Apart from musical time feel, which undoubtedly has to live up to certain standards, being on time, in general, is an often overlooked but immensely important factor of a smooth live production.
I’ve run into the trap myself – small production, not many individuals involved, a certain sloppiness can creep in.
Not out of spite or because you don’t care, just because you assume it’s not that big of a deal. Well, I guess you know what’s coming next: It’s kind of a big deal.
Even the tiniest production builds on continuity, especially in terms of a well-run routine. So let’s start off with the group mindset:
Being aware of one’s own role and position within a production is vital. Basically, developing a mindset where the overall production-body, meaning people involved, is always somewhere in the back of one’s mind is an incredibly important asset.
While you think getting to soundcheck on time is just fine, your sound-technician might be waiting for you since get-in, trying to talk over some feedback he or she gathered within the last show.
You really can’t know what eventualities are going to interfere with a production – so keep your mindset with the crew, instead of acting as a lone wolf.
Especially acting as a sideman, punctuality is incredibly important when building trust within a set formation.
More often than not, people will draw a straight line from the way you behave outside of the show to the way you handle things on stage.
And remember – the amount of time needed to be categorized as “late” varies greatly from person to person. Some people feel like 5 minutes is already too late, others are even more strict about it.
Try not to push your chances!
Closely connected to the last point is the way a group develops a collective subconscious concerning the individuals involved.
Once you’ve (self-) created a certain image, the task of shaking it becomes quite a hard one.
Thinking of this collective, shared mentality early can help lay a solid ground for a smooth and fun working relationship. Avoid Comprising a positive vibe by neglecting timeliness.
You really can’t know what is planned beyond the things communicated to you as a musician.
Being aware that there could be eventualities outside of the regular routine should encourage you to keep an eye on staying within the lines of a time framed agreement.0 be the first one to show some appreciation for this!