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Five quick tips…

January 11, 2012

…to being  a better original musician:

1)  Be true to your music.

Attempting to impersonate other bands or an icon from the past is simply cheesy and that will come across in the performance.  When an original band forms, that configuration has also never before existed on the planet.  Use that to your advantage.

2)  Louder isn’t better.

Fuzzier isn’t better either.  These are masks to hide behind when a musician is unsure of their true talent.  Whenever possible, write your tunes with an acoustic instrument or clean channel.  Effects should be an icing, not a cover up.

3)  Less is more – no, really!

All personnel in the band need to know when and much more importantly when NOT to play for the sake of the overall arrangement.  The musician that thinks he needs to fill up every empty space or be perceived as playing nonstop through every song is only fooling himself and sabotaging the band.  Need further proof?  Pull a CD out of the old collection and listen to the dynamics.

4)  Practice.  Practice.  Practice.

There are no short cuts here.  You can buy excellent gear, a great costume, take dance lessons, become a great video editor…but if you’re unwilling to spend time alone with your instrument, don’t be disappointed with anyone but yourself.

5)  Always have a teacher.

It’s said the teacher will appear when the student is ready.  Unfortunately, many musicians don’t realize that they need a teacher.  Days turn into weeks and then years of informal training, bad habits, weak tone, and amateur status.  Being afraid to take the time to learn music theory and technique will teach you some ugly lessons in the long run – like getting kicked out of bands or venues.

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