Although I’m not a professional musician but an amateur who loves her electric guitar, I have found that practicing an instrument is a difficult task. But, when it comes to actually playing it very well, it takes more out of you. I own two starter electric guitar packages and an acoustic guitar that I rarely use.
While reading the April 2013 issue of Keyboard Magazine, I came across a few musicians who are still in the business after 30-plus years. One of them made a major pact with himself not to waste time with things (surfing aimlessly on the internet or watching TV) that are not as important as improving his craft with keyboards, drum machines, synthesizers, and production gear.
The most important thing to remember is this: as you’re practicing and/or improving your craft as a musician, music producer, or any title that you have in the music industry, you’ll have time for things that matter to you, such as family, friends, and your colleagues. In this short but sweet instructional essay, these instructions are helping me along the way.
First: I’m going to give a list of examples of distractions that keeps a passionate music lover or music buff at bay from doing things he or she loves the most. I’m also going to talk about what to watch out for when useless distractions are in your way and what to do when it comes to improving your musical craft. Second: How to actually improve your craft independently and or with someone who has experience? And finally, the third: what people have learned from legendary musicians, producers, engineers (and other titles) when it comes to leaving distractions behind and continuing learning a variety of new things in the business – independent or mainstream.
What is a Distraction?
1. To cause to turn away from the original focus of attention or interest; divert.
2. To pull in conflicting emotional directions; unsettle.
Examples of distractions for a music freak, expert, and professional
1. Watching countless hours or television for no reason with little or no inspiration
2. Aimlessly surfing the internet for things that are unnecessary to your daily routine, such as ongoing online arguments that go on forever.
3. Worrying about world problems that you cannot fix at all, such as out of the country. Humanitarian organizations are helpful and can ease the worries, IMO. You just have to watch out for movements that have little purpose to serve the public. Which leads to……
4. Slacktivism on the internet (and trust me, it’s very useless). You see it on Facebook and other social media platforms. It’s everywhere.
5. Devoting major time with watching and reading the news for things that are depressing to human civilization without spending time practicing your instrument or production gear that you love very much.
Important vs. Non-important: How to be very careful when distractions are coming at your way?
When I say that there are distractions for musicians, I mean there are distractions out there in public – and that’s what makes them human. But, even humans can train their brains to keep grinding without letting unnecessary things getting in their path of their newly-founded or long-time profession.
1. Important Distractions to take your time with before getting back to the groove.
- Death of a relative or friend who’s very close to you.
- Rent, mortgage, and other bills to handle and manage.
- Other family-related events you’re part of.
- Taking care of your own family (partner and/or children)
2. Non-Important Distractions to try and keep yourself away from in order to concentrate.
- Most depressing news from local, national, and international that you keep hearing or reading every day.
- Bickering in social media, such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter
- Trolls that spam your Facebook page(s) constantly. Just block them before returning to your workstation. They have no use for your attention and your health at any cost.
3. How about both (if you’re very lucky)?
Before thinking about that, there is a way to manage. How about this: Use time management by keeping records in notebooks and computers always. Try to keep track of the tasks for any situation. Separate notebooks, journals, and so on are very helpful. Planners are good, too. You can get them at the 99 cent store, pharmacy, or stationary stores, such as Staples. Allow yourself time and space between practice and important things outside music.
Littlefield. September 28, 2012. 9:50pm
Improving your craft as a musical freak, expert or professional – great way to start
1. Read Books (e-books and physical copies):
As for me, I get downloads of ebooks focusing on music theory, chords, and genres with songs to practice all over the internet. Some are free, some are not. You can also get physical copies in music stores and online stores (i.e. Amazon, Google Checkout, etc.). Just remember, these days you have too many options available that are now at your fingertips and the public eye.
2. Watch Live performances (any size of concert venues):
I’ve been to live performances in small venues and medium-sized venues in college. To experience with a variety of live performances, you have to read and keep up with the updates on when band are going to be playing in your state or out of state, town or out of town. The use of social media works with that task. Music magazines can work as well.
3. Keeping yourself Locked away during solo practices:
This is actually the most important thing people tend to forget: staying in your room or studio to practice songs, reading musical-themed books, and anything that has to deal with music. I like this rule because it gives me something to think about. Not only you can get better at improving your craft as a musician (although it’s just you and no one else in the room), but it will help you get prepared for something expected or unexpected in the music industry. to do so, pick a set of hours and days you practice or using your production gears to have fun with.
what people have learned from professionals when it comes to leaving distractions behind?
what people have learned from legendary musicians, producers, engineers (and other titles) when it comes to leaving distractions behind and continuing learning a variety of new things in the business – independent or mainstream.
1. Either make a promise to yourself or try to do better without promises.
2. Make a pact with yourself to concentrate.
3. Influences are a great way to start learning how to create the music that you want.
4. Develop a good rapport with professionals.
5. Do not let any unnecessary thing derail you from doing with what you love.
6. Be good to yourself and keep jamming.
Any more suggestions?
If you have any more suggestions on how you keep improving your musical craft, use the comment box below. Do not hesitate to submit them. I have an open mind and I have no problem reading them right away.