How much does a "pro" make?

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  1. patfarlow

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    this is my friend steve jones he taught me alot about playing the gypsy style.

    Do you guys ever think about friends that play so well, but have a hard time gigging for a living?
    It seems so hard these days to really puncture through like Kurt, Moreno Lage etc
    I think the bar is very very high which is awesome.

    So much competition out there, NYC alone is crazy talent. Whats a dude to do?
    I have a job in finance so im not in the race but it seems scary out there for aspiring "pros"
    Im not advocating quitting for the up and comers, Im just thinking about loud.

    Anyway,How much money can a "pro" make per year? I bet metheny does pretty well. Any one have any idea?

  2. aramaya

    I don't think it is necessarily about being the greatest guitar player. Jeff Parker doesn't play 1/2 the stuff some of the folks you mentioned above can, but he keeps busy and produces some great music. At this point, it would seem most people have to supplement their income with teaching. I would imagine the the university gig is incredibly helpful for kurt to fund his family. How much money is relative to your need, and then also when you have a family, you have time to put in with your kids, which requires being home. Universities can help strike a balance and provide a base income.

    I know guys who only gig and make about $20-30,000/year, but those gigs might not be what they would like to be doing (musically). Others (often piano players) make upwards of $40-60,000 because of their ability to play so many different types of gigs. Being a professional musician doesn't necessarily imply playing the European circuit.

  3. gleepglop

    Regarding teaching: most teaching gigs for a guitarist are "adjunct" positions, which pay next to nothing and don't usually offer benefits. It can be a nice supplement, but even if you can get a gig it's usually not enough nearly enough to live on. I made more money working as a barista in NYC than I did as an adjunct professor at an expensive university. Teaching kids privately can often work out to pay much better.

    I know lots of killing musicians who have to work a side gig to pay rent. In NYC it's common; in less expensive cities it is easier to get by on playing/teaching income as long as you're good.

  4. Haha... I'm a barista... I've taught privately out of a store in SF and have taught privately to kids. Now I just sling coffee ( a lot ); play with my boy and try to squeeze in times to create, get together with people and play occasionally & practice things I'm not good at ... And pay rent in NYC.



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