By Mark Scott

Follow up from last time, here are 4 more ways to be a true pro. These may come off a little didactic but there’s good information here!

1. Build solid relationships

Follow through and keep your promises. Under-promise and over-deliver.

If you’re that kind of person, and you don’t suck as a musician, you’ll have plenty of gigs and your calendar will always be full. But if you’re a snake and it’s always and only ever about you, guess what, you’ll struggle because this business is about solid relationships. 

Take time and effort to build solid relationships.  

2. Never talk down a venue

There would be ZERO live music income without places to play.

Look, we all know that some of these jobs aren’t as nice as others. And maybe some places just aren’t a good fit for you, and that’s okay, no one is forcing you to play every single place. But that should have zero bearing on my professionalism. I think it’s smart to have an appreciation for ANY place that’ll pay me to come in and lay around, play some music, and watch the game. Excuse the hyperbole, but it makes the point. And you know what else I should probably do? Go out of my way to give these places high ratings on Google, Facebook and Yelp. All boats rise with the tide, and if business is good for them, it’s good for us.        

3. Don’t talk down other musicians  

First of all, it makes you look petty and shitty. It’s unprofessional. It’s middle school. Think whatever you think but don’t talk about it. Putting others down never put me any higher.  

4. Appreciate your booking agent

You might have this crazy idea that agents just kinda sit around and collect 15% from the sweat and toil of a lot of hard-working musicians. But actually, agents work hard maintaining a lot of relationships — so you can work — and some of those are difficult ones. I’m not sure about you, but my time is valuable and well worth paying someone 15% to handle all that juggling. They deserve every dollar they make.

So be a true pro, through and through. Make it an essential feature of your personal brand. You do that and you’ll never have to worry about income.

Now go get paid.

​And change your strings.