So here I am, almost 3 months into working exclusively as a musician and teacher.
It feels as though my workdays have become compressed; lessons can’t start until kids get out of school, and gigs and rehearsals are almost always at night, plus most gigs are squeezed onto the Fridays and Saturdays of the week. In this way, I kind of have an early night schedule now, which is kind of funny. The trick, as I’ve told several of my friends, is turning that downtime during the day into something productive, which I’m still learning to do. So far I think I’ve been doing okay.
I also feel like I’ve learned a bit about the business and non-musical side of playing saxophone over the last 3 months. I’m really lucky to be playing in 3 bands with a member that has taken it upon themselves to handle those aspects, and in all 3 cases I’m really impressed with what they do. Right now I’m just trying to watch them and pick up what I can.
Something I’ve been thinking about more and more is how important it is to believe in the value of your music. It may seem obvious, but I have to condition myself to see the music I play as something of real value and importance, and a service worth paying for.
Of course, that mindset can be taken to an extreme, and of course I want to share my music with as many friends and family as possible (without milking them for money all the time), but I think I do need to get more into that mindset of music performance as a job, a job I enjoy and am lucky to have, but a job nonetheless. And, by the same token, I always should work toward doing that job in a professional way and at as high a level as I can.
See you out and about soon!
Last week was one the busiest playing weeks I’ve had in a long time. It’s not often that I have many weekday/midweek performances, so it was kind of a new experience for me. This is also on the heels of a couple of sub gigs I’ve recently done, so I’ve been thinking a bit about playing music and playing with different people.
- So many great musicians! There’s always that amazing player in town that you haven’t met, or that person you’ve seen around but haven’t listened to and then they blow you away.
- Interacting with a lot of different musician friends makes me a better saxophonist. Sometimes when playing in a band, you get really comfortable just doing what you’re already good at, so it was great to be challenged to play in a different way to fit whatever setting I was in.
- I can see now the huge difference time can make on a band and the way musicians play together. The level of music-making that comes from people that play together all the time and have done so for a while is super high.
- On the other hand, there were many moments where I really felt like there was some awesome music going on with people I had either just met or didn’t know very well, so I guess it just depends.
I made many of these same points in my previous sideman post, but recent events brought them back to the forefront so I thought I would share them again. That’s what a blog is for, right?
I told myself I would wait to put posts up until my site was fully operational, but this is close enough, and if any of you out there have suggestions on how to make it cooler, let me know!
I also am not completely sure what I’m going to post about, or how often I’ll get on here; I think that’s a question that will probably take care of itself. I do know that I’d like most, if not all, of the content to be music-related, and ideally focus on Seattle music in particular. I’ve found that every musician I talk to about the scene has pretty clear ideas and opinions on the state of live music in this city, but tend to keep them to themselves unless they are asked about it, in which case the floodgates open! I’ve been exactly the same way, so hopefully this blog will change that. Stay tuned…