Somewhere in your home town
this weekend, the latest up-and-coming noise-psyche-garage-doom
band will blaze through a set of original material
for a half-empty basement of glass-eyed twenty-somethings.
Meanwhile, across town, Better than Better than
Ezra -- a fictional band, feel free to take
the name -- is trudging through Pixies’
“Where is My Mind” for a bar full
of people who couldn’t be more thrilled
to hear one of their favorite songs.
are quick and dirty. A total of 15 minutes to
set up, do the "check 1, check 2"
thing and then you're already launching into
your first set. This means: No one can hear
themselves. No one can hear anyone else. No
one has a clue if the sound in the house is
any good. The enjoyment factor is significantly
lower. The reality is that the majority of gigs
are in locations where setup and sound check
happen while patrons are munching on nachos
and chicken wings, and time is compressed.
When you desire
to improve upon a skill, regardless of what
the skill is, consistency is key. Practicing
your instrument for 90 minutes every day will
produce much better results than trying to fit
six hours of practice into two days per week.
This holds true for every aspect of the music
industry. Consistent, daily work will be much
more efficient and keep you much more sane than
trying to fit a week's worth of work into your
single day off.I've got a number of tasks that
I try to invest time into on a daily basis.
Though everybody's priorities and daily schedules
will vary, here are a few ideas to get you thinking
about what you should be doing every day.
Odds are good
that the person working sound at your next local
gig — positioning mics, balancing the
mix, tweaking your monitors — is a musician
just like you. But players don’t always
treat them as one of their own, even though
the sound engineer is a critical extension of
the band in a live situation. Here are the top
wishes and pet peeves from behind the board,
as learned through countless shows and actually
taking the time to talk to engineers. Make sure
your gear is in good working order. Know before
you go that all of your equipment is performance-ready.
It’s not the sound engineer’s job
to bail you out before or during a set, and
you can’t expect them to have a stock
of cables, batteries or spare drumsticks if
you left things at home. Performing musicians
should always have backup on hand.
When you are
in charge of a group of people, there are several
responsibilities that fall on your shoulders.
If you've never been in a management position
or haven't had any business training, this can
be a challenging endeavor. The truth is that
it's really not all that difficult, as long
as you know what to do. The most successful
leaders in any capacity practice certain fundamentals
that have proven to be repeatedly effective.
It may seem like a lot to remember, but you'll
find that the majority of the responsibility
as a leader will involve troubleshooting and
problem solving. This is the real world, and
that's the reality. You'll have much more success
dealing with all of the variables that come
into play if you first commit to having the
You get a call or text that
you’re needed to fill in with a band you’ve
never played with before. Naturally, you try
to get all the information you’ll need;
compensation, songs, style, time and place.
You may even get a rehearsal with the group.
Despite all your efforts to prepare, you can’t
avoid some unexpected twists. Here’s five
common surprises that happen when you are subbing
on a gig.
It's tempting, especially as
a new band, to say yes to every show you're
offered. You want to take advantage of every
opportunity you get to make a mark in your local
scene. But even groups just starting out can't
or shouldn't accept every gig they're extended.
Sometimes a show can actually be detrimental
to your efforts.
Try to avoid these deadly mistakes.
Your fans will apprceiate it
Some people are born with an
innate sense of confidence that they carry with
them through life. For others, confidence is
trait that has to be won in battle. Among all
of the talent that exists in the world and the
unfortunate realities of the music industry,
it's easy for somebody who doesn't have innate
confidence to feel intimidated. Below are six
tips on what to do when your confidence starts
to falter, and what you can do to improve the
confidence you already have.
Too many people fail to see
the bigger picture of life as a musician and
the miserable state of the industry. If you
are one of these people and catch yourself feeling
in some way cheerful, stop right away and follow
this simple 12 step plan to guarantee your return
to a completely horrid existence on this miserable
rock. Warning: Contains strong language. If
you don’t like that, then you should probably
still read on anyway as it will just give you
more reasons to be pissed off.