Hello fellow players,
Here we are being surrounded by the warm days of spring. This means that employers for us steel guitar players are going to be ringing our phones and telling us of their magnificent plan to pay us fortunes and make us famous. I know their plans are all authentic, but did you ever notice that a club manager or star singer will promise you everything to get you to join a group and work as cheap as possible.
However, when things get real good, they never seem to share the wealth with you. In Nashville here, when a star needs a free band for a charity event, he’ll promise you everything, but when the next job comes around, he’ll hire totally different musicians.
His excuse is, “I would’ve used those guys I used last time, however they work for me free so they must not be any good.” What I’m saying here is, you set your own price. If you charge too little, the people who hire you will think that’s all you’re worth. Not just on that show, but forever.
And if you charge too much, they’ll hire somebody else because they can get them cheaper. However, they may go around saying wonderful things about you because they think you’re great. Have you ever heard the expression, you need to have a job in order to get one? But if you have one, you don’t need one.
As I was coming up through the ranks, I remember my band leader in Philadelphia telling me how stupid Weldon Myrick must have been to quit his job with Bill Anderson. I told him as well as Weldon plays, he’ll be doing something much more important than that very soon. My bandleader laughed at me and said, “What can be better than a job with Bill Anderson?”
I said, “Just watch and see.” Weldon immediately got the staff job playing on the Grand Ole Opry and doing such monster hits on recording sessions as all of Connie Smith’s sessions which included a song called “I’ll Come Running”. Then he recorded one of the greatest intro and turn-arounds ever for the Pointer Sisters in a song called Fairytale, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXkllqtya90 which opened up all the pop and rock sessions that were coming through Nashville and he has done wonderfully well ever since.
Weldon and I did many of the great Mickey Newberry songs like Heaven Help The Child, Sweet Memories, If We Ever Get To Houston, American Trilogy and several other monster hits.
So as far as getting a job, this is a wonderful time of year to do it. Remember we have computers these days, so it may be a good idea to do some basic looking and job checking on the computer since it’s free, before you get in your ‘49 Dodge and just take off in a panic. Make sure your equipment is tip-top with extra cords, an extra volume pedal and strings etc. Keep a smile on your face and if you have to audition anywhere, do it with a smile and remember to play the game well. Those hiring you are looking at you as a commodity that will make them money and care very little about you personally or your plight. Until your next tips newsletter, best wishes and good luck.
Check out our monthly specials at http://www.steelguitar.net/monthlyspecials.html and we’ll try to save you a lot of money.
Steel Guitar Nashville
123 Mid Town Court
Hendersonville, TN. 37075
Open 9AM – 4PM Monday – Friday
Closed Saturday and Sunday