About to Turn 40, Want to be a Musician

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About to Turn 40, Want to be a Musician

Postby synchronicity » Sun Sep 06, 2015 3:28 pm

Hello all,
I'm about to turn 40 in a few months and I've always wanted to be a professional musician but instead wasted my time in unfulfilling jobs. I'm finally learning to honor my own needs and wishes and desires and learning how to make myself happy instead of constantly bending over backwards trying to get approval from family, friends, etc. and serving their needs whilst totally neglecting my own! I sing and have dabbled in a few bands here and there. I do read music and can play piano a bit but I'm out of practice -- another thing I've let go to the wayside by exhausting myself working unreasonable hours for an unfulfilling dayjob. I would like to record my own music -- and I'm also interested in being a backup singer too as well as performing my own music. So yes I know this might sound like a crazy vision but if anyone can relate or has any tips or advice, I welcome it with open arms! Thank you :-)
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Re: About to Turn 40, Want to be a Musician

Postby pattyn » Sun Sep 06, 2015 6:54 pm

The most successful musicians I know have some skill at marketing: creating a brand, building a tribe, identifying the best mouths for word-of-mouth. Sometimes those boring or stressful day jobs provide access to people who have this knowledge and find it exciting. Take them to lunch or out for a drink after work. Get assigned to their projects. Ask lots of questions about what they do and why. You need the contagion of their love for this stuff, and you can't get it from a book or most courses.
- Patty Newbold
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Marriage Education Author/Speaker - assumelove.com - enjoybeingmarried.com
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Re: About to Turn 40, Want to be a Musician

Postby Elaine Glimme » Sun Sep 06, 2015 7:09 pm

Hi,

Welcome back. and I hope your wish comes true for you.

You said you sing a bit and have dabbled in a few bands. I hope you're still singing and dabbling and doing open mike and singing in the shower and at weddings and just doing what you want to be doing professionally. You didn't specify what kind of music you like to sing/play, and of course that makes a difference as to where you want to perform. Elvis began by singing in church.

At some point, you may want to take lessons or get a coach, but for now, just do it and enjoy it. The big stars don't have as much fun singing and playing as you're about to have.

We'll be your on-line cheering section, but I hope you also have in-the-flesh people who can listen and cheer you on. -a success team as Barbara Sher would say. I hope you and Jazzmuse compare notes and help each other. She did a great recording. And hang out at coffee houses or other places where musicians hang out.

You can post your first steps here if you like. There's a thread on the Boards under "Success Stories." It gives a month a year, and the words "A few steps per day." Some of us have been posting our steps there. You're welcome to join us.

Don't fall for the "I have to do it all by next January, or it doesn't count" type of thinking because that will stop you cold. Enjoy the ride. Every step forward is a success. It doesn't have to be earth-shaking. If you sing or play, you are a musician. If someone hands you a $1 tip, you are a professional.

Good wishes.
Elaine Glimme - author - "Temporary Address" and "The Molly Chronicles"
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Re: About to Turn 40, Want to be a Musician

Postby synchronicity » Mon Sep 07, 2015 9:32 am

Pattyn, thank you for the marketing tip! Elaine Glimme - wow, thank you for your awesome response. So encouraging and lots of helpful info. :-) "don't have as much fun as you're about to have" <-- I love that :-) I'm certainly going to look into setting up an idea party as well. Thank you so much!

I'd still love to hear any tips/ideas anyone else would like to share!
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Re: About to Turn 40, Want to be a Musician

Postby Elaine Glimme » Mon Sep 07, 2015 10:43 am

Very cool setting up an idea party. Please post and let us know how it went. :D

Oh, one more comment. Going after dreams tends to have high points and low points. Just know that the low points don't last forever.
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Re: About to Turn 40, Want to be a Musician

Postby AlisonJoy » Mon Nov 09, 2015 6:17 pm

Hi Syncronicity, your dream sounds awesome to me. How have you been going with it?

I had always wanted to do more singing and started dipping my toes in the last few years. (I don't play an instrument)
This is what I did....just in case any of my ideas help you or spark you off on an 'idea' session.

Joined a choir for 3 months in my town. Choir wasn't right for me but it was a fun first step.
Put my feelers out to local school music teachers. Ended up planning and performing a kids (0-8yrs) concert to showcase different instruments with two teachers. A good experience...made me realise I don't want to work with kids or teach, haha. (I have kids, aged 8 and 5, that is enough!)
Starting taking piano lessons. Fizzled out but I will come back to it I think.
Put my hand up to go in a local charity singing concert as a contestant, just to see if I could actually perform in front of a big audience (about 300). I did okay!
Paired up again with local cello teacher for another charity concert, performed 3 songs. Paired up again for Christmas Carols concert, did 3 carols.
Asked a local piano teacher if she'd like to join us and got a couple of local gigs (small payment) for Cornish Festival and provided music for a college design Fashion Parade.

In the space of a couple of years I've gone from no singing to being known as a amateur vocalist in my town. From no money to small honorarium income. My cello playing friend is a professional musician...she supplements her income with teaching between paid gigs. I think she used to have an agent when she first started and is big on increasing her music education/number of instruments she can play.

