Hi all. Here is my blog for the month. Happy belated new year's (I know, late again). So here goes.

This month I decided to do something a bit different and touch base on  the theme of bands. Obviously they can be a lot of fun, but also a lot of work adn things can fall apart at the end of the beginning which turns out to be the beginning of the end. So, this month in order to help you try to keep the peace and push you further to obtaining your goals in music, I have put together a Not Quite A-Z of being in a bands (Give or take a few letters).

WARNING: This is a very long list. You may not have time to read it all (if you do, you're probably still on holiday like me). Go at your own risk.

A is for Attitude
EVEN IF IT STARTED WITH z, I WOULD START WITH THIS ANYWAY.
With anything you may do in your lives, attitude is a huge breaking point. You have a stroppy attitude not many people aren't gonna want to play with you, so leave your diva-like requests for champagne and caviar and such at home. You have to all be on the same level in a band and if one goes over the top, that's the vital ingredient for things to collapse and then you're back to square one. Get the message?














B is for Band
OK, this one may seem stupid, but before you can say you're in a band, you need to actually be in a band first. Most sites like NZ Bands and StarNow are good for finding bands who need members or scouting for band members to form a band of your own. But also reach out to your musically talented friends who may be able to help. It may be the best choice you've made.















D is for Drums
ANY band will need a drummer, simply put it's the most common rhythm instrument around and the oldest. It adds a certain substance that bass can not and most other rhythm instruments like guitar and piano can not quite match up to the drums in terms of capturing a substantial rhythm section. Go on your own peril on this one.

E is for effects
Typical I say this because I LOVE effects on my guitar, and they can add something special, but please give back what you put into your rigs with this area. Pedals can take as much as they give, and sometimes more.This is personal opinion, but everyone will have their won thoughts on this matter. just go with your gut.













F is for Fans
Fans will make or break you (as most things on this list will). You're at their mercy. Treat them respect. they out you there, and you have to deliver the goods. Spend time talking with them, taking photos, signing, stuff, networking, getting feedback. Give them what they want (within reason). If it seems dodgy, go with your gut (see below).

G is for Gut.
In a way, this leads back to E but can be used in a variety of situations. If you don't think it's a good idea or it's too good to be true, it probably is. Be careful with what you get into. If something's going on taht you don't like, say so. Don't let it gobble you up like so many other musicians and act on it as soon as possible.

I is for injury.
Avoid if possible. These are never welcome in a band on tour or not. More broken bones= less productivity and your band mates giving you some real bad attitude. It's best to try and avoid this if possible.
















J is for Joking Around.
Have fun with your band. It's not all serious. DO things together, build a friendship, do some goofy things when not practicing. it'll make your bonds much stronger and it will lessen the chance of anyone leaving on you the night before a gig (such as Richie Sambora). Friendship=stronger bonds= better band















L is for Limits.
You're not invincible. Don't act like it. That makes 

M is for Manager
They can be a blessing these manager guys. They can deal with so much of the workload in terms of bookings, radios, interviews, etc. But you have to be willing, wanting, able to work to a strict deadline and ultimately work together to do the same thing. if you can't then forget it. Otherwise, go for gold and find someone (perhaps a friend who knows something about the world of music and has connections) or even go for a manager that's pro who deals with many links and can set you up for gold (these aren't hard to find). Just be ready for what's in store and know what you're getting into.

O is for Overdoing it.
We can all be guilty of overdoing things such as albums and live shows (3 albums released in one week was not my best idea in hindsight). But there are simple things that can get you in trouble with this rule such as too much free music or too many shows in your hometown without a space. To get around this rule, limit the output of free songs to 1-2 songs MAX and for live shows set a reasonable magic number of shows you will play in your hometown a year with substantial breaks in between AND STICK WITH IT. The more you stick with it, the more you will be respected by your scene and those who can help you get further.

P is for Practice.
Simple put, no practice= rubbish band. Practice as much as you can within reason. Enough said.

R is for Respect
This should be straight-forward. One example is don't make a racket after noise curfew. Plug in headphones and continue by all means, but do so at your own peril.....















S is for Sorry.
Yes, everyone needs this as well. We all mess up. We all do stupid things, but if you're sorry for it adn truly sorry for it promoters, managers, etc will be more forgiving than not (these people actually do have a heart among their intentions and like you are human too). Sure, you may have to do damage control but saying sorry does go a long way to not burn your bridges in the music industry.

T is for Titanium Elbow.
This should be avoided at all costs (especially if you're the guitarist). This can completely screw you up and may render your skills into uncertainty.  No further commentary needed.












W is for World.
Get Good, Get greater, Conquer the World, and Be the best.














That's it from me. Happy Summer. See you in February (My resolution of being on time starts today).
JAMES