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Play for the Love of the Music

(This Article is dedicated to Jerriann Law, and to my Uncle Dean Couch. Thank you for all that you’ve done.)

Musicians, whether they’re male or female, love to play their instruments. They love all aspects of the craft.

For myself, it’s always been about the music and that hasn’t changed in the 46 years I’ve been an artist. I’ve entered many battle of the band competitions, and I’ve come in first, second and third. The same results have occurred when entering songwriting contests; and yes, I’ve won a fair amount of cash; but money hasn't been what was most important to me. My love affair with music is my driving force.

When asked, “Would you like to hear your songs on the radio?”, my answer is, “Absolutely, that’s every musician's dream.”

But even that is not what's truly important. The music is what's important. Making people happy with what you play is the most important thing there is in a musician’s life. Without fans, it doesn't matter if you're on the radio or playing in the fanciest of night clubs, if no one listens or likes your music, you’ve only had what amounts to a very expensive practice session.

Study this scenario.

For instance, let’s say you go into a club, and four people are there. You could leave despondent or you could give them the best show of their lives. And they will remember and they’ll tell others how good you were and how it enriched their lives in ways they'd never imagined possible. Their friends will want that same experience, and your audience could jump to 40, and then to 100, 200, or more, and someone in the business will hear you play. That’s when musicians get discovered and your songs are featured on the radio. Word of mouth goes a long way, folks.

Start small and let it grow - there's nothing wrong with that. Every opportunity is a door opening for you. Make the best out of every chance given to you, first and foremost, and practice every day. Develop your craft to the best of your ability, and let nothing stand in the way of your dreams.

Music and writing are the two things that keep me sane. They are my way of life and if I can’t be creative, I’m not functioning properly. It’s the only thing that puts my mind at ease after a long day. I play in a band called Native Spirit. My brother, Larry, and I started it two or three years ago. My writing partner, Jerriann Law, edits, helps write the lyrics, and she makes the videos. We have over 70 videos on YouTube. This very sweet lady made them all and she does an extremely great job. And I also credit her for giving us our band name.

We practice daily, and the only way we won’t practice is if we’re so sick, we can't get out of bed. I’m proud of our dedication. It’s the only way to be. What is loved should never be neglected.

We play guitar because we love music, and we play seven different styles--Rock, Country, Southern Rock, Classics, Blues, Bluegrass and Gospel--simply put, we love it all.

Music gets us out of bed and ready to face the world. I pick a few songs before breakfast, and I have a secret place I go. Most artists are like me. We are our number one fan and our own worst critic. Only then can the music excel. We do it because we love it, and it won’t ever change.

When we aren't playing we are thinking about it, and anxiously waiting on our next practice day. And when we are by ourselves, or at home, we’re either writing music or playing along with the CD’s, making sure the songs for our gig are flawless. That's the best way to go out on a club’s stage and win the crowd's respect. Say, if you don’t miss a note the entire three or four hours you play, the audience notices, and soon you’ll build a following. That makes you feel good about yourself and your music.

Musicians, every one of us: Let’s play for the love of music. We’ll always be best at what we do. Happiness is the reward.

JD Couch - MU Guest Author

JD's Band "Native Spirit" Facebook Page
JD's Website
JD's YouTube Channel
JD's Facebook Page

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