Band Tips for Beginners #6

Play for Your Band – Not for Yourself.

Well this seems a bit anomalous, doesn’t it? I mean, the reason why you endured all the frustrated scratching, sore lips and fingertips, and whatever else (moaning from your parents!) in the first few weeks after picking up your instrument is to play for yourself.  For your enjoyment, not anyone else’s!

That much is true. But what we are talking about here is when you are in a band.  Now, you are only a part of that band. And, like a gear in a machine, you have to work together with the rest, otherwise the machine doesn’t work so well – correct, right?  And because your band is a sound machine, for its sound to work well all the parts have to work together.

There  are a few aspects to this. First, you are not there to show off. (If that’s your bag, hire some session back-up, and go mad. Don’t expect to grow a band, however.)  You are there to do what is necessary for the band to produce the best sound offering. It is a joint exercise. Second, ‘playing for the band’ recognises that there is always another instrument waiting to play his filler, sing her descant, start her solo, or just end the song.  With you lost in your awesome solo, that doesn’t get to happen, and then the whole thing starts to fall apart. And you start to look for another band…..