Definition: a person who engages in a study, sport, or other activity for pleasure rather than for financial benefit or professional reasons. Amateurs often have little or no formal training in their pursuits, and many are self-taught.

So how is it that I meet more and more modestly self-taught “musicians”, mostly singers, who choose to make a living and a profession in the music industry.

They can’t read a music sheet, they don’t understand or use any of the musical terms, they have very little knowledge about music in general, they lack the basic discipline that a musician usually has and, of course, music doesn’t mean as much to them as it means to us. It’s just the fastest and easiest way to make pretty money just by fooling the untrained ear that you are talented and worked so hard to be where you are.

But the truth is you wake up at noon, you’re an hour late for your rehearsals, never bother to announce, you don’t have the music sheets for your songs and expect the real musicians to write them down for you for free, as if it’s a given, you’re the Belle of the Ball. You’re not concerned about enriching your musical culture, learning new techniques and improving your voice skills, and your heaviest task is to get on time at your concert, get dressed, look decent and bring your mic.

Yet the amateur singer has the audacity to believe that he/she deserves the same reward as the actual musician. You know, the one who studied for years and years, hours and hours – the one who actually counts and makes the difference between you singing in the shower and you singing on a stage.

And no, there’s no excuses. It’s sickening.

From one musician to a wannabe, from a professional to an amateur, here’s my advice:

  • get your day started early in the morning, make a plan and get serious;
  • create a listening schedule;
  • exercise sight-reading – at least 2 h a day;
  • start learning basic harmony principles;
  • invest in some masterclasses  – get better;
  • start writing music every day as a composition exercise;
  • be on time for any appointment;
  • make it your purpose to be a decent human being and respect the people who work with you.

Having a website and a Facebook page does not make you an artist.


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