Whether you live in a small town, or in a big metropolitan area, the same thing holds true regardless; the music world can be very small, and what “goes around can come around.” This means that within this “small world” you always want to feel supported by others, as well as supporting those fellow players of yours. This means that even though “behind the scenes” other “back-stabbing” may be taking place, but at least for now, it’s important that you put a good face on things. This can only benefit you in the future as well as the present, and you’ll no doubt see it have an impact as you get more and more into the music “scene”, wherever that may be for you.
Even a place like New York City, where I cut my teeth in the business, can feel very small when it comes to music. I can remember for example, a time when another guitarist and I seemed to always be passing each other, either going in to an audition, or going out! What was funny was just how friendly it always remained, and that when we finally, years later, ended up doing the same gig together, we truly started to hate each other! Maybe I should just say we felt “competitive” with each other on the gig, but we managed to “tolerate” each other’s presence. The truth was, I was happy to never ever play next to that guy again, and was so glad when the gig was finally over! Truth be known however, if I had to gig with him again tomorrow, I’d keep it friendly, and I’d expect the same from him. This is also because there’s been a lot of time passed since, and I would hope for more professional tolerance from him!
This is true also of bands treating other bands nicely. Odds are you’ll one day be trading members, sharing bills, maybe even giving lessons to someone else! Maybe they’ll even be using your licks to steal away a gig from you! This is a situation I am very aware of, and sensitive to, and yes, even though I have taught seemingly half the world to play the guitar, to this day, I have students who are playing my licks on gigs I should be doing!
Regardless, I go on teaching these players, and I never really feel bitter, because I feel secure in my own reputation, and the amount of respect I get within the guitar-playing community. This is what’s most important, and you must always look down at it all, and be able to see the “bigger picture.” What’s always far better will be to be known as a “good guy”, and as someone who has always helped others, and been supportive of them, no matter what! So, keep this in mind as you move forward in your career, because those folks you help, will one day be needed to help you right back! Be good!