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Trumpet Wom'

It’s evening, you just got in after a long day of work and you’re starting to get your relax on. All of the sudden you get a text; “Hey! How are you?? I’ve got a big show coming up on [enter date] and would love it if you can make it!”.

Emotions flood your body; a sincere desire to support, guilt if you say no or perhaps annoyance as this person only seems to want to talk when they have a show or album coming out… the list goes on.

I know because I am on the receiving and sending end of correspondences that go more or less like this all the time. This is a sore subject for all involved, so I thought I’d pull it into the light and get a discussion going about it.

With the invention of the internet and cheap modern recording equipment, more people than ever are exploring their passion for music. We all have a desire to express ourselves and music does it in a way that words just can’t. As a result, we all know people of varying degrees of musical acumen vying for attention; because your voice matters, just like their voice matters, just like my voice matters. And in today’s environment it can be a bit cacophonous.

Now at the end of the day 99% of people love playing or hearing music. If you aren’t a musician I know you are truly interested in discovering new music that excites you and supporting musicians that haven’t gained massive fame or popularity yet. And let’s be honest, it feels special to discover an artist before they really blow up. On the other side I know how good it feels as a musician when people take time and/or money to support. When someone goes out of their way to give you kind words and encourage you to keep pursuing your dream.

So why does it feel like whether you’re the musician or the music listener, that it’s never enough?

We’ve all seen the impassioned plea for support of a crowdfunding campaign. We’ve all seen a post or two from a frustrated artist who is putting in so much time, money and energy but not seeing much of a return. We’ve all supported in one way or another, whether it be buying an album, contributing to a campaign or going to a show. But it never seems like enough; there’s always another crowdfunding campaign, another show next week and another new single coming out. It’s just overwhelming to support all of your local music scene.

It goes the same for the musician side as well. I often debate whether or not to reach out to friends about shows because sometimes it just feels like they’re going out of obligation (which nobody wants, not the point of music) and sometimes it’s just plain overwhelming dealing with a bunch of “Sorry, I can’t come [insert long story]” or “I’m totally coming!” and then they just don’t or my least favorite just no response at all. Sometimes I’ll run into a person who has done the later and they’re clearly feeling guilty or some other negative emotion about it and try to avoid me or they’ll pretend like nothing happened. I say this not to make people feel bad, just to point out it’s difficult for everybody and not what anybody wants. In my opinion the point of music is to spread healing not stress or guilt.

So, do I have the answer to this on how to make everybody happy? Nope, I just wanted to write this article to note it’s overwhelming for everybody involved. You’re not a bad person for not going to every single show your musician friend has. Your musician friend isn’t trying to get one over on you and just take your time and money.

We all are doing our best and we all have value to add to the world.

These are my thoughts however, what do you think?

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