Are you a musician stereotype?

aydee

Platinum Member
...

Lately, in my hurly burly frenzy of gigging with almost any band that would have me, I experienced a interesting menagerie of musician -stereotypes. They were all fun to play with and they came in all colors and shades, but broadly speaking they fell into 2 groups:


1) Whiskey drinking/ weed smoking, jam- thought it- and get the vibe right and so what if some of the the notes are wrong, music is about having a good time and not about working so hard at it, and arent we having a good time..

or-

2) My music is my my church, and I take everything I play & who I play with very seriously, and i have no time for anybody else who doesn't view the world in quite the same way, and if you aren't like that then you are a pretender..


Bear in mind, both sets are working/gigging musicians.There were some personality fallouts between group1 & group2 ( not involving me- I'm way too tolerant ) which led to friction, walk outs, politics...

Anybody else experience this? Are there other stereotypes ? I find myself much closer to group2 but and am too greedy to play to let group 1 bother me that much.

whatchathink?
 
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dxdrummer

Member
I'd say I fit in Stereotype #2, but I started out in Drumline (when we were actually getting scored), and I'm also a perfectionist when it comes to things I'm passionate about (and music is at the top of that list)

I don't see why you'd want to be with someone who was OK screwing up in the middle of a show. You should want to play perfect, as you're constantly being judged by fans and other musicians. Nobody likes the band that can't play it's own songs right
 

JPW

Silver Member
I like the vibe of the first stereotype, I like jamming/imprivisation, but I always practice and perform sober (less than one beer in my system). I'm also working very hard for my music and drumming.
 
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randrade89

Senior Member
I think I would be a combination of the two. I really take music seriously, I take it so seriously I'm studying to be a percussionist in a conservatory. However I do feel that music should always be something fun and enjoyable. If not, why play? And I'm always up for some nice whiskey....
 

Michael McDanial

Senior Member
I guess I'm somewhere in the middle. I love going out to jam just to have a good time. At the same time, I like to jam with musicians that are more serious about their playing because I think it helps to make me a better musician. A legendary saxophonist named Phil Woods told me "Always play with musicians that are better than you as much as possible. It challenges you and helps you to be a better player." I took that to heart and realized that he was right. When I'm playing with musicians that are at a higher caliber than me, I push myself to do better to try and play at their level.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
I'm usually a firm camp 1 during writing and rehearsals (substitute cheap beer for the whiskey), less so for shows, and the first half of your description of camp 2 for recording, which is to say serious and sober - because the "tape" don't lie!

I don't have a problem with altering the mindset and loosening up with a beer (or several) for the creative process, but the fact is that from an accuracy and feel perspective, I haven't met anyone (including myself) who plays better affected. It may be funner for some and that may loosen up some good ideas, but invariably at the expense of clean execution - which probably isn't a huge deal when writing, because it's about running with new ideas and not getting too wrapped around the axle of overthinking things.

But by the time you're done writing and it's time to record, you really need all your facilities and brain cells.
 
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Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Nice taxonomy, Aydee. Now that you mention it, that was the problem with one of my old bands - the singer was type 1 and the rest of us were more type 2.

These days I'm just in it for a good time, but that includes having a good creative time. I am relaxed with some sloppiness if the vibe is there but not with incompetence, tentativeness or lack of musical sensitivity because those things spoil the vibe. No one plays perfectly so we all have our own tolerance of imperfections. It's all relative, so Steve Gadd's most awful microtiming day would be my dream day.

There is one time when I don't mind if a screwup wrecks a song's vibe - when the screwup is so spectacular that creates a special vibe of its own :)
 

aydee

Platinum Member
Polly, thanks for teaching me a word I needed to look up!

I think at a gigging level most screw ups are things that the musicians notice themselves and dont really transmit to the crowd except say in that; "the band was hot or they were hmmmmmm.."

I found myself in two different mindsets. Somewhere between laying down fat backbeats for people to clamber on to as they may, or being amped up to react to every flying quarter note that might whizz past my nose : )
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
The choices are kinda black and white, unlike most people/situations. I have traits from both groups, according to what's going on, but I don't know anybody who is strictly one or the other. They vacillate according to the situation.
 

muckypops

Senior Member
I play with a guy who used to be a #2 but over the years he's become a #1. I'd say I'm a #1 for sure.

As far as I'm concerned if you're a #2 you're a colossal pain in the butt and if you're a #1 you're just lazy :)
 

bog_72

Senior Member
I think if you surround yourself with talented people,then youd want the atmosphere to be group one.The band is good enough to fall back into form instantly if anyone slips,and its not the end of the world,because you are good enough to make it look like it was on purpose right :)

I dont quite fully understand the second group,that gets highly annoyed if someone fudged up the solo,or the bass line went sour on that part...if you took that musician on,you took them on aware of their experience level right?So to suddenly expect them to be flawless,is unfair.

So yea,I guess everyone should be in group one in some shape or form,its how you form the band,that allows you to enjoy the results.You cant just hire some kid that works at Valvoline,to be on your pit crew in Nascar.Everyone else will have the tires changed,gas filled,and hell still be lugging the first tire.
Stay within your talent level,and youll always be in group one.
 

aydee

Platinum Member
The choices are kinda black and white, unlike most people/situations. I have traits from both groups, according to what's going on, but I don't know anybody who is strictly one or the other. They vacillate according to the situation.
Right you are, Larry, of course there's a spectrum, I'm speaking in very general terms.

