What is an Artist?

An "Artist" is not an opinion or a belief.  You either fit the definition, or you do not.

There are two types of artists in the world of music. Performing Artists & Composing Artists.

Nashville producers call ANYONE they work with an "artist" because it sounds more impressive and sells more records.

However, that does not make them an artist. Every art form in existence has one thing in common. Imagination.
Artist = A person who uses a specialized set of skills to project their imagination. It is not an opinion, it is a definition.

Here are some easy ways to determine if someone is an Artist.
Do they use their imagination when performing? Or, do they play the same things over and over the same way they rehearsed previously? Reproduction does not use the imagination. No imagination, no artist!

Are they Master instrumentalist? It is impossible to be a musical artist if they have no skills to project their imagination.

Artist = A person who uses a specialized set of skills to project their imagination.

Maybe they write catchy words and appeal to your emotions? That is the definition of a poet. Not a musical artist.

If they play guitar/piano etc while singing, then they are attempting to use music to make their poetry more appealing just like Hollywood uses background music to make their movies more appealing.


Composing Artist

They have been extinct now for hundreds of years. If you want to compare yourself with composing artist then you have to compete with Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms etc. Todays amateur composers use a single melody line based on 4-5 notes which are played over 3-4 simple rhythmic chords. It can hardly be called a work of art.

Mozart was doing that when he was 4 years old. There are nursery rhymes more complex than what Country composers produce today. Pretty sad when they have all the time in the world to create something significant.

In comparison, An improvisational jazz player has to compose complex melodies instantly while playing and staying in time with the band!


Becoming an Artist
Once you comprehend what it means to be an artist, and begin to use your imagination/creativity to play, then you

are on the road to becoming an artist. Now you have to spend many years increasing your skills on your instrument so

you are able to spontaneously play anything you can think of. This is not the end, it is the beginning. Now that you have the

tools to project your imagination, it's a matter of increasing your creativity. This, takes a lifetime. This is where it actually begins.

MUCH different than spending 10 minutes learning a Johnny Cash tune.

Not every music entertainer is cut out to be an Artist.

Not every performing Artist is cut out to be an entertainer.


There is nothing wrong with being a musical entertainer instead of a  performing Artist.

There IS something wrong with not knowing the difference.