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.