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Tips For The Solo Musician: Get Paid For Practicing?

Hi, my name is Kevin Brown. In this article I would like to address the subject of practice, and how to get paid for it. Sounds funny?...well, when I finish, you will have a different view about this idea.

We have all heard the statement, "Practice Makes Perfect",...and it is a proven fact that this is so very true. There are many different ways, and technical aspects of just how one should practice. I am going to talk about the solo single line musician, and what you can do to get all the practice you need, and how to get paid for your efforts. When I say single line solo musician, I mean those musician who play woodwinds, brass, violins, cello, any instrument that does not have the advantage of making chords.

In this article, I will use my real life experiences to demonstrate the fact that this does work. To what degree depends upon the individuals efforts, and desire to succeed.

First,...The one thing that we all need, and want, is a joyous life, and abundant living. One of the main questions that we ask ourselves when taking this journey through life is,...Just how can I make a living, and enjoy what I do? One answer I know is true, is to find that talent that one has been blessed with, nurture it, pursue it, build on it, and it will take care of you, and the question of a joyous life, and abundant living will be answered.

To begin, I will use my life, and experiences as a basis, and outline for this article and show just how to, "Get Paid For Practicing".

For starters,...I am a blind individual,... I play saxophone,...and that is what I know how to do well. I have been playing the saxophone for 40 years, 36 of those professionally. As I dont consider myself an awesome musician, I absolutely love to play! I love to hear other musicians,whom I consider awesome, play. I can tell, as well as any music lover can tell, when some one has spent the time, and effort, and many, many hours in the practice shed.

Practice is an absolute must, if you want to be a successful musician. There is no way around it. I cant tell you just how many thousands of hours I put into practicing, not because I was made to,...but, because I loved it.

I went through high school, and attended Berklee College of Music, in Boston,...in the pursuit of a career in music. It was while I attended Berklee that I discovered the princible of getting payed for practice.

I remember being dirt poor, as most musicians were at that time, having no food, no job, not knowing what to do. So...I called my cousin, who lived about 40 minutes outside Boston at that time, and asking her if she could bring me some food, and money. She said,..."you had better take your horn, and go out on the street and play somewhere"! I was completely shocked!...I could not believe she said that to me!...How could she? I said,..."Are you Kidding"? You cant be serious? She said,...Yes, I am,...I hear musicians playing every day, and I know that you can do just as well, if not better than a lot of them. That moment right there, was a turning point in my life.

So, I did what she suggested,...I found a spot that I thought was acceptable, took my sax, and set out to make some money. I realized very quickly that there was more to this street playing than just dropping on a spot, and just making some noise. First: I didn't have a clue on what to play,...What did people actually like to hear? So, the first time I did this, I just played scales. Can you believe that?...I played scales! I made about $20, just playing scales! I couldn't believe it!...I just could not believe it. Out of all the songs that I knew, the only thing I could think of to play were scales.

One thing lead to another, and I learned to pick, and choose the songs that people liked to hear. I also learned that being a single line instrument took a lot of work. It is very hard to play by yourself, without chords, and have people understand what song you are playing. So, I started to invest in play-a-longs to help me build a song list by which to continue this new found source of income. I would get a new play-a-long as my finances permitted, and build my song list, which in turn put more money in my pocket.

It wasn't until later that I got an idea from this guy that used to play his guitar while roller skating up and down Boylston street with a battery powered amplifier strapped to his back. I thought,...Boy, it would be great if I could get a battery powered amp like that,... and play all of those play-a-longs, That I have acumulated, through it while I am out playing. So, that's what I did. As soon as money permitted,...I bought a battery powered amp,...a Peavey KB15, got a cassette player,...and proceeded to play with my new play-a-long band. You know what!...It worked!...It really worked!

Not only was it better playing,...people really liked it! I could last longer,...and I made more money!...A Lot More Money. There were many benefits that I had not considered. 1. I made money 2. I got more gigs 3. I made a name for myself 4. It made my chopps a lot stronger 5. I met other musicians to play with 6. It was steady work, at my own hours 7. It has lasted a lifetime, even to today

I was literally getting paid for practicing! So,...if you are a solo musician, and you live in a major city, or even a small town,...consider this example. Take advantage of every opportunity to further your musical career. there are many ways to make a living as a musician if you look for it. Check around in your area,...look for places were you can play,...you will be surprised at the response you get when you do things right.

This followed me through my whole career. I have played all over the world,...in all kinds of venues,...in all styles of music,...in all kinds of bands, and orchestras. I have not regretted that very first time I set out to play on the street in that place called, "The Bean Town", Boston".

Note: 1. A great source for jazz play-a-longs is : http://www.jajazz.com

2. Listen to my music: http://www.cursebustersound.com

3. Promote your music on line: http://cursebuster.linkscout.com

Copyright 2006 Curse Buster Sound

Submitted by:

Kevin Brown

Kevin Brown is a blind, jazz saxophonist.His intense, improvive style of playing is both soothing, and captivating to the listener.You can hear, and contact Kevin at:http://www.cursebustersound.com





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