Re: Do you still enjoy playing for $$?

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Posted by S. Lamb on June 29, 1999 at 08:55:37:

In Reply to: Do you still enjoy playing for $$? posted by Leland on June 28, 1999 at 15:18:13:

I can't say that I make a living on tuba, but I definitely have my opinion about playing for $$$. I play tuba not because I'm going to make a 6 figure salary, but because I LOVE to play tuba. I wake up every morning saying "I can't wait to grab my horn and start playing!!!" Sure there are days that are tough to get through, and everyone gets discouraged with what they are doing from time to time, but I could never say that I have ever been fed up with my instrument.

Now, I completely understand the tough life of the orchestral tubist (rest for 300 measures, play for 3), but I don't think that the lack of tuba playing in the music is the only problem. Unsatisfied musicians in the orchestral life is a very common characteristic these days. The attitudes that you can encounter in an orchestra can completely turn a musician away, and make it very difficult to have the attentiveness and awareness needed for a fabulous rehearsal and performance. Just imagine going into rehearsal everyday and sitting next to someone who never liked anything. Could you deal with that pessimistic attitude everyday? Unfortunately, that is what many orchestral musicians face. Having the opportunity to play with a section that sleeps during the 1st 3 movements of Symphony Fantastique, but then has the energy of a chiuahua with 4 cups of coffee running through its veins for the last two movements is a treat for any musician. Yes, there's lots of rests and dead time, but its definitely worth it for that 15 minutes of exhileration.

As far as dealing with imperfections that are made, every musician must be aware of that which needs to be improved. Music is not something that happens overnight, it's an evolution of time. If you take any mistakes that are made and turn them into positive experiences instead of negative, you will more than likely learn more, and be less apt to repeat the same mistake in the future.

For those who read this that are contemplating careers in performing music, don't do it for anything but the love of music (and in my case the love of tuba.)

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