Monday, September 12, 2011

General Musician Etiquette

Here are few guidelines to keep in mind when playing with others: 

- Learn when to lay back. That is, you should know when its your time to shine and when its time to let others take the spot light.

- Don't drink alcohol while playing. This is something that I have been guilty of in the past and refuse to do anymore.  Playing while intoxicated is not fair to the audience and more importantly its not  fair to the music either. These days, if I want to have a beer, I wait until after the show.

- Listen to what your band members around you are playing. Learn how to interact musically with your band-mates. Jazz musicians do this all the time.  They play off of each other.

- Avoid mixing business with pleasure. Don't try to date the drummer's sister or hookup with the singer. Treat your band as a business and each gig as a business venture.

-Learn to appreciate crowd pleasing songs. Sometimes we have to play songs we might not like. This comes with the territory of being a musician. Yeah, it can be irritating playing "insert hated song here" but it keeps the crowd happy.  Remember they are your fans, and they are paying your salary, so learn how to act like you love that song and do your best when playing it.

-If you are filling a spot in a band that is already established, then you need to treat it just as that.  Lose the ego and remember that it's their band.  It is your responsibility to do whats best for the band and its music. This type of attitude will likely have them asking you to come back.