Arlen Roth

We all know what a powerful “communicator” music can be, and even many times when the artist least expects it, or even doesn’t condone it, their music can have a profound effect of folks around the world! One of the real problems with this is when so many writers and performers right away “assume” that they must make a difference to people with their songs, and if that does not happen they feel incredibly let down!

This should really not ever be the case, and the problem that happens with many really “big” artists who have seen the mountaintop is that they feel a constant need to keep bettering themselves, or at least to stay on top. This is when unfortunately, things can really unravel, and the artist appears to be “chasing” the success, as opposed to actually just making it happen naturally! Record labels have often been at fault with this too, as they always try to bill someone as “the next Dylan”, “The Next Beatles”, or whomever else they think they should be “chasing” and emulating the success of!

I think that if you feel that you are making a real difference with your music, and that people feel touched by it, then you are at least on the right track, and you should keep pursuing it in a straightforward and non-conscious manner. Trying to maintain this initial “innocence” is the best way to assure yourself of this kind of success, and while at the same time constantly growing as well. After all, take a look at The Beatles, and how they turned all of that innocence, energy and “promise” into a fulfilling and lasting career, where they and their music got to literally grow with their audience. This takes a great deal of skill, but the one thing that really helped The Beatles was the fact that once they gained the world’s “ear”, they managed to always keep everyone “tuned in” to what they were up to; so much so that they literally set the trends that even other “big” artists simply couldn’t ignore, and had to also be aware of.

I have gotten to know many up and coming new artists and songwriters these days, and unquestionably, the ones who really stick to their own styles and their own unique approach are the ones who seem to succeed the most. And this “success” I am talking about is not about money, or selling lots of records….it’s more about personal success and the effectiveness of their own personal and unique art!

So remember to always be sure to make a difference with your music, whether it be a big one or a little one, it’s the growth process in your own artistic experience that means the most to me, and it should to you, too!

Gibson.com’s Arlen Roth, affectionately known The King of All Guitar Teachers, is music lesson pioneer and the quintessential guitarist. An accomplished and brilliant musician — and one of the very few who can honestly say he’s done it all — Roth has, over the course of his celebrated 35-year career, played on the world’s grandest stages, accompanied many of the greatest figures in modern music and revolutionized the concept of teaching guitar.