NAMM 2009 Day 2

The NAMM Show's massive showroom floor takes every bit of an entire day to walk. The event is a tradeshow for the music industry featuring every imaginable music product. Aside from the overload of music stuff, NAMM provides better-than-average people watching opportunities akin to a main-stream Burningman

I never did find out who this is, but there was a long line of people waiting for his autograph.

Ultimately, the event is about people. Seeing friends, meeting famous people, and about connecting with new people.

Here's an example: Steve Lawson, and Lobelia, have been touring the US doing house concerts featuring looping. Steve's blog chronicles their adventures. With Steve and I mostly being aware of one another via Twitter, it was fun to finally meet face-to-face.

NAMM 2009 Day 1

I've attended the musical candy store known as Summer NAMM many times. I used to go every year but have paired it down to every other year: that's a good rhythm for me.

Made into Anaheim around mid afternoon where we were met with beautiful, unseasonably ward summer-like weather. I decided to just make this first day a destination-free stroll and will be more organized over the course of the next three days of attendance.

While I am not one that usually gets "star-struck" when I see famous people--I did run into one of my all-time heroes and had to stop and say 'Hi.' 

George Benson has been an idol of mine since I was 7 years old and I had the good fortune to meet him today. Needless to say--I was totally thrilled and couldn't wipe the smile of my face for the rest of the afternoon.

George is the "Real Deal."  

Tomorrow: Day 2.

Consistent Persistence

What does it take to get good? How do you manage to succeed in music (or anything else really...).

My students ask me that all the time and my answer is always the same: "It's simple, if you work your butt off for a really long time, you're bound to pick-up at least a thing or two." I know that they're always hoping for some "Magic Shortcut" or trick that will allow them to skip these steps.

But more than steps toward a goal, I think of success as a lifestyle. If you don't LOVE the process of working and practicing hard, you're just not going to arrive.

I learned these things from being around people who had done it before me. I watched not only "What" and "How" they went about doing things, I made it my business to learn about the work ethic. That, it turns out, may have been the most valuable thing.

Just as I did 20-30 years ago, I LOVE to practice, transcribe the solos of the Masters, play ALL KINDS of gigs with ALL KINDS of musicians. I LOVE to teach. I LOVE to do what is needed to get my gear sounding the best I can. I LOVE composing and arranging. I even LOVE making set lists, writing charts, booking gigs and doing promo work.

Is there something that you find yourself wishing you had a shortcut for? Are you truly passionate about something? Not the idea of accomplishing something, but the process of working. I'm always inspired by hearing about someone's quest. I hope to learn about yours.