Actually Rowuk and Seth made the best suggestions. Open up your opportunities to play out and meet people. I believe in the business would we call it Networking. Then cross your fingers, and hope opportunity comes a call'in. That is how I had the chance to get started. But once you get started in one market and leave to go to another (and you have yet to make it to National recognition) you will have to start the process all over again. It takes dedication, a passion for the music you play, and lots of energy and drive to push forward to make it happen. If you have all these qualities... it will happen.
My best advice regarding having a Plan A and Plan B (not to be confused with "Plan 9" ) is to ask yourself, "Can you not do music?" If the answer is that you have to do music, then go for it.
Although there is wisdom in having a Plan B, you run the risk of having one foot in the profession and one foot out of it. Indecision is a killer for anyone wanting to go into the arts. I liken it to Peter trying to walk on the water. What sunk him wasn't (as the parable goes) his inability to walk on it. It was his indecision to completely commit himself to it. At the moment he had doubts, that's the moment he sunk.
I think that anyone who is willing to make the sacrifice of material things and to also be resourceful in how to manage your musical resources can make a reasonable living.
FWIW, I'm one who had only a Plan A and never seriously considered a Plan B, and I've had a reasonable income from music for almost (gad) half a century.
You can't blow it if you haven't lived it.
"Even if I could play like Wynton Marsalis, I wouldn't play like Wynton Marsalis."
Martin Committee (1956)
Connstellation 38B (1959)
LA Benge 3X (1970s)
Hans Hoyer G-10 Geyer Horn
Bach Stradivarius 43* (1974), Bach 3C Mouthpiece.
Getzen 896 Eterna Flugelhorn (1974), Curry 3FL Mouthpiece.
Plus a few other Bach, Getzen, Olds, Carol, and Besson horns.
Be a pro, or play like a pro? The latter is easier and much more fun. But that's pretty much what everybody else has been saying. Whichever route you go, best wishes for your happiness and success.
Jaeger Diamond Bb Trumpet
Conn 22b NY Symphony Bb Trumpet
A pile of cornets
Mild N+1 disease...
You sound a lot like me when I was your age. I only kinda sorta became a "pro" musician, if it can be called that. (I played trumpet in the US Army band program for 10 years.)
For me, life happened - got married, had kids, and had a lot of responsibility. I ended up going into information technology, and I still gig on the side, which can be tough because it's harder to maintain a high level of proficiency as a part time player, but I know I can't stop doing it - I have way too much fun doing it and it's part of what makes me whole as a person. Never lose sight of that, even if you don't wind up making your living playing trumpet.
"What we do in life echoes in eternity"
"At my signal, unleash hell."
- Maximus Decimus Meridius
Its not easy to become a professional musician. especially trumpet.... work is lessening and being taken over by technology and todays music is changing. You are young though man dont rush things. If you love trumpet, then play trumpet in a few years you still know that this is what you want to do then do it. I recently watched a video interviewing Wynton Marsalis and he was talking about telling his parents about wanting to become a professional trumpet player. He went to his mother (and if you didnt know...Wyntons father was a very good trumpet player but never made it big and his family struggled) so he told his mother and she in a way suggested against it but said he should talk to his father. So he asked his father and his dad explained how hard it is to be a struggling musician and finally said to him, "But if this is truly what you want to do, then dont have anything to fall back on"
There is so much more to discuss about the industry and music jobs but this is a very important point. If you have a plan B that means you have a doubt in plan A. When you are a musician and artist, any doubt will hold you back, but when you know this is all you have and all you want to have and you work your but off you can do it. Everyone on this forum can/could've done it, I can do it, you can.
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