Claude Gordon Brass Camp 1990 - Carl Leach on Music Business - partial recording

Transcript Summary

I don't know how you operate, but it's like, the first gig that I take, that's the gig that I play.
You know?
I've had other ones that pay astronomical things, at which point I would call the contractor and explain the situation to him and ask him if I could get out of it.
Is it possible? And usually before I even call him, I get a passable sub.
Okay? So that the situation is already handled. He doesn't have to do anything except say, hey, your name.
See, I handle the situation.
So that's the best way to handle that.
Okay, at this point, number three, economize.
Don't waste time. Be efficient. Call those who can assist you with jobs.
I've seen guys waste tons of time on and calling.
It's okay to call friends. It's okay to have relationships. It's okay to do all that stuff.
We're just talking specifically about your career, okay?
Call those people that can benefit.
Don't waste time on Chester Swebs down there, who's got this rod group with the Navy.
This would also go, this is kind of an important thing, and I really don't want to get into it here too much,
other than another thing of economizing is don't practice things you don't need to practice.
Practice those things that produce the result you want.
And I've had guys that were like, yeah, this is a good idea.
I've had guys that were like 50 years old come in for lessons,
and they had practiced their entire life,
and they still didn't get what they needed to get out of it,
or doing it a certain way to get the desired effect that they needed.
Now, prepare to deliver.
At this point in time, you better have your tools for this job,
for the job that you're going to get mutes, horns, et cetera, blah, blah, blah, blah,
next to the necessary routines.
If you've got a job, you can run steadily.
You better have the type of routines that kind of maintain what you're doing.
Like in whatever playing the show in Las Vegas,
Claude and I were always working the first few years trying to find out the optimum,
that means best, the best routines that I could play the dang thing at night,
not get so beat up that the next day I played a routine that made me feel terrible for the show,
but still let me grow.
So it's kind of a fine line.
Then the fifth thing would be to become disciplined, you know, establish, you know,
kind of a program for calling people.
Okay, every Tuesday, Monday, Tuesday, man, that's when I'm on the horn, calling people.
Trying to set up gigs for the next weekend or something like that,
like booking a hit.
Promoting yourself, that's in this area.
Now, everything's growing.
You're making the bills.
The contractors are calling you and they're remembering your name.
You're meeting new players, writers, contractors.
At this point, you're in a normal condition.
Everything's growing, okay?
You keep going, things are going better.
If you're staying the same, you aren't in a normal condition.
Nothing's normal and it's stagnant.
Normal means you're always growing.
Things are getting better all the time.
Now, at this point, you don't change anything.
Whatever you're doing is working.
Number two, you have mild discipline, man.
You'd be real cool, you know, you might have to hang out with, you know,
what seems like the thing to do.
Hang out one night, you know, it's not like you're going to punish yourself
or like do any big deal on it.
It's very mild at this point.
Now, three and four would be the thing.
If something gets better, all of a sudden, man, it's like,
it's a really good call center.
Find out what the heck's going on and keep pushing that one.
Maybe it was the fact that the second trouble player in this thing,
you're befriended and you're going along.
He's a real good friend of the contractor and all of a sudden,
like, well, keep that line in.
Don't change anything else you've done, but let's keep supporting that line.
And then four, if things get, sometimes things get worse slightly,
find out what they are and quickly remedy it.
You know, like, ah, man, it's like, you know,
it seems to be a lot happening around town or something like that.
Well, I need to start booking, you know, just try to find out what's going on.
Well, you know, if there aren't a lot of jobs, maybe there's catacombs.
Maybe there's a van going out of town.
It's real simple stuff.
You know, you can apply this.
How you would do this, you can actually keep track of how you do
by having little graphs.
I actually have a graph I'm developing now with some students.
I'm actually practicing it, but I can't get all the data on top of it.
Let's say you can make a graph.
This could be income.
Here's an example, okay?
Right over here would be a dollar amount.
Here would be your weekly thing.
So like, you know, 20th of June, that week and stuff like that.
Okay, I earned that X amount of dollars.
The next week I earned this amount.
The next week is downstairs.
Next week is up here and another up here.
Now, when you connect this thing, you know,
you start seeing what state you're in so you know which thing to apply.
If your graph is going up the trend,
you don't look at all these bills and balances.
If you look at the trend, that's how you find out what condition you're in.
If you're growing, just as going up, you're normal.
If it's kind of going the same all the time,
you're going down to emergency.
If it's kind of taking a drop, seven drops, you're in danger.
And if it's going down here, hey, man,
you ain't even been seen anymore.
You're non-existent.
Now, you can also apply this to, let's say,
if you go to graph on, I did this, people contacted.
Okay, up here would be the number of people,
like 10, 20, 30, 40, 50.
And this would be the weeks.
Okay, this week I was able to contact 20 people.
Next week it would be 50 people.
Next week it would be 55.
Okay, next week it would be 60.
You know, that graph's going up, it's great.
But it's actually a visual way for you guys
to see how you're doing it.
So you can apply graphs to almost everything.
Right now I'm doing it just practicing.
I won't have that to go, so I'm going to end it here.
Yeah, we talk about our contractors a lot.
For younger players, he's suggesting, you know,
getting in test work, getting themselves in on it.
Well, just even here, players, you know,
the first thing you're going to do is find out, like,
the first thing I did when I went into town was I found,
who the heck's playing here?
What's this guy's name?
I try to be, I get in situations where I had to meet,
you know, they're down at the rehearsal hall
playing with a band.
Geez, I had to go and pay my dues that day, you know.
Oh, I was just down there paying my dues.
Who are you?
That was my communication line.
But you're still going to have to work on contractors eventually
because that's the guys that have the jobs.
You'll go through the players call in just,
when I came into town, I would ask the players,
who contracts with me?
Who contracts with the dudes?
Who contracts with a certain star?
You know, who contracts with this guy?
I got their names.
I actually had actually a list of all the contractors in town,
what their jobs were.
You know, I had a list of all the trumpet players
that I could get my hands on, where they played,
what they were doing.
Boy, after a while, you know, you start to have
a lot of information there.
Are there any questions to this point?
How many actually are playing jobs now?
Okay, good.
And how many have?
How many have not played their first professional job yet?
And I hope these are enough tools to help you start
doing some of those things.
Because if you don't create a right,
you could be a phenomenal player and it would be
a major out point.
It's frustrating to have all that ability.
You don't have quite this other angle and you aren't
surviving that.
Anyway, that'll be it.
That's it for this lecture.