There’s nothing like being a part of a group where the sum is greater than the individual parts. It’s a feeling of elation that’s hard to describe when everyone is contributing a part: a cool bass run, driving rhythm and catchy melody.
I’ve had that feeling while being a member of school concert and marching bands, as well as with rock bands ranging from duos to seven pieces.
Of course, as in any relationship, there are drawbacks.
It’s not always easy to coordinate everyone’s schedules for practices and gigs, especially when we get older and busier. In my teen-age years it wasn’t as much of a problem dedication my life to my band. Now it's just a part of my life.
And the more people that are in the band the more opinions there are about the direction the group should take musically, which can lead to disention and frustration. When you’re doing the solo thing you don’t have those personality conflicts.
Despite those complications, there are certain advantages to being in a band. For instance:
- It can improve your practice discipline. When you know you have others counting on you to have song prepared for the next practice you tend to make time to work on it.
- You have more opportunities to play dances. The solo gig fits well for small venues, but you really need a full band to get people out of their seats and onto the dance floor.
- The more people involved in your musical endeavor, the broader your networking opportunities. Each member may have different connections that will lead to more opportunities to perform.
- Then there’s the camaraderie. It you get the chemistry right, you can have a great time hanging out and playing even if you’re not making a dime doing it.