July 27, 2012
Music is fun! A lot of fun. Actually, the more you learn about music the more fun it will be. And there is so much to learn, you could spend 10 lifetimes without exhausting the possibilities.
But how do you get better? How can you have more fun?
Practice! Yep, and practicing is boring you say? I don’t think practice has to be boring. I think that people need to practice practicing. Sounds complicated? Let me explain.
If you practice and you don’t improve, I agree that you won’t be asking for more. But if you know how to practice and you see results, you will definitely be asking for more. It dawned on me that I wasn’t practicing right after 20 years of, yep, practicing. more info
July 20, 2012
We talk a lot about what it is like to be a musician on a cruise ship, we talk about how to prepare for the gig, how to get the gig and how to perform the job well, but I haven’t mentioned the simple pleasure of being at sea.
There’s nothing like standing out on the open deck and breathing in the fresh, unpolluted air and forgetting traffic jams as you’re looking out at the open, uncluttered sea. To me, the sea always has a calming effect and tends to make me forget my daily struggles.
Many musicians look to a career on a cruise ship because they may be in a transition phase on land. They may have had some changes in their private life or they may be in between jobs on land. If that’s the case, you’ll love being on at sea.
A cruise ship gig is perfect to take a time out from land life and ponder your next plan of action. Due to the nature of the job, you won’t have to deal with paying bills, finding parking in busy cities, commuting to your gig etc. In other words, you will be worry-free for the time being (assuming that you don’t have any issues with the gig itself).
Many friends of mine have taken jobs on cruise ships with the purpose to sort out their lives and plan their future and this tends to work out just fine.
Being at sea for an extended period of time also teaches you respect and appreciation for nature. There’s nothing like watching whales surface right in front of the ship, or watching entire schools of dolphins escort the ship. You always have the chance to explore nature much more via the shore excursions that you may sometimes get for free if you agree to help out the shore excursion staff. You’ll get to know the different colors of the sea, depending on where you are in the world; the turquoise waters of the carribean or the deep blue sea in Alaska.
All of this while you travel the world, which is in itself the most exciting geography course bar none.
Of course, the seas can get rough and you may get sea sick from time to time, but that’s actually a good thing as it teaches respect and awe for nature that no Discovery Channel show can teach you.
Go experience it for yourself, you won’t regret it.
July 17, 2012
Let’s assume that you have already gotten a gig on a cruise ship. Now you should be concerned with keeping that very same gig. I say this because quite a large number of people get fired because of disciplinary reasons. In other words, they can’t comply to the rules and regulations on the ships.
I’m fully aware that us musicians like to do our own thing and don’t like to be restricted in any way. Interestingly enough, there is a new study out that seems to suggest that the part of the brain that’s responsible for following rules is quieted down in musicians that are improvising. More on that study in a later post. more info
July 6, 2012
You may have read our article with the same title here. I realized that this is a complex topic and that a podcast episode may help to discuss this a bit more in depth. Hope you enjoy it.
July 5, 2012
Knowing how to play drums does not necessarily make you the right musician for the gig. Some drummers have amazing chops and great time, but once the band starts playing and the drummer is “facing the music,” it’s a different story.
Unfortunately, it is not enough for drummers to be able to read the chart and play “ink” like a horn player does in a horn section. Often, we have to guess what the composer wanted but failed to include in the chart.
This can be a blessing, and it can be a pain…
You may be backing up a singer or an instrumentalist who can’t understand that even though everyone has a chart, there may still be questions as to how the song is supposed to go. They may know exactly what they want but they may not be able to convey this in musical terms. Most don’t know what they want to begin with. Best-case scenario is when they know exactly what they want and know how to communicate this effectively to the drummer, and the band. (Trust me when I say that this happens only very rarely). more info