Being on time can hurt your career in music?

I am rarely blatantly late.  However, I have noticed recently I am showing up “just” on time to work.  Being “just” on time doesn’t actually make me lose a job, but it sets a ball in motion of small effects that could change the prospect of my future work.

As a continuation of our previous series, Be Taken Seriously in the Music Industry, here are 5 ways that I have found that being “just” on time is negatively effecting my career as a professional musician.

1. Being “just” on time could make an artist, or band leader, or producer nervous. They have put a lot of energy, and money into the event/session they are producing. Their internal energy is already on edge, so why give them any ounce of reason to be nervous, and associate that feeling with you?

2. Being “just” on time does not allow me to have a relaxing introduction to other professionals I am working with that day. How often have I missed out on an introductory conversation that could lead to both parties realizing they had mutual friends, or working relationships? This type of networking leads to more work.

3. Being “just” on time does not allow me the opportunity to get acquainted with how my instrument sounds in the room, possibly effecting my performance and how the audience hears my performance. Every room, both live performance venue, and recording studio, sounds different. Taking the time to pay attention to how your instrument sounds in the room, will make your performance more appropriate for the audience listening to it. Also, being early would allow you the time to get acquainted with the front house engineer, or recording engineer, and hopefully afford you the opportunity to get their opinion on how your gear sounds in their room.

4.  Being “just” on time does not allow me to get my gear set up just right because I had to rush through the set up process.  With my gear not set up right, there is a greater likelihood that I will not be at my best during the performance.  (it also doesn’t allow for possible gear failure, and having the time to make appropriate adjustments) 

5.  Being “just” on time does not allow me to be properly warmed up, again decreasing the likelihood of an excellent performance. 

None of these “consequences” alone may make a musician/artist not be hired again for a job.  However, the net effect of the negative that comes from being “just” on time could add up to  fewer opportunities.  I am going to commit to showing up to work early.  I bet my performance will be better, and my working relationships will grow stronger.  I look forward to hanging with you on a session real soon. I will be set up and ready, and I am a sure you will be too.

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