The music business is full of egos, punks and many different personalities. I have witnessed far too many instances of fellow musicians, who I can safely say, without fail, will never get a call back to a gig. What they may or may not realize, is that their inability to play the “Professional Role” is completely sabotaging their career prospects.
The purpose of this write up is stress the importance of professionalism and to provide a few tips that will help you land that gig. Remember that you represent you. How you present yourself, how you behave and how you perform are all components that you’re being judged upon. Luckily they are also things that you can control. You could be a killer musician, but if you’re unreliable, smell bad and talk like an idiot, chances are those gigging bands or studios are going to hire someone else. You want to foster a good reputation in the scene and that all starts with you.
A combination of a few simple techniques will not only make you memorable, but also easy to work with. These traits will get you the call backs you’re after and even the ones your not. Always keep in mind that this is still a job and putting poutine on the table is what it’s all about. (I love poutine for those of you wondering.)
Be on Time: That may seem pretty straightforward, but the difference between being 20 minutes early and 20 minutes late could very well cost you the job.
Be Prepared: Have you gone over the tracks you’re playing? Do you have them down? Do you have everything you need for this gig? Check and Double Check. Make sure you have your charts written before you get there. Even if you feel nervous and unprepared, create the illusion of grace under pressure.
Be Reliable: Make sure that you are present and in the moment. Don’t be buried in your iphone game. Be easy to deal with, open to changes and constructive criticism. Others may hear something that you don’t and until it’s your project to control you need to be ready to please. Remember you’re a hired gun and you need to shoot when they want you to shoot and at the target they want you to hit.
Have Fun: If you have a fair bit of self-confidence paired with a good sense of humor and you employ these techniques, it will be hard not to remember you. When you act like a pro your name will be first on everyone’s list……Gig Scored!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is a real short touch on a very important subject. You represent you. You represent who has potentially hired you. Or maybe you represent a band. In all regards conduct yourself as a professional and your far more likely to get treated like one!