The desire to make it big or in other words to become very successful in a particular field is something that everyone wants. At least that’s what a lot of people say, however, there are many things to consider when it comes to setting out to achieve this goal. In this case, we are of course talking about becoming or attempting to become successful in music, which despite all the technological advances can be, and more times than not, is still a very difficult field to break into.
One conclusion you could come to is that music just isn’t your strong-suit and that you should probably either keep music as a hobby or give it up completely. But, is one of these two alternatives really the right decision to make? In all honesty, for some people, it may very well be. But, what about you? What decision could you make without ending up living in regret for the rest of your life? Is there a happy medium?
Through pretty much every form of media, we can imagine we are and continue to be constantly inundated with words, visual imagery and photographs of famous people who have “Made It Big.” To be clear, I am not trying to knock anyone for their success, but as a guitar teacher, I strive to not only provide lessons but also to encourage my students to be well grounded and think things through very carefully because there is a harsh reality that comes with being a highly successful person.
I mean, how many times have we heard about celebrities who have trouble holding relationships together, or who just don’t seem to be able to handle all the pressures and demands that come with their chosen career? Yup, sadly too many for me to keep track of. And yet, we are told that they are who we must strive to be like if we want to be successful, happy and generally accepted in society. Wrong!
With that said, we can still be very successful in music or any other field that we choose to go into. This is especially true today with all the advances in technology. Will we have the lavish life style that those who are rock-‘n-roll royalty seem to be enjoying? That’s debatable, and depending on who you ask, the answers will obviously vary from person to person. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t be successful. What I’d like to propose is this, … there are various levels of success and one doesn’t have to necessarily be playing in huge arenas to be a successful person.
So, what are your goals?
What will it take to achieve them?
Who must you meet and get to know?
What time constraints and schedule demands are you willing to accept?
What or whom would you have to give up?
Will your relationships suffer or survive as a result of your career choice?
Personally, I believe that staying well grounded, especially as you begin to gain more and more attention in your field of choice is the primary key. Sure, you have to tend to business, and you may not have as much time for other people as you once did, but as long as your friends and family know that you love and appreciate them then the relationship side of things should be able to remain intact.
One thing that sets music apart from quite a large number of other fields is that there can potentially be a lot of traveling, interviews, meet and greets, writing and recording sessions, sound checks, etc. If you are anything like me then you would know that playing music is something that is really enjoyable, and there’s is nothing else that you would rather do. If music is where your interest lies then stay focused, practice as often as you can, and stay true to your core values. In other words, never lose sight of who you are and why you are doing what you do.
(1) You really love playing the guitar.
(2) You love playing music for your audience.
I leave with this quote from Randy Rhoads:
“There’s no reason for a Guitarist to have a big ego. You should love the instrument more than wanting to be a Rock Star.”