The journey of becoming a musician... share your story!

Share your story about your journey of becoming a musician! Did you take music lessons, study at a professional establishment or you reached the heights simply by watching YouTube videos? :slight_smile: When did you first realize the attraction towards music?

I started traditional piano lessons aged about 8 and by the age of 12, got to about Grade 5 while also playing higher level pieces like Daquin’s “Le Coucou” (about Grade 7). After a teen rebellion and a few years rest from lessons, I started playing the piano again at College and continued to play more challenging pieces (e.g.Beethoven’s “Pathetique Sonata”, Liszt’s “Liebestraume”) while also trying my hand (literally) at playing sections from famous Piano Concertos…Grieg, Tchaikovsky, Gershwin etc. I eventually gained a Grade 8 distinction in piano and Grade 5 theory and continued to push myself further with my music studies.

After College and gaining an Art degree, in an effort to improve my sight reading, I practiced about 4 hours a day, almost every day, for about 18 months, soaking up as many different styles of music as I could. I would rent books from the library and sight read them from cover to cover in an afternoon. Eventually I went on to teach piano, have done accompanying for Woodwind exams and local amateur dramatics, have been in Music festivals and been the Musical Director of a couple of pantomine shows as well as singing in various amateur choirs and Musical Societies. 22 years later and I am still teaching piano for a living but in recent years have become more interested in composing (which I’ve always dabbled in from time to time). That brings me right up to date here, at AudioJungle, where I am enjoying some moderate success with my own music for the first time ever.

Thank you AudioJungle! :slight_smile:

Thanks for sharing your stories guys!

I might as well share my whole life story, because music is a huge part of it.
Mine is a very very long one. Beginning I was 5. I used to go with my Grandpa to our Church. He would clean and I would sit at the piano in the Chapel and play little jingles, like Mary Had a little lamb. I never had lessons, but just started out by ear. A few years later I broke a tennis racket in order to make it strum like a guitar :slight_smile:

Then I met one of my best friends shortly after. We banged on pots and pans as our first drum set --we wanted to be famous and in a band (that was when I was 10). I started teaching myself guitar when I was 12 years old when I moved to Traverse City. We were staying at a friends house while we were looking for an apartment to live in (it was summer time). They just happened to have a guitar. They had a chord chart and so I just studied and played all day it seemed. Shortly after that I started trying to figure stuff out --like the solos to Pearl Jam songs (in particular “Alive”). I still remember when I was 14 and I spent 4 straight hours listening to and figuring out “Light My Fire” by The Doors. When I was 15 I had a reunion with the Piano! I fricken loved it! I would sit for hours while my Dad would paint and just come up with stuff (again, this is when I was at a Church). It was a revelation to me.

I was also in a band at this time and feeling very inferior. I went through a rough time where I didn’t study or do anything with guitar for about 4-5 years --I didn’t believe in myself. I started dinking around with the Piano again at age 25 and decided, hey, maybe I’m not half bad. I set out to figure out some music. My first job to tackle was Lizst’s Consolation No. 3 --and it was a success! :slight_smile: That’s when I really had the self-realization that I was actually good, and didn’t doubt it, and no longer let my inferiority complexes get the better of me. I mean, I was thinking to myself “I just figured out a level 7 piano piece with no lessons and all by ear”. How could I ever doubt? But life happens, and I again went through a phase where I didn’t practice or play for a long time. Just about 2 years ago my wife and I acquired a MIDI keyboard and I learned more about VST and computer music (though I did know something before, just a little). At the suggestion of my brother, I sought out Royaly Free music libraries ever since.

That was my story mostly as a musician. Throughout almost all of that time I have written music in some form or another.

I also play drums, and started seriously doing that at about 20 years old (I am 31 now).
What I am working on now is starting to get a youtube channel up where I play Guitar, Drums, Sing, and maybe play another instrument at the same time :slight_smile:

There’s so much more, but I don’t want to make this about me.

Gae47 said

(e.g.Beethoven’s “Pathetique Sonata”, Liszt’s “Liebestraume”)

Wow! Impressive. I believe Liebestraume is a level 9? I tried that one. I could figure out like the first minute, and then it just gets way too complicated for me (especially trying to figure it out by ear).

Erick_McNerney said
Gae47 said

(e.g.Beethoven’s “Pathetique Sonata”, Liszt’s “Liebestraume”)

Wow! Impressive. I believe Liebestraume is a level 9? I tried that one. I could figure out like the first minute, and then it just gets way too complicated for me (especially trying to figure it out by ear).

You should try it with your hands, instead of abusing your ears like that! lol

Erick_McNerney said
Gae47 said

(e.g.Beethoven’s “Pathetique Sonata”, Liszt’s “Liebestraume”)

Wow! Impressive. I believe Liebestraume is a level 9? I tried that one. I could figure out like the first minute, and then it just gets way too complicated for me (especially trying to figure it out by ear).

It is a very difficult piece for sure…the hardest part being the chromatic thirds run before the key change. I never really mastered it at the time to be honest and only played the chromatic runs at full speed with one hand. I did play it in public though, an audience of about 50 in a local church, totally had a blank half way through the performance and missed out two pages of music…lol! Afterwards, a musician from the audience said “Half the audience wouldn’t even have realized or known the music anyway” ha ha. What the ear doesn’t hear the pianist gets away with I guess!

