Whether it be an audition, studio session work or live performance it’s our responsibility to be on top of whatever is thrown at us, planned or unplanned. In my experience there have been quite a few circumstance where if I had not
been prepared, then things may have gone very wrong. Using this step-by-step process will help you get a gig and keep it!
1. Always practice your craft.
Don’t become complacent with your playing, there is always something new to learn. Set goals for yourself and work towards them.
2. Know your material.
If you’ve been asked to audition for a band and have been given a set list worth of music, don’t just walk in there not knowing the material. Get into the habit of notating songs, doing this will help you learn the in’s and out’s of a song.
Notating programs like Sibelius and Finale are great for notating any instrument.
3. KNOW YOUR MATERIAL!
After notation, try to commit your parts to memory. Many musicians rely on audible cues such as vocals to help them keep track of where they are in a song. But what happens if your monitor mix isn’t working onstage and you can’t hear the vocals? Or what if the band you’re recording for is late for a session and the producer wants to start recording without them? You must be confident with your parts WITHOUT any reference point, this way you will be prepared for any situation.
4. Be Professional.
This covers a few different aspects, one of them being attitude. If you have things going on in your life then don’t take them with you into a rehearsal, gig or recording session. Leave it at the door and focus on the job at hand.
Be prepared to give input or be told what to do. In most cases artists/musical directors/producers have a very clear vision of how they want a song to sound and they may want you to play something different to what you have come up with. Don’t to be stubborn and refuse their request because they don’t like your idea. Put ego aside and try to embrace everyone’s opinion to help better serve the music!