I Need Some Advice About Music


Hi everyone this is my first post here and I’m planning on putting it on various music forums because I’m at my wits end here. I don’t wanna subject people to my entire life story but I seriously need some help as I’m really suffering in my current situation and some advice from people who know what they are talking about would be my saving grace. I’ll preface this with a bit of information about what I need help with and a little something about my situation. First off, I’m a 21 y/o male living in the wrong town in the UK and have failed many things in my life… music courses at 2 colleges and jobs because of depression, a bad friend group, drugs and a seriously messed up family situation. I need help getting out of this as my only interest is music and having some kind of career dedicated to it. Yes we all have to take the steps in life that we don’t like to take sometimes to get stable income and survive, I know that but I also believe you should follow whatever dream you have as long as you have the willpower and skill set. I wouldn’t be pursuing music if I was unsure of how good I was…

I need a band to play with so I can get the necessary experience in live shows and want to go back to college to find the right band that aren’t going to just **** around and not turn up. It’s ridiculous how much effort I’ve put into friendships and balancing my life, just for everyone to quit and I am quite bitter because of it. I still have energy in the tank though! I am determined not to screw my life up because I couldn’t hack the hard work required to achieve my dreams and I know I can do it. My original plan was to get some music education in either performing, music technology, writing techniques, live shows with lights or all of the above. While doing this I wanted to find a band that would be dedicated in meeting and writing for a few months so we could actually get out there and go to bars, events etc to make a name for ourselves and earn a little money on the side. SO the main question to any of you with the experience is: Where do you think is one of the best music colleges in the UK for me and my skill level? (or outside of the UK with accommodation that I could contact for more information).

I play guitar to a little above an intermediate standard and have a unique flare about my playing that I get compliments about a lot. I am also an ok singer (not great but hard to practice that properly when living with your parents) and determined poet and writer. My background in writing stems from the fact that I used to write very well in school, even as a child. I have all the equipment necessary for this. 2 pretty decent electric guitars, a £4-500 Orange amplifier, recording software/hardware laptop and mics. I’m fairly approachable, if a bit quiet and quirky around strangers (the artists disease). I have GCSE’s as my highest qualification… thats it.

I see no future for me in my current state… I have mostly quit drinking and drugs and started to get a level head about what I want out of life but I have lost all contact with my friends and can’t get a job… People don’t truly understand what it’s like to have barely any human contact and not for lack of trying. It’s degrading and miserable and though when on my own I can still be fairly happy 90 percent of the time, the lows are getting worse and I feel as if I’m running out of time.

So again if it was hard to gather what I am asking I will repeat the question:

Where do you think is one of the best music colleges in the UK for me and my skill level?

I know it is a long post… thank you for reading. If you’d like to share your own experiences with life struggles as a musician (lord knows it’s a tricky career to have for most), I’d love to start a dialogue.

Edit I will note that at the time of writing this, term has just started at colleges in the UK. I am in the works with a friend of my Dad’s to work for a year or so till the start of next term, and may save some money for a deposit on a flat in a city with a much more active music scene. So that’s just another option on accommodation if I have to move away somewhere.


Bimm in Brighton, no idea how it is as a college but in terms of places where you can find other musicians it’s a good option, lots of artsy people and not as large and anonymous as london


I used to work there as a side job doing stuff like reception for the practice studios. The curriculum is really good, and they have good teachers, but some of the students and what they produced was a little soulless. Like they were competent and hard-working, but aiming at being a session musician or bland lifestyle music. Quite a few interesting local musicians moonlighted as technicians there though.


Also the school was very proud of the fact that they produced the Kooks.


Yeah there is a similar college here, acm, it churns out session musicians, the people who go there tend to be into Q magazine canon type stuff. That’s why I thought Brighton would be good because at least if the college is full of musos there will be plenty of interesting stuff in the city. Weird how music colleges don’t produce many good bands but art colleges do


Although Jeff Buckley did attend one of those colleges when he was aiming to become a session guitarist and hadn’t considered singing yet.


Sounds rough man. Lack of contact/loneliness drives anyone insane. Been there. Join us in the depression thread if you ever want to talk about shit. From minor slumps to full blown breakdowns its always welcoming and never judgy. I’ve always found it a good place to open up about things How’s your depression?


Bimm has an awful reputation locally for the bands it produces. They mostly sound alike and as you say very souless. I accidentally went to the Bimm Stage during Great Escape one year and I did an audible sign, heard the band playing for 10 seconds and went back out in the rain. I hear its got great teacher but all the bands deffo sound like they’ve studied a curriculum and will not stray away from it.


Imagine what it was like staffing the rehearsal studio there.

I also remember chatting to one of the lecturers who had his head in his hands after he’d done a class with some 19-20 year old students and used the Velvet Underground as an example and every single student had been like “huh? Who? Never heard of them”. Not even one has heard the name before, let alone the music.


Got a couple of old friends in Brighton. From what I hear the music scene is pretty diverse. I live in Basingstoke which ain’t too far, so it could be worth a shot going to some open events at the music colleges up there. Thanks for the response I really appreciate it.


I guess because at least in the UK, art colleges insist on you being creative and exploring things, not just walking you through a bunch of drawing and Adobe tutorials to get you to reach a certain level of competence. (There are art colleges like that in other countries though)


There is a diverse music scene, a lot of collectives who are very welcoming as well. Its actually quite easy to accidentally ‘fall into a band’ in Brighton especially at your age as a lot of people in their 20s (relatively) who live in Brighton play instruments.


Yeah that stale sound was the kind of thing I experienced in the lame colleges in my hometown. The band I was with were friends from school and I was the only one studying music. I vibe on creativity so I stuck out a bit as the oddball with the kind of music I was making. Not sure i want to go through that again. It seems like these days much of the highly praised music colleges do churn out sessioners rather than artists. On top of that I play psychedelic alternative kind of stuff mostly so it’s harder to find fellow musicians I can jam with.


Dear lord xD


There are A LOT of psychedelic musicians in Brighton


Oh yeah Basingstoke is pretty dull.

Years ago (2004 I think) I went to see Gorky’s and Yo La Tengo do a double bill in the theatre in the shopping centre there. I was at university in Reading at the time, and could easily have gone to the London date.

My friend didn’t believe me though when I said they were also playing Basingstoke. So I bought us tickets and got her to come.

At the gig there were hardly any young people there. It was full of older couples who must have been Friends of the Theatre or something. They seemed to find the whole thing really confusing, especially when Gorky’s kept switching between English and Welsh. I overheard one older man saying in the interval (proper theatre interval with drink booking) “well he can certainly sing, but I don’t see why he has to be so scruffy” about Euros Childs.


Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll check it out some time man.


I reckon just moving somewhere like Brighton or Bristol where there will be like-minded people and people are friendly and it’s not as stressful as London and getting a job would work out just as well as going to the music college.

Glasgow would prob be good too, but a much longer way away/more cultural differences to get used to.


There’s no decent music venues in Basingstoke. I mostly go to London or up North for gigs. Plenty of drum and bass 15 y/o chavs about though :roll_eyes:


A close friend I met when I was living in Reading comes from a village halfway between Reading and Basingstoke. Not once in the nearly fifteen years I have known her have I ever heard her mention going to Basingstoke for anything.