it’s not that easy

Picture this -

Your friend is in a band. He or She is playing a show tonight and because you’re a supportive person and really like music you decide to go down and check it out. Before you do though, you decide “hey, what the hell. I’ll have a few beers before I go” and you call up a few other equally supportive friends to come over and share in the merriment.

As is known to happen with friends and beer, a few turns into 5 or 6 each, and you end up intoxicated. You then proceed to gleefully make your way to the bar where the show is happening, now in the perfect mind set to hear some music. You get to the bar, immediately see some other friends and quickly end up having a couple more beers and a shot from the guy who you bought a shot for the last time you were out ( which you don’t remember doing but you’re not supposed to look a gift horse in the mouth. They have ugly teeth.).

The next thing you know the band is sounding great and everyone’s having fun. The singer of the band announces it’s time for some audience participation and you feel those little drunk hairs stand up on the back of your neck. You’re ready. It’s time for the musician who you know is lurking somewhere inside of you to make it’s grand entrance into the entertainment world, and these lucky people are here to witness it.

“Any volunteers?” the singer asks. You’re not sure whether you count as a volunteer, because THIS IS YOUR PURPOSE, your calling, you HAVE to do this. You walk confidently towards the stage, or as confidently as you can at this point because you’re drunk as shit, and the singer sees you, smiles and hands you the tambourine.

THIS IS WHERE YOU NEED TO STOP AND THINK my drunk friend. I know that for many years we’ve been inundated with pictures of pretty blonde girls playing tambourine and looking like they’re having the best night of their lives, and that we think anyone can pick that tantalizingly jingle-ridden half moon and sound like Betty from the Archies, but it’s just not so. The problem with the tambourine is that not only is it rhythmically challenging, everyone can hear it no matter how loud the PA or how big the club. it’s at that magic frequency that the band can hear clearly and you can too, which essentially makes you the most important member of the band at that point.

Assuming you do take the tambourine and start to shake everything you have a really feel it, have a look at the drummer, he/she is going to let you know how it’s really going. You’ll see them -

1. Looking at you and smiling. This is good. Doesn’t mean you’re rocking it and should stand on his kick drum, but it means keep going, it’s sounding ok.

2. Staring at you blankly. This is bad. It means you’re pretty much just hanging on to keeping time by a thread and you reallllllllly should probably stop.

3. Staring a hole through his snare drum and swearing quite audibly. Yeah, that means you’re done and you should probably buy him/her and the bass player a drink. And stop. IMMEDIATELY. And never do it again.

Does this sound harsh? Does it sound like I’m being an asshole? Then you’ve never been the drummer while a very very drunk person stands next to you and beats the life out a tambourine in what not only feels like a different time signature, but a different god damned universe. It’s like trying to have a nice intimate conversation with friends while someone stands beside ou screaming racist remarks in your ear.

Here’s an example of some very drunk tambourine playing I heard the other night. The band is great though, but our friend on the jingle stick really needed to pack it in.

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This would be a Vice magazine Don’t.

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