I really dig sitting down with Josh Nolan. He’s an old, quiet soul with a lot of heart and wisdom.

When I interviewed him for the first episode of the Blissed podcast, I asked him if he could give me three tips for people who think playing music in front of people might be their bliss. He humbly agreed:

  1. Be Sure — The musicians life looks way romantic. Soulful performances, fans, merch, living on an old passenger van for weeks. No matter who you are, you probably, at some point, dreamed of being a rock star. So, it makes sense that some people may confuse a fantasy with their bliss. Before you devote your time and energy to what can be a really punishing lifestyle (even if you love it) make sure you really know yourself first. Is this really your dream? Your passion? Your highest enthusiasm? Or, do you just think it would be fun? Your first job is to find out.

2. Find Like Minds — Okay, so it’s your dream. But that doesn’t mean you’re prepared for it. So, to help get your prepared, Josh recommends going out and finding some other musicians. Preferably ones who have been doing it a long time. Offer to buy them a beer and then pick their brain. Find out what they know. But, more importantly, find out what you dont’.

3. Get Out There — The most important thing you can do, to be a musician is… play music. Seems obvious, but the ability to actually get out there and try it is the thing that separates the committed from the tourist, in a lot of cases. Start easy. Play for people that like you. People who can be honest about whether you suck or not. If they say you’re okay, go out and do it for somebody who doesn’t know you. Hopefully (probably), you’ll bomb. If you still want to keep going even after bombing, congratulations! You’re probably a musician!

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