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If you could tell your younger musician self something, what would it be?

Halfers

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Just listening to an interview with singer Róishín Murphy who was asked the same question as this thread. Her response was along the lines of 'I've always assumed my older self would be asking advice from the younger me'.

I like that.
 

Halfers

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:oops: Holy crap ....that would be a trainwreck for me if I listened to my younger self.....

I think my younger musician self was a lot looser and creative. Didn't give a stuff about a lot of things and that came out in creativity and productivity. I could certainly learn from that.

Sure, any advice from a kid to start driving trains might cause problems without the required learning..
 

randulo

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The value of advice from the younger self would be relative to the age. It's very doubtful that if you began music at 15, you'd have anything to say to the wise and accomplished (at something) elder version. I can only think of a narrow area, the "follow your passion" line that the innocent youth might purvey. So, "don't get a music degree, just go play" might not be a bad way to go for some. Mostly, though, that 18 year-old in the picture to the left wouldn't have much of value to offer me.
 

Sue

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Sadly I didn't start playing music until my mid 40's but my now self would tell my teenage self to stop playing so much sport and go to music classes and learn piano or clarinet.
 

randulo

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Sadly I didn't start playing music until my mid 40's but my now self would tell my teenage self to stop playing so much sport and go to music classes and learn piano or clarinet.
On the other hand, hopefully you got into the habit of exercise and staying fit? We all know so many musicians whose health is often "erratic". It can't be just bad luck. So, hopefully all that sport still gave you something. I've always detested sport but fortunately learned to walk daily and that has served me well for the past 20 years or so. I practice about twice as many hours as I walk.
 
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Caz

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Sadly I didn't start playing music until my mid 40's but my now self would tell my teenage self to stop playing so much sport and go to music classes and learn piano or clarinet.
This is something my present self would want my past self to do. Given the chance i’d prob say something like this
“Listen *******, get off your ass. you gonna live in this body too when your 47 you know?” lol
 
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LandWaterSky

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There aren't so many things I regret, but the one music-related thing I would tell my younger self is "Learn to sing!". Most musicians can sing to some extent. Early on, I was in a band that did a lot of pop tunes that require at least two and three parts. The guys told me I should sing but I said I wanted to concentrate on playing. We were playing six nights a week in a club, a perfect opportunity to practice and get better. I now find that to have been a big mistake! A few years later, I got an important tour and I didn't know that my friend who got me on it had told the leader I could sing! That was proven to be "fake news" in the studio, after a valiant effort at harmony part. Had I done more during those club days, I could have certainly done the harmony parts, as they didn't require a great voice, just a decent sense of pitch and time.
Besides the practical aspects of learning how to sing, I believe it helps improve your sense of intonation. When you're singing you may be off by just a few cents, making it very difficult to tell if you're in tune. So, the better you can sense the intonation in your voice, they better I believe your sense of intonation becomes in general.
 

turf3

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On the more humorous side:

Drink less.
Practice more.
Just because she flirts with you doesn't mean she's going to leave her 6'3" 220 lb. boyfriend who just got out of the Marines last week, and go home with you.

On the more serious side:

If you want to take up bass, do it now not when you're 50.
 

brianr

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On the more serious side:

If you want to take up bass, do it now not when you're 50.

I think bass would be the perfect instrument to start at 50, or older.

1) you dont have to be good to get a gig.
2) since you don’t have to be good, you don’t have to practice
3) when you do get a gig, neither the audience or even the other musicians are listening to what you play anyway, so you can play whatever you want.

there is a lot of “win” in playing bass !!!!
 

LostCircuits

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Set that plywood cello on fire (hat your dad gave you because he took it in as payment from a client) instead of trying to learn on one of the worst instruments in the world, so bad that even your teacher couldn't handle it and learn on a real instrument, regardless of what kind.
 

randulo

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It would be a good thing if any musician to get experience on bass and/or drums, because that is the foundation of most music. I studied and practiced upright bass for a few years, and loved every day of it. I only had to give it up because I can't summon enough strength in my hands, while I have no trouble play alto for hours. It also helped a lot with writing, because I never knew what the bass should play when I showed songs to a band. Usually, the bassists were good enough to play what was right. That's a quality we should all strive for, by the way.
 

saxyjt

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Go for it!

I grew up in a family that lived music, particularly my dad. Jazz initially, then classical. But I never had any formal music education. I just loved jazz too but didn't know I could play.

It took me almost 50 years to find out.

Starting early in life must be a good thing, as it is in most areas. I started golf early, stopped and started again many times, but I'm sure that if I start again it'll come back and I should be able to play well again.
 

JayeNM

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Good point although IMHO the greatest musical foundation is had via learning a bit of piano. So I would put Piano as the #1 instrument from that standpoint.
 

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