Getting “out there” and actually starting to play music along with other musicians is a lot more complex than just practicing alone in your rehearsal room or jamming to some recorded tracks.
It is also different from classes with your bass teacher. When you are alone, there is no one to confront or who might confront you.
When you are with your teacher, he is probably trained and professional enough to know how to treat you so that things go smoothly. However, when you are in a band… things become human, and that brings all the wonders and all the problems.
I sharply remember my first rehearsal with the band me and my two friends started years ago. I was just starting out with playing the bass, and continuously playing the so-called “money beat” seemed something so cool that I forgot about the presence of the guitarist and the drummer.
I was arrogant enough to believe that I am the de-facto leader of the band. I was sure that it is their role as musicians to follow me when we are playing, so I just banged on the bass and waited for the miracle.
Because if what we produced could have been called music – that would have been quite a miracle. I ended up playing the bass in the corridor with doors closed and the two other guys were playing inside the room – that way the volume was just bearable in there.
Later I learned that in a band every member counts – that I am not the most important member, even though I am a very important one. Everyone is a very important member of any band. Respecting your fellow musicians will only do you and the whole band good.
Crossroads in a band’s life can easily lead to conflicts. Whether you have just signed a contract or lost one, there might be people who might blame themselves or blame others for what had just happened. When you are in a band, you are playing music together with your band mates.
Also, if you are in a band, you are dealing with your issues together with your band mates. When you learn how to accept each other’s flaws and geniuses, you will also learn how to avoid conflicts, too.
When you are listening to music the first thing that you notice in a great piece is how sensible the synergy between the musicians is. In order for a piece of music to be enjoyable, the musicians producing it must pay full attention to each other. This is an essential tip for playing in a band.
Even though your bass playing idol might come across as the coolest guy who just plays what he wants whenever he wants, you can be sure that he is paying full to the other members of the band he is playing with.
When you are concentrating on what your colleague is doing you will suddenly notice that what you are playing becomes rather instinctive, it becomes smoothly aligned to what your colleagues are playing.
After a while, you will develop a sense of what your band mates are going to play – and arriving to a fill kind of “together” is a feeling that words cannot describe. Respect the musicians you are playing with, pay attention to them and that way they will also respect you and will pay attention to you. Then music is born.
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