The early, formative years of forming bands can be a truly exciting time for anyone, and I can vividly recall all of those wonderful and optimistic times I had with my buddies “back in the day!” This is a critical time for you, filled with emotions, thoughts, considerations, downfalls and up hills for sure, and it’s a time that is full of things that can go wrong.
One thing that is certainly to become a sore issue, and one that I’ve seen many a time, is how you sometimes feel obligated to a friend to have them in a band, even though their playing ability and talent may not be up to the standards of everyone else in the group. This is a sensitive thing for sure, and believe me, many of the “innocent parties” in a case like this, are not so innocent, and are acutely aware of their “lesser” position in the band, musically. And they also know that the main reason they are there is because they are your friend. There are many times I’ve worked with bands with whom you can immediately tell, just by body language, who really feels secure in their position, and who is a little bit “shaky.” My heart always goes out to that “shaky” one, since I have always naturally rooted for the “underdog” in many situations, and I can know and feel what that kid (or adult!) might be going through!
Still, if you have a situation like this with someone, you must eventually come to terms with it, and become really truthful. After all, we never want anything or anyone standing in the way of true band and musical progress! It’s a sensitive issue for sure, but the kind that the sooner you deal with, the better. Not to mention learning good “life lessons” in handling “touchy” situations correctly and effectively!
There is also of course, the simple fact of really looking to make the best happen for your band, right from the beginning. It’s hard, because your “sphere” of friends and players to choose from is still smaller than it will ever be, and defining your “sound” is still a developing process. I do firmly believe in a band that has a “democratic” way of dealing with decisions, but I also believe that all bands do need a leader. Most of the great bands have had “leaders” that have really always pointed the group in the right direction, written the songs, chosen the material and who gave the band their prime “identity.” Can you imagine Creedence without the leadership of John Fogerty, or the Byrds without Roger McGuinn…of course not. This is how you should look at yourself as the potential “leader” of your group, and as the true “force” behind making the important decisions one must always make in these formative years of your musical career! Lot of luck!