Author Topic: Finding your 9-5 in the Music Biz  (Read 2677 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline SerFox

  • Tunnocks Caramel Log
  • ****
  • Posts: 409
    • View Profile
    • http://www.jamiesoarmusic.co.uk
Finding your 9-5 in the Music Biz
« on: June 22, 2009, 02:23:01 AM »
Alright. Yes, this is rather premature (I've still got a year of music uni) but I've lately been weighing up things, with plans of a mortgage with my special someone on the distant horizon, income is going to be a necessity, and I'd rather that didn't have to come from a meager salary from Mr. Boss of Tesco for the rest of my life.

The nitty gritty of it is I want to be involved with the music industry, as a creator of...something. I've done three years in college doing both a Certificate in music performance and a general diploma in music spanning from live performance, composition, production and studio work and the like. I've also just completed my first of two years in a degree in Music Composition and Technology with an overall grade of B3. with several Merits and two distinctions.

I'm going to say something embarrassing here so Jem please be a good man and skip to the next paragraph. As I've gone through university and the like I've became aquainted with many facets of the music industry, composition, production, live electronics, orchestration, even dee[er and more precise things like music psychology and the study of musical cognative science. I'd never thought of myself as being a producer, yet having listened to both Frost* albums and heard Jem's dayjob cretions on the radio, my interest in DAWs and production has elevated and Jem has become one of the main people I look up to. I don't like the term role model, because that implies I want to end up just like that person, when I do not. I want to do my own thing, but I see him as an example of what I *could* do rather than what I *will* do.

Pop music has never been one of my loves, and there are various reasons for this. Some down to peer pressure, evading my own opinion to keep my appearance to others positive, and other reasons mainly leading to the fact of it it's actually a pile of shite. But modern artists such as Mika, Snow Patrol, Elbow, Fleet Foxes, The Flaming Lips, going back a few years breakthroughs such as  The Fratellis and Franz Ferdinand have caught my attention. There has also been an influx of Electronic artists that have grabbed me quite violently and taken my interest, such as Pogo, Zero 7 and I also highly enjoyed The Prodigy's latest offering. I may be a prog head, and I'm prone to having a very obscure taste in music, but god damnit if I can tap my foot to it and sing along without having to worry about time signature changes or adjusting my ear to a chord change from B to H flat the happier I am.

I'm digressing slightly but let me move on. I'm a huge fan of video games. I have played them all my life back from the days of the BBC acorn and sega game gear all the way to todays modern XBOX 360 and PC gaming offerings, and something I've always enjoyed analyzing and listening to is game music. Especially from games such as Final Fantasy, but also soundtracks in things like racing games which tend to be a little more varied. Joining onto this is my love of film and TV and there also whenever I hear a good score on more than one occassion I've paid more attention to the music rather than the movie itself. rewatching old comedys such as Liar Liar, and Kindergarten Cop I enjoyed listen to the orchestration, simply because it was so fun, and listening to the all-synthesizer soundtrack of the original Terminator was very interesting, you don't get away with that nowadays, it seems. If you're not John Williams and not willing to score from beginning to end they're not interested. Well, if 'they' are Hollywood at least.

So lets move onto the topic of the thread: finding some kind of work in the music biz. Hopefully with either a first or second degree in music I would hope that this would be a good starter for finding some kind of work, but I know it won't just turn up the next morning in an envelope bundled with a copy of Pro Tools and a 5000 to kit out my studio, I'm going to have to make contacts and work my way somewhere. One thing I haven't mentioned is teaching. Yes, I will be teaching in some field or other, but only as a part time pays the bills thing to suppliment myself. I have no interested in spending the rest of my life teaching. I've been told that I'm good at giving presentations, and I've taught a class of 10 how to play acoustic guitar (They are now all taking either GCSE or A level music last I heard after I stopped teaching them due to relocating for uni) but doing that then coming home and composing then uploading my music to silly little websites is in no way satisfying. Producing pop, rock, electronic, composing film, game, tv scores, things like that are what really interest me. I don't know how viable it is to make a life out of composing and producing, and yes I do know that you need to be good at it, and it'll be a road with tons of obsticles, but damnit this is my life and I only get one shot of it, and I want to chase that dream, not just sit there knowing the dream is there and not go for it.


