After acknowledging that the qualifications for a studio musician are basically all of my weaknesses, I first tried to see if I could address these issues.
My weaknesses are essentially technical aspects of playing. Regular or frequent practice would help with learning songs, reading sheet music, playing different styles, and singing while playing. So why have I given up the dream if I know exactly what to work on? Because I’ve chosen to do other things than practice! I’d rather try to spend time with loved ones… I’d rather work on my health… I want to read books, watch TV and movies, listen to music, and do all of the other things I enjoy doing. Well boohoo! That makes me a quitter, right?
I might still be trying to be a studio musician if I hadn’t picked up other hobbies throughout my life. Maybe I would spend more time practicing if things had gone differently. But in the end, none of us can go back in time. So how do I stay positive after giving up on a dream? I started down a different career path that plays to my musical strengths!
I play a few instruments, and I feel very comfortable writing, notating, and recording music. I love being on stage and also enjoy jamming with other musicians. I like to make beats and write lyrics, and I like to dabble in live sound, audio engineering, and sound design. Over the years, I’ve written and produced songs in a couple different DAWs. I’ve recorded in a professional studio twice (as a musician, but not the engineer).
These skills are very useful to songwriters. In the record label days, songwriters often made money by producing demos (like a rough draft of a song) and pitching those ideas to the producer. I’ll get into the producer’s job later, but making a demo as a songwriter used to involve knowing how to play enough instruments or sing well enough to communicate a melody and other sing components to an artist or producer.
And since many musicians can, songwriters often produce their own songs. Nowadays, songwriters can avoid making the demos by becoming the music producer, who assembles each song by whatever means available.
To be continued…