I realized after that experience though, that I wasn’t cut out to be a soloist though as I found it to be too nerve wracking at the time. It’s a bit different now of course and I’m happy to perform in front of people. :slight_smile:

Bought a B3 and a Leslie many years ago and started fooling around. Got a gig with a full time touring band at the age of 20, a gig I was definitely not the best keys player for. Guess I’m a pretty nice guy :wink: practiced like crazy and kept that gig for 5 years until I moved on to other bands/artists.
Today I’m not to far away from 40. Still touring with a couple of Hammonds and are most often actually a pretty good fit for the gigs I get :wink: Started doing retitle libraries a couple of years ago. Registered here at AJ at the same time, but just recently discovered what a cool place this actually is. Started upload here in august and are very much enjoing the ride so far.


It’s so cool to hear your stories, I hope there will be more added soon :slight_smile:

I started my piano lessons at 8, after finishing 7 + 4 music school, my teacher and my family hoped I would continue to the Conservatory, but I changed my mind and ended up in the University in Tbilisi, studying English Language.

Composing music I started when I was 14, would write little pieces now and than. I never understood when people would ask for notes (sheets) of some popular pop song or soundtrack I played, I never used notations except my homework. I still play and compose by ear (probably should start writing my compositions on the paper at some point though).

All that happened in Georgia (country). After moving in U.S. I got introduced to a digital piano Roland HP305 and software program Mixcraft. I started uploading my music on Soundcloud.
With my husband’s help I made my first album “Ready For The Trip?” - electronic lounge music, which was accepted by Pandora and other internet radios.

Two weeks ago I moved from New Hampshire to Arizona. Maybe after some certification I can get a job as a music teacher or work as a pianist at the restaurant/hotel somewhere around. The same time I would like to learn more about Orchestral music, mixing and mastering.

I joined Audiojungle in June 2014 and so far enjoying all that stock music business. Love forums because everyone is so friendly and helpful. :slight_smile:

StoneColed said
Erick_McNerney said
Gae47 said

(e.g.Beethoven’s “Pathetique Sonata”, Liszt’s “Liebestraume”)

Wow! Impressive. I believe Liebestraume is a level 9? I tried that one. I could figure out like the first minute, and then it just gets way too complicated for me (especially trying to figure it out by ear).

You should try it with your hands, instead of abusing your ears like that! lol

Whoa!? So that’s been my issue all along? lol
I’m such a knucklehead! Actually, my head does hurt after all of these years of playing it with my ears.

Well my story is really simple …

23 years ago (when i was 12) i was rally into video games (Sinclair / ZX Spectrum) and with my best friend we tried to make our own video game! I was the programmer an graphics guy and he was the story and music guy! We both sucks on it so we switched the roles :smiley:

Nowdays my friend (still the best one) is working on Assassin´s Creed as a lead designer and i´m a “proffesional” musician (composer if you want) :smiley:

I never studiet any instrument - i learned all by myself (i wish i could go back in time and take some lessons from a real teacher :smiley: )… the only thing i studied was Sound Ingeneering on a basic musical school because i really wanted to know what are all the knobs for on a console :smiley:

Nothing less - nothing more :smiley:

My story is sort of funny…
I never wanted to be a musician or a composer. When i was a little kiddo my parents took me to the accordion lessons. I liked it and I played for like 2 years then my teacher started to piss me off and i quit. I also quit singing in a boys choir cos it was hard and i started to really hate music at all. After that i said no more singing, playing etc i hated it…
I quit all of music activities and my connection with music was limited only to listening soundtracks and other music. Life went that way for few years… Then i started to miss music. I begin with singing in various bands again, learning guitar etc etc… Then after few years i realized that it’s now goddamn easy to be creative, thanks to vsts, current gears etc,. Sometimes I was dreaming about being composer or conductor… Thanks to awesome orchestral tools now this dreams is a little bit more real… or at least it looks real, it’s still hard though… Anyways… i started to create music and i loved it… I’m familiar with computers cos I’m webdeveloper and music started to be at least small alternative, an innovation to my boring (sometimes) coding life…

My one and only dream is to compose music for full featured movie and see my credits in the cinema :slight_smile:

I took piano lessons from an early age but found my ability by ear was nicely fine tuned and i grew very tired of the traditional education and ceased. Self taught largely on piano/keys, bass and drums.
Spent much of my youth in studios but going back to about 1989-1990, it was extremely hard to make money from music unlike today, where you only have to walk past a pc and boom, its like a cash machine. A shame a lot of writers and composers dont appreciate that as about 90% wouldnt bother.

Spent time in working bands, played across the country. Finally decided to try music fulltime a few years back and now im writing for a large amount of tv shows, ads and promo work. Key thing is never compare yourself to anything or anyone, just be better than the last time you fired up the gear you own.
I got so far into this now that id love to buy some premises to work from and expand. It has taken enormous sacrifice, extra hours in every single day plus weekends. Def blood, sweat and tears.

Most of what i do isnt RF work as to be honest, i find it just tops up the coffers each month. I mainly write for fees and all of my writers share etc.
I spent a good 20-25 years just trying to be the best i could be. Trying to find my own sound and less worried about what someone else is doing and what they sound like.

A lack of core education hasn’t held me back at all. I mainly spend productive time away from the rig by meeting and greeting new clients, people in the industry. Being entirely behind a monitor screen is the way most are undertaking there career course but this leaves ample room to create a personal touch, which practially everyone loves, plus your never remembered for your email, but a phone or face to face meet goes a very long way. Excuses dont go very far.

The industry is changing so fast, mostly not for the better, so its a bigger more competitive pool than ever before. I have a feeling some dont recall making a career before the internet and take for granted what you can do now by simply switching on a cheap pc. Alas…

Amazing story! But I am not a musician.

Bump to this article. I enjoy reading this stuff, so keep it coming :slight_smile:

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