Gigging With Musicians/Singers Who Sound Terrible Without Explanation


This is literally the most uncomfortable thing in the universe. The show must go on and you need to pretend like your ears aren’t bleeding and like you can still harmonize and or work with whatever godforsaken tone they’re uttering.

You also need to be compassionate. Perhaps they’re having a bad night. Perhaps they’ve been gigging all week and they’re burnt out. Perhaps they are still working on getting “there” musically and this is one opportunity for them to learn from. Perhaps they screwed off preparation and came into the gig not knowing what the fuck they needed to do but showed up anyway yet have no excuse for their past choices.

Compassion still is totally key. They’d do better if they knew better. You have to remember that you once sucked and you still suck sometimes, relative to others you’ve played with. There will always be someone better than you, and someone worse than you.

Instead of making the situation worse with facial expressions that denote displeasure/the urge to run for the hills instead of moving through this experience of secondhand embarrassment, you need to find a way to make the entire unit sound better, despite the weak link/s. At the end of the day, you being in the group while someone in the group is fucking up means everyone is sounding bad… Not just the weakest link.

It’s not gonna make it any better if you don’t swiftly shift gears, and if you can’t simply change the song you gotta find a way to compensate for said sub-par musician.

Lastly, you gotta communicate about the uncomfortable incident. In a very nice way. You don’t need to continue working with people who aren’t at your level musically if you don’t want to, but you aren’t allowed to talk shit about what you find lacking in them to others. You gotta face them head on if you really care that much about their improvement… And it needs to come from a place of love and a desire to continue working with an artist that’s willing to reach your level of professionalism and creativity.

All artists are on their own journeys and have their own paths and their own levels of seriousness about their craft. Each incident with an artist reflects to you what you need to learn in order to improve and evolve on your creative success journey.

Live in love 💞

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