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GUEST BLOG: 13 Musical Lessons Learned The Hard Way

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Credit: Keith Minor
Credit: Keith Minor

13. Good enough is for losers. This lesson was one of the hardest to swallow. We all work hard creating, refining and defining our music, but understanding that good enough is detrimental to you and your success is the key to furthering you and your band.

12. Being in a band is no different than investing in the stock market. Expect losses. Expect gains. Earn windfalls. Find sustainable growth and keep it as your bread and butter, but realize that without risk, there can be no reward.

11. A band is a marriage. You will fight. You will party. You will love. You will hate. You will bail someone out of trouble. You will get revenge, but remember, you will all reap the same rewards. The sooner you realize that you’re all in this together, the better.

10. Touring isn’t glamorous, especially if you aren’t making millions. Which I’m pretty certain is your band and mine, if you’re reading this. Is it fun? Absolutely, but it’s also emotionally and physically draining. Being away from your family, showering in truck stops, eating whatever you can find, changing flat tires in the rain, being screwed over by a promoter, having merch stolen, having gear stolen, leaving a guitar at a venue…all these things suck. But, when you see someone singing your lyric or playing air guitar along with you, all that goes out the window.

9. Music is a small community and word travels quickly. There’s no room for an attitude. Your ego can and will cause you and your band grief. Sometimes completely unintentionally. Simply remember, you can’t go wrong, going the right thing.

8. The days of being a “rock star” are long gone. Your fans are your employer. Piss them off and there’s no potential for advancement. You can not or will not please everyone, but if you are friendly, approachable and accommodating…the sky truly is the limit. As strange as this may sound, take the time to listen and you’ll be heard.

7. A wife, a girlfriend, a husband, a boyfriend, a brother, a sister, a parent, a friend; someone close to you and the band will cause trouble. Are they doing it out of love or selfishness? Is there reason for concern or are they trying to kill your dreams? If you believe in what and who you are, you will work it out. If not, it will kill your band.

6. Make sure every band member is as determined as you are. Ten hands are much more productive than two.

5. You will want to quit. It’s inevitable. Remember though, no matter your profession, this is true. Self doubt and life struggles exist for everyone. Learn to adapt and overcome.

4. Music is not a competition. It’s art. Don’t concern yourself with what others achieve. Concern yourself with what you want to achieve and be happy for others successes. Not only will it help save your sanity, it will open doors that you never imagined possible.

3. Be patient and stick to your path. It takes time to write, to record, to find an artist, to get press, to book shows, to acquire fans and honestly, anything worthwhile always does. As the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Look at all of the people that took shortcuts to “stardom” on American Idol, The Voice and the likes. How many of the millions who’ve auditioned have sustainable careers? Five? Ten, maybe?

2. Fail to plan and you’re planning to fail. Have multi-tiered goals and try to always overachieve.  Sounds simple, but if you don’t know your destination…how will you ever know when you get there?

1. If you don’t believe in your music, why should anyone else? Write, perform and convey emotion and passion. People will take notice.

Bonus Lesson: Spell check is your friend. Nothing will lose your band a gig faster than a poorly written, misspelled email. Just don’t ask us how we know this one. Ha!


Coming to your screens and speakers from Covington, Georgia, hard rock quintet Poynte have been making big waves with their newly released full-length album Discreet Enemy. National Rock Review recently called the album “a Trans-genre romp through the best of Rock n’ Roll,” and with favorable comparisons to the likes of Breaking Benjamin and Red, it’s clear that Poynte are only just getting started. Check out the band’s lyric video for “Take Control” below and if you like what you hear, you can purchase a CD here.

Follow Poynte on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Official Website

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Joe Ballard

Occasional writer for Infectious Magazine and full-time Publicist for Muddy Paw PR. 110% nerd. If I'm not listening to Anberlin or finding new music, you can find me reading anything by George R. R. Martin or finding new anime to watch.

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