Hi Guys…Welcome back to Biscuit’s Bass Business.
So just what does it take to become a Professional Bass player, and just how do you go about establishing yourself, and earn a living as a working musician. Firstly…Let us assume that you have now learned hundreds of songs, and have polished up your “Chops” and fingering positions on the fret board, and that you have also gained a good grasp of Music notation and a knowledge of Bass Tablature. You feel confident that you have progressed to a standard that you would deem to be an acceptable level to “Go Pro”, and are now feel ready to finally use your instrument as a tool for gaining work out there in the music “Jungle”
Great, now let’s move forward.
A plan must now be configured to enable you to unleash your talents on the music World at large. Initially this will include contacting those “Bass Player wanted” adverts, with a view to gaining employment within a band / Project…Should be easy enough, eh?
Well, nothing worth having in life ever came easy (unless you had a substantial Win on the Lottery) but this is certainly achievable, and not the most difficult exercise in the world, but just remember that you are aiming at turning your talents into a business, and so the figures have to add up to making you a profit. This can be attained with the correct amount of effort and organisation on your part, but firstly and most importantly you will have to fine tune your communication skills and become excellent at juggling a diary, and also be pretty handy with a calculator too.
I always and without exception, recommend that you adopt a totally professional approach from the outset. This will include good preparation and retaining a clear head during all conversations and correspondence with any current and possible future business associates.
Always be polite, and confident, although never arrogant, when arranging a meeting, audition or session etc., Always be on time for any appointment, allowing for any possible hold ups that may occur on your journey…some things are unavoidable of course, but being late is the worst possible start.
Before setting out, make sure that you have sufficient spares and tools with you, i.e. a tuner, spare strings, batteries, extension lead, picks, Allen Keys and a spare cable or two, and that you have checked all of your equipment on the morning of your appointment. Bass, Cables, Amp and Cabs should all be in full working order before you pack them for your trip. The two worse things to happen, are that you turn up late and then to compound the situation by having a lack of, or non-functioning equipment….You will not get the Gig !!
In my next column, among other things, I will be moving into that all-important issue of finance, and will be guiding you through the current going rates for the various musical avenues that you may wish to explore.