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R.J's Posts

  • Writer's pictureR.J Dyson

Noodling & Level 2 Responding

Bandcamp is about touching on real life band habits, struggles and practices while attempting to connect the dots to your own experience. The questions and suggestions stirred up are intended to help you evaluate your own situation and take steps toward creating a better rhythm of band life.

What better place to start than in your own mind.


Noodling while your talking. Again.

Here you are rallying the troops for a productive night of practice and you're pretty sure no one is listening to a word you're saying. I mean, you've already had plenty of time to settle in, tune, adjust levels, tweak the snare and pick wedgies, but the moment you open your mouth with a game plan? Half-muffled bass solo with that not-quite-blank stare at your face.

Reality is, most musicians do this. We do this subconsciously. Instrument + Hands + Volume = Play. Period.

This isn't worth a level 10 response. Belittling, shouting, quitting... I'm guessing that's not really how you want the night to begin. Again. Below are a few Q's intended to jump start your thinking, planning and possibilities:

Q. How can you engage the issue in the moment without freaking out? What about your attitude, your tone of voice, your patience? Are they more likely to respond to a command or an invitation to create a better practice space?

Q. Is there another way to begin practice? A creative way to get the fidgets out, warm up and create space for the plan? What might you need to let go of?

Q. Timing is important when addressing an issue. When might be a good time to address the noodle in the room? In the moment or before practice begins?

Q. What can you do to get the entire band involved in creating a plan for getting the noodling out of their system before a real, professional, focused practice convo takes place each night?

Q. How can you cast a vision of the band you all aspire to be? How does that band practice with a long future in mind? How do they trust one another? What habits can you start now to foster a long and healthy adventure?

Oh, you're saying the team is noodling to get under your skin on purpose. That they don't respect you? Well, without knowing your history, the baggage, and rationale for dysfunction and distrust... just assume that responding as above might actually benefit your situation as well.

Just know that it might take a little more time to win them over. To prove that you're no longer trying to be their master but their mate, we enjoy following the lead of someone we trust, laugh with and who is willing to admit to the same dysfunctions.

Start there. A member who routinely and purposefully sabotages a practice is one thing. But most of us noodle around like a hot bowl of mac n' cheese without realizing it. Make a plan.

Q. Oh, I've got to ask, are you modelling, patiently and consistently, the way you imagine practice sessions to begin?

In the next Bandcamp we'll build on these habits.

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