Many older and professional musicians have thought back to their younger days when they thought they knew it all.
Most of them realized many things that they wish they would have known when they first seriously started studying music in college and even high school.
Below is a list of the most common things musicians wish they would have known when they were young, full of aspiration, and just getting started in their industry.
1. Practicing is Quality over Quantity
Just like most things in life, practicing is about the amount of quality practicing time you put in each day, rather than just lazily practicing for an extended amount of time.
Professional musicians do not always have a long time to prepare for performances, so the little practice time they have, they are sure to make the most of.
2. Be Professional
Being professional and kind to everyone should go without saying, but sometimes people get caught up in the competition. It is essential to building strong relationships with everyone around you throughout your musical career because you never knew when you could meet again.
The music industry is a small world, and that person you were mean to in college could be in a position to help further your career by helping you land an awesome gig, or sign a record deal, and chances are, if you made fun of them or spoke negatively about them in the past, they will not be in such a giving mood.
3. Listen then Speak
You do not want to be known as the person that can only talk about themselves, or be known as a know-it-all, who most definitely does not "know it all."
It is vital for a young musician to listen because there is always going to be someone who is better than you and has more knowledge than you.
Take in as much knowledge and tips that someone older and more knowledgeable is willing to offer, and maybe someday you will be the go-to in your industry.
4. Sight Reading, it's Essential
Most musicians least favorite thing is sight reading music. Some musicians, like many guitar players, could even be great players and not have a clue when it comes to sight reading.
Well, in the real world, a musician who can sight read will most likely get the job over someone who can't. This is because many performances only allow musicians one opportunity, if that, to prepare, so having the ability to sight read is pretty much essential for these kinds of opportunities.
5. Treat Your Body like the Most Important Instrument of All
One of the most important parts of being a musician is learning how to take care of your body.
Overuse injuries are common among young musicians who have not been adequately taught how to understand the basic mechanics of their instrument so they can avoid damaging their physical well being when practicing or playing for long amounts of time.
It is important to be aware of your body and its needs in addition to your instruments care.
6. Remember Why You Started In The First Place
It is important not to let practicing and performing become too laborious and take away your joy of playing and performing.
Being a musician is extremely challenging and involves many continuous hours of playing and practicing. Therefore, it is essential that you love what you do and remind yourself of the reasons you do it.
7. Diversify your Interests
It is important to diversify, within music and outside of music. This will keep your mind fresh and less consumed by the demands of your instrument.
Take up other hobbies outside of music or learn something entirely new. It is also beneficial for musicians to try to learn new things within music. This can help build your playing skills and make you a more distinct artist.
For example, focus on a new genre of music that you have never played before. The main advantage of diversifying is that each new thing you learn will reinforce the remainder of your abilities.
8. Your Skills Are Versatile
The many skills you acquire as a musician are versatile, so do not let other people limit you, and most importantly, do not limit yourself.
It is understandable that you may want to be a professional guitar player or a drummer in a band, but while you are pursuing that dream, you may need to obtain another job as a way of income.
There are many jobs a musician can be qualified for, so do not feel discouraged.
9. Do Not Get Swept Up in Competition
Just like high school and pretty much any other group setting, music departments also have their cliques. There can be a friendly competition between these departments, but do not let it go too far.
There will always be someone who is better than you, and someone who is worse than you, so turn your competitiveness into a positive and practice learning from those who are better, worse, and even just different from you.
Observe how they play and instead of attempting to tear them down, learn how to collaborate and even play better, faster, and higher from their example.
If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a professional musician, do not hesitate to call the Atlanta Institute of Music and Media, today at 800-886-6874, or click on the link below and someone will be in touch soon to talk to you about furthering your musical career!