The Sideman's By-Laws

These were posted on Craig's List here is Portland yesterday:
  • Never recommend anyone who plays better than you.
  • Always suck up. (Leaders, bartenders, bride and/or groom, management, etc.)
  • If you don't know it, play harmony.
  • Double book, then choose.
  • Always assume the leader knows nothing.
  • Always degrade types of music you can't play or know nothing about.
  • Always bring your own business cards and solicit during breaks.
  • Never play requests (especially if you know it).
  • Never smile. Always complain.
  • Save all high notes for warming up and after engagement.
  • Never show up sooner than 30 seconds before an engagement. (One minute if you have equipment to set up.)
  • Never leave a book in order. Whenever possible, write on music in ink.
  • Always play Trane or Parker licks during fox trots, tangos, waltzes, or anything in D minor.
  • Always open spit valves over music.
  • If the leader is not sure of a tune, always use substitute changes over his vocals or solos.
  • Always worship dead jazz greats.
  • Be negative about anything connected with the job.
  • Always bring drinks back to the band stand.
  • When a break is over, always disappear. If this is not possible, make a phone call.
  • If you're backing up an act, talk when not playing. If it's a comic, don't laugh.
  • Always bum a ride.
  • Always wait until someone else is buying before you get thirsty.
  • Never bring your own cigarettes to an engagement.
  • Avoid tipping at all cost (waitresses, coat room, valet, etc.).
  • Always ask, "When does the band eat", or "Where's our table"?
  • Remember, it's not your gig. Mingle with guests and enjoy yourself.


MonksDream said...

That was pretty funny. They forgot to write things like, always get so wasted that you throw up on one of the audience members in the first row. And of course, always disagree with anything the bandleader says and ignore him whenever possible. Even better, if he has a girlfriend or wife, try and either come on to her, steal her from him, or make him look like an ass in front of her.

Me Me said...

Excellent! Here are some more:

Ignore the printed set list that shows all tunes, keys and grooves, and instead ask the bandleader after every song, "What's next? What key? How does the groove go on that one?"

Discuss all errors made by the band after every song.

Apologize to the audience frequently. Never apologize to the bandleader despite being late, drunk or incapable of reading chord extensions beyond a 9th.

Always swing during straight-8ths tunes and play straight time during swing tunes.

Make fun of musicians who practice, saying "They'll learn, eventually."

Discuss problems with each chart after each song. Debate loudly over the merits of Brandt/Roemer notation while leader is trying to count off the next tune.

MonksDream said...

Funny stuff, Alexa. What is this Brandt/Roemer notation?? Now I'm going to have to spend more time trolling the internet.

Also, I forgot, to add, tell everyone at the gig, that it's your band, really, and you're just giving the leader a whirl to prove a point.