This week I help a reader get started playing rock keyboard:
Nobody wants to hire the person that’s pretty good at what they do for the really important projects, the really big shows. It’s fine to be average on small stuff where there’s not a lot at stake, but when it really counts and there’s serious money on the line, people always go for the best.
When you step onstage, when you’re working at home on a recording project, when you’re making calls, you are the last line of defense for the quality of what you’re creating. You’re the only person that has the final say on whether your project is good enough, exciting enough, bold enough to make a difference.
While I’m still getting started working as a studio sideman, I’ve been lucky enough to talk with musicians that have worked with Chris Tomlin, Stephen Curtis Chapman, Matt Redman, and Keith Urban. Here’s what I’ve learned from them:
Let’s face it- we’ve all got a smart phone with the computing power of a super computer, and we usually use it to play flappy birds (or did until yesterday). Here’s 3 weird ways to utilize all that power in your pocket.
Often I find myself dragging in the mornings – as a musician, I'm almost never going to bed at the same time every night, and it can be challenging to get up in the morning as a result. Here's five things I do to get myself up in the morning, and not feel like crap:
1. Don't eat a lot the night before
It's easy to veg out on high carbohydrate and fat laden food, especially late at night. Resist temptation to eat large amounts before you go to bed, and you’ll wake up with a lot more energy the next morning.
2. Work out
This is my personal preference, but I highly recommend working out in the evening to fatigue your body and mind. This will flush a lot of the stress of the day out of your system, and give you more energy the next morning.
3. Make a list
It's easy to dwell on what's going on the next day, especially when you know you've got a full schedule of things you have to get done. Take your mind off of what you have to do by writing a to do list a couple of hours before you go to bed. By putting your thoughts down on paper, you don't have to obsess about it when you should be sleeping.
4. Sleep in
I know it’s heresy, but you don't have to wake up early every morning, especially if there's no good reason to get up. Let yourself get a full eight hours of sleep, and you'll be amazed at how much better you feel, how much more productive you are, and what you'll be able to accomplish. Don't make it a habit, but once in a while it’s okay to let yourself indulge.
5. Schedule it
The best way to help yourself regulate your sleep cycles is to go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time. It sounds simple, but making sleep a priority by scheduling it can drastically affect the rest of your day. Make a note on your calendar of when you plan on going to sleep, and stick to it. Sleep is one of the most important aspects of your day – isn't it worth putting on a calendar, and making a priority?