How to keep your musicians happy. Advice from by Musical Director Pete Rogers

 

Are you a singer? Fancy being a headliner on luxury cruise lines? Here's a Podcast for you. I chat to Musical Director Pete Rogers about a musician's perspective on what makes a good act and how to best work with the band on board.

Get your music right

As you'd expect, Pete's main concern is the quality of the musical arrangements the band is asked to play. Too many acts think of the music as an afterthought. It should be the main priority.

First impressions count for a lot so as well as being technically well arranged your music should be clearly laid out so it's easy to read. It should look good. The pages should be clear and free from endless scribbles and annotations. If necessary have your parts re-copied so they're very clear. Remember you'll only have around 90 minutes to rehearse a 50 minute show. There isn't time to keep stopping and starting to explain things. If the music is clear and correct the band will read it right first time. Asking them to deal with crappy charts is insulting and ultimately looks bad on you.

Click tracks

Musicians don't really like using click tracks. They prefer to work live without an electronic pulse in their ear. It can take away from the feel and their creativity. Unless you're really worried about tempos or an orchestral sound try to use them sparingly.

Pete's Tips for New Acts

  • Keep chat down to a minimum. Unless you've got something of real interest to your audience, don't bother.
  • Take care with your musical arrangements. Don't skim. Spend money to get them right first time.
  • Try to avoid cliches. Do we really need someone else singing Wind Beneath My Wings or I Will Survive?
  • Choose material that suits your age and experience.
  • It's a team effort. A lot of people are involved in producing your show. Have respect for the band and technical crew.

Recorded May 2013 on board P&O Adonia.

You can read more about promoting working on cruise ships and with musicians in Cabaret Secrets. It's available in paperback or click to download your copy now from AmazoniTunesNook or other formats.