Welcome to Weekly Trumpet Tips:
(1) Being A Working Musician
(2) Tuning Tip (9/30/14)
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Tip #1 – Being A Working Musician
I have been a “working musician” full time for a great many years now and am always intrigued by people and their perception of what I do who are not in the music field. So I thought this would be a great topic to discuss this week – especially for any young readers or players in general that are not yet working but would like to take the leap into this field.
Largely, the perception people have of this career path is that it is extraordinarily difficult and only for a chosen few who will really truly “make it” in this business… and that is vastly inaccurate! This business is no more complex or challenging to be successful in than any other business. There are a great many business people who struggle / succeed in their chosen professions – like musicians. It really comes down to how serious you take your craft (and yourself).
#1 – Forget about the word luck! There is NO such thing… looking back on my successes, it had nothing to do with luck – just as my future successes will not be reliant on “luck!” Luck is a term that was invented to describe the unknown causes of known results. Deep I know, but it’s the truth!
#2 – Treat your music business LIKE A BUSINESS! Therefore acting professional and presenting yourself in a likable professional manner at all times is a must! You most likely are not allowed to drink or do drugs in your current profession – therefore doing it while performing should be just as taboo!
#3 – BE RELIABLE! Call back, answer emails and give answers in a timely manner! If people are left waiting to hear back from you for too long – you’ll lose out on work and possibly future calls.
#4 – Understand that you and you alone hold your own future and business in your hands. The struggling musicians are the ones waiting for the phone to ring and not going out to find / explore opportunities. Being a sideman has an ebb and a flow to it. If you choose to be a sideman, know this and plan for it.
#5 – PRACTICE! You do this for a living – you should continue taking lessons, practicing and striving to improve the weak areas of your craft. This will keep you from becoming stagnant and it will be recognized long term. The greatest players never stopped practicing, asking questions, taking lessons or striving to improve! There IS NO “DESTINATION!” Only the journey to make music that makes people happy!
#6 – Music is NOT a competition! It is NOT about you, who can play higher, who can play faster, etc. Music (at its core) is communication and should be a shared experience – with those that share the stage with you and those who are listening! Competition creates a winner and a loser… music creates a win for all!
If you really want to make music your career, you have to be creative in the marketing of your product. That’s what separates musicians who are successful and who are starving. Market yourself honestly and passionately… but market! Those who don’t – starve!
Tip #2 – Tuning Tip (Video From 9/30/14)
Here’s a video I did nearly a year ago concerning intonation and playing in tune… enjoy!
Have a GREAT week!