1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

What makes a musician?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by logankolarick, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. logankolarick

    logankolarick Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    231
    Joined:
    May 23, 2017
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Something that really bothers me but probably shouldn't is when singers that don't play instruments, call themselves a musician. They haven't put in the hours and hours and years that I've put into playing guitar. They don't know what key we're playing in, they don't know even what notes they're hitting (typically).

    I guess the reason it bothers me is that I identify so much of myself by music. These years that I've been playing and the music I play define me as a human. I'm honored to be in this global elite club of musicians. It bothers me that someone could so easily join the club without those years of hard HARD work.

    What in your mind makes a musician? Are you a musician the moment you learn your first chord? When you learn how to play an entire song? When you can play fluidly with others? When you first figure out a song just by listening to it? Does music theory play a role? Do you consider singers musicians? Do you have a general definition of a musician?

    I realize the lines are blurred and that there's a lot of room for gray area. I'm just interested in your opinions on the subject.
     
    boredguy6060 likes this.
  2. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Age:
    63
    Posts:
    86,579
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location:
    Austin, Tx
    Singers are most assuredly musicians.
    Their voice is their instrument.
    Perhaps the voice is the perfect instrument.
    One always has it with them, and it's sound connects with other humans, even without a shrared language.
    Most great singers, just like instrumentalists spend many hours studying and perfecting their craft.
    Some singers, who can play an instrument don't because they do not want to distract their attention from their voice.
    Lastly singers connect with far more people than instrumentalists.
    Only other guitar players "get" a cool guitar solo, a great singer and song connects with most people, IMO.
    My definition of a musician is someone who shares the music they make.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
  3. brokenbones

    brokenbones Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    602
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    Location:
    Indy
    Anyone who doesn't have a job.
     
  4. Milspec

    Milspec Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    5,296
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2016
    Location:
    Nebraska
    A musician to me is one that has sufficient skill to perform at a professional level. I do consider a vocalist that meets that criteria a musician as well, although it is a rare group. Sinatra used his voice like an instrument and fully read / understood the music. There are certainly many others, but again, I consider them a rare breed.
     
  5. Milspec

    Milspec Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    5,296
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2016
    Location:
    Nebraska
    That would be a comedian as well....as long as they are divorced and had something funny happen to them on the way to the set.
     
    Flat6Driver and logankolarick like this.
  6. brokenbones

    brokenbones Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    602
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    Location:
    Indy
    Just looked up the definition in the dictionary and it differs from what I had thought. I believed a musician was someone who plays at least 2 instruments very well. Other wise you're just a guitar player, singer, violinist etc.
     
    Jakedog and logankolarick like this.
  7. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    25,103
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2012
    Location:
    Montana
    +1 I think Milspec is pretty close to what I think of a person as a musician. Probably as close as the gray line allows anyway. And yes, singers can be musicians at the same level as guitarists. To me a good singer has to work harder than a good guitarist, but maybe that is because my singing sucks even worse than my guitar playing.:oops: I have had the honor of playing with two excellent singers and that is probably the Standout highlight of my guitar years.
     
    logankolarick likes this.
  8. Ripradiant

    Ripradiant Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,203
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Location:
    Alberta Canada
    I think Brookdalebill really said it well.
     
    studio1087 and logankolarick like this.
  9. WetBandit

    WetBandit Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,258
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2016
    Location:
    Somewhere
    We are talking about guys and gals that sleep in vans,cars,buses etc., and get on stage to perform for a group of people who are usually too hammered or stoned to listen, then most of the time get paid far less than they deserve and be scrutinized to the max by their musical brethren....yea it's a real honor to be counted amongst the "non appreciated-infitghting-self destructive elite musicians"

    Just breaking balls. ;)
     
  10. Milspec

    Milspec Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    5,296
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2016
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Being a huge Sinatra guy, let me share 2 examples as to why they are musicians.

    When Sinatra was singing for Tommy Dorsey, he noted how Dorsey could hold a note a very long time on the trombone and he asked him what the secret was? Dorsey showed him how he cheats it a little by drawing air from the corner of his mouth. Sinatra set out to train his voice to be like Tommy's trombone playing and spent months swimming under water to improve his lung capacity and started to push out notes to the point of nearly passing out. If you watch Sinatra in his younger days, his face would turn red as he strained to hold those notes far longer than any other singer could dream off.

