While you can enjoy drumming and playing music all by yourself there is going to come a time when you will want to play with other musicians. You will create more fun by playing with other musicians, build relationships, and network in the musician community.
You will be able to learn so much more about playing when you get together playing with a group of musicians. And, even for the pleasure of playing with a group, you may even get paid. This article features tips on how to play with other musicians.
Tip #1: Finding Other Musicians to Play With.
The initial step you need to take when it comes to playing with other musicians is to find people to play with. And, for this purpose, there are different methods at your disposal. For instance, think of your friends or relatives who play an instrument. Call such persons and find out if they have a jam group you can participate or if they can form a playing group with you. And, if you cannot find people around you who can point you to a group or form a playing group with you, look out for band ads. Musicians usually place ads for their bands both online and offline (local music shops).
For instance, you can log on to websites such as Facebook and Craigslist to search for musicians and bands near your location. And, when you find a group or band that will likely interest you and located close to where you live, do not hesitate to contact them.
Tip #2: Getting along. Musicians are a creative group, and with creativity comes sensitivity and ego. So be aware of who you are, your strengths and weaknesses as a person, and apply your strengths to building a relationship creatively and professionally with other musicians.
You are going to find musicians who you have good chemistry with, and others that you do not. So don’t feel bad if a band is not interested in your talents, it’s just not right for you. Conversely, if you find a band that really wants you or a other musicians that are not quite up to your standards or you simply don’t like their style of music, then move on to the next and be polite about it.
Tips #3: Put It All On The Table. Be clear about what your objectives are with other musicians or a band because everyone has a different goal. Some bands are really serious and want a huge commitment. Some musicians just want to get together and jam. Don’t leave a potential band or musicians hanging in wind wondering what your desires or goals are because otherwise it can and will fall apart.
I’ve been in several bands that really wanted me as a full time drummer but I told them that I would fill in until they found a replacement. I was very clear and they respected that. I’ve also been in a situation when I was really young and an older professional wanted me to play in his jazz trio. I remember him leaving messages on my answering machine. I was too much f a coward to call him back and tell him the truth and just wanted him to go away rather than telling him the truth. I never forgot that and learned from my mistake.
If you are non smoker (and I hope you are for God’s sake), and you don’t want to be around smoke you should be clear about this as well. I’ve been in bands where they were smoking and drinking constantly and I could not handle it.
The bottom line is to be honest, and respectful and everything will fall in place.
Tip #4: Be reliable. There is one pet peeve I have about musicians, and that is that (in my experience) at least half were unreliable for a variety of reasons. Especially the amateur players who just wanted to jam and play parties. Some where late, some never showed up. And yet some were very reliable. They are the ones I gravitated to even if they weren’t the best players in world.
If you act like a professional and are reliable it will open so many doors you won’t believe it. But if you are not you will not go very far and you won’t get the good gigs.
Tip #5: What to Play.
Once you locate a band or group of musicians, what matters most is for you to catch fun while playing. You don’t really have to be over conscious about a specific style to play. Savvy players recommend not to allow your present playing tastes and styles restrict the creativity you may want to showcase playing with your group.
Also, do not be scared or anxious about playing a tune or song you are not familiar with. You will be surprised at how enjoyable and enlightening it can be playing music you are not interested in or have even heard about, just because you are playing with others.
Feel free to interact with other players and find out what type and style of music interest them. By so doing, you will get to know if they share same or similar interests as you. Just release yourself t flow with the songs that others are interested in, even if you are not familiar with the song. You can follow up and learn faster than you can imagine. Ultimately, you will realize how fulfilling it can be learning something new.
Those who show diverse musical tastes may find it a little difficult coming across like-minded musicians. But, if you are such person, do not be discouraged by that. You will eventually find a group or band that suits your taste to an extent.
As soon as you find a band and start looking for spots to perform, you may have to prioritize concentrating on the specific music you are playing at the moment, while also considering the audiences/venues you will meet in the future. One thing you should bear in mind also is that customers of places like restaurants and bars do not usually pay attention to exotic music, they lack interest in this aspect of music. Of course, you can still play exotic music in such places, but make up your mind that your efforts may not be rewarded with the type of applause you desire. As long as you keep your expectations realistic to this effect, you will be just fine.
Tip #6: Where to Play.
When it comes to where to play, you definitely have lots of options at your disposal. Take time to explore each option! You should realize that with each type of option in terms of a place to play comes with different environment as well as different expectations – it is actually good to learn to play in each environment.
Some instances of where you can play with a group include the following:
- Family/friend occasions
- Company events
- School events
- Musical theater productions
Events that feature tons of bands that take turn playing – e.g. battle of the bands competitions. In this case, the best group will emerge based on the decisions of the judges or the audience. And, the best band will usually win a prize. Other examples of such include open mic nights and talent shows.
When you’ve decided to play with other musicians, you should target at doing your best. Constant practice to help you master your music inside out will make things more enjoyable for you as well as your group. Playing with group obviously offers tons of benefits that include enhancing your musical skills. And, you will get to appreciate other styles of music as you play with others.