Ben Dewhirst, a dedicated guitarist of ten years is at the very beginning of his career and has learnt that he must “toughen up” in order to endure the first few years of the industry.
“Take criticism with a smile and a thank you. You need to be able to cop it all on the chin and move on. If you can’t do that, you simply won’t last.”
Dewhirst is currently studying Contemporary Music at the Australian Institute of Music in Melbourne (AIM).
“The industry is incredibly harsh if you’re not prepared to work your ass off. In this concentrated environment I’ve learnt that nobody has time for anyone who isn’t serious and professional. There are three important P’s to practise- punctuality, personality and preparedness. Punctuality- be reliable and always on time, be the first one there. Personality- be a pleasure to work with and leave that ego at the door. Preparedness- not only be prepared for the singular gig but be prepared for anything that has the remote possibility of going wrong. This means, practice, practice, practice. Learn jazz standards, learn pop tunes, learn classic rock songs, learn to sight read and have a reliable set of gear that you can count on at all times and if you don’t have that- have people around you that are able to lend you stuff at a moment’s notice.”
Dewhirst accompanies for gigs and in our rehearsals shares his extensive knowledge on mastering the craft of guitar playing. He has also advised me on my professionalism, most importantly- staying in the zone and not letting my personal life get in the way.