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You Are Officially A “Musician”

In the midst of another debate I let myself get steered off topic and it opened up this new one.  I believe I wrote something like “there needs to be another word for someone who plays other peoples music, other than musician, because you’re really just a performer.  Turns out I’m wrong.  More after the jump.


I wrote so many responses to disgruntled ‘musicians’ that I thought I’d look up what makes a ‘musician’.  According to, a musician is ‘a person who makes music a profession, especially as a performer of music” or  ‘an person, professional or not, skilled in music.  The latter means that all of you who learned a song on Guitar Hero ARE INDEED musicians (look up ‘music’ and you’ll know I’m correct about this).  When I worked at Knott’s Berry Farm in California we had a chicken that would ‘play the piano”, so I guess it was a ‘musician’.  If your kid has music toy and hits the buttons in some sort of organized sequence, congratulations, your kid is a musician.

I guess my interest in the topic comes from ‘musicians’ who somehow feel that they are ‘artists’ and are therefore somehow more valued in society and that they should be coddled, treasured and loved.  Sorry guys, if the zombie apocalypse comes, I’d rather be around a plumber or even a tax account with a bunch of sharp pencils, than a bass player.  I just think if the world started breaking down, about the last thing you need is someone who can play Hotel California on a mandolin.

I’m also thinking that , I (that would be myself) confuse the term “musician’ with ‘songwriter’.  I think of a musician more as a person who ‘creates’ music, not just someone who ‘recreates’ someone else music.  It’s a narrow and dumb definition, I know.  By my definition, the players in a symphony orchestra wouldn’t be ‘musicians’, they’d just be ‘players’.  On the other side of the coin ask yourself this, what’s the difference between a guy who can play a Slash solo on a guitar and a guy who can play it on “guitar hero”? All each is doing is placing their fingers in a certain sequence of places during a certain sequence of time.  The fact is, the guy doing it on “Guitar Hero” probably sounds better because ‘his drummer’ is prerecorded while the drummer in the other band is probably drunk and thinking about a sandwich, or some girl in the audience.

So, in the end, YES I AM WRONG, you are a musician if you play a cover song…just remember that so is the chicken that plays the piano at Knott’s Berry Farm.

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