After church recently, one of my neighbors approached me and said, “We heard your band while walking by your house the other night.” This phrase always makes me anxious for two reasons:
- I hope my neighbors don’t mind the loud noise coming from my garage
- I wonder if they heard a good performance or a bad one
The tricky part about playing live music is your mistakes are glaringly, embarrassingly, and publicly obvious. If anyone in the band plays or sings a rogue note, it clashes hard with the other voices and sounds terrible.
This especially happens when rehearsing new songs, which my band often does. So I never really know what passerbys are hearing.
“We liked it,” my neighbor reassured me.
It would be so much easier if musicians could make silent mistakes like a misplaced brushstroke. I don’t believe musicians have it harder than other artists, but the former sure do seem more exposed sometimes.