I consider it a great privilege to be able to say I have been a professional musician for over three decades. That makes me feel old, but not really. Because one thing I’ve learnt in all that time is that it takes many years to establish credibility in this game.
I’ve always prioritised the importance of teaching at a high level. That never meant simply taking a theoretical approach or showing a bunch of songs to a student. Obviously the rudiments were important but I knew that to be a good teacher of this instrument I also had to be a good player and performer. Being able to help students develop themselves into competent performers is, I believe, an important component of this job.
Thankfully, I’ve had the opportunity to perform on many stages over the years both as a sideman and leader and even now I see every opportunity as a chance to further perfect my craft.
That is an important clue I think – to never feel that you are merely going through the motions. If that ever occurred I would certainly need to reconsider my vocation. I feel very fortunate that I am as excited about playing and recording and teaching guitar today as I have ever been. How lucky that is.