Posts Tagged ‘guitar’

I had a short text conversation with a very good friend yesterday. Of course, she worries about me… but its was something she said that caught my attention. After joking about having such bad luck keeping girlfriends she told me, ” Bret, your guitar has always been your girlfriend”… ive never heard it said like that… it made me think about my life and how i even got to where I am today… So i decided to try something different. Everyone has that singer or songwriter that they like. And Im sure you’ve wondered what it would be like to take a walk in their thoughts… So, I think I’m gonna try my best to let you in on what its like to be an up and coming professional songwriter… I understand that what I say may not apply to everybody, but i’ll let you in on mine until i get tired of writing… And I am not doing this for any type of self promotion… It’s not going to make me lose any sleep if nobody even reads this… Take whatever you can from this…

As i lay here and look back… I wonder what would be different had I never picked that guitar up. Would I be happier? More successful? Married with kids? Even living in Lafayette? There’s really no way of knowing.

It’s still funny to think back to the early days. Wow, let me tell you, anyone that tells you they just naturally picked up all these skills and anyone can do it, just smile and keep walking. Please don’t confuse what I mean. If you’re just wanting to strum a few chords so you can sing your favorite song, please don’t let me scare you. I’m talking about the real stuff. Like that voice in your head you’ve had ever since you were little. It keeps reminding you everyday, “you are not going to be like everyone else, you’re destined for bigger and better things”. I know if you understand what I mean, you get it then.

When i first started I was Horrible! My parents couldn’t even bare to hear me sing. But I never let that get me down. In fact I made sure I used all those negative remarks as my Fuel. “I will learn how to sing and play this guitar so well, you’re gonna eat those words one day.” So, that’s what I did. For the next 10 years I swear not a SINGLE day went by that I didn’t pick my guitar up and play for at least 10 minutes. And as you’d guess, with each passing year I got better and better and finally people were asking me what was I doing? They couldn’t believe that I did what I said I was gonna do. Another tip, if you believe in yourself, that’s all that matters. People can be jerks sometimes, try not to pay attention to that.

Anyways, I had started to turn some heads by this point. But looking back, I still needed a lot more experience. But by now, I’m more aware of what I may have here. By this time, my songwriting period began. In the beginning the songs were “ok” maybe. But writing a song is a lot like learning to play the guitar. It takes a lot of practice. It’s even harder for me to describe than playing the guitar. But a good song should keep the listener entertained while taking them on a short journey into your world. I rate my songs with the “goose bump” test. After I finished one, if I get goosebumps when listening back, I know its a keeper.

I made a decision way back then, that this is what I’m gonna do. And you have to live with that decision. And I don’t mean for a couple years. This is not just a phase you go through. You really just know… So, if you have to really ask yourself this question, maybe it’s not for you. But don’t let me decide that for you. I’d compare it to meeting you future spouse for the first time…

99% of the time, music is a great thing. It can bring people together, or just get you thru the long work day. And personally, the feeling I have right after writing a song is like no other feeling I can explain. There’s that sense of accomplishment… But then there’s also those times when you haven’t let anyone hear it yet, so you put it on repeat for a day or two in my headphones. It just feels right… But there’s so much more no one ever prepares you for.

So, lets jump to the present time. I am about to turn 32 this November. But thinking about that first guitar… I wonder if I knew then what I know now, I would have still picked it up?

Nobody mentions the sacrifices that will be made… All those nights on the road by yourself, The hearts that will be broken, and the people you care about that get let down and leave. After a while you start to feel that nobody understands you anymore. And it’s true. Most don’t and never will. You even start to believe your inner devil telling you, “get use to this, you’ll always be alone”.

Ive had trouble finding the right girl for me for years. There’s been a few that I really thought could work out, but never did. That’s been the story of my life. And to be honest, the more women I met and dated, the more alone I felt. And that lead to depression for a good while.
It’s natural to criticize yourself. But it’s also very easy to start believing in yourself too. Unfortunately a lot of great artist get to a point where everything becomes so sad. I’ve been there. But I found out all these moods will pass. Actually, I’ve gone back and forth thru these phases a few times throughout the more recent years. But I really believe when it’s my time. It will be my time. This journey isn’t over yet.

And that takes us to this very moment. I’m still a little sad that me and Kymm couldn’t work this out. We only got to date for a couple weeks before her mom passed away. That is when everything changed… I had the perfect girl by my side and think i lost my chance with her because she assumed I was just some jerk musician… Had she not written me off so fast and given me a chance to explain myself she might still be here… But, i never told her anything… But I guess if its meant to be, it will be. I really think we got dealt a bad hand. Now all I can do is try to write a song that reminds me of her…. And hope its a real good song… Because she deserves that at least. One of these days I hope to be able to look back and smile tho. It just hurts still. And the sad part of all this is, this seems to happen over and over again….

It’s hard to keep putting myself thru so much pain and let-downs, just in hopes of writing that hit song. My actions are often misunderstood, and some people think its ok to judge me. I can live with that… But to assume, I don’t want the same things as everyone else bothers me. Why am I written off as soon as I make one mistake? Never given a second chance? Only time my friends call anymore is when they have a party and want me to play songs to entertain whoever they’ve invited. While others assume I’m just a one night stand or a fun time. That stuff use to be fun. But I’m 31 years old now. And I have a ton to offer. Yes, I know I have my little quirks, but who doesn’t? If i feel crowded, ill make space. Only difference is I feel like all anyone sees anymore is the guitar. All my friends are getting married and having children. While I’m still living the life of a troubadour. I wonder if ill ever get to enjoy that kind of life too? Then the next thought is how am I gonna support a family? And what if I never have my day in the sun? Every sacrifice I’ve made… Every girlfriend that I took for granted because I wanted to chase my dreams… All for nothing and with nothing to show. It scares the hell out of me. The stress starts to grow over time.

This idea crosses my mind more and more these days… Why do I have to go through this? Is something wrong with me? Am I too picky? Am I going to always be alone? But I know a lot of musicians who have found their other half.. So I’m keeping an open mind. That’s really all you can do in this business.

Then at the same time, I love what I do and I’m very fortunate to have the opportunities I’ve had. Not many people in Lafayette have ever had a record deal offered to them. I have actually already accepted 2 separate record deals in the last 5 years. I have had the great pleasure of working and recording with multiple Grammy Winners. And now, I have the coolest job, working as a songwriter in Nashville for Sammy Kershaw. How cool is that? I’ve been listening to him on the radio for as long as I can remember. It has finally given me a feeling of accomplishment. But I still need to land my first hit song. I still believe my day will come. And so I’m off! Onto the next stage of this journey. A few weeks ago, I finally started working on my 3rd album. I really think this is going to be my best work yet. I can’t wait until its released and playing on the radio. People are going to like this a lot. I already have that gut feeling that this could just be the game changer I’ve been waiting for.. Who knows where it will take me… But I can’t wait to find out!

So, next time your listening to the radio, listen to the lyrics… And try to imagine what the writer was dealing with when he wrote those words. And then ask yourself if you have what it takes to do the same thing?

-Bret Vidrine
August 2013