    The second example comes from his understanding of the music itself. He phrased his singing to mesh with the instruments and the flow of songs. In the song "Send in the Clowns", there is the line that goes "you in mid-air", but Sinatra realized that if he sang "mid-air" like that it would create a vocal stop and ruin the flow of the music. So, when you listen to that song you will hear his phrasing as "midair" as he eliminated the vocal stop. He is the only singer that I know who does that with that song.

    Vocalists of that caliber are very much musicians and great ones.
     
    Sjnoring, don71, Mike SS and 3 others like this.
  11. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,875
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2006
    Location:
    Sinatra's World
    According to my wife, musicians get paid. If you're not getting paid, you're just a hobbyist, not a real musician.

    She actually said that. But, I love her anyway!
     
  12. logankolarick

    logankolarick Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    231
    Joined:
    May 23, 2017
    Location:
    Tennessee
    I'm a singer as well, and some would say I'm a better singer than guitar player. It's not that I think that singers didn't work for where they're at, I just think their understanding, interpretation and role in a band is so much different than the roles of others.
    I never had to practice singing like I did guitar. Guitar is significantly more difficult. When you're a singer you get to a plateau very early on. You got to the point where you can sing on key and sound good, after that the room for growth, while substantial, is peanuts next to how far you can go on guitar.

    @brookdalebill i don't agree that the voice is an instrument. I've heard that being said for as long as I can remember, and while I think it's a nice thought, I see an instrument as an external extension of your creativity and not just your voice. But hey, I respect your opinion, and I can tell from your post that you respect mine.

    Also the post isn't just about vocalists. It's about when you would consider someone a musician opposed to a beginner or a college kid that knows wonderwall to get chicks.
     
    Obsessed likes this.
  13. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,875
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2006
    Location:
    Sinatra's World
    Tell the singers at the Metropolitan Opera that they're not musicians. I'm pretty sure they know more about music than anyone here, except maybe Larry F.

    Singers are musicians. Singers in bar bands? Not the same thing.
     
  14. Wyzsard

    Wyzsard Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,234
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Location:
    Falls City
    Absolutely

    Listen to some Youssou N'Dour. When he sings in his native Senegalese, you will hear his voice as an instrument. It's golden.
     
    Flaneur, studio1087 and brookdalebill like this.
  15. Milspec

    Milspec Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    5,296
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2016
    Location:
    Nebraska
    I think that is where I stand as well. To be a great singer takes just as much training and practice as any instrument. When Sinatra (I know I am throwing him out a lot) returned from his first retirement, he called the great Pavaratti to help him re-train his voice. Sinatra practiced / trained his voice for hours every day, he didn't just show up and let it rip. His singing was trained with countless hours of work, just like any musician.

     
    studio1087 and logankolarick like this.
  16. Wyzsard

    Wyzsard Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,234
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Location:
    Falls City
    To those who say The Voice is not an instrument, I ask.

    Is an instrument required for music ?
     
    Flaneur, Jakedog, Obsessed and 2 others like this.
  17. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,964
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    Location:
    South Australia
    I once worked with a lovely lady who had a B.Mus.
    ( that's Bachelor of Music here in Oz only after years of University), although she could play a little violin, she majored in Vocal, had a superb voice and is often employed as a back up singer to famous artists when touring here.
    I think she qualifies as a musician.
    Wasn't the human voice the first instrument?;)
     
  18. pictacado

    pictacado Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    172
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Earth
    I might argue that this question is a roundabout attempt to point out who is not a musician and I have a hard time understanding the value in such questioning, any which way it is penned. I might even go as far as saying something to the effect that when thoughts like these cross our minds it could just be our ego's messing with us.

    I find it's best to assume that everyone is an artist, be it a painter, photographer, or musician in this case. It's just that some are better at it than others.
     
  19. Milspec

    Milspec Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    5,296
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2016
    Location:
    Nebraska
    don71, studio1087 and logankolarick like this.
  20. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,541
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2012
    Location:
    Sou Cal
    A musician is a person who shows up, hits their mark, plays his part, night after nights or show after show.
    Guitar players are just that, they play the guitar. They learn as they go, play only when they feel like it.
    A musician on the other hand, plays whatever is on the song list , whenever or whereever they are expected.
    Guitar players only play when inspired and only what inspires them.
    I've always been a guitar player, when I'm not in the mood, then it's like pulling teeth to play the same old songs,
    I have a lot of respect for musicians, they have a quality that I lack.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.