I think the answer is Yes.
Granted, this is all very anecdotal, and reflective of my general distaste for most metal music.
Maybe in other cities, gig opportunities abound for metal players.
Maybe metal bands make more money than they appear to.
Maybe metal shows are great places to meet prospective dates.
But the impression I get is that this is not the case.
When I Was Your Age
I used to teach at a guitar shop that was dominated by shred-type guitar teachers.
The guy I was brought on to replace spent his lessons shit-talking blues music, touting the importance of economy picking & 3-note-per-string scale shapes, and trying to convince kids that Nirvana sucks and they should be listening to Yngwie Malmsteen instead.
The other instructors weren’t nearly as schmuck-y, but there was a very clear bias towards prog and metal.
Given that the largest demographic of guitar students are teenaged boys with similar music tastes, this doesn’t seem like it should be a problem.
But here’s what I noticed: of all the dudes that taught there at that time, only I and one other guy moved on to greener pastures.
The rest are still at that shop.
At a different shop I taught at, the roster was more varied, and the career options seemed to be too.
The blues teacher toured far and wide.
The jazz guy worked cruise ships a few months of the year and studied the rest.
The pop & rock guy moved to Vegas and was immediately snapped up by a half-dozen bands.
The hard rock guy is out touring with his original group.
The country guy that ran the shop signed a development deal and writes songs for other artists.
The rockabilly & jazz guy plays on musicals in NYC.
I’m out here touring & playing on TV with a retro group.
But the metal dudes from the first shop? Their careers are stalled, despite wielding formidable guitar talent.
Could it be that specializing in metal only prepares you to teach others how to play metal?
Is metal guitar one of those multilevel marketing schemes?
Or the musical equivalent of a $47 ebook that teaches you how make $47 ebooks?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter––leave your comments below.