What Musicians Can Learn From Neil Young

Neil Young has been around for nearly half a century. That is not by accident. Young is an icon for outsiders because of his reputation as a recluse, but his music and lyrics have touched music fans that stretch generations. He recently hosted his thirtieth annual, Bridge School Benefit, bringing artists together such as Willie Nelson, My Morning Jacket, and Roger Waters.

What can aspiring musicians learn from Neil?

1. Don’t be afraid to be simple.

When music fans read Neil Young’s lyrics online without listening to them, they may sound simple. That’s because they are. Young’s simplicity is what makes his music speak directly to so many people.

Musicians often over-think how they should go about writing lyrics when writing the first thing that comes to mind may be more moving to listeners. His lyrics are also complemented by his great musicianship.

2. Don’t be afraid to leave your original scene.

When Neil Young was starting out as a musician. he was playing gigs in small local venues in Canada. He was a big fish in a relatively small pond, but when his friend Stephen Stills asked him to move out to California, he said yes. They later formed the band Buffalo Springfield and started to gain popularity, but Neil decided to leave again to go solo.

Musicians need to know what’s best for them as artists while taking risks to seek out more opportunity.

3. Don’t be afraid to give back.

Neil Young has consistently supported his causes for a long time now. Not all musicians are in a position to run their own charity, but the goal is always to be successful enough to do so. Young has been part of running the Bridge School Benefit with his ex-wife Pegi. Proceeds go to the Bridge School, which helps students with physical impairments.

Beyond playing his own music at the benefit, Young is able to get other musicians to come out to play for his cause. Bring people together.

Through Young’s fearless dedication to different causes, he has gained a respected network of musical friends. He made a decision to leave his own scene in Canada to become a greater artist in the states. Neil’s songwriting also proves that it has stood the test of time. He is turning seventy-one next month and still plays to wide audiences, as only a great musician always can.

Interested in getting your YouTube video discovered by masses of targeted fans? Click this link: www.promolta.com

Will Randick is a blogger and educator working out of the Bay Area.

Leave a Comment