I’m experiencing a joy I never thought I’d have. I’m sharing my albums with the whole world. And I’m learning a valuable lesson.
Since I was 18 I’ve been writing and recording albums of songs, some on my Tascam Porta 2 cassette four-track, others in a professional studio, and many others just with a recording device and a piano. At intervals I would collect a certain number of recordings, put them on a cassette tape (later a CD or a playlist) and ship them off to the copyright office. If I was lucky, 2 or 3 people heard them on copies I made.
Time and technology have caught up to me. Now, for almost no money, I can upload these albums to Apple iTunes, Pandora, and anywhere else music is available. Two of my albums are now available in the same place you can listen to The Police, Johnny Cash, and Beethoven.
That ups the game. Before I can share an album I have to decide whether it’s really deserving. A lot of my albums are very rough and DIY.
Nearly all of them have things about them that disappoint me. Not professional enough, not convincing enough, not recorded well enough. But I don’t care anymore.
Nobody hears what you failed to do, what you wanted to play in a solo and missed, what you didn’t write. They only receive what you actually did. And while you can hear all the efforts and the failures, to your audience all of that is just the product you successfully created.
It’s important to judge your work based on what you did, not what you failed to do. Does your album rock? No one will know you didn’t nail that crazy lick, because they’ll be listening to the lick that’s on the album and making it a part of their experience of you.
Do I think my albums will be received with the same acclaim as Synchronicity? No, they simply don’t have that level of polish, and their appeal will be limited. But they’re what I was capable of doing, and anyone looking to hear my successes will find them.
My albums have integrity, heart, honest presentation, and good songs. They’re funny, touching, and full of surprises. I’ve enjoyed listening to them for a long time, and I’m eager to find those people who will enjoy them with me.
What’s in your closet?
News From a Jazz Musician Who Writes Books
Two new features this week. The first is a very personal interview, hard to share. If you're like me, I hope it helps:
Adam Cole is a Jazz Musician Who Writes Books. Fantasy author, music educator and performer, Adam chats weekly on the subject of listening, creativity and living your best life. To get a free book on marketing tips for passing out fliers, getting on your own radio show, and writing a blog people will read, please go to www.mymusicfriend.net and subscribe.