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Phil O'Keefe

Are you a bitter musician? No? Well here's 12 ways to fix that!

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Cute, I've met those people and feel sorry for them.

 

Me? I'm happy to have been able to make my living doing music and nothing but music for most of my life. I love my job and still get excited on gig days, grinning from ear to ear and anticipating having a great time. I love the audience and feel the love coming back at me. I even love playing Mustang Sally or Old time Rock And Roll for the millionth time and get my joy from the audience and my duo partner. The only thing I don't like about being a musician is salesman-type cold calls, and fortunately we have enough repeat business that I don't have to do that anymore.

 

I've been on stage with superstars in their prime, and I've played seedy little dives. As long as I get to play music, it is OK with me. Some gigs are just better than others.

 

I've had two 'real jobs' in my life. I think I was testing out what the real world was like. I was a telephone man and a Cable TV Field Engineer. I gigged on the weekends with both jobs. However, neither job worked with me. I truly believe a bad day at being a musician is better than a good day at any other job I can think of.

 

Put the sax, guitar, flute, wind synth, in my hand and the mic in front of my mouth, and I'll play straight through, no breaks, and the end of the night will come too soon for me.

 

Perhaps I'm suffering from brain damage, but I'm having a very happy life, and as long as I can fog a mirror, I plan to continue gigging.

 

A wise person once said, "If you can make your living doing what you would do for free, you will never work a day in your life." And other than those two day gigs, I've never worked a day in my life. That's why they call it PLAYing music.

 

Insights and incites by Notes.

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Cute, I've met those people and feel sorry for them.

 

Me? I'm happy to have been able to make my living doing music and nothing but music for most of my life. I love my job and still get excited on gig days, grinning from ear to ear and anticipating having a great time. I love the audience and feel the love coming back at me. I even love playing Mustang Sally or Old time Rock And Roll for the millionth time and get my joy from the audience and my duo partner. The only thing I don't like about being a musician is salesman-type cold calls, and fortunately we have enough repeat business that I don't have to do that anymore.

 

I've been on stage with superstars in their prime, and I've played seedy little dives. As long as I get to play music, it is OK with me. Some gigs are just better than others.

 

I've had two 'real jobs' in my life. I think I was testing out what the real world was like. I was a telephone man and a Cable TV Field Engineer. I gigged on the weekends with both jobs. However, neither job worked with me. I truly believe a bad day at being a musician is better than a good day at any other job I can think of.

 

Put the sax, guitar, flute, wind synth, in my hand and the mic in front of my mouth, and I'll play straight through, no breaks, and the end of the night will come too soon for me.

 

Perhaps I'm suffering from brain damage, but I'm having a very happy life, and as long as I can fog a mirror, I plan to continue gigging.

 

A wise person once said, "If you can make your living doing what you would do for free, you will never work a day in your life." And other than those two day gigs, I've never worked a day in my life. That's why they call it PLAYing music.

 

Insights and incites by Notes.

 

 

I suffer from dain brammage as well, but I found this really a very nice sentiment. You speak words of wisdom.

D

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Yeh. Fun's fun but you invest so much in competence and getting good - learning good from schitt; Where you spose to draw the line? Certainly not at somebody's idea of pillaging the ignorant.

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Cute, I've met those people and feel sorry for them.

 

Me? I'm happy to have been able to make my living doing music and nothing but music for most of my life. I love my job and still get excited on gig days, grinning from ear to ear and anticipating having a great time. I love the audience and feel the love coming back at me. I even love playing Mustang Sally or Old time Rock And Roll for the millionth time and get my joy from the audience and my duo partner. The only thing I don't like about being a musician is salesman-type cold calls, and fortunately we have enough repeat business that I don't have to do that anymore.

 

I've been on stage with superstars in their prime, and I've played seedy little dives. As long as I get to play music, it is OK with me. Some gigs are just better than others.

 

I've had two 'real jobs' in my life. I think I was testing out what the real world was like. I was a telephone man and a Cable TV Field Engineer. I gigged on the weekends with both jobs. However, neither job worked with me. I truly believe a bad day at being a musician is better than a good day at any other job I can think of.

 

Put the sax, guitar, flute, wind synth, in my hand and the mic in front of my mouth, and I'll play straight through, no breaks, and the end of the night will come too soon for me.

 

Perhaps I'm suffering from brain damage, but I'm having a very happy life, and as long as I can fog a mirror, I plan to continue gigging.

 

A wise person once said, "If you can make your living doing what you would do for free, you will never work a day in your life." And other than those two day gigs, I've never worked a day in my life. That's why they call it PLAYing music.

 

Insights and incites by Notes.

 

I just hope the people that think musicians are just happy to be playing music and don't deserve to be paid, or should pay to play, don't read you too often, Notes.

