How This Musician Made It Big As A Niche Instrumentalist

There are so many guitar player/singers in the music world that it has become strange to see a musician make it with any other skill set. Trombone Shorty has done that, and by finding success with his instrument of choice, he has blazed a path for the modern instrumentalist.

Here’s what all musicians can learn from Trombone Shorty’s success.

1. A lifetime of dedication pays off.

Shorty started young, hence the nickname. He played professionally at the age of 13. That’s not to say anyone older than 13 shouldn’t even try, but the very fact that he never wavered shows his dedication.

That kind of dedication to an instrument is certainly where success starts.

2. He pays tribute to the origins of the instrument.

Dedication to an instrument means knowing where it comes from, and for the trombone and Jazz that means playing in New Orleans. Trombone Shorty pays homage time and time again to the rich history of the genre by visiting and playing in The Big Easy.

He also named his band “Orleans Avenue,” which doesn’t hurt.

3. He put in his time playing backup.

Just like Jimi Hendrix, Troy Andrews (Trombone Shorty) spent years playing with the greats. He played backup with Wynton Marsalis, Wycliffe Gordon, and other countless legends before making it big himself.

Any specialty instrumentalist is expected to put in some time playing on other people’s records before they start to get recognition.

Trombone Shorty is a great example to follow for any aspiring instrumentalist. He went through the necessary motions and his method is fairly easy to repeat. The key is to invest a lot of time.

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Gabriel Dufurrena is a mathematician, writer, and educator living in Oakland, CA. When he’s not watching YouTube videos or teaching math, he’s still noodling around on the bass.

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