Cherish Every Musical Moment

Some of the best times I’ve ever had in my life have been while playing music. Everything from line dancers to standing ovations gives a musician a sense of ease. A happy feeling of accomplishment comes from knowing that every person at the concert, night club, or whatever venue is played has huge smiles on their faces at the end of the night. We work hard to achieve this at each performance.

A musician’s mission in life is to keep their fans coming back for more. And like all things in life, hard work and dedication is necessary. And cherishing the music like a gift has always been my aim. Just like the author of a best-selling novel, there is no easy street.

Look at the author Stephen King, as an example; his first book wasn't a best seller, but he didn't give up, nor did his wife let him quit when he threw the manuscript that became Carrie in the trash can. She had faith in his work, and she was right to cherish it, and from thereon, his success grew. He’s a much admired author with many best-sellers, but he’s also a musician and has used music themes often scattered throughout his works.

Being an author in my own right, I can vouch that writing is not an easy task, but it is satisfying to accomplish creating new worlds that never existed before I and my partner brainstormed them into creation. We work tirelessly each day, and keep our thoughts synchronized on our many projects.

Music is the same way, and we collaborate on the lyrics in the same insatiable way. Although I’ve played guitar for forty-seven years, I find new things to learn most every day. That’s a good thing, and I look forward to such discoveries with delight. It is a good way to be.

My band members say my being such a firm believer in the music proves practicing does make things perfect. Without practice, I insist this is true; playing the guitar is nothing more than a hobby.

To become the musician I am, it took practicing seven days a week for most of the time I've been playing. I've had people tell me, “If you practice like that, you’ll get sick of it, and just quit one day.” I don’t believe they’re right, though it might be true of someone else. If you love what you do, you’ll never get tired of it.

The only thing about music I do get tired of is when someone tells you they want to play in the band, but once they get started, they won’t do their homework, or learn the set list the band has agreed on for the songs being played at the next show. This has been a major bummer for me many times throughout the years. How can a musician be a slacker and ever expect to be a success?

I’ll never understand it. But again, just like with some writers who refuse to learn the basics and still want to claim they’re an author, it shows in the quality of their work. A singer, a mechanic, a painter, a cook, an athlete, or what-have-you…if you don’t keep at it, and learn all you can learn, and practice every day, you’ll never improve.

Nothing worthwhile comes to you overnight. There is no magic involved, and if there was, you’d never appreciate it like you do when you’ve worked hard and earned it. The good feeling of accomplishment can be the best kind of high you can have.

Common knowledge is a simple truth: if you don't work at it seven days a week, including the time spent in the band room with the band, then you’re setting yourself and your band members up for a big disappointment on stage, and maybe an embarrassment as well. You let down the whole band, as well as everyone there to hear you play.

Diehard musicians won’t tolerate a member who won’t do everything the rest of the members are doing. Quit dragging everyone down, and give it up, because you’re nothing but a dreamer who isn’t willing to put in the work.

Helping a fellow musician accomplish their goals is a great thing, but if the musician is lazy, you’re wasting your time on said musician, because they may on the outside say, “Yes, I want to do this,” but on the inside, they just don't care enough about music to put in the effort.

But the true musician who loves it with their heart and soul cherishes every musical moment. And nothing makes them happier than sharing their musical talent with others.

-JD Couch - MU Columnist

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