 

I get what you're saying, and I've had many a good time. It ain't digging ditches. But there were times for me when it was just plain hard, and sometimes high pressure work. Like when it's 102 degrees and there's 86,000 people out there and a cue is on it's way from the conductor, and if I don't field it right the violins won't be together.

 

Or maybe there's been a string of shows with very difficult music and it's getting harder and harder to concentrate, and your arms are tired, the spot on your neck where the violin touches is getting kinda raw, and there is still two more performances to go.

 

I might be wrong, I'm no linguist, but we play tapes-CDs. But I don't think the word 'play' in that context, has much to do with "the children wanted to play" aspect of the word.

Edited by RockViolin
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I've played with sweat dripping off every angle of my body, and so cold that I couldn't tune the sax. I didn't like the weather, but loved playing.

 

And the fact that my partner and I love what we do, and it shows that we love what we do, is one of the reasons why people pay to hire us. We have a great time, and the fun is contagious, and people will pay for that.

 

I tell them that we play for free and charge them to move and pay for the equipment.

 

Since I'm in a duo with my wife, (after my first divorce, I decided the next girl I meet would have to be in the business already), we have a lot of gear. We schlep two 15" speaker cabinets, one 12 space rack, one 4 space rack, two guitars, one tactile MIDI controller, one sax, one flute, plus pedals, cords, stands, and other gear. It takes about an hour to setup (we allot an extra half hour - just in case), and about 45 minutes to tear down. Setting up is OK because we are anticipating the joy of performing. Tearing down is work because we generally don't take a break and after a few hours of putting out 100%, we're tired.

 

It's worth the work (although we would rather have roadies ).

 

And just because we enjoy our work, is no reason not to pay. If I go to a doctor, I want to go to one that enjoys being a doctor. If I have a room put on my house, I want a construction crew that enjoys building rooms. When I get my sax overhauled, I want a sax technician that enjoys overhauling saxophones. I figure I get a better job for my money by taking the work to someone who likes what he/she is doing.

 

The first definition of Play in my dictionary is: To occupy oneself in an activity for amusement or recreation. And when Leilani and I play music, we are definitely playing. All the song learning, sequencing our backing tracks, practicing our instruments, etc., is enjoyable, but it isn't play. When we get on stage, we play. We've rehearsed enough so we don't have to think about the mechanics of the song, so we just let it loose and enjoy what we are doing. As far as I'm concerned, if you can't PLAY music, you aren't doing it right.

 

If I didn't truly love what I do, I'd get a job with sick leave, paid vacation, employee vested retirement plan, and so on.

 

If I had to do life over again knowing what I know now, I'd make only one change - I wouldn't have taken those two non-music day jobs.

 

But that's me. What is right for me isn't ideal for everybody.

 

 

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I've played miserably cold outdoor shows but no doubt I can't match you northern folks' experiences. :eek:

 

In Texas where it often gets up to 110F these days, I recently experienced something new to my 40+ years of playing outdoor shows. Looking down past my Strat (the face of which had turned white from the salt of my evaporated sweat on it), I was about to change patches on my stomp box but the LCD panel was completely unreadable. Not because the sun was too bright (I shaded it with my hand hoping that was why) but because it was far above it's operating temperature. Fortunately the Roland VG-88 was still working and fortunately the numeric LED display didn't care about the heat, so I could get in the ballpark of the patch I needed.

 

That's kind of important to get right on the first try when you have programmed alternate tunings. :eek:

 

Terry D.

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I tell them that we play for free and charge them to move and pay for the equipment.

 

 

 

 

Great. See, that's what bugs me. The next time they hire a strolling violinist I'm sure he'll be paid accordingly. :D

 

 

I always figured I got paid for the years of practice, the school loans that paid for the training, need to eat blah blah..

 

 

I don't really think they call it PLAYing music because in someone's world it's just one big frolic. And though I think I loved playing as much as you seem to, there were times when I think I probably had a right to be tired of playing..for a while, and to not be particularly enjoying myself at times. Some gigs are better than others maybe.

 

With ya all the way otherwise. Sounds ideal to me. smiley-wink

 

 

 

 

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I'd rather like to see the 12 step anti thesis to that article, "How to be a happy, joyous, free, successful, prolific, endeared, relevant, intelligent and loved musician, regardless of how much coffee you drink"

Spelling out the exact opposites of what I aspire to greatly relieves any pressure to be something other than what I am...

how much of me can I stand, only about so much....

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The article was funny !!!!

I've had my fun with playinmg music to many types of people. Some in ideal conditions , others outright uncomfortable or dangerous ( like playing to a rowdy crowd of people like Bikers), but the show must go on .....

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