Leaning how to be a musician is not a difficult process. It’s a simple act. All you need to do is make music. Young and old people alike are often intimidated by the hours of practice, technical knowledge, and music theory they believe is required to be a musician. But none of those things are required. In actuality, all you need is a love of music and a desire to create it.
It takes two notes to create a melody. It doesn’t take very long to learn how to play two notes on an instrument. It doesn’t take much more than this to be a musician. I mention this because it’s easy to get wrapped up in lofty aspirations and forget that the joy of music is something we can all access in the moment and share with the world.
People who play instruments with the dexterity of Olympic gymnasts are no more a musician than a teenager playing his first three-chord punk song on a guitar. Both kinds of music can be artful, pleasurable, and passionate. We can’t all be Jimi Hendrix or Stravinsky—and that’s a good thing.
Playing Music is Playing
My 4-year-old nephew is a musician. Mind you, he’s a ways off from releasing his first single. In fact, he doesn’t know chord names, notes, or measures–but he plays drums, keyboards, harmonica, guitar and whatever he can get his hands on. We jam together all the time. He loves to take the microphone and sing his heart out. He freestyles about dragons and Buzz Lightyear and marshmallows–all sorts of wild stuff.
My point is: Music is play. You just have to do it. And the more you play, the better you get.
Define Your Own Success
It’s easy to get caught up in glamorous dreams of success as a musician, only to get depressed when you see how far you are from international stardom. But the musicians that find success in music define it themselves. They set realistic goals and move towards those goals, checking off each milestone as they go.
Start by setting realistic goals. Celebrate each accomplishment. Redefine your aspirations to align with reality, and always move forward. This way you will always be celebrating success after success!
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Be an Entertainer
Being a musician is ultimately not just about you. It’s about creating joy for other people. If you never make this connection, you’ll never grow an audience. Whether you create death metal or folk music, keep you audience in mind. They can be your livelihood your paycheck, your inspiration.
It’s Never Too Late to Start
Mary Gauthier didn’t write her first song until she was 35, but that didn’t stop her from finding success. She’s had her songs recorded by numerous artists, including Jimmy Buffett, Tim McGraw, and Blake Shelton, and had her Mercy Now album named the #6 Album of the Decade by No Depression magazine.
If you create music because you enjoy it and want to share it with others, there are really no obstacles to overcome. You are simply doing what you love.
Learn More About How to Become a Successful Musician
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