Firefly Pointer Fiberglass Jacket: Music Etiquette : Being considerate when listening to your tunes

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Music Etiquette : Being considerate when listening to your tunes

What would you consider 'good music etiquette'?

It might sound like a silly question to some, but to me it's a valid one. I feel like on a daily basis I am hearing and seeing things I view as rude or even "bad etiquette" when listening to music. What do I mean by this? I'll give you some examples....
 You're riding the bus someplace and you hear another bus rider playing loud music. They could be playing it out loud on their cell phone or blaring through their headphones. The thing is, I am pretty damn sympathetic to loud music listeners. But if someone as deaf as me thinks your music is way too loud, it definitely is. Having loud music playing on the bus is rude. 

 You are taking a break at work when your co-worker, who creates his own music and wants you to hear a track or two. He takes the initiative to plop his over-sized headphones on your head without asking and turns up the track loud. This is rude because they didn't even give the person a chance to respond before they got into their personal space. This is not an okay move.

Playing music in public: I love my music BUT I am polite enough to know that I shouldn't play it *too* loud and not too early or late in the day. This seems like common sense to me. But to quote a bald country boy doctor "Common sense just isn't common anymore." This tends to be done with car rattling hip hop where all you hear is the bass. It doesn't matter on the type of music, but I find blaring your music loudly out of your car to be rude.

Playing music at parties: As a rule, when invited to a party I do not DJ without asking first. I have had scenarios where I was asked to DJ or asked beforehand to DJ and got the OK. But I will never just show up at a party and take over the music without at least asking first. I have had this happen, and when it's in my own house it's totally unacceptable. I can admit it...I'm obsessed and maybe even a control freak of the music play. My close friends long time know and understand it. But every once in a while a party goer will take over the music without asking. And every single time in my experience they put on the kind of music I hate. My skin literally crawls and I can't help but outwardly make demented faces that show my displeasure. I'm quite the creature sometimes.

Concert Etiquette: #1 Rule, enjoy yourself. Remember to be in the moment, and taking some pictures is a great idea. But don't leave your phone in the area recording the whole time--you are failing at being in the moment. It is pretty fantastic to have photo proof and video memories of an awesome show, I get it. But recording the whole time not only blocks people's view but is ANNOYING.

I usually tell people to just enjoy the show, but lately I've had to add "And don't be a dick." I know all too well how it goes: you're going to see a band you love, you get loaded/high, and at the show you start expressing your "Devil may care" attitude when you don't need to do that. You can have fun at a concert without using drugs. Just because you're happy and listening to great music doesn't mean you should allow yourself to get carried away. Mosh Pits are great but tend to have a variety of characters. Gals tend to have to keep their eyes open on the floor. There are creepy is the guys who latches onto you in the pit (if you're a lady) and humps you like a Chihuahua, playing it off like some accidental dance. (Yes this sort of thing happens) Some creepy dudes take the mosh pit as an opportunity to get grabby with chick who just wanna dance. There's also the guy who pushes his way up at the last minute, right before the show. He doesn't even try to say "excuse me" and just tramples to the already crammed front. To top it all off, he's wasted, easily irritated and wants to fight.

 There is this stereotype in the punk community that you need to get angry and fight with others "to be punk". This is just plain stupid. I used to think dying in a mosh pit would be a glamorous way to go, but after almost getting crushed at a Nine Inch Nails concert, my opinion quickly changed. Concerts tend to have this strong feeling of comradery and I almost always make at least 5 new friends at every show. If you see a fallen brother/sister in the mosh them up. Don't stomp on the them or let others do so. People have died this way. As long as you don't behave this way, you are fine. Check out our page: Tips & Info for new concert goers

 Concert Etiquette on Wikipedia  Rock and metal music
Concerts of rock music typically maintain more liberal norms. At concerts of hard rock, punk or heavy metal, a mosh pit will often form in front of the stage, in which slam-dancing and the like may be performed, usually in an atmosphere of lively camaraderie and mutual assistance. Moshers who have fallen are to be helped up immediately to avoid the risk of trampling, while found pieces of clothing, keys, cell phones, and other such items should be held aloft to be reclaimed. Audience members who are familiar with the lyrics of a given song typically sing along, especially during songs of an anthem nature. Fans may shout or scream or whistle during songs, but not continuously.
Requirements for attire are generally very lax. Fans of a certain band often wear a t-shirt or other articles of clothing depicting the band's name, logo, or other artwork. Blue jeans, shorts, and skirts are common attire, and sandals, sneakers, or boots are standard footwear (conventional high heels are generally unsafe for moshing or at outdoor venues with dirt flooring, though wide-heeled boots may be worn). Male (and sometimes female) moshers are frequently shirtless, but total nudity is frowned upon. At heavy metal concerts in particular, dark clothing and items such as chains, studded belts and bracelets, and various leather garments are common (this can vary greatly between different styles of metal). 
Heavy metal concerts also usually include head banging, mosh pits, fist pumping, stage diving, and crowd surfing. As many rock and metal concerts are held in standing room only clubs and concert halls, it is sometimes considered an insult to the band to sit during performances, particularly in heavy metal. Even in venues that provide seating, generally the audience will stand for the band's performance.
Sometimes at rock concerts, lighters are held in the air to signal an encore or a power ballad. With the decline of smokers, the restrictions placed on carrying lighters during air travel, and the increase of cell phones in the early 21st century, cell phones are often used in place of lighters. While this is frowned upon by some older fans, it is still becoming increasingly popular. The "waving" of lighters (or mobile phones) during ballads is a relatively recent phenomenon.

For additional reading, check these pages out:
Musician's Etiquette  and 10 Performance Etiquette Tips For Musicians

What do you think is good music etiquette? Or bad etiquette? Comment here or shoot me a message at

This entry will be updated regularly. 

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