1. Be laser focused.
The first question Drew asked Jimmy was, "Should I focus on one instrument? Or, should I get good at a lot of things? A lot of people probably dabble in several instruments and several crafts, especially in high school and in college. You see something you are interested in and you give it a try. Then, you probably have friends and family tell you your pretty good at it (and maybe several things).
Now you've got several things on your radar. You like playing guitar; you dabble in piano; you can carry a tune when singing; and you also like making beats and trying to produce music. Are you going to become a master at all of that? You certainly could, but the chances are high that you will become a master in one thing, and be adequate at the other things (but we're not stopping you if you want to become the best at multiple things).
However, the advice from Jimmy was to pick one thing, whatever your true passion is, and have a laser focus in it. Put all of your effort into learning and building a routine around that one thing. For Jimmy, that was guitar. He wanted to learn it, but he didn't have the money to go to a fancy school or take $50 an hour private lessons. So, he bought a chord chart and studied the mess out of it. Now he's a worship leader at our local church and training young musicians on how to be the best worship leader they can be.
Don't try to get wrapped up in learning a million things. Focus on the one and let the other things flow naturally. Try to be known for one thing: your craft. So you have to decide what that is. But, now you might be thinking, "I've chosen which instrument or craft I'm interested in. How do I get really good at it?" Well that leads us to our second point.
2. Find your community.
One of the best ways that you are going to learn your craft is to be as close to the people who are good at it as possible. He talks about this in the video, but Jimmy had no formal music training (for guitar or vocal or anything). Yet he didn't give up, was passionate, and figured out the right steps to success through community. You have got to find the person that says "hey did you know you aren't doing that right? Let me show you a better way" so that you can learn faster from mistakes.
You still might be thinking, "how!?" Well, if you have a phone, or a laptop, tablet, anything, you are in the game. Join a Facebook group. We guarantee there is one for your craft. Learn from YouTube–the second largest search engine. If you can't figure out how to do something, there is most likely a tutorial on how to do it on YouTube. The communities are waiting for you, and they are ready to help you get where you need to be.
Finding the community is also going to be where you build connections, where you get gigs, and really start to be known for your musical craft. Somebody, somewhere, is going to need someone to fill in or need a beat produced or something, and you want to be there at the right time. If you are active in the communities you are a part of, people (in those groups) are going to know and remember who you are faster. They may even refer you based on the work you decide to share. When you are vulnerable and share your learning process, the community will follow suit and help you improve.
Now obviously, this isn't the only way to learn and get better. If you have money and want to pursue formal eduction . . . like . . . do that. You will most likely reach the goal faster, but nothing comes without hard work. Don't let going to school destroy your original passion. If you do, it will be hard to want to make money doing that thing anymore. Just be mindful, and you will get where you want to go.
3. Ask yourself what you are trying to market.
So the last scenario we presented to Jimmy was a common one: "I've gotten pretty good at my craft. I've spent a lot of time preparing and learning. Now how do I market myself as a music artist?" So we answered just a little bit in the last tip, because being involved in the right communities will provide you with work more times than not. But there are other ways to get your name out there.
Before you do any of that though, ask yourself what the vision is. What exactly are you marketing? What is the value you are going to provide? Is it musicianship and leadership? Is it guitar playing with an intimate knowledge of how AV and microphones work? When you know your craft, you will know where and who to market it to.
Of course, be on Social Media (free), be on YouTube (also free), have a website or blog (can be free or inexpensive) and start building a portfolio so that you can be ready send people to the right place when they ask for sample of your work. The more time you spend preparing will give you more time to seize opportunities when they come up. We've probably heard this 3 or 4 times this week already but "a failure to plan is a plan to fail." So again, be mindful of the goal and really hammer out the detail before trying to look for work.
QUESTION OF THE DAY:
What are the tips that helped you become a music artist (if you are one)? Are you currently in the journey right now? Do you think these tips apply to more disciplines than music? (They definitely do).
Let us know in the comments below, OR, head over to YouTube, check out the video, and engage with us there! We linked a couple of helpful resources for getting started in the YouTube description if you are looking for some budget-friendly music equipment! If you have an extra minute, please check out Hey Worship Leader and the work Jimmy is doing over there.
We appreciate your time and look forward to providing more valuable content!