Advice to the New Musician

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  1. Broaden your music library. All musicians reflect what we have heard before. Don’t confine yourself to one style or approach even if its the only style you like to hear. If you can’t reach beyond what was heard before, you will become a hackneyed sound-alike and remain unheard.
  2. Focus on the fundamentals of music. Learn how to create melodies and harmonies and how to move chords around. The corollary here is sell your tone generator gimmicks, synths and floor pedals that merely create sound effects. Don’t worry about audio tricks, they will lead you into paths of meaningless oblivion.
  3. Tell a story. Set a goal for a song before you compose it, and then refer to that goal continuously to evaluate your success as to how well you have gotten your point across. This technique can be applied to both lyrics and music arrangements.
  4. Have controlled fun. Great musicians are hired to lead the party but they need to maintain mental health. That Johnny Walker bottle needs to be filled with iced tea.
  5. Show Business is two words and you need both of them to achieve success. Your music is your “show”, but your marketing and personal integrity is your “business” and they must exist or the venues will not deal with you.