Von Baron Band – Jesse Forest, Iida Kazuki, Me, Imai Harumo, Sakazaki Takuya
If there is one thing I understand deeply after being in the music business for more than 30 years, it’s that relationships are important.
I had to practice drums a lot when I was young and still practice today. I had to sit in at many jam sessions. I had to meet and be open to playing with many musicians and many styles of music. Most importantly though, I had to build strong musical friendships with people in the music communities where I’ve lived.
I think being successful in the music business is 40% skill on your instrument and 60% having a winning attitude when working with other people. You definitely have to be good on your instrument in the style of music you want to play. Once that is okay though, the rest of your success depends on how you communicate with the band members, promoters, club owners and fans.
Trio Magic – Me, Yorozu Yasutaka, Phillip Strange
Thank you is the most important phrase you can speak, use it often.
When I am offered a gig, I say “Thank You.”
When the band leader or members give me charts I say “Thank You.”
When I am asked to change the tempo or play something specific in the music, I say “Thank You.”
When I talk to the audience on breaks or at the end of a show, I say “Thank You.”
When I sell CDs, I say “Thank You.”
When I am paid, I say “Thank You.”
When I leave to go home, I say “Thank You” to all of the band members and club owner/manager.
“Thank you” is powerful and can never be overused.
The Future Jazz Quartet – Imai Harumo, Isobe Naoki, Yoshiba Aiko, Me
It’s all about the music
There are times when I am corrected for playing something incorrectly and I accept the criticism with a “Thank You.”
There are also times when I need to correct someone and when I do, I always think, “How can I say this in a way that will help us all make the music sound better.”
We’ve all heard about temperamental band leaders or band members that are mean when they give criticism to others. Maybe it’s when the venue staff brings roast beef sandwiches to the dressing room and we’re vegetarian, the guitarist messes up the same melodic phrase repeatedly or the rental drum set we have to play sounds like a collection of trash cans.
Whatever the problem, we ALWAYS have two choices in how we can respond. If we respond with impatience, hostility and anger, the problem will get bigger and eventually threaten the ability for the band to perform our best.
If, however, we are patient, choose our words carefully and work with others to solve the problem, the band grows closer and the show will not be affected by bad feelings.
All criticism should always be shared in a way that will support the music sounding its best.
Narumi and Her Swing Kings – Me, Hayakawa Ippei, Narumi, Sugiura Jun, Sakata Keiji
Be a good guest
Just like when we visit somebody’s house, we want to be a good guest inwhatever musical situation we’re playing in. If I go to my friends’ house, walk in the door, take a baseball bat and start destroying their furniture, they’re probably not going to invite me back.
I know this example may seem a bit extreme, but what I’m really trying to say is that if we behave the way we behave when visiting someone’s house, people will gladly invite us back to play more music.
Mastering the 60% is not difficult. Just be the kind of person you would like to play music with and everything will work out great!
昨夜は大阪カフェメイクで、またも素晴らしいVon Baron Band ショーになりました！私の最高のバンドメンバー、熱烈な観客の皆さん、そして協力的なライブハウスにとても感謝しています！音楽はパワフルでエネルギーに満ちあふれ、楽しかった！会場に足を運んでくれた皆さんが歌って踊って楽しい時間を過ごしました。 私は2ndセットでサンタ衣装を着てみんなを驚かせ、「サンタが街にやってくる」を歌いました。 そして私の友達、もりうらまさこさんもステージに上がり歌ってくれました！彼女の歌声はいつも素晴らしいです！もう1人のファンであり友達のふじむらゆかりさんもステージに上がり、私の新曲「I Love Japan」のダンスをみんなに教えるのを手伝ってくれました。 とてもスペシャルな夜で、皆さんが素敵な時間を過ごして私は本当にハッピーです！日本で演奏できることがありがたく、いつもとてもラッキーに感じます！I love Japan! 私たちの次のショー、3/2(土)19:30にカフェメイクであなたにお会いできるのを楽しみにしています！