Stand Out as a Musician

Article by Pedro Asfora

5 Tips to Stand out as a Musician

    1. Show up early. Arriving early is on time. Arriving on time is late. Arriving late is not good.
      Always make plans to be at the session, gig, film set, studio session or rehearsal, 15 minutes early. The main reason behind it is giving your employer the peace of mind that you are not a reason to be worried or stressed out, above all else. Being an artist is very high maintenance, there are a myriad of things you need to worry about and the band members doing what they’re paid to do shouldn’t ever be one of them.
    2. Lose your ego. If you have been hired to be a guitar player, don’t tell the bass player what to do. If you have been hired to be a musical director and the pianist gives a good idea, accept and entertain it. There is a duality of mindset where the ego mustn’t overstep, but if someone else’s does, the idea shouldn’t be discarded due to poor presentation. The mark of a professional, and ethical musician is the ability to leave the ego at home and serve the music and the situation.
    3. Go the extra mile. As musicians, we are here to serve and deliver something special. If you are hired for something, it is your duty to understand WHY the artist hired you as opposed to someone else, or even hired someone in the first place. By understanding this, you can visualize what they aim to achieve and therefore you can give them more than they asked for. Always over-deliver. It will go a long way.
    4. Have a GREAT attitude.
      We’re emotional. Our feelings will influence the dynamics of a situation. If you’re feeling down, remember that it’s not anyone else’s problem, and do your best to keep it from affecting your rehearsal, session, gig, or conversation. Practice humility and integrity in everything you do.
    5. Be flexible. This is a special one. Having an open mind will help everyone on the team. An expert is tied to a million different habits, a million different experiences and a million different memories, but if you learn how to take your experience into account without letting it get in your way, you shall always be ready for what comes. Things change, and while having life experience is paramount, you must always retain the elasticity of a fresh mind. These are concepts I’ve learned and relearned with some time as a session musician in Los Angeles. Of course, everyone is different and every situation is unique. I hope you can take these tips as a guideline to get a head start.
How will you utilize these tools and ideas with the people you work with? I’d love to hear from you.
Article by Pedro Asfora

image credit by Nainoa Shizuru

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