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Re: To those who make a living off of music

I've made my living, entirely, as a musician for the last 35 years but
I did a lot of different things to make that living.........I toured, I did lots of studio work, hundreds of gigs, taught a lot, lectured, consulted with music companies, had a lot of work as a music business consultant, produced, engineered (live and
in the studio).

I've always been lucky (or perhaps foolish) in that I did freelance work for years in stead of being in one professional band. This has always allowed me to have an all original project since 1980. I've very proud of the fact that I've always been an artist who didn't compromise and there were even times where my all original projects made a fair amount of money.

If I hadn't done that I would have quit being a professional musician a long time ago. I was the number one on call sub for 150 bands in Northern California for almost 15 years and I really got burnt out on that. Because I was considered what they call an A-list drummer (first call) I was booked constantly but could always reasonably turn down a gig for my
own artistic projects if there was a conflict.

I'm proud to say that I rarely ever took a high paying pro gig over a low to no paying
'art' gig.     Again, this may have been foolishness.

Now, I'm finding it harder than ever to survive, especially after the economic recession that hit
the US a few years back and never really left the region I live in.

I rely mostly on teaching and some creative inventing and consulting work.

But whereas people used take music lessons as a lifestyle now it is considered by most to be a luxury, so the last three years have been a really tough struggle, not only for me, but for almost all of the professional musicians I know. There are some still dialed into the rapidly diminishing work but live music that is well paid has mostly evaporated from this region.

DJs have taken over the lions' share of paid entertainment gigs these days (corporate parties, weddings, etc.)

It's a changing world and it's a struggle but I'm very proud that I've made it this long at least.

Rick Walker