Gigs Happen Because Of Personal Relationships

Most people assume that the music business is based on auditioning, auditioning, and auditioning. I will say this, the majority of gigs that are happening in the world are all happening because of personal relationships. Even if you do have to audition, a personal relationship is usually established with somebody in that organization. You never know where you next gig is going to come from. It can come from the secretary at the studio at the front desk. It can come from the wardrobe assistant. It could come from the stylist. It could come from the assistant manager. It could come from the road manager. Someone in the band. The moral of the story is to have lots of friends and know lots of people. More importantly a lot of people need to know you and have to be able to trust you and put their faith in you.


Show Up Very Prepared

Play from the heart! It will set you apart. Show up VERY prepared. When I did the auditions for Trisha Yearwood and Deana Carter, I was told to learn five songs. I learned their whole catalog! Now I’ll see those people around, backstage or whatever, and I’ll get the nod. Like, “I remember you dude. Thanks for learning my material.” It shows respect to the person that’s hiring you, and that you value them as an artist enough to sit down and truly prepare.


What Makes The Difference

Playing at a high level is an expectation, but the other thingsā€¦ the soft skills like your personality, your bedside manner, how you interact with others, your ability to take direction and all that kind of stuff, is paramount. That is what makes the difference between you having a job, keeping a job, or not having a job.


You Can’t Know Enough Gatekeepers

The work that you’re going to get as a drummer is going to come from producers, songwriters, artists, bands, other instrumentalists, and band leaders. You can’t know enough bass players. You can’t know enough keyboard players. You can’t know enough gate keepers. You never know where a job is going to come from.

How Bad Do You Want It?

Success is usually not going to happen quickly. Nashville is a five year town. The average time to get connected is five years. That’s meeting enough people who know who you are to not have to work a day job. Did I work a day job when I moved to Nashville? You better believe it. I parked cars. I was a waiter. I did light construction. I worked for a temp agency. I was a substitute teacher.

I would play in the nightclubs until three in the morning, and then I would be in the classroom teaching at seven a.m. Really, you just have to decide how bad you want it.


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