Thank You for Playing in the Band — of Angels

One of the ultimate tests of a cooperative human being is to try playing in a band.

It’s the perfect challenge for anyone who believes they are capable of collaboration in creating something, from harmonic songs to harmonious community farms.

I think human beings are cooperative by nature.

That’s how we have evolved so far.

We worked well together, to hunt the bison, gather the berries, and erect sky rise apartments in New York.

But there are times when our cooperation skills seem to fly out the window, on the wings of some creative endeavor that we believe we own as an individual.

Some things are established as creative property and if you want to play that song, you have to acquiesce to the song writer.

You can’t just take a song by Metalica and say “I’m gonna play that song like Arlo Guthrie.”

Doesn’t quite work the same, and the lead singer of Metalica would probably get his feelings hurt.

Cooperation tries not to hurt anybody’s feelings.

Playing in the band means considering the needs of the whole, not just the guy on the drums, or just the Saxophone player.

Everyone sounds better when the rest of the band does their part and plays a song everyone agrees upon.

Cooperation is a lot easier when we have a group of like minded folks trying to sing the same song.

Can you imagine the Drummer, Phil Rudd, from AC/DC, the Bass Player, Jaco Pastorius, Louis Armstrong on Trumpet, Donavon on Guitar, and the Piano player, Yani, all with Mariah Carey singing back up harmonies to Leon Redbone on a song written by Beethoven?

Alrighty, then.

Now, there are ways to make a band sound good even if all the members have a different style or agenda.

1. Turn off the microphones and amplifiers.

2. Accept each talent as unique and give each one their own auditorium.

3. Have a conversation and find a commonality in which each member takes turns in the limelight, contributing to the same goal without undermining the talents of another.

That sounds really simple, huh?

Ha! Not so much, it seems.

angel band


~ by leakelley on September 21, 2009.

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