Saturday, June 21, 2008


How to be in a band

If you sing no one is your friend, the reason for this is that every other person in the band wishes that they could sing. They will not tell you this in fact they will make it sound as if your role is secondary to the music. Do not buy this argument for one second, it is a ploy & not a very good one to shut you up.

If you sing it helps if you can play an instrument, it gives you some power over guitarists who want to dwiddley dwiddley deeee over your precious words & an ability to control drummers who are not good at been quiet or stopping when you want them to. Personally I prefer sampled drums or a drum machine to avoid stupid confrontations about whose beer you are drinking or whose wife you are sleeping with. If drummers concentrated on what they do best, we would all get to bed earlier. ( and in our own clothes )

Guitar players usually play the guitar because they cannot sing or play & sing at the same time. If you chance upon a player who can sing & play avoid him. He will drain your soul of everything to make himself look good. Which will include standing in front of you on stage, plotting behind your back & trying to seduce your girl friend.
It is a good strategy to know a lot about makes & type of guitar, so when confronted with an issue over whose song you are going to rehearse, you can say something like, " Fender guitars have never been the same since they started producing them in Japan " You can then watch his eyes mist over as he reminisces over early Fender products & this will leave you to safely get on with rehearsing YOUR song. It is also good policy to let the guitarist have a few bars before or after the middle eight to solo in. This gives you the opportunity at live gigs to get a drink of beer.

Bass players usually play guitar then give up & move to the bass. This is good, but can be a real pain if the person in question restricts themselves to the root note of any played chord. It can kill a great song. That kind of playing is lazy & the bassist may well want to take up another role such as fish frying. A good bassist is worth his weight in gold & if you come across one hang on to him. A good ploy is to shower them with praise as they lack confidence ( this is why they became bassists in the first place) also in any argument over band policy let them have their say. They are usually shy, talk quietly & no one listens to them anyway.

Keyboards, people who play piano are far too musical & should be treated with suspicion. Never under any circumstances allow them to quote musical theory or get near the beer on their own. It pays to make a friend of the piano player so that when the guitarist begins to moan about the time alloted for soloing you can suggest that a keyboard solo might be a good option. Divide & rule.

Vocalists are a noble, hard working, breed of musician who will grace any band they join with talent. Also very prone to mood swings & tempermental. Let him have his own way. Never encourage other people to sing around him or he will sulk for weeks. You have to let him think everything has been his idea, even when it clearly is not. Allow him the largest share of the beer & make sure he has a plentiful supply. Never tune up or play your instruments over his stage announcements.Compliment him frequently on his dress sense, stage prescence & over all ablility. This will make for perfect harmony & prevent him from " Going Solo ".


Katherine said...

Gosh, David, what a wonderful lot of advice - and what a lovely insight into the scenes behind the band... Thanks- most enjoyable even for me - someone who knows very little about such things. And good to hear she's a little better.

Daphne said...

I was going to write almost EXACTLY what Katherine wrote. A fascinating and very enjoyable piece and I hope that your daughter continues to improve.