music doesn't really require a lot of luck, just willingness to play a style that's popular, diligent practice, and persistence in self-promotion and trying to break into the industry.

    But of course, as they say, "If you can imagine yourself doing anything other than music, do something else!"--and that's wise advice for most people. You just have to really love it enough that you're willing to do it for little to no money for a really long time until enough people start to care.
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  9. #9
    Senior Member niki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    But of course, as they say, "If you can imagine yourself doing anything other than music, do something else!"--and that's wise advice for most people. You just have to really love it enough that you're willing to do it for little to no money for a really long time until enough people start to care.

    This is a reallllyyyy good advice!
    thanks for reminding me this...
    it really gives me more assurance of my path in Music, 'cuz yes, it's in my head, and my blood constantly

    and besides, I think what's good about music field is how a lot of breadth & variations it is you can be.
    if one is open-minded, i think there're quite plenty of fields inside the music.
    there's a player, a performer-type, a record engineer, a producer, stage crew, lighting, design, etc.
    not to mention there's a whole lot of genres also in music.
    toonia mentioned one genre of music: opera. but there're also a whole lot of more, as we all know, even into rock, metal, and some 'weird' kind of music.

    and i don't know,.. but I personally think university degree has less to do for the success in music..
    I've heard that the most important asset in music industry is not how many theories you've known, but the "ear" and also if you have that "it" factor, that "something" that makes people want to search for you.

    and that is why, i've also heard from someone said this beautifully, "there's no business like show business" .
    it's not linear , like many typical mainstream career .
    but it's full of exhilarating & excitement, sometimes you can be up there, and other times you can be down there. it's an adventure itself.
    and the barrier of entry is very low , you don't even need to be a doctorate or Master. almost everybody can enter the industry (just take a look at many thousands of succesful musicians/bands who necessarily don't have those degrees, yet they are still succesful).

    I do think that the "it" factor, or perhaps what most common people refer as "talent" really does play a very crucial role for people to recognize you in this industry, isn't it? or not necessarily?
    what do you guys think?

  10. #10
    Senior Member niki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    Being successful in music doesn't really require a lot of luck, just willingness to play a style that's popular, diligent practice, and persistence in self-promotion and trying to break into the industry.
    i would beg to differ in the bolded words above.
    history has shown that some of the greatest musicians who were hugely succesful, and even can still be immensely remembered up until now, were not the ones who's -in lack of better words- only copying & re-phrasing from other songs, but to create a really unique, breakthrough sound , or even genre.
    take Queen for example, with their 1st single Bohemian Rhapsody.
    i've read the story that big major labels used to follow the principle of "it's not going to be commercially succesful" , and thus rejected that song.
    but Freddie didn't give up, at one event in his friend's DJ party, he gave it to his friend, and his friend played it , and unexpectedly, a lot of common people there LIKES it..............and the rest is history.
    this is still not to mention many many other great-breakthrough artists, such as Dream Theater, and then there's now Radiohead, Muse .

    I personally still believe that , despite that mainstream people often got labeled as those idealist type of musicians as "shallow ear" , however, I think most people still have good ear & good mind to discern & quickly recognize what's really good-quality, yet also very good song, music, and musicians.
    thorough my own observations & also experiences, I've seen this example many many times, even spanning to Asian countries like Taiwan, Korea, Japan.
    high-quality (or very-talented) artists/musicians usually at least got recognized quickly, and it's usually only a matter of time, until their xx-th album got hugely recognized, and thus become huge success.

    of course, obviously, there're also artists/musicians who're overrated . in lack of better words: those that we feel they're lacking apparent talent, or skill, etc.

    but back to my first point above, i think that's the 'beauty' of the music world : it's unexpected. you can never predict it. it's non-linear path. it's full of thrill & adventure, high-and-low.
    it rushes one's adrenaline , and that's what makes it an exciting journey of itself , that makes some people still persistent to want to be a musician, even after knowing all the risks & consequences they'll face

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