For those who can't face reading that essay of a post: helo i am looking for job in muzik, if u intrestd plz contakt me kthx

Offline johninblack

  • Global Moderator
  • A Zoo full of Chocolate Animals
  • *****
  • Posts: 2317
    • View Profile
Re: Finding your 9-5 in the Music Biz
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2009, 09:27:48 AM »
Quote from: "SerFox"
I'm a huge fan of video games. I have played them all my life back from the days of the BBC acorn and sega game gear all the way to todays modern XBOX 360 and PC gaming offerings, and something I've always enjoyed analyzing and listening to is game music. Especially from games such as Final Fantasy, but also soundtracks in things like racing games which tend to be a little more varied.
Might be a good idea to have a chat with Beano since that is what he does. Good luck with finding what you want.
"F#?K OFF, GRANDAD!!!!"

Offline weezul

  • Jammie Dodger
  • ***
  • Posts: 128
    • View Profile
Re: Finding your 9-5 in the Music Biz
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2009, 10:10:06 AM »
Hey man i'm in the exact same boat as you, just graduated from my BMus and I still only have my teaching work which is 4 students at the moment, 3 because the little one broke his arm and is out for 6 weeks and one resturant gig a week for a pittance! Im also working at a supermarket (Musicians eh?!) and I really really need to leave soon its driving me insane. I'm still mixing for free hoping that someone will pay attention, for example i'm mixing the Newcastle uni jazz orchestra sessions and there's been word that the bass player has finished this year also and is not staying in newcastle, so there's an opportunity there.
I'm also getting a website sorted, and will then send CV and portfolio to every local studio I can just to find work, heck it will probably be unpaid work!! Im also hoping to advertise my ability as a bass player to record on people's tracks who don't have bass yet, online session musician so to speak but who knows how that will kick off. It would require an investment in a really nice pre-amp as well but with moving house in august and learning to drive im starting to run out of do-ray!
I feel like a bit of a loser atm because all my other friends have musical income, one of them is a mint saxophone player so he's never short of work, and my flatmate is in a club band. Its not the most luxurious musical job but i would rather do that than work in a supermarket. I told his band leader to pass my info onto her agent, said she did but I am yet to hear anything so there's another tenuous link there. Its all about networking. I also applied for a teaching job at the sage (a big musical building) which I am yet to hear about. So yeah fingers in all the pies really but I'm still expecting teaching to be the majority of my crust, it earns me about on par with my supermarket work at the moment, im still yet to break the threshold because it's so temperamental and could not risk paying rent on people who like to cancel on the day of the lesson!!! End of the day, its fucking tough!! At least that's how it is for poor ol' me! :D  Also keep your eyes posted on http://uk.music-jobs.com/jobsboard.php but don't sign up to reply, paste the advert into google and you'll find another place to find the contact info! And just keep your skills sharp. I mean im saying all this and you've got your last year to go yet which is usually the best. Depending on your options you'll end up with a nice product at the end (ie production portfolio/ composition portfolio / dissertation) Performance is probably a harder choice because your end product is just a video tape really and not as much use after you graduate. Hope this waffle helps.

