Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Intellect, Ability & Entertainment

Success in the music industry can seem very elusive. For the most part in requires a whole lot of luck but you can create your own luck. There are always opposing forcing working in the industry. Those that know verses those that think they know. Let me explain. Everybody's a critic of what we do. We get heavily scrutinized mostly by our peers and most of the time it's out of ignorance and jealousy. In order to be a success in this game it takes intellect, ability and entertainment skills. It's not by mistake that this is called SHOW business. If you don't have something REAL to show then you are just one of hundreds of thousands of artists or musicians trying to make it. The thing that irritates me is to hear artists down play someone Else's success in order to make themselves look better. I mean you may not like Brittany Spears, Justin Bieber, Justin Timberlake, Usher or whoever but I guarantee you that you wouldn't want to try to compete against any of them in the studio or on the stage. There is an art to delivering a great studio performance and it most times has very little to do with how well you sing or play. It's about being able to communicate a distinct thing. What we get confused with as musicians is thinking that just because you know all the scales and chords that this gives you the right to judge some one else. Just because you have a lot of information in your head doesn't make you smart. The key to success is being able to make art that reaches people and that takes heart and true intellect. I say intellect because you have to be smart enough to know your strengths and weakness and to understand that they both contribute to making you unique. People that buy concert tickets want to be entertained, for the most part so the best artists have to find a way to present their music in a passionate and entertaining way and that takes ability and a lot of intellect. It seems that if something has too much entertainment value that critics and mostly other musicians or artists will mark them off as fluff but don't fool yourself. Being able to put on an entertaining show will keep you working and getting paid much more than you bragging about how many notes you can play or how pure your music is. Dizzy Gillespie was one of the fathers of Bebop and he was a world class entertainer which contributed largely to his world wide appeal and success. His ability to entertain made his music accessible to EVERYONE. You didn't have to be a Jazz snob to like his music because his personality on stage made everyone feel invited to the party. So let's be careful when we judge entertainers. If you are not a great entertainer then work on it but don't chastise someone who is because when it's all said and done a good entertainer will trump your complaining and criticism every time. People just want to have fun. Enjoy the journey.

The Truth
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