Your most important word as a musician is

NO.

NOs are how you become a player (or band or singer or songwriter or producer) who has something to say. 

Nobody remembers the players who can do EVERYthing, who do ANYthing that comes their way. 

We remember and love and get absolutely rabid about the players, singers, and bands who are unabashedly good at, basically, one thing.  That's why we love them!  They do one thing to the maximum!  They don't give a sh*t about all the other things they could do or should do.  

You can think of a bunch of examples, can't you?  Some that come immediately to my mind: Tina Turner (fiery vocals, legs), Mick Jagger (energy, lips), Stevie Ray Vaughn (blistering guitar, that black hat), etc.  I'm not even gonna start listing jazzers who kill one thing, one sound, one emotion.

So your most important word is NO.  Actually, it's HELL NO.  (Many thanks to John Morgan and Rich Litvin for teaching me this invaluable life lesson.)

HELL NO, I'm not spending 1000 hours learning how to play Cherokee backwards in all 12 keys at quarter note = 248!  Screw that!?  (Unless, of course, that is exactly the thing you want to say HELL YES to!)

HELL NO, I'm not leaving this apartment until I finish this new song I am working on!

HELL NO, I'm not taking that gig.  I'd have to drive 6 hours, then play for 4 hours for tips to 5 regulars sitting at the bar ... F*ck that!?

 

When you say HELL NO, you create space for HELL YES.

And HELL YES is where you want to be for as many days of your life as possible.

 

What are your HELL YESes and your HELL NOs?  When you say HELL NO, what does that allow you to create?