4 Tips For Playing In A Band

Playing in a band can be a really fun and exciting experience but also quite stressful. Learn to navigate the world of music with other people in a constructive and fun way. Always remember you are a badass musician!

No matter who you or where you are in your life, playing music is a language with different meanings and ways to interpret it. Don’t ever feel like you can’t be yourself to please others or be in a band.

Tip #1: Communication!
In my opinion, this is the most important tip! The biggest downfall in a band is not communicating properly. Getting to know your bandmates and evaluating who they are, their musical influences and how you interact with them are keys to being successful in a band.

But sometimes all three of these things to not align. Sometimes you vibe really well with your bandmates but the musical genre that they are playing and are in to is not what you like or are interested in playing. This does happen. It really comes down to is it worth being in a band and putting in the work and effort to learn their songs and this genre or is it not.

Be able to be your own musician and able to play the way that suits you and your style. Not every band that you try out for or are in is going to be a perfect fit.

Knowing when to take critiquing and criticism fit for your level and style of playing. If your bandmates are saying “well the way you play is not how we play or want to sound”, you have to ask yourself is this the right fit for you or not. If you want to adapt to a particular sound or genre then yes staying in that band and playing the way they want you to could be the right fit.

There is nothing wrong with taking suggestions and understanding where your bandmates are coming from. Especially if they have been playing in bands and writing for a long time it is definitely a good idea to listen to their feedback.

Tip #2: Practice!
Enjoying what you are hearing and playing is key when it comes to practicing the music. You need to be able to rock out in your spare time to music that your band is writing and is interested in.

If you are not enjoying what you are practicing then that band may not be the right fit for you.

A more progressive band that I was in a few years back, I would try to practice their songs but due to the writing style and genre, I had a hard time practicing. If you are trying out for a jazz band but you don’t listen to jazz you are going to have a harder time practicing and understanding the music then if you practiced what you like and listen to.

Tip #3: Musical Influences
Knowing the musical influences of your bandmates is a good thing. This will help you understand the type of music that they write and are influenced by. Obviously every musical influence you don’t necessarily have to like but as long as you like most of the artists or understand the type of music they are playing, then this will help.

 Tip #4: Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff!
If you mess up while playing or need help with what your bandmates are playing there is nothing wrong with that! I think the biggest issue we sometimes have as musicians are asking for help or clarification when learning to play a song. If you are trying to learn by ear, then maybe have the guitarist in your band play the notes slowly and look at the fingerings as they are playing. This will increase your ear playing ability without completely giving away the exact notes just by saying them to you.

Be ok with expressing your feelings and different grooves you come up with. Not every fill you play will get praise so be open to critiquing and ok if your idea or bassline gets shot down.

Hope this helps you when playing in a band or with other musicians.

Be ok with expressing your feelings and different grooves you come up with. Not every fill you play will get praise so be open to critiquing and ok if your idea or bassline gets shot down.

Hope this helps you when playing in a band or with other musicians.

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