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Trust

Ah! Trust, what a subject! The big subject! The only subject to get a long term job in the music business, really.

Let’s talk about it, shall we?

When you go to an audition and you know you can play the drum parts they ask you to prepare, what will make the difference between you and the fifty other drummers waiting to go? Trust, my friend, trust! This is an absolute. Paul McCartney, when ask why Ringo, answered: “We thought he was part of the lad”. A dopy genius remark typical of this rock star legend. Yes, Ringo is very trustworthy. If you watched the documentary “Get back”, you will learn some of the habits the drummer had develop to get the trust and keep it from his fellow bandmates. It is said in there somewhere that he was always on time when they set up a meeting/interview/rehearsal/whatever. As a matter of fact, Ringo was all too often the first one to show up for said events.

Let’s move on.

How do you set up trust if you only got a few minutes of audition to prove your worth? First of, learn the songs they ask you to learn. Then learn six more songs from their repertoire, then learn the whole repertoire. Darryl Jones a beloved bass player that has graced the stage with the likes of Miles Davis or Sting, said this when he auditioned for the Rolling Stones: “All of them”. Their question was: “Which songs did you learn?”. Then Mick and Keith proceeded to grill him with obscure B-sides tunes from the sixties that only a mad collector (or a motivated musician) would know. And he aced it, and now, if you want to see Darryl Jones play, it’ll cost you a pretty penny.

 

What else can you do to make yourself trusted: “Never lie!” Never! The band members ask you some questions, you answer truthfully. For example, when I landed the church gig I would do every Sunday for about twenty plus years, I told the guy on the phone that I’ve never heard of church music. But, yes, I could read. Thankfully, that’s all that was needed.

What else? Watch the jokes! This one I take on my own account, me and my weird sense of humor. You have to gauge the mood of the room you’re in, as in what is the common denominator of the group you’re playing with? Who’s the leader and what kind of person is she/he? I was sometimes surprised to not get a call back, me and my devastating sense of humor, after what I thought was an excellent audition.

What else? Ah! The most important part: some gigs are not right for you. That’s right! Even if it will be a lot of money to pass up, sometimes it just doesn’t fit. For example, if I am trying to join a band populated only with drug addicts, I’m pretty sure we won’t have much in common, them and I. Same for the clothes to wear, language to use (every group of people has their own linguo, little known fact), and sense of humor (I know I come back to that, but I’ve got a killer one, that’s why. You would have a killer sense of humor, just like me, you would also mention it repeatedly and it wouldn’t be obnoxious at all).

Now, trust apply to many activities in life (maybe not when you’re a Casino owner or a poker player. There are some exceptions), and it applies to teaching music too. I make sure that I stay myself when I teach. If there’s something I don’t like during my lesson, and I’m not talking about music here, I simply say it. My attitude towards my students is the same I have with my daughter, my son or my wife, that way it’s much easier to remember. And it works. Because I’m me. And it wouldn’t work to copy what I’m doing, because you’re not me. Be you. But first, try to be a good you, a great you, the best you can be, really. Oh, and that goes without saying, but the beginning of it all is this: Trust yourself! That’s where it starts.

 

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