Hi there and welcome to The Record Factory Blog
Every couple of weeks, I’ll be publishing some tips and tricks to help you get what you want out of your music career. I hope you find the info useful… If you have any questions, or are looking to make a cd and would like some free help, advice and contacts, please email me
Last time in this two part blog on Music Professionalism we spoke about Relationships, this time out it’s the much easier stuff… Professionalism.
After having worked really hard on developing those relationships, don’t let yourself down by getting the easy stuff wrong!
It’s unfortunate, but music is like any job – the more you put in, the more you get out… Be rehearsed – that means you have learnt your material at home before you get to the band rehearsal, rehearsals are not for learning the songs. Know your instrument and have good gear that works – all the time. Be consistent and give your best each time you’re on stage whether there’s an audience of 10 or 10,000.
Don’t be late.
In fact be early. Gig at 9:30? Be there at 8:30 – it will help you relax, get you in the zone and allow you to give your best possible performance. And as a reward, get yourself a beer.
Playing at a showcase style night? Then if your slot is at 9:30, but the evening starts at 8, be there by 8. It will give you the opportunity to meet the crowd, meet the promoter, talk to the bar manager and other artists at the show. Support your music community.
Be the ‘easy to work with’ person.
Be generous and respectful to your fellow performers, be helpful and constructive, learn your material, don’t be a prima donna.
Dress for the gig you’re at.
This is really the same as going to a job interview – look your best and dress appropriately. Remember… look good = feel good!
If you’re playing in a wedding/function band – don’t turn up in ripped jeans! If you’re playing in a hard rock band, maybe leave the 3-piece suit in the wardrobe and wear that Metallica t-shirt…and the ripped jeans. Remember, if you’re unsure… ask!
When you take down the details for the show, payment or client requirements, write them down – keep them in a diary, phone, whatever. Agents, promoters etc hate being asked twice for the same information. If somebody asks you for a promo pack or photo, don’t leave it until later – get it to them straight away. Yes – straightaway! If a magazine has asked you for a photo, it’s likely they’ll ask other artists at the same time and they’ll use the first one they get, so straightaway means now! Take your promo around on a memory stick and nip into an internet cafe if you need to.
Be easily contactable.
Have a mobile with voicemail and regularly check your email/FaceBook etc. Don’t make it hard for people to get hold of you. Get back to people as soon as you can.
No matter how good a musician you are, you can’t remember everything! Fix this by writing it down… Whether it’s remembering that the stress of the word is on the first syllable, the next chord is A minor, your gig is at 9 or 9:30 or the load in access to the gig is from Wilson Road and not through the front doors, you’re only making it harder for yourself by not making a note of it.
Ensure you have a business card, website and promo/press kit.
Unless your act is a fart-based comedy show, the email address email@example.com might not be for you. If you have a day job, don’t use the Mick.Jagger@woolworths.com.au address – give the impression you are a ‘Music Professional’. Mick@TheRollingStones.com is much better!
Positive people are infectious. Maintaining a positive attitude not only means the people you work will enjoy working with you, it also shows you have pride in what you do. Who wants to work with a whinger?
Say it! Always.
There are no promises that if you employ these tips you’ll be a multi-grammy-winning, chart-topping or MCG-selling-out musician.
However, with a strong network of contacts, hard work, professionalism and patience you will give yourself the best chance to succeed.