Offline Mouse

  • A Zoo full of Chocolate Animals
  • **********
  • Posts: 2587
    • View Profile
Re: Finding your 9-5 in the Music Biz
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2009, 06:26:57 PM »
I'd like to say a massive "Thank you!" to both of you for posting all that, because in about two or so years I'm going to be in a similar if not identical position. Reading all that has been most useful as I'm only really starting to think about my professional future now. I'll be keeping a close eye on this thread with great interest, looking for any useful titbits of info to pick up which will help me along the way. I'm still a bit clueless as to how the world works, so the more I can learn here, the better!  ;)

Sorry for the length of my post, by the way.  :P

Offline weezul

  • Jammie Dodger
  • ***
  • Posts: 128
    • View Profile
Re: Finding your 9-5 in the Music Biz
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2009, 06:44:48 PM »
I have been in contact with a guy called Gordon Hall who works for Ubisoft here in Newcastle, and he had a bit of information which may be of use to you:
--------------

Hi Liam

I hope I can be of some  help to you. I landed the job I have today initially through a friend who was a programmer and a bit of an aspiring musician himself, he had run out of time on a project and gave me the music job. After that the company he worked for employed me and I have been fortunate enough to have been in pretty much constant employment for 15 years now. In short I was lucky. Having said that this is a demanding industry and the standards are always going up. The industry model is now moving towards that of the movie industry with a lot of musicians working free lance and specialising in specific genres, and the organisational skills to hire musicians or orchestra and produce parts (or hire an orchestrator) I think the in house composition jobs are few and far between in large companies but smaller developers still have the capability to have an in house guy who does it all. Music. Dialogue. localisation and speech recording. I myself have moved away from music and into sound design.  If it is music you specifically want to do then get a myspace and populate it with as many examples of writing in you specialised genre or whatever styles you feel capable of and then create a show reel with some short examples of tunes you have written and recorded then apply for any job going in the field , you can try  the sites below for current vacancies.


http://www.gamesindustry.biz/jobs/searc ... location=0

http://www.mcvuk.com/

http://www.developmag.com/



and maybe get on


I hope this is of some help to you.

Regards


Gordon Hall

-----------------------
i'm once again convinced people are generally nice :) Jem answered my questions I sent him too which were a great help. My whole professional studies module might be of help for you but its a bit production based, just give us a shout if you're interested

Offline leelustig

  • Custard Cream
  • ***
  • Posts: 187
    • View Profile
    • www.leelustig.bandcamp.com
Re: Finding your 9-5 in the Music Biz
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2009, 11:25:43 PM »
K so I wish I saw this thread earlier.

I too am in this boat with you gentleman, only instead of majoring in music I chose to major in Broadcasting. (interesting that we're all closely the same age... I too have 1 more year left) The reason being is that I originally thought it would be easier to find a job right after college, rather than if I majored in music or film (my REAL choices).

Anyway, just sharing my little piece. I hope to one day compose for video games and film. We'll see what happens.

SerFox, all I can say is if you want to do production/composing/recording, start out by just doing small projects to build your resume. That's the one advantage you can easily have over everybody else, is having an impressive resume filled with tons of projects you've been a part of. Even if they're teeny tiny nothing projects. That's essentially what I'm doing. Recently I did a commercial for my ex's parents' restaurant. Now I can write a number of different things on the resume that make me look good such as Produced, Edited, Filmed, Composed for, etc. That's what it's all about. I know that example is really random but I'm just saying, you gotta build up your resume. Fortunately for this industry there are a million ways to work on things even if they're your own.

Hope I was at least a tad helpful. That's just my little philosophy on the subject. Good luck to all you guys!
I've seen paupers as kings,
puppets on strings
dance for the children who stare
you must have seen them everywhere

Offline tomskerous

  • Foxes Party Ring
  • *****
  • Posts: 588
    • View Profile
    • http://www.sparklefluff.com/blatantoptimism/
Re: Finding your 9-5 in the Music Biz
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2009, 12:21:43 AM »
Chaps, my take on this is that it's all totally random.

I have no idea how I ended up doing what I was doing, and there is no way I could possibly have planned it.

I think I just spent a lot of time being really interested in a huge breadth of stuff, working hard at it when the opportunities arose (sometimes being unbelievably hard on myself) and mixing with interesting people who could guide me along the way. I spent a long time picking up a lot of craft, and also had people spend good money on training and education opportunities that I pretty much pissed away. At no point were any of those things gateways to a job in themselves, they were just organised ways of building skills.

