Last time, I started talking about what it was like to really start my career up in Woodstock, NY, and to believe in myself at such a young age. This is what I hope to instill in you, especially all of you aspiring players out there … you must really push yourself to be heard, and it’s perhaps more important these days than ever. With the advent of all this technology, such as home recording, private record labels and the Internet, I feel that more than ever, the actual “human contact” of live interaction between players and each other, as well as the players and the audience are becoming increasingly critical.
It’s too easy these days to get all wrapped up in the private world of computers and home recording and other clandestine activities, and to shut out the real world of “playing out.” It’s also so important to continually help to support live music, so that musicians are always encouraged to play out, even if the money is not so good.
Money should be absolutely the most distant consideration when one makes his or her way into the music business.
I know that my biggest shock was the first time I ever actually got PAID for a performance! I was only 11 years old, and was playing at a hospital for young patients. At the end of it all, I received $10, and was the most shocked person in the place! “What? You mean I actually get paid for playing music?!” Didn’t seem to make sense, since the only reason I played the guitar was because something in my soul made it “all consuming” to me … something that I “had” to do!
That is why I have never left that path I set out upon when I was 10 years old … to simply play for the love of it, and to keep on improving every day. I can remember sitting on the bus, coming home from school, waiting to once again be reunited with my guitar … and every day, when I’d do this, I would dream of licks in my head, and be so anxious to get home and to try them out! I actually, at this time, had made a pact with myself that every time I got home, or picked up my guitar in general, I would have to come up with something new!
That is a pact I have kept with myself ever since those first formative days, and still, to this day, every time I pick up a guitar, I am immediately composing, creating and most of all, making sure to challenge myself! I want you to do the same! Till next time …
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