I came across the very serious about the music kinds and the attitude is everything kinds..I dont find people changing according to the situation though.. they mostly are who they are.

Example- I played with a singer who likes to sing drunk. He hits the sauce hard just before the gig, in the mistaken notion that it makes him sound better.( at some level it seems to give him confidence though.. ). The guitar and keyboard players who were serious session players, and initially quite excited by this band got totally PO'ed by this attitude, and lost all initial interest in the band and its music and only play for the cash now. Needless to say, this band has its days numbered.

I dont quite fully understand the second group.
By this I ( generally ) mean players who are serious minded musicians who take what they play and how they play it, rehearsals, working out parts, practicing very seriously. Its more to do with attitude than with skill level.

...
 

Tonico

Junior Member
"Stay within your talent level,and youll always be in group one." bog_72, I completely agree with this.

I myself, along with the guys I'm jamming with, most definitely fall into the #1 category.

In the end, I think we're all playing music because it's in our hearts. If there's no emotion in it, then why not just sit down with garage band and compose that way?

Ultimately, I think that most people have a little of both groups within them.

I like this thread. :)
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Polly, thanks for teaching me a word I needed to look up!

I think at a gigging level most screw ups are things that the musicians notice themselves and dont really transmit to the crowd except say in that; "the band was hot or they were hmmmmmm.."

I found myself in two different mindsets. Somewhere between laying down fat backbeats for people to clamber on to as they may, or being amped up to react to every flying quarter note that might whizz past my nose : )
Ah, I obviously worked in museums for too long :)

Yes, the punters only notice the truly glorious blunders. Audiences tend to have type 1 heads and type 2 emotions, apart from followers of a genre that I dare not name for fear of invoking a riot.

Your last point is great. I'm never sure how reactive I should be to the music or not. Solidity and clarity versus sensitivity and sophistication. Come to think of it, I've been unsure how to reconcile those poles in every area of life ...

PS. Aydee, a couple of posts made while I wrote this post suggest that you may have made the description of type 2 a little too extreme, too dour. I think people who fit that type well are a small percentage.

I have only played on a regular basis with one person who fits that to a T and he cut off all contact after one time I had a little scoobie during a break while jamming with him and a bassist he'd brought along, hoping to impress. I was a bit spaced out when we started playing again and made a huge mess of a fill in Red Baron (which I wouldn't dream of even attempting these days). After the jam was over he bawled me out almost Buddy Rich style (I didn't cry!) and never called me again. What a turd - lol
 
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aydee

Platinum Member
apart from followers of a genre that I dare not name for fear of invoking a riot.
aahahaha..I love it! the genre shall remain nameless. perhaps we can develop a symbol or a logo..

I'm never sure how reactive I should be to the music or not. Solidity and clarity versus sensitivity and sophistication. Come to think of it, I've been unsure how to reconcile those poles in every area of life ...
Great point! A life poser.. Someone once told me that if you are thinking while you are playing you are doing it wrong.. even if its parts that need remembering and bars that need counting, learn to feel them.

The life bit has got me thinking now...

...
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Someone once told me that if you are thinking while you are playing you are doing it wrong.. even if its parts that need remembering and bars that need counting, learn to feel them.

...
Agreed wholeheartedly. You can't be a "conduit" for rhythms if your mind is plugged up with conscious thought. Listening instead of thinking changes everything. My opinion only, but it really makes a difference in my playing
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
aahahaha..I love it! the genre shall remain nameless. perhaps we can develop a symbol or a logo..
lol - maybe try substituting a word that invokes less passion like "god" or "death"? :)

Great point! A life poser.. Someone once told me that if you are thinking while you are playing you are doing it wrong.. even if its parts that need remembering and bars that need counting, learn to feel them.

The life bit has got me thinking now......
In some ways I am coming to agree with what that person told you, and feel I've over-thought a lot of (musical) things. But that's while actually playing.

But what about when we're working out drum parts (say, while listening to playbacks and realising that our instincts didn't quite cut it)? Or when deciding how loosely (if at all) we should arrange our drum part to allow for spontaneous play?
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
But what about when we're working out drum parts (say, while listening to playbacks and realising that our instincts didn't quite cut it)? Or when deciding how loosely (if at all) we should arrange our drum part to allow for spontaneous play?
That's the time for conscious thought, not while playing
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
That's the time for conscious thought, not while playing
Larry, sometimes I don't explain myself well.

Thing is, I'm simply a reactive kinda gal. I react to everything (hence a few million posts here in a short time). So my instincts are at odds with what's required in the music I play, which requires a very laid-back, stolid approach.

If I purely follow my ears I'll chasing accents as though I'm swatting flies in the outback. This is a fine thing for jaz... mmmph playing (or would be if I had mmmph technique) but not in the loungey music of my band. Of course, this also means my natural instincts are to be an annoying pain in the @rse as well ...

That's where my previous comment came from. Are my muddy thoughts transluscent now? :)

Kind regards

A Type 1.5 drummer
 
Curious. The guys in the band are pretty much in the middle. We're not sloppy players, we like to be fairly professional in our dealings and like to play our best, but we also have fun on stage and like to chat to the other bands, make friends and praise the bands we play with. We're not "church musicians" by a long shot, but neither are we drunk garage band slobs.

We're just an down to Earth alternative rock band trying to make it in the industry :)
 
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