Have you ever wanted to climb Mount Everest or fly to the moon? Probably on your list of ‘that would be cool but maybe slightly on the impossible side’.

Have you ever thought, ‘Why would I want to climb Mount Everest’, I wouldn’t be the first and I won’t be the last?

In every person there is an innate desire to be successful, but then there is the all-consuming fear that you might not succeed, even if you plan every detail. What if it doesn’t go as planned, what if I look stupid when I fail. For me right now, what if I publish my book and no one reads it.

Often the fear overrides the desire to even attempt to succeed. But let’s look at a few closer to home desires.

You have some songs right, great little tunes that you wrote and you think, I want to record them. You’re all excited; you think this song could be the next number one hit.
But wait, what if no one likes your songs?

What if you wasted all that time and energy and no one wants to listen to it?

Guess what, some people won’t like your songs, they may even hate them, but then other people will love your songs, some will even have your songs on repeat and sing along at the top of their voice.

This is the first fear that so many songwriters and musicians have.

To be honest there are many musicians that are not game enough to play their own music. Now there is nothing wrong with playing in a covers band, in fact it is a great way to learn your craft and many people make a fantastic career out of it. But if you are a songwriter or a musician that has written your own music, the satisfaction of performing what you created is worth overcoming the fear of rejection.

There is a little secret to getting past this fear. Your first experience of driving a car is the best way to explain it.

You get into the car for the first time, in the driver’s seat. To start with there is a steering wheel in front of you, a collection of pedals below your feet and for some reason sitting on this side of the car in the front feels incredibly foreign.

But what do you do? You go through the process of completing a small collection of firsts. First time starting the car, first time putting the car into gear, first time you drive out the driveway and the first time you push your foot on the brake pedal and realise that you should press it more gently next time. As you do little steps and understand what is involved in driving, you can start doing more adventurous things, like indicating when you turn a corner, something older drivers often think they no longer need to do.

Soon you realise that you can do amazing things with this, you can drive to the Gold Coast and go to the theme parks, you can go on holidays with friends and you no longer have to get dropped off and picked up by your parents in their Toyota Tarago mini bus, who often threaten to drive through the bus stop for school pick ups and drop offs because “Technically we are a bus”. With the fear and the concerns that can come with learning to drive gone, you can now experience all the benefits.

I remember the first time a friend of mine went to drive our four-wheel drive. She told me that she knew how to drive. She got in the car, looked down at the floor and gave me a puzzled look, ‘Why are there three pedals?’ So you’ve never driven a manual before?

Each time you drive it gets easier, around the first roundabout, first set of lights and then your first time you get pulled up for a random breath test.

Easier and easier each time. At one point you may have thought you would never drive.

Achieving these firsts gives you confidence and removes the concept of failure, each time getting easier until one day, driving a road train seems even closer to your reality.

In the same way, take small steps with your music.

Play your original songs to a few people, perform them at an open mic night or stream a performance to a private group online.

Once you are ready, approach some musicians that have recorded before and ask for some guidance. Don’t keep looking at the top of the mountain, look at each step on the way to get there.

Before too long you will have your first song released and feel extremely proud of yourself. Ready to take on the next challenge.

Hint: If you want to get there a little quicker, ask people that have been there before and they will show you the best way to do things. This will save you getting lost, spending too much money on things you don’t need, going the wrong way and wasting time trying to work things out on your own.

Transcript

All right give that a go see if you can guess what that song was.
That song is from another Australian artist and we’re back again with story time with Chris and the story
today. I want to tell you all about is a opportunity that I got which was actually straight out of school.

When I finished school I started work, like most people do they you know finish school they go to uni and do some studies or start work. I started working and then I was given the chance, I should say there’s an application came up to tour with a band and I thought hmm okay I’ll put in an application and see what happens. So I applied as a guitarist I believe for the for this band it was a christian band traveling around Australia. They performed for nine months of the year in different towns all around Australia and sometimes overseas as well, it’s a band called Travellers and I put my application in, I also mentioned my other background in that I had a lot of experience in you know it’s the sound technician and all that sort of technical side of of music as well and the application came back from them they said look we’ve already filled the spot of guitarist we don’t actually need a guitarist for the tour.

But, what we do need is a sound technician and would you be interested. So I thought okay I’ll why not I you know there’s the opportunity I’ll take it, yep let’s do it.

So I said yeah let’s let’s sign the paperwork off off I went and the tour started. There was 13 members in the band. I was one of two technicians, there was a lighting and I was doing the sound and production and I have to say it was a little bit
scary to start with and the reason is that I stayed with some friends in Sydney and I’m from a small town so I you know population ten thousand you know going to Sydney and meeting a whole heap of new people was a little bit scary to do that and we turned up at this rich mansion. I got dropped off there.

