The number one most under-rated, under-talked about factor in your success in the music business is…

Drum roll please…


I know that might sound boring. 

It isn’t sexy to talk about.

Being endorsed by a big media company like Rolling Stone can make you look cool to your friends.

And it feels great to have a record label sign you to a deal.

But none of those things help you become a master in what you do.

If you want to be a master songwriter, nothing beats practice. 

Doing it over… and over… and over again.

If you want to play guitar like John Mayer, even watching how-to YouTube videos or buying an expensive guitar isn’t going to get you there like sheer practice will.

If you want to be a crazy-good stage performer, money and network alone will not get you there. You actually have to practice doing it.

Jerry Seinfeld, one of the greatest comedians of all time said, “Today’s lack of greatness is because we have a lack of focus.”

Smartphones are an amazing thing, but they are also the biggest distraction that we have ever had.

We are all so bad, myself included, at simply sitting down for hours at a time and getting really good at something by doing it over and over again. Our brains are trained to want that next dopamine hit. And we are over trained to want it all the time. Every time someone likes one of your posts, or comments on your video, you get that dopamine hit. It’s designed that way. The social media companies aren’t dumb. Your attention is how they make money and help their investors grow their stock.

There are a  surprisingly small amount of true “virtuosos” in music anymore. When someone can truly come in and sing a song from top to bottom in one take, and it sounds like a finished record, like an artist we work with, Jordana Bryant, it is highly unusual. That’s one of the many reasons we decided to work with her and help her out in her artist career.

There’s a reason why there are so few session musicians in Nashville, who are actually doing it full time as their primary source of income. If you were a fly on the wall for any of the band tracking recording sessions that we do, you would understand what I mean. The talent that it takes to walk into a room having never heard a song before, hear it once, and then play your parts on it (mind you, writing them at the same time) and have them sound like a finished record immediately is staggering and so few can do it. 

Today there are a lot of artists who know how to manipulate a DAW like logic or pro tools enough to edit together mediocre takes, but then when you go and see them live in the room, it’s highly un-impressive. That’s the good and the bad about how easy it is to record music nowadays.

But if you go back to any of the greats in our business – Celine Dion, The Beatles, Dolly Parton, Michael Jackson, well, they’re people who really got their 10,000 hours in. 

We had the pleasure of tracking a live bluegrass band a bit ago with some of the best players in the world. And what we learned is that most of them have been playing non-stop since they were little kids. It’s no wonder they can make it look so easy and sound so amazing. 

There are plenty of examples of people who started an instrument later on and still found success, but they’re people who put in a lot of practice. In general, it’s true that there’s an advantage to starting early.

The music business isn’t only about talent and skill. But if you want to give yourself an out-sized advantage over everyone else trying to make it, then make sure you invest as much time practicing as you can. 

So get to it!

And if you want to learn more about ways we can help you stay accountable to putting in the practice and taking steps toward your musical goals, email me at! 


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