Being a Musician is Tough
Especially doing it for a living
There is no doubt that being a musician in this day and age is tough. If you want to perform with others and be part of a musical group, you have to find all the right people to fit in the group. If you want to do it solo, you have to find a way to write and record all the music yourself. You constantly have to practice your instrument(s). Learn to read and write music, come up with super great rhythms and melodies, and don’t even get me started on the hooks!
And all the while, there are people saying that you’re such a great musician, you could be a millionaire! Or that they wish they had your talent and ability to make music like that. They tell you that they just love to listen to your music, but they won’t buy your MP3 from Amazon. Everyone just wants you to give them your music because they are your friend, right?
People have no idea of all the hours you’ve spent playing and practicing just to get that one part right. Or how much time you spent on that chorus to get it to pop. Or all the late nights trying to get the mix just right, your eyes fighting to stay open, squinting at the computer monitor. Your fingers start to hurt from the sting of the guitar or bass strings, your palms are getting worn out and sweaty from holding the drum sticks too long, calves sore from kicking that bass drum or tweaking that wah pedal just right.
I get it. I know all about it. This is my life and always has been for as long as I can remember. I hear from so many people that they love music but they are just not musically inclined so they can’t play an instrument. I get that too. You either got it or you don’t. There’s no in between.
They say it’s a talent but I tell ya, sometimes it feels like a curse. When I am out in the middle of nowhere and I have this great riff going through my head and no way to get it recorded right then and there. By the time I get back to my studio its too late. It’s gone, probably never to appear again. When I’m not able to play for an extended amount of time I get irritated. My throat starts to swell up and get sore, like I am super frustrated about something. It’s like having a need to say something important but holding it inside of you for too long. The headaches start to come, clenched fists, gritting teeth. Yeah, I get it.
Trying to make a living out of it? That’s a whole other story! I have been doing this music thing all of my life. I always thought that I would get discovered or get a record deal or something beyond my control would blow me up and make me able to make a living at this thing we call music. When I was younger I was in several bands, played all the time wherever we could. I would be playing two to four shows a week on the east side of the United States. Maryland, D.C. Pennsylvania, Virginia, basically anywhere I could get a spot to play. I honestly cant tell you how many shows I’ve played or how many different people I’ve played with.
When it came down to it though, I did not get discovered. I did not get a record deal. Nothing happened beyond my control to make me successful.
I felt like I wanted to give up. Maybe music wasn’t the way for me to make it in life. Maybe I just had to stick with my 9–5 office job, put my head down, and not live the life I believe I was meant to live. This depression in me lasted for a long time. A decade at least. Then I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
I did find a way. A great way to be very successful with my music. Since I have started, my life has literally done a 180 degree spin and it’s so simple that I can’t understand why I didn’t figure this out before. I am in the beginning stages now and I know I am just going to blast through any walls that might get in my way and try to stop me.
I would love to share my progress and what is going on with me day by day through this blog. I am planning to post every single day for at least the next year so if you are a musician and you are interested in any techniques I use or try, I invite you to come along with me on this journey.
Hopefully we will be super successful together!
Until next time…
World Wide Web: https://www.ericmanuelward.com/