7 things musicians must banish in 2016

A new year approaches (or has started, depending on when you’re reading this). It is a time of reflection about what has come before, and a time to dream about what is to come.

It is a time to banish the following musical practises and burn them with fire:

1: Playing for free

Imagine this scenario, if you will… You have spent the last 10 years training to be a plumber. You are rightly proud of your accomplishments. You put up a sign in the local newsagents advertising your services and sit back waiting for the calls to start coming in. But… the calls don’t come. Why not? Because your neighbour is also a plumber, but he’s decided to do all his plumbing for free to get “exposure”.

Don’t play gigs for free! Doing so devalues music and undermines all the hard work put in by you and your musical peers. If you don’t value yourself, how can you expect others to value you?

2: Not practising

Whatever sort of music you play, you need to put the time in to master it. You can’t expect to be paid for doing something that anyone else can do, and being able to do something that not many people can do requires constant practise. However, don’t ever let it become a chore! In fact, don’t call it “practising”, just call it “playing”. If it becomes a chore, maybe you’re in the wrong business.

3: Turning up late to practice sessions

Time is money. Money is beer. Beer tastes nice. Don’t be late! Or you can pay for the post-practice beers…

4: Turning the volume up constantly

volume-knobIt starts with the guitarist. He can’t quite hear himself over the drums so he notches up the gain a little. Then the bassist feels that her tones aren’t really sitting well in the mix and cranks it up. The drummer – already pummelling those pads like Tyson Fury on crystal meth – starts hitting the drums yet harder. Before you know it, the whole band is playing so loud that the resultant sound waves cause a fracture in the space time continuum and the universe as we know it is consumed by a black hole. Or something.

5: Forgetting your strap / capo / tuner

I have to admit to being the major culprit here. Despite owning a music shop or two, I just can’t seem to ever remember to pack my capo. Or my strap. Or my tuner. I am bad and must be punished.

6: Arguing with the sound guy

soundguyI’m not saying that the sound guy or gal is always right. They’re not. But arguing with them really won’t help and will most likely result in them performing the auditory equivalent of a waiter spitting in your soup. Be courteous. Understand the pressures that they face. Help them make it sound amazing. And don’t get in their way.

7: Dressing badly

Music is basically part of showbiz. People who pay to watch you are paying to see a show. They want to be amazed not just by your playing but by the whole experience. They want to be catapulted into another world, and that other world doesn’t necessarily have to feature a threadbare Nirvana T-shirt.

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Guitar-plucker, piano-tinkler, sonic-mangler, Red Dog Music-owner, lion-tamer, and Weetabix-devourer. One (or more) of these is a lie.

10 Responses to “7 things musicians must banish in 2016”

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  1. Bob Liddle says:

    Please return your website to what it was previously. The new format is naff and doesn't give any information on finance options etc. thanks.

  2. Tom Thomas says:

    This is a shit article/list.

  3. Alex Marten says:

    Hi Bob, the main website hasn't changed recently. The only major change has been launching a mobile website. Maybe this is what you're looking at? It has a bit less functionality but needs to be streamlined for people on phones etc. If you prefer the desktop website, you can still access this from a desktop PC or Mac. We'll be adding functionality soon to allow you to access the desktop site from a mobile. Hope that helps!

  4. Alex Marten says:

    Thanks for your feedback, Tom. What sort of articles would you rather see?

  5. Bob Liddle says:

    Thanks for your reply. I have tried to go the main website but it still goes to the one I am referring to. I'll wait and see what the improvements are you mentioned. Thanks again.

  6. Tom Thomas says:

    Alex Marten the idea I good, buy where do you get off telling people what to do/wear/act at gigs? Bands who have managers can worry about that.

  7. Alex Marten says:

    Hi Bob, just to let you know that we've now added a "Switch to Desktop website" button at the bottom of the mobile website on http://www.reddogmusic.co.uk. Let me know if that resolves your issues!

  8. Bob Daulby says:

    Tom Thomas – unless you've got number ones up to your armpits and have an offshore account larger than Obama then you still have no idea how your art should be seen as well as heard. Not everyone in the world is impressed by screeching vocals and a gazillion clever licks in between repetitive and tuneless/ meaningless lyrics but ARE often swayed by image – image and lighting i.e. the visuals the 'look' themselves. Something else to remember is, how many billion bands play in scruffy T-shirts, jeans and boots that look like they've just appeared from under a car that afternoon to 'prove a point'? What point? Oh the point that you're like every other cocky git who also got nowhere perhaps? It's been DONE mate, countless times. What would be very different today is to show a bit of respect to those who, in the end, will help you fill your money box in Switzerland. Put a fucking clean shirt on and jeans only for the stage and proper boots also only for the stage and not under your car! Show respect to your paying audience and stop being so fucking arrogant.

  9. Tom Thomas says:

    Bob Daulby Can you define what going nowhere is?

  10. Tom Thomas says:

    Bob Daulby try to keep it short 😉

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