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Acting A Little Bit Like a Professional Musician

by Andre Gonsalves

Acting A Little Bit Like a Professional Musician

by Andre Gonsalves

by Andre Gonsalves

I woke up at 3:12am last night.

I couldn’t sleep any longer.

My mind was racing.

I kept thinking about how I so desperately want to make a quantum leap. (i.e. I want to take it to the next level.)

But how?

 

My mind kept going over idea after idea.

I was exhausted.

And then it hit me.

I’ve already made the quantum leap.

In fact, I just did.

 

As soon as that thought crossed my mind, calm came over me.

It was as if I had become what I set out to become.

My whole mind and body felt different.

I could finally relax and sleep.

 

I’m writing this the next day trying to make sense of it all.

Bear with me.

But it seems to me that as we artists, musicians, CREATORS set out on our journey, we can either choose two paths:

We’re constantly searching for “it” 

OR 

We’ve already got “it”. 

Now here’s the weird thing (as if this post wasn’t weird enough).

If you act as if you’re constantly searching for something, guess what’s going to happen?

You’re never going to find it!

 

You’ll keep making song after song with no purpose, no direction and worst of all no response. 

It’s just how thirsty guys never get the girl they want  or how pushy salesmen rarely get the sale.

When you know for a fact you will reach your goal, there is no reason to stress about how you’re going to do it.

This is because:

Your mind will change.

Your body will change.

And your music will change. 

 

And they will all change in service toward your end goal. I should be clear there is no magic or “secret” going on here.

It’s as simple as if you want something and put effort into getting it, you will eventually get it.

I’m 100% certain about it.

 

You Are Your Final Form

Try this exercise with me. What is your goal in your music career?

I want you to really think about it.

Don’t think about the goal your mom or society wants you to have.

Think about the goal you want to have.

The one that’s burning a hole in your chest. 

Now imagine you’ve already achieved it. 

Really imagine it.

Close your eyes.

How does that feel?

It feels reassuring.

All those feelings of being lost and confused are gone.

 

Why? Because you have already done what you set out to achieve, because time is irrelevant in the mind (any maybe in the real world, but I’m no astrophysicist).

You have already got what you want in your mind!

Now make music from that perspective, that is, make music from the perspective that you’ve already arrived at your destination.

 

For example, say your goal is to have 1 billion streams. 

How would an artist with those kinds of numbers approach creating music? 

They should feel totally free (unless they’ve made themselves a slave to their fanbase but that’s a whole nother post).

When you’re free, you’re not worried about creating a hit to get “on”.

 

When you’re free, you make the music you want to make, exactly the way you want to make it.

A lot of us creatives, we don’t want all the money (some of the money is fine), but what we really want is artistic freedom.

So what it boils down to is: we just want our damn freedom right?

 

But what if we acted like we were already free? 

Because it seems to me we already are, it’s just a mind switch.

Now you may be thinking, isn’t this just “fake it ‘til you make it?”

 

No. Because when you do that you’ll be a fake even after you make it. 

What I’m saying is be who you are. 

Create right now as if you are the person you will become.

 

Because you are that person. Don’t worry about getting to your final form, because again, if you’re worrying about getting to your final form, you’ll never get there.

 

“Don’t wait to be great”, would be the corny expression I would tell you, but I’m not okay.

 

Some Rapper Named Ricky

Okay let’s back up the truck for a minute.

You might be asking, “Why does this work?”

To better understand this, let’s use a specific example.

This rapper, Ricky, sent me a song a year ago for mixing and mastering.

He recorded his vocals using his phone! 

He didn’t see any problem with recording vocals on a phone. But when he heard his song mixed and mastered and heard this is the best it can sound, he learned to get a better microphone.

Once he got a better microphone, a few weeks later he sent me another song.

After he heard it mixed and mastered, he realized how clear everything becomes.

And instead of recording tons of double tracks, he focused more on recording a great main vocal track.

A few weeks later he sent me another song and as you guessed it, he learned something else.

Now what do you think has happened to Ricky over the last year? 

Not only has he learned a lot more about song making but his songs have gotten so much better!

And this is because all he did was act a little bit like a professional musician.

I’ve seen this similar thing happen to every artist I’ve worked with.

I’ve seen the same thing happen to myself.

 

Acting Requires Action

Oh yeah that. 

It’s not enough to act the part in your mind though. You have to put in the actions in the real world, because this is unfortunately where stuff actually happens.

So as the new year begins and we put this crazy year behind us, do yourself a favor and act a little bit like a professional musician.

I guarantee a year from now you’ll be closer to where you want to be.

P.s. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours.

 

 

Andre is the head audio engineer at ADG Mastering. When he's not hunched over a mixing console he's hanging out with his son and daughter age 6 and 8.

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