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> What Are The 3 Most Important Factors To Be A Successful Musician?
What are the 3 most important factors to be a successful musician?
What are the 3 most important factors to be a successful musician?
Talent/Genes [ 1 ] ** [2.00%]
Determination [ 13 ] ** [26.00%]
Willpower [ 3 ] ** [6.00%]
A good teacher [ 4 ] ** [8.00%]
Playing a lot with other musicians [ 6 ] ** [12.00%]
Daily practice time [ 9 ] ** [18.00%]
Playfulness [ 2 ] ** [4.00%]
Knowing the right people in the industry [ 6 ] ** [12.00%]
Getting mainstream TV airplay [ 1 ] ** [2.00%]
Choosing the favorite players [ 1 ] ** [2.00%]
Good equipment [ 0 ] ** [0.00%]
Attending to music schools [ 0 ] ** [0.00%]
Meditation [ 0 ] ** [0.00%]
Transcribing [ 0 ] ** [0.00%]
Luck [ 3 ] ** [6.00%]
Time management [ 0 ] ** [0.00%]
Other..... [ 1 ] ** [2.00%]
Total Votes: 17
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Jonas Tamas
post Feb 21 2013, 09:40 AM
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It is of course a subjective question, but I thing we might get some useful insights, as there are a lot of great people here with lots of personal experience.


So what is your opinion? What are the 3 most important factors to be a successful musician?

This post has been edited by Jonas Tamas: Feb 21 2013, 11:13 PM


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klasaine
post Feb 21 2013, 05:24 PM
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Jonas, what do you mean by successful?




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Cosmin Lupu
post Feb 21 2013, 06:14 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Feb 21 2013, 04:24 PM) *
Jonas, what do you mean by successful?


Very good question - I chose three factors that involve musicianship, but then again, I am curious to see your thoughts on this smile.gif


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Jonas Tamas
post Feb 21 2013, 07:57 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Feb 21 2013, 05:24 PM) *
Jonas, what do you mean by successful?


A gread question indeed - I should have been more clear about the term 'successful'.


Back in my early years with guitar, I thought that success in music means that you 1) feel great about your playing AND 2) it can be measured by sales, fans, fame. So it was a combination of inside and outside factors.


Then gradually my thougths have changed. Now I see success as a holistic phenomenon - and it resides completely inside.

So when I am a successful musician, I can 1) express myself as an artist and as a human being AND 2) my life as a whole is set up according my own (and ever-changing) dreams and visions, and there is abundance and freedom in all levels - laughter, curiousness, love, health, money, joy, positive interactions, giving and caring. Success is feeling great in my life and touching other people's life.


The irony of this is, that as I gradually shifted my focus from outside to inside, more and more outside signs of success have emerged, just as a side effect smile.gif

This post has been edited by Jonas Tamas: Feb 21 2013, 07:59 PM


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klasaine
post Feb 21 2013, 08:50 PM
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OK, I'll buy that. I basically agree with you.

One difference for me and it's really only a byproduct of my experience with being involved with music for most of my life ... I 'feel' successful when other players want to play music with me (whether they want to pay or not that's a different story).

My 3 essentials are:
1) Determination
2) Playing a lot w/other musicians
3) Other

The 'Other' is a big one though. Every successful musician I know has some X factor that sets them aside and it's a different for every one of them. That's the beauty of art. No absolute.



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ConnorGilks
post Feb 21 2013, 08:52 PM
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I'm surprised time-management, punctuality and luck aren't up there.


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klasaine
post Feb 21 2013, 08:56 PM
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QUOTE (ConnorGilks @ Feb 21 2013, 07:52 PM) *
I'm surprised time-management, punctuality and luck aren't up there.


From a purely fiscal POV it's way up there, let me tell you. So is being in tune and having appropriate tone (not necessarily good tone - appropriate tone).

This post has been edited by klasaine: Feb 21 2013, 08:58 PM


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Splinterhead
post Feb 21 2013, 09:23 PM
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In the context of today's music industry/scene.
If fame and fortune is to be had I think a lot of it is image (making sure you have a "thing" that makes you stand out)
Also noting what type of music (country, hip hop, metal etc) is coming around again to rear its head in mainstream music and being a part of that genre.
Making sure your tune is heard over and over and over and over and over... again.
Tour... a lot.

that's 4 things but I'm new here. biggrin.gif
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Jonas Tamas
post Feb 21 2013, 11:17 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Feb 21 2013, 08:50 PM) *
OK, I'll buy that. I basically agree with you.

One difference for me and it's really only a byproduct of my experience with being involved with music for most of my life ... I 'feel' successful when other players want to play music with me (whether they want to pay or not that's a different story).

My 3 essentials are:
1) Determination
2) Playing a lot w/other musicians
3) Other

The 'Other' is a big one though. Every successful musician I know has some X factor that sets them aside and it's a different for every one of them. That's the beauty of art. No absolute.


I like your explanation of the 'Other' element, Ken. Yes, each of us is unique, and noone else can bring that special 'something' to life.

QUOTE (ConnorGilks @ Feb 21 2013, 08:52 PM) *
I'm surprised time-management, punctuality and luck aren't up there.


