Don't Be a Dumbass Musician! Tips on being a professional and how that works.
A professional musician always comes early, 15 minutes early is on time and if you have alot of personal gear to load in and set up you should come even earlier. A professional musician always asks questions if they don't know the answer ahead of time so they can be on time and in the right place. For instance, what time are we loading in tomorrow? Yes, it is a manager, artist or road managers job to give the musician as much information as possible, but a professional will ask if for some reason they have missed an email or that the information has not been distributed yet so that they can plan in advance and being in place when needed. Of course, if you are on a bus and all you have to do is get off the bus then it doesn't matter, but if you get off the bus before any one is awake and disappear and then are not in place when you need to be that doesn't help and if the TM doesn't have the day fo show posted on the board on the bus ask him until that happens.
If you consistently are not getting the information that you need in a timely manner pull that person aside, let them know that you need more information sooner in order to be in the proper place at the proper time! Don't bitch at them in front everyone else including the artist, that just puts them on the spot and then messes up your relationship with that person. Don't be the person on the crew that is consistently bitching about things that are bothering you, being professional means being adult enough to pull a person to the side and discuss what is going on. That includes the artist, tour manager, manager, and band director. Know the chain of command, if it is a band thing talk to the band leader, if it is a production thing talk to the production manager, if it is a tour detail talked to the tour manager, and if it is a money thing talk to who hired you, that might be the manager, the artist, and or the band leader depending on the situation. Don't go to the artist immediately with a complaint even though you might have great relationship with the artist. Go to the person that has the control over that situation and talk it through as an adult with as little emotional drama as possible. You might have a personal relationship with the artist but generally you should want to have great relationships with as many people on the team as possible because you never know where that person might end up and be able to pull you into a new situation so develop those tour relationships like they are going to be there for the rest of your career because they are. If you are pain in the ass to management you will never get hired again by the team, and you might be the artists BFF but make sure you are the managers and TM's BFF as well and you will be always able to work with the multiple artists that these people work with.
A professional musician will enhance the other musicians around them on stage musically, provided engaging performance and looking the part of a rock star. Always look like they are having the time of their life, smiling no matter what is happening around them, in their monitors and in their personal life etc. Don't bring that personal problem to the stage or rehearsal. I have never understood musicians not enjoying themselves on stage and having some kind of a smile on stage! You are playing music and getting paid for it a scowl never works unless that is your shtick and if that is your thing you better be the artist and better be amazing.
A professional musician never causes drama on the bus and generally gets along with most people. Everyone is human and has a moment but in order to get along and play well in the sand box generally a professional musician will try to be considerate to others around them no matter what their job is on a tour.
If you are going to an audition always know the material note for note or as close as you can note for note and dress like you would on stage with that particular act. If you don't think you will have time to learn material in advance of the audition let the person setting the audition know you will not have time to learn the material and is there another time for auditions. Let them know that you would love to audition but you don’t want to waste their time. If you are not good enough player to learn the recorded material note for note you might not be ready for this audition anyway.
1. You might be a dumbass musician if you show up to the gig 15 minutes late and have not set up and didn't make it to sound check.
2. You might be a dumbass musician if you showed up to get in the van and you have not eaten all day and you are going to make the band late because you have to stop and get something to eat instead of already taken care of that.
3. You might be a dumbass musician if you didn't learn the new music and the excuse was because your girlfriend or boyfriend needed to go out to dinner instead of you being prepared for the session, rehearsals or show the next day.
4. You might be a dumbass musician if you drank $50 on the bar tab and you are only making $50 bucks that night and you have to borrow money from another band member because you have to make rent. This is the 5 time in in 2 months!
5. You might be a dumbass musician if you are the drummer and you forgot your drums sticks at the house and you are trying to borrow sticks from the opening act or even worse the headliner right before the show.
6. You might be a dumbass musician if you said you didn't see the email with the schedule for the day and the band is calling around trying to find you because you not where you are supposed to be on time, like that is an excuse for not being on time. You didn't bother to call anyone to find out what time you needed to be there, even though you knew this was an important gig.
7. You might be a dumbass musician if your guitar cord is crackling the entire show and you keep bitching at the sound man, over the mike, like it is his fault your cord is faulty, and you knew the cord was bad because it did it at the last rehearsal as well!
You might have a few to add to the list. Please do! LOL. If you have any questions please leave them in the comments section and will try and respond in a timely manner!