Don’t Get Caught Talking the Talk!

It doesn’t take long playing music to have heard it all– the A&R people coming to the next gig, the big national tour, the record deal right over the horizon. The fact is, sometimes those things happen and (often) they don’t. Name-dropping, telling people about opportunities that haven’t yet materialized, or about all of the gigs to come damages your credibility– and your credibility is some of the most valuable currency there is when it comes to having others take you, your word, and your music seriously.

I’ll be the first to admit that I sometimes catch myself “talking the talk”. It’s tough to avoid in an industry based so strongly on people’s perception of status. But when I do catch myself, I feel awkward, as if I’m wearing a mask. It’s critical to take a step back and realize that gratuitous, unfounded talk is not only cheap, but also cheapens you and your image. Whether or not the possibilities on the horizon come to fruition, hopefully, you’re enjoying the gig for what it is now and putting in the hard work required to take your music to the next level.

Has name-dropping every turned you off of a potential contact? How do you keep your cool in the midst of people who “talk the talk”? Add your comments below, along with anything else you’d like to see on this blog. And if you enjoy these posts, don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss one!

Next week, we’ll have a conversation with Tommy Merrill of The Press House and Rockwood Music Hall about what managers and booking agents can and can’t accomplish for artists and how to make the most of those partnerships.

Other posts in this series:
Having People Take You (and Your Music) Seriously
Showing people that you respect them
Who Needs A Manager? (Interview with Tommy Merrill)
Taking Care of Logistics
Paying People on Time

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.

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