Thoughtful Guidelines for Dealing With Pro Musicians During Performances


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The best time to discuss anything with the band in any meaningful way is at the middle of a song when all members are singing at the same time [such as a multi harmony part]. Our hearing is so advanced that we can pick out your tiny voice from the megawatt wall of sound blasting all around us, musicians are expert lip readers too. If a musician does not reply to your question or comment during a tune, take this very personally. Singers have the ability to sprout a second mouth to talk with you and sing at the same time; if the singer doesn't, it's because they are purposely ignoring you; if this happens, immediately cop an attitude, we love this. When an entertainer leans over to hear you better, grab his or her head and yell directly into their ear, holding their head so they cannot pull away from you, this is an invitation to a friendly game of tug of war between their head and your hands. Disregard any respect for the musician's hearing.
Musicians are expert mind readers. Only refer to your requests with the phrase "play my song"! We have a chip implanted in our heads with an unlimited database with the favorite tunes of every patron who ever walked into the bar, so feel free to be vague, we love the challenge. If we do not remember exactly what tune you want, it's an intentional ploy to offend you. Remember, entertainers live to be offensive; we stay up all night thinking up ways to do this; we also never get enough abuse so any abuse that you add will keep us in line. If a band tells you they do not know a song you want to hear, they either forgot that they know the tune or they are lying to you. Try singing a few words for the band; if one member halfway knows part of a chorus, the rest of the band will instantly learn the entire song by osmosis. Knowing this, if the band still claims to not know your song just keep requesting the same song ad nauseum. Never try to request another tune the band actually knows. Scream your request from across the room several times per set followed by the phrases, AW COME ON! and, YOU SUCK! Exaggerated hand gestures expressing disapproval from the dance floor are a big help such as the thumbs down or your middle finger. Put-downs are the best way to jog a band's memory. This instantly promotes you to the status of Personal Friend Of The Band.

If your choice of music is a complete departure from what the crowd loves (and cannot get enough of), i.e. if they play original Blues, ignore this. Simply put a lot of money into the tip jar to bolster your argument; this will circumvent any lack of knowledge they have about your requested tune. The more money with which you tip the band, the more power you have to dictate what happens on stage. Feel free to use your money to bully the band. Entertainers are notorious fakers and never prepare for shows, they simply walk on stage with no prior thought to what they will do once they arrive. An entertainer's job is so easy, even a monkey could do it, so don't let them off the hook. The band and club's income does not depend upon numbers of people patronizing the bar; screw them. Your request is all that matters. If a metal band had played at the club for the last few weeks, the next band that follows will automatically know every metal tune the previous band played, even if the current band is a blues or country band. It's the law. Feel free to yell AC DC or SLAYER!! to a band that plays strictly originals or jazz for example. Conversely, Deadheads may yell for Grateful Dead tunes at a dance or metal band.
If you inform the band that you are a musician in a garage band or singer in a Karaoke bar, be sure to let them know that you can run rings around them and they need you in their band. In fact the sole reason the band has not exploded onto the charts is because they do not have you as their big break. And besides, that black guy singing the blues is just copying the Downchild, and Clapton, in spite of the fact that he's 63 years old. Tell the musicians unequivocally that your mere presence as a member of their band will save them from the depths of mediocrity and assure them of success beyond their wildest dreams. This works every time. If the band continues to refuse your repeated demands to perform with them, stand on the dance floor and perform with every tune they do. If they won't let you perform with them, be disruptive. Do everything you can to be louder than the band. Nothing asserts your superiority like an out of tune harmonica, vocalist or a tambourine played out of tempo.

For extra credit, use these instruments in tunes that do not have them in the original recording; musicians love to play cover tunes with instruments that do not belong there; they will overlook how badly you play and will wonder how they have gotten along all these years without you.
As a last resort, wait until the band takes a break and then get on stage and start playing their instruments; even if you are ejected from the club, you have made your point. The band will call you immediately the following day to offer you a position.

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