As an artist, you are the CEO of your music career and the way you handle band related situations is a reflection of your entire brand -says Jenn Bostic.
Being professional with your band-mates, as well as venues, can lead to more work, greater guarantees and a better overall experience for everyone involved.
With each performance and/or tour, it is important for me to reflect on what worked and what did not so the next tour can be even more successful.
The more professional my brand becomes, the bolder I am in booking performances.
It’s only fair to expect excellence from your bandmates when the information you provide them with to prepare for a performance is excellent. Sending clean audio tracks of your songs, charts, and lyrics are all beneficial tools for the musicians learning your material. If you don’t have a professional recording of your song that’s okay, you can record a clean acoustic version on your phone. If music theory isn’t a strength for you, spend time with one of your band mates and have them help you make your charts, potentially giving them the music director title. Make sure everyone has the material at least two weeks prior to the performance so they have time to live with the songs.
Details, Details, Details!
As your performance approaches make sure everyone has all the details necessary for the gig including an ordered set list, rehearsal and performance times and locations, load in, soundcheck, and load out times, parking information, as well as whether or not food will be provided. It is important to collect all the information and communicate it to your band so their focus can be performing your music. I remember hiring a percussionist for a gig and somehow completely forgetting to send him songs or a set list. He turned up at the gig understandably frustrated and had to wing it. Not only was the vibe a bit uneasy on stage, but I was the only one responsible for any mistakes that were made.
Find Great Players
I’m a firm believer that the most talented player is not always the most overtly passionate and I would much rather hire someone who is willing to work hard than someone with an ego. When you’re on tour with a band about 10% of your time is on stage performing and 90% is the hang. When you’re hiring your players think not only about skill level, but also about who you can stand being in a van with for however long you’ll be on the road. Also make sure the musicians you hire are stylistically write for the music you’re performing. Someone who is an amazing jazz player may not be the right choice if you play country music.
Feed Your Musicians
Food is fuel, and fuel gives us energy. I believe it’s important to compensate your bandmates, even if for some gigs that means it is through meals and expenses. Some gigs are for charity, and some are promotional for the artist, but remember if you’re a solo artist it is your name being promoted at the end of the day, and it has been enhanced by a band.
Let Them Know You Care
Hired musicians enhance the sound of your music and get a one time paycheck, hoping you’ll hire them again. Make sure you verbalize how much you appreciate them, don’t assume that just because the audience applauded or you say a quick “Thanks for playing,” they feel valued. It’s amazing how much of an impact little things like thank you notes or baked goods can have.
My Reaction to This Week's Singing Competition Entry
Ulu - Heaven's Gates
Ulu, you have a beautiful voice. Your vocal tone has such a graceful clarity, and you’re using your gorgeous lilt in the perfect places. It sounds like you have really great vibrato control and you’re using it creatively throughout the song.
You’re singing with a lot of passion, and I would have loved for you to open your eyes communicate your emotion through eye contact and allow your audience to connect even more. The deep breath you gave toward the end of the video tells me you may have been nervous, but there was no need to be. Well done.
Why I chose Ulu as a Finalist
(From the VoiceCouncil team): We decided to progress Ulu through to the next round of our contest, in recognition of her extremely effective switching between breathy/soft head space and powerful vibrato, and her effortless use of finely controlled vocal ornamentation.
“Heaven’s Gates” was also a cracking song choice, shot in a beautiful setting, transporting us momentarily on a journey somewhere else.
Jenn Bostic is a singer songwriter who’s hit song “Jealous of the Angels” is making an impact worldwide. She won five Independent Country Music Association Awards, including Overall Winner, Best Female Country Artist, Best Musician, Best Songwriter and Country Music Song of the Year. Jenn’s new album “Faithful” is now available worldwide on iTunes and Amazon.