Today we’re going to give you 8 tips for playing guitar in a band. Working with a band requires particular skills, knowledge, and attitude.
It is also important to be clear on your expectations and those of your bandmates in order to make it work.
Playing in a band can be tons of fun, but this is not without challenges. If you can overcome those, playing music with friends can be one of the most enriching activities, both for your music technique and for your soul.
Before getting started, we’d like you to check out Roadie Coach. This is a fantastic tool that attaches to your instrument and works with an app. Coach captures your performances via a high-quality microphone, and then offers personalized feedback to help you improve faster. Without further ado, here are the 8 tips for playing guitar in a band.
This is absolutely key when playing music with other people. It may be a challenge if you’re only used to playing alone. Listen carefully to what the other instruments are doing. That is the only way that you will be able to follow the beat and be on the right chord or musical part.
Listening carefully to your bandmates is a fine skill. If you don’t have it yet, don’t get discouraged, as it can be developed. Just like playing a song, you can work on developing your listening skills. But please understand that listening is the cornerstone of being in a band, more so than playing. Yes, you read that right.
Do your homework
If you have agreed to play certain songs with your new band, learn them beforehand. Do your best to learn the material well before rehearsal. That is true whether it’s a cover song or an original composition.
When you show up prepared, you won’t be wasting other people’s time by trying to figure out the chords for the chorus, or any other part. Have your sections as polished as possible. Whether it’s a guitar intro, chords, or even a wild solo, make sure you have your parts down cold. Take that to heart, as this may be the most ignored of these 8 tips for playing guitar in a band.
Ensure that your gear is well maintained
There’s nothing worse than a musician that is always out of tune, or with a cracking cable that makes the sound come and go. Act like you want to be there, and make sure it shows on your sound. Try to get a good tone at all times, and make sure that you’ve taken care of everything to sound good. In other words, no old or corroded strings. Also, make sure your equipment works properly, from your guitar and amp, all the way to your pedal and cables. Do you need batteries to run some of your gear? Make sure you have spares. The same goes for strings.
Make others sound good
It’s all about a collective effort when you’re in a band. It won’t be much use for you to sound great if the bass player sounds terrible. Do all you can to ensure others sound good. This is especially true if someone is playing a solo, as you can help that instrument stand out. Play in order to complement and enhance the lead part.
This will also help create a good environment in your band. Your bandmates will likely want to support you as much as possible when you have a solo, as a good attitude and positivity is often contagious. The best players in the world are more often than not all about supporting their bandmates and making them sound good.
Play like you mean it
Put intention behind every note you play. Whether it’s a riff, a solo or chords, make sure you are doing your best. In other words, don’t settle for anything but a good attitude and a good tone.
This may sound like a no-brainer, but intention comes through in a player’s tone, whether they want it or not. Make sure your heart and soul are into it. This alone goes a long way.
Manage your expectations
This is among the best tips for playing guitar in a band but is often ignored. You don’t need to become the world’s biggest band in order to have fun and grow as a musician. Make sure you understand this and keep your expectations in check. Naturally, you can also have ambitious goals but make sure you go step by step. Songwriting and recording a few songs and lining up a few gigs is a great place to start. Enjoy the ride, instead of focusing on the destination.
Listen to other bands
This is the second tip that involves listening. However, in this case, we’re talking about listening to other bands as opposed to your own during practice. Simply said, the importance of listening cannot be overstressed.
Listen carefully to some of your influences and see what they do. How do the drums sound? What about the guitar? How does the bass relate to what the drummer is doing? Listen deliberately and ask yourself questions. This will be invaluable when working with your own band.
The more you practice, the better you will sound in your band. Besides practicing the songs you will play in your band, you also need to work on your chops. Make sure you work on chords, scales, arpeggios, soloing, comping, etc.
Practicing is the fuel that feeds the fire of music. Everything becomes easier when you practice. From learning new songs to listening, practicing encapsulates it all. Make sure you do it every day, with consistency and focus.
These 8 tips for playing guitar in a band are a great start. They can help, even if you have never played with other people before. Make sure you enjoy the process and stay relaxed. Oh, how do you do that? By following the 8 tips above. Have fun and rock on!