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What Makes a Great Sideman

I just played a concert with the talented jazz bassist, Mark Wallace. He's the perfect example of what gets a good sideman hired back over and over again. As a bandleader, this is what I love about Mark:

He had prepared well. He knew his music, and had worked on the corrections I'd sent. We had a practice together before the gig, and I could tell a big improvement between the practice and the show. He also had found charts for all of the songs we were doing, and had obviously practiced through the changes quite a few times. 

He had the right look. He arrived on time in a pressed suit, with his beautiful double bass in tow. People at the club we were playing instantly knew who he was, and why he was there. When he was onstage, he added significantly to the group's ambience. 

He was easy to get along with. Mark was great conversationally, and never added stress to the group when something wasn't working the right way. He kept it professional during breaks, and tore down and set up quickly. 

Of course, Mark's a great musician. But I wouldn't be calling him again if it wasn't for those intangibles that I mentioned above. 

How are you doing in these areas? Leave a comment below. 

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Get Stuff Done and Still Be a Rockstar

Get Stuff Done and Still Be a Rockstar