Primary Blog/Gigging Musician Podcast/Episode 122 - What If I'm Not Ready

Episode 122 - What If I'm Not Ready

Thursday, February 02, 2023

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Episode Recap

In this episode, Jared shares a new website strategy that will help drive higher-paid bookings to your musical act.

Best Quote

"Maybe you've been pulling your punches, not putting yourself out there in the way that you deserve to be put out there. And this should give you some permission to keep going and move forward."


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Hey, what's up gigging pros. It's Jared Judge. Welcome to another episode of The Gigging Musician Podcast.

Now, this episode, I want to kind of talk about a problem that a musician was recently experiencing. He had recently joined my Fulltime Music Academy, and he was struggling with a band that he feels is not quite ready for the higher end types of gigs that I help musicians get.

And so he was struggling, if he should continue the program, or if he should wait till the band is ready, or if he should go Sologne. And so he brought this to one of our coaching programs, one of our group coachings.

And we got to chat. And you know, first thing I did was like, I wanted to understand what does he mean, when he feels the band isn't ready yet. And he was having a hard time articulating this.

And, you know, that might also be part of the symptom is that if you have a hard time articulating it, maybe it's your own perception that the band isn't ready, maybe they are actually ready.

But you just feel like they're, they're not. Because that was like, the first thing is like, Is this a real thing? Where the band if you gave them a high paying gig? Would they literally just not know what to do when they got on stage? Or was it more of a complicated problem than that?

You one of the things that he mentioned was, he feels like they don't have enough songs. And so I asked him, Well, how many songs do you have? How much time of music? Do you have? Could you play a 45 minute set with 15 minutes of stage banter in between?

And he said, Oh, yeah, we've got like, two hours of music. And that's when I told him, you know, most of these events that you your band would play, they probably only want about an hour's worth of music.

And if you've got more than an hour's worth of music, then you are set, you are ready to go. And so I think that was an eye opener for him.

Because he was thinking that these events would, you know, require three, four hours of music, which they don't, in fact, it's it's kind of funny how public gigs like bar and restaurant gigs tend to actually require a lot more of your time, a lot more of your music, and a lot more of your energy than the ones that they you know, 10 times as much.

So that was a good thing, I think, for him to realize that he didn't need more than an hour's worth of music, you know, cocktail hours, which a lot of the different event types, you know, corporate events, weddings, they have some sort of cocktail hour, that is literally one hour of music.

And so if you have more than one hour of music, you are ready. Um, he couldn't quite understand the rest of what he was trying to articulate. But I think a lot of it was he was nervous about the quality of his band.

He mentioned something about like, you know, what, if we don't sound good enough, I don't know if we're tight enough yet.

And, like, I totally get that we, as musicians, we art is our soul, like what we put out there, we want to be a rough reflection of who we are. And we don't want to put out anything less than our best.

And so I think he was worried that the quality of his band just wasn't quite there yet. And that's where, you know, I helped him realize, like, Hey, tell me about a recent performance that you did.

He told me about a performance he did at a senior home. And I said, What did anybody say anything afterwards about how that performance went? It's like, yeah, the person who hired us said, we did a great job, it was sounded good.

And that's where I helped him realize like, that is evidence that what you put out there is good enough for people. Like your job is not to be perfect. As a musician, like I know, we all want to strive to play everything nope, perfect.

You know, if you're playing covers, you want to sound like the original with your own spin on it, but you want it to be recognizable.

But the truth of the matter is, is that the audience that pays you for high paying gigs, tend not to be musicians, musicians, we are our own worst critics. I mean, tell me about a time where you heard a musician making a mistake, and you didn't notice it.

Like that's because you're a musician and we are all musicians, we are it's literally our job to be in tune with our mistakes so that we can correct them. And mistakes don't just mean note mistakes, it could also mean mistakes and tightness as an ensemble.

It could also mean you know, tone quality is just not that great. Or you know, we don't have the right equipment, our guitars are just not as good as we want them to be. But from like, that is not the audience that you are playing for.

You are not playing for musicians, especially if you're playing the higher paying gigs. Like you know, lower paying gigs tend to attract musicians coming to them jazz clubs, and a lot of jazz musicians like to go and listen to other jazz musicians.

A lot of classical musicians like to listen to a lot of classical musicians, but the higher paying gigs mostly comprises of non musicians, especially the person hiring you.

Therefore they don't value things like note perfection, they don't value things like, you know, having the sound of $100,000. Guitar, they value entertainment.

