Jump to content

Being the weakest member of a band


Recommended Posts

I've been with a band for a few months now and come to terms with my place as the least experienced and weakest member of the band. I don't feel that I'm at risk of getting the boot, we all get on well and I can play my parts but I do need guidance from other band members because I don't have their experience to immediately know what will work. During discussions around song writing I tend to keep quiet and listen to their ideas so maybe I come across as not being as interested or not wanting to contribute. 

I'm putting in the practice time to work on my weaknesses. But I just wondered whether anyone else here has been in a similar position? Any advice?

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my first “real” band I was def the weakest member. But not for long. I wouldn’t say I overtook anyone but I soon caught up. Was a good learning experience, and I’d recommend it to anyone, it soon pushes your limits further than you thought and makes you more proficient on your instrument of choice.

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's what I'm hoping for. The others have 30+ years playing each compared to my 4 years. The two guitarists are amazing. I've got an awful lot of catching up to do. Hopefully It'll be a good learning opportunity.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Often I'm the least talented in the room but it's rare that i'm not the best-prepared... this goes a long way! There's so much to be gained from playing with musicians better than you, and i find very little pleasure in it being the other way around. It honestly sounds like you are a great band member... but never be afraid to voice any considered opinion you do have, even if it comes to nothing!

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Best person to be , I've been at either end of this over the years IMO and being a bit out of my depth is when I've learned the most although it's tough at the time , they're obviously getting what they need from you so don't get vibed out just soak it all up and learn mate

Edited by spencer.b
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you weren't good enough to be in the room, you wouldn't be there. 

That said, surrounding yourself with people more experienced than you are is the absolute best thing to do if you want to keep learning and developing. I try and do it wherever I can, and the biggest leaps I've made have been from throwing myself in situations where I'm out of my depth and having to rise to meet them!

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The best way to get better is to play with musicians who are better than you.

If you play with guys vastly more experienced than you, then it’s going to be a steep learning curve on a lot of things – be it playing, writing, gear (hence your recent thread about buying a new bass) and performance, etc. One of the big advantages that you have if you have only been playing for four years is that you haven’t really learnt how to do things wrong yet! If you are in a band with guys who know what they’re doing then hopefully you will just get used to doing things properly, which will make you a far better player.

Edited by peteb
  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some years ago I was in two bands: I was the weakest in the jazz band, and the strongest in the blues band.

Both were fun to be fair, but the jazz band involved much less hard work!

Edited by Manwithvan
spelling
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, SteveXFR said:

 Any advice?

Be joyous!

Playing with musicians who offer sympathetic and constructive advice and ideas in a supportive way are the best bandmates, regardless of who is the best musician (very few people will admit to being the best musician in a band - especially as we all have different ideas of what is good!)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Keep your ears wide open and soak everything up. Ask as many questions as you need. If you have the right attitude people will be happy to help. Practice until you can't get it wrong. Decide what works and why, then build up your library of licks and the stuff that makes the lines yours.  IMO it's OK to play with someone who's learning if they are positive, fun to play with and you can see their progress coming out in their playing.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, SteveXFR said:

... and come to terms with my place as the least experienced member of the band.... I do need guidance from other band members because I don't have their experience to immediately know what will work. During discussions around song writing I tend to keep quiet and listen to their ideas so maybe I come across as not being as interested or not wanting to contribute. 

I'm putting in the practice time...

I'm not seeing a weak player here at all. I'm seeing the essence of a really good band bass player, a supportive player.

These are qualities that will always get you into bands despite or irrespective of your technical ability.

And Experience is one thing, ego is another. I've played with many experienced musicians and they exhibit a humility despite their knowledge and technical excellence.

I've played with some musicians who have been going a long time, but due to their enormous egos I wouldn't call experienced at all.

 

Being aware of how you want/need to improve is an asset in itself. Take confidence in this. We can always improve, no matter how long we have played or how "experienced" we are.

Your approach sounds great!

 

1 hour ago, knicknack said:

Often I'm the least talented in the room but it's rare that i'm not the best-prepared... this goes a long way! 

This!!! And once again that word talent is relative. I would want to play with prepared musicians, not musicians who are prepared to wing it because their ego makes them lazy

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, SteveXFR said:

That's what I'm hoping for. The others have 30+ years playing each compared to my 4 years. The two guitarists are amazing. I've got an awful lot of catching up to do. Hopefully It'll be a good learning opportunity.

Always play  with musicians who are better than you - what is on your side is that you know that there is stuff you don’t know - plenty of people think they know it all and won’t be told 

Edited by Geek99
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the tips. I always lack confidence in most things I do so it's a bit worrying knowing I'm by far the least experienced. I really want this to work out, the music is all original and, in my opinion really very good. I think there's potential for the band and it's probably the best opportunity I'll get. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, SteveXFR said:

During discussions around song writing I tend to keep quiet and listen to their ideas 

Trying to imagine either a guitarist or a singer having a problem with this, and not getting far 😊

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I actually think it's the best place to be. I hate being in a band where I am the best because I get frustrated with people not putting the work in. I don't mind a trier but when you learn 3 songs properly for a rehearsal and half the band spend the week binge watching Netflix only to then show up and struggle with a 3 chord rocker, it's not cool. I think great musicians are always happy with a pretty good musician who is working hard, has a good attitude, shows up when they say and buys the odd pint at the bar.

Edited by Cat Burrito
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, SteveXFR said:

During discussions around song writing I tend to keep quiet and listen to their ideas so maybe I come across as not being as interested or not wanting to contribute. 

See... we now know why you're quiet in songwriting discussions, 'cos you told us. It sounds like you all get along, just mention it, make sure they know why too.

I'm guessing most of us have a touch of impostor syndrome from time to time, regardless of relative experience/ability/whatever. The 'I've no business being here' thing seems common in every artistic endeavour.

Regarding not always being able to deliver on the spot, lack of confidence is often a blocker there, being afraid to be wrong. I worked with a guitarist who, when on the spot would almost sieze up, but next rehearsal would come with something perfect, and be able to improvise around it... some people, again regardless of experioence, need to take stuff home and get their sh!t together.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

24 minutes ago, MacDaddy said:

Not a band, but I once had the privilege of jamming with Peter King.

Not an understatement to say I was out of my depth, but wow 😎 

That's, I assume, the bloke who plays alto like Charlie Parker ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Being the weakest member is a real good thing imo as long as your attitude is correct.

It encourages you to drive, work and strive to be better. To enjoy it more and see the chance you've got. To be enthusiastic and really want it.

When it's the opposite end of the scale it's easy to become complacent, irritable and dismissive and potentially throw away a good thing.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, Jason Karloff said:

I think you are looking at this from the wrong angle Steve. You can obviously do the job and you get on and enjoy the other members company. That's really all that matters. 

And I'd imagine they very much appreciate and value you on that basis too.. As opposed to some "genius" prima donna who "knows it all" and is a total pain ! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...