One thing you MUST learn as a musician is that you have to work hard and never give up. That's it. It may sound cheesy but it's true. If you work hard and stay committed to your goal, there's almost no way that you won't make it. It may take 2 years or it may take 8 years but eventually, you'll start to get the respect you deserve.
My favorite thing to do, as a musician, is to play shows. Recording and practicing can be fun but I think it's all about the live performances. Sometimes there are a lot of people at the show, sometimes there isn't. Either way, you have to play your best. Consistency is the key to success. My high school drum instructor taught me that. Actually, he taught me most of what I know about playing drums. That man changed my life and he has no idea. Playing the snare in the drum line was the best time of my life. It was really fucking hard and the heat was brutal at times but it made me into the musician I am today. I would do it all over if I could. Like I said earlier, practicing in the band hall was fun and all but it was all about the performance for the crowd. Whether it be at football games or competitions or whatever. Sometimes we would be warming up at some random spot my drum instructor chose for us and people would stop and listen. That was when it was the most fun. When I could perform for people. That's the time when you get to connect with your audience. I remember seeing a popular metal band that I was really into at the time (I won't say who) and it was one of the worst performances I had ever seen in my life. It completely destroyed my love for the band. It crushed me. Both guitarists in the band played like complete crap. It was horrible to watch and listen to. Anyway, I don't ever want to be like that. I want my shows to sound great. I want to sound like I've practiced a lot and put in all that I could give. That's what it's all about. You can record a perfect cd but if you go on stage and play like complete shit, you're going to lose fans. Playing live shows should be the main focus of the musician. It should draw fans in like a magnet not drive them away in disgust. I wonder what ever happened to that crappy metal band. I sure as hell don't know. They lost a fan that night.
Sometimes I worry about my songs and lyrics. I fear that I'll run out of ideas for songs. Some bands I see have a shit load of albums and I'm wondering how the hell a band writes all of those different songs. Will they ever run out of ideas? Will they ever run out of lyrics to write? That answer is a definite no. Experience is the key. You have to experience things and go through life. As long as you're living life, you'll be able to write songs. Some songs I've written sound exactly how I was feeling at the time. Some songs come from thin air. I just don't ever want to run out of ideas. I guess some people are able to pull it off and some aren't. Most bands don't make it that long. I'm talking like year after years of playing in a band. Some bands have made fools of themselves and some have come out on top. I'm sure it's not easy to last through the years. It takes an immense amount of dedication from each band member. Anyway, I've played music pretty much my entire life. I can't imagine not having a guitar to play on. It may take me a little while to write a song every now and then but I have a good feeling that I won't run out of ideas. -E
One of the most important skills a musician should have is the ability to stay calm and focused while recording a song. The only way to get better at doing so is to record. A LOT. I'll practice a song on guitar for hours on end without looking at my fretboard. Then I'll try to record it and my nerves begin wiggling around and I start to concentrate TOO hard. It's all psychological. Some invisible pressure is laid upon me and my adrenaline starts pumping. I've gotten better over the years about it. One of my main goals is to play accurately, no matter if it's a show, for practice, or recording. There are little things to learn here and there about the guitar and the song you're trying to play. Every time I play a song, I remember all of those little things and over time, you naturally begin to sound better. Don't strum any strings you aren't supposed to be strumming. Make sure your timing is accurate so that you're landing each chord cleanly and with ease. Don't tense up. Is it even possible to do all of these things at once? Absolutely. Once you record something, every mistake you make or every incredible riff you land, will be repeated over and over. I tend to obsess over tiny imperfections which leads me to wasting a lot of hours trying to fix every little thing. I just know that for myself, I have to record songs perfectly and if I don't, all of those mistakes will bother me forever. So...stay calm, focus, relax and don't fuck it up. Easy right? -E