It’s always a pretty difficult search to find proper band mates for yourself for many reasons: It’s important to be sure to have players of just the right level of proficiency for you to match up with, and of course, with the proper attitude towards you and each other. This doesn’t mean that you should be afraid to have players who are better than you, but they must be the kind who are patient, and understand that this is also to help make you better, as well. If you are a medium-ability player who’s playing in a band of better musicians than you, it’s important that your role be understood and well-defined. In the same way, the reverse must also be true…you must be patient with other in the band who may still need to learn more. They need to feel that they are a part of the process, and that they are “included” in as much as possible, as opposed to just being told what to do!
If you look at many of the most successful bands of the past who have really made it big, there was always a happy balance between the band having it’s all-important leader setting tone for the music, and the contributions of the other players. This is very true in groups such as Creedence Clearwater Revival, with their obvious leader, John Fogerty, The Lovin’ Spoonful, with John Sebastian, and the Byrds with Jim (Roger) McGuinn. Other big groups that had more of a democratic approach were such bands as The Band, The Beatles and maybe even The Rolling Stones. There’s something to learn from all these diverse groups, but there’s no question that even after incredible success, there were always feuds and real inter-personal problems that got in the way. What you want to do is be a peace-keeper, and try to head off as many as these problems as you can, before they escalate.
There are also times when it seems that all the pieces of the puzzle seem to fit right away, and band members just seem to “click” together, both musically and personally. This is a rare occurrence, but not uncommon, when young player “fall together” into a musical situation, usually after enthusiastically talking about the possibility of having a band, and starting to play together. This is always an exciting time, and a great moment in the development of young players in general.
So make a diligent effort to find the right players to be with, and don’t settle for bad when you can have better….also, be sure to never underestimate what a young musician who really wants to play with you can contribute, regardless of their level of ability. Everyone deserves a chance to be heard, including you!