How to work well with musicians

Musical artists are all extremely unique and have their own musical styles they want to display. Getting the best out of them requires a combination of your technical and personable skills to allow everybody to be happy and achieve the common goal. 

So, as Music, Management and Audio Engineering professionals, we’ve put together a list of the top 3 ways to combine your skills to work well with musicians: 

1. Know your artist

When somebody chooses you to help them achieve their dream, it's a big deal. They are trusting your opinion, expertise, knowledge and most of all, they’re trusting YOU as a person. If they trust you with all of this, you need to understand them. Understand their passion, style, objectives and everything else in between. If you’re managing their business, make sure you know what kind of gigs they want to play and where they want to play them. If you’re helping produce one of their tracks, don’t just do what you want to do, make sure you understand their vision before you get started and what they want out of their track. It’s not necessarily all about the artist, a career in music is a collaborative project between many different people. But they have chosen YOU to help. Make sure you know what they want and prove that you are working towards that. That is a major step towards reaching an artist’s full potential.

2. Be a professional

This is the same as any other job, but much more self-disciplined in the entertainment business. You need to be professional, know your role and be confident in your skills. Loving your artist’s music is a key piece of the puzzle, but when you are working with them, you need to know how to utilize their talent in the most effective way to maximise their chance at success. Ensure your training and knowledge is where it needs to be before to committing to anything too major. If you’re managing a band, it is your responsibility to be around all aspects of their business including finance, bookings, relationships and PR (just to name a few). If you’re recording a song for them, offer musical options, respect their decisions and if you have opinions, explain them properly and adhere to their needs. Showing professionalism will allow your musicians to trust your opinion, not second guess having you on their team and in turn, allow them to perform and create music more freely.

3. Believe in the dream

At the end of the day, whether you’re the musician, management or the audio engineer, you all need to collectively believe in the dream. The reason your musician started playing music was for their love of the craft and the dream of making it their career. If you want to get the most out your musician and be able to work well with them, you must buy into their dream and believe that you can truly help them achieve it. If they can see that you are on board, they will believe in you and that success will become more likely every day.