Playing in a group with friends is beneficial for improving your overall musicianship.
Firstly, playing with others encourages you to become a better listener. When you're playing alone, it's easy to just focus on your own part without paying much attention to how the other parts fit together as a whole. When making music together, you have to listen closely to blend and sync up your timing with the other group members. You learn to hear lyrical or rhythmic cues and chord changes in new ways and your ears become more attuned to musical nuances.
Playing in a group can also expose you to new ideas. Everyone has their own style and will interpret pieces a bit differently. By playing alongside other people, you can pick up musical ideas and techniques. Your bandmates might come up with a perspective you never would have thought of on your own which can open your horizons.
A group can also provide accountability and add a bit of routine. When you commit to regular band rehearsals, you have an obligation to show up prepared and do your bit. This can motivate you to practice more effectively, work on your reading, and become a stronger player. Seeing the improvement in the group over time can also be rewarding.
Playing with other musicians also develops the ability to adapt. In a group setting, you often have to adjust spontaneously to what others are playing. You learn to recover quickly from mistakes or follow sudden changes. This kind of musical agility is an important skill.
Playing with others has clear social benefits too. Making music together creates a team that is working toward a common goal. It can lead to meeting new people and forming new friendships.
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