Being Over-Prepared: Tips for Artists & Bandleaders

How can you as a musician or artist be heard above the static? How can you distinguish yourself so that you are the one that gets remembered, that gets the call for the next gig and the gig after that?

When you walk into the rehearsal room or recording studio, you will want to make an immediate impression– of professionalism, of precision, of creativity– of all that it is that you do and that you do it well. If you walk in unprepared, there’s simply no way that you can be at the top of your game.
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Continued from Being Over-Prepared: Tips for Musicians & Singers


Tips for Artists/Bandleaders
If you are an artist or bandleader, have everything on hand that you may need to prepare for the show, and make sure your musicians have them in enough time to prepare adequately: a setlist, listenable demos, appropriate charts, and any ideas that you may want them to realize. Send them mp3s– preferably not flooding their gmail inbox. If the musicians can listen to the tunes on the go, they will get to know them better. If the band needs to learn the songs by streaming them from YouTube or another site, they won’t be able to distinguish the parts as clearly and won’t be able to hear the songs as frequently. My favorite way to send and receive tunes is with Dropbox, Sugarsync, or any other platform that lets you send a link to the downloadable mp3. The fewer intermediate steps that stand between a musician and the music they need to learn, the better they will know the music.

Record rehearsals so you can review what was covered, make critical decisions, and not have to re-learn changes that you already spent time on. An iPhone or Zoom Recorder can give you a new set of ears and allow you to revisit the music between rehearsals.

A lack of adequate preparation will require more time in the rehearsal room and will result in a looser performance. On the other hand, when everyone’s prepared, the time saved working out the basics can be spent getting deeper into dynamics and details– yielding a tighter, more nuanced performance.

Have your own tips for coming in prepared to smash it on the gig? Leave your comments below, along with anything else you’d like to see on this blog!

Other posts in this series:
Being Over-Prepared: Tips for Musicians & Singers
Respecting People’s Time
Learning New Skills For the Gig

Justin Goldner is a bassist, guitarist, producer, songwriter, language junkie and lover of culture in all its manifestations. He hurls snarky remarks into the Twitter-void via @JusBass.

    • J
    • January 23rd, 2013

    Bring a pencil! Use masking tape on the back side of charts.

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