If you’re trying to build a really successful worship team, here are 10 things Church Of The City has done that have attracted world class musicians, kept stress levels low, and created a beautiful community of Christ-following musicians:
It’s 7:33 PM on a Sunday afternoon. I’m sitting in the backyard of one of the best drummers in Nashville, hanging out with some of the best musicians I’ve ever been around, having the time of my life and eating world class BBQ. My friend Dan has just started an amazing solo guitar set that’s blowing my mind.
On my right is one of the most respected keyboardists in the world. On the left is a man that helped to invent one of the best pieces of studio gear ever created. I lean back, munching on my brisket and wondering what the heck I’m doing here and why anyone invited me to this incredible night.
Flash forward 24 hours. I’m holding a crying child. My wife and I have been going on 6 hours sleep every night for 4 days, and we’re exhausted. The day before I lost a gig that was really important financially, and I’m in a rotten mood. Just as we get ready to head out the door, Jackson decides to puke up all over his outfit. I have the temptation to punch a hole in a wall or run screaming from the room.
This is the musician life. I bounce between incredibly exciting ups, and really big lows. I struggle deeply with trying to stay positive some days, and other days its easy. I’d feel guilty about the constantly swinging nature of my career if it wasn’t universal- every musician I know struggles with this every day.
Why share this? Because I want you hear the truth, not just the glass-half-full side of my music career. You’re not alone. Keep trying, moving ahead, and we’ll manage this together. I'm rooting for you.
I recently posted this on my personal facebook and it got a good response from my friends, so I’m sharing it here. Happy Friday, everyone!
Musicians are almost always working on tight deadlines for most projects, and that’s especially true for those of us with competing time commitments outside of music that we have to balance. Here are some of strategies for beating the clock:
1. Pre plan.
Schedule out what you have to do for the entire project, then give yourself margin (note: I’m terrible at the margin part, but I’m learning). By building out a strategy that includes space for unexpected twists in the project, your odds go up of finishing on time.
2. Make a list.
Build a list of all the specific things you need to do in a particular day to get your project done, then use the list as a guide for how to group your work day. the more you can group similar activities, the more efficient you can be.
3. Set a timer.
I like to use my phone or an actual egg timer for 25 minutes. By having the timer there, I tend to stay focused on getting done what I need to get done on time.
4. Every 25 minutes get up and move.
This will “reset” your mental focus, encourage creativity, and keep you from chasing unproductive rabbit trails. I personally like to use my Apple watch to work out for 2-3 minutes, and then get water or a healthy snack in the remaining 2 minutes before I sit back down.
5. When you sit down, reevaluate.
Take under a minute to make sure that you’re on the right track with what you’re working on, and make any adjustments that you need to before proceeding. This will help you stay much more productive and on track for your original goal.
It’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking binary as a musician. You either have “made it” or you haven’t. You’re a winner, or a loser.
The music industry is an incredibly competitive business, and small mistakes can add up to not getting hired much, or even black balled. Here are 7 mistakes I’ve seen musicians make that cost them gigs:
For the last two months I’ve been working as a producer on a number of projects, and I’m learning a lot about what to do (and not do) in a session. In no particular order, here are the 10 biggest insights I’ve had in the last month:
Performance anxiety is a job hazard for every musician, and can become crippling if left to fester. Here are a couple of tricks to use when you’re going to be under the gun:
A few week’s ago I played keys on an absolutely awesome album with my friend Joe. Joe is part of a duo called “A Thousand Miles” that released a hit music video dedicated to first responders everywhere. They took a huge leap of faith and recorded a full length album at one of the best recording studios in Nashville, and now they’re running a kickstarter campaign to try to fund the album.