3 surprising benefits to being on time

Performers who make punctuality a priority have significant advantages

What does being on time do for a musician?

You set the alarm on your phone. You made sure you had all of your equipment. You mapped out the route on your GPS.

And still, you arrived at the gig with only minutes to spare.

For many musicians, being on time is a real struggle. While the above situation happens to everyone once in a while, a chronic habit of being tardy creates a negative reputation that is very hard to shake.

Rather than focusing on the negative, let’s look at the positive side of the professional characteristic of punctuality.

What does being on time do for a musician? Here are three immediate benefits to being early and prepared.

  1. Focus – When you arrive to your performance in a timely manner, you don’t find yourself stressed over things like parking, setting up, and not being ready for the downbeat of the performance. Instead, as you make being early a habit, you’ll find your performances improve because you are more focused on the music, not on getting to the venue.
  2. Feelings – When you arrive early, you’ll make the rest of your ensemble more comfortable and confident. Being early allows us to have more fun at the gig – you can’t have relaxed moments with your fellow musicians when everyone is worried and wondering when someone will show up.
  3. Finances – Being on time doesn’t just help the ensemble become more successful. Musicians with a good track record of being on time and reliable are often the first to be called for important – and more lucrative – opportunities.  No one wants to take a significant financial risk on a performer that isn’t known for their reliability. By being consistent in this area, you can significantly boost your chances of better earnings as a musician.

By making punctuality a priority, you’ll see benefits that far outweigh the trouble it takes to get out of the house 30 minutes earlier.

To paraphrase the old saying – the early musician gets the good gig.

To learn more about dealing with unprofessional performers, consider signing up for our free 1 week course with lessons sent directly to your inbox. If you’re in South Florida, you can also attend our local Con/Ex event during which we’ll talk about maintaining professional standards.

Are Artists Always Unstable? [The Myth of the Confused Creative]

When creatives struggle, we tend to look at the wrong cause


“He can’t help it.”

“She’s just eccentric.”

“Genius does that to you.”

“You know how creative people act.”

For years, the public has made statements like this as they watch artists go through times of emotional and relational conflict. Whether they be famous rap artists who suddenly break from tours, actors and actresses who check into rehab facilities, or high-profile couples in the arts who have public feuds splashed over the airwaves, these artists are viewed differently when they struggle. Audiences and onlookers almost expect instability and odd behavior from them. It’s as if being creative gives the artist no choice but to live in a cloud of mental and emotional confusion.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

While there is a natural tendency for creative people to be more sensitive, there is nothing in science nor Scripture that mandates that creative people must be unstable.

The reason for mental and emotional struggle isn’t the music, nor the stage, nor the calling to create.

It’s being human.

Blaming great torment on great talent would be the same as blaming God for giving us talent. Scripture says that God never gives a gift that he regrets. However, because we tend to worship the giftedness of a person, we stop seeing the humanity of the artist and see only the gifting as the primary factor in everything the artist touches.

It’s not that artists aren’t unique. We simply share the same issues as everyone else. Those issues are magnified on stages, on platforms and in the media when we achieve success. But they are no different than anyone else’s struggle.  Artists, like everyone else, live in a fallen, unstable and sometimes unforgiving world.

And, like everyone else, we will sometimes stumble.

The question isn’t whether artists deal with mental and emotional issues more often or more deeply.

It’s how we should respond.

Do we see someone fallen on the roadside, shake our heads in pity and move on to the next show?

Or, do we stop and find a way to help, encourage and assist?

Will we simply restate the obvious fact that there is a problem? Or, will we strive to be a part of the solution?

There’s only one solution for people who are hurt, whether they are artists or not.

People who will help.

Do you feel artists are more likely to face emotional and mental challenges? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below. 

musicians-be-like-caucasian-version-igWe’re proud to present the God and Gigs “Con/Ex”… a series of local events designed to help faith-focused artists and musicians to share, exchange ideas, and connect with each other!

As we explored the issues that musicians and artists face as they navigate the industry, one topic continually rose to the surface – dealing with a lack of professionalism from other artists. It seems that there is no consistent standard among local gigging musicians on what appropriate professional behavior should look like.

Based on that feedback from our community, we’re putting together a dynamic teaching and discussion event that will help musicians and artists to raise their own standards while promoting more accountability in the local markets in which they work.  In the midst of this discussion, we’ll be looking at timeless truths and inspirational guidelines to help us make a great first impression in every performance.

lightstock_73266_small_allenThis first “Con/Ex” (Connection and Exchange) event will take place in North Miami at the Bible Emporium bookstore on December 12th. You can follow this link to RSVP via our Facebook page.  We’re looking forward to presenting more of these engaging events in the near future, so be sure to connect with the newsletter to learn how you can be a part of it!

Date: December 12, 2016
Time: 06:30-8:00 p.m.
Event: The God and Gigs Con/Ex: A night for musicians and artists to connect
Topic: "Musicians Be Like..." A talk about professionalism on the gig
Venue: Bible Emporium
Location: 564 NE 125th St
North Miami, FL 33161
Public: Public

Thank You Notes [A Thanksgiving Encore Post]

Why having an attitude of gratitude is essential for every performer


The most important thing I get from my relationship with the Creator is simply acknowledging that the music doesn’t come from me.

     –Marcus Miller, bassist, in a 2008 interview with Anil Prasad

Every time I write a beautiful song, it lets me know that God exists.

– Raheem DeVaughn, R&B recording artist

One thing every musician must learn quickly is the art of accepting compliments. Whether in response to a great performance, a song that touched their emotions, or a moment of joy and celebration,  we musicians know the importance of saying ‘Thank You’ when our listeners show us appreciation.

However, our thankfulness should go deeper than our responses to those that compliment us.

It goes to the heart of why we create and perform.

When we play, we aren’t just creating new sounds, or devising interesting melodies. We are creating a tapestry of gratitude. Our work exists as a testament to the One that gave us the ability to create.

Every note we play is actually a thank you note.

Lizz Wright (Photo by tom.beetz)

Lizz Wright (Photo by tom.beetz)

This is why most musicians generally deflect compliments. They understand that at the heart of the matter, the music doesn’t come from them. They recognize that their musical gift is a gift in every sense of the word. It isn’t something we can take credit for. The ultimate credit belongs to our Creator.

When we remember to remain grateful and humble as artists, our music can be a continuous reflection of our gratitude. In fact, the more grateful we are, the more productive we become.

Can an artist produce music while being prideful? Yes, but it’s simply misplaced pride. Eventually, every artist has to come face to face with his or her limitations. Inspiration can not be manufactured. If we want to remain inspired, we have to stay grounded and acknowledge the true Source of our artistry.

The key to creating great art is a humble and grateful spirit.

For more encouragement for everyday artists, follow God and Gigs on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Crossing the Bridge: How one creative faces his fears

An musician's perspective on conquering fear in the midst of uncertainty


I hope this is a safe place to share something personal.

By personal, I mean a deep-rooted condition I’ve had since childhood. So please be gentle and non-judgmental. Promise?

OK, here goes.

I suffer from gephyrophobia.

If you have no idea what that word means (or how it’s pronounced), that’s OK. I didn’t either. But thanks to Google, I know now that it means “fear of bridges.”

You see, as a child I had a disturbing nightmare about being in a car that fell off of a bridge that collapsed, or perhaps wasn’t completed yet. The memory is vivid enough that even as a middle-aged adult, I still have to take a deep breath and steel myself when crossing over a long span of ocean or a very high overpass. There is something about being in the middle of the air or above the ocean, with nothing but my trust in the bridge’s integrity holding me up, that still stirs a deep anxiety within me.