While I personally don't see luck as a 'random' factor, rather an element that we choose or not - but I'll put this on the list too smile.gif
Time management is also a good point, I'll add that as well.

QUOTE (Splinterhead @ Feb 21 2013, 09:23 PM) *
In the context of today's music industry/scene.
If fame and fortune is to be had I think a lot of it is image (making sure you have a "thing" that makes you stand out)
Also noting what type of music (country, hip hop, metal etc) is coming around again to rear its head in mainstream music and being a part of that genre.
Making sure your tune is heard over and over and over and over and over... again.
Tour... a lot.

that's 4 things but I'm new here. biggrin.gif



'Image' is a great suggestion, that's also very important - for the outside-type of success. Our image is the more useful for us, the more congruent it is with our real selves.

I guess the image is probably the same element that Ken wrote in this thread as 'X-factor' - the unique element of a human being, discovered, perfected, and showed to the other people.


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klasaine
post Feb 22 2013, 04:09 AM
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Image is definitely part of that thing ... I don't know what that thing is but when someone has it you know it.
Luck can be part of that X-factor too. Is what you're doing what people dig right now? You know - timing. That speaks to what Splinterhead mentioned about anticipating or noticing and then exploiting a trend. It's 'luck' when the trend you anticipate happens to actually be what you're into or what you personally think is cool and what you want to do/be a part of. It's 'honest' at that point and probably your way in. That's why I say Luck is just opportunity meeting preparation.
*This is all about being 'famous' or known or in a famous or known band - or at least in an original band that tours, records and makes enough dough to live on. Depending on how seriously you take all or most of those things on the list will usually determine your success longevity - however you want to define that(?).

As far as being a musician that works, i.e., makes a living at music as a career - well that's a whole other thing. There are many ways and many elements involved to be successful at that. All the things on Jonas' list come in to play at various times in your life/career. They usually have varying degrees of importance or relevance at different times. Not too mention, how one defines their own personal success tends to evolve over time.

This post has been edited by klasaine: Feb 22 2013, 08:19 AM


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Cosmin Lupu
post Feb 22 2013, 09:32 AM
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I think that Ken's approach regarding that big huge - 'Other' category is shared by me as well smile.gif

Prepare yourself constantly so that 'Other' will never take you by surprise. I think this is the way to do things and when I say prepare, I don't always refer to practicing only. Sometimes, the right state of mind can win you a great performance, that you would otherwise flunk if you let nervousness take over and throw to waste all those perfectly fine hours of practice you have put in the preparation of that performance. I have experienced this and, man, it's not nice at all.

So 'Having the right state of mind' can enter the 'Other' category as well.


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klasaine
post Feb 22 2013, 05:43 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Feb 22 2013, 08:32 AM) *
I think that Ken's approach regarding that big huge - 'Other' category is shared by me as well smile.gif

Prepare yourself constantly so that 'Other' will never take you by surprise. I think this is the way to do things and when I say prepare, I don't always refer to practicing only. Sometimes, the right state of mind can win you a great performance, that you would otherwise flunk if you let nervousness take over and throw to waste all those perfectly fine hours of practice you have put in the preparation of that performance. I have experienced this and, man, it's not nice at all.

So 'Having the right state of mind' can enter the 'Other' category as well.


That's genius Cosmin.
The 'other' can definitely be a big bad wolf so to speak. And there's no way to prepare specifically for it. If you're comfortable on your instrument and comfortable in your situation (band, performance, session, etc.) then when the wolf appears it will be easier to overcome.

A more existential category for Jonas' list might be "how one deals with other".
At any level of success or professionalism, you encounter other a lot. How quickly you recognize it, deal with it and make it practically unnoticeable has a lot to do with your 'success'.

Think about all the practice you've done. Think about all the work you've done on your sound. How you've honed your gear to be exactly what you need to play and sound your best.
Now think about getting to the show or session and your pedal board doesn't work. Are you gonna freak out? How quickly can you rip it apart and troubleshoot the problem? What if you can't find the problem? Can you do the gig straight into the amp or god forbid with one dirt box and a DI into the PA or recording desk? Are you experienced enough to know that you should always have a POD (or other 'straight-in' device) in your gigbag? That's OTHER!

This post has been edited by klasaine: Feb 22 2013, 06:21 PM


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Todd Simpson
post Feb 22 2013, 07:08 PM
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Practice

Practice

& Luck?


smile.gif


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Cosmin Lupu
post Feb 23 2013, 08:09 AM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Feb 22 2013, 04:43 PM) *
That's genius Cosmin.
The 'other' can definitely be a big bad wolf so to speak. And there's no way to prepare specifically for it. If you're comfortable on your instrument and comfortable in your situation (band, performance, session, etc.) then when the wolf appears it will be easier to overcome.

A more existential category for Jonas' list might be "how one deals with other".
At any level of success or professionalism, you encounter other a lot. How quickly you recognize it, deal with it and make it practically unnoticeable has a lot to do with your 'success'.

