#1
assuming they play a different instrument that you.
even if you don't play them or know how to, at least not yet. do you learn about their instrument and other equipment they use for that instrument?
#2
I'd say that it's great for a person to have an understanding of the capabilities and extremities of an instrument and, perhaps more importantly, the skill of the person wielding it. For example, I have tried drums and decided I don't have the four-limb co-ordination, but I know how the instrument works so I can compose stuff for it and I have a basic knowledge of varieties of symbols and drums and whatnot. As a BA composition student, I'd say yes it's important to gain as much understanding about other instruments as possible even if you don't play them. It broadens your pallet and allows for that kind of technical conversation with other instrumentalists which can lead to some really cool ideas when bouncing riffs and stuff around.
#3
Agreeing 110% with UnmagicMushroom.

Getting to know other instruments, even if you don't necessary play them, is a really good thing! Especially if, as said, you are very into writing stuff.

I am no drummer, but i understand how they work and what you are able and not able to do on the drums. So i can write full songs very easily by myself (since i already play guitar, bass and keyboard) and then send parts around to people i'd like to play/record with me.
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

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#4
the trade-off is typically that, if they're any good, they'll tell you all about it whether you want to hear it or not
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#5
My drummer and I were hashing out a new song last week. He was stumped as to what he should play for this one part so I got behind the kit and showed him something I thought would work. It's now one of his favorite things to play.

So yea, it's pretty important. If only to get your ideas across and to do so faster. Some people have trouble catching pantomimes and hearing melodies if you hum them out. If you can show them your ideas for their instrument it can make life a little easier.
#6
Quote by Wrst_Plyr_Evr
My drummer and I were hashing out a new song last week. He was stumped as to what he should play for this one part so I got behind the kit and showed him something I thought would work. It's now one of his favorite things to play.

So yea, it's pretty important. If only to get your ideas across and to do so faster. Some people have trouble catching pantomimes and hearing melodies if you hum them out. If you can show them your ideas for their instrument it can make life a little easier.

even if you suck at the drums you can still get a point across. so yeah, that's a good one.
#7
Quote by Hail
the trade-off is typically that, if they're any good, they'll tell you all about it whether you want to hear it or not

you could charge them a fee if you give YOUR feed back. consider it.
#8
for a slightly more serious answer, i was watching some crappy restaurant show a few weeks ago (restaurant stakeout, to be exact; it's my fetish) and the consultant was telling the owner that, for you to understand your operation fully and build respect between yourself and the staff, you should be able to do everything they do and know what they need to do for their role.

the relevance to this being that, most groups only have 1 primary songwriter who is typically the band "leader". even in groups where everybody is democratic and operates fairly smoothly with one another, like periphery, it's because they all step up to the ability to take control when they feel the need to.

if you want to be able to write a cohesive piece, you should at least know the fundamentals of each part. it helps you listen, it helps you write, it helps you remember/chart, and it provide synergy between the bandmates. on the other side of that, if you don't know anything but your instrument, you're probably going to want someone who does to step up.

otherwise, you'll likely get either music with poor balance (with an overbearing guitar part from a guitarist or an oversimplified arrangement for a singer to stand out, for example) or music that's formulaic, uninspired, or nonexistent.
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