In 2017, my wife and I adopted a baby boy. But adoption involves a lot of fees and such, so we went to our community to ask for help.
So I played a bunch of fundraising shows, and I normally don’t love playing concerts.
You see, I’m not a huge fan of performing. It doesn’t come naturally to me. I’m an introvert, so having eyes on me induces fear.
But one thing helped make each concert super fun and extremely successful: my friends who played in my band.
Actually, band practice was WAY more fun than any of the shows we played. We got to hang out, eat food, and also play music.
So based on my experiences, I’m going to talk about three reasons why you should have a band made up of your friends.
And this is regardless of whether the “friend” or the “bandmate” title came first. Basically, your bandmates should already be your friends or they should be someone you could easily be friends with.
You’ll Have More Fun
Imagine if you had a band with people who you didn’t even like being around.
You would hate band practice. You wouldn’t enjoy the concerts. And the band wouldn’t last long.
Fun leads to longevity in a band. Fun frees you up to be yourself.
After all, the whole point of “being a musician” is to have fun.
You Can Be More Honest
The more comfortable you are with a person, the more comfortable you are telling them how they can do something better.
This is so true in the context of a band.
If you’re friends with your piano player, wouldn’t it be so much easier to tell them, “Hey, I think you were a little off tempo during the chorus”?
If the guitar player is someone you would laugh with on any day of the week, wouldn’t it be easier to tell them that they shouldn’t solo during every song?
(Fortunately, every guy in my band was phenomenally talented, so I didn’t have to say things like this very much).
Friends should be brutally honest with each other. And honesty is a key to a successful band.
The Music Will Be Better
Because you can have more fun and be more honest with friend-bandmates, this means the music will be better.
Strife, in rare cases like Fleetwood Mac, can lead to some great music if you know how to write songs inspired by that tension.
But, almost every time, tension that builds upon tension is like a ticking time bomb. (Just look how Fleetwood Mac ended up).
If you and your bandmates can meld as friends do, the music you make together will benefit from that. I’m not gonna lie, friends will be at odds with each other sometimes (they should be if it’s a healthy relationship).
But true friends always find a way to get through and past the tension.
And on the other end of that is better music.
Shoutout to my friends/bandmates:
- Ben Saylor (saxophone/melodica)
- Dom Versace (bass)
- Felix Noy (percussion)
- Aaron Beasley (drums)