Section 3 - Etiquette and Attitudes

Making the Most of It

The two very most important things about being a part of any organization are attendance and preparedness.  No matter what strengths someone has those strengths are worthless if that person is frequently absent or unprepared when they do show up.


 “Absenteeism and turnover are the other two most common forms of counterproductive behavior in organizations” (Jex & Britt, 2008, p. 195).   If one violinist misses rehearsal for a large symphony orchestra the orchestra can still rehearse, but this is still a hindrance to the entire group because they need to practice functioning together.  The smaller the group is the more important it is for everyone to be at rehearsal, otherwise the group will not be able to accomplish its goals.  Most of the bands I am in have just one guitarist (me) a drummer a bassist and a vocalist.  One person’s absence pretty much ends rehearsal that day for everyone else.

Remember that other group members adjusted their schedules, making sacrifices of family and free time so they can be there.  It’s very frustrating to make sacrifices to be at a regularly scheduled rehearsal then someone cancels at the last minute, or just doesn’t show up.  If you cannot make it to rehearsal be sure it is for a good reason, not a weak excuse.  Yes, things come up now and again, but be cognizant of how often and why.  Also be sure to aggressively share your personal scheduling issues with the group so they know if you will be absent well in advance – “Hey gang, I’m out of town next month.”

Tardiness is not good either and we should strive to be on time, but at least those who are late are there.  Still, consider the saying; “On time is late.”  Always try to be to rehearsal early, especially if you are the leader!

NOTE – “Turnover” refers to members not staying with the group very long.  If members of a group quit they have to be replaced and their replacements have to be trained.  This takes lots of time, and is counter-productive.  Excessive turnover rates can devastate a group.

Be Prepared

Be Prepared is an old Cub Scout motto that is extremely applicable to music and musical groups.  Did you practice your instrument every day last week?  If you know what songs the band will be working on at the next rehearsal did you try to learn them, or at least listen to them to familiarize yourself?  Did you sing on the way to choir practice so your voice is warmed up for rehearsal?  Is your music folder (lyrics, chord charts) in order so you can find it quickly?

Failure in any of these areas is a hindrance to the rest of the group and its goals.  It’s more than just being another warm body at rehearsal.  Even the best musicians are worthless to a group if they are not prepared for rehearsal.  Usually a good leader is able to provide new music in advance (like a printed agenda is available before a board meeting) so there is little or no excuse for not becoming familiar with the piece before band rehearsal.  It is not fair to the rest of the group to have to take time teaching one musician a song they should already know, or to wait for someone to (hopefully) find their music because their music folder is not organized or they forgot to bring it.  Rehearsal time is valuable and limited so don’t waste it.  Be prepared and practice practice practice!

Offering or Performance

Mathew 15

8 “‘These people honor me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.
9 They worship me in vain;
    their teachings are merely human rules.’[c]”

This subject can be a major source of contention with regard to praise music, especially when it’s a rock band like Stryper or Kutless (or me).  Many will think that the presentation of true Christian music from Christian hearts is not genuine, even false worship, just because the music is modern, upbeat, and played with an electric guitar.  I could do a whole class on this subject, but here I’m just going to sum it up with the following ideology.

Our musical talents are a gift from God, as are the abilities to act or perform, so it is my position that my ability to not just play but perform music is God’s gift to me.  The best use of any of God’s gifts is to offer them back to Him – like laying our crowns at the feet of Jesus.  I am passionate with and about music and very passionate for The Lord, so I give it my all when I play Christian music.  Whether my actions are intended to draw attention to myself or glorify God is a matter of my own heart (and yours), not the criticisms of a stranger.  Judge not less ye shall be judged.  Most importantly, search your heart to discover your true intent.  Are you giving a performance so people will cheer for you, and they will, or to please our audience of One?  Only you can make this distinction.  Do be careful though because people cheering for you can be an intoxicating temptation.

Last modified: Tuesday, December 6, 2022, 1:04 PM