Ruminations

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Tales from the,"Three-Legged Stool"...

     

 "All Things To All People, or,“Nothing to Everyone?”

                          Musicians and the Internet

Music has never been an easy vocation to thrive in…

 

But with the rise of internet promotion, musicians now have access to a world of potential fans.

 

And it's been amazing over the past decade to see how musicians from all walks of life can now gain access to streaming platforms for promotion of their original output.

 

But, I’ve found that there are emotional and professional landmines in this “field”…

I recently watched a video of an 8-year old from Japan that can play circles around most guitarists out there…

 

You can be tempted to think,“what’s the point?"- especially if you’ve spent a better part of your life trying to develop your playing prowess over years of study and practice only in the end to be out-classed by a "child"...

 

Or, if you see the millions of views someone’s getting for their videos on social media platforms, one can be left wondering if you'll ever experience that kind of support for what you do.

 

And with the knowledge of what everyone is doing musically at any moment now available at your fingertips, you can start thinking that you'll never make a mark in the world of music unless you completely “out-gun” everything and everyone else out there (and this doesn't even address the whole issue of what everyone "personally" finds worth their time as a listener...)...

 

Will anyone even know I exist in such an environment, and what latest “promotional” advice do I employ to get the exposure I'm seeking?...

 

A strong “web presence”?

 

Powerful performance skills/showmanship?

 

"Valuable” daily content (can there be a more subjective term)?

 

Connections that are the envy of most of your peers?

 

I personally have no clue...I've tried a lot of these "guaranteed" solutions, and had them fall way short of what I hoped they would do for me...

Given these realities, what will keep us motivated in our musical pursuits?

 

It's a question with a variety of responses depending on the musician you talk to, and what their particular goals are vocationally and creatively...

 

What does one conclude when your goals don't line up with the outcomes you're experiencing?

 

That you wasted your time, effort, and money?

 

That you’re dealing with some variables that you'll simply never have any control over?

 

That you've failed to realize that you just don’t create or do anything musically compelling enough for another human being to ever care about?

 

That you'll always be dealing with the never-ending fickleness of other people's support and affirmation?

 

That there might be other people out there under-mining your efforts for a myriad of selfish reasons?

 

I’ve been down all these paths in my thinking over the past 40 plus years of making music- it's been an exhausting exercise trying to process it all...

Truth is, I never know if anything I do will pay off- regardless of the time I've committed to an “on-line presence”, the amount of live performances I've done, the contacts I've made, my professional commitment level, or the talent I possess…

Yet, I've realized that staying true to how you approach things musically while remaining dedicated to your craft seem to be the only things that establish any kind of longevity…

 

And isn't this ultimately the hallmark of every musician that anyone holds in high regard?

 

There is simply no way up in trying to please the masses by trying to out-do everything they’re into on-line, or attempting to emulate every other musician on the planet (for no other reason than these people already "exist")...

 

Being comfortable in your own skin, continuing to focus on the music you’re personally capable of making, and pursuing your own potential as a player seem to be the way forward in experiencing the most joy in the long run...

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S.Selinsky copyright 2021