Most musicians know about the countless musical information that must be dealt with on a daily basis; the reading, theory, arranging, improvisation, heck even just learning the instrument to a full is an incredibly daunting task. The information flow never stops. But! We all tend to forget that to the world we are mere products waiting to be released. This opens up a whole new information pool in which we must dive head first. Let’s forget about music for a second and think about the other practices in which we must be educated in.
· Education: In today’s world it’s almost a certainty that musicians will end up teaching some place, at least as a job on the side. It could be at college, school, music school, music academy, private lessons at home, you name it. Just ask Justin Derrico (guitarist for Pink), Dave Weiner (guitarist for Steve Vai), Wayne Krantz (renowned fusion guitarist) and Scott Henderson (renowned fusion guitarist). And if by any chance you do get to avoid teaching standard lessons, there are always clinics. (I’m not even going to try to name people, the list is way too long)
· Fashion: We all know that the music industry is becoming more and more about the visual side of the game than the actual music as every day passes by. So instead of complaining about it I suggest you go out, buy yourself a good magazine every once in a while or subscribe into one of many good YouTube channels and go shopping for some cool clothes.
· Health and fitness: I’d like to divide this one in two sub topics:
-Image: Continuing with the visual perspective of things; if you’re in shape it’s a bit more pleasing to the public eye. Simply put, it’s the way the world works today. You can either acknowledge this fact and work towards looking the best you can. Or get pissed off and avoid the subject…
-Health: It is actually good for you to keep a good workout schedule and to have good eating habits. It prevents injury especially when done right with warm ups and stretching. It actually helps prevent or alleviate some symptoms of tendonitis (I know it works for me).
· Social dynamics and acting: In today’s ever growing business, having a bit of knowledge on what people want from you as a person and how to act around others while still being yourself comes in super handy. It’s almost about learning how to create the persona that you really are inside and portraying it in public. Do not get me wrong, I’m not telling you to have different characters for different situations. Nobody like a phony...It’s about learning to have the confidence to portray the real you!
· Motivation and drive techniques: As musicians we tend to go by faith on a lot of things. The faith that by practice we will indeed get better, the faith that if we work hard enough we will obtain our dreams, the faith that we will be able to obtain good work once we are done with our education. But sometimes it can get hard and the world knows how to beat you up real good!!! It knows your weak spots and how to kick you when you’re down. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fallen into depression…but it’s about knowing how to get up and fight back! (for a good jolt of positivism look up speeches by ET the hip hop preacher, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Jordan, Tony Robbins and many more on YouTube)
Learning the arts of teaching and portrayal will get you through a lot of things in your life, not just your music career. Teaching somebody is a way to transmit a part of who you are to another person. It’s an essential part of life; giving. And I can’t tell you how important social dynamics are in a person’s life. Well; let’s just say it’s one of the five pillars of a well-balanced life. By learning to become the best version of yourself you can be, you will be gaining an incredible confidence boost and you’ll grow immensely as a human being.
Next week I’ll continue with the list by touching on some of the more technical resources a musician needs… stay tuned!