Philosophical Music Tips for the Aspiring Musician by Lil' Rev

Lil' Rev sez,

1) Look like you are having a good time. Otherwise, blacken a tooth or two.

2) Let the mistakes roll right off you! Don’t call attention to them, we all do, including me, but it is best to let them go by, often folks don’t even know half the time when you screwed up, for the sake of professionalism, just keep going!

3) Good eye contact is the key to playing well with others.

4) For BIG concerts, know your tunes well.

5) Talk to your audience, they love to be engaged!

7) Be in the moment! Not somewhere else.

8) Smile! Even if you are terrified! Or make sure you are wearing a dry pair Depends.

9) Think confidently and positively and you’ll play well.

10) In leading a song, be confident enough to pretend that your cheat sheet isn’t there.

11) Sing into the Microphone, not the air

12) Music comes from the deepest part of the soul, if you are tired, stressed, overworked or unhappy, it will show.

13) It never hurts to know a few Jokes!

14) Be a character….on stage, all possibilities exist! Release your inner clown!

15) Stay Positive…this bears repeating!

16) If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

17) Self confidence is the key…I think I can, I think can, I think ….

18) Never be critical of others, even if you are perfect. We all biff it once in a while.

19) Music is about the heart & soul, not perfection.

20) Surround yourself with people who are better than you, and soon, you too will rise!

21) Playing with your-self is important, but playing with others is divine.

22) There is no substitute for lack of practice.

23) Music should be joyful! If you aren’t having fun…maybe curling would be better.

24) Be open to learning something musical from everyone.

25) Beethoven was almost totally deaf, that never stopped him. Don’t let handicaps stop you from enriching your life with music, cause man, the beat goes with or without us.

26) On the one hand the old blues guys played cheap guitars and the jug bands played homemade instruments, yet, they made the most beautiful music. Ultimately, a good instrument can inspire you to be a better player, but the caliber of the musician shall never be determined by the quality of the instrument you play. For soul knows no substitute.

27) Back when I first started playing music (age 11), it was magical and mysterious. Since those early days, I have never stopped searching for the lost chord. If life isn’t an adventure, whatever are we doing here?

28) Style and ability are not synonymous, but man! It sure helps to look good!


  1. Will be using these tips whenever I can Rev. Hope you and your family are
    enjoying the tour.

  2. Good advice, Rev.
    And I just ordered "101" from Elderly. Looking forward to its arrival.
    Liam (also a "Rev")

  3. I enjoyed your clinic and show last night in Iowa City very much - thanks!


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