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european cities for sessions/gigs work


francescomartini

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Hi guys,

apart from famous cities as NYC, LA, Nashville, which -european- cities/nations would you suggest to a freelance musician, according to your experience?

 

I'm talking about studio/live work.

 

Apart from London, I was thinking of Berlin, Paris, Vienne, Barcelona....Belgium?

 

Francesco from Italy

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hey

It's all hard in Europe as you might now, especially now. It's very saturated and unemployment is hitting musicians as well. Lots and lots of us playing for peanuts.

People say that Berlin offers better conditions: cheap rents, and a fast growing jazz/impro/balkan scene and a reasonable price of living. A saxophonist friend of mine spend a year there and told me there are possibilities. He was a die-hard jazzman though, so he did not like it too much - it was too "out" for him.

 

London and Paris are metropolitan cities but i think it must be quite hard to get into the job, unless you're ready to go for music adds, play for the door and finally, if you are lucky, find a decent band. Making it to the recording business must be even harder.

Barcelona is quite "mono-timbral": if you like reggae, north african or flamenco styles you can fit. There's a lot rock-en-espagnol there too. But i guess you have to start from the begining.

good luck anyway

Be grateful for what you've got - a Nord, a laptop and two hands
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No luck here (Croatia), I can tell you that right away. As for the other cities I really can't tell, I only have a humble experience playing in other countries.

Venue owners are reluctant to pay good money when they have a plethora of teenage/college bands willing to play for a case of beer. Such bands also bring their own crowd. Employers just don't care if your band is doing really good music, they just care which band provides them with best price/earnings ratio. Combine that with bad economy and you get a bad situtation for a pro gigging musician.

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I'd say it's the same everywhere. If you come to any new city, prepare to work your way up from nothing. Knowing people will help, that's about it. There are loads of great musos everywhere and sessions are rare as hens' teeth... If you are in Italy, why not try Rome or Milano? Get your feet wet and see what happens. Unless you come with a resume, I'd say it takes about 5 years to establish yourself at all...
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Yeah some of you guys hit the truth: anywhere you go, you always have to work your career up from nothing but it's normal, the crucial decision would be to find the best city to settle in and gradually gain ground...so not to regret and, once you've decided the city, organize yourself.

 

I've always heard about the cheap costs of life in Berlin and the supposedly cultural atmosphere, favorable to any kind of artist...I also noticed that many european albums get recorded in Berliner studios, so if there's a decent recording business maybe there are a few chances of sessions..Also, if the live scene is good, a few renowned acts may be looking for a little live help sometimes, even if they only are "famous" in Germany (mind it's a big and relatively wealthy country), who knows?

 

Barcelona..cool and cheap city, I think that an affordable city would be better for any musician, since it's not a stable job you know :)

 

And yes, in Italy too club owners are reluctant to pay for bands and the session/touring jobs are concentrated in Rome and Milan, but those are expensive cities and also most of young people like me always look out for more dynamic/international cities...not an artistic country anymore!

 

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A guy with a musical degree (academies, conservatories) on his/her resume will get more recording/gig jobs than one without? Or only effective skills are valued? (chops but also punctuality, cooperativeness, ear-training, modern music knowledge,etc)

 

A 10 years Piano Degree in classical music is different from a 10 hour R&B recording session...

!online keyboard sessions! !mixing! !music for videos!

www.facebook.com/francescofranq.martinifranqsmusic

 

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