The journey begins
By Doug Kroening
I thought it might be interesting to take you on a little walk through the mindset of a musician. More specifically, what is this process we have all come to manage on our journey from the garage to the stage? So let us begin.
For a minute, pretend you are 15. Any age will work, but 15 seems like a good age to start.
You have decided that rock ‘n’ roll is going to be your life. That was easy. Time to plead and beg for an instrument. Upon procuring this instrument, you are hit with your first roadblock.
“I don’t know how to play this thing.”
A minor setback. You can take lessons, you can buy books, and these days you can learn anything you need to learn from the internet. There are valuable learning tools to be had.
From the beginning you understand that this is going to be all about practice. So you practice, and you practice, and you practice some more. It becomes apparent that rock ‘n’ roll is going to have to wait. You need to practice.
Fast forward, how long is hard to say. It depends on how much you practice, but now you have learned you can play, and you are ready to put together your destiny: a true rock ‘n’ roll band.
So you need to find some like-minded partners, fellow masters of the practice sessions who are eager to join you in your quest. The next set of problems usually crops up not long after this step. Your instruments cannot keep up to the drums. Drums are loud. And now, you need better gear.
I can assure you that gear is not cheap, and the fact that you are new to all this usually means you do not really even know exactly what you are looking for, but you will not be deterred. You finally acquire gear.
Now you have a band, you have your gear, you have spent countless hours rehearsing songs together, and you have worked out the different parts of songs. You are officially a rock ‘n’ roll unit.
However, a band with no gigs is hard to consider a band at all. So you take some pictures, write up some bios on the members, and maybe record a few songs to help drive your demand, which, by the way, costs yet more money, and you venture out to try and turn this new operation of yours into a profitable and successful one.
Of course this is also met with resistance, and you soon learn that—without a following or an established name—these gigs are harder to come by than you had anticipated. You need a following, but to get a following you need gigs, but to get gigs you need a following.
How do you finally start landing gigs, how do you then proceed to land even better gigs, and at what point are you ready, and more importantly, able to take this show on the road?
That is exactly what I will be exploring with you over the next few weeks. So give this some thought and then head down to the local music store and get yourself an instrument: a guitar, some drums, maybe even a tambourine.
Take it home, look it over, shut off the television, and start to practice. And practice. And practice. Your journey is about to begin.