Work and band life: Finding the balance

Posted: 26th February 2020

Rehearsals, preparing, programming, writing and promotion…these are just a few things that go together in being part of a band. Did I mention a full time job as well? There are a large number of people who do both and it can be a challenge.

I’m fortunate to be in a band with people who have been my music family for over 20 years. Because of this, we’ve developed an understanding and trust in each other on and off stage which supports all of us in being able to work confidently and bring our best to the band and our day to day jobs.

  • This has been the key in making it work. We have shared calendar and private social media groups to discuss ideas and communicate as a group. We also have file sharing for keeping tabs on songs that have been retired from the current set. Keeping everything up to date also means we’re best prepared when we need cover if a work commitment comes up.
  • This is crucial as working full time means we don’t have much time to practice. When I’m out and about with work, I’ve usually got songs we are looking at on a playlist to help familiarise myself with them. I often set up sounds on my keyboards and figure out how to play all my parts in the evenings after work so I’m prepared for a hands-on rehearsal with the band.
I won’t give the average age of the band away, but it’s important to understand that the whole band have work and family commitments. As I work a full time job it means that a lot of my time is taken up with meetings, events and the day to day tasks of work life. A lot of evenings are then being filled with bits and bobs to do with the band. Spending a Saturday night in front of bad telly with family, a curry and a beer is vital!
  • This also brings up the subject of looking after yourself, which is easier said than done when working full time and being a semi-professional musician. The aches and pains of lifting heavy gear accompany the post gig tiredness more as the years go by! It’s essential to make time to relax and wind down from band and work life.
  • The gloriously corporate phrase of ‘interpersonal’ skills comes into play when you’ve got six people together, all with varying degrees of ego and all with strongly held opinions. It can cause friction so diplomacy is useful as well as being able to pitch your ideas. I will get them to play ‘Mysterious Girl’ somehow! Being able to solve problems on the spot, remain calm when things go wrong and trust in your experience are skills closely associated with both the band and the day job.
  • Being able to work in the music industry is a privilege and performing music is something I wanted to do ever since I can remember. To be able to do the two hand in hand and have the support of my family, friends and colleagues means the world and keeps me in a good short supply of happy and funny memories!
  • Oh and let’s not forget, I perform with the safety net of knowing my gear is all covered with my Allianz Musical Insurance policy. Not so much a perk of the job but a crucial, protective measure when you’re out with musical instruments that are not cheaply replaced!