Miscellaneous Music Career Advice

Pseudo-random thoughts about a music career:

  1. You never know what you’ll be doing – so prepare while you’re in school! I never anticipated that I’d be playing rock-n-roll, jazz, church, country, and whatever both live and in the studio while I was practicing those 4 hours a day in college. The classical training combined with all the accompanying and playing that I did in outside the college scene gave me flexibility and capabilites that have kept me playing wherever I’ve lived.
  2. Decide if you want to specialize or generalize. Each path has it’s advantages and disadvantages. Specializing means you will get very good at that one thing – and you’d be better be very good at it, AND move to an area where that thing is in demand. Otherwise, you’ll either starve, or music will become a hobby or a side job. Generalizing means you’ll be able to do several things passably enough to get hired – but you probably won’t ever become famous because ofit, since you’ll be good enough, but not world-class. But then again, you won’t be stuck in one thing, so things MAY be more interesting!
  3. Don’t do music unless you have “the fever”. Music as a professions is very demanding – and few people understand what it really takes, other than musicians!
  4. I used to envy the engineering majors in college – they seemed to always have free time, while I was always either in class or practicing. Now, the engineers are out in the audience, while I’m in a band opening up for Smashmouth and doing other wacko things like being webcast live with the Joey Stuckey band.
  5. Doing what God wants you to do is hardly boring – and apprently God wanted me to stay in music. It has certainly NOT been boring! Difficult – YES!….but not boring.
  6. Get good at your instrument while you’re in school, because there won’t be time once you’re working. Practicing hours a day is a luxury – one you won’t have in “real life”.
  7. Mastering your instrument in college also gets you better gigs once you’ve graduated – which keeps your skills up – which produces more opportunities.

So why aren’t you practicing right now? Go practice!

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