A Musician’s Daily Routine: My 24 Hours

be a musicianPerhaps you are wondering what my life as a musician is. I believe that if you ask any other artist, they will give the same answer: my schedule is ever changing, at times good, most of the time overwhelming.

As a musician who has served as a full-time musician for several years now, I have already established my own routine, which may be different with that of the others. However, as I have mentioned, it is constantly changing depending on some outside factors.

I categorize my schedule depending on whether I have gigs or not.

When Not Out on Gigs

musician7:30 a.m.: On a typical day at home, I usually wake up around 7:30. A typical person that I am, I head to the bathroom, brush my teeth. And oh, I love my electric toothbrush. It allows me to think while brushing. I then head my way to making coffee, because my day cannot start without it. Then, I open my computer, checking my inbox. While the coffee is brewing, I make my bed, prepare my coffee, and sit down, browsing through my received messages. Every day, I get about 100 emails. Then, I begin replying to them. Usually, I do so depend on which one is the easiest to answer, and which ones are the hardest. I know, I know, it’s not the best strategy out there, but that is how I do it because it’s more productive for me, and I allow the coffee to sink in first before I work on the harder to answer ones.

11:00 a.m.: Since it’s a free day, I usually work out, lifting weights, running, and others.

1:00 p.m.: After work out, I come home, and work on some other projects I have. I am working with two interns from a local university, and today’s lesson is related to booking. I usually manage my own booking, but since I do not have enough time, I allow my assistant to do it.

2:30 p.m.: I usually have lunch at this time. By 3:00 p.m., I usually go back to my laptop, checking my emails, and see the replies of those I have communicated with earlier in the morning.

3:00 p.m. onwards: I do other things, taking my dog for a walk, working until about 1 in the morning, this time, focusing on the difficult emails, such as contracts and similar content. This is also the time when I do other social activities, such as dinner with friends, and others.

musician 2Now, a day at work, that is, when touring, doing gigs, and others can be very different from a typical day. This is because there are certain factors that enter the picture, such as the location of the gig (which is usually out of town), the time, and several others.

By the way, I collaborate with a band, though I also do solo gigs. The tours we have are usually for private events or as back-up to concerts of more famous bands, and others. They always ask me why we didn’t audition to enter the mainstream, but nah, I said, I’m happier this way. I am the type of person who likes having a life, helping others (through this blog), and enjoying music the way it is, not as a main source of stress.

My Daily Mantra

Aside from the things that I do at certain times of the day, I also have my personal mantra, that is, things that I condition myself to believe in throughout the day. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Get Inspired

As a love of music, I get inspired by music. As such, while brewing my coffee and checking out on my emails, I usually start my day with music that really inspires me. Trust me, I listen to a wide range of music varieties. One day I listen to Bach, the next day hard rock.

musician 3

  • Planning Out

I usually feel that my day is not productive whenever I fail to plan my day out. This especially applies when I am out for gigs and tours. True, others do the scheduling for me, but I plot everything in my head, to establish expectations.

Well, they say, the life of a musician is an exciting one, and I agree. Being able to do something that you love while earning at the same time is a rare commodity these days. I love what I do, and the thought of waking up every music-filled day is a blessing.

bass guitar

My Passion: Playing the Bass Guitar Since I Was 13

bass guitarAnother instrument that I find interesting is the bass guitar. The passion for learning this instrument came after I felt that I was already confident with my playing of the acoustic guitar. Some of my friends were gifted enough to learn how to play the bass guitar directly, but in my case, I took the ‘traditional’ route.

These days, I find myself being asked for tips and suggestions that would benefit beginners in playing bass guitar. Of course, I could primarily speak from my experience, but being in company with other musicians have taught me more things. Here are some of them that I would like to share with you, in case you are wondering too:

  • acouisticAs mentioned, if you want to play the bass guitar well, it is highly recommended to be knowledgeable on how to play the standard, acoustic guitar first. This knowledge will serve as your guide when it comes to learning a new set of chords, as well as the rhythm of your guitar.
  • A bass guitar takes the role of holding music together. As such, it is very important to make sure that the bass guitar that you have is always on top condition. This can be done by tuning your guitar each time you use it.
  • Practice can make your skills perfect. As a matter of fact, even popular guitarists continue to practice in order to make sure that they do not commit a mistake while they are performing. In line with this, it is important that you have already mastered all the basics before you start out on some new techniques in playing.
  • Successful playing of your bass guitar depends on how well you really play the instrument, and not just on the number of styles that you know. Therefore, it would be too much if you overly focus on practicing new styles. In fact, I would personally suggest practicing your basic notes continuously, and do some chords switching along the way. As you continue practicing, you will learn to develop a dependable musical ear so that you can copy the songs you hear easily without depending on the chords.

