May 29, 2019 • 0M

Much move, many play

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Purists may whine that the best days of music are behind us, that capital “M” music has seen its peak and is no longer relevant. But here at Play It Like It's Music we believe the opposite: not only is the act of musicmaking an essential life skill with a lineage stretching back to the beginnings of human history, but the vocation of the professional musician is more vital today than it ever has been. Once a month, join musician, songwriter and producer Trevor Exter as he drops in on working musicians from every genre.
Episode details

Sending love from Seattle. In this edition:

  1. A tiny sting [press play].

  2. A pep talk to go deeper.

  3. An array of gigs for June.

[tea in the Sahara with you…]

No Giving Up.

People become friends with me for whatever reason, but the meat of our relationship often consists of a shared contention with the musical beast inside ourselves.

I'm blessed with a few world-class friends: violinists, engineers, authors, welders, investors, activists... Living in New York brought me some great connections and gigs, but at the end of the day a gig is just a gig. We are always left with the same situation:

Inwardly facing an unfathomable amount of unexpressed music.

Unplayed, Unwritten.

Songs unsung, audiences unmet.

Not everyone is like this, but most of my friends are, no matter their choice of career or the state of their sound. It has nothing to do whatsoever with worldly success.

Designers gravitate to other designers. Visual artists to other visually-driven people, writers to each other and so forth. But music drives me.

I recognize this drive in others when it appears. We're in this and we hear things, and if I worked as a coach there'd be only one thing I’d say, and that's Don't give up.

This thing inside you is telling you something valuable. Honor it.

Because Marketworld wants you to crave something else, wants to take you away from yourself.

I know because I've tried harder to quit than I ever tried to succeed in music.

You know all the reasons to get "with the program"? I took them deeply to heart:

It's scary.

The music biz can be dicey.

The road is no way to live.

We have oversupply.

Knowing these things I tried many, many times to leave music. Or to at least contain my urges somewhere safe and manageable.

But no such constrained safety exists.

It's in me, and it will eat me alive if I don't move on it.

You may not feel this way, in which case I envy you.

But if you do, it's better to admit it and find ways to engage as the servant you really want to be.

I am a servant to my sound. I've learned that I have no other choice. But I’m happy knowing.

It does not liberate me from the responsibility to make a living, just ask any of the legions of musicians with jobs.

We don't sleep much, it won't let us. And that's fine with me.

It means less time to think about giving up.

I don't have time to give up.

Neither do you, so play.




from a new reader:

"I've recently subscribed to your newsletter and just felt compelled to let you know I think it's amazing. It's simple and thoughtful which I really like. Thanks so much for all of this, it's inspiring and I hope that one day I can contribute to the music world and musical thinking like this."

Thank you. This means so much to me because I’m flying very much by the seat of my pants, totally on faith.

Lately I’ve been riding camels, herding cats, packing up the house for a major move and basically doing everything but my music. My chops are such shit right now. But I’m feeling the pull because I have five massive gigs coming up:

I would love to connect with you at any of these!

Thank you for reading and subscribing.

I appreciate you.

Big love to your ears,





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