Joining a band will make you a better player

I started my first band within a week of getting my first guitar.  It was a Friday when my mom took me to pick out the guitar, and my lessons started the following Wednesday.  By the time the weekend rolled around I had found enough guys at school to start a band and have our first practice on Saturday.  Sure, at that point I really had no idea how to play that guitar.  But playing in a band, even that soon, made me a better musician.  Some of the benefits included the following:

- The band gave me a reason to play and a reason to learn.  I was part of something bigger than just lessons on Wednesdays and practice in my room the rest of the week.

- It motivated me.  I wanted to see the band progress and part of that involved making progress in my own playing.

- I learned from the other members of the band.  I learned more about rhythm from the drummer, harmony from the bass player, and the other guitar player and I shared what we knew as well.

- It made me think about music differently.  I wasn’t content to just play what I was taught.  I wanted to know why, and how I could use what I learned.

- The more I learned, the more focused my lessons became.  My instructor didn’t just say, “here’s what you’re learning today.”  He asked what I was working on in the band and we built on that knowledge.

 

I encourage all of my students to start or join a band, even if it’s only you and one other person.  My first band changed often.  Sometimes we had a drummer, sometimes we didn’t.  Players dropped out and others joined.  But even having just one other person to play with contributed to the benefits I listed above.

Whether you play guitar, drums, bass, keyboards or sing -- join a band.  If you’re young or old, playing for years or just for days -- join a band!  If your school has a guitar club, join it, even if you’re a drummer!  Find at least one other person to play with, and do it regularly.  You’ll experience growth, but equally important, you’ll have fun using your talents and knowledge.