How Failing To Become A Firefighter Was The Best Thing For My Music Career

house on fireGrowing up poor was difficult in of itself, let alone in a run down poor neighborhood full of crime, prostitution, and drug dealers. So it was extra painful when I realized that not only did we have the worst schools and other public services but even when we called 911, the response was never immediate like with some of my friends in the better, richer, cities.

Although we lacked many things, the one that frustrated me the most was the slow response of the police and firefighters to our neighborhood in the time of emergency and distress.

Because the firefighters did not respond in good time, many families were left homeless as they could only watch their homes burn down, with all their belongings go up in smoke.

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My Live Performance In Sydney, Australia

concert sydneyMy best friend and manager knows how much I love to travel and tour internationally, as I get many of my inspirations from world music. So when he told me that he booked my next gig in Australia I was super excited.

I personally did not know I had much of a fan base in Australia to justify a concert but apparently there is a decent following of my music there and I am not one to argue with a paid vacation. We booked the flight, first class as always, and headed to Sydney for a performance of a life time.

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Get Fit, Improve Your Music Career

Photo by Clay Manley

Health is something that a lot of musical performers take for granted. For many, it is much easier to just succumb to the unhealthy lifestyle that a lot of musicians fall into. Although keeping fit is for everyone, musicians are among the people who should seriously consider it. Why is that? Consider the following reasons:

Physical fitness compensates for bodily movements

Human beings are designed to move. By the word “move”, I mean complete bodily movement. The problem with musicians is that they are sitting down in the whole course of the performance. Now, this could take about 3 to 4 hours or more every day.

Factor in the time spent in less mobile activities like watching TV, or working in a desk job. Imagine how much time is spent by these people sitting down. It may be unknown to them but all these will have their toll on the body.

Physical fitness allows one to maximize his playing the instrument

Being physically fit means staying away from injuries. The fact is injuries are not limited to just the athletes. Musicians are also prone to injuries. The downside is that most of the time, these injuries can be career-ending.

Other than injuries, musicians also suffer from muscle pains like stiff neck. These will greatly limit their capabilities to play effectively. Keeping fit simply eliminates these threats.

Physical fitness also conditions the mind

Playing musical instrument is both a physical and mental task. Being physically fit will help the musician to deal with the mental pressure of having to practice for countless of hours. A well-conditioned musician can easily cope up with all the hardships they encounter every day.

If you are a musician who is planning to get into physical fitness, know that you do not need to have membership in expensive gyms. There are numerous things you can do on your own to attain this. For one, you can go cycling. Regular cycling is known to condition the whole body so it could be very effective for musicians.

Another thing you can do is to run regularly. Running is known to bring so many benefits for you. Like cycling, running also conditions the whole body. It would be a good thing to start running now.

Lastly, you can also have exercise equipment at home and you are well on your way to physical fitness. This is particularly beneficial because you do not need to go out to exercise. Visit this website and find out how to choose a rowing machine.

No matter your approach, the most important thing is that you sweat out regularly for physical fitness.

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4 Ways to Fund a Music Equipment Upgrade

Photo by SEOPlanter

Some people tend to underestimate how difficult it can be to live the life of a performer. These days, you need to have a special kind of relationship with music to want to have to endure the kind of stress that most indie bands tend to go through in this day and age. The fact that music equipment is incredibly pricey does nothing to alleviate the situation any. However, it isn’t impossible to purchase for an indie band under a tight budget – it only takes effort and a bit of creativity. Here are four ways a band can fund a music equipment upgrade under a tight budget.

Renting music equipment is a slow but steady way to earning an equipment upgrade.

Oftentimes the only means for money that an indie band has comes in the form of gigs – so the easiest (but also the slowest) means of earning enough to get an equipment upgrade is to continue earning through gigs until you are able to. If the upgrade necessary is leaving a hole in your music that can’t be filled otherwise, rent out the equipment first.

Part-time jobs help immensely.

If you are really serious about earning that music upgrade and aren’t willing to wait too long to get it, then a part-time job can most definitely help. Keep in mind however that this can take plenty of effort to pull off and if the entire band is able to get part-time jobs (if they hadn’t already) then that piece of music equipment will be yours in no time.

The Internet is a haven for freelancers.

