Why You Need Band Members Who Are Also Your Friends

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.

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How I Messed Up During Rehearsal For My Concert

I have a 1962 Harmony Stratotone electric guitar. And I found out — at the worst possible time — that it sounds terrible.

Harmony Stratotone 1962

This is a guitar that my dad found in the trash — it was in a foreclosed house his realty company had just bought. When I plugged it into my amp, I was shocked that it actually worked.

I use the term “worked” lightly.

Last year, some friends and I played a bunch of shows to raise money for my wife’s and my adoption fund (we’ve since adopted!).

But during one of those shows, I play this electric guitar, plugged into a Fender amp.

We started playing my song “Lunch Money,” but after a few bars, it was obvious something was way out of tune.

Something was terribly off.

That’s when, in the middle of the chorus, I realized the problem was my trash-to-treasure guitar. Apparently, it was still trash.

I stopped the song, quickly switched to my acoustic guitar, and started the song over. If I couldn’t bear to listen to it, neither could the audience.

(Fortunately, it was in a bar where not many people were paying much attention).

But my mistake started much earlier than this concert. It started during rehearsal.

You see, if I had practiced the right way, I would’ve realized, “Oh, crap, this guitar’s intonation is awful and I should borrow someone else’s.”

I learned that I should practice exactly the way I plan to play the concert. This means I should use the exact instruments, the same stage setup, and a similar amount of energy that I will during the show.

(I’ve read how many artists even plan out what they’ll say in between songs — the friendly banter they’ll have with the crowd or what they’ll say about their merch table).

So this is the lesson to take from this story: always practice exactly how you will play the concert.

Or else.