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The Next Big thing is becoming a better musician




THINGS YOU MUST DO TO BECOME  A MUSICIAN

INTRODUCTION
Millions of people all over the world today are lovers of music and many go further into practicing it and possibly making a career/living out of it. Music on its own has gone beyond just singing and clapping as we uncover new dimension on a daily basis.
This article is aimed at triggering some pushable buttons in you as a musician. There are certain key factors that can enable you stand out and become the very best at what you do. Follow me as I run through some of them quickly. 

RECHECKING YOUR FOUNDATION 
Even the Bible has made it clear that if the foundation be destroyed, even the righteous will be helpless.  Many problems faced today in our music life can be traced to faulty foundations. Many might link this to a spiritual problem but that is quite far from the message here, rather, I refer to foundations as  being grounded with the basics of music. We will undoubtedly get the clearer picture in a minute. 
Being sensitive enough to rechecking your foundation can go a long way in repositioning your present stance as a musician. Whether as a backup singer, lead vocalist, instrumentalist, music director and so on. It is important that you get to know the basics of what you are doing. Let's assume you are a pro guitarist but you find it difficult to attain a new height i.e grow. It might be nothing far from rechecking your foundation (basics). There are some holes you have to cover up. Or a singer, go back to the very basics of singing and master it. It will enhance your ability to accept more knowledge. In conclusion, getting to know the foundation about what you are doing will really go a long way in helping you grow. Many have built a lot on a weak foundation which may crash someday and it might be a disaster to you as a musician. Get your foundation(basics) right. 

HUMILITY THE REAL DEAL! 
The quality of not thinking that you're better than everyone other person is not one of those qualities you can easily find amongst musicians today. This is far from pretending to be humble, which is what a lot of musicians practice today. Humility is you always ready to listen and learn and even unlearn. It is knowing your self worth but not letting it intimidate others especially those you come in close contact with. It is you being willing to share the knowledge you have acquired. The good thing about humility is that it houses other qualities such as; Time management; Many do not keep to time especially when invited at events, programs, functions and so on. They feel they should not be part of the early-birds for no substantial reason most times, which has eaten deep into a lot of musicians today. Humility can therefore affect some qualities in you positively and can indeed make you stand out. 

OWN THOSE BUTTONS 
Standing out as a musician, one needs to be in control and not questioning about some certain results. There is a button I call DSP button. (DSP - discipline, self control and patience). If one is able to control and own your DSP button, it can go a long way in helping you as a musician. 
A) Discipline : Disciplining your self in what you do as a musician is very important. This cuts across all areas since we are not specific towards a particular aspect of music. Disciplining your self to the extent of what you take in (food/drink) as a Vocalist will go a long way in helping you. Even to the point of how you keep your nails as a piano player or guitarist. Paying attention to such important details can enhance how you sing or play. Also discipline in the aspect of your performance (not over playing or soloing), knowing when to apply your various vocal techniques such as riffs and runs can help you stand out. 
B) Self control : self control in this content is a bit different from discipline as this boils down to your ability to remain calm and not showing your emotions even when you fell angry about a particular thing or feeling excited as well. Being a musician comes with several responsibilities such as having to take care of your back up singers at some points or even a student of yours. Sometimes, people might tend to step on your toes but how you react to such is what matters and really, that's where self control comes in. Your ability to handle such scenarios by not over reacting can make you unique and stand out from other musicians.on the other hand, be cautious of the decisions you take when excited!  You might end up making promises you might not be able to fulfill. 
C) Patience: many musicians today are impatient, they want to get to the very top without following the right steps and they end up becoming what I call "Quack musicians". Being patient enough to go through the learning process thoroughly, learning from those ahead of you can make you excellent enough in your field. Being patient enough to retrace your tracks and correct your mistakes by unlearning or even starting afresh despite the competitions around can change the narrative of your music life.  No point rushing over things. The important thing is all about you making a legacy. 


BE A LOVER OF CRITICS
this is one of the most important factors a musician should really put a lot of concentrations to. A lot musicians today live a room filled with accolades and super exciting comments from loved ones, friends and family. Intact, they dare not see a "NOT GOOD" comment from anyone.
Standing out as a musician involves you listening to everyone. There might be an element of truth in what you consider as hatred or jealousy because people nowadays see critics as a show of hatred or jealousy. At this point, you need to open your arms wide to welcome critics as it will help you in looking into these things people think you need to improve, stop or start doing. In as much as everyone loves praises, be ready for critics as well.

 
THE MIDDLE MAN FORMULA 
In as much as many desire to be their own boss, I strongly believe there should be room for I call the middle man formula. We will get to know what I mean by the middle man formula but before then, let me share a story from the angle of being an instrumentalist. I once had a particular student I was tutoring but at some point,  it felt like what ever I taught was already history to him because He had gone beyond the given syllabus and possibly have studied it to the point of perfection. Every new lesson I taught, wasn't actually new to him and truly it became intimidating especially when I felt like he had become the teacher and I, the student.. Now, the beauty about  this whole story is that it made me to sit up knowing that it's high time I stepped up my game. I hope this points some sort of a clearer picture  about the middle man formula. Just like the name implies,  become a middle man. (Being between) I.e be under someone and get someone under you as well. As a musician, you should have someone who knows what you are doing more than you do, and should probably learn from that person. On the other hand, also get someone you can call your student or someone that hasn't gotten to your level of music. Imagine if my student then didn't make me sit up?. Now,  that's how you can apply the Middle man formula. Get someone above you and below you today!  As you will see drastic changes in your music life in overall making you stand out. 
PS : Be very observant when picking your ABOVE and BELOW. 

NEVER LOOK DOWN ON OTHERS
have you ever felt heart broken when your skill is underrated or not even recognized? I guess it's a bad experience and you shouldn't let others feel same too. A lot of musicians today look down on others especially those under their age or those without the best of outfits. Looking good down on people can limit your growth as a musician because most times, you cannot really tell the potentials of that person you feel is a low standard. Some time ago, I was at a particular wedding reception along side my Choir. Of course, we were to sing/play at the event and it turned out well. Now, something interesting happened after the event. Obviously, There was heavy down pour of rain, many couldn't go same as we could not move the instruments we came with. Our drummer was just entertaining the crowd left behind with various drum skills and grooves... He got kind of tired and dropped the stick and was about leaving the drum when a little boy ran to the drum to play. Due to his size and look in age, He was shouted at immediately to leave the drum alone. Someone else said he should be allowed to play. The crowd left behind could not believe their eyes and imagined if what they are hearing is actually coming from the very young boy or else where. He played like one who had several years of experience in playing the drums. Of course there was a lot of applause and cheers. To cut the whole story short, He became a great help to my drummer. Imagine the amount of people you might have looked down on because of some factors? You can never tell who might be of great help to you as a musician. Always give people a chance.

BE A PART NOT A WHOLE
i once saw a musician over the Internet who invented an instrument that house other instruments such as the drums, piano, guitar, trumpet and so on. It can be controlled by just one man. It was really lovely but that might exist in 1 out of a million. What I am trying to say is you should work/walk with other musicians. Join a team of other singers if you are a singer. Be part of a band if you are an instrumentalist. If you must grow, grow with others. Being part of a team gives you a sense of belonging and always wanting to do part well which in turn makes you grow become excellent and stand out. 

WRITTEN BY - UMANAH GODWIN
EDITED BY - TEHILAH FRIDAY
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  1. This is some valuable insight anyone serious about their music should live by.

    More power to your elbow.

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