12 Things You Should Never Say To A Musician

Saw this article the other day and had a nice laugh so I thought I’d share it with a few notes of my own added.


1. So Are You Trying To Be A Musician
I am a musician. Not trying. Trying to be a musician is watching the first YouTube video on how to hold a guitar. Not what I have done for the past 15 years. That is BEING a musician. Why don’t people understand just how much work it takes to be a musician?  How many hours and late nights and how much sweat and pain goes into it? Most professional musicians have WAY more education than your average executive and certainly way more than your average plumber yet barely can scrape by.

2. You Sound Like…
I know you’re trying to be nice by putting me in good company, but musicians want to feel original. We don’t want to hear we sound like everyone else. That we’re unoriginal. It’s fine for you to sell your friends on listening to someone new by comparing them to well known artists, but when talking to a musician, the best compliment is “you sound like YOU and it’s awesome.” Unless you’re talking to a pop producer, then yeah, “it sounds like Katy Perry” is probably the best compliment you could give. At one point in my life I actually stopped learning other people’s guitar solos because I’d get so into figuring out what made that person sound the way they did that I’d end up sounding like them for a couple of months.

3. You Should Try Out For American Idol
I will slap you. The odds of making it there are so slim, really?

4. When Am I Going To Hear You On The Radio?
When your radio plays better s**t. More likely when I happen to run into the right person and the sun and moon align just correctly so that a record company executive just happens to fall into my lap and invest a huge amount of money to make that happen.

5. You Should Be On The Voice
Because that’s a career builder. Right Jermaine? See American Idol comment above.

6. You Must Love Karaoke
No, actually, I hate karaoke because I have to listen to you sing. Or I just need a good laugh.

7. Can I Get On The List? Plus 1?
You don’t have $10 to support my music, but you have $50 for the round of shots you just bought everyone? I could barely afford the gas to get here.  Do you give me free stuff from your work?

8. What’s Your Real Job?
It’s this little field called music. It’s way more real than those TPS reports you put together for the Bobs. No my job is plastic, made from entirely synthetic material engineered by an evil corporation bent on world domination.

9. What’s Your Backup Plan
What’s yours? Selling stuff in a music store. 🙂

10. It Will Be Great Exposure
Meaning, it doesn’t pay. No thanks. Really bar/restaurant owner, can you cater my next party for free because it may be great exposure for your restaurant?

11. I Have A Great Idea For A Song
And I have a great idea on how you can fix my faucet better. But let’s keep these things to ourselves. And please tuck your shirt in and pull your pants up.

12. Free Bird
That stopped being funny in ’97. My band used to have a Skynard medley ready for this situation, including the end of the live version of Free Bird where the guitar solo goes on for like 10 minutes.  We also had a Metallica one ready.  Be careful what you ask for…..

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