General Thoughts on Success in Music

By Mike Vaccaro

I would like to just give you a few thoughts on success in becoming a musician. In another article I will go very deeply into my thoughts on what is required to become a success as a musician and in the music business.

Find the best private teacher in your area. This is worth some research. They will guide you and make learning easier. Be honest with the teacher about your practice habits and your goal with music. My first teacher was Johnny the Barber. Needless to say even though he was a very nice man I probably could have found a better teacher to start with. Johnny just happened to teach at the local music store a couple of evenings a week.

Success is predicated on a regular practice schedule. It is best to practice at the same time every day if you can. Some people love to practice. If you are not one of those people you have to train yourself to enjoy practicing. Practicing needs to become a habit or better yet, a ritual.

To do that, start by taking out your instrument as soon as you walk in the house and put it on an instrument stand. Put the stand and instrument in a conspicuous place where you see the It as you walk by. If you feel like giving a toot go ahead and do it. If not, practice at the time you have selected.

Start slowly. Just practice 5-10 minutes a day for a week. You will most likely find yourself practicing a little more than the time you have allotted. That’s good.

Add 5 minutes the next week and build in that manner.

Develop a concept of sound and style through listening to CD/audio devices and live performances.

Make a point to attend live performances. This not only helps your concept it helps you know what is expected of you when you perform and it’s more fun and social than being under the headphones.

Think of an English teacher who does not read books. How could they ever have a concept of English, or the use of the language, as used by others? The same is true in music. Your experience in listening will help determine your concept.

Your concept is your tone, and approach to the instrument, so take the time to listen. It is as important as practicing.