As a Musician you will eventually experience rejection at one time or another, but that is just part of the territory. What this should tell us is that we either have to try a different approach where marketing our talent is concerned, present our offering to different people, bands, labels, companies until we come across those who believe in what we are trying to do, and you should never throw in the towel just because someone doesn’t share your enthusiasm about your musical material.
I once heard Paul Stanley of the group KISS say that music is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration, and regardless of whether or not you like their music, there is no arguing with them successfully attaining 30 gold albums as of July 2015. I wouldn’t doubt for one minute that they had more than their fair share of critics and nay sayers when they were starting out and even after they already made it to the big time, but they stuck with it and actually made a very comfortable living at it, to say the least.
I am a firm believer in practicing and continuing to practice until you are so polished that you could almost play your material in your sleep. And yet, there is still no guarantee that anyone will want to hear your music, but that’s when you have to figure out why it is that you want to be a musician. Are you thinking that you might impress a love interest? Do you want to be rich and famous? or, do you just enjoy playing your instrument so much that you playing it could be easily described as being an extension of who you are on the inside?
At the end of the day, whatever your personal dreams and goals are, always be willing to make any and all necessary adjustments so that you will have a greater chance of success doing what you enjoy. Another thing to realize is that it is one thing to know how to play your instrument well, but you also need to have or develop a head for business because music is a business, and having the savvy that will enable you to navigate those waters even in times where the tide is always turning, rising and lowering at not even a moments notice.
As hard as it might be to admit to yourself, the road to doing music and continuing to do it is a bumpy, rocky road paved with rejection, but the good news here is that while stardom and wealth are never guaranteed, the possibility of still being very successful on a smaller scale still exists for those that are willing to hang in there and not give up, and the rewards can be even more fulfilling than all the wealth and stardom that the rich and famous entertainers have.
So, ladies and gentlemen hold your head up high, square your shoulders, learn as much as you can, practice as much as you can every day, and never let anyone tell you what you can and cannot achieve. Beyond that, always remember that your greatest competitor is the person looking back at you in the mirror. I believe that one key to being truly successful in any field is having a can do attitude. I mean, you get up every morning, and you determine that what you dream of being able to do is a real possibility and not just a fantasy. Watch out for the nay sayers, because they will always try to “bring you back down to reality”, but as I once heard someone say quite a long time ago now, “if you can believe it, you can achieve it”.
In conclusion, even if everyone else gives up on you and is of the opinion that what you are trying to do is a big waste of time, always believe in yourself and never give up on yourself. Always try to surround yourself with like minded people, those at your level as well as those who are at a higher level than you are currently. One of my teachers actually had the following quote written on a pen: “A winner never quits, and a Quitter never wins”. Lastly, say to yourself in your mind and out loud “I Got This!”
Are trying to learn a new song or solo? “I Got This!”
Are you going to an audition? “I Got This!”
Are you trying to find players for your own band? “I Got This!”
Now, what happens if you keep telling yourself “I Got This”, but you don’t have it yet? Very simply put… “You’ve Still Got This”.