One of the great things about hanging around musicians and music students all week is that you get to have all sorts of interesting conversations and as a result can see things from new perspectives. Below are some examples.
One was with a father whose son wants to go to jazz school, trying to figure out if it was the right move for him.
One was about a guitarist who has been to jazz school, some of the best in fact. He has done everything ‘right’ – practiced hard, and knows his craft really well. He is an introvert, quite shy, and is currently struggling to get gigs that challenge and satisfy him creatively.
And one was about a teacher I had who told me that you would get more gigs if you were a good musician and easy to get along with than if you were an amazing musician but lacked in social skills.
The guitarist has done what many would consider to be the hard part, but is facing his biggest challenge now. He is living proof of my teacher’s tip to me.
It’s not always about getting more gigs however, sometimes it’s about getting the right gigs, or making the right gigs happen so you can play them.
The right gigs for you may not be the right gigs for me – so it’s up to each of us to figure out what they are for ourselves.
And so I said to the concerned father that if his son wants to be a musician, he should get the best education he can, practice as hard as he can for the next few years, but the hard bit comes after that, and last I heard they don’t train you for it in jazz school.
It’s the most important bit though.