10 Habits of Highly Effective Musicians

Published Tuesday, December 19, 2017

A while ago a young inexperienced musician messaged me for advice on how to be a better pro. Got me thinking so made a long list, this is some of it:

1. Perform live in an organised way in front of people as much as possible, even for free, for the first 30 odd gigs you’ll be learning a craft that can only be learned by doing it.

2. Practice and rehearse every day, budget at least 4 hours working on muscle memory and another 4 hours on song writing and/or producing.

3. Surround yourself with like minded musicians moving in the same direction but not necessarily from the same backgrounds.

4. Study music in any way you can including listening to a lot of music, going for gigs and if possible short cut your career by going to a progressive music school.

5. Be yourself, be who you are and no one else.

6. Have something to say, have opinions, be aware of what’s going on, see what grinds your organ then put this passion in to your music and performance.

7. Travel when ever you can especially low bucks and go places you’ve never been before, be safe but be bold.

8. Take non musical things like your set list, sound check and what you will wear on stage very very seriously.

9. Create spaces, Chick Corea said that, read about it.

10. If you want honest feedback form friends don’t tell them it’s your music, if you just want affirmation, it’s still a risk but tell them it is.