Wisdom of Music Mentors

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Novice Musicians Take Note

Approaching an instrument for the first time can be intimidating. A number of people are curious, yet hesitate to start because of the fear of making a mistake or being ridiculed for beginner steps. But aren’t you truly your own worst critic? Within music is an adventure for your soul.  Take a chance and pick up a tool that will lead you toward the unknown. The moment you do something different, your life can move into a completely new direction.

Then once you get comfortable playing on your own, how do you move to the next step — performing in front of others? If you learned an instrument and hold back from showing your craft on the stage, focus on the positive aspects of such an endeavor. The courage you exhibit when showing your passion creates empathy in the crowd. You become something larger than yourself once you contribute to others.

I wondered what compelled some people to showcase their talent while others just watch. What advice would recognized musicians give to someone who dreams of playing on the stage, yet pauses when they should just push play?

I asked a few performers, “What would you say to a novice musician? Or someone who has never played at all?” Their responses follow.

MIKE BAKER – Sgt. Baker, The Cosmic Factory, Population Paste

“Do it. If you’re not learning, you’re not fucking up, and you’re not living. I understand that people don’t want to play in front of a crowd. It scares the shit out of me every time. Still to this day it’s kind of a release, and it’s made me sing and feel a lot better.”  Mike’s basically saying ride the wave of life, and understand that wiping out at some point is part of the journey. Making mistakes is often the only way to see how to improve and advance.

ERIC BLOOM – Lettuce

“It’s very difficult to make money thru music, so you have to do it for the LOVE of the music.” Eric is right; it’s about the real pay. Don’t ever make monetary gain your goal from performing. When you do something that you love, you receive the greatest wealth and financial gain seems even less than secondary.

STUART BOGIE – Superhuman Happiness

“Study yourself and your own impulse. And use that for all your investigation.” Stuart is such a uniquely interesting person, and I’m always amazed at our discussions. I think his desire to bring his truest self through music has absolutely been achieved. Perhaps this is one of the secrets to moving music into a completely novel direction.

SHANE MANZI – Fungus Amungus, Free Funk Allstars

“Find a hero. They can help you find yourself. We didn’t learn to speak on our own, and music is a language.”  Everyone needs a mentor, and I’m sure Shane has been one for many aspiring artists.  Music is a form of communication and if we think of how children learn to speak, it’s not by being instructed, but by being immersed in experience. Novice musicians should surround themselves with well-spoken musicians. The experts will embrace you.

CHELSY LAU MUSIC

“There’s nothing to be afraid of. What do you have to lose? You will find solace in it, and love for your passion. The only thing you can ever so is try, and if you don’t you’ll regret it.” People tend to regret things they never did, and Chelsy speaks to taking chances in life. Taking chances moves your fate into another direction, and if playing music is meant for your future, the universe will conspire with you to make that happen.

ELI WINDERMAN – Dopapod

“I’d say to just get out there and play as much as you can for whoever is willing to listen!!” Eli sums it up perfectly. Let everyone hear what’s in you. It’s why you are here. Let your soul shine through the notes you play. Once you take the first step, the fear is left behind.

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