Many hands

Ever wanted to be a rock star?

Even better… Imagine being a central figure of a massive band that then breaks it up to be a huge solo act, traveling the world and trying everything under the sun from different music styles to acting to writing.

Yeah, I’m pretty much talking about this guy…

You can add dark glasses if you wish

…but lots of musicians have been down similar paths from Beatles to Byork (though I will admit I don’t know the mechanics of The Sugarcubes band of the latter)

But the reason I chose Sting was because of something he rightly said in the sleeve of his first solo album.

Since I started this thing people have referred to it as my solo album, which is of course ridiculous.

I know what you are probably thinking.

What? I just called it that. But as he goes on to explain there’s absolutely no way that it could have been a success without the work of his team of musicians, sound engineers and everyone else that would have been needed in 1985 to make that album finally release in the June of that year.

“The Dream of the Blue Turtles”

Whether your a rock star from the Northeastern England or someone working on a company project the truth is we all need other people to make something of substantial value. Often it’s best for one person to oversee the vision of the thing like in Sting’s case but as he said, it would have been crazy if he tried to hop around and do everything. When you work as a team, not only does the whole become greater than the sum of it’s parts (which it does) but also each person can bring the full effect of focusing on what makes them awesome.

What’s cool here is…each part is usually fueled by other people too. As a bassist myself there are plenty of other people involved to make it so that I can sit there and develop what I do from luthiers to teachers to other musicians I’ve worked with, to the entire life world outside of that that makes it so I can sit there and work on 2nd inversion arpeggios and triplets and one-e-and-ah stuff that you have to work through enevitably.

Of course this is a metaphor for the whole world outside of this.

It’s not just “nice” or “cute” to be inclusive and do away with us-and-them tribalism but it’s actually good business. If your on Team A and you want to work with the best of the best but that person, or even part of their network is in Team B, then you either resolve or accept that it wont have that person.

What’s more is the reality of possibly undiscovered talent. The bass playing world freaked out when we all first heard Bakithi Kumalo playing on Paul Simon’s Graceland album.

Now controversy behind the album rightly said things like “So it took a white person for this music to be heard?” It’s true. It should not take one of us at all and this is because of the pigeonhole thing we have that comes from a tribalistic background.

The trick is to have learned we can’t be divided. We are superior as one tribe.

Speaking of Bakithi, for today’s tunes…check this out!

Now I know…a bass album? But again, here is a project driven but many hands to make not just a light load but a beautiful one!

Check it out here and enjoy!

Bakithi Kumalo – Change

😊

Cheers,

Tom

How to be a rock star or anything else you’d like.

ABBA had to start somewhere. You can too!

There are so many versions I have read over the years of the same story. I don’t care if it’s pre or post internet, the story still works.

If you’re a Swedish quartet, a guy by himself in Iceland(Low Roar), some beach guy trying to learn the bass in Florida (Jaco) or a bunch of guys hanging out in an abandoned church (Pink Floyd) it’s the same thing.

Works for writers too.

“The Office? You sure that name works?”

…Painters as well… People who struggled with everything. People who were wealthy upperclass. Older people. Kids their dad lugged around to entertain people. Yeah, that last one’s blatantly Mozart.

It all comes down to two primary things. People are right behind me up until the moment when I reveal that part. Hence why it doesn’t happen. Knowing the truth means nothing unless it’s applied.

This came to me after watching a special on ABBA, which is why I kicked off with it. Since back in the day I’ve wanted to find what made that switch from a local gang of music guys to global superstars. I’ve held to the belief that Success leaves clues and that even though, things may not seemed planned there is things that are repeated.

Mentioned before, but worth rementioning…

The Talent Code and some of Coyle’s work also got me wondering why it works in the Mozart cases specifically, and more importantly scientifically. Sure a person might have physical advantages like the shovel-like hands of Glenn Gould, but every guy with huge hands isn’t a huge pianist.

Aaanyways..

So what is it? Is it some sophisticated thing or something really exotic like when you 1st got into Tumeric Ginger Tea?

No, like I say. This is the bit that makes people understandably walk, or dial it down when it must be dialed up.

Rule 1

You have to treat it like your work that takes hours per day, each day of the week.

Rule 2

You or your team need to work in isolation in a crucible away from the distractions of the world

Now, I am just learning and fine tuning this process myself, before you ask the obvious, but I have been applying this as much as possible for the last few months, especially because to me you should be investing in yourself, or your project just as much or more that you invest in anything. As one person said you are only as good a performer as your material you can play for someone right now, no excuses. You might use effects and so on but you should develop the root of your art so that what you do has the strongest center possible so that everything else is icing on the cake.

That’s what Benny and Bjorn did all those years ago in that little cabin, day in day out in a Scandinavian archipelago. As they said of inspiration…

It’s like gaurding a cave because a dragon may come out. You go home and nap and it might fly away.

Each day you show to the page.

Each day.

Start here.

Show up.

(Today’s music had to be an ABBA tune, so here’s one to bookend it that was near the end of their journey.

The Day Before You Came

Cheers,

Tom