It’s really important as we move forward in our lives as musicians, that we learn to be a good band member. This is critical, as all inter-personal relationships with other players are crucial to our overall success. It also applies to not only long term band situations, but also to temporary happenings, such as recording dates, and short-term gigs and tours. There are many times when we are basically “forced” into what we think of as a ‘band” situation, and must adjust to it. It’s not always a “rosy” proposition either, as we can find ourselves having to deal with major egos, attitudes and problems that we sometimes just can’t foresee.
In many professional situations I have had to confront, I have often found people to be true professionals, and that they also understood the “bigger” picture, and the importance of being selfless in a “band” situation. Many times, you may notice someone helping you when you least expect it….I can recall a session I had to do one time, where there were like 40 musicians in the studio, all ready to record, and it was the kind of thing where no rehearsal was required. The conductor was simply going to count it off, and we were going to have to READ the parts, right from letter A! Well, needless to say, I couldn’t read music, and the intro to the first piece was a guitar “harmony” duet! I was pretty much in a panic, and the other guitar player was so nice…he just kept saying, with seconds to spare “play this”, and then “play this”, each time, trying to show me what my part was! He was showing what a true professional does, and was just trying to contribute to the overall good of the session! He also was trying to help this poor non-reading kid (me!) to turn this session around into a positive for himself, rather than feeling like it was such a failure! He ended up overdubbing my part as well as his, and he certainly showed himself to be a true pro. I at least walked out of there feeling a little positive, with more of a “what can I do?” attitude, as opposed to just feeling crummy and down on myself. I suspect that he had at one time a similar thing happen to him, and that he had been in my shoes!
At early ages, many bands can get into silly and fruitless squabbles, which we then see many years later as being totally wasted energy! It’s far better to channel all of this into positive, productive energy, and to understand that negativity helps nobody, but that a positive experience really helps us all! So, be sure to always stay on the bright side when it comes to your early band experiences, because being a good band member will always make you popular, and everybody will want to be in a “band situation” with you!