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Location, Location, Location. Does it Matter for a Pro Musician?

Q: Having read previous columns, I noticed that you’ve lived all over the US. I was wondering if you’d found that developing a music career was any more beneficial in one place than another. I live in Edinburgh, Scotland, and get the impression from a lot of musicians and friends that Glasgow, Scotland or London, England would be a better place to try and make a career as a musician. Whats your take?

A: I have lived many places and there are many things to consider when moving to any city.

These days, I found it doesn’t matter as much where you live as it used to matter. Flights are cheap and much of the work is done online these days, including recording sessions.

But, it may be harder to get noticed when you live outside a major scene. It’s easier to move to “the sticks” once you’re already established, to a certain degree.

Living in a city with an active music scene is a wonderful way to develop as a player. I’ve found more value out of living in a city with players who are better than me, and where there are the kind of gigs that allow me to push myself. That scenario will make you become a better player and in turn, easier to get noticed and get some cool gigs.

You also have to consider the cost factor. If the city is too expensive and the gigs pay too little, you very well may wind up spending all of your time working a day job in order to afford your apartment, instead of gigging and practicing. That may be counter productive to your goals, and needs to be considered.

I would try and strike a balance with your choice of location. A reasonably affordable and livable city with quality musicians and gigs is the ideal. Best of luck!

Readers, what’s your take? Tell us in the comments

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