There are so many people out there who say that having a band is a bad thing. A lot of them think of people who have bands that are not known worldwide as failures and they treat them this way as well. The thing is that those people don’t understand none of the things about having a band, so why do band members let all this talk get to them?
The reason is quite simple – social pressure, combined with a lack of confidence. When we all start our bands, we dream big about achieving great success, but sadly this only happens to a small number of bands, and this is why it’s only natural that after some time people feel demotivated, or start doubting themselves. Combine this, with people judging and saying things like “go make something out of your life” and it becomes clear why musicians are bothered by this.
The important thing to do in this situation is to focus on the good things and don’t expect too much when putting together a band. There are always a lot of good things you can get out of your band, even if you don’t make a lot of money or become world-known. Even if you give up on it in your early adulthood, you will still have a lot of amazing experiences you will gladly remember.
1. You will establish lifetime friendships
Being in a band means that you will have to spend a lot of time with a certain group of people. This time includes practices, rehearsals, gigs, traveling, and all of the things that go along with it. It’s simply impossible not to become close friends with some of these people, or even fall in love with one of them; there have been so many examples of this in the past. A band is like a family, and you quickly learn everything about each other as you do the thing you love together – play music.
You establish a bond you could never share with somebody else and a lot of times, there will be other people around you who don’t quite understand what you are talking about, but you won’t care. A lot of people who were in bands together, but eventually split up, still see each other and nurture their friendships, and this shows how strong their bonds are. Even if you don’t get richer financially, you will be richer with friends for life.
2. You will meet a lot of new people
One of the amazing things of being in a band is that there are so many opportunities for meeting new faces. During your gigs, travels and rehearsals you will meet many other musicians, and people who come to the shows. People are always willing to meet the band after the show, especially if they liked what they heard and they are open for making new friendships.
For example, when I played with my band we were always open to people and we enjoyed talking and meeting new characters. Music simply connects people and you will have a lot to talk about, as they will want to know where you played, how long you’ve been around and what experiences you’ve had. It’s suiting when people show such interest and they might even offer you to hang out with them as they show you around town while having fun.
3. You will have amazing experiences
Nobody except band members knows just how many amazing things can happen when you are playing music. There is nothing more satisfying than playing a show and seeing that the people who are there are enjoying themselves and having a great time because of you. For me, this is what it’s all about, and even if the whole crowd consists out of 20 people who are having fun at the moment, this is something that suits me and makes me feel truly alive.
When someone comes to you after the gig and praises you for your music and performance you will feel remarkable and satisfied with yourself. Additionally, each of the new milestones accomplished with your band will make you feel amazing. For example, when you create your first song together, record something in the studio, release your first album, shoot your first music video, be a guest at some music show etc. These are all amazing experiences that are unique and can be felt when being a part of a band.
4. You will become a better musician
When you enter a band, there is simply more motivation for working on your musical skills. Playing alone at home can be productive, but when you are in a group you can quickly share knowledge and improve your musical skills together. For example, some people are better at rhythm, while others are better with melodies, and you can give each other some quick tips to realize where your mistakes are and how you can improve them.
When you are a part of a band, you will also be very excited with your music, because you can share your ideas with someone and work on them regularly. In the end, when you create new songs and release them, you will be excited to see what reactions you will get. These are all the things that can motivate you to work harder, as you will get the sense that you are a part of something greater than just yourself.
This can inspire you to work harder on yourself as a musician and think outside the box when creating bass lines, melodies, drums sections or whatever your instrument is. As a musician, you grow a lot faster when in a band than when playing all by yourself in your room.
5. There are a lot of people who love musicians
Sure there are those people who will tell you that music is not a career choice, or that you are not really contributing anything to the world, but you should not listen to them. They are either jealous or simply ignorant. There are a lot of people who appreciate musicians and like to be around them.
It’s easy getting used to being the cool and smart guy and you may be surprised by how many people will approach you if you are good at playing your music, no matter how small your band might be in terms of money or the size of your fan base. If you are a guy, ladies will love you, if you are a girl, guys will worship you, unless you are a bass player of course, than nobody will care (just joking).
In a way, there is no middle ground when you’re a musician, some will think you are cool, while others will think you are doing nothing with your time. What you must learn is to deal with this, because hey, nobody likes everybody, it’s just the way it is. Don’t beat yourself up over someone not having respect for what you do.
6. Being in a band can help you develop non-musical skills
A lot of people think that being in a band is all about art, and being “artistic”. Of course, I agree that being creative, thinking outside the box and going out of your comfort zone is important, especially if you are looking to create something new and completely yours. However, I think that 80% of being in a band is about working hard and improving everywhere you possibly can as a team.
Organization is quite important, given the fact that there are more people involved in a band. It is important that you all understand each other and that you establish good communication, both musically and verbally. For a band, it is also important that you all respect each other’s time, meaning that you cannot be late for rehearsals, gigs, or when you hit the road.
Over time you will start paying a lot of attention to these things, and you will learn to come through for your band mates when you “promise” something. This is how you will become responsible or even improve your leadership skills and become a band leader. Additionally, there are a lot of studies that show that playing music affects your brain in a positive way.
7. It’s a great hobby
Even if you don’t make it as a big band, you can still have a solid music career, apart from having another, more traditional, job. You can still enjoy your music a lot and make some solid cash. There is nothing bad with having a life of an “average musician”, as you will still be able to entertain people.
This is a real possibility, however, you never know when you might get lucky and catch your big break. For example, you might dedicate your time to your band as a hobby, but if you are good, some manager could approach you and offer you a serious deal if you seem interesting, the sky’s the limit.
If you feel like it, start a band, or continue playing in the one you are in currently. Don’t let anybody tell you that what you are doing is wrong. Learn how to follow your dreams, but don’t fool yourself by expecting too much. Like I’ve said, only a handful of bands achieve world glory.