One more rant: Attitude
(22 Nov 02)
Oh well, here we go. You might say "Oh no, not another one of those pointless rants about stuff like the biz and it's rules... where are the licks?" But hey, just like I said in "You Didnt Try To Call Me", this stuff might be just as important as some pentatonic licks or whatever... so here we go!!!
OK, let's talk about "attitude". This becomes really important once you start dealing with other musicians, bookers, producers etc. I learned that it is important to be self-confident, but you gotta avoid developing a "tunnel-view". What I mean by that is: You should be self-confident about your abilities, about what you learned and know. Of course, as a musician, you can never really say "OK, I'm perfect now, I can stop learning and developing !" But you should be aware of your abilities.
One mistake that a lot of younger, rather unexperienced people do: They hand their demo-tape to everyone they consider important. Musicians, journalists, promoters etc. That is not really a mistake, BUT usually they hand over the demo and add certain comments such as:
"Here's our demo. I'd be glad if you'd listen to it (going great so far, but...)... but it's really not representative of the sound of my band (GREAT! Why hand it to someone then?!?) because my amp was broken and I had to borrow another one, our drummer had the flu so he didn't play well, and..."
Honestly, why should that person still listen to that demo? After these comments, he'll have some kind of expectation in the back of his mind, which might alter his impression of the tape. If you really think the tape is not representative, don't use it to promote yourself. Dump it! Make another one!
Seriously, most people will know that a young band can't afford recording their demo at a multi million-dollar studio. They won't mind a lack of overdubs or mastering. It's not uncommon. But don't point it out in advance.
Seriously, I am telling you all this because, when someone hands me a tape (like a student, or someone who attends one of my workshops or meets me at a tradeshow) and tells me in advance how much it sucks, why should I listen to it after all?!? Of course you shouldn't be TOO self-confident. Walking up to someone saying "Hey dude, forget about all the other demos that were given to you today. Listen to OURS, it'll blow your mind, it's the best you ever heard in your life !". For some people, this might work, but in general, I wouldn't recommend to hand over your tape saying things like that.
You gotta find a way which lays between downplaying it and exagerrating. Something like this: "Hi, this is our demo-tape, I would be happy if you'd listen to it. We tried our best, and I hope the important stuff (songwriting, charisma) rings through. Thanks"
Get used to this kind of consideration and political stuff. It's showbiz, after all...