I am probably at the stage where I could market my services as a special event singer but, as a scanner, I'm not up to that right now. Dabbling in photography at the moment, hehe.

Not sure if that helps but would love to hear how you're going. What sort of music do you play? Is your job a 'good enough' job, like Barbara suggests, not taking too much out of you so you have enough time and energy to follow your dream? I have a part time job, as does my husband. I don't think mine is a 'good enough' one really but it's 'good enough for now". :)
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Re: About to Turn 40, Want to be a Musician

Postby Elaine Glimme » Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:16 pm

Alison, thanks for sharing your story. It sounds like so much fun.
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Re: About to Turn 40, Want to be a Musician

Postby AlisonJoy » Wed Nov 11, 2015 4:41 am

Hi Elaine, thank you :)
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Re: About to Turn 40, Want to be a Musician

Postby unpinkpanther » Sat Nov 21, 2015 11:23 am

Hi synchronicity:

Could you please tell us more on the progress
you've made so far?

synchronicity wrote:Pattyn, thank you for the marketing tip! Elaine Glimme - wow, thank you for your awesome response. So encouraging and lots of helpful info. :-) "don't have as much fun as you're about to have" <-- I love that :-) I'm certainly going to look into setting up an idea party as well. Thank you so much!

I'd still love to hear any tips/ideas anyone else would like to share!
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Re: About to Turn 40, Want to be a Musician

Postby okt31 » Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:56 pm

Hello synch


If your still looking to play more. I would recommend (like Barbara said) sourround yourself with people who are already doing what you want to fo like other musicians. Whether that's in person at jam night or coffee houses blue grass clubs and or online groups. If you haven't joined Ascap of BMI you should. Great opportunity to get to know people and events around you. Maybe sit in on a panel discuss or two of a music conference.

And here's the clincher... get out there and perform. Wherever.
I used to sing at party's even hanging out in backyards. Sometimes we walked down the railroad tracks playing... Let it out. Even if you don't meet anyone hes at least it will make you feel better since music is soo cathartic.

Good luck!!!
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Re: About to Turn 40, Want to be a Musician

Postby inspiresuccess » Sat Sep 17, 2016 11:54 am

Hi Synchronicity,

If you're still around, let us know your progress.

AlisonJoy,

You give a really great example for all of us, even if music isn't our goal. Thanks for sharing what worked and especially what didn't work and what you learned from it. So many people don't see their progress as a learning experience. Barbara talks about that in WishCraft (and probably in her other books as well). Learning WHAT WE DON'T WANT is as valuable as learning WHAT WE DO WANT. The "don't want" can help us decide what we really do want.

If you come back here, let us know what additional steps you've taken. You've inspired me to look at the things in my life that I labeled a "failure" and see what I learned that can move me forward with my own goals.

Thanks for sharing!

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Re: About to Turn 40, Want to be a Musician

Postby Raymond » Sat Dec 17, 2016 3:03 am

There are two aspects to this:

1. Backing singer. Do any ear training you can, so that you get as familiar as possible with singing harmonies. Maybe put an ad in Craigslist or similar for someone who wants backing singers, work for free or expenses to begin with, and once you feel confident enough, get in touch with local recording studios. Also record yourself and then record yourself singing harmonies over the top, nobody else has to hear it until you feel ready.

2. Recording your own songs. That is so easy and cheap these days. Get a basic condenser microphone which suits your voice for $100-200, and a simple interface, like a Steinberg UR22 (surprisingly high quality). If you have a Mac, you can record into GarageBand for free, or a UR22 will come with a cut-down version of Cubase as well. Or upgrade to Logic Pro X (on a Mac), and that will keep you happy for a lifetime. That is assuming you want to get into editing and mixing your own songs as well.

Otherwise, you can just download something like Audacity or Ardour for free and simply record the tracks and get someone else to mix them. Also look into Band In A Box, which used to be pretty cheesy, but has suddenly become very impressive. You just enter the chords and choose a style and the software does most of the work for you. They have a sale on for both PC and Mac till the end of the year.

Also, subscribe to lynda.com , MacProVideo, or Groove 3 (depending on what you're trying to learn) which will have video tutorials taking you from beginner to advanced in many different kinds of software and recording techniques. And for free YouTube is also your friend, for example if you want to record guitar you'll find dozens of videos telling you about different techniques, microphone placement and so on. It's never been easier or so cheap to do this stuff.

If you want to learn about the current music business and how to promote yourself, look at books by Bobby Owsinski and Moses Avalon on Amazon.

And just do simple searches like putting 'making money making music' into Google.

If you have other skills you can probably swap with a musician in return for teaching or mixing songs for you.
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Re: About to Turn 40, Want to be a Musician

Postby Elaine Glimme » Sat Dec 17, 2016 4:00 pm

Raymond,

You seem to know a lot about the music business. Is this your dream as well? And if it is, is there anywhere on the Internet where we can hear your work?
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