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Tip #1 – Are you REALLY Ready?
In life nothing ever gets “REALLY” accomplished without the person ready to take on the tasks necessary to achieve their goals. Since I use myself as the example in a great many cases, here’s another one for you. Are you ready? Here goes…
I have spent the last year and a half tackling my inability to improvise and play solos. I had a certain level of ability to B.S. my way through certain songs, but never really knew what I was doing. So if I was asked, “what did you play over that C7?” I couldn’t answer because I really didn’t know. I would get “lucky” from time to time when I was thrown into a soloing situation, but that would be the extent of my abilities.
A part of growth is putting yourself in situations that make you feel vulnerable and cause you to panic to a certain point. I have been dreaming of putting together my own group and playing clubs, festivals, and great venues around the world – not just locally. But my biggest problem has been that I have been too afraid to even step out locally, let alone on a grander stage. I lacked the confidence in my skills because during this last year and a half there were a couple of performances that I felt like a kid that just fell and skinned his knee (ego). Those experiences did 2 things… 1) made me practice harder, but 2) afraid to get back on the bike and keep riding.
It’s been several months since my last quartet / quintet gig, but I’ve taken solos in big band situations and felt much more confident than I did even 4 months ago. And after taking relatively successful solos in those situations, it has boosted my moral enough to light the fire of desire to continue the chase for my dream!
So your first tip for this week is to find that “WHY” to chase your dreams… the “HOW” will show up once you lift that veil of fear and lack of self confidence from your mind. Whether it takes more practice time, or a few successful showings, or both (like it did for me) keep striving for what you want! The only limitations we have are the ones we self impose!
Tip #2 – Summer is Upon Us Once Again…
One thing that is easily overlooked by musicians vs. athletes is the topic of hydration. When we play, we physically work as hard as someone playing a sport, and therefore hydration is equally as important to us as it is to someone playing a sport. When you couple that with playing in the heat outdoors, it becomes vital!
Something to keep in mind is that sugary drinks such as soda’s can have a major affect on your hydration levels. The sugar and the carbonation sucks up a huge amount of water in your system and leaves you dehydrated. Thus, drinking more sodas… so the first best thing to reach for is pure water! It is natures thirst quencher, but once you’ve started to “feel” dehydrated, it takes a while for your body to recover. So be sure that pre-gig you drink lots of water… this will ensure that your hydration level won’t plummet during your performances.
Funny how simple little things like that can escape our attention, but does end up massively affecting our ability to perform optimally. Stay hydrated my friends!
“Anyone that ever accomplished anything, did not know “how” they were going to do it. They only knew they were going to do it.”
Author and Speaker
Have a GREAT week!