3 Ways to Find Why You Make Music



Do you make music for the fame?  Are you searching for that ever everlasting attention begotten from rock stardom?  Or maybe you’re on those that are in it for the chicks?  Why do you make music?  If you make music, what motivates you to continue?  Do you have a reason?  Do you know what it is?  For some of us, we may be lost in our musical identity.  We may not even remember why we started, or how to get to where we want to go.  Knowing the why can often reveal the how.  Here are three ideas to help you dig into the inner you and come up with the answers of why you make music.

The Millionaire Mind

Every musician that has a day job would rather be making music for a living.  My philosophy is that the number one thing that holds back a musician is lack of knowledge.  Less mentioned is number two on my list, and that is the why.  Without a why, there is no motivation to come up with a reason to even write another song.  The why not only motivates us to continue to make music, it’s also what motivates us to find an identity in our music.  It’s what makes my music different than her music that’s different from his music and so on because we all have different motivations for doing what we’re doing, and that comes out in our personality, our lyrics, and our audible paintbrush.

So, how do we find the why?  Pretend you have a million dollars.  If you do, I commend you, if you don’t, pretend you do.  You no longer have a day job, you no longer need to make music for a living to get away from your day job, you are secure, fed, clothed, happy, and without want.

Not only do you have a million dollars, but another million will appear in your bank account tomorrow, no questions asked, nobody looking for it.  Yawn.  Same old, same old.

Now what do you do.  Certainly $365 million this year would be nice, but come on, after awhile, you got all the cool gadgets, you have the nice houses, you live where you want in any season you like, you do what you want with whomever you choose, and the only thing that’s on your mind is how to spend all that money.

What would you do?  What charities would you give to?  What causes could you help with all that money.  It doesn’t matter what you spend today, it’s replenished tomorrow.  What matters to you now that your rich?

Your not concerned at all with your own situation any longer.  You could give all that you have today, and tomorrow, you would be back on your way to whatever lifestyle you wanted.

Do you still want to make music anyway?  Are you so passionate about music that you will make it without the need to use it as a vehicle for money?  If so, are you making it for yourself or other people?

Let’s say now that money doesn’t exist.  Poof…gone.  The only currency is music.  And the only way it’s worth anything to anyone is if it helps someone somehow.  What does your music do?  What is the one thing you would change in this world if you could?

Everlasting Change

Another thing to consider when finding the why inside of you is change.  Let’s pretend this time that your music is magic.  No question.  When you play your music, and it is heard, it changes people.  If you wanted to, those that are struggling would be free.  If you wanted to, those in pain would be at peace.  If you played the right song those in need are no longer in want.  Your music now literally can change the world.

If there was something you could do to help those who need your help as the magic musician, what change would you make in the world?  What difference do you make?  Who do you rally around?  What cause gets your attention?  What injustices would you end?  Who gets your love and attention?  Why do you make music?

After Music Ends

Let’s pretend that you have changed the world, everyone is equal, there is no reason for want, disease is over, love is in the air, and the sun is rising on another beautiful day, without a cloud.  Now what do you do?

Surely we all have to continue some kind of job as we all help each other to survive, learn, and teach.  Education must continue.  Garbage will still need picking up.  We all will have a need for each others expertise.  What is your job after music?  What role do you play now in society?  You are no longer an artist as you leave that to those who still feel the need to pursue that expertise.  You’re on to the job after music, so what is it?

Does the answer to this question matter?  I say yes.  I say it’s who you are that defines your job, not your job that defines who you are.  You now have a choice to be anything you want for the benefit of others and your own enjoyment.

It is the answer to these scenarios that make up you who you are as a musician.  Your concerns and your judgment of what is wrong and right in the world is a musical identity waiting to happen.  It is the answers to these scenarios that make the answer to why you make music possible.

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  • http://www.tres-chic.eu/ chillout music

    I absolutely agree. Many good musicians do not create music just for the fame or money but for their own self-fulfillment. That’s what separates good artists from bad or mediocre artists.

    Great article. Thanks for the post.

  • http://hungryartiz.com/2013/10/24/everyone-is-a-critic/ Everyone Is A Critic | Hungry Artiz

    [...] tell you how: because everyone is a critic. Everyone has opinions. That’s just how it goes. Musicians create music for their own reasons. Whether it is to make a million dollars or to sell a million records (NOT the same thing, but [...]

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