1. Just listen.
Make sure that when you’re on stage
with others, you are paying attention to what’s going
on and not getting self-involved in your own world.
2. Respect everyone else’s musical
The easiest way to kill a vibe is by
jumping in and adding your two cents too soon, while someone
else is still trying to build something. Just let things happen.
3. Make you sure you are telling a story.
Never just be playing scales, filling
space or going through the motions. Sometimes people resort
to such tactics just to fill space but it’s always a
mistake. Longer solos aren’t always better solos. Always
have something to say.
4. Try to play an emotion.
Always be aware of what emotion you want
to convey and try to tap into it. You can often hear what
a great soloist is going through. It doesn’t take words
to express a thought; you can definitely spell out emotions
musically and should always strive to do so.
5. Never use the bandstand to practice.
Don’t waste time working through
things. It’s great to take chances but not to try things
you are completely unsure of. Save your practice time for
6. Treat the stage as your church.
Respect what you are doing. If you want
people to respect what you’re doing and think it means
something, you have to act like it does. All great artists
treat the stage like it is sanctified.
7. Make sure your intentions are right.
Don’t be up there to boost your
ego or career. Mean what you’re doing and appreciate
it. You won’t get anywhere musically if you are just
on stage to impress people.
8. Always make the band sound better.
Don’t just highlight what you do;
serve the group and the music. Playing rhythm behind someone
or even sitting out at the right moment is just as important
as soloing. Some people sound great when they’re doing
their thing but just get in the way when they’re not.
9. Educate with your music.
Always move forward and turn your audience
on to new things instead of relying on the same old tricks.
A core audience gets stuck listening to one group and think
that’s it, but you’re around so much music and
should always be inspired by new things. It’s important
to pass that along, and it keeps you out of ruts.
10, Make sure you mean what you’re
Do what you want and love. If you’re
playing with somebody, you might as well do it right. No matter
what the gig, dig in and go to town.