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 Post subject: Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:58 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:18 am
Posts: 111
sowhoso wrote:
asking total strangers on a public forum what to do with your life? and you want to be a professional musician?

are you really married with kids?!!!

and a bunch of strangers giving their advice

this is so fucked up

already 3 pages in less than 2 days...totally fucked up

Well I guess one man's 'fucked up' is another man's 'brilliant'. I think it's cool I can ask advice on here, and people who share a common interest will make the effort to give me their views. And useful views at that. For me personally it's not my only source of advice and don't worry, I am capable of having my own thoughts. But I believe you should always ask as many people for their insights as you possibly can, that's how I learn. We may be 'strangers' but actually, if you think of all the people who have lived through the whole of time, we have a lot in common just to be experiencing our lives at exactly the same moment in history - and that's before we factor in our shared interest in Ableton and music.

Anyway, horses for courses and all that!

PS yep, I am 'really married', and my wife is super smart, way too hot for me, and just a young'un in her early 30's. Guess I'm one lucky guy :D


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 Post subject: Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:59 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:29 pm
Posts: 118
Nothing "fucked up" about it at all to be honest. Asking on a forum does however, suggest you have doubts (understandably) and that you aren't ready to go the full hog. You are 100% right to ask around though. Im sure you wont be basing any huge life decisions on forum chat only after all.

I'd love to be in your shoes and to have the option. I'm 30 with two kids under 4 & the usual big bills to pay as well as a missus to hide the music purchases from... Time is a serious premium for me. I often think that if I ever won the lottery and went "full time" with my music I could do some seriously good stuff. My problem is finishing tracks - got the ideas flowing and dont want to lose them so tracks end up lying unfinished basically forever!

I liked the suggestion from elsewhere to do it all in stages. Take a uni or online course and complete it to the best of your ability (it could be an early indicator whether full time music work is worthwhile), do some small gigs DJ'ing or performing your stuff, join like minded people and form a wee band to bounce ideas off, try contracting and freeing up chunks of time (a month or so) to dump a load of ideas down to develop and finish. Going from into it 100% could really scare you off for life! Like you say though, horses for courses and everyone is different.


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 Post subject: Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:24 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2009 4:06 pm
Posts: 973
I wonder if you (OP) would have asked this question, if you had colleagues with whom you have more in common?
I mean they are the people you share more time than with your wife and kids (unless you work only 4 hours a day)... Just think you would have one colleague who shares your passion, I guess that would make a big difference...


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 Post subject: Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:42 pm 

Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 7:52 am
Posts: 144
thegoodsirjames wrote:

PS yep, I am 'really married', and my wife is super smart, way too hot for me, and just a young'un in her early 30's. Guess I'm one lucky guy :D



What're you asking for advice for, dammit? Tell us your secrets! :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:20 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:51 pm
Posts: 167
Location: North Carolina, USA
@sowhoso - I don't think it is ridiculous at all to ask something like this on a forum. Getting the opinions of 20-50 random people who might or might not have knowledge about the lifestyle you're thinking about is a good way to get a lot of different opinions that one wouldn't be able to get from people they're closest to.

As to the question at hand, I'm 31, and I have thought the same thing many times. I do quite well for myself in my job, but I work in a very corporate environment doing something that gives me no fulfillment. However, at the same time, I don't *hate* it. I'm just, very ambivalent. On the one hand, the university classes on music theory I've taken were my favorite classes I've ever taken. It was like I was a kid on a playground, but I was actually a student in a classroom analyzing musical scores. On the other hand, when I think about trying to make my living in music, I think "Wow, it sure is nice to live in pretty much the only time in human history where one could really, seriously, think about this choice".

Honestly, when people say "you should do what you love" or "people aren't meant to be in an office" I think to myself, "true, humans throughout most of all of history were meant to hunt, gather, or farm, living day to day, barely scraping by and dying by the time we're 50". So while I don't love working in a very non-fulfilling job, I also try to not let myself get too far away from the reality of just how great I have it, and how great anyone would have it in my same position.

But man, I sympathize with you. I've pondered many times on how my life is going to be if/when I have a wife and kids. I don't see a very easy way to fit my love of musical creation into work and family obligations. I also wouldn't doubt that I might be in your same shoes one day. It's one thing to say what I said above about my job after 7 years. It's another to think back when I'm 15-20 years into it.

