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High notes

Five essential points to consider for one who wants to succeed as a musician

January 02, 2021 06:31 pm | Updated 06:31 pm IST

A long but satisfying journey

A long but satisfying journey

There’s a place for every type of personality in the music industry, as its scope is incredibly large. However, this article will focus on the performers, producers, sound engineers, DJs and the like, who create the “product” of music and engage directly with audiences and clients.

Do you have a constant drive to express yourself creatively?

It’s almost like a compulsion for most successful musicians. Whether you’re creating a new song, commercial or performing a gig, every instant requires an unique expression to capture the mood, what the client wants or even captivate an audience. This constant reinterpretation of the art requires a consistent drive that should be second nature to an artist.

Are you willing to stay in a constant state of learning?

Obviously, only by learning the ABCs and the grammar of music will you be able to express yourself in that medium. The deeper you go, the wider the range of expression. An artist reaches a point when he/she thinks in music. This expanded vocabulary is the differentiator. Also, you need to be prepared to keep learning until the very end. This attitude will keep you happy, engaged and gainfully employed.

Are you willing to put in long hours?

Quantity does bring about quality. Your art has to be performed so many times that it becomes second nature and, as everything you have learnt, converts to instinct, you will enter that meditative space where creative expression happens instantaneously. Losing the concept of time after putting in a lot of time enables one to constantly create, keeping the art and expression fresh and professional.

Are you willing to adapt?

One cannot emphasise enough the importance of flexibility and willingness to adapt for a successful career. Staying current and relevant often involves reinvention. This does not mean that you need to forget what you have learnt or change a carefully crafted identity. It’s all about evolution and you need to get comfortable with not getting comfortable. You have to be happy with never having arrived. Being in this constant flow invites new opportunities and will make you feel alive as an artist.

Are you ready to be a pro?

This involves doing a lot of things that are not fun but that pay off big time. Like never being late or going the extra mile to make your performance or production extra special and unique — something that probably only you recognise as effort but which everyone else can feel. Treat clients and audiences with respect because they enable you to do what you love. You also need to be able to give as much as you take.

The writer is the co-founder of The True School of Music.

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