Nobody enjoys being around an arrogant person, and unfortunately there are many in the music industry. Nothing strokes the ego quite like a Grammy award or hit album. That’s why I find it funny that there are so many egotistical folks in the ammature arena. They don’t have half the resume that a successful musician does, yet they strut around like they are God’s gift to the music industry. Don’t get me wrong, most of the professional figures in music are probably as nice as the next guy and have better things to do than brag about themselves all day, but I think there are many promising acts that will never move up to the next rung in the business. Their attitude turns away those that would otherwise love to work with them.
I wanted to share a personal experience I had with someone that was too “good” for their own good. This person was the lead singer of one of the first bands I played in. He was much older than everyone else in the group. To be specific, we were all in our latter years of high school and he was 28. We considered ourselves lucky at first because although we were talented, he was a down right amazing vocalist and songwriter. He also knew much more about audio production and live performance than we did at the time. We should have known there was a reason someone like this guy would want to play with a bunch of kids. We soon realized that despite his talent, the task of working with him would be no easy one. It was a constant fight and battle when it came to rehearsal habits, the songwriting process, and just working with him in general. He always acted like he knew best and our opinions didn’t mean anything. He literally would belittle us at times. He had played in multiple groups over the years and one or two of them had been semi professional. Believe me, he let us know it all the time. His most common saying was “This ain’t my first rodeo!”. In less than 6 months time, we made the decision to boot him out, and I became lead singer. All of the sudden, our rehearsals were fun again. They actually lasted longer, and much more was accomplished. We all kinda felt bad for the guy because he had so much raw talent. We all knew that he could be so much more if had a different attitude and if he humbled himself.
I ask you to take a good look at your own attitude and consider how you might appear to others in your profession. Would YOU want to work with you? I guarantee that most professionals would rather work with somebody who is easy to get along with and listens, than somebody that is a music guru but a pain in the a**. In a professional situation you need to know your stuff, but as a generality a little charisma and a humble attitude can get you pretty darn far. Regardless of skill level.