So I’m playing this gig the other day and afterwards a mother comes up to me and tells me that she wants to get her young boy into music. She said that she wanted to buy him a flute, but her son seemed to be more into playing drums. She asked me what she should do. I told her that while a flute is a great instrument, when it comes to musicianship it is “limited” in opportunities. For instance, it is “extremely rare” to find a flute in rock, R&B, reggae, or even gospel. However, just about “all” of these groups will “need” a drummer. I have always found that kids are fascinated whenever they see musicians play, but when getting your child an instrument you need to keep “modern technology” in mind. Most flutes are usually found in “orchestras sections.” Performing in an orchestra is a great honor, but it probably won’t get you as many gigs as being in a smaller and more popular type unit. When most people hire bands for functions, the less the amount of musicians the less amount of money that has to be paid out to those musicians. When it comes to recording in the studio, a lot of today’s keyboards have a “flute patch.” What that means is that you can get the exact sound of a flute on the keyboard, so instead of hiring a flute player you can just let the keyboard player “play” the flute part and most people would not be able to tell the difference. The same can be done for harmonica, violins, trumpet, sax (some patches are more realistic than others) and yes, even bass (Argh). Technology is so great now that in the studio you may only need a keyboard player to play all parts (and in some cases they won’t need a musician AT ALL). I know because when I write my own tunes I play mostly all of the instrument parts through the keyboard. I don’t have to hire anyone else for my own music. I just put the different parts down one instrument at a time on different music tracks. So when it came to this mother I gave her some advice that I hope she takes to heart. The musicians who will get the most work are usually those that play either lead guitar, drums, keyboards or bass. This group is called the rhythm section, and just about all live performance concerts will feature this setting of musicians. After that, it would be great to play a sax. When I was younger I was inspired by a group of musicians that performed in my school. I remember saying to myself, “I wish I could be like them.” Well, today… I “am.” If your child seems to have an interest in music, you just might be contributing to the next BB King, John Coltrane, or Dizzy Gillespie. A child will only learn from what is “available” to that child, so getting that child an instrument just “might” keep that child from wanting to roam the streets with the wrong element. My parents brought home pool tables, ping pong tables, baseball equipment, art supplies, basketballs and a piano, and I learned how to work “them ALL.” Your child’s greatest asset is “you.” When a parent contributes to a child’s inspiration then that child has a great chance to accomplish great things. Is “your” child worth it? Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought today, and as always, I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
singer Anthony Hamilton and Brett Jolly in concert