In any case, like you already know and like others have said, family obligations come first, period. I think the choice of just devoting yourself full time to music should be weighed against how easy it would be to come back into your field or a similar job if music doesn't pan out. It's one thing to be single, fulfilled and barely scraping by. But a single man's 'barely scraping by' amount of money isn't anywhere close to enough to support a family, so you're in a very different boat than someone who is doing what they love, but are only supporting themselves with their income.

Tough choice man, and I appreciate the honesty and willingness to ask it in an open forum. I've also loved reading some of these responses.


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 Post subject: Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:09 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 9:42 am
Posts: 2666
Location: beneath mouse mountain
I used to feel shortchanged in relation to music all the time & resentful about having to spend my day job doing other stuff, working in a bureaucracy...

Somehow I managed to change that balance and find a way of making space both for my work and my music.

- I found that while a lot of my thinking was 'i wish I had more time for music' I would often actually do different things with my free time - socializing, facebooking, watching movies. I realised that choosing for music was also choosing not to do other things; using my existing time differently.

- While it is nice to have hours and hours for music, I found that making a little bit of time every day was also very effective. The everyday has a way of accumulating. For a long time all I did was sit at the keyboard for 15 minutes every morning between getting up and going to gym, and just experiment with chords, finger excercises, harmony. And to do it aimlessly. And slowly my confidence and sense of what I could do grew

- I gave up on the idea of one day mastering music. No-one ever masters music. There is always more to learn. And you can always value and enjoy the place you are at now.

- Initially it was very frustrating. You finally make time for music, and there you sit in front of the keyboard, with no ideas coming and Ableton Live looking at you like a stupid grey grid. Sometimes it was disillusioning. Everything I made sounded crap. But slowly my confidence and understanding grew and at the moment it feels like there is always a flow: I can sit down even for ten minutes before bed, tweak a few knobs, and find myself exploring new thoughts and patterns.

At the moment I feel very fortunate to have both a job, and time for music. The job can be frustrating, but it also has moderate rewards and pays the bills. And when I make music, there is no pressure to produce or be creative, there is only the responsibility to have fun :)

And yes, one day I might want to give more time for it. But it feels like something I am growing into, and I am thankful for the space and spaciousness a slow process has given me.

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 Post subject: Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:57 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 5:28 am
Posts: 36
The thing is: are you talented enough? I mean, really, are you? You need to ask yourself that before doing anything. And what I mean here is that you really need to be honest with yourself and think: am I talented enough? Compare with others, the music industry and the music scene nearby, that does help, but the most important part is that you have to be brutally honest with yourself. Can you make it better that everyone else? at least better than people whos having success?

This should be on the center of your choice, because let's don't forget: it's music we're talking here, thats the main point and what determines the final result of your adventure, music only. Think about it.

If the answer is yes, then think again. Sometimes you think you are talented but you are not. Because we believe we are special, doesnt mean we are. There are truly special people out there, we need to check if we are on the same league. Make some tunes, mix a bit a couple of days non-stop, realize if you have what it takes. Be smart when comparing to others, not passional. Check if you have an idea no one else has

If the answer is still "yes", then fucking do it, you should not be even here asking, you should be doing.

PD: sorry my english.


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 Post subject: Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:29 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 6:49 pm
Posts: 434
Location: Ireland
Just do it. As you say yourself, life is short, and in the words of a great zen master: "if you don't stop to look around once in a while, you might miss it.".

Age is just a number, cliché as that may be, it's true. You'll always be too old/ugly/stupid/short/tall/skinny/fat/bald/grey/ginger until you actually do it. Pick any of the adjectives I just used and I bet it won't take you long to think of a famous/successful person that displays it.

Just remember one thing, you were born with one huge advantage over half the people on this planet... you're a man. Men and women will never be equal until a woman can walk down the street bald and fat thinking she's sexy. Face it, the world is your's to do with what you will, the only thing holding you back is you.

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 Post subject: Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:49 am 

Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:18 am
Posts: 111
I am really inspired by all the well-considered comments on here and the PMs. And really glad the thread has struck a chord (if you will!) with other people too. @naujpablo, yours is a really interesting post. I think I kind of believe that reasonable aptitude plus passion, dedication and hard work produces creative work that is good enough to be appreciated by other people. Yes, perhaps there are a few real geniuses out there who have this innate talent they were born with. But if you have a reasonable ear for music (or whatever it is) and are prepared to really work for it, my gut feeling is you can make it to an acceptable degree.

