Jake Dempsey

Dempsey’s Way: 5 Pieces Of Advice For Musicians

My first thought when asked to write a guest post titled “Five Pieces Of Advice For Musicians”, was that I am probably in no position to give professional advice to upcoming musicians, as I’ve been bumbling along trying to figure out a way to make a living at it for more than 20 years now. My journey has taken me from peanut butter on a spoon in the back of a 90s astrovan with a hi-hat stand jabbing me in the side, to playing for audiences in the thousands with catering and in good hotel rooms. From having credits on Grammy-winning recordings, to being back to the peanut butter, but in a newer model van.
All said, I have played many, many gigs during my career. I have worked in many facets of the business, including musician, live sound engineer, recording engineer, stage hand, event organizer, producer, booking agent, talent buyer, and manager. I do have a good idea of what works, or maybe more importantly, what does not.

So in lieu of “giving advice” with the notion that I have anything at all figured out, I will share five things I have screwed up along the way and how to avoid these things, and why. I’m not an authority on what or what not to do or how to “Make it” (whatever that means). However, I have messed up and learned from it. Plenty. That, I have things to say about.