[thechat] pease porridge hot

Matt Warden mwarden at gmail.com
Mon Nov 28 19:40:44 CST 2005

Hash: SHA1


Canfield, Joel wrote:
> So, any of you actively in a band or other musical performance
> organization? I'm between bands (and actively looking), and being new to
> this whole thing (two years) I'm curious if it's always as disorganized
> and painful as my experiences indicate.

In my experience, it's a lot easier to grab a local newspaper and find
replacement gigs (i.e., need a fill-in drummer for x weeks) that turn
into more permanent things than it is to find a band cold. If you think
about it, why would a band be looking for you? Either their last bass
player left for (a) a better skilled band, (b) there is some social
component in the band that sucks, or (c) he/she was kicked. The only
other option is that the band is newly forming. None of those really is
a good situation to be jumping into. The latter seems to work in the
upper echelons of band-dom where highly skilled musicians can come
together ad hoc and somehow work together well.

For the Rest of Us(tm), the social component is a big deal, and it seems
to me to be the biggest barrier to joining a band.

>  I'm willing to play all
> kinds of stuff, but I can't be in a band where my opinions have no
> weight.

I tend to do best in bands where members own particular songs for the
most part. Granted, there still has to be collaboration on the details
(I sure don't want some guitar player trying to tell me what ghost notes
to play on the drums). This seems to be met with resistance, as everyone
feels like a band has to have this unified sound. The irony of course is
that once bands "make it", they spend all their time trying to show they
can play a diverse range of music.

> So, what's it like where you live? Are bands in a constant state of
> churn? I know one band here in Sacramento that's been together for 19
> years. Only personnel change was the bass player leaving three years
> ago, and the two guitarists just take turns. My favorite local band, the
> core trio has been together for 10 years, two of them for another five
> years before that. These guys are like family to each other.

Well, maybe I am not the best person to ask. I'm in my final year of
college, and one might assume bands in high school in college are in
more flux due to immaturity, impatience, and geographical relocations.

> So, are you supposed to lower your expectations just to be able to play,
> or do you keep refining who and what you are until the magic happens and
> you fall into the right tub of butter? Are all the good players with
> amenable personalities already committed?

Well, what would you do with a "real job"? Would you do nothing because
you didn't get your #1 choice? Would you take whatever you could get and
tie yourself up when that better opportunity might come along? There's
no black-and-white answer in this case either. You have to balance the
commitment with the need to network.

Which is why I suggest you try the fill-in idea. You get to meet a lot
of bands, play a lot of cool stuff. You get the networking without
having to commit to a band (until you want to).

> Where do I take an online
> personality profile to see if, really, it's just me?

If this wasn't just a joke, I can forward you some links from my
Personality Psych class.

- --
Matt Warden
Miami University
Oxford, OH, USA

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