Sometimes individual talent lends itself better towards a group dynamic, and for those who choose to collaborate with other musicians, learning to work and grow together can present itself with a whole set of challenges.
Here are some tips to develop talent as a band.
1. Never stop practicing solo.
While it is easy to play off of each other and listen for musical cues while in a band, these things can also be used as crutches. While playing off of each other can be a good way to learn each other’s sensibilities, it becomes to hide your own mistakes behind other music.
Though listening to your bandmates for musical cues is great for learning to play in sync, by practicing on your own you will learn to always keep correct time while playing.
2. Learn to play in sync.
While this seems like the opposite advice from the previous point, this is actually the flip side of that coin. Playing together and in sync with one another is where all your hard work practicing solo pays off.
Listen to the transitions, hear the volume range, and keep in time with your fellow bandmates. Even if they are rushing, it’s better to finish together than to finish at different times.
3. Spend time together.
There is an old adage that says a band is a dysfunctional family that you choose. As with all families, you must spend time together, preferably outside of anything music related.
By watching each other interact with the world, and by interacting with each other outside of the dynamic of a band, you will develop a greater appreciation for what each band member brings to the table and greater appreciation for what everyone’s function is.
Playing music is hard. Playing music with other people regularly is even harder. But if you continue to practice by yourself, learn how your bandmates play, and spend time with them in general, you will all see dramatic growth in your musical presence.
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Anthony Mauro is a San Francisco State graduate who splits his time between the Bay Area and San Diego. He spends his free time thinking long hair is cool, playing video games for an online audience, and writing short stories, comic books, and novels.