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Performer vs Musician vs Songwriter…

Bob's 1983 Yairi Acoustic GuitarI have never cared for the spotlight.

I’m not one who seeks out opportunities to jump on stage and Perform, whenever I can.  I have a few friends and family that are like that… and I admire them for it.  One guy I know carries  a guitar in the trunk of his car, “… because you never know when a jam is going to break out !”  I am all for supporting spontaneous acts, but I won’t be the one in the centre of it.

My friends and family all say, “You’re just nervous.”  No…  Nerves have nothing to do with it.  I see the thrill that my friends get from performing, and the rush of pleasure that an audience reaction gives them, and while I am delighted for them… I don’t understand it.

I’ve gone up on stage a number of times, after each time being convinced that THIS time would be different !  And each time I come off afterwards, knowing that nothing had changed for me, and hoping that the audience got more out of that, than I did !!!

Those same friends encourage me to play guitar… but again, there are many much more talented folks, and I have no desire to impose my mediocre playing skills on their fun.

The Musicians are easy to spot… In the midst of a song, they will be absolutely LOST in the music… eyes closed… playing as if their lives depended on it, and absolutely loving it.  They could be playing for themselves, or they could be playing Madison Square Gardens… it would be the same for them, in that moment.

I don’t get that either.

The thing I love, is the crafting of a phrase.  The moulding of words and music into a single being.  Like driving a car fast around a corner, and straightening out from the curve at the perfect moment… that is the rush I get from making the words match seamlessly with the music.  The shadings of light and dark, fast and slow, staccato and legato.  Playing with words to express the maximum feeling and emotion, constrained only by the metre of the melody.

That is where I find my rush… my drug of choice is the written word.

We’ve established that I am not destined to rock a stadium full of crazed music fans.  We’ve also confronted the reality that as a musician, I am passable, but pedestrian in skill.

So, we are left with the Songwriting… and daunted by the marketing. 

If I cannot bring my product to the masses, how shall the masses have my product revealed to them ?

The purpose of today’s article is to frame the question.

The journey towards an answer shall be the subject of what I imagine will be an on-going series of posts, which I shall submit to this Blog as I get to noteworthy points along the path, either for their discovery, or for their revelation of a confounding dead end.

Stay tuned !!!

2 Responses to Performer vs Musician vs Songwriter…

  1. Hi Bob, cool post, I like that someone has written a post differentiating from Songwriters, musicians and performers. I think I fall somewhere in between musican/performer. I know I am not a songwriter, that is a special gift. So blessing on your journey maybe I’ll hear some of it soon.

    Cheers!
    CP

  2. Thanks Chris –
    Everyone assumes, because I’m a songwriter, that I love performing, and am an ace musician… nothing could be further from the truth. So I thought I would share the journey of trying to get my songs “out there”, and maybe help some others, along the way. Thanks for the read !

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