Enough Is Not Enough

If you're trying to build a strong reputation as a musician, enough is not enough.

I talked about this idea in my article How to be a Full-Time Musician: Part 2, but I think the idea bears repeating here.

Simply put, if you have the dirty habit of doing just enough work to get by on a gig, you'll never achieve greatness.

Yes, absolute statements like this are generally to be avoided, but I've yet to encounter a truly great musician who doesn't consistenly go above and beyond in all that they do.

The players who do the work are the players who get the work.

If you consistently exceed the expectations of the musicians you work with, you'll no doubt develop the reputation of a great musician. Word will travel, and opportunities will present themselves.

Here are some ideas for putting this idea into practice:

  • As often as possible, memorize songs.
  • Show up early to rehearsals and gigs.
  • Know your gear, and carry necessary backups.
  • Be flexible, know how to work with criticism.
  • When learning songs, listen to more than just the guitar part. Be aware of what the whole band is doing. This will make you more of an asset come rehearsal time.
  • Keep up with current sounds/tones and learn to reproduce them with your gear.

    That list should get you started.

    Question: What are some other ways you've found to exceed the expectations of the musicians you work with? I'd love to hear your thoughts.


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