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Shaman's Q&A:

COMMENT FROM READER:

Hey Shaman,

Firstly, I've got to commend you on your truly sonic spiritual views on songwriting and music as a whole. It really helps to see other routes, not so obvious, to channel your thoughts when songwriting. I've got a few points to make regarding songwriting. I'm 18 and have been songwriting for around 2 and a half years now. I just seem to do it to clear my head...sometimes this life can get you so down and that is when I get these moments of inspiration to write down what's in my head.(usually around 2am!). I really want to take it further than just the hobby...now I know you'll have heard this many times before, but....does making it big in songwriting only appear to be part of the package? I mean, my strength lies in writing the songs but giving it the wings to fly has never been my strong point. I can play a little guitar, and my singing is not at its best...so is a sole songwriter who can't create a melody on a guitar or keyboard for example, seen as a leper in the music world? Is this route to fame harder? Please help....
cheers
peace,

--Susheel

ANSWER:

Susheel,

A leper in the music industry eh? It really all depends on what your goals are. Look at Bob Dylan for instance. Some would say he can't sing. Or think of Smashing Pumpkins. In an interview, B. Corigan told how him and James (the guitar player) met; it turns out that Billy taught James how to play guitar. Or when I look at these 5 member boy groups, most of them can't write their own music.

I wouldn't give up. This is only one way of looking at it, but music as we think of it, is about making people feel. If it's visual or audio, what makes people feel, people like.

But the real defining factor should be, could you stop writing and playing if you tried? Like many things, you shouldn't be lukewarm about your goals. Either commit 100%, through thick and thin, or don't. (If you go half way, you're going to cause more trouble than you need for yourself.)

It sounds like you're at the stage of life where you're trying to decide what you are. This is good then, that you are examining questions such as this. Honestly look at yourself. Everyone wants to be famous at one time, but honestly try to feel if getting there is who you are. If you honestly find that it may not be, or is not; then you know that you have not found what you were meant to do. Keep searching then. (I believe that each of us were made for a purpose in this life.)

But if you find that it, indeed, is you, it's not magic. Commit that it will happen from there; and it will. It will take work though. To a certain extent, your own personal abilities at the start won't matter. (But you should try to be good anyway.) Like everything, the music biz isn't a piece of cake, and even some of the most talented instrumentalists won't 'make it' in front of someone not as talented at the same instrument. So that tells you that it's more than being a good singer or a good guitar player.

My advice to you is that if you decide that this is where you are supposed to head in life, then do not take 'no' for an answer from life. If you have a weakness, then you should fix it. If a door is closed, you should make it open. etc., etc. Honestly give it a run to the end. Then you will know.

As far as being a leper, you will only a leper if you allow yourself to be viewed as a leper.

I hope this starts you thinking, Please write back for more clarification or elaboration. Thanks for reading!!!

--Shaman Sean

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