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Home » Music Business » What Words Helped Further Your Career?

What Words Helped Further Your Career?

  -  Member Local 78 (Syracuse, NY)

We’re AFM members, and we are musicians helping musicians. When I got my start, teacher, mentor, friend, and AFM member Frank Mucedola’s words made a big impact on my life. Mucedola played on tour with the Mantovani Orchestra. I remember him saying to me: “When the parade passes, you’ve got to march.” You need to keep up with the times or get passed by. I think of those words quite often.

I don’t know about you, but there’s a bunch of quotes that I like to keep in mind. Sometimes they provide a motivational thought for the day. Here are a few:

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”
—Walt Disney

“I wanted to create music that was so different that my mother could tell me from anyone else.”
—Les Paul

“One good thing about music:
when it hits you, you feel no pain.”
—Bob Marley

“Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn. They teach you there’s a boundary line to music. But, man, there’s no boundary line to art.”
—Charlie Parker

“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words
and that which cannot remain silent.”
—Victor Hugo

“I still believe you reap what you sow on tour. If you are touring you are really planting personal seeds in fans.”

—Katy Perry

“The beautiful thing about learning is that
nobody can take it away from you.”
—B.B. King

“It’s taken me all my life to learn what not to play.”
—Dizzy Gillespie

“When you play, never mind who listens to you.”
—Robert Schumann 

“The wise musicians are those who play
what they can master.”

—Duke Ellington

“Music does bring people together. It allows us to
experience the same emotions. People everywhere are
the same in heart and spirit. No matter what language
we speak, what color we are, the form of our politics, or the expression of our love and our faith, music proves:
We are the same.”

—John Denver

“Hack away at the inessentials.”
—Bruce Lee

“Motivation gets you going and habit gets you there.”
—Zig Ziglar

“Wanting to be someone else is
a waste of the person you are.”
—Kurt Cobain

“If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a
musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams
in music. I see my life in terms of music.”
—Albert Einstein

“I mean, give me a guitar, give me a piano, give me a broom, and string, I wouldn’t get bored anywhere.”
—Keith Richard

“A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.”
—Bob Dylan

“Your talent determines what you can do.
Your motivation determines how much you are willing
to do. Your attitude determines how well you do it.”
—Lou Holtz

All singers are method acting … The art of art is to be as real as you can within this artificial situation.
—Joni Mitchell

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
—Wayne Gretzky

“This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.”
—Leonard Bernstein

“Even if you’re on the right track,
you’ll get run over if you just stand there.”
—Mark Twain

“Everything comes to those who wait,
but only what’s left over by those who hustle.”
—Abe Lincoln

“The big win is when you refuse
to settle for average or mediocre.”
—Seth Godin

“A year from now you may wish you had started today.”
—Karen Lamb

“And, in the end, the love you take
is equal to the love you make.”

—Paul McCartney

“Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you got.”
— Janis Joplin

“Whether you think you can, or whether
you think you can’t, you’re absolutely right.”


Do you have a few quotes that helped further your career and your life? If you’d like to e-mail them to me at, I’ll share them with our members.

Sometimes it just takes a few words to turn your career, your life, or maybe just your day around. Over the years, a lot of the best motivational words came from AFM members. Again, we’re musicians helping musicians. Those few great thoughts and words can last a lifetime.

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