There are still very few female instrumentalists in the music industry which is the reason for this blog. The chances of you being a female artist with an all-male band are still quite high. Just being realistic – doesn’t mean I condone it – quite the opposite! Whether you have an all-female or all-male band, you are still the leader and in both circumstances you have to maintain a high standard of leadership and patience with all the players.
“Do you want to be a diva or a leader?”
Over time I’ve come to see the importance it is to exercise good leadership when dealing with band members. There are ways to get around expressing yourself and putting your foot down without your band members thinking that you are too difficult to work with. Here are a few ways to be soft on the outside but stern on the inside.
1). Be Professional
Send Music Ahead Or Come Prepared. If you are particular about your sound – come with demos, sheet music, soundalikes, references etc. If you are professional and prepared on your end, your musicians will be forced to step into that mindset as well and be on their A-game. If things are not sounding how you’d like them to… at least you’ve got references that can speak for themselves instead of you having to reiterate over and over again.
2). Pick And Choose Your Battles
Ladies…We cannot always be right, can we? Well, even if you think you could be right 90% of the time, you still have to be capable of letting things go. Be open-minded and choose the battles that you absolutely feel you need to be strict on. Let the other ones go and don’t be resentful about them thereafter.
3). Communicate Wisely
I find that a more soft-spoken approach can go a long way as opposed to a hard and brash bark when you get frustrated and impatient with your band. Communication is key and as a leader you have to learn to redirect the anger and think twice before you express yourself.
4). Inspire Confidence
Treat your band members respectfully knowing that they are musicians in their own right too. Their ideas can be just as valid as yours so hear them out before you make a final decision. Inspire confidence in your band members and let them feel like they and their ideas matter for the good of the overall sound.
5). Don’t Tolerate Bad Playing
Even if you want to be the cool kinda boss, there is a fine like between being cool and unprofessional. The easiest way to do this is to be lenient on some occasions but stern on others. You have to embody the good cop and the bad cop too. Forgive the drummer for being late but put your foot down when he gets the bridge wrong the 4th time around. You can’t be a push over when it comes to the music. Musicians will respect you for it.
6). Mix In A Little Fun
Let loose from time to time. Allow for a jam session to go a little longer than normal. Have a laugh occasionally and make the mood light when you feel there might be some tension looming in the room. Nobody wants to be in a rehearsal feeling uneasy and uncomfortable.
7). Be Accommodating
Your band members have lives too. You know your songs inside-out but they may not. Understand that they need time to really get it the way you want. Depending on the level you’re at – if you can afford the best of the best then you won’t have this problem. If your prefer to get players that you want to grow with, be patience with them.
Being labelled the b**** is never ideal. Try these tips and see how you get on.
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