We’re going to take a little break from talking directly about the guitar with today’s article and talk about some of the things that can come with learning to play.
For many guitarists, one of their main goals is playing in a band. Our intent here is this: there is a lot more to being in a band than just playing your instrument well.
Anyone who has any experience being a band member will more than likely have a whole list of tales and adventures (both good and bad). Bands aren’t a single entity. Each member brings a set of qualities, skills, and personality traits that – when mixed in the wrong ways – can cause your band to lose their sense of humor and combust just like the drummer from Spinal Tap spontaneously.
But how can you get several people – all with different quirks, goals, and desires – to get along and be the best collective musical unit possible? How can you make it where the sum of the parts is truly greater than that of each member individually?
Let’s take a look at the right – and wrong – things to do when being in a band if you’re already doing the “right” things, then right on!
If you’re one of the bad guys? Well, time will tell if your dream band will turn into a nightmare.
Having an ego
OK – this one DOES have some validity to it – any competent musician worth his salt has to have SOME ego to have the guts to get up in front of an audience to perform. But don’t let it get to the point where you start to alienate and tick off your bandmates.
“Someone told me the smile on my face gets bigger when I play the guitar.” Niall Horan
You may be God’s gift to the world as far as your musical talent goes but don’t be a stuck up jerk to the rest of your team. Even if you are genuinely the “band leader” and the rest of the guys are meant to support you – not having an inflated sense of yourself goes a long way with keeping the team together.
Understanding your role
Are you a bass player that’s an aspiring vocalist? A very competent rhythm guitarist that is just dying to break out and solo? That’s all well and fine – we all SHOULD have goals to work towards. But at some point, we all have to understand and embrace our limitations and be the best (fill-in-the-blank-here) that you can be within the band situation.
Trying to push yourself into situations you shouldn’t defeat the team’s effectiveness (your band IS a team, right?)
Glenn Frey from the Eagles said it best:
“A rock band is not a perfect democracy – it’s more like a sports team. No one can do anything without the other guys…but everybody doesn’t get to touch the ball all the time.” (History of the Eagles – Documentary 2013)