Category The Music Life

Five Truths of Being a Musician #2

There are certain facts we have to face when we choose the musical life. Last week we were discussing the fact that most people will not “get it” about being a musician. This week’s truth is … People don’t want to hear that new piece you’re working on. Or at least they don’t think they […]

Truths of Being a Musician #1

If you’re a musician, you’ve no doubt discovered several verities about the musical life. Some you had to learn the hard way. Some are just obvious. Some you can laugh about … now. Here’s the first on my list. Most people will not “get it.” The life of a musician is a strange one. You […]

The Biggest Concert Hall (or The Smallest Restaurant)

Have you ever noticed that many times the best restaurant in town is usually in the smallest space? Because my dad’s career is in the food and beverage industry, I have always taken a keen interest in food and restaurants, and I’ve been thinking about these small restaurants. The biggest restaurants are always the chains, […]

The Proof of the Pudding

I grew up in the South, and this included exposure to plenty of colorful colloquialisms. They’re really interesting, and sometimes I like to find out where these little sayings come from. For whatever reason, the other day I was wondering about the phrase “The proof is in the pudding.” From just a little research I […]

Creating Your Niche

We all have groups or players that we admire and want to emulate; people who define the type of musician we want to be. The Empire Brass—and more specifically the “old” Empire Brass (to which I respectfully refer as “the Sam years”)—is on my aspiration list. The group always sounds phenomenal and were really pushing […]

The Marketer’s Question

A while back, Seth Godin posted a blog that had this to say: Is it interesting because it happened … or because it happened to you? … Should we read your press release or come to your gallery opening or take a sales meeting because it’s important, or because it’s important to you? Marketing is […]

Five Questions to Ask Yourself

Any time you sit down in the practice room or rehearsal hall, take a minute and ask yourself a few questions … 1) Is this new? The music may not be new, but your performance of it is (or should be). If the music is new, then sell it. There’s no room for same-old-same-old in […]

More Than Playing the Ink

Most of us can handle that much. Show up to the rehearsal (or gig) and play the part. Play the ink on the page and then see who can get out the door fastest. Too many musicians become jaded and cynical because they see their job as simply showing up and playing notes on a […]

We Care (The Problem With Scale)

Bank of America is getting blasted for its extremely low customer service scores in a recent poll. Of the four largest banks in the country, BofA scored the lowest. That’s not to say the other three scored high either, though. All four scored lower than any local credit unions or regional banks. While listening to […]

Are You Just Surviving? Or Thriving?

If you’ve ever kept a fish (in an aquarium, that is), you will understand this concept. There is a difference in a fish that is surviving and one that is thriving. While the surviving fish may still be “alive” it is only just barely so—it doesn’t move much, gasps frequently, and looks generally weak and […]