The Hurdles of the Musician’s Life

I wanted to write a blog post about the challenges of being a musician. Those that have never tried do not realize how truly challenging the Musician Life can be. Like I have mentioned before there was a time that I was on the streets of Orlando and I couldn’t even make a sandwich, let alone a record. Those were the days, when I cried out against the capitalist greet of Mickey Mouse! (Anyway, moving right along!) There are simple many odds that go against you when you strap that guitar to your back, many that those on the outside have never even considered.

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First of all you probably have to have some sort of talent, this is obvious to just about everybody. Although some American Idol Wannabees may beg to differ, but initially you have to have some sort of ability to launch a journey into the Musician’s Life. So that cuts out half of the population right there, you gotta have some sort of musical ability. Ok, I think we get that part of it right now, that’s is the easy one to conceptualize in the difficulties of the Musician’s Life.

So let’s go to number two, number two is the fact that we are not famous. Tough one right, we spend our whole musical career saying that we will be number one on top and no one takes us seriously. How do we explain that? People on the street laugh at you and tell you to get a life. (A Musicians Life!) People in the nightclub tell you they have heard it before, they are not impressed and what’s worse your Lady Gaga impersonation scares them! A musician’s life can be a rough one to deal with.

But what do I think the number one factor in aggravating a musician? The ever delightful excuse filled band mate. This individual is a passive aggressive surprise. He may be a drummer, he may be a bassist, he may beat upon a tambourine, it doesn’t matter who this guy is. It is always the same. He comes on strong about the bands prospects of success, and is super encouraging and positive with a, “We can do it man!” kind of mentality, and saying stuff like, “Yeah! We just gotta get out there!” and then 6 months later you are still playing in the garage. Why? Because this passive aggressive enthusiast is a coward at heart when it comes to the stage and even though he preaches time and time again that the band has what it takes. Every time you get remotely class to a concert date, he crumbles and backs down. Then you see the other side, and hear a bunch of, “No, man, we aren’t ready just yet” “We just gotta perfect our sound a bit that’s all”. And then this guy’s favorite catch phrase is, “Next week”, “Yeah maybe next week”.

This guy is the worst, I have played in a lot of bands with musicians like this. They keep saying, we’ll be ready next week, and then next week turns into next year. You have to be aware of band members like this and be sure to quarantine yourself from them, because guess what their lack of enthusiasm and general hesitancy to perform can be contagious. If you find yourself in a situation like that my advice is to bail. You just can’t let people like that hold you back, they keep repeating they are not ready, well, someone like that will never be ready and they are just wasting your time.

Some of the best shows I ever did were barely even rehearsed. I’ve had basically improve jam sessions on stage that turned into my best performances. The only thought we put into it ahead of time was to tune our guitars and then just jam. Those are the best kind of moments on stage. Pure and passionate improvisation that came from the soul, it did not need to be perfected and rehearsed and rehashed to death. We simply gave birth to our art right there on the stage in beautiful spontaneity. So don’t listen to the nay saying hesitate haters and you will be in good shape my friends!

 

Ruben Padilla