An old bluesman told me when I was starting out "if you play for free you're not only doin you a disservice you're doing every working musician a disservice" That stuck with me to this day. It's a bit of a double egded sword this music business thing. If you love music you'll play anywhere anytime for as much or as little as possible. Which is totally okay. If you're a working musician and you love your work you need to be compensated for your time. Which is also totally okay.
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Here's the thing...
If you're playing for free and you're good you won't be playing for free for long. And always remember it's alright to know your worth and speak up about it. If you don't you're gonna get walked all over. And this will just give clubs, bars and other venues a sense of entitlement and they'll do the same to everyone.
Now some of us that have been making music on a professional level forget why we started. It's because we love music. And get salty because music is an art. But not everyone is going to dig your art. That's alright. There's a huge difference between local rock bands, a singer song writer, avant-garde jazz band and cover band playing radio hits. They're all relevant. But is there an audience? Of course there is. But is the audience nearby or do you have to travel to it? Are you even planning on playing for people? Are you a recording artist? Are you a song writer? Do you just love making music because you love music? All of the above are legitimate.
Everyone's path is different. None of us should belittle or bad talk each other and if you do ask yourself this. Is it making your music better? Is it putting people in your audience? Is it productive?
Music is many things to many people.
To some it's just a product for profit. To some it's art. To some it's just background noise. To some it's medicine. To some it's a weapon. To some it's a peace offering. Regardless of what it is to you if what you're doing as a musician is honest it will reach people. It'll draw people to your work. But if you're just jive, angry, presumptuous, pushing preconceived notions, ect.... You'll lose whatever audience you could have had in the first place.
Music is art.
How you approach it is up to you. Hopefully you'll find you're audience.
Be honest with your music and the rest falls into place.
Be well. ☮️💜