What makes a good player a PRO player? – by: Elias Tona
Elias Tona is currently touring with Al Di Meola
Not everybody that comes to PLAYERS School of Music is ready to “make it”. That is why they come to us, looking for a good place in music education. Each one of the players that comes here from around the world, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and other countries, don’t take the same path after they leave the school. One of the reasons is because not everybody have the same motivation, same goals, and same plans. However, when they come here, all of them realize that it takes a huge effort to become that kind of musician everybody wants to be. The one playing in the festival, concerts in front of thousands, recording in a great studio, making it in a good looking magazine, etc. Now, if you really want to do this!, I would love to share with you some guidelines so you don’t get lose in the process and fulfill your dream of founding your place in the music scene. By doing this, I want to answer the question: What make a good player be a pro player? In my opinion, the list might be long, but I think many people would be interested on these five facts:
1. Originality This is one of the most misunderstood ones. In these days, I’ve seen musicians in the social networks wearing green glasses, lots of tattoos, unique haircuts. But, that is not the kind of originality I am talking about. It all starts in your craft, in your playing. First of all, finding an original style comes through lots of time playing, studying, digging into musical ideas, sound, composing, recording yourself. This is not a short time process; it is years of work. Your own voice will be yours when you have built a very strong and articulated musical vocabulary and you become a great musical communicator.
2. Great ethics The golden rule says, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” If you are a band leader and you are expecting everybody to do a great job, it starts with you first. And this is how I take this rule in the music business, you become first that kind of musician that you want to be hired from. If you want to be hired by great musicians you have to work hard to be first in that level, to know what they know, to play how they play, to have the reputation they have. Give always more than what you’ve been asked. Even when you don’t see the same in retribution to you. Preparation is the key. Work always beyond your best!
3. Leadership skills I mean a good leader. A leader that helps others to get better, one that can take a project to a higher level, one who contribution raises everything beyond the expectations. And this is truth even when you are not the band leader of the project. I am not talking about trying to get someone else’s job in the darkness. I am talking about someone that has a positive attitude, who can respect everybody else’s job in the band, but also someone that takes the initiative to always be a good addition to the project. Someone who is a blessing, with a positive attitude will have more chances to be hired in any musical project beyond any musical skill.
4. Staying healthy If you really want to make a music career the first thing you need to keep in mind is that any serious job in music comes also with serious physical requirements. Especially before the actual job starts, call it recording sessions, touring, long sessions of teaching. Sadly, many artists that we see today ending their lives young, most of them didn’t take care of their bodies, food diets, medical supervision, addictions, etc. If you want your career to last a little longer you really need to stay healthy. Take care of what you eat, especially during travels, stay in shape physically, also, keep good mental habits, go read good books, a get a good life.
5. Keep yourself updated Today technology’s knowledge is a very important part of any professional job in the music business. If you are not friend to computer, you need to make your best effort to do it if you want to have more chances to be hired in the music business these days. All the internet tools, software, apps, and all the technology in the world wide network is available for anybody that is willing to take advantage of them and be exposed in the artistic business. Put it in your back bag and I’ll guarantee you that many new connections are going to come to you in the next days for your career.
Last thing, be yourself. Your instrument will always play out of who you are and everything that in inside of you!
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