Freelance work used to be difficult to look for and was often seen as an achievement when you finally snagged one, but thanks to the Internet freelance work has been booming and it doesn’t look like the demand for it will ever stop. A good example would be freelance writing – anyone who is a wiz on their keyboards can find several ways to make money in the Internet right from the get-go. The only problem with this plan is that just like part-time jobs, this can take a lot of effort. Fortunately, your efforts will be rewarded soon enough.

Borrow the money from friends/relatives.

Perhaps the easiest (but also the trickiest) way to get enough money for an equipment upgrade straight away is to borrow money. If you’re going to be earning thanks to this piece of music equipment, then it isn’t unlikely that you’ll be able to pay them back before long.

Being an indie band in a world saturated with music is a difficult but satisfying life choice. There are plenty of options available to you no matter what the problem is, all you have to do is reach out and take it.

Want to make money online? Visit this website and find out how to make money online, aussieworkfromhome.com.

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As A Musician I Love To Work From Home

One of the things that I enjoy most about being a musician is that the work I do is location independent. Or at least some of it is.

I write my own music, and of course writing music can be done anywhere. So if I’m at home I can work from home writing music and if I’m on the road I can write music on the road.

However my own home is the place I most prefer. When I’m not on the road I love to spend my days writing music in my own study. I think the capacity to work from home is one of the biggest advantages of being a musician.

Writing music is a very solitary activity. You don’t need lots of people all around you, all that does is interrupt your train of thought. What you need is a comfortable, warm and quiet place where you can sit and write music without interruption. Writing music is an extremely intensive task and once you’re interrupted it’s very hard to get back to what you were doing.

Not everyone likes to work from home though

I have plenty of friends who aren’t musicians who work in offices. An office has to be one of the worst places. They are busy, confused, noisy and there are constant interruptions. I think it would be impossible for me to write music in an office environment with other people around.

It’s pretty hard in the music industry to get ahead. There’s plenty of talented musicians around and many of them can write great music. It’s that extra few percent that gets you noticed.

And I can get that extra few percent from working in my own home. I’ve set my office up so that I’ve surrounded myself with pictures of family and friends. I’ve got soothing music playing in the background. I’ve got comfortable furniture and a comfortable working space.

I turn the phone off so I’m not constantly interrupted by phone calls. I close the windows so I’m not besieged by the noise of traffic going up and down the road outside my house. Sometimes I even close the curtains so that I can totally insulate myself from the outside world.

That’s when I write my best music. That’s when I get that extra few percent that takes my music from being good music to being great music, that’s why I can write music that listeners love to hear and other musicians love to play.

My own home is where I do my best work.

Of course this might be unique to a musician. I’ve heard many people in other jobs who have tried working at home and say that the isolation and lack of social contact is a problem. That it really isn’t all that nice working from home because you’re completely isolated from the working world.

Mind you I have one friend who is a freelance writer and he likes working from home. So I suppose it’s an individual thing.

But for me it works brilliantly. I can’t think of anything I’d prefer to do than just sit down on my own, turn on my background music and start writing my songs.

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Musicians Need To Take More Care Of Their Health

I don’t know why so many musicians just seem to die young. Of course some die from silly accidents, like a drug overdose, however so many of them just seem to die young from health related issues.

My suspicion is that it takes a certain type of person to be a really top-class successful musician, and that sort of person has enormous energy and drive for what they do, but they channel all that energy into what they do at the cost of everything else, including their health.

I’m sure that being a successful musician, and in particular a rock star, has enormous pressures associated with it. There’s all the drugtaking, drinking and more, and many of them just get sucked into this lifestyle before they realize it’s too late.

And of course it’s not just the drugtaking and the drinking. Any musician who is on the road will almost always be eating a shocking diet. I know my diet, when I’m on the road, is much worse than when I’m at home. I eat motel food all the time, I eat too much steak and too many chips and not enough healthy food.

I take vitamins and a fish oil supplement

Although I’m probably one of the few people who recognizes the problems associated with this lifestyle. I do my best to stay healthy, I take vitamin and mineral supplements, I take a fish oil supplement, I have my blood pressure checked regularly and my doctor always takes blood tests to check my heart health every year. I know vitamins and fish oil are good for you.

But I suspect I’m one of the few, I think the pressures of the highrolling life get on top of many rock stars and they can’t resist the temptation that goes with the money and the fame.

