Five Steps to Obtaining Street Stardom
- Finding the right instrument for you
- Learning how to play an instrument
- Where to perform
So, religiously following this blog has inspired you to become a street performer, but you don’t play an instrument? Don’t fret; it’s never too late to learn! I myself have been playing acoustic guitar since 2004, after the curiosity that grew from listening to my mom play late at night lead me to taking Guitar 1 at my high school. Unfortunately, my fear of public performance has hindered my chance at fame, but I have devised a list in hopes that you can someday reach street stardom.
Step One: Pick an Instrument
Many people say the instrument picks you. Listening to music will help you narrow down what instrument might be your perfect fit. Make a list of all the instruments that intrigue you and go to your local music store to test them out. Leave your wallet at home.
Step Two: Acquire the Instrument
As someone learning how to play, it is never a good idea to buy new. A music store is a great place to test many instruments out in one place, but when it comes down to purchasing, you’re better off buying from a garage sale or my favorite place, craigslist.com. Buying a cheap instrument first will take the pressure off of having to be careful with it when you’re learning how to play. It’s like your first car; it will get dinged, scratched and possibly stolen.
Step Three: Learn How to Play
- At Home: Watching YouTube.com videos has become the fastest way to self-teach. Also, there are many applications for computers, tablets and smart phones, which provide users with at-home lessons at their fingertips.
- Take a Class: Local community colleges offer an array of music classes at an affordable price. You can also seek classes through community education programs in your area. Drew Araujo, a rapper and grocery store manager from Orcutt, CA, was inspired to start writing poetry after he took a class. “There are classes that offer creativity and exploring that creativity,” says Araujo. “The poetry turned into ‘hey I like rap music, so I’ll try and be a rapper and write a verse.’”
- Private Lessons: Although they can be a pricey, private lessons provide beginners with the individual support needed to succeed. Kim Payne, 2nd year business major at Cal Poly, took private saxophone lessons in Union City, CA for six years.
“The one-on-one contact definitely makes it so much easier to learn it [the instrument] and develop the skills you need to play advanced music,” says Payne.
Step Four: Play With Friends
Making music with your friends is the best way to let your creativity flow. It allows you to show off your new found skills as well as learn more from the people around you. “I do have friends that make music that are going to allow me to take that music and create something with it, to create a song,” says Araujo. Playing with friends give you the opportunity to perfect your art and consolidate your music into songs or pieces, while at the same time getting feedback. Jason Lee Downing, a keyboardist and pizzeria manager from Arroyo Grande, CA, is often inspired to write his own music when collaborating with Araujo.“With Drew I get a lot more [songs] out because those are all original concepts from me,” says Downing, “even though a lot of them are somewhat improve.”
Step Five: Take the Show on the Road
There are many venues with San Luis Obispo County that provide musicians with a platform to share their music. It is free to perform in public areas such as the beaches, piers or parks. Also, local musicians have the opportunity to perform for the public, for a fee of $40, at Thursday night Farmers’ Market on Higuera St. in San Luis Obispo, CA from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m..