How To Quit Your Band

Quitting your band can be a hard decision but you can make it easier on everyone by leaving the band slowly.

Silver Tuba Player
Even Tuba Players Think About Quitting The Band

   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?

   Well, quitting a band is just like quitting a job. There’s a right way and several wrong ways to quit a band. Let’s discuss the wrong ways first.    Continue reading “How To Quit Your Band”

Playing Any Gig Is Better Than Playing No Gig At All

If you’re a musician, then playing any live band gig at all will help you become a better musician.

Matt Rushton Playing A Live Gig
Matt Rushton Playing A Live Gig

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”

Thanks To My Father For Supporting My Musical Journey

My tribute to my Father, Allen L. Rushton, for supporting me so much in my musical career.

My Dad, Allen L. Rushton, and my 3 older brothers.
My Dad, Allen L. Rushton, and my 3 older brothers.

   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”

How To Deal With An Emergency That Threatens To Cancel A Band Gig

How to deal with having a member of your band unable to play because of an emergency.

In Stereo with Frank Lee
In Stereo with Frank Lee

   A couple weeks ago my live band , In Stereo, was faced with a situation that you hope you never have to deal with. We had an important gig scheduled and one day before the gig our drummer, Ted,  came down with a life threatening staff infection in his ankle. It was very obvious as soon as he was admitted into the hospital that there was no way he would be able to play the gig. That left us with a commitment to fulfill with the club that had us booked and as you know, the show must go on. So what are your options in a live band when one of your core members goes down?     Continue reading “How To Deal With An Emergency That Threatens To Cancel A Band Gig”

I’m Thankful For Music

   Thanksgiving week is upon us and I was just thinking about how thankful I am to be a musician and for all the incredible music that we have available to us. It’s really a great time to be a Live Musician with all the fantastic technology available to use in the creation of new music. The digital age has given us the ability to build affordable and extremely powerful digital audio workstations. Computer and audio interface hardware is very affordable and there are some fantastic software packages that give us unprecedented control over our music. It really is a great time to be a musician so here are some things I’m thankful for to celebrate this Thanksgiving.

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Getting Along Is More Important Than Musicianship

In Stereo Gets Along

   That’s right, getting along is more important than musicianship. This is band chemistry 101 for all you live musicians out there. I’ve played with some of the most incredible musicians I’ve ever heard and I’ve also seen them not able to function in a band for more than a year. The musicians I play with now are all excellent. Maybe not the best in the world, but excellent players. My two bands have been together for 18 years and 14 years respectively. Let me tell you why we’ve been together for so long.

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The Crowd At Your Gigs

Crowd View Of In Stereo Band

   The other day I came across a really funny cartoon which depicts the type of crowds that come out to see a rock show. You can check it out here: The Crowd At A Rock Show. It’s really funny because it’s so accurate in it’s depiction of the makeup of a typical rock show audience. Being a live musician up there onstage, I’ve made a lot of observations about the crowd at our gigs.    Continue reading “The Crowd At Your Gigs”

Why I Keep Playing Music

In Stereo - 2002 Winter Olympics Medals Plaza

   Tonight my band “In Stereo” is playing at Club 90 in Salt Lake City. I’m really looking forward to playing while at the same time dreading all the work that comes with playing a show. I often ask myself  why I keep playing music. There are so many things that are a pain in the butt about playing yet at the same time there is such a high that comes with pleasing a live audience.

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Movie Review – The Rocker

Rainn Wilson in The Rocker

   I just went and watched the new movie “The Rocker” starring Rainn Wilson of “The Office” fame. A lot of people have been saying the movie is a “School Of Rock” ripoff and even though there are similarities, “The Rocker” has more adult laughs. So being a rocker myself and a fan of Rainn Wilson I was really excited to see the movie.

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