If you’ve been playing in with the same group of musicians in the same live band for a while it’s pretty common for things to become routine. A problem arises when the doing the same old routine every time you get together starts to get boring and stale. This happens to a lot of bands over the course of their career and it doesn’t matter what your bands routine is.
Your band may be playing the same 3 clubs over and over to the point of boredom. Or you may get together regularly to create music in the studio and make recordings but never play out. The Beatles became a recording studio band and guess what? It still got stale and boring even for The Beatles! So what did The Beatles do to get some fresh ideas and some new life in the band? They brought in guest musicians to play on their recordings.
The Beatles brought in Eric Clapton to play his famous lead guitar parts on the George Harrison song “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”. The band enjoyed it so much that they invited Billy Preston to come to the studio and play keyboards on many of the bands later recordings. Having that extra musician who was not an official member of the band really brought some much needed vitality to The Beatles.
The same thing can work for your band as well and it can really improve your band chemistry. I know my band Shufflin’ Noah tends to get in a rut when all we do is get together every week to write and record new songs. It’s totally fun to bring in a guest a guest musician to create music with. On different occasions we’ve brought in other guitarists, keyboardists, sax players or singers to record with. We’ve brought in a lot of different musicians over the course of our career and it’s never failed to raise the fun level. We’ve been able to make some excellent and unique recordings with these guest musicians.
We’ve done the same thing in my live band, In Stereo. We’ll have guest musicians come and rehearse with us and then get onstage at our shows and play a gig with us. It’s always exciting to have a new person there who is not a permanent member of the band. The crowd always seems to enjoy seeing a new person up there with us and we’ve gotten some of our biggest applause when we’ve brought a guest musician onstage with us.
So my point is simple, if things are feeling boring and stale but you definitely don’t want to break up your band then you should try bringing in some guest musicians to liven things up. It’s really fun and good for your band as well. It’s a great way to network with other musicians and gain a few more fans along the way too.