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Fifty Rules of Rock

Fifty Rules of Rock

Copyright 2008 by Tammy Brackett

Rules were posted in our classrooms when we attended school. There were hall rules and monitors to enforce them. There were rules concerning the proper mode of behavior in the classroom, lunchroom and restroom. In the adult world there are banking rules, rules of commerce, rules of government, and rules to make traveling in a car safe. There are rules of moral conduct laid out in the Bible and in every other religious text. Somewhere I’m sure there are rules for creating rules.

Musicians are rule breakers. We don’t have “regular” jobs that fit in a 9-5 world. We often work from home. We choose an alternate lifestyle eschewing pricey cars and houses to rent rooms or apartments with others in order to pursue our dreams. Marketing for us often involves “hanging out” at bars or venues, seeing other bands and making friends; friends we hope will support us next time we perform.  We often live outside the mainstream of the usual guidelines governing work and success. Where an office worker spends hours on a spread sheet presentation, we spend hours pursuing the perfection of a guitar solo or a particular bowing technique.

Our work is so different it’s easy to become ethically unfit in the workplace. Ethics is from the Greek “ethikos”, meaning “arising from habit”.  It covers the analysis and employment of concepts such as right, wrong, good, evil, and responsibility. We can drink on the job- does that mean we should get drunk? Is that truely ethically responsible? Our marketing is developed to attract the opposite sex; should we lose our morality? Because our standards are very different from a normal worker should our guidelines, our rules of personal conduct,  be impaired?

To function effectively in our very different music job, we should set rules and guidelines for ourselves and our organizations.  Basically, most of us are very clear about right and wrong and we do understand responsibility. Because our work envirmonment is unique and our jobs are not typical, doesn’t mean we can run amok. Dr. Wayner Dyer professes we should, “Live one day at a time emphasizing ethics rather than rules.”

In Pirates of the Caribbean, Captain Barbosa, when confronted by the Pirate Code expert Miss Elizabeth Swann, reminds her,”…the code is more of what you call guidelines than actual rules.”
Whether you deem them rules or guidelines, the fifty statements posted over the next fifty days  should encourage you to think about your own personal codes and come up with a few new rules of your own.


Leave a Comment
  1. Alex Nelson / Jan 6 2009 4:15 am

    HA! I love this. Every time you meet someone who isn’t a musician, you should hand them this and say…”before we go any further…” 🙂

    • alunatunes / Jan 7 2009 12:22 am

      Hey Alex! Thanks for the comment- you’re a busy guy!!! Come back and visit –
      I’ve started a new blog called The Frugal Musician.
      As col bruce hamton says
      “If you want to be a musician, DON’T buy the earth ticket…” -hahahaha

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