Five Myths about music that musicians need to get over.
We musicians tend to be a very philosophical and optimistic bunch. “Music can change the world!” “Music is love!” “Music is the breath of life!”
Its been a long time since the 1960s. Trust me, I’ve been around, and been in the biz pretty much the entire time since then.
Mindless pablum was very much in vogue during those crazy, dark, happy faced times. But harmless pablum is not harmless, in fact, it can be detrimental, even fatal (to a fatalist at least).
Here then are five myths about music and the music biz in general that you just have to stop believing.
1) Looks don’t matter. Sure, a great song will trump looks, but face it, many stars would never have made it out of the local scene if they hadn’t had the extra special something, even some physical quirk that made their look memorable. Even though that has nothing to do with music.
2) Musicians whom you support should support you back. Get real. The music biz is a capitalist enterprise. You want people to come to see you make great music. If you like others music that’s great but never ever expect them to return the favor, because it was never a favor to begin with.
3) Music is a universal language. That is the biggest nonsense you and I will ever hear. True nearly everyone likes some kind of music but no one likes all music, not even someone as learned and eclectic as I. Country Music fans might hate rap. Metal Fans might hate Folk. Everyone hates easy listening (maybe because that’s what they use when they are drilling your teeth?). So no its not a universal language.
4) Music artists should be judged on certain standards. More nonsense. The only standard is will people like your music enough to listen to it. Forget about technique (as long as you have enough for your particular genre) forget about stage presence (some of the biggest selling artists are actually quite statuesque when performing), forget about poise and all that. Just make irresistibly great music (and keep developing that part) and you’ll do fine.
5) The music biz will chew you up and spit you out. No it won’t. The music biz is just a biz, like any other biz. A game like any other game. Learn the game and you’ll do fine.
And the number one rule of the game? Stay out of your own way. You know what I mean. Drugs, drinking, irresponsibility, be a jerk to others.
Just be nice, don’t develop bad habits that will get in your way and immerse yourself in your craft.
And remember, even if no one ever shows up at your gigs you will always have at least one fan, so make sure you enjoy yourself and be grateful you have talent to share.
Along with the brains to know reality from mythology.