Can you be a successful musician if you have enough talent?

Do you constantly listen to music be it MTV, Channel V or even FM radio? Do you always play the tabla or the drums on canteen tables? Does 'Air guitaring' come naturally to you? Why not become a musician then? Come find out more...

Music has been around since the beginning of time. Since there can be no music without musicians, their place is virtually assured.

Classical music is engraved in Indian culture. So much so that in southern India learning music and dance is a part of the growing up process. This helps in inculcating a sense of appreciation for music at a very early age.

Besides, music has other advantages as well. It soothes the mind. It is a kind of meditation, of establishing oneself with one's inner core. Other advantages include developing a good memory, opening one's creativity and disciplining the mind. Lastly, it is an excellent exercise for the body.

Musicians are a broad group of artists who play musical instruments, sing, compose, and arrange music in a variety of settings, solo or in groups. There are various forms of music such as Classical, Hindi pop, Western and Instrumental. Classical music can be divided into Hindustani music, karnatic, konkani, Tagore, Kayal, Kawali, etc. Western music includes forms such as Rock, Jazz, Country, Reggae, Blues and Pop. Instrumentals include people who play any of a wide range of Indian or western instruments such as tabla, violin, sitar, harmonium, veena, mridangam, sarod, drums, persussions, guitar, piano, keyboard, saxophone, trumpet, etc. Musicians perform before live audiences or record in music studios.

Musicians also include artists who sing both classical and western, lend their voice for film songs, sing ad jingles, teach music in schools and colleges, sing at bars and nightclubs, or travel along with a band.

Music is a very demanding field. Most musicians spend a lot of time practicing and rehearsing. "You have to constantly better your best, for you're only as good as your last performance," says Amay a budding tabla player. Musicians also spend a substantial amount of time on the road, traveling to and from performances, or just seeking work.

Composing film music, playback singing and advertisement jingles and performing for the electronic media are some of the other options. One also needs to remember that in every sphere of music, be it playback, classical (vocal or instrumental) or semi-classical or light music, competition is stiff.

Most musicians work at small clubs, churches, weddings, birthdays and bars while waiting for that big break.

It's a tough field, but those in it usually feel an inner compulsion to play and share their music, so much so that they're willing to sacrifice a lot. Some lucky musicians and a few pop artists-make a living at their profession. Very few become rich and famous - Shankar Mahadevan, Sunita Rao, Zakeer Hussain, Pandit Bhimsen Josi, Anu Mallik and Alka Yagnik are just some examples. But most are happy just to be able to play for an audience once in a while.