60 (36%) Hobbyist; only playing for me 52 (31%) Playing for family and friends 28 (17%) Occasional public live gigs 20 (12%) I want to play professionally! 4 ( 2%) Recording internet audio/video
So 2/3rds of guitarists polled aren't interested in playing guitar to someone they don't know. That's understandable, we all need that time to learn and build confidence, we don't need to have our spirit crushed by a stranger. I would have thought the recording videos would rate higher, seeing as that is the path I took. It's not as intimidating as public performance but it has all the prerequisites for it - being able to play a song at performance level from start to finish, and then dealing with the (eventual) feedback, both positive and negative.
To the rest of us, who feel the need to put their stuff out to the general public, good luck and good skill to us! :)
In the same vein, I bumped into a guy at work today who is a both a guitarist and a wise fella; we had a bit of a chat about music stuff. He said a few things that made a lot of sense, well worth sharing with my mates here.
He has observed that in Australia, we don't really have a culture of live music. As in, if you were to take your guitar around to a party, people there wouldn't know what to do - do I be quiet and listen? Do I have to sing along? Should I ignore it? He said in other cultures throughout the world he'd seen live music firmly embraced; at parties live music always came out and it was an enjoyable experience for everybody. They knew what to do. It came as no surprise to me, I've seen the lack of enjoyment/understanding of live music at parties many times. How sad for us Aussies.
Further, he said the live music scene (specifically here in Perth) was disappointing. He'd played in restaurants where they saw live acoustic music as merely something they can put as a promotion on their door and flyers. That they weren't particularly interested, very slow to pay (if at all) and if the live musicians were having a great time "and getting too loud" then that was distracting for the customers - tone it down. That live music to them is just slightly higher than having a CD playing as background music.
Interestingly, he thought that fingerstyle guitarists in places like the USA were on every street corner, each one worthy of a record deal, but not wanted for their music. I don't know if I agree with that - if youtube is anything to go by, there aren't that many *outstanding* fingerstyle guitarists that make me say "wow". There is definitely a lot, and probably more than the market needs, but I'm not thinking one on every street corner.
This all adds up with my inability to find anywhere to perform. I'm a bit picky, and not trying as hard as I could, and I'm certainly not a record-deal-worthy; but so far out of maybe 15 places I've talked to nobody is jumping at the idea of having me play at their venue. Without even talking price (I'd basically play for free if someone haggled me down that low!)
I'm living in possibly the best place in the world for engineering and mining - which is important because that's how I earn my crust - but possibly the least live music cultured. Lucky my guitar is a hobby not my lifeblood!