Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Professional?

By Greg McNair

It seems the meat n' taters of my previous discussions on worth of a musician were completely overlooked by people who couldn't get beyond my definition of a pro.  I still contend that a pro is someone who feeds themselves and/or others with income generated with their skills.  It's how they make their living.  Feeding may seem too simple for some, but let's be honest---what does it take to feed you and keep you out of mission lines?  You are either earning a way to put food on your plate, or someone is paying for you.  It really is that simple.

An actor--what makes them pro, and what makes them simply actors?  I didn't ask what makes them good.  What separates a professional actor from a non-professional?

A carpenter--what makes them a pro?  This is not seeking a definition of good or bad.  What separates a professional carpenter from a non-professional?

An athlete--what makes them a pro, and what makes them a weekend player?  What separates a professional athlete from a non-professional?

Now, apply this to a musician.  You have the comment space, please use it!  What makes someone a pro musician?

Is there such a thing as semi-pro?  I think so.  Just like there's semi-pro's in athletics, you may not make your entire living as a full-time pro, but you may be semi-pro.  There's semi-pro and pro musicians in all towns. Again, this is not a definition of talent, not a definition of your personal dedication to the craft, not a reflection on how long you've been doing something.  It's simply defining those who play music for money, and if they do, how they value themselves and how that value applies to the industry in general.  If you never aspire to get out of your basement, and you just want to jam with friends, then the entire Worth of a Musician discussion has nothing to do with you. Keep jamming....enjoy the heck out of it.  Keep up the great work!

Original Article

EDIT:  I know many musicians who consider themselves musicians first, and they work "jobs" second to pay their bills.  I'm in NO WAY watering down their role, commitment, talent, or ability.  They probably put forth more effort on a weekly basis in their music pursuit than they do in their "bills jobs."  They're still professionals, but that borders the semi vs pro.  And I base my concept of this around the people I know in the industry.  I know people who ONLY play music.  They don't work p/t or f/t jobs anywhere.  I know people who drive trucks in the daylight, and play music at night.  I know people who have distributed EP's, and people who haven't yet.  I know people who have made it to the "big time" and people on the road in search of it.  All of these people are high quality musicians, people who are revered by others.  I mean absolutely no disrespect to those who aren't full time musicians!

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