Quitting your band can be a hard decision but you can make it easier on everyone by leaving the band slowly.
So you’ve been playing in your live band for a while but it just seems like it’s not what you wanted. Believe me, we’ve all been there. I remember playing in a band where I had steady gigs three weekends a month and all I had to do was learn the songs, show up with my gear and play. But it was becoming a hassle trying to juggle band practices and gigs with my personal life. I also wanted to write and perform my own music live. I knew the time had come to quit that band but what was the best way to do it?
You can find high quality musical instrument toys for your children in this excellent music toys for kids list.
If you’re a musician who just happens to have some kids running around at home I’m sure you’re always looking for music toys to stimulate their musical imagination. It can be tough to find good musical toys for the kids to play with. I know I’ve spent hours searching on various websites looking for the perfect musical gifts for my children only to find a limited selection of low quality musical toys. Continue reading “Shopping For Musical Gifts For Kids”
If you’re a musician, then playing any live band gig at all will help you become a better musician.
I’m a guitarist who has been playing for almost 30 years now and I’ve played in live bands almost that entire time. The reason I play is simple, I love to play in front of live audiences. Some things I love about it are the feedback I get from an excited crowd as well as the joy that comes with really nailing the music when the band is playing well.
I’ve played a lot of different styles of music over the years. I’ve played primarily rock-n-roll but I’ve also played country, jazz, pop, electronic and other styles that don’t really fit into any category at all. I’ve played in original bands playing my own music as well as backing up other artists who write their songs. I’ve played in cover bands with all kinds of lineups from two-piece bands all the way up to full size big bands. I’ve also spent time playing in pit orchestras for live stage plays. Continue reading “Playing Any Gig Is Better Than Playing No Gig At All”
If you find yourself “forcing it” when playing in front of a live audience, it may be time to quit your band.
There comes a point in every musician’s life when playing in a live band becomes a grind. Things start to lose their newness after awhile and the band just doesn’t seem like much fun anymore. You start to notice that learning new songs isn’t much fun anymore and the practices become a drag and a burden. Even having to pack all your equipment up and head to the gig seems like more work than it’s worth. It’s at that point that you may ask yourself “should I quit this band?”.
As I’ve said before, playing in a live band is work more often than playing. Sometimes the constant work that goes into making your live band be the best it can be gets to be a real drag. It’s easy to get caught up in hating the non-playing aspect of being in a live band. But, you keep working and grinding it out because of the the feeling of stepping out in front of a live audience which is giving you a lot of love for your great effort. Continue reading “Should You Stay In The Band If You’re “Forcing It”?”
Playing in multiple bands can be a challenge but it also opens up some excellent performance opportunities.
I’ve been playing in live bands since I was 15 years old and in that time I’ve been a member of many different types of bands. I’ve been in cover bands, original bands, wedding bands, jazz bands, country bands, rock bands and the occasional church group. I’ve been in some of these groups simultaneously and I’ve had some interesting times juggling multiple bands.
There are a few different reasons I like to play in multiple bands. I know a lot of great musicians and I like to play music with all of them. Some of the musicians I know are more skilled at different types of music than others. So I spend time playing with different groups of musicians and I get to play different styles of music with different lineups of musicians. I personally like to play a lot of different types of music so playing in multiple groups allows me to play more varied music styles. Continue reading “Being A Musician Playing In Multiple Bands”
My tribute to my Father, Allen L. Rushton, for supporting me so much in my musical career.
Yesterday was Father’s Day and I got a lot of love from my kids for being such a “great Dad” (their words). I’m glad they feel that way but I had to tell them that the greatest Dad was my Father, their Grandfather. My Dad, Allen Rushton, is one of the biggest reasons why I play music and perform in a live band today.
In his day, my Dad played lead tenor saxophone in various bands when he was in his late teens and early twenties. He was a member of the Nevada Musicians Union and would get called by the union and told where and when he would be playing on the weekend. He made some money doing this and wanted to be a professional musician. He then entered World War II and when the war ended, he went to college and got a degree in Education. He ended up being a Teacher, then a Principal and finally the Assistant Superintendent of the White Pine County School District. Continue reading “Thanks To My Father For Supporting My Musical Journey”
When your band breaks up, it’s an opportunity to expand your talent and skills to become an even better musician.
I’ve been playing in live bands for 27 years now and I’ve been through my share of band breakups. By band breakup, I mean either the the group will completely disband or I have quit a band that I felt wasn’t going anywhere. It’s always a bummer when your time in a band comes to an end but it’s also an opportunity to re-examine why you are playing music and what you hope to do with your skills as a musician.
I remember when my first band broke up. I had been playing with Seniors in High School and I was just a Freshman. They all graduated High School and that was pretty much the end of the band. I knew I wanted to keep playing but my skills were extremely limited at the time and I had no clue how to even go about getting into another band. I did know a couple of things though, I knew I had a deep love of music and that I wanted to become a better guitarist. So I immersed myself in the study of music theory and the guitar. Continue reading “What To Do When The Band Breaks Up”
Developing new members for your live band can be challenging but very rewarding if done right.
When you start a new live band it can be difficult to find an entire group of top level players. Sometimes you won’t be able to find the perfect player for your band. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t give up on the idea of getting your band off the ground. You can really help out an aspiring player as well as your band if you take the time to do some work and develop a player that shows good potential.
The other day I wrote about holding auditions for new band members. One of the challenges you will face when adding a new member is developing their ability to blend with the rest of the band. Remember that everyone grows the more they play in a live band. If you find someone that is showing some good potential that you really like and seem to get along with, give them a chance. Even if they’re not the greatest player in the world you may find someone that will grow and become the best member of the band. Continue reading “Developing A New Member Of Your Live Band”
Trying to label something as unique as the human voice as either “Bad” or “Good” is a very difficult thing to do.
Today I’m going to address a topic that is a personal pet peeve of mine. I personally don’t like labeling artists as either “Good” or “Bad”. That goes for anybody that creates a work of art including painters, writers, musicians or any other person that creates something from nothing. Art is subjective and what’s beautiful to one person, may seem ugly to another. But, my real pet peeve is the labeling of something as unique as an individual human voice as either “Good” or “Bad”. The sad thing is that I hear comments from the crowd about good vs. bad singing every time I watch a live band play. Continue reading “The Good Singers Vs. Bad Singers Debate”
The differences between playing in a cover band versus playing in an original band become very apparent when it comes to playing gigs.
This is the 3rd and final (for now) part of my take on playing cover music versus playing original music in a live band. I’ve written two previous posts on this topic titled Playing Cover Music Vs. Playing Original Music Part1 and Part 2. I’ve played in live bands for 27 years and I’ve played original music as well as cover music the entire time. I have a unique perspective about playing both types of gigs. Today I’m going to talk about the difference between playing in an Original Music band and a Cover Band.
The biggest differences between playing in a cover band vs. playing in an original band become glaringly apparent when it comes to gigs. I have to say that playing original music gigs can be either the highest of highs or the lowest of lows. Playing cover music gigs are much more consistent as long as your band plays the songs well. Let me explain what I mean. Continue reading “Playing Cover Music Vs. Playing Original Music Part 3”