March 25, 2011

Why you should perform

But actually, doing what other people expect you to is what’s overrated. The external rewards for pursuing a dream may or may not arrive, but regardless, you should feel proud of doing so. The first steps are more important than the later ones, because they’ll provide inspiration and security for everything that comes later. Just keep walking!

Never despise small beginnings, and don’t belittle your own accomplishments. Remember them and use them as inspiration as you go on to the next thing. When you venture outside your comfort zone, wherever the starting point may be, it’s kind of a big deal.
- Chris Guillebeau, in "Kind of a big deal"
I recently commented on Chris Davis's post "The missing ingredient no one likes to talk about" that of all the musicians I've known, we classical guitarists seem like the least likely to get out and perform. We also complain about lack of public interest, diminishing ticket sales, etc. I bet these things are related.

If you love classical guitar and you play classical guitar, you should get out there and perform.

Don't feel like it's not worth it if you can't sell out an auditorium. Don't feel like nobody will want to see you if you don't have a degree or haven't won a competition. Don't worry about trying to impress people.

Just have fun and do your best. You don't have to blow everyone's mind, just make someone smile.


  1. My experience has been that only by performing can I truly come into a relationship with a particular piece of music. The music comes alive in the presence of an audience in a manner that does not occur in the practice studio.

  2. Amen, Patrick. Totally agreed. And you learn so much about your own playing and technique and musicianship when you perform

  3. Thanks for commenting, guys! I used to be happy just making music for myself, but one day I realized that that was partially just an excuse to avoid performance. Now, the more I perform, the more I look forward to doing it again!

  4. I agree, I think music is made to be shared with others. Being able to perform more in the past year has given a new purpose to my guitar practice. Its really satisfying when someone comes up after a gig and says they appreciated the music. Even if I am just playing in a small cafe with all of 10 people and no one seems to be listening. Everyone has to start somewhere.