Bret Alexander

THE REAL GIG: Space and limitations – knowing when to play and when to just listen

THE REAL GIG: Space and limitations – knowing when to play and when to just listen

Here’s something I have noticed – age is more about throwing things away than acquiring more. As you get older, you start getting rid of stuff. I have been doing it more these days. And music is no exception. As you get older, you worry less about playing a dozen guitars and you look for […]

 Bret Alexander

THE REAL GIG: Giving away your music may not be bad business – learn from the potlatch

THE REAL GIG: Giving away your music may not be bad business – learn from the potlatch

In many Native American cultures, there was a custom called a “potlatch” ceremony. A potlatch was an event where a chief would give away all his possessions and wealth to members of the tribe. Sometimes, certain valuable items were even destroyed. The purpose of this was twofold. One, by accepting the gifts, the members of […]

 Bret Alexander

THE REAL GIG: If you want to keep making music, you must find joy

THE REAL GIG: If you want to keep making music, you must find joy

Many years ago, I remember standing on the side of the stage talking with a crew member of The Marshall Tucker Band; we were playing a radio-sponsored show with them at an outdoor venue. We were in the middle of our first tour as a major label act, and I was chatting with him about […]

 Bret Alexander

THE REAL GIG: Musicians, heed the wisdom of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’

THE REAL GIG: Musicians, heed the wisdom of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’

I have an old friend named Gene. He’s in his 80s now, and I haven’t seen him in quite a while. Gene was an ad agency guy who I became friends with at my first studio job. He was crazy creative and, on some days, just plain crazy. I loved hanging with him. When we […]

 Bret Alexander

THE REAL GIG: A musician must be a jack of all trades to make a living these days

THE REAL GIG: A musician must be a jack of all trades to make a living these days

For pretty much all of the 1990s, I played with one band. One band. That was it. When the band wasn’t playing (and we played a lot), we were rehearsing. When we weren’t doing either of those, we were making a new record. We made a new one approximately every 18 months. Between albums, we […]

 Bret Alexander

THE REAL GIG: There’s no overnight success, so prepare for the miles between the moments

THE REAL GIG: There’s no overnight success, so prepare for the miles between the moments

I met with a band a few years back about doing a record. They were asking me for advice about getting out there, how to “make it” and all that. I suggested they get out and play live, maybe go to a few open mics, meet some people, make a recording, then another recording, etc. […]

 Rich Perry

STRENGTH & FOCUS: Stop villainous thoughts and start thinking like a superhero

STRENGTH & FOCUS: Stop villainous thoughts and start thinking like a superhero

FUN FACT: You’re a professional. (That means you get paid to do something for a living.) Since you’re reading my column Strength & Focus right now, I assume that you’re also someone who is not only interested but driven to perform to the best of your ability, actively seeking new perspectives and valuable tools to […]

 Rich Perry

STRENGTH & FOCUS: 5 tips to set and accomplish your New Year’s resolution in 2016

STRENGTH & FOCUS: 5 tips to set and accomplish your New Year’s resolution in 2016

Congratulations on making it through another year! You’re a little bit older, more experienced, and hopefully wiser in all areas of your life. As the holiday festivities begin to settle, perhaps you’ll use the next few days as an opportunity to reflect on your goals for the New Year. You do have goals for the […]

 Rich Perry

STRENGTH & FOCUS: The art and healing of expression – why you should create every day

STRENGTH & FOCUS: The art and healing of expression – why you should create every day

Human beings are incredibly fascinating. We constantly absorb and process information, tap into our minds to recall past experiences, and piece together bits and pieces of thought and emotion all over the span of mere seconds. However, the most fascinating quality about humans, I find, is our innate ability to create, to formulate something from […]

 Rich Perry

STRENGTH & FOCUS: 7 tips for customer service pros this holiday season

STRENGTH & FOCUS: 7 tips for customer service pros this holiday season

Last year around this time, I offered “7 tips for an enjoyable holiday shopping experience” to add some Strength & Focus to, what should be, the happiest time of the year. Although I have never, and probably will never, ever go out holiday shopping on Thanksgiving night, Black Friday, or any other day associated with […]