Electric Guitar Lesson - Are You Good Enough To Be In A Band?
A common goal that crops up all the time when I'm teaching guitar is the goal of joining the band. And let's
face it...it's a great goal. Being in a band will help you learn many musical skills that you just can't learn by
yourself. Not to mention it's a fantastic way to stay motivated with your own guitar practice.
But here's the thing. Often guitarists are waiting to get "good enough" before they join a band. They want to
get to a certain level of playing before they take the steps needed to be part of a band. Can you see some a
problem with that?
On the surface it might appear sensible to "fully-prepare" yourself. But for many guitarists, delaying being in
a band is a form of procrastination. And I feel that this procrastination is often caused by fear or self-esteem
You Get Good Enough By Doing
Often guitar players don't realize that the way you get good enough to be in a band is to join or form a band.
The truth is that you don't really learn how to be in a band until you join one. It's like riding a bike. You don't
start really learning to ride a bike until you start practicing riding a bike!
The really cool thing is that being in a band will give you real-life feedback as to what you need to work on.
You'll find out weaknesses that you never knew you had! And this helps you to grow as a musician and guitarist.
For Example: When I had been playing about 2 years I joined a speed metal band which was playing a combination of
covers and originals. Once I joined I realized that I just didn't have the chops to play some of the songs. (We
were playing some covers by Slayer, which at the time were way beyond me).
So what did I do? I practiced my butt off. And the great thing is that within a few months I was able to play
all the songs that I needed to learn. And I doubt I would have progressed so quickly if I were just practicing in
Some Steps To Take
If you still feel that you're not good enough yet, then how about doing these steps...
Step 1: Define Good
Have you actually defined what "good enough" is? If not, you need to do that now...otherwise you could
procrastinate forever. For Example: Maybe you could say to yourself when you can play five songs from start to
finish you are good enough. Make a commitment to yourself that once you learn the songs, you will start looking for
a band to join.
Step 2: Start Jamming
I recommend starting to jam with other musicians ASAP. The cool thing about jams is that they are very low
pressure. And because of this you can gain valuable experience playing with other musicians in a relaxed
environment. Another good thing about jamming is that you'll realize that absolutely everyone is a work in
progress. What I mean is that everyone has things about their playing that they need to improve. No one is
Step 3: Look For Music Performance Courses
If you live in a big city there are bound to be some music performance courses. These are usually run by
experienced musicians, and are designed to give people real-life experience of playing in a band. These sorts of
courses are a fantastic way to build confidence.
So if being in a band is one of your musical goals...what are you waiting for?
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