The New Stuff

11 Pieces of Advice for Every Young Musician


#1. Don’t be afraid to ask. What’s the worst thing that can happen, that you’d get a no? You can handle that! You’re not made of glass. But in case you are fragile, then…

#2. Get as many NOs as possible. Getting at least one rejection a day. This can toughen you up and help you in many ways (like knowing ways to improve your work, your approach, etc) than just clenching your teeth in a corner and waiting for a big miracle to happen.

#3. Miracles don’t happen. You work hard to create these miracles. No one’s going to save you or offer something life-altering without you doing hard work. Not even if you’re talented.

#4. Do something else aside from your music. Paint, garden, crochet, make experiments in the kitchen. It will help you grow as an artist and a person.

#5. Carry a notebook everywhere. This is where you’ll write down your ideas. So many wonderful ideas are forgotten at the end of every day because we absorb and worry about so many things within the day. Write down an idea the moment it visits you.

#6. Don’t do drugs. You have to try harder to be healthy even, or especially if, you’re in a very rock-and-roll environment. You still have your whole life and music career ahead of you.

#7. Practice hard but when you play, don’t mind who’s listening. Enjoy the moment, enjoy the music.

#8. Or imagine you’re playing in front of the greats…your idols. Imagine David Bowie nodding his head and winking at you.

#9 Practicing: quality, not quantity. If you’re too tired or too uninspired, don’t force yourself. Reserve your energy for another day. 

#10. Get a mentor, befriend your elders. Instead of just hanging out with other young musicians, take time to get to know the ones who’re way ahead of you. Not only will you learn the ropes faster, it could be refreshing for you as well. Who knows, they might know someone who knows someone who can help you.

#11. Learn the business of music. Know the legal stuff, learn how to draft contracts, write good emails, basic accounting. You need these things so you won’t be exploited and so that you can maximize your potential to make money and a career out of your music.

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