It was a long time before I really looked back in detail at where I had been in relation to music.
I thought my interest in music started when my woodwork teacher in year 9 at school told me that my serviette holder was built brilliantly and I was a natural at woodwork, so logically, I changed subjects because obviously woodwork was too easy and I thought I should challenge myself.
But in actual fact, I was surrounded by music all my life. My parents both played a musical instrument; I attended church twice every Sunday and was surrounded by music. My mother and sister both sang while washing the dishes in two and a half part harmony (the half was me).
I learnt electronics, just so I could build my own radio receiver and ended up listening to it all the time, listening to music.
I learnt to listen carefully to music completely by accident. My year nine music teacher gave me the only instrument left, because I changed from woodwork to music and all the good instruments were gone, I was given a trombone to play. With the trombone came a music book with all the Bb music so I could play in the ‘band’. I practiced on my own, but when we all got together, I sounded atrocious. So I ignored the music and just played what sounded right.
It wasn’t until the end of the year when the music teacher discovered that the trombone she gave me was a C trombone, so of course the Bb trombone music sounded horrible.
The stories could go on, but the important part is that I didn’t realise how many different influences that I have had in music, since I was very young, have shaped who I am as both a person and a musician.
If you think back through your life, you will start to realise how you arrived at where you are now.
After the out of tune trombone, the next available instrument was the clarinet. But I wanted to play guitar, because chicks like guitarists.
Small secret here, if you’re a drummer you think the chicks really like drummers the best, if you’re a bass player you think that everyone loves the bass player. In reality the chicks just want to be able to go back home and upset their parents by saying they are dating a muso. So get over it and move on.
Another secret, don’t call girls chicks. I was with a band at an all-girls school and while talking to a group of girls, I mentioned the backing singer chicks. All of a sudden I was being yelled at for being derogatory. I did apologise, and still do apologise, if anyone is offended. I apologise for calling chicks, chicks.
Anyway, looking back at where you have been can give you an idea of where you are going.
Better still, knowing where you have been can help you discover who you are.
When you know who you are, you can confidently make decisions about where you want to go.