Mudcat Café message #1316714 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #75139   Message #1316714
Posted By: PoppaGator
04-Nov-04 - 02:09 PM
Thread Name: When do you become a musician?
Subject: RE: When do you become a musician?
Let me muddy the waters a bit here: I would say that I am *not* currently a musician, but that I *was* a musician for the three-year period, long ago, when I managed to avoid all "day jobs" and support myself (barely but adequately) as a street performer.

I don't mean to imply that my definition is dictated solely by economic factors -- nothing so crass as that. But it is a matter of how much time and energy one devotes to music, the priority that playing music assumes among one's daily activities.

When I was playing and singing for hours on end every day, I could tune up without a pitch pipe. Now I have trouble getting those damn strings at the correct pitch even *with* a reference. That's just one of many diffrences I could cite, but should serve as a good example of what I'm trying to get at.

(Now, I can *remember* what it was like to be a musician, such as I was, and I still know a thing or two about learning and playing the guitar and about putting my voice to effective use. That's why I don't hestitate to pontificate here in these threads. But my skills are not what they once were, and I'm not "living the life" the way I once did -- although there's always the possiblity of starting anew... So no, I do not now consider myself a musician.)

You're a musician if your primary focus in life is to create music. Doesn't matter whether or not you can read, whether or not you can play by ear; doesn't matter what instrument (even if "only" your voice) or how many different instruments you play. If you're devoted to creating music (and actually doing so, of course), you're a musician.

Of course, some musicians are better than others, and some are certainly more versatile than others. But anyone who is playing/singing full time, as their primary activity, can certainly claim the title, and even serious "part-timers" who play *regularly* qualify as well.

Those of us who pick a little for our own amusement, love music, go out to listen and/or dance, and maybe even occasionally "sit in," but DON'T play for the public regularly -- we may be music lovers, we may be musical personalities, but we're not musicians -- not currently, anyway.