The Guitar Player Says, We Do Requests?

Posted by: Daniel R. Lehrman Posted in: Guitar Players

Are You Taking Requests?

Are You Taking Requests?

Sometimes my wife and I go out and watch some of the local talent playing around town. If the band asks for requests or perhaps someone has a request, and maybe a few requests are suggested, what happens if the band does not know those songs? I don’t know really, I’ve never been in a band. I play the guitar for myself and my wife, I know she loves hearing the same songs every day! And for my greatest fan, my dad, (RIP).

But, it would be reasonable for the band to say something like ”we don’t know those songs”. Personally, I think that is a fair response, otherwise, you might sit around all night listening, watching and waiting, then get disappointed when those songs don’t get played. I mean you are paying their wages basically. So it seems it would be in establishments overall best interests to keep things pleasant about it and promote good culture with the folks paying for the band.

Then we all know the rules.

But if the band knows the particular song, then what happens? Usually within the next few songs or during the next set, the request is carried out. I think the ratio of requests made, and the amount of those requests carried out is very high, like over 95%.

Only one or two times can I remember making a request to a band, and the band did not respond. Perhaps the band did not know the song, but the person with the microphone did not even acknowledge it. So, I was disappointed at the end. Not at the songs, I like their vibe, they are a good band, so I was not really mad and would go see them again.

You know what would have pissed me off? If I went ahead and mentioned it again, in a non aggressive manor, and the person with the microphone told me to ”go f… off. We work hard and can’t fill all of the requests. You assholes expect us to just play any old thing you want, give me a break.”

That is a good recipe for failure. It has all the ingredients to turn me right off and never go back. That’s just what I want, to go pay for entertainment or food and get a bunch of wiseguy bullshit. I was self employed in the automotive transmission industry for almost 25 years in this town. A nonsense response like that would have shortened my career fast.

Did I have a secret, no. There a lot of nice folks in my town who are self employed know the secret. What is it. Obviously to provide a superior service. And to be sincere to a fault, customers don’t like being disrespected or being wise-guyed.

It was much harder to figure out how to deal with a disgruntled customer.

One thing I knew was to treat them respectfully with genuine sincerity. Always. You can’t fake sincerity. Above all, never attack back, no matter how unreasonable they are being or how insulting said customer is being. Ever.

Why am I writing this? I did not have a bad band experience. I had a bad restaurant experience in town. I never actually even went there. However, I did meet the owner or part owner, and had a taste of some delicious potato salad. I mentioned it to her and she told me they take requests. Two weeks later I emailed and asked if they were going to have potato salad soon. That I had requested it.

Well, I got a highly aggressive, inappropriate and defensive response, it was much akin to the unlikely example I spoke of for most of this post. I won’t get into a rhetorical argument with a person who does not realize their customers pay the bills. And anything other than a sincere apology, which is the adequate response is not going to work with me. I pay, I want a pleasant experience.

There are a lot of good cooks in town, as there are plenty of good bands. The ones that understand that the customer is king and pays their bills are the ones that people find out about and frequent. If people find out you serve up a lot of ‘‘dick” when things don’t go so well, they are going to find another good cook or band to visit.

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