Being Prepared as a Musician
One lesson that I drill into all of my music students is the importance of being prepared. I stress how important it is to be professional in any business. Here are some situations to be prepared for:
Your Music Instructor
There is no doubt that part of furthering yourself in you music career is mastering your instrument. If you aren’t studying or taking private music lessons, do it! When your teacher gives you an assignment, make sure you come back to the next lesson with it nailed down and then some. If a student shows up unprepared they might as well say, “I don’t care about getting better,” or “music actually ISN’T a priority to me.” Not only does it slow down the student’s personal growth, but it also leaves a bad impression on the music instructor. If someone calls me for a gig that I can’t do or if they are looking for a player in a band, I am going to refer my students who have practiced and have been prepared.
Show up on time to your rehearsals, have all of your parts perfected, and bring a great attitude. Everyone WILL notice. You will sound better and you have instantly created a great reputation for yourself. The word will definitely get around that you are a true professional. Other people will call you for gigs and other people will refer you to other gigs. The same is true if you aren’t prepared; no one will want to refer you…no matter how “awesome” you are.
Your Studio Session
Get yourself a recording of the tune you are going to record…even if it’s a scratch recording from a phone or computer. Listen to the tune and get it in your head. I generally try to come up with a few options for parts to present to the artist or producer/engineer. Then, experiment with tone, gear, effects, etc. Once you head into the studio, everyone again will be blown away by how prepared you are and it will immediately affect your reputation. You will probably land more session gigs in the future.
These are just a few situations for which you need to be prepared. There are so many chances for you to prove your professionalism through being prepared. Take the time and work hard to be ready. Teachers, fellow musicians, artists, producers, engineers, and others in the industry will be your best way to solidify your reputation and propel your career.