I hate working with Musicians

I am a musician myself. I’m a singer, I play piano and guitar. But I’m not in a band anymore. Why? Because I hate everyone else who is a musician. Please note, I’m talking about most AMATEUR “musicians”. People who are completely deluded and irritating basically.

There are several reasons for my point of view, I’m sure many industry professionals will agree, but Musicians are just a pain in the ass to work with. The thing is these days, anyone can pick up a guitar and call themselves a musician; anyone can walk into a pub and get a gig; HA anyone that owns a fucking tambourine can call themselves a musician apparently. So basically, the average industry professional will have to deal with an average asshole with an inflated sense of importance and a bad attitude just because they can strum a few chords.

Something that I find amazing is the lack of industry knowledge that Musicians have. The amount of times I have had to explain how royalty collections and publishing work to someone who claims to have been a session musician/in a famous band/[insert lie here] is actually insane. How do you become an ‘expert’ in your field without knowledge of the actual business itself? The problem is that, most musicians aren’t actually that passionate about music. If they were, they would search the web, pick up a book and learn everything there was to know.

To make matters even worse, many musicians (singers and guitarists especially), seem to think they are going to be the next Hendrix. This arrogant attitude gets boring really really quickly and no-one will want to work with you. I’ve also found that many musicians tend to be pathological liars so they can feed their own ego by telling MASSIVE lies about tours they’ve been on…etc.etc. Just…why? Everyone can tell you’re lying, so just why??

Another common characteristic that I’ve found is that many musicians are very rigid. The reason why amateur bands are usually so rubbish is because every single member of the band is too busy trying to copy other acts and getting pissed off with each other when it sounds like shit. However, the reason WHY amateur musicians are so rigid is because they have none or very little knowledge of Musical theory.

The reason why professional bands sound so good is because they love music, they live music, they listen to each other, they accept different ideas, they can improvise (thanks to musical theory), they aren’t arrogant (or they won’t get work) and most importantly, they are knowledgeable about their chosen line of work………..EVERYTHING that the average guitarist on the street is not.

I’d like to hear opinions! I’m aware that mine are quite strong but to be honest, I’m sick of people telling me that I should really give Mumford & Sons another listen, I’m sick of people asking me how to become a publisher/publicist/agent/promoter (people manage to get these 4 SEPERATE professions mixed up), AND I AM TIRED of people sending me demos that have been recorded on a mobile phone!

I believe that to become a professional, you need to act like a professional first. It isn’t fair that you demand to be treated with respect when you turn up late to rehearsals, drink so much that you can barely play and treat equipment atrociously.


2 thoughts on “I hate working with Musicians

  1. Femsinger says:

    Hi Jay.

    I realize this is an old blog, but I am so frustrated with other musicians it was nice to hear a similar story.

    I am also a singer and songwriter. I played instruments (violin and saxophone) in elementary and high school, and minored in music in college, but that was many years ago and my knowledge of music theory sucks now.

    Anyway, a few years back I first heard Symphonic Metal and it really inspired me. It had been something I’d wanted to do myself, but up until then I’d never heard anyone execute it, and I had never tried songwriting. I felt like a switch had been turned on and suddenly all these ideas started coming to me. Entire symphonies. This, of course, is a challenge for me to write because I am not a composer and don’t have that kind of knowledge.

    So I learned Pro Tools. Then I started learning about what a music publisher does and how they get paid. Then I started learning about music distribution. Then copyright laws. Then royalties. Etc, etc. And I’m studying music theory but man, it’s so much harder in my 40s now than it was back in my late teens! Meanwhile, the other musicians I worked with just wanted to “hang out” at rehearsals, and play rock star at a local club once every three months.

    Since I started becoming serious about songwriting, dealing with other musicians has been maddening. Time and again they just lie to me. Lie, lie, lie. It seems no matter how honest I am about my intentions, they think they can steer me from my course. They agree, yes yes, let’s develop original material. Great idea! I’m behind you! But then very soon they start to push their own agenda. This has happened to be so many times, I just don’t get it! Why waste your time and mine by lying? Why say you are into something when you are not? Why makes promises you have no intention of keeping? It’s enough to drive a person batty. They force me to stand my ground, and then when I remind them what they agreed to and tell them they have not been doing what they said they would, they turn it around on me, get angry, call me a bitch, tell other musicians I am “difficult to work with”, slander my name, and so on.

    So now I am totally solo. I have some great plug-in from EastWest that does a pretty fantastic job of standing in for symphonic instruments. My biggest issue is a guitar because I have yet to find a plug-in that sounds true enough to replace a real guitarist (the lack of up-down picking is a major issue). I think I will be forced to work with a guitarist (either that, or start learning guitar, which I may). But that’s it. I am doing everything else on my own and that’s the only way it’s going to work.

    Whew! It feels good just to rant about this. I can’t really rant to the people in my life (except my wonderful husband) because either they are not musicians and don’t understand, or are part of the same circle of musicians and will go back and tell the other musicians I am badmouthing them.

    How’s your project going?

    • Hi Femsinger!

      It is incredibly frustrating, I agree. The Music Industry, in reality is very small, especially here in the UK so it is intensely competitive and risky – all the more reason to get pissed off with people who waste your time! Musicans aren’t exactly millionaires you know so it’s so upsetting when you are putting your spare time, usually for free, only for other people to take advantage and treat my career as if they’re playing a game. I, of course, have the utmost respect for anyone who is currently making money from making music.

      I don’t understand why people call themselves “professional musicians” when they haven’t made a penny from music. Surely, that is the definition of the word “professional”??? So baffling.

      Anyway, thank you for your comment, forgotten about this post!

      Jay xx

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