Staff Spotlight: Ross Williams
What's your main instrument & why?
My main instrument is the guitar. I have been scouring the internet for new music since I was in middle school and I asked my mom for a bass. She got me guitar lessons instead!
What's your musical origin story? What lit the spark for you?
My dad playing records and singing and dancing to the music with me as a child. He had me learn the lyrics to songs so we could sing the songs together. I loved that and really only wanted to do more with music since then.
We had a piano in our basement around that time and I just wrote my own music for fun. Eventually, I started playing guitar and saw how young most of the famous guitar heroes were, and that empowered me to have the confidence I could do it myself too.
Can you share a good gig story?
My last gig before the pandemic was a TED talk. I got a job playing acoustic guitar supporting a pop vocalist, and she got the talk in support of her latest record. It was the first time I had been flown out to play a gig, as the talk was in Nevada. I got to stay in a really nice hotel, meet a lot of great people, and I got to hang with the head of her record label all weekend too. We nailed the talk and I'm really proud of our work together!
What drew you to the Music House team?
My friend & great musician Joel Stratton referred me and in the interviewing process, it was super clear we shared the same values. I think Music House is doing all the right things: supporting developing musicians with a safe community, providing mentorship, and acting as role models for young people.
Tell us about your practice routine and share some practice tips.
I write music every day and think about music constantly. Not really from a technical or theory standpoint though, although those are supplemental to the creative process. I think of playing guitar as a search to unlock emotions or new ways of thinking.
I'm always trying out things that force me to improvise or re-evaluate my relationship with the guitar. No pattern playing, no same old licks!
What I would tell someone still working on their technique and theory:
- If you really want to be a musician, you must practice every day
- Make joy and curiosity the center of your practice
- Use a stopwatch to collect data on how quickly you learn things
- Consistency creates inspiration
- Finishing songs and concepts is more important than knowing everything
- Be a master of your thing
Anything else you would like to add?
Regarding gear: Almost all the time what you need are not new tools. You need to find the excitement and discipline to build something to its completion.