By: Jessica Hopper
[Editor's Note: Are you a musician? Is your group having issues? Ask Fan Landers! Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist, and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her — confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.]
Long time reader, first time writer. I'm a 39 year-old professional and father of a two-year-old. I've been writing and recording my own music for 20 years with very little to show for it other than a closet of unsold vinyl and a second bedroom full of synthesizers and guitars. My little boy sleeps in a crib in our bedroom because our second bedroom is full of the accoutrements of my music hobby. I am toying with the idea of putting all this gear in storage so our son can have his own bedroom, but that would pretty much be an admission that I am giving up and I know it would make me so unhappy. I devote maybe one or two nights a week to music so renting a practice space seems unjustifiable. How do I balance the dream of being a bedroom krautrock superstar with the realities of the lives of two full-time working parents?
So chew on that, because I am about to offer some radical advice.
The goal is to have a portable set up that you can drag out to the living room or some nook and then tuck back away when music time is done. I am thinking like a pedal board with velcro situation, but perhaps that wouldn't quite work for you–but that direction, of portability, ease and function. The money you make from selling your gear is going to be split three ways–1/3rd is a baby bedroom decoration budget (waddup, adorable Land of Nod rugs), 1/3rd is to facilitate any particular changes you need for your home studio going mini (I'm thinking you'll be going from fancy speakers to fancy headphones and software) and the other third is savings, because when you have kids that's how you need to roll. Pat yourself on the back for dadding up.