Archive for February, 2012

Down this week….

Hey guys….been ill this week, had surgery on Tuesday and am recovering well so far.  Not much to post this week relating to music except that I hope to be back on my feet SOON, learning new songs…and getting out there gigging in March.

I HOPE to get better in time to be able to audition for The Voice next month for Season 3, and X Factor season 2! Other than that…..this spring I plan on writing more songs…maybe doing some recording and definitely amping up the YouTube channel with some more videos! Anyone wanna collab?? Any song requests?? Let me know!

So thanks again for the prayers and concern and I hope the next few weeks post prove to be MUSICALLY productive!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Love,

Dez

Success requires Discipline

So I am definitely writing this more for myself than anymore else, but I’m sure many of you can relate. My track record shows I should not be writing on this topic. I’m not disciplined with my sleep schedule, eating habits, budgeting and spending, and certainly not with consistently working on my music and career goals. Please make me feel better and tell me someone else feels this way too.

Successful people definitely have one thing in common – discipline.  Athletes can’t lay around and expect to work out 2 days before the Olympics and win. It’s the same for artists. You have to be disciplined to work at your craft. Musicians have to focus and repeat until they get it right.   Beyonce is a great example of this. I read an article where she said she made a decision at an early age not to do certain things, “No drugs, no eating disorders, no bad relationships. No breakdowns due to overwhelming pressure. It takes a certain amount of…discipline, I guess.”

“It takes discipline, and it takes focus and I think I’m very fortunate that I’ve had gradual success. It’s not something that happened in one day. It’s something that I’ve worked at and worked at,” she explained.

Another article explains how self-discipline relates to musicians in a really easy way. It stated, ” Self-discipline is the willing mechanism to make yourself improve on whatever it is you are doing. It plays a vital part in your musicianship, and if you are real about wanting to be a good musician, this is the heart and soul of your way to be one. It is the process of making the habit and second nature actions to get you where you want to go. In the case of learning to play the guitar, it is not just about motivation and passion. Although those are very important aspects of practice and improvement, they are completely useless and non-existent without having the self-discipline to stick with it.”  Wow.

Ok, so how do I develop more self-discipline? I did a little research…and basically it boils down to this:

  1. Baby steps.  Write down your goals and what you know you need to do to accomplish them. Make the decision to go forward with those plans.
  2. Learn what motivates you and what your bad triggers are.  If you are trying to lose weight and you know if you see a coke in the fridge you will drink it – don’t buy it.
  3. Make certain behaviors a routine. For me, this is the hardest one. Consistency. Disciplined people always finish what they start. They don’t start new diets every Monday.  They pay all their bills and THEN buy a new purse IF there’s anything left over. They set aside a day to rehearse music and make sure that day and time remains sacred for that activity.
  4. Practice self-denial. Train yourself to do what you know to be right, even if you don’t feel like doing it. Think about consequences. When you practice self – restraint, it helps you develop the habit of keeping things under control.
  5. Visualize the rewards. Picture yourself on stage. Picture yourself thin. Think about the thousands in your bank account you saved and the security you will have.

I hope this helps someone out there besides myself! I am definitely going to put this into practice, and practice I will…..

Sources:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/01/28/60minutes/main6151266.shtml

http://www.essentiallifeskills.net/self-discipline.html

http://guitarwisdom.wordpress.com/2009/01/01/practice-and-self-discipline/

Music on TV: this generation and Idol, Glee, Smash, The Voice, AGT and YouTube

It’s amazing to me how music in America is really in the forefront right now, especially on TV. I’ve never, in my lifetime, seen sooo many shows centered around this one performance medium, music. You have American Idol, The Voice, America’s Got Talent, Glee, and now a new show Smash with AI’s Katherine McPhee.

As a singer, I have to admit that I’m addicted to watching these shows and have auditioned for The Voice, America’s Got Talent and X-Factor and really got a good behind the scenes look at how they work.  MANY of the auditionees you see don’t actually stand in line with the masses and have what they call a “scheduled audition”. They are professional artists that already have a manager, label, or some sort of representation. These are not a mature singers. Some of this business is STILL “who you know”. And ALOT of it is image, not talent. So if you have image+talent…you have a far better chance of a successful, sustainable career in music.

So did everyone catch the 1st episode of The Voice last night?  I have two personal acquaintances on there, which is really wierd-cool! I am definitely seeing a lot higher quality talent this year on Idol and on The Voice and I have a little theory as to why.

Teens now have access to so much more material and informational training with YouTube, and the internet in general.  I wasn’t exposed to jazz, R&B, etc growing up – if your parents didn’t listen to it – you never heard it. My household was filled with black gospel music….that was it. We weren’t allowed to listen to the radio, or “secular” music. I heard it only at the skating rink and occasionally at friends houses where I would tape songs on the radio and sneak it home for my headphones.  Teens are now exposed to anything and everything and so they have, in my opinion, become more seasoned sounding singers and have access to vocal lessons online, tips, and more. They can pull up videos of Ella Fitgerald, Patti Labelle in concert, Brett Manning singing lessons, stage presence tips, artists from Europe that never get airplay on our radio stations – they can find it all. We had none of that and had to learn only through our surroundings and connections, which took YEARS of life learning and experience. Things have really changed!

Does anyone have any comments on these shows so far?? I would love to hear what you think – as time goes by I may blog more specifically on these shows and singers in particular I really like…or don’t!

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