Being On Time In the Music Business


I’m going to share a sad truth right now. A truth that you will be able to use to your advantage. Most musicians disregard punctuality. I can’t tell you how many musicians I’ve encountered that are repeatedly late to things. Late to rehearsals, late to pick up times, late to meetings, late to gigs, etc. The list goes on and on. If you had a day job you sure as hell wouldn’t come late to that because you’d be afraid of getting fired. Well, I have news for you. It’s a quick way to get fired or never rehired in the music business too.

It’s a huge problem. It’s seems like common sense that the people who mostly hire us are business oriented. Businessmen respect time and in general are not late. It’s important to remember that in business time is money. Therefore many people equate a lack of a respect for time as a lack of respect for moneymaking principles. People with gigs aren’t going to want to work with you.

Now, here’s the good news. Just by following the simple act of showing up on time you’ll immediately increase your reputation for professionalism. People strongly take this in consideration when hiring again. This is huge!

In the regular 9-5 world if you show up on time all the time it’s expected. In the music business world you’re considered reliable, honest, trustworthy, and a consummate professional. Even other players will look up to you. These are rave reviews that any business would die for. It’s almost comical how easy this particular skill is.

Better yet my friends….try always showing up 5 minutes early. You’ll get the reputation of a saint. I learned this lesson the hard way.

There was a period of about 6 months when I was the first call guy for a booking agent in town. He had a contract with several of the top restaurants (all owned by the same owner). I showed up to these gigs early, well dressed, and musically prepared. Until one day I was running a little later than usual. Instead of showing up way early like usual, I showed up 15 minutes before the gig. I setup my gear quickly and was playing at the normal start time.  Although, I was a bit stressed in the beginning I felt the gig went without a hitch. Well, to make a long story short I was wrong. I was paid for the gig but was never called again afterward. I needed to get to the gig earlier and the restaurant had a reputation of elegance and charm. My rushing around for that 15 minutes wasn’t the image they were trying to sell. It was a hard lesson to learn but one that ultimately was great for me. I learned early on how important time is!

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