4. Focus on your strengths
The wise musicians are those who play what they can master.
Before you can start, you must know what you’re good at and what’s impossible for you to do. This will prevent you from heading into the wrong direction, and it will help you to focus on your strengths, which will be the only way for you to ever become successful. In business this is called a “SWOT analysis”. This is basically a diagram including four areas labelled “Strengths”, “Weaknesses”, “Opportunities”, and “Threats”. You won’t have to do this in a professional way, but I want you to think about what you’re really good at. This shall be the starting point. You will start designing your style, your sound, your songs, and even your entire career on top of your strengths. You will learn more about this in chapter 4, when you will be working on your own style and sound.
It’s important to know your weaknesses too. A very good example are guitar solos. Most amateur bands do guitar solos, and most of them completely suck at it. If you’re some Jimi Hendrix or Kirk Hammett-like guitar genius then yes, please play your solo. If not, then just forget about it. Don’t lose your time with it. Your friends may think you’re cool, but as soon as you’ll leave the local playground everyone will notice you suck. I know that this will not be easy for everyone, but this is the way it has to be done. Focus on your strengths, minimize or eliminate your weaknesses.