10. Sound check is a luxury you won’t always be afforded
---We all have had those gigs in town or tour dates on the road where everything has been set between you and the venue you’re performing at….or at least you thought it was set up. I’ve shown up to shows in the past and the “PA” the venue prided themselves is actually a guitar amp. If possible bring your own PA. If it means you have to show up to the venue earlier to set up. So be it, at least you are familiar with your own set up, and will know how to abbreviate your sound check, but still insure your sound for the performance.
9. The “Vegas Matinee Clause”
----The “Vegas Matinee Clause” was passed my way from a notable entertainer in Vegas who told me, “Never have your show scheduled after a show with animals.” It was hard for him to deliver a Sinatra torch song with…..well…..remnants of the show before him still onstage..
8. Haters Gonna Hate
---If you earn fans, you will earn detractors. Videos, social media posts and even venue choice is subject to praise or scrutiny. The “professional” part of “professional musician” to me means you will rise above tit-for-tat in social media and allow the the grief and drama that some may give you the chance to roll off you.
7. The Limelight/Spotlight is where your cable/mic/power supply/etc will go out
--- True story. I was filming a segment in a booth at the NAMM Show a few years ago. There’s a sizable amount of people around the booth listening and watching…then my mic cable goes out. Luckily the team over at Monster Cables set me up with a new cable (that would last three years!) and the video shoot was finished. Bring extra cables!
6. Treated With Respect and Dignity 9.7435 out of 10 Sound Engineers Will Do Anything For You
--Lost your mic? Cable bag disappeared? Monitor Wedge buzzing? We’ve all had those nights. I have been fortunate to have worked with a number of sound professionals that have saved my skin more than I will admit to. Treat em’ right and they will take care of you.
5. Make time for your fans
--- A friend of mine band was on tour recently and I received a text message in the middle of the might from him telling me a person in (insert quasi-Midwest city) asked if he knew me. My friend said he did, and they talked for a long while about the concert and yours truly. The next morning I had a message from said friend in the city talking about what a class act these guys were and how they took time to talk with everybody, take pictures, etc. It meant the world to my friend in the Midwest and is still being talked about today. The flip side of the coin, is those that can’t/won’t/shouldn’t be bothered to talk with those that came out to see them. Music is a people business. It is people that come out to see you….Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja can wait….get out there and say hello!
4. Today’s supporting act is tomorrow’s headliner
--- The more bands/solo artists you work with the more opportunities can be opened up for you. I’ve done shows with artists in the past and a week, a month, a year later you get calls asking *you* to open for *them.* True not every bill is one for the ages, but if isn’t broke…..there is no need to redesign it.
3. Open Mics
--- Open mics are is the politics, religion, death penalty hot button issue of many musician friends of mine. Can they be a drag? Of course. Can you discover new talent and forge new relationships” Yeah. Open mics vary city to city, but the raw and open still of each night is uniform. They also serve as live beta-testing for new songs too. If you haven’t worked out the bridge to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” at home…or at the open mic, then you better keep this classic out of your song list on your weekly Friday night. (Lest the flying monkeys will get you)
2. Don’t Be “That Guy/Girl”
---“Can I borrow your mic/guitar/cables/boyfriend/girlfriend?” I will lend you a guitar once, maybe twice. After that, it’s time you invested in your own. Opening up for an artist in two weeks, but not posting on social media? Not hyping it up? Showing up late to the gig? Complaining about “having to do a soundcheck?” (see above) Again…..don’t be “that guy/girl.” It is a team effort…do your part.
1. Opportunity knocks when you are in shower
----You promote that show your performing or the album/EP you’re going to drop like your life depends on it. Social media has been churning out updates and your bandmates have covered the city in fliers…..and nobody shows or it doesn’t live up to your expectations. The week after, you’re playing a backyard BBQ for ten people, but two of those people can book a tour overnight,get you radio play or wants to present a high visibility opportunity for your music. What will you do? That’s why it is important to perform every show, for 15 or 1500 people with a reckless abandon. Go for it. Don’t let the size of the audience dictate the quality of your show. You never know who is watching or listening.
Just Alliance's Blog
Thoughts, ideas and musical musings from this Silver State Loop Artist.