Release & Prepare
Yes, the riff you wrote, the lyrics, the chorus and bridge, the drum fill between the second and third repeating chorus, the bass line hitting on the back beat... it's your baby.
It's your creation, big or small, and you're deflated, embarrassed, offended or even enraged when someone else in the band offers up a change, an alteration, a different rhythm to it, or worse, maybe they don't like it altogether for a million different reasons.
We're sensitive creatives and yet we want to create with people we enjoy being around for the long haul. This creative input process needs some clarity, some grace and some healthy parameters.
The Bandcamp series is all about touching on real life band habits, struggles and practices while attempting to connect the dots to your own experience. The questions and suggestions that stir up are intended to help you evaluate your own situation and then take steps toward creating a better rhythm of band life.
What better place to start than in your own mind.
Release it. Prepare Your Mind.
You won't write a perfect part all the time. You won't even write a good part all the time. You won't always impress your mates with the lyrics, progression, beat or completely finished song you wrote last night in the shower. And even if you do these things perfectly 100% of the time, someone in the band just might have a different opinion, idea, plan etc.
And it's okay.
Q. Think about your favorite songs from other artists. Are there any parts you would have done even slightly different? Sound, tone, arrangement, lyric... and you still love the song, don't you? How does that relate to critiques of your own ideas?
Q. When have different opinions, ideas and compromises brought about a better end result? What does that feel like?
Q. Looking back, when have you and the team found the most joy in the writing process? Who did what? How did conversations go? What was the end result?
Q. How might you try and respond to criticism differently the next time?
Here's a suggestion, a personal habit you can engage to release the stress building up in your own mind and body as you navigate your team dynamics.
Before you present an idea, no matter how much you love it, try this:
Settle in your mind that not everyone else will love it as much as you.
Admit that they might have ideas on how to make it better, and that you might even agree.
Offer a listening ear to whatever comes your way. A little patience, humility and "I see what you mean," or "Yeah, I could give that a try," or "How about we try it a few different ways and see what stirs?"
Obviously the age of your band, your experiences together, the state of your relationships etc. all play a role in how you might release the pressure from comment and critique. Regardless, it's up to you to muster up your personal self-control, prepare your mindset, and release the tension in the process.
If you're a person of faith, then pray and meditate before diving back in. If you're not sure you'll act on your new habit then seek out an outside accountability partner, mentor or coach for a season.
Q. What are you willing change in your own habits today for a better future with your mates and your creative pursuits?
In the next Bandcamp we'll add to this rhythm.