The past few weeks with the band have had both its shares of highs and lows. To start off, I have finally found a mentor as of this week, and I look forward to meeting and working more with him soon. In addition, my band has been able to make steady and continuous progress in learning, practicing and building up the band together. These few weeks has also presented us with quite a few other challenges and hurdles to get over and brought up some interesting initiatives taken to solve these issues.

The mentor search for me this year was quite an adventure in itself. It took me quite while of searching and investigation before I found someone who was suitable for my project goals and also who I can work well with. I began my search in more familiar places, by asking around the school to students and friends that I know who have a musical background and could possibly be my mentor or guide me to one. In addition, I searched into the local community as well to find possible experts in this field. However, because the search was so difficult at first, I resorted to many online sources as well for my fundamental research and learning.

A site that I often looked towards for information was Reverb. They are a music gear retailer, much like but instead it solely focuses on musical instruments and equipment. The site also provides a new feed, a tips and an  how-to section, where I learned skills such as managing a band and how to record. The most important skills I’ve learned so far from this resource is on managing a band (in terms of making sure things don’t fall apart), keeping it as a fair democracy, and also ways to improve band productivity. The various blog posts and articles on the site explained that to maintain a healthy band, it is recommended to implement democracy and fair influence on decisions and choices that are made. In addition, it alludes to points and skills on how to keep practice and recording time productive. Another valuable skill that I acquired through this resource was on how to record and multitrack. I talked about this topic in my last entry as well since this was a skill that I have picked up early in this project through this source and have taken quite a bit of time to practice and better myself in recording.

The special case with one of the earlier practices of these two weeks was that the band had a line-up change. Through some difficulties and circumstances, we had found in the best manner of the situation that we were going to have to change one of our group members. My first response and the first hint of this matter arose was to consult one the the blogs I often use to get ideas for a ideal solution.

Thus, after looking through a wide array of posts and blogs, I found one that describes in detail the ideal way of dealing with a situation such as the one I am presented with. It states that when looking to dismiss a band member with respect and to have a generally positive outcome, the initial step should be finding the cause of the problem. In my case the issue was that our current drummer was not as aware of the target and result we look to achieve. Because of that, he often looses focus during practice and is not able to keep up with the pace at which we proceed at. Thus, with the deadline being a concern in the project, and for the efficiency of the band, we looked to dismiss our then drummer. I learned next that to do that with minimum repercussions, I had to understand the method in which I communicate the message. It was stated that to do this, one must be clear in reasoning, but also gentle and respectful of the other persons emotions. In addition, it states that the entire issue should be explained thoroughly so that there is no misunderstanding. Lastly, It implies that following up should be done. I applied all the steps to my situation with my band member, and made sure that he was comfortable with the issue and the dismissal, and that it wasn’t taken with too much hurt. In my case, the then drummer was also one of my close friends, thus I had to be careful not to break relationships through the action. In the end, the situation was resolved and all was well. I have found a new drummer, and now have completed the band line-up. Over the next week, the entire band took time to familiarize ourselves with each other, and introduce the new member to the background of the band and what are goals were. Lastly, we began present the material we’ve been working on to our new band mate.