Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Don't Limit Yourself!

       I'm writing this article based my personal experiences with a few students that have limited their own potential, perhaps unintentionally.  If you recognize any of these traits within yourself you should eliminate them.
    Education is the ultimate key to unlocking what you can do.  Simply put, the more you know, the more options you have.  I have known some people who have feared gaining a proper music education for fear that it would hamper their creativity.  My argument is that this very concept of being content with remaining ignorant is hampering their creativity.
     Another instance was when a friend did not want to take lessons because they wanted to figure it out on their own. I thought, "Okay, buddy but your not going to get very far". Of course I did not tell them this, but I was bothered by the fact that they were too proud to learn from someone else.
       I had a student that said that they wanted to be a better guitar player. Every time I would try to teach them a new concept, they would whine and complain about how difficult it was.  My thoughts were, of course, "Aren't you here to improve?  Isn't this why you wanted to take lessons? "
    In general, you must keep an open mind when it comes to learning and be prepared to try new things.  If you keep doing the same things, you will always get the same results.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sean Walker - The Truth (Motivational Speech)

General Musician Etiquette

Here are few guidelines to keep in mind when playing with others: 

- Learn when to lay back. That is, you should know when its your time to shine and when its time to let others take the spot light.

- Don't drink alcohol while playing. This is something that I have been guilty of in the past and refuse to do anymore.  Playing while intoxicated is not fair to the audience and more importantly its not  fair to the music either. These days, if I want to have a beer, I wait until after the show.

- Listen to what your band members around you are playing. Learn how to interact musically with your band-mates. Jazz musicians do this all the time.  They play off of each other.

- Avoid mixing business with pleasure. Don't try to date the drummer's sister or hookup with the singer. Treat your band as a business and each gig as a business venture.

-Learn to appreciate crowd pleasing songs. Sometimes we have to play songs we might not like. This comes with the territory of being a musician. Yeah, it can be irritating playing "insert hated song here" but it keeps the crowd happy.  Remember they are your fans, and they are paying your salary, so learn how to act like you love that song and do your best when playing it.

-If you are filling a spot in a band that is already established, then you need to treat it just as that.  Lose the ego and remember that it's their band.  It is your responsibility to do whats best for the band and its music. This type of attitude will likely have them asking you to come back.