In the past few years, too many talented people have left this world. Musicians continue to touch lives after they are gone, gaining their own immortality.
How did they do it? What can these icons teach aspiring artists about greatness?
1. Like Prince, learn everything.
Prince tried his hand at as many instruments as he could and succeed by becoming proficient at playing nearly everything. This artist was self-reliant, knowing enough on his own that he didn’t have to call on any session musicians while working at his studio in Minnesota.
On his debut album, Prince played 27 different instruments. Start with one, but don’t stop there.
2. Like David Bowie, be a chameleon.
David Bowie knew how to shapeshift like none other. From the space-age glam rock to his plastic soul era, Bowie had his finger on the pulse of current music trends and knew how to blend in by standing out. This is what made him so timeless.
3. Like Lemmy, live on the edge.
It is not this musician’s strong suit to play it safe, and Motorhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister knew how to enjoy himself. Take pleasure in what you do and learn how to have fun while working really hard.
Motorhead created a slew of studio and live albums, but they seemed to be done having a good time. Don’t take yourself too seriously. It’s only rock and roll.
These artists teach artists to be fearless, watch the trends, yet defy them. It’s possible to have fun and take your craft seriously. Take notes, and with a little luck, you can spread your sound to ears across the world.
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Will Randick is a blogger and educator working out of the Bay Area.