I have done a bit of reading about finances and how to make money work for you. I am a huge Robert Kiyosaki fan. Probably the biggest thing that I have learned about money in my reading is that money is really an idea. It has little value in and of itself. It is created by people with the cunning to convince people to trade their most precious resource, their time, for something that is not worth the paper it is printed on. Even the value of money is easily manipulated by emotion. I constantly hear on the news how the markets lost value because people got scared. That may be a slight oversimplification. But it is the truth nonetheless.
You may ask what this has to do with music. Well I think it has everything to do with music. This bit of knowledge can give you some power. Especially if you are trying to get more work as a musician. The reason Pop records sell more than Jazz records is because Pop appeals to base emotions and feelings. Primarily lust and a desire to have a good time. This is not to say that Jazz doesn’t elicit emotion. I find few forms of music as expressive as Jazz. But with Jazz, you have to go through too many layers of thought to get to the emotions. And most people are not trying to experience the emotions that the Jazz artist may be expressing while trying to get drunk and find a date.
I also see this in the hiring of musicians. The days of hiring the best player are long past. Not just on the big shows. But the local club gig is the same way. If you can get an emotional connection with the owner of the club, then you can probably get the gig. You can even get a band fired and your band hired. If the artist gets goose bumps because of the way you hold your instrument, you can probably keep the gig as long as you want it. If the audience likes the way you play that one note, as simple as it may be, you will get the standing ovation. I have even seen churches want to hire someone who never learned any of the music, but the musician made them feel a certain way when he played.
I say all of this to say the if you can tap into peoples emotions as you play, then you can make yourself more valuable as a musician. More people will want to hire you. More audiences will want to see (not necessarily hear) you play. There are a number of factors that go into this. One of the biggest being your appearance. You have to look the part if you want people to connect with you. You also have to look engaged. Nobody wants to pay the band any attention if you as a performer look like you want to get home because Scandal is on. Your stage presence is very key in this. But I will discuss this more in a later post.