3. Never stop practicing your instrument.
One of the curious developments of the late 70’s was the huge increase in garage bands, punk bands, and ‘do-it yourselfers’, who just picked up an instrument, or started to sing with some friends, and 6 months later recorded a record and began to play live. Some great music, and new directions in music, came out of that situation. But now, 30 odd years later, the novelty of hearing amateurish thrashings has gotten a bit dull.
Prior to late 70’s, more often than not, the music that is our heritage was made by musicians who, from the time they took up their instrument, worshipped at the feet of some master bluesman, jazz player, folk legend, songwriter, or whatever. The habit of these inspired musicians was an appetite for perfection, the need to be not just ‘good enough’, but GREAT.
Why settle for less. Whatever developing stage you are at, go beyond it, re-commit yourself to your instrument or voice. Take lessons, or better yet, sit yourself down at your CD player and choose a favorite guitar player’s record, and listen closely to what they are playing. Then re-play it, and re-play it again. Challenge yourself to go beyond your limitations. Who knows, maybe you will discover some new territory, wherein you will find your ‘sound’, and increase your chance to stand out from all the mediocrity that is your competition. Believe it or not, the music industry loves to hear innovative, accessible new sounds. Actually in their heart of hearts, that is what they are really hoping to hear on every new demo music file or CD, and from every new act they go see at a live venue.
In the business of music, when we hear something new, original, and accessible to people, we can then invest in you with more security, believing that if we put our ‘label brand’ on you, with our talents of promotion and marketing coming to the front, then we ‘have something’, and your music becomes our music, and we work together to broaden you audience appeal. It’s kind of like a partnership between ‘Art and Commerce’. They do work together!