It was only when I started being out there in the real world, mixing with people who knew other people, trying to blag my way into parties or showing off in pubs, that little opportunities emerged where the craft I had just put me that tiny step ahead of the next guy.

I look back to the 21-year-old me, who had messed up his maths degree but spent a huge amount of time doing student radio/press/tv, who totally loved music but had no band. I stumbled into a data entry job to pay for xmas presents...and got a career in hardcore IT. Which I snapped my pencil from after six years to try and become a pop star. Which impressed someone who'd first introduced me to the (brand new) internet in a tent at the Edinburgh Festival in 1994 when I bought him a pint. It didn't work out, so I moved into the analysis of PR to pay the bills. Said guy had snapped his pencil at Wired UK (the original) to set up a fanzine called NTK, and so was too busy to do a freelance web producer job...and he gave the BBC person my number. Their arts documentary series really helped if you already knew about Delius, Arthur C Clarke, Drum'n'Bass, Marcel Duchamp et al, so I raced ahead. Only the series ended, but they needed a tv presenter who knew about the internet for a digital channel etc etc etc...

My life has been full of sudden turns based on people asking questions like

"Where can I get a really capable project manager who can sell stuff to teenagers in a cool way and is really really hot at maths"

"Who am I going to give this odd project called 'interactive tv' to to look after?"

"This site is really easy, were it not for the fact it's got to be built in four weeks in seven languages, and the brief still isn't nailed. Oh and there's something about downloading things to your phone. Does anyone know someone who's free and could pull that off"

"There's a concert called NetAid at Wembley in two months. Hasn't tom had a bit of experience with video streaming?"

Just be passionate about what you're interested in, don't stress too much about it, and let your interests lead you to stuff that's going to create the career that's right for you at that time. And don't be afraid to throw it all up in the air and start again while you still can. And sometimes do it even if you shouldn't.
I was a victim of goose-flirting the other day.
This bleeding great goose came up to me and wanted a light.
I said no.
Goose, there\'ll be no flirting today.

THUNDERFROG!!!!!!!!

Offline leelustig

  • Custard Cream
  • ***
  • Posts: 187
    • View Profile
    • www.leelustig.bandcamp.com
Re: Finding your 9-5 in the Music Biz
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2009, 11:49:38 PM »
awesome stuff, skerous.
I've seen paupers as kings,
puppets on strings
dance for the children who stare
you must have seen them everywhere

drblowthingsup

  • Guest
Re: Finding your 9-5 in the Music Biz
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2009, 01:09:18 PM »
haha i was just goin to come on and ask some questions like this of my own. genius, you psychic frost*ies. i love it.
however, as another bizz-y thing,
I have to record an album for my uni dissertation in a few years, so im hoping to have enough experience when that rolls around to be able to get it 'out there' as it were.
has anyone else tried gettin an album sold, like on itunes or something?

chezz!

Offline JimD

  • Pink Wafer
  • ******
  • Posts: 756
  • Living through another Cuba
    • View Profile
Re: Finding your 9-5 in the Music Biz
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2009, 03:08:35 PM »
This is an interesting thread from a Mr Reznor about how you might distribute your music these days

http://forum.nin.com/bb/read.php?30,767183

As regards the world of work Serfox, Tomskerous has a good point about it being random.  The biggest leaps and bounds often happen when a. you least expect them, and b. you realise you can rise to the particular challenge.  So be ready for when life combines in those two ways; often it is not what you are looking for, but it turns out to be just what you need.
About Me
Secret line! Who can see this? PM me!

Offline tomskerous

  • Foxes Party Ring
  • *****
  • Posts: 588
    • View Profile
    • http://www.sparklefluff.com/blatantoptimism/
Re: Finding your 9-5 in the Music Biz
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2009, 12:07:53 AM »
I'd just like to add that the last 72 hours has shown me this to be the case more than ever.
I was a victim of goose-flirting the other day.
This bleeding great goose came up to me and wanted a light.
I said no.
Goose, there\'ll be no flirting today.

THUNDERFROG!!!!!!!!