Aside from these tips, getting a good bass guitar is also very crucial. Here are some suggestions I have when it comes to choosing a good bass guitar:

  • Do not invest on something huge now

If you are still a beginner, it is not recommended to spend too much on your guitar. In fact, all you need to do is to look for a good quality guitar which will allow you to learn more. Later on, if you have already mastered the tricks, you can upgrade to a more expensive one.

  • Consider comfort and playability

best bass guitarWhen choosing a good bass guitar, it is also important to think about comfort and playability. This means choosing one that feels very comfortable while playing it. The guitar needs to feel good as you hold it. It should also be very easy to play, and one that produces good sound.

  • Compare prices

typesI would never suggest getting the first acoustic guitar that you lay your eyes on. This is a common mistake by many. If you are really looking for the right one for you, price is a huge factor. It does not mean that the more money you spend, the better quality you can expect. As a matter of fact, you can get a high quality bass guitar without having to spend a lot of money. Compare prices from various shops, whether in an actual store, or online.

My passion in playing the bass guitar started when I was 13. I could definitely say that having a good bass guitar means a lot. I feel that my bass guitar is my partner. It took me about two months to decide which one to get, and have asked about ten people for suggestions. In the end, it was me who made the decision.

I did not regret spending time to do my own research. My bass guitar has been with me for several years now, and I completely love the way it feels in my hand.

piano lesson

How I Learned To Play Piano At Home

pianoI have always felt that my inclination towards music was brought about by the influence of my family. My mom plays the piano, which explains why I have also learned how to play the instrument. However, it was my grandmother who became my piano teacher. They even have a grand piano at my grandparents’ house.

I remember going to the house of my grandparents every weekend to have my piano lessons with my grandma. Looking back at those days, I never really thought of them as classes. In fact, the very first song I played was a ‘widowed’ one. I never started with learning the notes or getting myself familiar with the music sheet.

piano lessonLater on, my mother decided to buy a piano for me to practice with at home. However, she thought that having a grand piano would be too much for me as a starter. For that, they got me a digital piano. That piano is still with me until now, though it no longer plays the way I remember it to be.

But yes, that digital piano was a good starter at that point. I have noticed that these days, there are a lot of digital pianos that are available in the market. They come in different sizes and features state-of-the-art technology in music. Recently, we purchased a digital piano for a music school, and I have observed that modern digital pianos are a step higher than the one I used to own.

Are you planning to get one for yourself?

digital pianoI have gathered some useful tips on how to choose the best digital piano. You can use this guide in order to make a good decision before spending your money.

For one, keep in mind that purchasing a digital piano can be considered as a challenging attempt, especially if you do not have any background of it in the first place. If you are a beginner, one thing that you need to understand is that a digital piano is entirely different with an acoustic piano.

A digital piano is actually a ‘copy’, mimicking what an original, or acoustic piano should be. The difference, however, is that rather than hammers and strings, a digital piano uses sounds which have been ‘digitally sampled’. These sounds were used in order to imitate the original sound of a piano. These days, a lot of people prefer purchasing a digital piano because of its portability, low-maintenance, and other features.

digital piano 3

Now, let’s look into the features that you need to look for, as well as the things that you need to know.

  • A good digital piano is one in which the keys freely move beneath your fingers almost in the same way that the acoustic piano does.
  • At times, a digital piano may have a spring action that is damaged, which may impact the tone it produces. Therefore, it is highly recommended to bring a set of headphones with you in order to check each key before purchasing a unit.
  • digital piano 2When I look for a digital piano, I do not just stay and focus on one brand. It would be helpful if you try different brands so that you can compare and select the one that sounds better. After all, it is not the price range or the brand that makes the digital piano a good one. It depends on you, whether or not you are comfortable with the sound of the piano selected.
  • Check the range of tone. Does it change as you turn the volume up? What happens when the volume is done? The tone of the digital piano need to be consistent regardless of the volume.

These are just among some of the things I usually look for when checking on the digital piano. If you are really a beginner, it would be helpful to bring someone knowledgeable with you as you shop for a digital piano.

You can also take advantage of the knowledgeable assistance of the piano sellers. It would also be best to check on the features of a particular model by searching online. In this way, you can compare before you make a decision.