Six Tips for Dating a Musician

Categories: Sound Advice

@hootenhallers1012_opt.jpg
Cassie Kohler
The author and her boyfriend Ryne Watts of the Hobosexuals
Editor's note: Be sure to check out or newly-posted Six Tips for Dating a Musician: Female Edition!

Musicians have an uncanny ability to send shivers down the pants of even their most a-sexual of onlookers. Even the ugliest asshole on the planet, wielding his/her musical weapon of choice in front of a crowd, can garner the underwear-throwing attention of an audience. Musicians uphold, perhaps even created, the "cool affect." Some people simply want nothing more than to be a part of their club. I spent the last year head-deep in that club as a girlfriend-of-a-musician -- these are the lessons I quickly learned. All of these tips work just as well for boyfriends of female musicians too, by the way. Or boyfriends of boyfriends, or girlfriends of girlfriends -- whatever turns you on, as they say.

1. Don't Yoko Ono

Seriously, it's the biggest cliché in the book -- do you want to be a part of it? Your boyfriend is a wonderful musician. He works very hard, but he is not always better than the rest of his band. He does not need to branch out and gain more recognition and individual praise from the music community. That is what you are there for (see The Support Factor).

In short, he is not always the best part of the band. The band unit is a highly important force -- their bond fuels their collaborations and it is the combination of their ideas that make their music. They need to fight, they need to get trashed together, or break things or do whatever it is that feeds their inspiration. They need each other, and it is your responsibility to make sure that you don't get in the way.

Do not beg him, in your infinite neediness, to stay home from band practice. Do not yell at him and tell him scornfully that the band is more important than you are (if it is more important, you'll find out the hard way). Do not bogart his attention at shows (see Proper Show Behavior). In fact, do not bogart his attention ever, but especially from people within his music community. Music is a part of him that he cannot explain to you. It makes up a large part of who he is, how he looks at the world and how he sees himself fitting into it. To be a part of that, you must learn your place.

2. The Support Factor

You must support his music. After all, it is likely the reason you were attracted to him in the first place. In that case, there are areas wherein you can extend a helping hand. Help carry gear or merch if you can. Musicians have a lot of baggage (and more than just the emotional kind that seems to shine through in their songs). Instruments, amps, merchandise: They all need to make it to the gig. If your car is needed, offer it. And after you're done loading it all it, stay. You should go to as many shows as humanly possible (see Proper Show Behavior). Your presence there is very appreciated. Encourage practices, bookings, writing; encourage the good stuff.

Part of the local scene is networking. He needs to not only book his own shows, but also to go to other people's shows. His friend's, the local DJ's event, this party, that party; he needs to show his face around town. Everyone knows everyone in St. Louis, and the more people he knows in the local scene, the better. Be the pretty face on his arm that understands him and his music. Be his networking buddy.

In order to not Yoko Ono, you must be on board for whatever he needs musically. Lastly, if you don't like his music, you are dating the wrong musician. Do not try to veer him a new direction. He creates what he wants to create -- bottom line. Which leads me to number three....


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23 comments
reeeaaaallllly
reeeaaaallllly

According to this article, I guess St. Louis doesn't have any female musicians? Also, according to the December 20-26 issue, "2012: year in music" St. Louis doesn't have any non-white musicians either. Funny, given the make-up of the population of this city.
Keep up the good journalism ya hipster douche bags!

jennmderose
jennmderose

Cassie, you can do it though.. Ryne is a peach.

jennmderose
jennmderose

Dating musicians....I have some tips of my own:

1. Don't do it.

2 .If you must do it, do not go to every show. You will hate him, yourself, and the fans.

3. Be prepared to spend a lot of time by yourself. Get a sweet creative hobby. 

4. Don't do it. Really. 

meaghanselm
meaghanselm

@ellenchart @rftmusic Patience my dear. Long gigs/practices, once a date night now a speed lunch/facetime chat, watch him flirt with others.

JamieTDrew
JamieTDrew

@fgrant2 yes, yes, sexist nonsense written by a teenager, but can we talk about how terrible the band name "The Hobosexuals" is?

pgh_guy
pgh_guy

@tedgioia Perhaps the sequel should be entitled "Sex tips for dating a musician."

meaghanselm
meaghanselm

@ellenchart since it was written by @rftmusic I can only assume it will be incredibly inaccurate but I'll let you know when I read it.

rftmusic
rftmusic

@ericdpeters @rftmusic thanks for the RT!

madebylaurenb
madebylaurenb

@ericdpeters @rftmusic I would have liked this to be less gender biased. Creative-types are girls, too.

hsmith5
hsmith5

What about female musicians...?

Kenny Snarzyk
Kenny Snarzyk

I approve, and I date all the cool musicians.

RFT Music
RFT Music

Normandie Wilson does not approve.

fgrant2
fgrant2

@JamieTDrew I know, absolutely hideous. What is wrong with these people?

rftmusic
rftmusic

@madebylaurenb @ericdpeters There's an explanation in the open that explains that it applies equally to any gender.

jennmderose
jennmderose

@MegazordButts @jennmderose

Not even close. Why, you looking?

I just think that trying to date a musician because they play music is an incredibly stupid reason... And I really like Cassie, but the piece comes off sounding pretty damn submissive. 

madebylaurenb
madebylaurenb

@rftmusic I think that point got lost pretty quickly. An afterthought is just that, I guess.

Daniel_Hill
Daniel_Hill

@madebylaurenb When I reply here on the post, are you alerted about it on Twitter? I'm not sure how that works, honestly. Anyway, i dislike the curt nature of Twitter's wordcount limits, so allow me to explain myself here:

I considered exactly this point that you are bringing up when editing this post, and my options were either to insert a "disclaimer" of sorts into the opening paragraph or to change all the he's and him's into he/she him/her, which reads horribly. My point that the author of the piece is a female (and a kickass, creative writer-type of a female, at that) was merely to say that it is written this way because it was written from the perspective of a girl with a boyfriend in a band, and so therefore it is her experience. No disrespect intended.

rftmusic
rftmusic

@madebylaurenb The only other option would have been an article filled with he/shes and him/hers. Worth nothing that the author is female.

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