A new series starts. It’s lessons for performing. Rule One: Do not sleep with your fellow bandmates!

This is going to sound paternalistic, but hopefully not patronizing. Some of my guitar goats (italics intentional), aren’t just guitar players and some of the recent conversation has been about performing. There’s actually a lot that goes on behind the scene and they’re things many people aren’t actually aware of.

On the other hand, some of us have been at this for decades and we’ve learned a few things. They’re not things that everyone knows and maybe you already know them?

These are going to be mostly short and I’ll push them out when I have time. I’m not going to include a whole bunch of things at once. I absolutely request that you other performers go ahead and share the lessons you’ve learned with us. Write ’em up as a comment, if you would be so kind. I’ll package the appropriate ones as new submissions.

So, let’s start this off with our first lesson.

I’m going to put these out there as a set of rules. They aren’t really rules – just guidelines. These come from many years of experience. You don’t have to follow them, but they’re probably a good idea. I don’t make these up – these are things I’ve learned from experience. I’ve broken all of these rules!

Rule #1: Do not sleep with your bandmates!

Sure, it seems like a good idea at the time. It isn’t. In fact, it’s a horrible idea.

We’ve all done it – and look where we are now! It seemed like a good idea, but it wasn’t. You spent so much time with each other that it was inevitable.

And, it’s true. You spend an extreme amount of time with each other. You learn to know each other, very well. You learn more about each other than you ever thought possible. You go through emotional times together. You have highs and lows together. And, indeed, you went through them together.

Then, you’re tipping a few back after the crowd has left and, sure enough, you decide you’re going to have a few drinks in her hotel room. One thing leads to another and, pretty soon, you’re looking for a new band.

Marriages end in death or divorce. Unmarried relationships have even more potentially catastrophic ways to end. Sure, it was a one night thing only – but one (or both) of you are going to end up being jealous and that leads to conflict. It was just meaningless sex, right? You say that, until they’re shagging the drummer next.

Seriously, it brings drama to the band. Bands already have enough drama. Bands, more so good bands, already have a bunch of ego. This means bands are right full of drama. I’ve had, again a drummer, that we got so tired of fist-fighting that we just finally agreed to stop talking to each other – under any circumstances. Now, imagine how bad it would have been if we’d had sex?

Sure, something good could come out of it, but I bet you’d have better odds playing the lottery. You’d have better odds playing Russian Roulette with a semi-automatic – and probably a better outcome.

I’ve seen it time and time again. I’ve seen it tear great bands apart. Do not sleep with your bandmates. Do not bang your squishy bits together, no matter how inviting it seems at the time. If you can’t avoid banging squishy bits with bandmates, find a different job.

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