What defines a good musician?

What defines a good musician? Is it how much experience one has? Is it dependent on if they have the technical ability to play a certain lick? Is is defined by who they play with and what accomplishments they have achieved?

No.Ian Fong

The definition of a good musician is not equated by a certain formula or a list of tasks that one must complete. A musician cannot be analyzed and categorized as a good musician solely upon how many years they have been playing or who they have been influenced by. I feel that a musician’s musical ability depends on their passion, motivation, and unique perception on music. Yes, having the technical ability to play a certain II-V-I lick or play 16th note runs at 240 bpm helps, but, this is not what entirely defines a good musician.

Through my experiences, I have learned one thing. A musician is not built upon a certain set of requirements or a certain criteria. A good musician is defined by their unique ability to create music in a way that expresses themselves. Yes, there are ways of indicating whether a musician has achieved this ability but there is no set measurement that can truly define a good musician.

There is no perfect musician. Our standards for what makes a good musician is influenced by our own opinions. Who we feel is a good musician is dependent on what style we like to listen to or our personal musical understanding.

Personally, my definition of a good musician rests upon if an artist has a unique understanding and  perspective in music. A good musician has the ability to challenge themselves to exceed any boundaries and pursue what they love at any cost. They strive to deepen their understanding in music and apply what they have learned. Lastly, they have the ability to communicate and listen to other musicians musical perspective and perception.

So, if you ever wonder what defines a good musician, remember that it is not what they do but how they do it. Music is not math. There is no definite answer. 1 + 1 may not always equal 2.