Last year I started playing bass and singing backing vocals with some English musicians here in town.
At first it all went well: we clicked, we grooved, we harmonised.
We did one short gig which went fairly alright: the audience was happy, which is always a good start.
But after a few weeks I was told that they’d rather continue as a duo.
“Your singing is fine, your playing is good too, but…”
Then I listened to a recording of my bass playing and it was instantly clear: my playing was horrible.
Off-time, skipped notes, wrong notes – the only thing I had going for me was a nice groove.
Which is nice if you’re practicing at home, but not good enough if you want to perform in front of a live audience.
I don’t blame them for ditching me – not in the least.
Because I hadn’t put in the hours
As a singer I know what I’m doing – a decade of chanting in a monastery has given me some quite nice breath control.
But playing the bass – well I never actually sat down and practiced.
An hour here, half an hour there… bits and pieces…
But never any ‘ass in chair, play riffs till blisters form’.
Which is the only way to become a good player.
Simply put: I had none of those ninja skills, no playing chops, no internalised knowledge, no body-memory of timing, notes or fingering the fretboard – I was playing as the rank hobbyist that I am.
A hobbyist without practice hours, at that.
In business, many people take on a new project, or sign up for a course, or decide on a new strategy much in the same way I approached the bass: as a hobby or a side project
Which means that anything urgent or important that pops up will take priority and your hobby (read: your new marketing strategy or whatever) will be put on the backburner.
And that means it’ll never bring you any real results. You’ll get out of it what you put in: very little.
That’s fine if we’re talking about a personal hobby project – but if it’s about business, it’s worthwhile to ask yourself whether or not the time you’ll put in will be worth it.
If you’re not going to give it your all – will it really help you get ahead? Should you do it?
I’m thinking a lot about this lately, seeing how some of my students seem to stop and start in spurts, while others go all-out, writing like madmen and improving with the constant practice and repeated feedback.
Anyway, just a few thoughts for the Thursday morning.
And yes, there’s a pitch, for the mentorship program – which will work best for you if you write until your fingers bleed.
Hard work, fast results, happy readers, more sales in your account.
Enter here if you’ve got what it takes –> http://www.martinstellar.com/starship-mentorprise-writing-coach/