Yesterday, I was on the phone with guy who was having trouble with a few members of his group. He was fully committed to writing, rehearsing, and promoting his group, but some of the other guys seemed less enthusiastic.
This call reminded me of a group that I used to play with and I thought it would make a good topic for this week’s newsletter.
We hope you enjoy this issue of the Gorilla Newsletter.
Author of “The 5 Steps to Becoming the Biggest Band in Town”
Vice President of Gorilla Music
A Commitment To Your Music and Your Band
By John Michalak
Years ago, I played in a group that had a lot of trouble scheduling rehearsals. Three of the four of us were available most of the time, but one member in particular could never make it to practice, and we spent most of our time waiting to hear what his schedule was for the week.
When his work schedule was cooperating he would have some big test he needed to study for or some important dinner he had planned with his parents. He trained us to work around his schedule and it was getting in the way of our group’s progress.
The problem wasn’t that he didn’t have enough time to rehearse, but that our group was not a priority for him. He didn’t have some corporate job that he couldn’t replace. He had a series of serving jobs that did not allow him to know his schedule for more that a week in advance.
He also wasn’t willing to allow practice to become a priority over his social life. He claimed to be so busy, but he always seemed to have time to meet us out for beers. His schedule and our unwillingness to practice without him lead to the eventual downfall of our group.
I have been coaching groups for years now. During the coaching process one question helps me determine each group’s level of commitment.
Is your practice schedule set in stone?
Meaning is it on the same days and times each week.
Groups that do not have a set rehearsal schedule are not as committed as groups that do. Your band or group may seem to be the most important thing in your life, but if you can’t or won’t make time for it than you need to restructure your priorities or come to the reality that maybe it’s not as important as you like to think.
Sometimes as in our case, it may seem like one individual is hindering the group from keeping a regular schedule. However, in reality a group should be able to rehearse with or without all of its members.
That’s where we went wrong; we kept waiting for him to make it to practice. Instead we should have created a permanent schedule and that for the most part stayed the same, week after week.
If we had created such a schedule then he would have miss a few practices over work, but his other scheduling issues would have been averted. He would have scheduled his study time and dinner dates with his parents on other days.
If you are a serious about a career in music, then commit to a practice schedule. Creating a schedule sends a message to the other members of your group; to your loved ones, and to the rest of the world that you are serious and committed to this project. Once loved ones see that you have made a commitment to your group they will take you more seriously.
Success requires sacrifice, and you’re going to need to decide what writing great music is worth to you. Making a commitment by creating a rehearsal schedule can be the difference between good and great songs, good and great shows, and the difference between a good and great band.
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