(5-6 min. read)
There's a lot of noise out there and there are good players everywhere with opportunities out there for the taking. I'm here to tell you that there are ways to get even more interest towards your playing, and your personal brand.
How do you stand out in an increasingly crowded performance scene?
Here are three things that come to mind in order to stand out and help you get paid gigs. So many, in fact, that you may have some to offer to somebody!
Be Busy, Organized, and On time
My colleagues who have careers in classical music are the busiest people I know. Keeping busy in a fast-paced music scene helps you get your name out there. The more your name gets thrown around by word of mouth, the more opportunities you'll get to perform.
Also, I may be preaching to the choir, but being organized with your schedule is key. A contractor doesn't hire you because of your reputation of being late!
Granted, there will be situations that are just out of your control. But you make the most of them because the people who contracted you for this gig may be facing similar circumstances if they're playing with you. They're human too. If you have a history of good on-time performance, then they'll give you a pass because you've built good rapport as a good coworker.
There are two other points I want to make that will help you get calls for performances on a regular basis that are unrelated to the logistical part of standing out.
It's about Genuineness
What do I mean by this?
It means that the people you perform with and your target audience can see right through you.
Part of the job as a performer is interacting with musicians (aka your coworkers) and your fans. You're most likely going to be getting performance opportunities from other musicians. It's always in your best interest to be real upfront than to have someone find out later you're not as authentic as you said you were.
Authenticity goes a long way in the music industry. But that shouldn't be just associated in the way you interact with your colleagues. Genuineness can be translated in your playing too.
This leads me to my last point..
That special playing quality will make you stand out as a player.
Getting fans and keeping them are two separate things. You need to have that special something for your brand or your playing for fans to engage with your music.
Personally, when I explore new repertoire, I do what the composer asks me to do. But, I also try to make the performance my own and play the way I fee
Having the spark allows audiences to connect with you. They'll leave your concert inspired, and wanting more. If you have something amazing to offer, people will respond! Guaranteed.
There are so many things that make a good musician, a great musician. You're closest friends, you're colleagues, and your audience will respond to your actions either way. I encourage you to keep these three things in mind the next time you play your gig, orchestra performance, house concert, etc. You never know who's watching that has the power to change the course of your music career.