Whilst there is plenty of great content out there on how to play the guitar, my own Beat Strum book being part of that, it dawned on me that that a massive gap existed in helping musicians be organised and manage everything involved in a gigging career. As I struggled from the comfy laziness of sitting around for many months, post worldwide pandemic, to regain the level of proactive organisation I once had, I decided to shift gears and focus on what was fresh in my head: the practical needs of being a working musician. I wanted to create something that I felt was lacking, supporting the operational side of being a live act - establishing a Musician’s Operational Excellence philosophy.
Considering that my first book introduced my take on enhancing rhythm technique, a style I donned as Beat Strum, many would consider this second offering to be a rather drastic change in direction. Don't get me wrong, I still intend to release future content on taking Beat Strum to the next level. However, since the aforementioned pandemic (which we shall not name) settled, the past two years have seen me getting back on track and performing live once again.
While AI has come into the public spotlight and become impressively creative tools, I am still a big advocate for humans playing live. I consider myself lucky to be able to generate income with my acoustic duo singer Faye. However despite our years performing, I constantly found myself having the same conversations: Do we have a record for this? When did we do that? Uh oh, we forgot to prepare for that. Can we make a template for this..you get the gist.
The result is this template book, a selection of key checks, blank forms, and templates designed for us as performing musicians. It is quite possibly the first of its kind - or at least that's what I could gather from web searches. This Musician's Gig Journal is a notepad/journal/notebook with distinct sections to provide the required writing space, always on hand wherever you may be, so that you never have to be without key information or a jotting workspace again. It represents many years of gigging and accumulates all the different notes and templates I've generated and used across various generic notepads, smart mobile phone/tablet/folds apps, and even classic used beer napkins - all compiled into a single toolkit, a musician's thoughts multi-tool, all aimed to help enhance your musician’s operational excellence.
Split over 200 pages, the Musician's Gig Journal include:
Gig performance and venue checklists
Song list alphabetical organiser and 5 setlists creators
Equipment inventory and usage tracking
10 Song "flash-writing" pages and 26 music notation idea jotters
20 pages for gig reflection for bullet point journaling, mind mapping or doodling and action identification
Financial trackers and 10 blank invoices
While I had to make some compromises and keep the overall size of this book modest, and admit where smart mobile phone/tablet/folds apps are superior, these are the core forms I've found most likely to help manage the day-to-day needs of a performing musician's business, keeping things tidy and all in one place. The sections appear in an order designed to complement a workflow process, our own form of MBA - Musician's Business Administration ;-) - so that much of the guesswork and confusion in dealing with all aspects surrounding a gig can be reduced. After all, gigs should be enjoyable.
Direct Link to Sections:
1 / Introduction
3 / Song Lists
5 / Setlist Designer
6 / Gear Management
7 / Expenses Tracker
9 / Song Ideas
14 / Invoices
Links to purchase the paperback directly from Amazon:
And yes, I opted for Amazon's Print on Demand service as it means I know a book will only be made when somebody actually buys it and thus reduce waste.