John Lennon was an incredible songwriter, singer, and guitarist, but Ringo Starr was the drummer for the Beatles. After all, John did not play the drums very well, and Ringo excelled in it. The first step to finding your musical direction is understanding what you have natural abilities and tendencies toward. Almost 5 decades after they started, The Beatles continue to be one of the most successful groups in the world, and it is partly because each of the members doubled-down in their respective strengths and brought them together.
If before the Beatles even began, John decided to divide his time between learning the drums, guitar, singing, bass, the clarinet, songwriting, how to produce a record, and juggling, I’m afraid that the Beatles might have never been. If he was mediocre in 10 things, rather than very good in just two, then he would have never been remarkable.
It’s important to figure out what you are most interested in musically, and then develop those skills. A great way to finding out your interests is by trying out many different disciplines and adopting many different ideas.
If you think playing the organ might be your thing, take a lesson. Or, if you believe that you would like to be a performer who sings, go to a karaoke night at a local pub and sing in front of strangers. Try out all kinds of different things, but don’t get bogged down by trying to master each. If something doesn’t seem interesting to you, drop it. There are so many different philosophies to explore, that there is certainly something out there that is perfect for you.
And, if you are fascinated by discipline, but don’t seem to have any natural talent for it, don’t be afraid to pursue it. There are musicians who, only after many years of dedicated practice, have become “good” at what they do. With patience and dedication, you can achieve anything you want to. The most difficult part of learning anything is the very beginning, and then you begin to see improvements.
Perhaps you don’t want to be a rich and famous musician. Being successful isn’t just defined by how other people view you—it is really about how you view yourself. To be satisfied with what you are doing you should set an intention with your musical craft. Most mega-famous musicians intend to be like that (record deals and radio-play don’t just fall out of the sky), so they are called successes. But if your intention is just to learn how to play songs on the sitar, with no dreams of recognition or material rewards, then that’s perfectly fine. It is admirable, and simply a different goal than seeking out external success.
You can measure your personal success by how well you are able to do the thing you set out to do. All creative endeavors are highly subjective, and there aren’t any hard and fast rules on what you should and should not do. However, if you intended to create a rock song about gardening, and it ends up sounding like a hip-hop song about volcanoes, then you didn’t accomplish what you intended. It’s time to go back to the drawing board and revise how you create your music.