Should you approach your music as a hobby or as a professional?


Thanks for getting back to me a couple weeks ago….really like Willie Nelson’s “Just Breathe” – been practicing that a lot – think I’ve got a passable set-up….also looking at 2 input amplifiers. Really like this new hobby!!

So – can you recommend some other songs I should be looking at? I like your style, and I like your taste of music – looking for ideas of songs I can work on. What is your gig schedule in Alexandria in the coming weeks?

Any help would be appreciated!! Thanks!

Lin, Detroit Lakes, MN


Hi, Lin!

Nice to hear from you! Good on getting that song drilled in real well. It's a beaut'!

First of all, stop thinking of it as a "hobby". Approach it as a professional, all the way, at all times, even for the smallest informal performance. Don't be dilettante, or jack-of-all-trades, or sloppy about any of it. In addition to your advancement as a performing artist, that would, of course, include your approach to potential clients, the way you dress, your business practices and administrative policies as a performer, etc., etc. Whether you make a living at it (which you can, of course, if you choose to), or not, give it the care you would give to your job or your business.

I don't know what songs to recommend, as I'm not observing you perform to have any opinion about what would suit. However, a good rule of thumb is to play songs that you love and want to play and to communicate to the world, and that you can learn well enough to make an emotional impact with. And, temper that with what your audiences can easily receive, so you are bringing them into the equation. If you follow my previous advice about doing everything to a professional standard, then your ability to make that emotional impact on people will follow. And, that is where performing really brings satisfaction and joy!

Jeannie Deva has a book about how to perform, and what repertoire you should choose is a chapter in there.

Happy Trails to you, until we meet again!



Really good advice Charlie – thank you for that! Appreciate you taking the time to coach me along – I really do….I think I under-estimate the impact I have on people, eh? We probably all do this somewhat. Maybe that’s why I like the song “Just Breathe” so much – many people need to hear that!

We will be in touch!!

Thanks again.



That's awesome, Lin. Yes, you got it! That's the purpose, and the privileges and responsibility that go with it.

I'm glad if I can help you along the way. It is part of my purpose in this world to forward the arts and the artist who is in the thick of it, creating works to uplift mankind through aesthetics. My joy is to see people living happier, culturally richer lives.

Be seeing you!


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