Pro Tips For The Overbooked Musician

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This is what my June looked like time wise:

  • 5 days recording at Tiny Telephone
  • 16 rehearsals with various bands 
  • 3 days of mixing at Tiny Telephone
  • 6 gigs in the month of June
  • 4 of those gigs were with 4 different bands, all in 7 days
  • I spent roughly 25 hours that month practicing songs and shedding on my own
  • I worked approximately 50 hours a week at my real job. 

Here’s what I learned. 

Breakup With Your Girlfriend, Google Calendar Is Your New Wife

calendar
Anytime you get an email for a potential rehearsal or gig, do two things immediately.
1. Put that hold or that date in your calendar.
2. Respond to the email.

The more you delay your response the more stress you cause the band leader. People’s calendars fill up fast. Make sure they’re not holding potential dates, missing out on cool shit while awaiting your reply you were too busy to send during a Netflix binge.

The only thing keeping me sane/slightly organized during June was my Google Calendar alerts. Don’t try to juggle dates in your head or on paper, automate that mamma jamma.

Your iPhone Is Your New Bullshit Detector: Record Your Practices

memos
Active listening can help your practicing tremendously. I took voice memos of most of the practices I had before gigs to see what I could improve upon, made notes, and practiced staying in the pocket or picking out better fills to play while I was practicing alone. When I got back with the band for the next practice, the improvement was noticeable (to me at least).

After I played in LA this month with DonCat, we reviewed the tape of the gig. At Slims a week or so later, we sounded way better because we all talked about what we wanted to work on.

Hang Out, Bro

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The hang. The mystical hang. It influences your playing so much. Don’t be a ball of stress when you show up to practice, it affects your playing. Have your shit together and spend time after the practice to goof off with your lovely bandmates.

Or go Split Screens style and spend 5 minutes in-between songs making hair metal references or wildly inappropriate jokes about the each others’ parents. Being relaxed and being a good dude helps the music.

Don’t Spam People

social fail
I had a hard time balancing my need/desire to get people out to the shows with my fear/self-conciousness about spamming peoples inboxes, Facebook feeds, and Twitter timelines.

This is a delicate art, getting your friends to shows. I still don’t really quite know how it works, I think it has to do with viral gifs or something. Anyway, keep the FB pleas to a minimum, and if you’re going to do it, be funny (or try). I could follow more of my own advice on this front.

Be Thankful

Lastly, and most importantly, be thankful you’re playing. I cant thank Debbie, Duncan, Chris, Jesse, Jess, Andrew, Phil and everyone that came out enough. It’s a privilege to get to play with you guys and call you friends. Shut up I know I’m too sensitive already.

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