If you are anything like me, you have been in numerous bands over your years of playing. If so then I ‘m willing to bet you have had at least one member you secretly (or openly) had issues with in one or two of those bands. It may have even got to the point where all other bands members started noticing the same terrible traits that this particular band member had.
Whether you have had a similar experience or not have you ever thought about the fact that maybe you could be that guy or girl that your other band members are secretly hating? A lot of these secretly hated members are doing the same things that get them in their band mates bad books, and I am just going to go out there and post them. If you feel like any of these, apply to you then you better think long and hard about whether your actions are hurting or helping your band.
1. You are always late to band practice
Now I’m not talking about being a few minutes late all the time. I am talking about always showing up an hour or two late (if you show up at all). Remember every time you are late for practice it gives the other members a perfect time to talk about you and your tardiness… And maybe even some other things listed below!
2. You bring your girlfriend or boyfriend to rehearsal
Seriously? I’m going to say it one more time… SERIOUSLY!!!! If you want to maximize your progression when it comes to writing and playing, you need to limit your jams to band members only (unless you have a producer listening in etc.). Trust me when I say your band is not going to like the fact that you are always bringing your “love” to a music practice. If you need to spend more time with your significant other then make time for that before or after practice, or on days that you don’t jam.
3. You always change parts of the song last minute before a show
Now don’t get me wrong, changing a song often and trying new ideas is essential for great songwriting and production. What I am talking about is when someone is always changing parts of the song on the day of or at the gig itself. It doesn’t matter if your band is full of seasoned artists that are capable of making changes on the fly; it is still going to piss them off. Changing parts last minute will eventually lead to a mistake on stage, and those particular mistakes often lead to train wrecks. Be aware!
4. You always turn your volume up louder than everyone else
Cranking up your volume over everyone else is horrible for any kind of jams or live shows. Do you think your bands recordings would sound good if you could only hear one instrument screaming over the rest? Then why do you think it will sound good live? Do you realize there is a reason that sound guys and engineers have jobs? A band playing at appropriate levels is the only way your are going to have an excellent sounding show. It doesn’t matter how tight you are as a band if one instrument is way off it negatively affects the song as a whole.
5. You are nowhere to be found during load in/tear down time
If you do not have a team of roadies doing all the lifting for you then, all members need to be helping out with this task. I don’t care if you are “just the singer” don’t be an ass and help out. Quick load-ins and tear downs make your band look more professional and should be something that you take seriously. Taking your sweet ass time only pisses off the other bands, and more importantly, the sound guy!
6. You stress about little details before a gig
The last thing you need is for your band to be mad or stressed before they go on stage. If you are someone who constantly stresses about every little detail then that stress can and will eventually get your whole band angry, and that is something you do not need. Who cares if your set time got pushed back an hour? Who cares if you can’t set up your merch where you originally wanted it to be? If it isn’t extremely important then forget about it and focus on your upcoming set. I think you get the point now 🙂
7. You aren’t open to suggestions
Now this could be suggestions for songwriting, your live act or even the order of songs you play at your gig. Don’t be the guy that says, “Screw That” after every suggestion that isn’t your own. It is always good to at least try something before you shut it down. Even with my experience there are still many times when I think something is going to sound off, but when we try it out as a band, it sounds incredible! Don’t knock it ’till you try it!
8. You get mad every time a song gets changed
Come on man! Do you really think songs get written in one sitting? Even once the song is “written” from start to finish there will always be better ideas about it popping up in your band mates heads. Don’t be that person who can’t stand change in a song, even when deep down they know it will make the song sound better.
9. You play out of tune
I shouldn’t have to say this, but it hurts me deeply to know there are some that need to hear it. Playing with an out of tune band member is like fingernails to a chalkboard for me. Get a stage tuner, put it in your rig and check your tuning after every song or two. DO IT!!!!!!
10. You play over a meaningful discussion
I have even been guilty of this one LOL. If there is an important conversation going on about songwriting, your gig or anything else then you need to shut up and listen. Those types of talks are what make musicians progress and understand each other better. If you halt the progress, expect to get a dirty look or two.
11. You waste jam time with too many stories
Nobody came to the jam to hear about the crazy movie you watched last night or the killer dinner you made before the jam. For some bands, jams come only once or twice a week, and that means you need to stay focused and use your time for practicing, writing, and other band related issues. Talk about your life before or after the jam.
12. You use too many sound effects
This one is for the guitar players out there. Effects pedals are great, but there are certain times and places for them. If you are always using effects for the sake of using them, then you are missing the point and hurting the song. Less wet, more dry!
13. You dedicate a song to your girlfriend/boyfriend on stage
I didn’t realize the whole band was dating your lover. That’s right; they aren’t. So stop making them feel awkward on stage and tell them the song is being played just for them when you are alone if you have to.
14. You make band decisions without the band
A good band is like a family, and there are some things that you all need to discuss before you make a final decision. Don’t bypass the rest of the band to make a decision about something you know is important. It can make you a hated member faster than you think. Remembering not to make vital decisions for your band should be the most important point you take from this article.
Do you agree with what I say? Did I miss anything? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section below.