poor musicianship

04: Poor Musicianship

There are 3 factors of poor musicianship.

1. Poor Attitude

Look for musicians that adopt these attitudes.

  1. Joyful attitude
  2. Connecting attitude
  3. Creative attitude
  4. Learning attitude
  5. Prepared attitude
  6. I may have left out other attitudes. Feel free add some suggestions.

2. Poor Skills

Most people will assume that musicianship are just musical skills alone. But… People tend to forget that we’re human beings not musical machines programmed to perform a task.

Think of your musical skills as muscles.

If you don’t keep training those musical muscles they will atrophy.

If your not sure what musical skills I’ve written 9 skills of musical awesomeness in a post awhile back. Click here and learn what they are.

Once you’ve achieved success it’s all about maintenance to keep that level of skill and achievement healthy.

Adopt an attitude of learning it will keep your motor well lubricated and lasting forever.

3. Poor Knowledge

If your goal is to learn and achieve a certain level. Maintenance is all you need to sustain the level you have attained.

Whenever a new team member joins make sure you A.S.K.


This is an acronym for what musicianship really is.

“A” is for attitude.

Grammy winning producer Quincy Jones states when ever he’s working with musicians and they enter his studio he has a sign at the top of his studio door that says: “Check your attitude at the door.”

I have this awesome video called “The Business of Bass” featuring bass phenom Nathan East.

Quincy Jones was interviewed and mentioned in this video:

“I would rather work with a B player with a great attitude than an A player with a poor attitude any day.”

I totally agree. I will not work with a skillful musician if their attitude is poor.
I’m looking for someone I can connect with. Don’t assume loud and obnoxious attitudes is what I’m referring to. Shy, reserved musicians are also the case.

If someone can’t open up and share than I can’t connect with them.

It goes both ways.

“S” is for skills

When I ask you to play a minor seventh flat five in a reggae pattern can you do it?

Can your fingers handle steady sixteenth note passages through the entire tune without fail?

When I ask you to lay back on the metronome do you understand what I’m saying?

Skills come with constantly practicing, learning and experiencing. Failure is a key to success we don’t if we don’t fail.

Adopt and learning attitude and embrace failure because it’s awesome.

“K” is for knowledge

Do you know what the arpeggios are of a Db major9?

How about if I plop a lead sheet in front of you could you play it?

Let’s start with the pickup note on bar 39 and let’s do it in cut time. Huh?

Now let’s begin on the 4 chord in the key of Ab. Say that again?

If you understood my instructions than you’re good to go. If not pick up a music theory book and start reading and studying. The more you know the better you can communicate and create in ten different levels.

Become a musical weed and embrace musical knowledge.


I hope this lesson has gotten your brain juices bubbling and please share or leave a comment below.

One question…

Tell me about an experience you had with a diva musician?

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