But of course, the reason I am asking advice on here is because although that's my gut feeling, I am still worried that 'prepared to really work for it' might also mean 'prepared to make enormous sacrifices for it'. If it was just about me, that would be fine. But I am worried about my kids. It seems that many famous and 'successful' artistes have pretty screwed up personal lives because they have had to be enormously selfish to 'make it'. That is not my definition of success. But on the other hand I don't want fame and millions - I just want to reach a point, after a few years of trying, where I might have satisfaction and a minimum of about 36k a year!! So perhaps there is hope! Anyone making this amount through music and related stuff want to give me hope? :D


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 Post subject: Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:13 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 9:15 pm
Posts: 12993
Location: The Wild West
8O holy shit... this has made for a good thread.

you've got some really good advice here. in essence, sowhoso is doing you a favour with that post. stay grounded. never loose that or all will be lost.

at the same time keeping your head in the clouds for too long is like a prison. it's way good to want take those clouds and make the shapes tangible elements in your life but always remember that too many wrong turns will get you back the the prison... and maybe with regret to carry as well.

one thing a girl told me when i moved to the Oakland area... "Hip Hop will break your heart". i get that now. part of my motivation for taking a job here was the underground scene. bumping elbows with like of Hieroglyphics, Pigeon John, Micah 9, Zion I, I-MC, Joe Con, Z-Man and many others taught me a lot about agendas. every one has one. on busy city streets people either know you, want something from you, or wonder what you can do for them. such is the industry we call music.


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 Post subject: Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:27 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 8:53 am
Posts: 3656
I am now 5 years into my journey of using the various forms of music as my income. I am about to turn 47. I have 3 kids, two teens and one pre teen. I have a mortgage. I have a very supportive wife. I have been married for 23 years. I can tell you two things from my experience. 1. Its fucking hard to make ends meet if you are not unbelievably well connected. 2. Make the running of your business your priority from day one.

Random thoughts:

Be prepared to work overtime hours, all the time.
Teenagers cost a shit load of money.
If you own your home, have a plan for its up keep and maintenance.
Quite your job when you have bought ALL the gear you will need for the next 4-5 years.
Make a budget for software upgrades. Plan for your upgrades.
Get a good accountant.
Find the free money within you social welfare system (if your country has one). There is a 99.9% chance you WILL need it.
If you find it painful to put on a show all the time in front of your work mates, then guess what...
Being a self employed muso type means... putting on a show in front of everyone, all the time.
If you have not dabbled in some sort of spirituality yet... open your mind now.
Don't limit yourself to Ableton Live. 99.9% of the time your target market does not give a shit about the software you used.
Make time for hotel sex with your wife.
Creativity is an attitude you purposefully adopt. Its not a feeling.
Find a hobby or focus outside of music.
Make sure you clearly understand your wife's expectations of life with you, and her limits. Living a self absorbed creative lifestyle can turn you into a prick.
There.are.simply.no.guarantees.

Of course your experience may prove to be vastly different than mine. However, expect the best but plan for the worst.

Cheers.

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 Post subject: Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:37 am 

Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:18 am
Posts: 111
^^^^@gjm - really interesting and useful post, thank you very much. So all things considered, do you regret the path you took? Would you do it again?


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 Post subject: Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:00 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 8:53 am
Posts: 3656
thegoodsirjames wrote:
^^^^@gjm - really interesting and useful post, thank you very much. So all things considered, do you regret the path you took? Would you do it again?


I really did not choose my path in music. I was happy doing something else I really loved to do. Economic downturn... Looking back it has been a love/hate thing. On the one hand I have had a beautiful input into my kids relationally on some levels, but am left permanently disturbed by not being able to give in other areas. Thats just me... I love my kids.

Any dream I had of the type of creativity i THOUGHT i was going to do actually never happened. Five years on I am somewhere else. However, my lifestyle is enviable in many respects. I am not wealthy, but I am not poor either. Previous business experience and hard earned lessons since have helped shape my current situation. I HAD to make money. I had no savings, rather I had to save my arse so I worked at it. To be very truthful, for me, the key to making money was understanding that I am first and foremost a business man, then secondly I am a musician.

I have many regrets. Anyone who says they have none is either a lier or is brain dead.

In the end, people are what matters. My personal ambition is to always make the people in my life successful at what they do. There always seems to be a return. YMMV.

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 Post subject: Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:13 am 

Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:18 am
Posts: 111
Good stuff for me to reflect on there, thanks for sharing and all the best to you and your family


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 Post subject: Re: Who has dared to follow their Ableton passion?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:26 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:24 pm
Posts: 1176
Your wife will leave you.

That is all.

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