Hello! Today we explore one of the most powerful tools for focusing your music career goals and giving yourself what you need to be in the best position for success. Wow, that was a mouthful. Now the succinct version:
Get Rid Off Shit That Does You No Good!
Now I freely admit that this is hard. Getting rid of stuff you’ve accumulated hurts, especially if you don’t make a whole lot of money. But, it really does work if you can bring yourself to do it. It clears your head, clears your space thereby removing physical and mental barriers to success. Depending on your situation it can also bring in a little cash that you can use for things that will propel you forward. Perhaps the most powerful aspect of becoming a Rock and Roll Minimalist is that by removing a great variety of mental and physical distractions (and sometimes they are the same) you open up a lot of energy and space that can be applied to achieving your goals.
What Is This Minimalism
The Minimalism we speak of here is not musical genre, but a lifestyle genre. In a nutshell it’s about learning to do without things that don’t really serve much purpose in your life in favor of focusing on the things that have a meaningful impact on your quality of life – or in this context we’ll say the quality of your musical career. This can mean getting rid of stuff you have or just not buying stuff you don’t really need.
Here are some examples:
- Sell or give away a bunch of personal belongings so that you can move to a smaller apartment and save money for touring, equipment, merch, practice room rent, or just not having to have that irritating roommate, etc. This could include items like books that have been collecting dust since you read them once 2 years ago, drawers full of clothes that you don’t wear, kitchen stuff you never use, crappy old furniture, irritating roomates…
- Jettisoning people in your band that don’t contribute or aren’t critical to the sound, or on the other side of the coin, ditching your half good band full of slackers and building a better one on your own terms. It’s always hard to let bandmates go. But is that a reason to spend years beating a dead horse? Hell no. Make a clean break and move on.
- Getting rid of equipment you don’t need. For years I’ve had three disassembled guitar projects lying in boxes. ”Man these are going to be cool once finish rebuilding them.” Bzzzt. They’re taking up space. End of story. Another example may be the “backup guitars” that you haven’t touched in a year. Sell em. Use the money for something you’ll use, pay off some debt, or hell just save it.
Are you digging on the picture I’m drawing for you? It’s taking control, and organizing your life around your goals instead of ambiguous desires for stuff.
How Does Being A Minimalist Help Me Get My Rock On?
By making you a lean, mean, Rock machine. Buy jettisoning shit that doesn’t serve any purpose toward reaching your goals. When all you own is stuff that is truly useful and relevant to you, you have no choice but to focus on the task at hand. And for us that task is purveying only the finest quality rock music in the land.
Some of the decisions are hard. I recently decided to reform my band as a duo. Of course I love The Black Keys, The White Stripes, Bass Drum Of Death, Flat Duo Jets, and others. It’s a sound I’ve always related to but had never tried. But the catalyst was the desire to strip down to the most uncomplicated unit possible. I wanted to be able to throw our shit into a car and go when faced with the sudden opportunity for a choice gig. It was hard to walk away from musicians who are great people and great players but not part of that equation. No, it down right sucked. Friendships were damaged. It was a hell of a lot harder than taking a bath on three decent but unused guitars at the pawn shop. But, after taking some much needed time off to clear my head, the choice became clear as well.
More Minimalist Lore – Wait. Can You Have “More” Minimalist?
Yes. Yes you can. And once you start purging, you’ll want more too. It feels good to de-clutter and better organize your life. You wonder why you didn’t do this before.
The Minimalist Lifestyle is something many people of all walks of life find energizing, so it’s not shocking that there are some great websites devoted to it. I love finding inspiration and knowledge that isn’t specifically music related yet also applies to my passion for rocking out. As a closely held rule I don’t buy into everything anybody says on any topic, but rather treat other peoples advice as potential tools that may or may not be helpful to me. I like to pick and choose in other words. With that said, here are a few of my favorite blogs with a minimalist bent.
Ok. That’s the gig. Go forth and rock!