They value like, Does this sound like an entertaining act? That is going to fulfill the purpose of my event?

You know, if we're a corporate event, are they going to do a great job on stage, get the crowd riled up, get them dancing, if it's a wedding, are they going to set the tone for the day as a nonprofit event?

Is it going to encourage our donors to open their wallets? So those are completely different measuring sticks, then note perfection, tone, quality, things like that, you know, I'm not diminishing those at all.

And I do, you know, I would highly say advocate for it. If you focus on those things, and do a great job like that will only enhance your ability to sell a gig to a non musician, but it's not a requirement, it's definitely not a requirement to get started to be nope, perfect.

Plus, our standards as musicians are just a lot higher than non musicians. So with those two things, you know, I think he was encouraged to keep going and keep pursuing.

And one of the final piece of advice that I gave him that I think is helpful for everyone listening is that, you know, that is a problem that can be solved. After you get your first gig.

Like, you know, you don't have to have the perfect act before you book your first gig, you just have to have good enough marketing materials to get the first gig.

And then you could figure out the performance piece afterwards. I know this is kind of backwards thinking and it is probably uncomfortable, it might even piss off a couple of you. And that's okay. I will take the flack for that.

But, you know, we've all heard of the phrase, you know, building the airplane, as I'm flying it. That is actually the fastest path to success, like, build the plane as you're flying it, book a gig before you're ready.

Because once you've got the pressure of having to fulfill on that booking, you're gonna make it happen, you're gonna build that plane as you're flying it. And it might be a messy process. And that's totally fine.

There are some people who thrive in messy situations, there are some people who do not. But regardless, it's going to force you to figure out what are the steps I need to take before we step out on stage and play our first note.

And you know, as it's not a comfortable thing for musicians, we'd like to spend our time in the practice room, we'd like to be ready to go before we actually have a gig. But if you wait until you're ready, until you actually book a gig.

What if you're never ready? What if you're waiting so long? Like what if the bar you know, we all do this, like the bar can change as how high the bar is? What is it like moving the goalposts?

Once you reach a certain level of quality, there's always a next level of quality. What if you're for you, that prevents you from actually booking a gig, you're like, Oh, I just accomplished this. But now there's this to do. Oh, I just did that.

But now there's this and you get into this vicious cycle where you're never ready. And then you never book a gig, you never get on stage. And you've spent so much time perfecting your craft, but nobody has a chance to hear it.

And to me that is the biggest shame because as gigging musicians, you deserve to have your music heard. Alright, so those were the three pieces of advice that I gave him.

And I he had enough confidence to keep going, which is awesome. You know, hopefully it lasts and hopefully for some of you, this gives you the permission to move forward with something that you were maybe holding back on.

Maybe you've been pulling your punches, not putting yourself out there in the way that you deserve to be put out there. And this should give you some permission to keep going and move forward. So hope that helps.

Thank you again for tuning in to another episode of The Gigging Musician Podcast. Remember, "You are just one gig away!".

Episode 232 - From Bar Gigs to High-End Events: The Renegade Musician's Guide to Success

Episode 231 - Leadership in the Music Industry: How to Secure High-Profile Gigs and Take Charge of Your Career

Episode 230 - Unlocking the Secrets of Consistent Networking and Modern Sales for Musicians

Episode 229 - The Power of Networking and Recommendations in the Music Industry

Episode 228 - Navigating the Gig Economy: Venue Tours, Expos, and the Power of Numbers

Episode 227 - Strategic Moves: Venue Tours, Expos, and Unexpected Gigs

Episode 226 - Maximizing Gigs: New Tools for Tracking Success and Boosting Bookings

Episode 225 - Unlocking Gigs: Venue Tours and Strategic Partnerships

Episode 224 - A Day in the Life: Venue Tours, Unexpected Gigs, and Networking Wins

Episode 223 - Landing Gigs Post-Wedding Expo: A Musician's Success Story

Episode 222 - Navigating the Wedding Expo Scene: A Musician's Journey to Success

Episode 221 - Maximizing Success at Wedding Expos: A Musician's Guide

Episode 220 - Unlocking High-End Gigs: Venue Tours and Virtual Assistant Strategies

Episode 219 - Maximizing Your Music Career: The Power of a Personal Assistant

Episode 218 - Unlocking High-End Gigs: A Musician's Guide to Preferred Vendor Success

Episode 217 - Gigging Musician Podcast: Joe Deninzon Interview


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