Think about all the practice you've done. Think about all the work you've done on your sound. How you've honed your gear to be exactly what you need to play and sound your best.
Now think about getting to the show or session and your pedal board doesn't work. Are you gonna freak out? How quickly can you rip it apart and troubleshoot the problem? What if you can't find the problem? Can you do the gig straight into the amp or god forbid with one dirt box and a DI into the PA or recording desk? Are you experienced enough to know that you should always have a POD (or other 'straight-in' device) in your gigbag? That's OTHER!


Very good example Ken!

In Days Of Confusion, we all have backup devices, just in case something bad happens. You can't replace a Mesa with an AMT, but if that night something goes wrong with the Mesa, you will say 'Praise the Lord!!', if you know the AMT is there and you can continue the show wink.gif


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klasaine
post Feb 23 2013, 09:43 AM
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I keep a Crate 'Power block' solid state head in my car as well as a spare power, speaker and guitar cable. I've had to use them and I've loaned them to others a few times. Relieves stress and saves the day.


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Gitarrero
post Feb 23 2013, 11:17 AM
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Well, I know for a fact that two of the most successfull acts coming from my hometown were lucky, knew the right people and...and here is a part that is missing in the poll...toured and toured and toured.
Being on the road, playing in small venues, eventually becoming an opening act for a bigger band will get you recognition. I think that might be the most important factor. And I still believe a live concert leaves a bigger impression than a youtube video, even if it has 1.000.000 views it is unlikely all these people will come out and see you play live.


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Jonas Tamas
post Feb 23 2013, 12:32 PM
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QUOTE (Gitarrero @ Feb 23 2013, 11:17 AM) *
And I still believe a live concert leaves a bigger impression than a youtube video, even if it has 1.000.000 views it is unlikely all these people will come out and see you play live.


I have experienced the same thing! Establishing real-life personal contacts via playing live has a lot more power and connection than having one more follower on YT or Facebook.

QUOTE (klasaine @ Feb 22 2013, 05:43 PM) *
That's genius Cosmin.
The 'other' can definitely be a big bad wolf so to speak. And there's no way to prepare specifically for it. If you're comfortable on your instrument and comfortable in your situation (band, performance, session, etc.) then when the wolf appears it will be easier to overcome.

A more existential category for Jonas' list might be "how one deals with other".
At any level of success or professionalism, you encounter other a lot. How quickly you recognize it, deal with it and make it practically unnoticeable has a lot to do with your 'success'.

Think about all the practice you've done. Think about all the work you've done on your sound. How you've honed your gear to be exactly what you need to play and sound your best.
Now think about getting to the show or session and your pedal board doesn't work. Are you gonna freak out? How quickly can you rip it apart and troubleshoot the problem? What if you can't find the problem? Can you do the gig straight into the amp or god forbid with one dirt box and a DI into the PA or recording desk? Are you experienced enough to know that you should always have a POD (or other 'straight-in' device) in your gigbag? That's OTHER!



That's a great and very important element, thanks for bringing up this here! And yes, sometimes it's precisely the small things (like a faulty piece of gear at a gig) that are teaching you new things about yourself, and the ones willing to learn these lessons will be more successfull - referring to both inside and outside success factors.

QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Feb 22 2013, 09:32 AM) *
I think that Ken's approach regarding that big huge - 'Other' category is shared by me as well smile.gif

Prepare yourself constantly so that 'Other' will never take you by surprise. I think this is the way to do things and when I say prepare, I don't always refer to practicing only. Sometimes, the right state of mind can win you a great performance, that you would otherwise flunk if you let nervousness take over and throw to waste all those perfectly fine hours of practice you have put in the preparation of that performance. I have experienced this and, man, it's not nice at all.

So 'Having the right state of mind' can enter the 'Other' category as well.



Yes, definitely! If we had a huge nodding and agreeing smiley, then I'd paste it here! smile.gif


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klasaine
post Feb 23 2013, 05:05 PM
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QUOTE (Gitarrero @ Feb 23 2013, 10:17 AM) *
Well, I know for a fact that two of the most successfull acts coming from my hometown were lucky, knew the right people and...and here is a part that is missing in the poll...toured and toured and toured.
Being on the road, playing in small venues, eventually becoming an opening act for a bigger band will get you recognition.


'Luck' or 'knowing the right people' ... that is a skill.

Opening for a bigger band and doing indie 'van' tours ... that's a level of actual success. Most bands never even get that far.


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Cosmin Lupu
post Feb 24 2013, 04:54 PM
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Thank you for the great input and nice thoughts Jonas and Ken! Regarding getting exposure from gigging as an opening act for bigger bands - there are upsides even in downsides biggrin.gif

Each time I opened for a big band with Days of Confusion (Accept and Arch Enemy for instance) people either liked us because we were a fresh surprise or disliked us, because we were the opening act (that's the mentality in here) or because we simply were different in style in respect to the other band. Either way, the commented so I guess that we got the necessary attention smile.gif


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klasaine
post Feb 24 2013, 05:59 PM
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Tacitly acknowledged in the 'Determination' and 'Willpower' categories has to be THICK SKIN.
You have to be able to take criticism and rejection. There's no avoiding it - it's part of the job description.


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