Thursday, August 2, 2012

More Magnificent Musings

Musing 1: I wouldn't think that piano players (of which I am one) and synthesizers would go together well. Generally when you learn how to play piano, it's very different than learning guitar, because there are no tone or volume controls (other than yourself) and no effects pedals or anything like that. All your options for timbre and intensity come from what you personally can do to the instrument to make it do what you want. There's not a lot of options.       When you learn guitar however, you're presented right from the start with tons of options. Effects pedals, distortion levels, volume knobs, different guitars with different pickups to choose from, different kinds of amplifiers, tone knobs etc.
       I would think that anyone who is trained to play the piano would quickly tire of all the options and opportunities to fidget as a general rule, because we would tend to be more preoccupied with actually playing the instrument, than fiddling with the settings. I would think that synthesizers just wouldn't seem that appealing to piano players in general. Organists on the other hand............

Musing 2: A church I'm playing at recently listed me in their bulletin as a "keyboard player." I was tickled by that. I started as a "church pianist," then became an "organist & pianist," and now I'm a "keyboardist."

Advice on becoming a musician: Increase your financial IQ.
       Own your own business(es). There's two things they don't teach you about in American socialist schools according to Gore Vidal. I don't like Gore Vidal, but I happen to agree with him on this point: they don't teach you about your body, and they don't teach you about finances. I would add to that: they don't teach you how to start your own business.
       If you want to be a successful performance artist and you attended public school in the last 50 years, you are going to be able to reject the model that's been pounded into your head for 12 years or more: go to school, get a degree, get a safe, secure job with good benefits and a good retirement plan.
       I'm not saying school is all bad, or degrees aren't valuable (but there's an argument for that), or't........
Ok, well, if you went to public school you're probably brainwashed, degrees are about as valuable as our currency and losing value faster, and in most career fields they don't matter that much to employers (especially music), and jobs are the most insecure place you can invest your time.
       The point is: it's probably a good idea to re-evaluate this advice no matter what career path you're on, but my advice is don't rely on it for a successful career in music.
       You want to be a musician who doesn't starve? Study. Increase your financial IQ. Learn how to make your money work for you, instead of you working for your money. Don't rely on the government to take care of you when you're old, rely on yourself.

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