Why you need this: While you may think you have it all figured out, the music business from the eyes of the people handing you pay is a different beast. Playing well isn’t enough. Lots of people play well. I can get people within few minute’s drive that play well. It’s all your built-up promotional work, your professionalism before and after the gig, the way you introduce tunes, the way you build a rapport with the audience. It’s all about you as a professional entertainer, not you as a musician.
Keep in mind that while you, as musicians, trade stories and talk amongst yourselves, so do the venues, the agents, the managers, the P.R. people. Word gets out quickly, not so much that you’re necessarily a problem, but that maybe you’re a pain to work with during sound check, or maybe you’re just kind of dull. You never know. Or maybe you’re a delightful person, not demanding, and full of joy and gratitude. That may sound corny, but when we as presenters need to work with someone, and everyone is equally talented, guess who gets the gigs?
You need to remember “The Golden Triangle of Music” or more simply, the food chain. The three points of the triangle: audience, venue, musician. There are lots of all three. It’s the correct combination that counts. As a venue, if I try to attract the wrong audience by promoting a classical flutist and “hard-rock fan’s dream,” then I’m looking at an unhappy audience. Similarly, musicians can’t simply show up on a street corner and make a couple of grand. They need a venue. And an audience. And there’s a willing audience looking to be entertained and enlightened. They just need a place to go and great music to be there. Why go on; as you can see, all three are equally important. Always remember that, and you’ll be in good shape.