Probably of the most famous of all is Elvis Presley. Elvis was about as famous as it gets however he died at the age of 42 after years of a dreadful diet and prescription drug taking. I’ve heard it said, though I don’t know if it’s true, that he used to eat deep-fried hamburgers. Now that can’t be good for you.

However it wasn’t just Elvis. There’s all of the other stars who have died young from other health issues such as heart attacks and drug overdose. Rudy Lewis, of the Drifters, for example died of a drug overdose.

Anyone looking from the outside would think that being a rock star or a famous musician was a glamorous life. All the money and a fame has to be wonderful. Who could ask for more out of life?

The reality is that for many famous musicians life is very difficult. The money and fame don’t make up for the fact that the stresses of being a rock star are sometimes extreme.

I recognized the risk years ago. So I do my absolute best to stay healthy. I exercise as much as I can, I eat well and make sure I get enough sleep. I drink sparingly and I resolved many years ago I was a touch drugs because I know the risks.

So hopefully I won’t be one of those musicians who dies young.

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An Old School Passion for Rock, Found at a Blood Drive?

I’ve always loved rock music.

Back when I was younger, if my parents asked me what I wanted for Christmas, it wasn’t a game or a toy. I wanted drum sticks! Or a little keyboard! Who needs GI Joe right?

I’ve always been a bit obsessed with music. And thankfully my parents were all for it. My dad was a huge Guns N’ Roses fan! So I listened to plenty of them growing up.

Rocking Out to Gun N’ Roses as a Kid

Since my dad was such a rock fan, my parents always encouraged my passion for music. We’d watch concerts on TV, listen to tapes, all that stuff.

Actually, they were encouraging enough to enroll me to a music school, where I learned not just how to play piano, but try other instruments as well. Me and my friends would often go to parks and stage a free musical show just out of pure fun.
Then, as my thirst for music deepened, we began travelling to many places to have gigs, and to see different shows and performances. The farthest trip that I had was in California, where we actually watched Metallica play life. The feeling was awesome.

And they were still cool!

Rock Music… at a Blood Drive!?

So, I’ve been considering a trip to Vegas. And I actually found a pretty cool event coming up.

My friend called me up telling me that a live rock music event is set to happen the following week. What made the event really special was that rock bands will play for a local blood drive. Including some songs with Guns N’ Roses. Yes! Childhood memories relived!

The weird thing is this event is actually a blood drive. I’ll be honest I’m not a fan of needles. I was hesitant to donate blood because it would be my first time. But when we lined up for the event, the organizer himself assured me that the ones who will assist me are well trained phlebotomy professionals. So hey I did it. I sucked it up and donated.

It was nice that they knew what they were doing. Getting your arm stuck with a needle is ridiculous. But the phlebotomist kind of eased me through it.

A quick cleaning of my arm, some casual talk. And then a slight prickly feeling. Done!

After that I was all about the music. What an amazing event. The Guns N’ Roses tribute songs were such a nostalgic treat. Loved it!

I felt it was a perfect event. The rock bands were so amazing. It was like a great mix of different rock music gathered together in one night. And the best part of it is that it served for a very good purpose. The professionals, I heard, graduated from phlebotomy schools in Nevada, but never hesitated to come down and party with us. Yes! Rock on phlebotomists!

I guess helping others is their passion too.

Anyway fun event and good times. It was a weird mix. But I guess charity and live music makes sense. Fun event!

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Why Taking Care of My Varicose Veins was Number One Priority

hip hop live performanceI had to get rid of my varicose veins before my next show. I have a feeling that I am not the only performer with this condition but I am sure I am one of the few that writes about it publicly. So if you are a musician that performs regularly on stage, then I am sure you know what I am talking about.

If you are not familiar with what they then let me briefly explain that it is a medical condition that is usually characterized by the enlargement and twisting of the body veins. This can take place on different parts of the body. In my case, and in many other musicians who regularly performer on stage, it was the legs that were affected by this condition.

Many of my large veins on my leg swelled up with bumpy protrusions that were painful and sensitive to the touch. At times it was becoming difficult to even stand up and walk longer than a few hours. My career as an accomplished musician requires me to perform live shows in different parts of the world let alone going to the recording studio on a daily basis. I was not going to let varicose veins put me down.

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