Once or twice in your life, you will have a partner who’s a musician. I’m not saying it’s bound to happen, but it often does. I never understood the hype with that (I’m soooo hooked on guys who are musically inclined!!! Ughh!!! Swoon! Heart eyes!) until I got myself a boyfriend who is… you guessed it, a musician. All throughout their gigs, I never missed an event but one. I also attend their practices/jams sometimes. If you don’t know how it feels to be a musician’s partner, I’m here to spill the beans – good and bad.
HEARING SONGS YOU HATE
You know those songs you absolutely hate either because it’s not your genre or you’re simply sick of its melody? Or you keep hearing it on the radio and thought the whole world has already moved on from that particular song? Well, I get that feeling a lot. Worse, they play it during their gigs so I have no choice but hear them. You see, Jec and I’s music choices are completely different. Imagine hearing all these songs from the late 80’s when the band scene in the Philippines was just forming. I DON’T KNOW A SINGLE SONG FROM THAT TIME. It’s a running joke/wish for me to hear a song that I actually know. So far, I’ve only heard a handful.
LOTS OF WAITING
Some people who have never been to a gig before can easily imagine that it’s all hyped up at the venue all the time. At least, that was my expectation. I hate to burst your bubble, but it’s actually 90% waiting, 10% listening to musicians. Then there’s the countless sound checks, adjustments, and dull moments. In short, you gotta be patient when going to gigs.
So it’s a sound advice to bring a group of friends over to kill time while waiting for the band to play. And trust me, you’re gonna hear a lot of uninteresting (at least for you) songs – ones that you just wanna get over and done with. Even if you support the band, you’re not gonna like EVERYTHING they play. And there are songs that you’ll completely ignore once you’re busy chatting with your friends (which is the middle part of the set, usually).
LACK OF SLEEP
For people who get drained easily when outdoors (aka me), 10 pm is the limit. Sure, you can stay up until 2 am doing nothing when you’re just at home, but it’s a different story when you’re out. There are times that you push yourself to the limit to finish the sets, so you end up going home late (actually in the morning like 1 am). And then you wake up the next day (or a few hours later) completely disoriented.
HEARING SONGS YOU DON’T KNOW
Aside from hearing songs you hate, you also hear songs you don’t know, which is actually frustrating because it’s hard to enjoy something you don’t understand, right? No matter how much you want to support your partner, you just don’t know the singer, the song, and why it’s so darn good for them. As in, you just can’t relate!
BEING AROUND CIGARETTE AND ALCOHOL
I’m not a smoker or a drinker. But it comes with the concept that when you’re in bars, you’re also around alcohol and cigarettes. From time to time, I try to taste what they drink just so I’m not so naive with liquors, but I don’t really drink since I get drunk easily. Hehe.
From time to time, they get invited to bars that are somewhat… sketchy and not exactly my ideal bar. Sometimes you give in for the opportunity to play and to rub elbows with owners or managers. Here’s my tip: when you get vacuumed into it, it’s best to just focus on the band rather than on the place.
In between practices, sets, sound checks, and band meetings, you’ll get bored especially as you’re not a member of the band. Sometimes they talk about things that are irrelevant to you so you have nothing to pitch in. Well, 90% of the time, you’re just an audience. That’s when you gotta be resourceful with your activities. What I do when boredom strikes is that’s when I edit photos on my phone, draft a blog post or take photos and hone my craft (LOL).
Everything has its pros and cons including having a musician for a partner. I don’t want you to think it’s all negative vibes, so let’s also talk about the nice things…
WITNESSING THEIR PROGRESS
There’s nothing more satisfying than witnessing their progress as a band. If you’ve been there from Day 1, lucky you, you got a front row ticket to their timeline. You get to witness their camaraderie, disagreements, unity. There forms a brotherhood of some sort, not just the growth of the band.
MEETING OTHER MUSICIANS
It’s nice to be exposed to other musicians aside from the band you support – even if you’re not a musician yourself. You get to hear unique voices, other musical instruments, beautiful collaborations, and talent. So much talent everywhere! It’s a win if the musician is a professional. You can really say walang tapon sa kahit anong tinutugtog o kinakanta nya. This also gives the band a chance to form collaborations and expand their network – not just for mere rackets but also to gain new friends, lessons, and experiences especially when it comes to music.
HEARING INSTANT VERSIONS OF SONGS
I like attending practices and gigs in particular because I get to personally hear their own version of a song right on the spot. Imagine knowing a famous song and the band puts a twist in it. It’s music to the ears, really. It also allows them to explore their talents further and make a known song into their own version.
TAKING COOL PHOTOS
If you’re a hobby photographer and you like taking photos of people, then it’s a win-win situation for you. I myself take advantage of the opportunity by honing my photography craft (whatever it is I have) while documenting their progress as a band. Even if you’re just in a garage or in a fancy bar, you can take nice pictures and make them your souvenir for that day. At least you know you can roam around because you’re with the band. Another bonus: you can pull out your “I’m with the band” card anytime. 😛
It’s a nice feeling when you suggest songs or provide feedback as an audience, and they take them as constructive criticisms, so they can improve their sound. From time to time, I suggest songs and they sometimes play them at their gigs, which is a bonus for me!
HAVING YOUR OWN BAND
You get to have your own band! No need to go to bars and pay Php 150 for the door charge. Just go to their practice if they welcome outsiders, and have your own band next to you. It’s a huge plus if you’re friends with all the members, so there’s no dull or awkward moment for you. Plus, you get to request your favorite songs and they can play it for you! 🙂
Is your partner also a musician? How’s your experience with music so far?
Bae is a 20-something passion blogger from Manila. She likes hoarding hobbies and trying out new stuff, blogging about her mundane adventures, and tweeting about random realizations and musings.