by Sam Inglis
There are two kinds of bandleader. There's the control freak insistent on writing every musician's part and having it played exactly right. And there's the more relaxed individual who gives his band members a rough sketch of the song, expecting them to thrash out their own parts in rehearsal.
Both approaches have merit. The absolute power allowed to the unique vision of Phil Spector and Brian Wilson provides that the music is expressed to its full. If you respect your band members, you'll value their contributions, and share the creative workload which can be a more satisfying process.
It's a good idea to make use of modern technology to present your ideas. That can mean using a cheap digital recorder to capture yourself picking out the song on acoustic guitar; or bringing your computer's power to bear to mock up a full arrangement, using MIDI and samples to mimic the instruments. If you do take the latter approach, one word of caution: make sure the parts you come up with are actually playable by real people! Your musicians won't thank you if that bass line you come up with on your MIDI keyboard requires nineteen fingers to play on a bass guitar.
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