Dedicated to helping others learn, play, compose and record music. Updated Mondays.

New here? Read the Beginner's Guide to Becoming a Musician.

Monday, September 22, 2008

5 Reasons Why You Should be a Musician Instead of Working in IT

Whenever some bloated media company makes a list of the best jobs available, 'Information Technology' or 'Software Engineer' is invariably on it. Popping up like some wretched leprechaun, it promises you good pay, exciting challenges and opportunities for long-term growth. This must be a lie, as someone clearly tripped, fell on a keyboard and accidentally published jobs like 'Product Brand Manager' and 'Paralegal' on the same list. Don't fall for it. You should become a musician and make people pay you for your music instead. You don't have to worry about 'job stability' when you're unemployed. Here are five reasons why you should give up the corporate hamster-wheel and start making noise:

1. Women
- There's no question: rock stars attract the opposite sex. Look at Keith Richards (or better yet, don't), a man who could probably frighten babies just by thinking about them. If women can somehow overlook his terrifying fossilized-magma-face, then they can certainly find the strength to ignore your pasty complexion and never-lifted-anything-heavier-than-a-paycheck body, just as long as you're holding a guitar. Some anthropologists believe music performance evolved as a method to attract potential mates. If this is true, then ghouls like Steven Tyler and dorks like John Mayer so far represent the pinnacle of human evolution. Be afraid.

And if you happen to be a member of the fairer sex, well, if you're not yet tired of having every guy you meet slobber all over you, how about meeting a few more of them by becoming a musician?

2. No Money Problems - Really, how can you have money problems when you have no money? Only the most successful rock gods have to think about nerve-wracking stuff like 'which dollar-bill denomination should I roll up and smoke tonight?' All you'll have to worry about is gas money, Taco Bell and where you can crash after a gig. You get to have the Zen-like existence of a traveling monk, except with burritos and more hair.

3. Better Self-Image - Actually, you don't have to change much here. Instead of being a muscled barbarian warrior with a sweet ax on your D&D character sheet, you get to be a muscled barbarian warrior with a sweet ax on your album cover. What could be better?

4. No More Corporate Butt-Monkey - Corporate life is rough. If people don't like you at your job, you pretty much have to just bend over and take it like a champ. For instance:

Your code for the donkey level is messed up. The QA testers couldn't even get 3 donkeys in the bed before the whole game crashed. And I know you logged 150 hours of overtime last week to make it, but we decided to put those fu
nds towards gold-plating the inside of the CEO's pockets, so now they're always full of money. Oh yeah, and you're fired."

Oh no, who will crush my spirits and make me want to dig my eyes out with pistols now?

No one can really say 'You're fired' to a musician.

5. Fulfill Your Childhood Dream
- When you were a kid, did you say, "When I grow up, I want to work hard at my job so that each day I can be propelled a little bit further up the corporate anus"? You probably said something more like "When I'm older, I'm going to play a song so ridiculously awesome that John Lennon himself will have no choice but to crawl his fetid corpse out of the grave and throw up the horns."

Maybe not in so many words.

Though children crying have to be one of the funniest things on this green Earth (see Fig.3), if you think that your child-self would have cried at the sight of your current-self, then you need to snatch up a guitar right now faster than Fat-Elvis would grab a peanut-butter-&-'nana sammich.

After you read this, you'll probably go back to pretending to write an SSH script and when you get home you'll strap on that ever-dignified plastic Guitar Hero toy for your nightly session and think to yourself "I can't make music. I have no talent!" This will be your excuse. Well, I've beaten that argument to death with a bloody wrench already, and I'm still not done talking about it. I challenge you to take up an instrument, quit your job, and start looking for gigs. Give Lennon's corpse an awkward, grimy high-five for me when you get to the top.


StarBlast said...

So, sooooo, so good.

Ben said...

Hey Star, I'm glad you like the article. I've been going back and forth between liking it and not liking it. On one hand, it is pretty funny, but on the other hand, it's not particularly insightful and doesn't really fit with the mission statement of the Makeshift Musician. I guess having the hilarious picture of a crying child makes it all worth it.