When you’re just a sideman

You play pretty good and you’ve got good equipment and a nice tone, but you still can’t get a gig. WTF? Lots of reasons; here’s a few.

Attitude means a lot. If you’re not the star of the show, then you’re just a sideman, and your job is to make the singer and the song sound good. Don’t play over the vocals and don’t get in the way when someone else is filling or soloing. Don’t play too loud and don’t complain when you have to play “Swingin'” again, and again, and again…

Don’t fuck around with somebody’s girl friend or wife, and relationships with chick singers can be a particularly slippery slope.

If someone in the band can’t play it’s probably not in your job description to make derogatory remarks about him. Let the band leader take care of that. Unless he’s the one who sucks, then you just have to live with it or move on.

If the guys like to drink or smoke a doobie once in a while feel free to bond with them by joining in sometimes. If you’re a cigarette smoker exercise a little courtesy when lighting up, and if you don’t smoke don’t bitch incessantly about others who do.

Author: Cal Sharp

Nashville pedal steel guitarist for over 30 years. Credits include Stonewall Jackson, Little Jimmy Dickens, Red Sovine, Faron Young, Ernest Tubb, Ray Price, Johnny Russell, George Fox, Vern Gosdin, Del Reeves, Gilley's, the Palomino Club and a few others. Retired from the road, playing sessions and clubs locally. I also develop websites, like this one and other music-related sites. Contact me if you need a website. Email: cal at caligraphics dot net or fill out the contact form. http://www.caligraphicsdesign.com/contact/

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