Finding yourself in music is one of the inevitable steps towards becoming a successful musician. You might be asking yourself: “What do you mean find myself?” Well the truth is that finding yourself if a very broad context. It is related to the people you play with, the genre of music you play and of course the instrument.
As I previously mentioned, I got into music as a guitarist. After a year of playing the guitar, I got an opportunity. The school was organizing a charity event for children with severe diseases who live in poor conditions. The idea of the event was for the students to create a show and gather money. The event itself was a phenomenal idea. The students could use their talents and skills and use them to help people in need.
Some ideas were pitched right at the beginning. Students good at dancing organized a dancing act. Other students joined up and made a play. There were many cool and awesome ideas. Unfortunately I was left out from all of them. I was in a class which was seemingly untalented at everything. We had no ideas.
I knew we had a lot of musicians. Two great guitar players, some piano players and a singer or two. I got the idea for us to form a band and play something. The idea sparked up very quickly. The two guitarists were fond of the idea and the act slowly started to take place.
The problem was we had to work with musicians from the school. We needed a drummer, a bassist and a vocal. We knew other musicians but we could not invite them. We had to work with what we had. Three guitars playing a song might be amazing if each guitarist is a professional. The problem is most of us were beginners and we only discovering what we can do.
Another problem is that we were perfectionists. We wanted to make something awesome and we were not afraid to work more to get it.
We had half a year until the show to figure out what to do. We managed to find a vocal and a piano player from our class. We chose to play Californication by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Everything seemed set but we did not have a drummer or a bassist. We decided to play a softer version without the drummer but we still needed a bassist.
That’s the moment I found myself. I adapted to the situation and chose to help out. I saved up some money and I bought a bass guitar. I practiced for weeks and weeks just to play the song perfectly. I had been a beginner at that time so there was a lot to learn. Being a self-taught bassist slowed down my progress but I got better each week.
I had an opportunity and I chose to rise to the occasion. I proved to be a great bassist, if you compare it to the amount of time I have played the instrument. From there on I became more active in the local music scene.
It was hard finding a band because people mostly wanted professionals and I was young and at the beginning of my musical career. Luckily a friend of mine hooked me up with a band and I started playing.
Here is the problem which rose up when I got in the band. The genre we played was Nu Metal. When a new guitarist showed up, he wanted to do hard rock. Hard rock and nu metal do not exactly have much in common so it was always a fight between the two genres.
The problem was I liked alternative rock and I was in a metal band. Everything I made reflected my interest in alternative rock. In the end the band fell apart.
Many attempts after that, I still tried to find myself. The truth is I still am. Going from one band to another gives you a chance to experience different genres. I would have never started listening to System of a Down if my former band mates did not insist on me learning Toxicity. In the end I loved the band but also learned some awesome vocal techniques.
The truth is that the finding yourself is a lifelong process. One of the best gifts you can have is versatility. Basically you can look at the three (people you play with, the genre of music you play and the instrument) criteria as search criteria. By limiting yourself to one genre of music and one instrument, it might take a lot of time to find a band.
The key concept is to grow with music. You should see it as a part of you. As I previously wrote, if you go into a band for all the right reasons, you will never be let down.
Do not be afraid to try some new things. It’s awesome if you are a professional guitar player for example, but if you are also a piano player, you will have more at your disposal.
Versatility can be good for the business but also for your creativity. Sure if you know more instruments, you might get picked up by a band in need. But just think how many possibilities open up with other instruments. With each new instrument you learn, you get the ability to project your creative ideas with another tool. That tool can help you break the monotony of modern music.
The story is the same with the people you play with. People in the band can be awesome but each person has their specific style. Brining new people onboard or making a change can add innovations to the band see this website.
Genre limitations are where bands go wrong. People go into bands with a vision in their head. They want to stay in a specific genre, regardless of how the rest of the band feels. My tip is never to flag yourself as one genre but make music and then see what you are.