As musicians we like to think we resemble how people should listen to, appreciate, and even play music. And for the most part I think we have good intentions in all of these areas. We play regularly and continue to perfect our craft, we listen to good music, and support the local artists we like, and musicians world wide that we enjoy listening to. However, if we look a bit further into ourselves I think we will find that we are failing. As I looked at myself honesty, I realized that my contributions to Jazz are rather selfish. I am a selfish musician.
It’s not easy to consider yourself a selfish musician, but if I want to challenge and push others I have to do the same myself. As far as practicing my instrument goes I always wish I could do more, but overall I think my work ethic is good and improving. When it comes to interacting with my fellow musicians I find myself falling short. I’m constantly being invited and informed about peers of mine having shows going on throughout the city and I rarely go. Some times the reasons are valid, I have work and can’t actually make it, or I have arrangements I can’t get out of/ need to do. Other times, more times then I care to admit, I just would rather do something else. Usually it is for good reasons, like practicing my instrument, but even then why can’t I go to their show and practice afterwards? Is it because they are taking my precious time? Is their show not worth me staying up a little longer or being a little tired? Oh, so my musical endeavors are worthwhile, but supporting other musicians that’s not as important? I’m sure many of us have caught ourselves in this situation and choose what was convenient for us over the greater good of the music we love. It’s selfish and it’s wrong I’m being selfish with my music when I should be selfless with my music.
So how can we change this? How can we make sure we support the community we claim to be a part of and not just stay locked up in our rooms shedding until the next gig? Really it’s quiet simple, go to more shows. In the long run it benefits us all. We grow a tighter bond as a music community, hopefully we learn about more musicians/ network better, and if we support others in their endeavors they are more likely to support us in ours. As musicians we should be setting the example for our peers and the audience. We should be the ideal music aficionados. We can’t do that if all we care about is our music, our gigs, and our projects. So let’s set the example. Let’s support our fellow musicians as much as we can even if it’s not convenient for us, let’s continue to practice on our craft, and share our knowledge and discovery of new music with our peers. We can’t want people to be invested and into our music if all we care about is ourselves. It’s time to stop being selfish musicians and it starts with me. Right now I vow to go to one show a week for the rest of the year. I’ll keep you updated and I’ll be honest. If we want things to change we must be willing to change ourselves. I won’t be a selfish musician anymore. How about you?