Living with your performing musician
When you're in the life, your in it for good
Being a full time musician has given me some of my most rewarding experiences. To be asked to play during someone's wedding ceremony or to see one of my students perform on stage for the first time, it's a feeling not everyone gets to experience as often as us. As satisfying as it sounds, it is not without it's cost and it takes the right kind of person to live with a full time musician. Here's some do's and don'ts.
DON'T plan anything for any weekend or bank holiday
Your musician will have next to no social life. Working weekends and performing to drunks makes it hard to get drunk and watch a band. When your musician is getting up from a late gig the previous night, most other people are in work. Incidentally, which is why Musicians tend to form herds.
DO be prepared when taking your musician to see another band
Your musician's ear is extremely sensitive and has the extraordinary ability to pick apart any band they hear and as a consequence, tell you exactly what they're doing wrong. All the way through the set.
DONT'T push them up on stage at every opportunity
Your musician gets paid to perform, by forcing them on stage at an open mic night or karaoke on they're day off, you're making them work for free.
DO look after your musicians voice
When your musician is gigging 3-5 times a week, lack of sleep can have a massive affect on their performance, especially vocally. If they've lost their voice and have a gig that day, let them sleep as long as they want, feed them warm honey, steam them and try not to let them talk too much.
DON'T underestimate your musician
Remember, to become a full time musician, it takes dedication and practice discipline. This can also be applied to learn other skills and with most musicians being nocturnal, they have plenty of time to learn hand to hand combat, table tennis or even crochet.
DO let your musician practice
Practice is the key to a musicians career. A lot of
the time life can get in the way of quality practice time and your musician may feel that they don't have anything left to learn. This is a very sad and dangerous state to be. Being in a comfort zone for too long can turn your musician musically stale and will feel deflated the minute someone releases a 'better' song than them. Remind them that a wise man once said there is always something to learn.
DONT'T discourage your musician
They have chosen this career. It can be lonely, it can be tedious, it can be elating. Often 'work' as a musician means playing through a 2 hour set which they've got to learn for a gig that evening. It can also mean a contract oversees for a long period of time or finding those ever elusive yellow shoes which set them apart from everyone else. Whatever 'work' is for your musician, be supportive.
With these pointers in mind, I wish you and your musician a happy life together.
Don't forget, a musician is not just for Christmas.