A question that comes up a lot in interviews that I do.  "What advise do you have for someone trying to make music their career?"

I'm asked that enough, which by the way, I kinda think is funny because I'm just trying to figure this business out myself, that I thought I'd write a little blog on it. See if there is anything you might add.

First thing I think that is very important.  Hone your craft.  If you are a guitarist, then practice playing your guitar.  Take lessons, and practice some more. If you are a singer, then practice, take lessons, practice some more.  Become an expert with your instrument, whether it is your voice, a harmonica, guitar, bass, drums or whatever.  Learn what you can and can't do with your instrument, what makes you unique?  Then work on it more.  

Secondly, play out.  Dont' just play in front of your family and friends, get out there and play and sing.  See if you really enjoy that experience. My boys wrestle, and nothing in practice can compare with actual mat time.  The same is true with music.  Preparation is of highest priority, but you need to then get out of the bedroom and play in front of people.  Video your performance.  What can you do to be better?  If you don't know, then ask someone who isn't related to you to come and give you a real critique.  It is hard, but very few are complete natural performers, most work at it and hone their skills until what you see that looks so natural is actually the result of hours and hours of practice and preparation.  

Third and my last thought for right now, be your own critique.  It is ok to think you did a good even great job.  But you should also watch tape, listen to your performances and be honest with yourself.  Ask, "what can I do to be better?"  I personally have a goal to make each show better then the last.  I do that by picking apart my stance, my facial expression, my voice, my guitar playing, what I wear and even how I thank the audience and interact with them.  I'll be honest, with you, not every show is better then the last, but it is my goal.  It is what I strive for.  I think whether I'm playing to 10 at a Senior Lady's Church gathering or in front of thousands in a stadium, I want to give them my best.  

I hope that I can do that and I hope that one day, I will know real success and these words may mean more.  But for what it is worth, even now I really do believe in these words and I think if anyone follows them, it will lead to bigger and better things.

Thanks for allowing me to share and let me know your thoughts.

Doug

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Comment by Doug Briney on October 8, 2013 at 10:33am
I forgot one thing I aways add to this. If you believe this is the path for your life, then no matter what, keep going. Don't give up. You will hear "No" hundreds of times before you get a "yes" don't take it personally, don't burn any bridges, but DON'T give up.

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