School of The Rock


Develop Your Musicianship               

Written by Paul D. Race for SchoolOfTheRock.comô


Are you a musician?  Musicians don’t play notes or sings songs. They dig deep and do whatever it takes to play better, sing better, and eventually write better and perform better. 

A host of dumb movies about music have left the impression that you get “good” by learning to “feel it in your gut” or “rage against the man” or some such.  The truth is that you get good by paying attention and working hard.  Taking lessons when you’re young enough for them to soak in is good start.  Learning at least basic music theory will give you a big jump-start as well.  Yes, you have seen folks with no “formal” training who nevertheless got very good at what they do.  What you don’t know is how many hours they sat across from someone who knew their stuff, learning everything they could before they ever took their first step onto the platform or into a recording studio.  If your uncle is B.B.King or your mother is Carole King, you may have all the “built-in” instruction you need to get started.  But if you didn’t grow up in a musical family that showed you how to hold a guitar before you learned to walk, and you’re serious about a career, or even a decent avocational experience in music, you’ll probably have to pay someone to show you what you need to know. 

The rest of the articles in this section are going to consist mostly of me telling you that you have to do hard stuff that isn’t always fun at the time but will pay huge dividends in the future.  Suck it up.

Note:  The “Independent Christian Musician” articles we have so far are largely “placeholders” where we hope to plug additional resources in the future. In the meantime, we wanted to make the resources we’re currently aware of available.  So some of the “articles” are largely lists of resources we think you will find helpful. If, as you peruse these pages, please feel free to use our contact page to let us know what else you’d like to see here, or if you think we’re missing the mark in any way.

Our articles on developing your musicianship include the following topics.

Discussion Forum:  We have started a thread in our discussion forums about this topic.  At the moment, Paul is contributing the vast majority of comments on these forums, but a lot of people are reading them, so we wish very much that you would sign up and join in on the discussion.  Feedback, corrections, additions, etc. are all welcome. 

  • The forum for “Develop Your Musicianship” topics is here.
  • The form for signing up so you can contribute is here

As always, please contact me with corrections, complaints, clarifications, etc.  If your response is responsible, I'll try to include it in the "reader response" section below.

God bless,



Paul Race playing a banjo. Click to go to Paul's music home page.A Note from Paul: Whatever else you get out of our pages, I hope you enjoy your music and figure out how to make enjoyable music for those around you as well.

And please stay in touch!

    - Paul Race Click to see Paul's music home page Click to contact Paul through this page. Click to see Paul's music page on Facebook Click to visit our discussion forum. Click to hear Paul's music on SoundCloud. Click to see Paul's music blog page Click to learn about our Momma Don't Low Newsletter. Click to see Paul's YouTube Channel. Click to see Paul's Twitter Page

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Visit musings about music on our sister site, School of the Rock With a few tools and an hour or two of work, you can make your guitar, banjo, or mandolin much more responsive.  Instruments with movable bridges can have better-than-new intonation as well. The Independent Christian  Musician. Check out our article on finding good used guitars.
Carols of many countries, including music, lyrics, and the story behind the songs. X and Y-generation Christians take Contemporary Christian music, including worship, for granted, but the first generation of Contemporary Christian musicians faced strong, and often bitter resistance. Different kinds of music call for different kinds of banjos.  Just trying to steer you in the right direction. New, used, or vintage - tips for whatever your needs and preferences. Wax recordings from the early 1900s, mostly collected by George Nelson.  Download them all for a 'period' album. Explains the various kinds of acoustic guitar and what to look for in each.
Look to Riverboat Music buyers' guide for descriptions of musical instruments by people who play musical instruments. Learn 5-string banjo at your own speed, with many examples and user-friendly explanations. Explains the various kinds of banjos and what each is good for. Learn more about our newsletter for roots-based and acoustic music. Folks with Bb or Eb instruments can contribute to worship services, but the WAY they do depends on the way the worship leader approaches the music. A page devoted to some of Paul's own music endeavors.