Insight is very valuable but, I wish I had the wisdom that I have now compared to what I was like with the band when I was a teenager. Like most new bands we started out by covering the hit songs of the day, and we would have a rehearsal most Monday evenings in the drummers house, there was no plan to all of this, we would just decide which songs we wanted to cover and have a go when someone new how to play any of them. Sounds reasonable doesn’t it? Now let me explain what would happen.
1…My good mate Brian played accordion and a bit of keyboard.
2…Andy on drums, with a brass band background and the oldest, and thought he was in charge.
3…Tommy on bass and played everything by ear.
4…Me, the youngest at 16 years old. Played accordion, keyboard, piano, guitar, drums and vocals.
The drummer didn’t like pop and he wanted us to stick with the Scottish music because that is where we were making the most money, the rest of us disagreed and wanted to do more pop and rock n’ roll. Andy said to me when you can play “Apache” then we will introduce that stuff. So I bought the 45 vinyl record and learned the song note for note for the next rehearsal and played it to him, (he thought it was difficult but in truth it is actually quite easy to play) Point made! Not really. The next gig he packed up the drum kit at half time and went home, although the audience did liked us better without the drummer.
Eventually we got a new drummer and I decided what songs we would be playing because I could play everything and showed them all what to play and how to do it, good eh! No bad idea, it wasn’t long before the Tommy, the bass player left because according to me he always played the wrong notes, which he DID! But the truth was this, I was expecting to much of these guys and according to them I was a “ Baw Heed” English translation is a“Big Head”.
What I learned the hard way was this, a band is like a co-operative where all the members work together for the good of all, you will find variations in this but you will need to respect everyone in the group and learn to work to the strengths of each band member. It also helps if everyone gets on with each other, and each person is happy with their role in the band.
The song writing becomes much more interesting because sometimes the band members will come up with suggestions on how to add a little something to the song. I still do this if I’m stuck for and Idea eg in the last EP I was trying to find a good bass intro for “How Are You Today” you can listen to the track here.
You have the song, the arrangement, the band is rehearsed, lets go to the recording studio! So we can be mega stars, we will consider this in mistake number 8.
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