Lessons about performing, lesson 36: Band Meetings!

Strangely enough, I’ve not yet run out of ideas for this series. I’m not sure how long it will last, but there’s still more lessons to be shared and more rules to follow.

If you want to see the complete list, click here. Basically, I’m trying to help you get a leg up on the competition, if you’re crazy enough to decide to try to make a living as a performing musician. There’s no magical trick that will make you a rock star, but following these rules will give you a better chance at having a successful career as a performing musician.

You don’t need to follow all of these rules – but you should capitalize on the rules that you can follow. Some of them are a little vague and you’ll need to adapt them to your own situation. We play to a diverse group of people, in a variety of settings, and very different kinds of music.

So, you’ll need to use some commonsense and apply these to your situation. Some of them, you may even be able to ignore. This next rule is not one of those that you should ignore. In fact, it’s probably one of the more important rules on this list. (No, I don’t always say that! I only say it when it’s really important!)
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Lessons about performing, lesson 35: Your local music shop!

You know, I didn’t expect this site to have more than a few entries before I just stopped writing stuff for it. If I could go back through my past, I bet I could dig up dozens of defunct blogs that got fewer than a half-dozen posts.

This site is different, somehow. I think a large part of that difference is actually you. Yes, you are the probable difference. You take the time out of your busy lives to read the words that spew forth from my keyboard pounding and are kind enough to encourage me.

But, I don’t think it’s the encouragement that really does it. It’s not meant to sound egotistical, but I can probably get encouragement anywhere.

No… What it is, and what I really enjoy, are the comments and ensuing discussions that these articles generate. I really enjoy how it has, across a few sites, become a bit of a community of people who check the articles, comment frequently, and let me know how the information in these articles mattered to them.

The sites where these articles are submitted support a voting system and I don’t write these for the votes. I write them because I get comments and interaction. I also write them because it fills me with glee to see how many people read the results of my keyboard smashing. I really enjoy seeing the number of people who read these articles and knowing that I give them a few minutes of tranquility and share some information with them.

Really, that’s pretty much what I do. I smash the keyboard and words pop out on the screen. Sometimes, I delete them and smash the keyboard some more. Y’all seem to enjoy the results and the results seem pretty good at starting discussions. They seem pretty good at getting people to open up about themselves, their desire to play and share music, and to exchange information and dialogue.

And, really, that’s pretty much the biggest benefit of a group of networked computers. But, that’s not the only network you have available to use to your advantage. Another network is is what we’re going to discuss today.

If you don’t know, this is a list of rules for performing musicians. They won’t turn you into a rock star. They will give you a head start and they will give you better odds at successfully making a living from your musicianship. Click here to read the full list of rules.
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Lessons about performing, lesson 34: Communicate With The Crowd!

Greetings, once again, my dear readers! I’m glad you made it back to the site and I’m very glad you find the time to visit, comment, and encourage. Without you, this would be futile. Without you, I’d have zero reason to continue writing this!

If you don’t know what I’m doing, then it’s pretty simple. I’m telling you all the shit you need to know – should you be insane enough to try to make a living as a performing musician. Instead of just telling you not to do it, I’m telling you the things that you can do if you want to increase your chances of success.

Here’s the full list and I encourage folks to read it – even if they’re not musicians. I’m told that there’s a lot of lessons in there that apply to other folk’s jobs and to their lives in general. Some of them may seem like pretty basic things, but I mention them because I see people not doing them and then wondering why they’re not seeing much success in their musical career.

This next lesson is inspired by one of our readers and regular contributors. It’s the result of me giving them a quick lesson, as they’ve recently taken to the stage and begun to play in exchange for money. As such, they’re going to make mistakes and they’ve been a pretty good source for article ideas.

In fact, if you go way back through the list, you’ll see them mentioned a number of times. Why? It was a couple of conversations and a few comments that prompted me to make this list in the first place. Most of those conversations with with our beloved Mr. Eyes.

So, if you have any questions or ideas, do let us know in the comments. If you don’t want to comment publicly, or if you wish to remain anonymous, then you don’t actually have to use your real name. You can also just use this form right here – and that will send me an email and it will be completely private.

Don’t hesitate to comment or submit an email message. You might not think it’s the best idea or best comment, but I may be able to smash the keyboard really hard and turn it into something folks are interested in reading.

We, and by we I mean the community of readers, also love guest articles. So, if you’ve a yearning for authoring something concerning musicianship, this is your place to have that audience! Just register and use the contact form to get in touch with me. I’m sure we can figure something out!

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Lessons about performing, lesson 33: Branding!

Look, if you don’t know what I’m doing by now, you’re probably never going to know what I’m doing! 😉

I’m a professional performing musician. I’ve done this job, in some capacity, for many decades. I’m good at it. It’s not ego – it’s years of learning the trade.

The lazy bastards in the industry haven’t written a book that tells you all the shit you really should know before deciding to become a performer. I’d think they’d write this stuff in a book, but they didn’t. They should, they could probably make a few bucks!

But, they haven’t… That means you’re stuck with me telling you all these rules – and there are quite a few. These rules won’t make you a rock star, but they will give better odds than your competition and they may just enable you perform music as your sole source of income. (That’s a rarity and that’s the goal I’m setting for you with this list – though you may not choose to go that far.)

So, here’s the complete list – if you want to read it. If you’re already caught up, let’s get on with the show!
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Lessons about performing, lesson 32: Venue Walk-through!

So, I usually write most of this stuff on the weekends – but this weekend has been pretty busy and last week was too busy to even think about devoting the time to writing articles.

Today is Sunday and most folks have left, so I’m going to write this one up right now and probably put the rest off until tomorrow. I like to keep a few in the queue, ready to give you something to read every day. I like to be prepared and to have a plan!

