Question for Duff: Is It OK to Join a Band For the Experience, Not the Music?

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In addition to his Thursday column, Duff McKagan answers reader questions throughout the week. Write to him at Find all of Duff's posts here.
Q: I've been playing guitar forever. I've always wanted to play in a rock band that traveled and was fun to play music in. A few friends of mine are in a band up in Sacramento and they've been lucky enough to have gone on three or four U.S. tours. Now they've asked me to join. It seems like a great opportunity for me to rock and gain some experience. It seems like the universe gave me what I was asking for, right?

Well, the thing is I don't really care much for the style of music. The guys are rad, it's fun to jam, and they have a pro attitude as a band, and as friends. I would feel bad joining the band just to gain some experience and play/tour when my heart isn't stoked on the music. Do you feel that would be wrong to join a band just to play and tour, just to gain experience?

I know first and for most, fun comes first in playing music, but I guess I feel a little guilty and shitty if I did that. Then again, it could be a door to something better? Have you ever had that dilemma when playing in bands?--Brent

Duff: You should do the tour first, and THEN comment on whether this it is a 'universe-gave-me-what-I-asked-for' thing or not! Have fun with your friends, and if nothing else, you will gain experience.

I played in a band when I first moved to Hollywood that I wasn't too stoked on, but they were playing gigs all of the time, and I did it to just simply meet people in a town where I knew no one. No harm done.

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