I sometimes tell students the only guarantee you've got is the music and no-one can take that away from you. Only you can take that away from you-by not practicing and not putting in enough elbow grease. The more you put into your music, the more your passion for it will grow.

— Mike Stern

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"The main thing is to play your heart out and whatever helps you to do that is the right way".

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When I hire musicians, I look for that first: every time they sit down do they go for it, you know? And do they try to learn the music and try to get inside the song whatever the tune is? Whether it's my originals or someone else's, it's just whether or not they're gonna play their hearts out, first and foremost.

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Sometimes there are no gigs, but the main thing is the music.

You can't take that away. The only person who can take that away from you is you.

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