The 4 Types of Musician You Don't Want in Your Band

Courtesy of Daniel Reifsnyder... 

These types will suck the energy out of everything in their orbit, and for that reason alone every band-leader should try their best to avoid these types from ever becoming a band member...

You probably already know the types: beyond negative, beyond jaded, an undiscovered genius who thinks everyone else is terrible. These people are the, “black holes,” of inter-personal relationships, which is an incredibly apt description. And, it's exactly why you never want them in your band. 

Here are some of the hallmarks of "the Black-Hole musician."

1. The "I Think" that I'm a "Big Deal" Musician
Don't get me wrong; there are some amazing, undiscovered artists out there where this is actually the case. But most of them have their nose to the grindstone and are working their asses off. Then there's that musician, however, who spends more time whining and complaining about how much better he or she is than the empty trash on the radio. Nevermind that he or she hasn't picked up an instrument or played a show in 10 years.

2. The "Industry is keeping me down" Musician
The music industry (aka, “the system”) is keeping them from making it. Everything boils down to politics and nepotism, which are never in their favor. Everything is rigged. Likewise, it's the only reason any other artist, regardless of actual talent, manages to succeed.

While there's certainly some truth to the idea that politics play a role in the music industry (and let's face it, they play a role in everything), it's possible to make it on raw talent and hard work.

3. The "world isn't quite ready for me" Musician
Nevermind that their searing 'out of tune' guitar solo went 'out of fashion' 30 years ago. Or, that their vocals sound like the intercom on a commercial flight. Should they take stock? Adjust their style? Fix the chorus in an otherwise great song? Never. The fault doesn't lie in them and their shortcomings. (What shortcomings?)

The issue is everyone else; the world simply hasn't caught up with their genius and is really missing out. They bristle at even the mildest of criticism, accusing you of being just another hater intent on squashing their brilliance.

4. The "I know everything" Musician
Not just about their own music and career, but yours, too. They'll tell you how to act onstage, how your song could be better, even how you're wearing your guitar strap wrong. This advice may appear kindly, but it's really just a way for them to put you down so they can feel superior.

A conversation with them will leave you disillusioned about the music industry, (if not life in general), believing everything is either rigged or a scam. It's their not-so-subtle way of trying to pull you down to their level and make you just as cynical and jaded as they are.

In Conclusion...
If any of these ring a bell for you, it's time to take a good look in the mirror. You may be one of the select few who are happy being unhappy. If that's the case, no amount of personal insight or success can help you. But I hope this can be a wake-up call for some of you.

Set aside being a successful musician for a minute; at bare minimum, friends and colleagues won't want to be around you. If you're the person described herein, consider changing your outlook and behavior. And, if you know a musician like this... run!

Daniel Reifsnyder is a Nashville-based, Grammy-nominated songwriter, having started his musical journey at the age of three. In addition to being an accomplished commercial actor, his voice can be heard on The Magic School Bus theme song and in Home Alone 2. Throughout his career, he has had the honor of working with the likes of Michael Jackson and Little Richard among many others.


Join Now