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Impress musicians or impress the "audience"

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Peace Cee, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. Peace Cee

    Peace Cee

    Feb 9, 2011
    Thoughts. Do you play live or compose to impress musicians or the average listener?
  2. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic

    Mar 20, 2011
    Spokane, Washington
    Endorsing Artist: Turnstyle Switch
    Why does it have to be a choice?
  3. First of all, I'm certainly not the most creative person when it comes to song writing. When I do write, I will usually write what sounds good to my ear. So i suppose neither but if I had to pick one, I'd much rather cater to the average listener.
  4. dalkowski

    dalkowski Supporting Member

    May 20, 2009
    Massachusetts USofA
    Where playing live is concerned, I play to impress the money.
  5. kevteop


    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    I don't think I play to impress anyone. I probably did when I was a teenager but damn that was a while ago. :D
  6. Wesley R

    Wesley R Gold Supporting Member

    I would like to (but necessarily have to) impress the musicians, by impressing the audience enough to keep the dance floor jumping, the drinks flowing (impressing the owner), and most importantly, by me having a ton of fun.

  7. Just try not to suck.
  8. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    I'm not trying to impress anyone. I'm trying to have fun and, if I'm lucky, make the audience dance or get into the music.
  9. skychief


    Apr 27, 2011
    South Bay
    When playing live music, Im playing to impress the musicians in my band.

    If i get a compliment or two from people in the audience, thats nice, but if I can educe a compliment or two from my band members, thats even better!
  10. JakeF


    Apr 3, 2012

    It is easy to be a virtuoso/creative when you please no one but yourself. Creating it for others AND fulfilling that criteria is a 1000x harder.
  11. I have a friend who writes music to impress himself. In over 10 years he's never gotten out of the basement or the garage. I play in a very mediocre cover band that plays simple material that appeals to drunk bar audiences. We play about 30 paying gigs a year.
  12. I only play covers. I did try my hand at writing but I was terrible at it, every song I wrote came out sounding like Eye Of The Tiger.

    As far as performing, I see a lot of bands out there doing music that they like, songs that they want to do, and playing them to empty clubs or disinterested audiences.

    Personally, I think that as a performer I'd much rather play songs that the crowd likes versus songs I like or that my bandmates might like.

    If I were a composer or writer I would probably feel very differently.
  13. maxiegrant

    maxiegrant Bassist in Transition

    Nov 26, 2007
    Sellersburg, IN
    I play to enjoy myself. If the audience likes it (they usually do) that's great.

    If not, I figure I may not be their thing.

    I one time let myself worry about competing with the other musicians on a bill. I had the most nerve-wracked performance ever that night. Now, I try not to think about them at all.

    Hint: the audience can usually tell if you are enjoying what you're doing. If you are, they are too. Don't grimace at every perceived "****-up." They can't tell, 90% of the time. Just relax, and enjoy what you're doing. It works. Trust me.
  14. DagoMaino


    Feb 1, 2013
    It all depends on the style, setting, and expectation. If you are playing a clinic, then you have an audience to showcase all your techniques/theory. If you are playing a bar then whatever you play, play it well and have fun. People are there to have fun and will not care if you can finger tap unless it's the melody line of a Katy Perry song... I have only seen a few bands in my life that really "impressed" me in their musicianship. You would probably fail to impress musicians anyways. But if you can play solid and have a great time doing it, I'll be at your next show.
  15. Moe Monsarrat

    Moe Monsarrat Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2006
    Austin, Tx.
    Endorsing artist:Regenerate Guitar Works Carvin, Micheal Kelly Guitars
    People who actually pay to get in are whom you should concern yourself with. Other musicians almost never pay to get in or buy product. It's nice if they like you, but that's about it.
  16. pushbuttonfour


    Dec 20, 2012
    Definitely the average listener. Because the average musician who's any good would realize I suck :p (or at least, the punk songs I'm playing are easy)
  17. I write/play music I like... Whether or not the musician or the average listener likes it is secondary.
  18. Hobobob

    Hobobob Don't feed the troll, folks.

    Jan 25, 2011
    Camarillo, CA
    I'd much rather impress all the nice people who came out to see my band (and are indirectly responsible for my getting paid) than a bunch of cynical musicians sneering at me with their arms crossed, clearly imagining that they could do my job better than I can. Or does that only happen in LA?
  19. Peace Cee

    Peace Cee

    Feb 9, 2011
    Cool. Thanks guys. I have a band member making the "it only matters what musicians think" claim. Problem is, our songs are starting to loose that "jiggle butt" factor.
  20. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg , Conquest Sound
    I don't play or compose to impress anyone. In my opinion, doing so is egotistical. The only exception is if you are playing for someone who makes decisions on booking or signing the band.

    The main reason I play is because I enjoy it and to help people have a good time.

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