In this episode, Jared Judge recounts an embarrassing experience he recently had while performing at a gig. Without going into specific details, he highlights the importance of maintaining high musical standards when you're hired to play, especially at events that hold significance, like an awards dinner for members of the military. Jared reflects on the expectations and quality that clients deserve when they invest in your musical services, emphasizing that consistency and excellence should be a priority. He also discusses the significance of hiring musicians based on their skills and qualifications, rather than just personal connections. If you're a gigging professional looking to provide top-notch performances, this episode offers valuable insights and a reminder to always deliver your best.
Hey, what's up gigging pros! It's Jared Judge. Welcome to another episode of The Gigging Musician Podcast. I wanted to share with you an embarrassing situation that happened recently at a gig without getting too much into specifics. So recently, I was hired as a hired gun for somebody else's contracting group, which is kind of like dream city where you can have multiple gigs going on at the same time. This one is a national one, they've gigs in multiple cities. And they hired me to play for an awards dinner for members of our military, which is awesome, what a great gig. To me, they deserve the highest of musical standards. However, that's not what they got. And I was embarrassed. Now, I'm not gonna get too into the specifics about it. But I will, you know, leave it kind of vague and say, the quality of some of these contracted groups varies. And I'm sure some of you know what that means. You know, when I first started working with blue water, Kings band up in Milwaukee, I had read some horror stories about, you know, we thought we hired this act. But instead, the members were all different, and they didn't sound as good as the group that we heard when we hired them. So that's the hint that I would give to you about what happened at this gig. So instead of like, going on about the issue that I heard, I will instead give you some advice about upholding your musical standards. And I believe if you're the kind that's listening to this podcast, you are a gigging professional. So you already have a high musical standard. And maybe this isn't even meant for you. Maybe it's just, you are nodding your head along with me saying, Yeah, I get that. I'm sorry, you had to go through that situation. And so my my words of advice is that when somebody pays you money for your musical service, or even if they don't, and you've agreed to the terms of them hiring you, they deserve your best, they deserve a great musical performance. I'm not saying that you have to be the most technically proficient. I'm not even saying that you have to play, you know, in tune 100% of the time, or with perfect rhythm 100% of the time, because if you watch any of my videos, you'll notice there are a couple little hiccups not like noticeable in a way that most of the population would notice it. Or maybe they would, I don't know. But you don't have to be perfect. However, you do have to be good. And I'm sure you knew this, I'm sure you are good. But it's kind of like, you know, after the good guy went and got Chipotle. I love Chipotle love me a good burrito. When you go to your favorite restaurant, or any restaurant for that matter, you have certain expectations of what kind of food they're going to serve you and the quality of that food. Right at Chipotle, I can expect a very similar burrito, every time I go. And a very similar burrito no matter what city I get it from. As you know, the tortilla is going to be hot and flavorful. The rice is going to be steamy flavored with cilantro and lime. The steak is going to be juicy and delicious. The peppers and onions are going to be steaming and a little burns just the way I like the salsa is gonna be hot and spicy, just the way I like it. It's gonna be wrapped in a way that holds mostly together while you eat it. And I can expect that same level of quality every time I go back. And if I don't get it, well, then you know, they would expect a refund or they're expecting you to request a refund. Now think about your music that way too. If somebody is coming to you hiring you, should they not expect the same quality? And should it not be a high quality every time they purchase it? The obvious answer to me is Yes. Should be high quality. Because otherwise, you know, you shouldn't advertise yourself as a high quality group. Yet, you might still be in the learning phase, which is totally fine. It's an acceptable place to be. But in my opinion, once you start charging for, you know, a private event rate, especially for members of our military who I auditioned for years ago, and then know that they have high musical standards, even if the people I played for weren't musicians, you know, the military is all about providing consistency. And that is especially true in their musical department too, because they rejected me. So I wasn't good enough. So Why wouldn't I give my best to the members of the military. And so that is my advice to you, it all starts with the hiring. Here's the thing about hiring other musicians for your group, a lot of musicians like to hire their friends, or they become a group, because they were friends first. And I understand that, like that, that's a great thing, you know, music, musical community is a is a social structure. And it's great to be friends with the musicians you play with. However, if you also look at it as a business, then, you know, you can have both as long as you can still have the business aspect going, which is where you can enforce your musical standards. So when you're hiring a new musician, you have to hear that play this group, I found this act through a Facebook post where they were looking for every member of the group to play this gig. So it was a political pickup gig where nobody, none of the members knew each other. And that's how I got the gig, which was very risky on their part, because I assumed that they had creeped on my Facebook profile and found videos of me playing. And that's why they said yes to me. But you've got to hear the people that are potentially playing for you play, either through an in person audition, or by watching their videos. And it just don't get the sense that that happened here. And I was very embarrassed at this gig. You know, I have no idea what if any of the members of the audience noticed. But I noticed. And I felt like I was doing a disservice to the members of our military, their families. And there was even a special presentation honoring, you know, thy POWs, those Mia, those who have served and are lost. And it was a beautiful presentation. But I was just in my mind, I was feeling so disappointed and let down. And I don't know it. It was my least favorite bookkeeping experience so far, in Denver. And I guess I just want to share this as a word of advice and a word of warning that this could happen to you too. Luckily, it's not my gig. Therefore, the consequences will happen directly to the marketing of my act. But, you know, just it's a shame. And I hope that we all can do better. And that is, that's all I'm gonna say. All right. Well, that's been fun. So the good news is, though, you were listening to a podcast about being a professional, getting professional, who raises their standards, and charges what they're worth. So I don't think you're at risk of this. You know, I feel like you have got this down. And I'm very proud of you for being the kind of musician who's got the self awareness to listen to themselves. And realize, you know, what we do here is in service of others, and that they deserve our best. And so you're not going to make this mistake. And if you've potentially hired the wrong person, you know, you'll you'll correct it. Maybe you haven't discovered that you've hired the wrong person yet, or who knows, maybe you've got everybody in your group, it was doing all the right things. That's kind of how I feel about the groups that I've staffed up in Milwaukee, for a while I did have some wrong musicians in the wrong seats. And I remove them from my roster. Simple of that. So yeah, the good news is you are not going to make this mistake. Or if you have made this mistake, you will learn from it and correct it. And I just hope that the person who hired me for this gig does the same. All right. That is all I got for you today. By the way, that venue I checked is on the list of venues that I give out to all musicians across the country so that you could partner with the venue's get on their preferred vendor list, and get these gigs. And, you know, I want you to have these gigs. Because I know you've got high musical standards, you're gonna do a great job. So if you want these gigs, go ahead and get on their preferred vendor list. Same for venues and closer to you because I know not all of you are in Denver. So go to OpenTheGigVault.com. Grab Your Free Copy of The Gig Vault list, and start getting on those preferred vendor list. Alright, thanks for tuning in to another episode of The Gigging Musician Podcast. Remember, "Your music will not market itself!".