Adam Rafferty – Guitar and Spirit

All about music, guitar, spirituality, personal development and being happy

Long Term vs Short Term – Craft vs Overnight Success

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Yesterday I had a terrific chat on Facebook back and forth with 2 of my favorite guitarists – Andy McKee and Bryan Rason and a few other good guitar friends as well.

I posed a hypothetical question – “with the possibility of easy youtube success, why even bother developing a craft?”

I had seen one too many overnight sensations of meaningless musical fribble and inside – wondered whether the world, or I had gone mad 🙂

Of course the question was a conversation starter, and my circle of friends all agreed hands down that there will always be flashes of attention and front page news, but offering a deeper satisfaction, honing of one’s craft and meaningful communication will stand the test of time. It is what we all yearn for, be in musically, professionally, or personally.

This warmed my heart to know that I was not alone. And, as I woke up this morning (sounds like a blues tune) I reflected on what success guru Brian Tracy has to say, which was along parallel lines.

Of course Brian is not a musician, but here goes. (paraphrased)

“The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is that successful people plan in the long term…5, 10, 20 years ahead.”

“Successful people’s actions are necessary and disciplined fro what they want in the future rather than immediate gratification.”

“Unsuccessful people do what feels good, and is fun right now with little or no thought for future consequences.”

I think this is a really good summing up of what a musicians evolution ought to be like as well – in terms of development.

When you do the work…the scales, the technique, the practice, the creativity – and let’s not forget – the listening – you are adding to the “long term” picture of what you will offer. You are getting the skills that no one can take away from you.

Look at the towering greats of music – whomever your favorite may be. In order to be like them and not just “imitate them” – you’d have to put in the hours and do the work they did, make the mistakes they made, and listen as long as they have listened.

I raise my coffee mug on a chilly German morning and salute YOU for thinking long term, developing your craft – whatever it may be – and offering all that is YOU, through your hard work.

Time to practice.


Author: Adam Rafferty

Adam Rafferty. Fingerstyle Guitarist. Recording and Concert Artist. Meditator. Philosopher. Lover of Groove.

One thought on “Long Term vs Short Term – Craft vs Overnight Success

  1. Great post Adam. I’ll use that as inspiration when I get up tomorrow morning to practice.

    Nice blog you have here.


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