Paulo Almeida

Paulo Almeida, drummer/percussionist, arranger, composer

Drummer/percussionist, composer and arranger of multiple music genres.

Working with friends

Interesting to me to consider whether it's a good idea to work with friends, either at a place of business or a music/band context.  The common concern I've heard from people in the past is whether relationships would prevent people from doing their best when they are working together on a project.  I can see it, but it definitely depends on the quality of the character of the person who is "Lower on the totem pole".  I noticed it from the people I work with at my day job.  Most of the people who work there are 1st level.  Then there are a handful of people who are 2nd level.  Above them is one head honcho.  I've noticed that there is one person in particular, let's call them Pat, who is particularly friendly with a superior, who I'll call Chris.  Chris is a very friendly supervisor and fun to chat with.  For whatever reason, Pat as become very friendly with Chris at work and seems to be joking with Chris every chance Pat gets.  The issue I have is that Pat is not this friendly with anyone else at work, so it's suspicious to me as to why Pat is so joyous around Chris.  I've also noticed that when Pat is expected to do certain duties during their shift, Pat is more likely to do other things that I don't feel need to be done while we are trying to carry out our duties.  I feel like Pat is taking advantage of the friendship developed with Chris.  I think this is a reflection of the person Pat really is because a person who has a strong work ethic would be able to develop a friendship with Chris while also doing their best to carry out their job regardless of any "friendship-status" with a superior.  

This can be the same issue within a music setting.  I've been in several situations where musicians who were hired to do a gig show up to the rehearsal unprepared.  I have an inclination to assume that these musicians are assuming that if they are familiar with the band leader, maybe they can get away with not be as prepared as a hired-gun who is being paid a reasonable rate to do the gig, which should also include at least one rehearsal.  But why wouldn't someone who is proud of producing the best work they possibly can at every opportunity show up the rehearsal fully prepared, regardless of whether they are getting paid?  In this way, I think it would demonstrate the best of a person's character whether they are prepared when they show up for the rehearsal AND the gig.  Just like with the previous example, it should also be a parallel to working someone that you consider a friend and actually doing the job you are paid for.  Maybe this blog post is not a good example of what I'm trying to work through in my mind, but it makes sense in my personal understanding.