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Doing too much in music: how to keep it simple

I heard him playing as I walked up the stairs to the wide double doors. He was good - young - but good. I could hear his influences and study immediately. It sounded like jazz, it sounded like blues; it was an eclectic Miami mixture. I thought about what I was to do now as I put the gear that I did have down on the old church floor.

This was an audition, one that I almost did not go to because I did not have all of the equipment necessary to showcase my abilities. I did not have an amp or a pedal board on me because I had recently moved down to South Florida on a whim a few weeks earlier. As I listened a little longer I realized it did not matter.

He was simply doing too much. Quiet sections of music that needed emotion and delicacy were filled with powerful licks and distorted runs. Chord sections were played with the wrong tensions and colors. The music was busy and it was very easy to tell; I eagerly sat by the side ready to play my turn. I did what I had always done in the past; I played in the pocket and listened to every nuisance. It wasn't a perfect audition but I sat where I needed to in the mix and the church heard everything they needed to hear. We held a short meeting and they chose me for the part.

That audition taught me an important lesson that I hope helps you as a reader too. Always give what the situation requires, whether it be music or life. Doing too much or trying to show every ability you have all at once can really hurt the overall sound and especially when it comes to Christian music it can hurt the message. Overall, stay humble.

p.s. prayers to Orlando for all of those affected by the shootings.

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