Jo Lawry – Being a Backing Singer


This one is about being a sideman. In my case, usually it’s as a backing singer. You may have seen the film “Twenty Feet From
Stardom”, which was a film that I was lucky enough to be part of. There are a lot of upsides to being a non-leader. You can actually earn some money, instead
of constantly shelling out expenses, to paying musicians, and organizing tours. It’s a very, very hard thing to run your own
tour. You can learn music, and skills that are outside
your wheelhouse. It can give you an engagement with a wider
audience. That certainly happened in my case. The stuff I’m talking about today, is almost
entirely non musical. This is not going to be a music masterclass,
in that sense. This is kind of a bit more about the music
business. It’s about how to act. If you do the work, on whatever is the work
that’s in front of you, and there are no shortcuts for that… One side effect, is that you will earn a reputation
as somebody who has their stuff together. In the professional world, in really, the
pro world of music, it is unacceptable to be late. It costs everybody time, and everybody money. People who are elite musicians, do not have
time to waste. In rehearsal, don’t look at your phone. Don’t talk to the person next to you. It might seem like what’s going on over there
doesn’t effect you, but then, if somebody asks you, “hey, so did you catch that”? It’s really not okay to be put in a situation
where you say, “no, sorry, I was checking my email”. Rehearsals are not for you to learn your part. Rehearsals are actually for you to learn everybody
elses part. So, you should come to rehearsal prepared. Know everything you’re supposed to do, and
then the rest of what you’re talking in during rehearsal, is what is everybody else doing,
and how can I make their job as easy as possible. The music stuff is super, super important,
but how you conduct yourself, and how you behave, how you handle things, is going to
be 80 or 90 percent of whether you get called for the gig a second time.

1 comment

… am enjoying watching a professional explain responsibility and its benefits personally , as well as to the group – – just class personified , n'est-ce pas ? . . ….shalom,a.j.

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