1. Be willing to work hard: if you want to be a better musician, keep in mind that there is no shortcut. That’s why consistent practice is so important. Focus on improving steadily; don’t worry about trying to go fast.
2. Be clear on your motivation: if you know what your motivation is, you are more likely to persevere, even when it doesn’t seem to make much sense. Surface level motivation like money and fame are fine, but you will likely have to dig deeper to find a reason that will help you to continue on your growth journey.
3. Foster your passion: fire goes out when there isn’t anything left to burn. Always remember throw in a log and keep your passion for music alive by listening, watching, reading, learning and playing constantly.
4. Know that talent and skill isn’t everything: you could be a great player and yet go unrecognized. It’s good to pursue excellence as a musician, but if you want more doors opened to you, you will have to work for it.
5. Be willing to promote yourself: this goes hand in hand with the previous point. Instead of relying on your playing ability, be willing to self-promote. Put yourself out there and meet new people. Build connections.
6. Enjoy music: never, never, never forget to enjoy music. The day you don’t enjoy music is the day you lose your passion for it. Music is exciting because it’s enjoyable.
7. Discover your own idiosyncrasies: become an observer of yourself so that you can find your uniqueness. Despite some similarities, every musician has little idiosyncrasies that makes them uniquely them. Take the time to find these quirks, and develop them.
8. Reinforce the basics: a professional musician knows the importance of the rudiments. The basics do not cease to exist simply because you’ve learned them. You have to keep coming back to the basics to stay sharp.
9. Seek mentorship: if you want to continue to grow as a musician, you will need to remain teachable. Seek out people who are better than you and always be hungry for their guidance and instruction.
10. Stay humble: humility is a trait worth cultivating, as it will enable you to work well in a variety of different situations. Moreover, it will help you to stay teachable.
11. Try different things: you may be a great guitar player, but how well can you sing? You may be an excellent piano player, but can you play the drums? If you want to continually grow as a musician, remember to explore different aspects of music, be it different genres or different instruments.
12. Be discerning: some people will help you, while others will sit back and criticize you. While constructive criticism is always welcome, you’re not a trash can with a dirty lid. Always remember to be discerning of what people say about you and your playing.