Evan Tate's SaxTips eZine

Thursday, March 10, 2005

How to Quit Playing Sax

Before you get the wrong idea, I'm not trying to get any of you to give up playing the sax. During the careers of nearly every musician, (and many of them quite famous) there comes a time when one has doubts whether all that they are doing, playing, etc will ever amount to a successful career as a musician. I‘ve always said that every artist has quit the profession at least 5 times in his/her career. No joke. They'll come a time when your technique seems to not be good any more, you won't get any calls for gigs over a longer period of time, you may be working a day job and you feel that you'll never be able to quit it because you don’t make enough money as a musician to support yourself or your lifestyle. The list goes on.

First of all, I'd like to say that this is actually healthy. Really! When you get to one of these points, it's always a message to you and one should treat it as an opportunity and not as "bad luck". Personally, I don't believe in "bad luck". Luck is the meeting of preparation with opportunity. "Bad Luck" is therefore the meeting of no preparation and therefore no opportunities. Get my drift? When you get to the point of doubting yourself, find out what's getting you so upset. If you’ve got no gigs maybe you've been relying to much on other people to hire you and not having enough self-initiative to keep yourself in work. If you’re playing plenty of gigs but they're not the type of gigs you can be proud of "maybe you're not setting your standards high enough. If your technique is lacking " maybe you're ignoring other things about your playing. If you’re having a relationship crisis – maybe you’re paying too much attention to your sax. ??? Who knows? You do!

Take the time to evaluate what you’re doing and/or not doing. Take a break! Go fishing. (By the way, I've read that Phil Woods had done this regularly. Every Sunday, he wouldn’t play his horn. He'd go fishing.) Read a book! Go places! Meet new people. Get around places where life’s more positive. It’ll supercharge you and give you new ideas and new courage to keep on keepin' on.

Have fun!

Evan Tate is a freelance musician/instructor and the author of "Way to Mastery: Saxophone". He holds a BM of Music from the Manhattan School of Music under the tutelage of Dr. Joe Allard and has over 20 years of professional playing and teaching experience and has performed at various jazz festivals and radio broadcasts. Since 1993, he is an endorser for Julius Keilwerth saxophones.
http://www.evantate.de or mailto:evan@evantate.de


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