Let the music play on and never mind the blues. It’s only Rock & Roll.
Music is food for the soul, some would say. Personally, music has pulled me through the toughest times in my life. Listening or even humming to my favorite tunes in my head has made dealing with disappointments and heartbreaks a little easier.
The power of music not only makes good company during misery but it also can elevate and hype you up as you’re about to face whatever the day will throw at you. You can’t escape rhythm but sometimes it can give you the blues.
Getting paid to do what you love is undoubtedly a dream come true and a blessing. Being a professional club or pub musician often fall under that category. It’s by no means an easy dream to achieve though.
Years of hard work, perseverance and making it to open nights or auditions do not necessarily translate into a career. Even after you do end up securing a regular spot, the task and responsibilities that come with it is not a walk in the park either. Night in and night out, you have to put on your best regardless of how your day has been or how you know it’s going to be like tomorrow. In between sets, though a rarity it seems these days, it’s always advisable to do a little mingling and show your gratitude to those in attendance – bear in mind, no one is expecting you to go around to every table because you do need a breather till the next set.
Then there are the songs. Chances are you’ll be doing covers but still, it’s essential to pull them off convincingly or you’ll be running for cover yourself. I dare say (almost) every musician is a songwriter to a certain extent so eventually playing covers can get a little tiresome and even discouraging.
After all, you’re just a living and breathing jukebox but then again most club or pub customers want to hear their favorite tunes. Personally I could never understand what’s so great about a band playing covers unless the band’s rendition of the chosen song is more interesting. So even when playing covers, you can be original but just be sure you walk gingerly on that fine line between being creative and over-indulgence.
If you’re a G major (Gmaj) and I’m an E minor (Em), we are relative keys because we have one accidental which is the F sharp (F#). Now what that means is, in layman’s terms, no matter what genre they’re into or practise, musicians are all connected though the art form itself.
Chances are they’ll show up at another’s gig to lend support and even jam. But there is also competition. Competition is healthy as it can help you to gauge standards and drive you to improve on your own. But when you compete with the purpose of humiliating and destroying the other then it’s best you stay home and please yourself while staring into the mirror.
Music is a wonderful thing and more than once, it has been a phenomenal tool in helping people. Money, most say, makes the world go round but it’s Music that makes the world dance and unite.
As a musician, it can be tough but never let that rhythm gives you the blues (unless it’s the Howlin’ Wolf, John Lee Hooker or Ma Rainey kind). Keep your heads up and your chin strong.
For music lovers, show some appreciation the next time you’re at a gig or a pub. You don’t have to scream your lungs out or anything but an acknowledgement in the form of a smile or thumbs-up can make your favorite musician’s day. Oh just remember to put the beer glass down in case you want to do a 2-thumbs up and… stop requesting for Hotel California ffs!
At the end of the day, remember to enjoy the music… it’s only Rock & Roll!!