There’s just something incredible about the first time you do something, the initial feeling of fear, which turns into excitement and ends with a kind of feeling of flying. You’ve just gone into uncharted territory and absolutely owned it, the least you should be feeling is excitement. And I don’t doubt your next course of action is telling everyone about the crazy amazing thing that just happened.
Every first is important, I just placed first in my maths test or I just completed my first ever crossfit class (Which I just did and let me tell you I was not great but I finished it and I am so incredibly proud of myself for making it out of there alive. Crossfit is on another level and I loved it.), they are still important milestones to celebrate no matter how small they may seem.
But this is about music and music has a whole new world of firsts that bring with it a massive collection of benefits.
The opportunities music can give you are confidence building, risk taking, adventure making, types of opportunities. You will get to see the world in a whole new light and experience everything in a different way to most people.
In the beginning of my music story I had just finished my senior years at school, I was actually about to start my new career in the photo processing industry. Looking back, it was probably a great idea that I didn’t pursue that particular career. I’m one of those unique people that know how to process 35mm photographic film, something I will no doubt not need to do in the near future. I assure you many of us will acquire skills that will become almost useless in the very near future of our lives, but we live and learn.
For some crazy reason, instead of a photo-processing career, I toured Australia at the age of 18 with a group of strangers doing something that I could never have imagined would become such a huge part of my life. The number of firsts I experienced in this one year of my life was absolutely astounding.
We were on the road constantly, performing at hundreds of schools, town halls and churches, in front of thousands of people. Staying with a different family every week and in a different town with incredibly different surroundings. The firsts just kept coming; the first time in a TV studio in Sydney; first time on a millionaire’s yacht and the first time meeting some of the most amazing people around Australia.
But in all these firsts, the most exciting and freeing experiences to me were when I started writing, recording and performing my own music. These tracks were mine, I made them and I didn’t have to play them or perform them any certain way, I didn’t have to follow someone else. I just grabbed my guitar and created whatever damn music I wanted and no one could stop me.
One of the most exciting days of my life was listening to the radio and hearing a song I wrote playing on the local radio station. It could have been any song playing on the radio at that particular moment, but it was my song, my recording and I was kind of surprised, it actually sounded pretty good, well in my opinion at least.
There’s a band I worked with regularly over the years and while working with them there was one particular first for them that stood out above the rest. They turned up at a gig, played some covers and only a few originals throughout the night. As the night went on, the drinks were flowing and the dance floor was crowded with a moshpit of a combination of newly discovered breakdancers and a whole range of dance moves undiscovered. In the craziness of all this a voice started off quiet from the back and slowly got louder and as they got louder more people started to catch on to what they were saying. Eventually there was a chorus of people screaming out the names of the bands original songs, they wanted more of their music and that’s what they got. For the rest of the night the band played their original songs the best they ever had and the audience thrived off of the energy, they even sang along at the top of their voices to at least some of the words. This gig was a huge buzz for the band and this was only the beginning.
This first was one of the most encouraging moments, when you realise, hey, what I wrote is cool and people do like my music.
For you, the firsts will continue to happen, first time in the studio, your first EP or album sale. The first time you get asked to support a major artist.
My daughter released an EP in 2013 at the age of 14. One of her firsts that she is very proud of was at school when a teacher came up and asked for a signed copy of her EP. This is a musical first that she will always remember.
What you need to remember is these things don’t happen to everyone, everyday. They happen to people who are willing to put everything they have, their heart and soul, out there and share their musical ideas for people to enjoy.
Take small steps, list as many firsts that you want to achieve and start working through them.
Sometimes you will be knocked back and find things difficult, but the satisfaction of completing your musical firsts will be something you will truly never forget.