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So You Wanna Be in the Band?
By Shannon Price
10/26/2010 11:14:00 AM

There has been a surging interest in garage bands, praise bands, and jam sessions.

With these comes a whole new group of people who wish they were on the stage instead of the audience. Most adults sit back with the attitude that it's too late for them to start an instrument and get to the level of playing with a group, but surprisingly you can get there with a little patience and practice.

  • Select an instrument that's right for you. Stop and think about your past. Did you play an instrument back in school? If so maybe it's time to dig it out of the closet. Many instruments can be refurbished and some may just need the dust knocked off.
  • Getting a beginner book that refreshes fingerings and introduces some new songs may be all it takes to get you back into playing and with so many new 'fun' books available, you may find yourself playing music from current movies or radio hits in no time.
  • Maybe you have never picked up an instrument and the thought of lessons is a bit much. There are dozens of instruments that can be played at an entry level and the more you play, the more you can master. A single drum like a djembe is easily transportable, there are many opportunities to join in with drum circles/ensembles, and it's a great instrument to mess around with and figure out beats at home.
  • Wind instruments like harmonicas, recorders, and tin whistles are not only affordable (most starting at $2.50), they are instruments easy to start out on. Many times, you can find yourself playing simple folk tunes within a day. My husband taught himself Jingle Bells out of a book after only one day, and the only prior instrument he had played was the radio!
  • Tambourines are a welcome addition to many bands from rock to praise. Even shakers, guiros, and the occasional rain stick are fun great ways to join in.
  • With many new play-along CD options out there you can practice your new instrument with a CD backing and get comfortable playing along before you join other musicians.
  • Programs like Weekend Warriors & New Horizons provide opportunity for instrumentalist to play with others with the direction of a coach/director that guides the group.
  • Jam sessions and "open mic" nights are a chance for a variety of musicians to get out and play either solo or in groups. Attending these sessions and watching musicians helps you get a feel for the event before bringing your instrument and joining in.

So don’t just sit in the audience grab and instrument and join in.

Tags: Guide, Band Guide, Band Tips, Tip Guide, Praise Band Guide, Garage Band Guide, Garage Band, Jam Band, Jam Guide, Jam Band Guide
Categories: Music, Books & Resources
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