Q&A: Married To The Band

Dear Lis,

Last night at our gig the bass player was really sloppy in his rhythm playing. I don’t think he practices enough. Is it time to look for a new one?

Alice

Dear Alice,

There are, of course, good players and bad players. But even good ones have their flaws. Anyone you work with for a long period of time will have traits that annoy you. Maybe they don’t read charts, or they talk too much in rehearsal or they refuse to work with a click track. Maybe they are too aggressive onstage or too shy. You could respond to these problems by saying ‘fire him; get a new one’. But the next one will have their problems too. So instead, think about ways to work on the issues; have a band meeting and talk things through. It’s a bit like a marriage – you have to learn to communicate. Keeping a band together is hard work but it pays big dividends.

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