There’s a reason for writing this! It’s called a lede!

If you’re new to this series then you have a whole lot to catch up on. Basically, I’m compiling a list of rules that will, if followed, increase your odds of being a successful performing musician. No, these rules won’t make you a rock star – but they might enable you to eat something better than Ramen noodles five nights a week.

Fortunately, I’m not going in any particular order. If I was, then this rule should be somewhere near the top of the list. So, you can start with this one!
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Lessons about performing, lesson 31: Be prompt!

Hello, my dear reader! It’s great to see that you survived the holiday! This being a grand week for such, ’cause you’ll also get to party it down this weekend!

Hmm… Side note, it’s surprisingly awkward to write about future events like this! It’s actually only Sunday. I friggin’ love the scheduling feature! But, it’s really weird to write like I’m writing this the day of publication.

Still, seeing as you’re reading this, I can assume you survived! If you’re dead, it’s okay – you can skip this lesson.

If you’re unfamiliar, I’m writing a list of all the rules (that I can think of – y’all are none too helpful at giving me new ideas and lessons I may have skipped along the way) that you might want to follow if you’re planning on becoming a performing musician. Here’s the full list.

For many of them, you’ll want to use some commonsense. They may only apply partially to your specific set of circumstances. Then again, they may be even more important to you and you may wish to emphasize some of them more than you do others.

However, this one has pretty much no exceptions. There’s no exceptions and no excuses good enough. This is a rule that should be set in stone, followed regardless of extenuating circumstances, and is very important.
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Lessons about performing, lesson 30: Soundcheck!

Happy Fourth of July! I am writing this on Sunday, but this is scheduled for the holiday. Hopefully, you’ll have a happy and safe holiday and enjoy the time with friends and family.

Before you go out for the day, I have an article for you! Yes, another lesson in our continued lessons for people who want to be professional performing musicians. You can read the whole list by clicking here. Do note that I don’t always get to update it on a regular basis. I write the articles on the weekend, or as free time allows, and then edit the page when I have time.

I can’t really add the links before they’re published. That’d just make no sense! None sense! None sense at all!

Anyhow, a quick blurb about what this list is about: This is a list of rules that you might want to follow if you’re going to aspire to be a professional performing musician. They don’t guarantee success, but they will give you a better chance at it. These are lessons learned over decades of experience.

There’s no book that tells you these things. So, that means you’re stuck with me and my writing. If you have some experience and want to share an idea, leave a comment and I’ll do what I can to add it to the list. I’m not yet out of ideas, but this list can’t really go on forever! (Or can it?!?)

Without further ado, here’s today’s lesson:
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Lessons about performing, lesson 29: Play your audience!

Well, we have made it to 29 and I’m not actually sure how many rules there are. I didn’t do the smart thing and make a list ahead of time. No, that’d require foresight and intent. I didn’t even intend this to last this long, but here we are!

How many rules can there possibly be?!?

Buggered if I know. I guess we’ll find out when the series end. So far, I’m not yet out of ideas – but my well is running a little dry and I’m always open to suggestions from other people. If you have any such suggestions, just leave a comment here or use the contact form. I’ll fluff ’em out and turn them into something readable. (For some standard of readable.)

If you’re curious as to what I’m doing, I’m listing a ton of rules that people should know if they’re wanting to realistically have a career as a performing musician. These are things I wish I’d known before starting out. These are things that I’ve learned over decades of experience.

If you want to increase your chances of success, these are the rules you should consider following. No, following these rules isn’t going to make you a rock star. However, following these rules might enable you to have a successful career as a performing musician. It won’t lead to fame and fortune, but it might lead to being able to support yourself financially and allowing you the chance to play music for people to the exclusion of all other sources of income.
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Lessons about performing, lesson 28; Be consistent!

Well, if you haven’t noticed, there was at least one article published every single day last month. I can’t say that I’ll certainly do the same this month, but I can say that the scheduling feature makes it more easy for me to be consistent with my publication schedule. I mention that for a reason! You’ll see!

If you’re curious about what I’m doing, read the whole list of Rules for Performing Musicians. There’s a lot of rules but they’re really just lessons that I’ve learned from decades in the industry.

You can pick and choose which to follow and some of them are pretty subjective and prone to interpretation. However, if you want to reach the point where you’re making an acceptable income from your musicianship, these rules are probably good ones to follow.

In an ideal world, you’d have a book that you can reference. Alas, such doesn’t appear to exist. I pretty much just pound the keyboard until words come out, so you’re stuck with me. Strangely, people seem to appreciate my writing and my writing style – and that makes me happy. I’m happy to share the lessons I’ve learned and I hope they can be applied to your job or life – even if you’re not a musician.

But, enough of that… Let’s get on to our next rule!
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Lessons about performing, lesson 27: Skip the drama!

Ah, thank you WordPress and your scheduling feature. I had a mostly free day and the weather isn’t all that good – so I’m able to write these ahead of time. It’s much easier this way and it is why I’m able to bring you fresh material all the time.

If you’re not aware of it, I’ve been compiling a list of rules that will help you become a better performing musician and increase your chances of success. Though the odds are low, there are things you can do to increase your odds and I’m trying to enumerate as many of them as I can.

If I’ve missed some, feel free to let me know. If there’s something you’d like me to add, just use the contact form or reply. If you’ve missed an entry, or would like to refresh the old stuff, this link will take you to the complete list. Do feel encouraged to check the list out and submit any suggested rules for inclusion.

By now, you know it’s a terrible career choice and you’re subjected to all sorts of stress along the way. Because of this, there’s often quite a bit of drama that goes along with it. That’s why I write this…
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