CRASH Course For Success

Principle 2: Relationships
by Rich Redmond (part two of five)

Hey folks! Do you want to be a better musician? Do you want more gigs? Do you want more overall happiness in your life?

Well then, try my “CRASH” concept on for size. CRASH is an acronym for Commitment-Relationships-Attitude-Skill-Hunger. The CRASH Course For SuccessTM is a true philosophy for living with five main principles that I have developed over the years. I would like to share them with you!

Photo by Chris Owyoung
Photo by Chris Owyoung

Despite my commitment to finding gigs, in all of my years in the music business, I have only gotten one drumming job from an audition. Even on that particular “cattle call,” the drummer who had the job before me had called management and the artist to put in a good word for me. The message left on management’s voicemail went something like this:

“You guys can still have your cattle call, but I promise that this is the guy. He is a team player, he shows up prepared and on time. He has great gear, he’s versatile, can take direction, and he has a good personality.”

My relationship with the previous drummer secured my position in a new gig. How about a round of applause for our friends!?! Every other job I have gotten has come from a recommendation. Simply put, another person stuck his or her neck out for me and championed me. Relationships with people make the world go round, especially if they are based on mutual admiration and sincerity.

I have relationships with instrumentalists of all types, songwriters, producers, artists, managers, booking agents, publishers, studio owners, club owners, etc. I know lots of people working in many subfields of the music industry (touring, recording, merchandising, publishing, etc.). It takes all types to make the music business work.

There are many cogs in the wheel, and they all have to work together. Why limit yourself, your social circle, to one small group of people? By associating yourself in many circles, your next gig can come from anyone at anytime. It really is a small world, and many gatekeepers are friends.

Relationships within a band are also crucial for creating great music. Being comfortable and friendly with the people you are making music with is paramount. I am fortunate that I have been touring for over 10 years with my best friends. We know each other inside and out and many times know what will happen musically long before it does. We anticipate, we encourage, and we listen.

There is a spirit of brotherhood that makes things sound, feel and even look great. Remember, the average person hears with his or her eyes. So give your crowd a show. It’s called show business for a reason!

There is also a relationship between my right foot on the kick drum and the bass player’s right hand. When I whack my snare drum, I want to hear the guitar locking precisely with me. Our goal is to play together as a section and make it sit phat and sexy.

If we make it feel great, it will motivate and inspire the rest of the guys in the band, especially the front man. The live show will always be about the front person, so to solidify that relationship, always try to play on a high level and make things super easy for the front man to entertain. If you can make the artist and bandleader happy, you will have job security!

Relationships are a catch-all concept you can use to improve your musicianship, get heard by the masses and get hired for gigs. So keep practicing, shake hands and get heard!

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