Working Musicians are Different from Artist Musicians
on September 11, 2018
The Hippy Coyote of American Zen

I visited Flappers in Burbank tonight. A musician friend asked me to come jam with the band. He says they are a jazz band.

Tonight they were unprepared, unrehearsed and… I just hung out and watched and listened and met the band…

I took my friend and manager-in-training, Oscar Barrera. I explained how these were “working musicians” who are there for the money–not the music. There are many types of musicians. I chose to be an “artist musician” who plays to make art–for the music–not the money. Yep, I’m really wearing that description!

I’m still working to make money from my art. That’s harder than selling your body for a few hours and getting a paycheck. An artist has to make a lot of money off one song or one album to make up for all the years and thousands of hours invested into their “music art.”

“Working musicians” are paid to remember popular hit songs and be ready to play the songs the audience wants to hear–even if you don’t like that music. A working musician is hired to entertain like a dancer or waitress. They provide what the customer wants.

“Artist musicians” are paid to perform THEIR OWN songs and not songs by other people. The audience respects an artist musician more than a lounge musician. Fans want to hear Elton John sing more than someone who looks and sounds just like him. An Artist Musician is appreciated for their uniqueness. A working musician is appreciated for their ability to imitate.


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