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10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Attending Music School

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With some of my students graduating college heading out into “real life”, and others graduating high school heading to college in the fall, it made me think about things I wish I had known ahead of time. Below are some tips that I either figured out during my college career or after I graduated that would have saved a bunch of time if I had known about them in advance. Continue reading 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Attending Music School

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How To Write Great Charts!

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Chart writing can make learning or navigating a lot of music quicker and easier. Especially if you don’t have a lot of time to learn the music in the first place. This can save you time (and money) in a variety of situations, whether you’re leading an ensemble or performing in one. This month’s blog post is going to show you some ways to help you write smarter charts and give you some clues as to the charts you might encounter in your music career. Continue reading How To Write Great Charts!

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How To Efficiently Learn Music (And Do It Quickly)!

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So you get the call to play with an artist. You are available to do the hit and now you need to learn the music. This post will help set you up for success so you can learn the music quickly and have more time for other tasks at hand. If you prepare correctly, you won’t be spending most of your time writing charts and you will only need a little daily maintenance to keep things in check until the gig.

Continue reading How To Efficiently Learn Music (And Do It Quickly)!

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New Year’s Reminders (that you should already be doing)!

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Here are 15 tips that you should already be incorporating into your career as a professional musician. With everyone making resolutions for the New Year, I prefer to call them reminders. I remind myself of the goals I had, and check in to make sure I am still on track, or adjust them as necessary (or add new ones to replace completed ones). This post is full of knowledge I learned in high school and college that I continue to put to good use on a regular basis. Continue reading New Year’s Reminders (that you should already be doing)!

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12 Things I Learned After I Graduated Music School

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In this month’s post I will list twelve things I learned after I graduated from music school. These are tips I learned that I couldn’t get from a textbook or from my teacher telling me. I am still learning more everyday, but I feel these are things I deal with regularly, that every musician should know. A few of them have already touched upon in previous blog posts so feel free to go back and read those. Continue reading 12 Things I Learned After I Graduated Music School

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How Much Should You Charge?

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I have been asked by fellow musicians how I come up with pricing for the different things I am hired to do. This could be anything from performing live, recording for a client, teaching lessons, giving a clinic/masterclass or anything that requires your time and your skills or expertise. This month’s post will help you figure out how to set your prices so when someone asks you to work for them you aren’t caught out fumbling around for numbers. Continue reading How Much Should You Charge?

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Staying Fit And Eating Healthy On The Road!

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As a professional musician, I travel a lot. Domestically and internationally. This means my schedule is constantly changing. I have had to be flexible with my day to day activities (like practicing, learning new music, paying bills, sleeping, etc), but most importantly with taking care of my body so that I can continue to travel the world playing drums. This includes my physical fitness routine as well as my eating habits. Fortunately for me, one of my very good friends is a personal trainer who has worked with professional athletes from the NBA and NFL, and my mother is an RN in the field of infectious disease control, working with the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and top doctors. I have not gotten sick in over a year, and my pants size has only gone up one number from high school (32 to a 33). I’m going to share the tips I use to keep this music making machine running in tip top shape.

Continue reading Staying Fit And Eating Healthy On The Road!

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Mastering Sight-Reading Made Easy!

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After helping a lot of my students with their auditions, sight-reading is what instilled fear in almost all of them. I’m not saying you can’t be a great musician if you don’t know how to read music or read extremely well, but you will be missing out on many gigs and opportunities to make more money. There are plenty of heavy intensive reading gigs that you are saying no to if you choose not to get your reading chops up to speed. This post will give you things to think about when approaching your reading, as well as helpful methods to improving your reading quickly and efficiently.

Continue reading Mastering Sight-Reading Made Easy!

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Get The Gig, Keep The Gig!

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This blog post is going to help you figure out how to get the gig you want and then how to keep it. This isn’t a “step-by-step”, but more of a “these guidelines will point you in the right direction”. Every situation is different. This is just a introduction to some of the topics and will most likely be expanded upon at a later date.

 

The thing you should always keep in mind is that the music business is still a business, even though the medium is music. Most people go to see music performed in a social setting. It’s even described most of the time as “I play this” or “I play that”. That description alone makes it sound “fun” or “recreational” and not a serious business.

 

You may or may not know who I am, but you definitely know some of the people I have worked with. I have been playing music professionally for over 20 years and making a living at it with the ability to pay all of my bills. I work constantly and the information I am going to mention below has been taken from my personal experiences as well as several other musicians who all work consistently solely in the business of music. Continue reading Get The Gig, Keep The Gig!