Arts & Entertainment, Music

Growing as a Bandleader

Sheila E.

Lesson time 6:03 min

Sheila talks about what it takes to be a great bandleader and shows you how important it is for a band to prepare, rehearse, and communicate. Watch as she directs her band and they jam together.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Bonding With Your Band • Sheila Directs the Band: Latin Jazz Jam


[00:00:00.00] [MUSIC PLAYING] [00:00:08.36] [ALL SINGING] [00:00:12.75] - Then double time pop solo. [00:00:15.89] - Oh, so it'd be like third verse would be a solo. [00:00:18.01] - Yep. [00:00:18.90] SHEILA E (VOICEOVER): I love being a bandleader. But it's not easy. One of the biggest challenges is making sure everyone is prepared for the show. [00:00:28.02] - Is Damien on that side? [00:00:29.22] - He's on this side. [00:00:30.19] - Damien! [00:00:30.68] SHEILA E (VOICEOVER): Communication is the key. And if you don't practice together, you're not going to get it. [00:00:35.25] - I need snare and-- [00:00:38.67] Even though they do their homework at home, the time that we get together is most of time doing soundcheck. And we're like, OK, let's kind of talk it out. Now let's play it. Let's attack it as if we know it. [00:00:50.94] And then we start arranging it or changing some things or some sounds here and there to make it work. But we're only able to do that in a short amount of time at soundcheck because they've done their homework. So we can come in and say, let's change the first five songs of the show tonight. [00:01:06.75] Well, I want to change five or six songs, yeah, OK, we got to do this at soundcheck. Well, you only have an hour and 15 minutes to change five songs. All right. Well, we'll do it. And we're forcing ourselves to be ready and be prepared so that that night, we've changed the whole intro of the show. I love to create while we're on stage right in front of you. [00:01:32.61] What you want to do to bond with your band is be honest and truthful, respectful, as if they're family even if you just met them. It's a relationship. It's fellowship. There are other artists that we know that really don't even communicate with their bands, they don't hang out with them, they don't stay in the same hotel. They don't eat together. All of those things do not apply to this band, to my band. [00:02:03.03] We eat together. We have fun. We hang out. That bond is important because if we have that off stage, when we get to stage you're going to feel the same love. I don't want to be different than what we are onstage, offstage. It has to be the same. It has to apply both ways. [00:02:23.17] Now at one point I was different offstage than onstage. And I didn't like that person. He was there. I didn't like that person. It was hard. I mean, Raymond can speak on how difficult and challenging it was for these 12 hour rehearsals to gel so that we can, onstage, be a family. Go ahead. Don't lie. [00:02:48.47] - Well, this was for the album "Sex Symbol." And we were rehearsing for the "Sex Symbol" to do some promo dates for that particular album. And I think there were two songs that we were mainly rehearsing for TV shows and some promo radio shows. But those two songs were like, we were rehearsing for an eight month tour. [00:03:13.22] But when we look back at the TV shows and how tight everything was, from that point on, I was like,...

About the Instructor

Raised in a family of musicians, Sheila E. has collaborated with icons like Marvin Gaye and Ringo Starr and was named one of the all-time greatest drummers by Rolling Stone. Now she teaches you how to find your rhythm. Learn the principles of percussion—with or without a drum set—and discover techniques for dynamic solos and fills. Jam with the Escovedo family and find your own groove, as a beginner or as a bandleader.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Sheila E.

Legendary drummer Sheila E. welcomes you to the world of percussion and teaches you how to express yourself through rhythm.

Explore the Class
Sign Up