I didn’t know anybody that was going to be there yet in fact nearly all of the 13 people in the band had never met each other before. This was the first time they had actually met. So not only was it a, not only was it a whole new experience in going and doing this and going I’m going to be spending the next nine months or more, it was actually about 11 months in the end with this group of people that I’ve never met before but day one we get to meet everybody including the tour manager including the the manager band manager and the on-road tour manager as well plus all the other crew and people involved in this process we’re going to meet everyone all in the same day. So we walk into this room, fancy room real expensive sound system in there, I did notice that, it was this Bose system that it was way ahead of its time.

Anyway forget the technical side of it but it was fantastic and and then we slowly got to meet all of these different people and the amazing part is as scary as it was for an 18 year old to turn up there not knowing anybody in Sydney and for the first time find out you’re gonna spend the next nine to eleven months with these people that you’ve never met before it was really really good and and in a way doing that gets you over the fear of doing a lot of things because after that you sort of think well what can there be that’s you know more scary than turning up into a strange house with nobody that you actually know or you’ve met before. The only communication I’d had was by letters and they sent through the manuals for all the sound gear that was all I had other than that I didn’t actually know any of the people. A few names had been mentioned but that was about it. The tour manager Lloyd and Alan though the manager of the the whole Traveller’s tour group, I’d heard their names but hadn’t met them so that one day was a whole heap of things that you know it could be really really fearful and it’s pretty scary it was all done over and done with him one day and after that basically we got on with the job and we went ahead and did what we had to do.

So what I want to explain is or talk about is that the whole thing about fear and with musicians there’s a big fear there’s a fear of will people like my music there’s a fear of will I look like an idiot on stage, there’s there’s so many fears, will I you know lose money on this and not be able to to pay everybody or there’s just so many so many things you know the guitarists break strings, I do that all the time, what am I going to do when that happens right in the middle of a song there’s all of these fears that you need to get over in some way and probably a good example to explain it is like driving a car. When you first learn to drive a car there’s all of these unknowns, there’s things you don’t know about yet you slowly learn what the pedals do, you learn what the road rules are, you learn how to use indicators, some people never learn how to use indicators but you learn all of these things and over time you become better at it you become more comfortable and then you know many years later you you can’t even think of how you wouldn’t have known how to drive and what the road rules are or how to do all of that. I mean you go overseas and you’ve got to learn it all in reverse but that’s that’s another story so and I do remember there’s a story a musician we had a singer in a band that we had that
she wanted to, she was only a young girl and she said oh can I move the car for you she goes I know how to drive and I said oh okay all right we had just unloaded the gear and she said can I just drive to from the loading area back to the car park area and I went okay all right and she’s on her L’s and I said yep okay jump in the car she looked down at the
pedals and she went why is there three pedals? 

Why is there an extra pedal? I went okay this is going to be really interesting.

So for her this was that first experience of how do I actually drive a manual car. She’d only, she didn’t even know they existed, she just knew there was automatics and they had two pedals that was it. So again there was something new
something that she had to learn. I don’t think she was fearful about it she just wanted to know how to do it and so when it comes to you with your music start small, start with simple things.

If you’re just starting out start playing your songs even to a recording, record yourself on your phone and play that back and look at it listen to it learn from it if you’re too scared to do that go ahead and perform let someone else film it for you. But just do one song, open mic night, something like that it doesn’t have to be anything that’s going to push you too far do even if you just do a cover and don’t do an original.

At some stage if you do get to do originals jump up and just do one just do one or two don’t make it hard for yourself
just little steps one at a time if you’re like me would rather just jump in and just go yep I can do it and then go in and and make all the mistakes all in one go then that’s okay but you’re going to learn by all of those and that’s going to help get rid
of that fear. Now if you’re still worried about it find someone who’s done exactly what it is you want to do and get them to help you because they will make it easier because they’ll say look I’ve already done that I do this all the time this is this is normal and eventually it will be normal for you as well so you shouldn’t have to worry about it. So that’s my big hint, if you’re struggling with it find someone who’s done it all before or experienced those things, completed those tasks that you want to do as a musician and it could save you a lot of money as well but it’ll save you time and make things easier for you.

So find someone who can do that. So last of all, don’t listen to your favorite music but create your favorite music and if you do want to create your music I’ve got some free courses for you. I’ll put a link down the bottom you can have a go at those free guitar courses it will teach you some basics on guitar that might make it easy for you when you do get up and perform as well and one last thing we have a podcast called Hidden Talent which is where we interview a whole collection of Australian musicians and singers.

So all you have to do is go to the podcast and have a listen.

There’s some amazing talent there, there’s lots of singer-songwriters that we’ve interviewed and chatted with about their stories and about their music you’ll get to hear some of their music or some of the links you can go to to listen to their music as well. I hope you enjoy that and this has been story time with Chris and I’ll talk to you again, very soon.