My Life in an Oldies Rock & Roll Band

As a hobby and where I met my husband, I play the keyboard and sing in our oldies rock & roll band called Smooth Sentiment Band. We perform standards and classics (usually hits of the time) from the 50’s to 70’s. It is good clean fun for us and the mostly clubhouses in Central Florida venues we play in. I thought other people who do not have the opportunity to be in a band might be curious as to what it is like. There are two phases of description: one is the inner workings of a band and the other is stage performance. Phase 1: inner workings of a band. Here is the fun work. This is where each band member works independently on their part of the song, sometimes figuring out your part on your own from listening to the song about a million times or you can cheat and get it from sheet music or YouTube. Once you have your part, hopefully by the next band practice/rehearsal, all the band practices their parts together with the singer(s). The more this happens, the better the band gets together at reading the band members’ individual cues or playing style and it starts to gel or click. This is where the band stops being a group of musicians playing together and starts being family. In fact, we are often closer than a lot of family because music has a way of promoting community and acceptance and mutual respect in a band. Of course, I have been in bands where this never happens because of immaturity or egos, but we are honored to be in a band now that has clicked. Yay! Phase 2: stage performance. Here is the work going from behind the scenes to presentation. This part is where the rubber meets the road, the reward for the hard work. We arrive an hour before the gig starts to set up and later will stay an hour after and tear down. If it is a dance, we play an alternating 2 fast and 1 slow songs. This generally keeps dancers on the floor without exhausting them hopefully. It also keeps things interesting. If it is a show, we dress the songs up a bit and play entertaining tunes that may not be easy to dance to. It is always great fun! Many bands are nervous before a performance always and forever, but I grew up on stage and don’t have stage fright, thank the Lord! The reward is the good times people have who hear us as well as the money they pay us. It validates our hard work. I hope you have enjoyed learning a little bit of behind the scenes of bands.

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