Can’t seem to find the right musicians for your band?
I know just how you feel. Jim Collins states.
“If we get the right people on the bus, the right people in the right seats, and the wrong people off the bus, then we’ll figure out how to take it someplace great.”
A month or two from writing this post an artist I performed with years ago called me out of the blue and asked me to help out audition a drummer and a guitarist for her group she was putting together. It was perfect timing because at the time and day of the audition I was free.
I was not interested in auditioning for her group, I was just glad to help. The audition went perfectly and everybody was excited. The artists wanted us to set another rehearsal date a week later to tightening up the music and start gigging.
But wait a minute! Didn’t she just want me to help with the audition?
There was an assumption that I was in the band already. I mention to her that I was extremely busy with other artists. But she insisted joyfully that we reunite again and move forward. The artist didn’t even bother to ask me what I wanted. Too many assumptions, and you know what happens you assume.
I was busy the whole month with gigs and the artist kept texting me the next couple of weeks to get together. But she still didn’t mention about the budget, she did say she would help me with gas money. Seriously?
I’m a working musician trying to make living, I can’t live on gas money. Did I also mention after the audition while everyone was socializing one of the guys popped out some weed and everybody started tweaking, except for me and the artist.
Nothing against weed except for the high influential content. I mean weed usually smells better than cigarettes, but this weed was hardcore nasty smelling. That was enough for me to move onto more professional avenues.
Well what’s the lesson? Here are “7 reasons Why your Band is Gonna Fail.”
- No Clarity: Every member needs to know every detail of the situation and what role they are playing.
- Assumed Expectations: People by nature want to be lead, so don’t assume because your team are a bunch of experienced professionals they know every detail and situation. Refer to Reason #1
- No Budget: It depends on the group you’re performing with. They could be rookies, independent or professional. If you’re a rookie with a rookie band then you need experience first. If you’re a working professional then a budget needs to expressed at first contact. If no budget is expressed than you as the artist of hired musician needs to express it.
- No Business Discussions: I know artists are not business folk, but a basic goal, plan and structure needs to be set in place and everyone needs to be in on it.
- Substance Abuse: People think rock and roll equals drugs, alcohol and sex. What a load! These substances have led destruction to most well known bands in the planet. Stay away!
- No Direction: Every band needs directions and goals, if you have no clear direction then how does everyone know where they are going. It doesn’t need to be complicated, but must be done.
- Different Agendas: Face it, life gets in the way. If nothing is clarified on what the direction of the band is, then everyone will just fade away and create their own agendas. When looking for the right musician for your group, it’s important to clarify the bands agenda in the beginning.
Out of all these reasons “Clarity” is número uno on the list. Clarity is key to a successful group.
Last year I received an email to rehearse with a jazz artist for an upcoming gig I replied and attended the rehearsal, met with the artist and rehearsed some charts with her. It was odd because the rest of the band wasn’t there.
After rehearsal I asked when the gig was, and the artist mentioned they were going to audition other bass players. I looked puzzled.
It seems I was auditioning and I didn’t even know it. I asked if I was auditioning she said, “Yes”. The entire email never mentioned it was going to be an audition, it just said that they needed a bass player for their upcoming gig. When an artist contacts me for an audition, it’s usually very clear that it’s an audition.
If you’re in a situation where nothing is clarified, it’s best that you speak up. I know sometimes you wanna speak up, but you’re shy or you don’t wanna make a situation worse than what it is. It happens sometimes, even to me, which leads me to the main point of “Clarity.” Never leave home without it. Many times clarity can hurt people feelings, regardless clarity needs to be expressed.
Have you had any situations where nothing was clear?
Please mention it in the comments section below.