I have always believed that it’s so important to play with a bunch of musicians whom you can really trust when it comes to making musical decisions. It’s become a true necessity for me these days, since I barely get time to actually rehearse with them and go over songs or even new material. We happen to have a very important gig tomorrow night, and I am absolutely trusting them to be able not only to remember material we’ve done in the past, but to be able to know what tunes I may simply just decide to play!
This can be a little scary for me, the band leader, but in truth, it’s the best way to really work with your fellow players. It’s also a great way, if you’re just starting out, to find out what other musicians really know or don’t know. If you get some players together, would recommend going over some specific songs for sure, but try to use a lot of them as “backbones” upon which to improvise and come up with new ideas. This, and only this, will really give you clues as to what’s making the musicians tick! It’s also a great way to learn each other’s “moves” so that in the future, you can really think together and be able to anticipate things, musically speaking
I know that when I do “trust” my players, it gives all of us a great deal of joy that results from that special kind of freedom that only comes with musical trust. If I call out a certain tune for example, basically all I need, even if we’ve never played it before, is to tell them what key I want to play it in. This is the kind of working relationship everyone should strive for, and is a rare and wonderful thing when it can really be “the real thing.”
So, tomorrow night will be a great test for this musical “trust,” as I will be laying about 20 songs we have actually played together before, and about another 20 or so that we’ve never played together before! Wish me luck….and I certainly wish you luck in your musical relationships and endeavors!