You now have access to the exclusive Camp Electric magazine. Each year students receive this limited edition magazine and now you can download your own copy for free!
What is the key to being a great musician? We often wonder if there’s a certain piece of gear holding us back or whether we should have studied at a particular school in order to give us a leg up. There are so many options out there, from methods of playing to sounds we can create. While we all want to be unique in our approach to music, there are a few things every Christian musician needs to have if he or she wants to be effective in their journeys. It doesn’t matter if music is a career you want to pursue or a hobby you simply enjoy on the side. Here are some of the things which every Christian musician needs to have as part of their identity in this area.
A Personal Message to Proclaim
Who are you? What do you bring to the table? Each of us has a personal background, a story to share. What are your convictions? What do you have to say? Music is all fun and games when you are covering other people’s music or just playing around at home. Eventually every Christian musician needs to understand the message they can proclaim to the world. Worship leaders at church and pop singers who play stadium crowds both need to use their voices with purpose. When you can figure out who you are as an artist, you’ll be ready to make music that matters.
Basic Gear to Get the Job Done
Whenever you want to get serious about a hobby or new business venture, you need to acquire the necessary gear. If you want to be a photographer, that means a decent camera, some editing software, and a few accessories. What’s missing in your toolbag as a musician? It all starts with an instrument, so that’s a given. You can borrow one for a while, but eventually you’ll need to rely on your own equipment. What else do you require to get the job done? It’s easy to get lost in the rat race of buying new gear, but there are a few essential items you need to be serious as a musician. These pieces can differ based on whether you’re a drummer, a singer, or something in between. Gather the necessary materials for what you do as a musician and don’t worry too much about what comes next.
The Ability to Perform in Front of a Crowd
One of the most important skills every Christian musician needs to have is the ability to play in front of a crowd. What good is it to be able to perform alone in your room if you can’t apply your talents where others can see. Perhaps if you never plan on playing in public this would be acceptable, but sharing your sound with others is kind of the whole point of being a musician. Learning how to perform onstage is a different, but related, set of skills you’ll want to earn. You have to work the crowd, know how to improvise, fight your nerves, and embrace the moment in the room. Even if you only plan to lead worship in your church, there are some things you can pick up that will make you more effective at the task.
Every Christian Musician Needs to Have a Solid Relationship with Jesus Christ
What point is there in being the best musician the world has ever seen if you’re missing that personal connection with your Creator? The Bible puts it another way in Mark 8:36: “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” Worship leaders and rock’n’roll players alike need to have established a relationship with Christ and maintain it each day through prayer, fellowship, and Bible study. This is especially true for those who wish to serve as some kind of spiritual leader in their communities. How can you speak truth when you’re constantly neglecting Truth? By taking the time to progress your spiritual walk, you’ll find yourself better equipped to perform as a musician and peacefully go about life in numerous areas.
Friends and Connections Both Inside and Outside of the Music Scene
You’ll find it’s a lot harder to go through life without connections. From professional contacts to friends you’ll make in your community, it helps to be part of a network. The reason why every Christian musician needs to make these connections is because it will help you get your name out there. Maybe the difference between your band being a local act and one known on a national level is based on one concert promoter knowing who you are and having a good relationship with you.
On a smaller scale, it’s just good to have friends with whom you can make music and experience life. These are the people who challenge and inspire you, the ones who will have your back when life disappoints you. A friend who doesn’t play an instrument but can recruit a few dozen people to come to your show is worth his weight in gold. Wherever you can, make friends with people in the music business and those outside of it as well.
Experience as a Songwriter
Do you only want to be performing covers for the rest of your life? You can make a good business out of playing other people’s hit songs from years past at corporate events and weddings, but songwriting is an important part of being a musician that can separate those acts from someone who can go on tour around the country. No matter what vision you have for a life in music, you should be trying your hand at writing songs of your own. You may not be very good at first, but it’s a skill worth constantly sharpening. Learning how to write your own music will help you discover who you can be as an artist.
An Attitude of Humility
Being someone who stands on a stage as the center of attention can be intoxicating. Regardless of whether you’re a singer/songwriter in a small town, someone who leads worship at a megachurch, or a rapper who makes big waves online, the attention you receive as a musician is something you’ll have to keep in check. A healthy dose of humility can inoculate you against the big headedness that slowly creeps into our brains when we experience more than a little success. Staying in touch with God each day by reading our Bibles and praying can help instill this sense of humility. You can’t help but see yourself in the proper light when you consider the enormity of God. Every Christian musician needs humility in order to best pursue their art and impact the world in a positive way.
If you follow these steps and continue to work on your craft, you’ll have what every Christian needs to succeed and make a difference. We hope you will continue to challenge yourself as you progress as a musician and keep God first every step of the way. One of the many ways you can seek to improve your playing abilities is by attending a summer music camp like what can be found at Camp Electric. Each year, we bring together teenage musicians from around the country and pair them up with instructors who come from today’s biggest Christian bands. Find out how you can enjoy classroom sessions, special workshops, and unforgettable concerts by clicking on the link below.