Interpretations · Management

Team Work in Musical Bands

Owing to the number of music genres, teamwork in each genre differs to a greater extent due to the structure of the genre. let us consider the pre-orchestrated music of pop and that of to the Rock. In the case of Pop, the complete music doesn’t deviate from the composition and the same can be said to the western classical compositions. Here the music is broken into individual segments and a person has to be conscious about his/her segment. This is not the case with the Rock, as the nature of rock itself is defined as rebellious. The music undergoes a lot of improvisation and the team members have to be conscious about the performance of the others in the band. This helps to enhance the performance of the band. This also gives a pretty high degree of chance for a conflict between the team members.
Rock Band
Another big issue for the occurrence of the conflict is the attribute. If a Pop is song is a hit or failure the attribution goes to the lead singer. Even if the music is the holding part the credit is swayed away by the singer or the Album Artist. For example the the riffs and drums are not much appreciated specifically in case of the Pop, it is either that Taylor Swift song is great or not. In the case of Western Classical it is the composition that is lauded all over. Even today there are lot of performances of the Beethovan, Mozart and Bach, still people laud the composition and the artistry in the composition. This is not at the case with a Rock Band, if the guitar fares well the individual gets the credit. Each department is lauded for their efforts distinctively, this is a good thing for an individual as the mastery of an individual is identified and appreciated so it holds as an advantageous factor for the individual performers at the same time the factor of giving importance to the individualism among the group effort.
As the individual work is getting noted in a group effort a mild conscious of excelling as an individual crosses the minds of any human being. This effect should not overshadow the ultimate aim of the producing a good music. A Conflict arises only when the two paths cross. Here the conflicts are more interpersonal conflicts rather than the work related conflicts. Ari Herstand, A los Angeles based singer, Songwriter and creator of Music Biz advice blog says that break up of bands happens only in nine ways and among that he highlights the clashing of the personalities as the most important than the money which is ranked first. It is the important factor that plays the spoilsport. This occurs because the bands have to care about the individualistic goals along with the team goals. If they lose the individual goal then the music might look soulless, at the same time if they give away the team goals then there won’t be a band at all. So it is important to find a tradeoff point between the individual goal and the team goal. Ari also mentions it as one of the reasons for the breakup of the bands.
As we saw that these are characteristics that leads to the breakup of the band as there are lot of potential opportunities for conflicts between the members of the band. Eric Spencer, a drummer who is now an executive coach, HR, and Leadership expert points out few challenges and the approaches to deal with the problems. He points out few ways in order to deal with the conflicts and make the team working.
  • Check your ego, Even if you’re the lead vocalist
  • Leadership from the riser
  • Bassists are people too
  • Post gig analysis
  • Like brothers and sisters


All the above principles can be easily explained with the example of the metal band METALLICA. Metallica known as God of metal by its fans, faced their biggest challenge in creating the album St. Anger. The challenges faced were later made into a documentary movie namely Some Kind of Monster. This documentary throws lights on the conflicts between the band members and how they managed to bounce back. There was power struggle between Lars Ulrich (Drummer) and James Hetfield (Lead vocalist). Later they came to a consensus by compromising on their ego. There was a functional conflict of naming the album, and everybody zeroed at St. Anger except Lars Ulrich who preferred the title Frantic and by rational persuasion the team convinced the title of St. Anger. Then in choosing the Bassist, Hammet had a different point of view than others and didn’t like the way Robert Trujilo played the guitar. These all challenges are dealt with the principles explained by Eric Spencer. Those points cater the need for the band and then resulted in the completion of the album St. Anger.
Some Kind of Monster – docu explaining Metallica’s struggle

For a musical band, synchronization is a major factor that ties up the band in any performance. In order to achieve that there must be a high level of cohesiveness between the band mates. The above said principles can be used to optimize the team effort.
Image Courtesy: http://www.Metallica.com and www,giantbomb.com

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