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Advice - just starting out in a band

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by mldavis, Oct 12, 2013.

  1. mldavis


    Jul 22, 2013
    South Wales, UK
    Hi guys,

    I've just started a 3 piece band and our first rehearsal is in Thursday. We've all never been in a band before, but can all play.

    As in the bassist, what advice do you have for me just starting out?

  2. GlennW


    Sep 6, 2006
    Try to play (everyone) with a balanced volume so you can hear each other.

    Learn to lock in with the drummer, rather than compete with the guitar player.

    Have fun.
  3. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Have fun. If it isn't fun, you will quit doing it.

    Don't book any gigs until you have enough material to not repeat songs and you know that material very well.
  4. Practice material at home so you’re prepared before rehearsal, get to rehearsal on time, stay sober, don’t noodle, listen and don’t talk to much.

    Good luck and have fun.
  5. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    +1 to all advice so far.

    A couple I'll add:

    Decide how decisions will get made. Either someone is band leader, or everyone gets a vote, or whatever. Everybody likes to be democratic, but actually IMO a good BL is a good idea to keep things organized and consistent.

    Decide what kind of music you want to play. It's very hard to make a band work where the bassist wants to play reggae, the guitarist wants to play metal, and the drummer wants to play jazz. You MIGHT wind up with a hot ska or prog band, but more likely you'll wind up with either a big hot mess, or with a band member who is very unhappy and quit because they're not playing any music they like. So talk it out from the beginning.

    Decide where you're planning on going with this. Is this just to jam in the garage, to get cover gigs at bars, to write original songs and try to get a record contract, what? If the plan is to gig and make some money, make an agreement about how money will be handled BEFORE you make, or spend, any.
  6. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    Learn to sing/play and jam some blues tunes.

    Check out the Being in a Band section of my TB Wiki page.
  7. All advice is good, especially hroderts. I start off by getting everything out on the table, such as what music you want to play, how good you are and if you want the band to be successful. If you guys are stuck on what to do I'd start with a 12 bar blues
  8. mldavis


    Jul 22, 2013
    South Wales, UK
    Thanks for the advice guys, it's really helpful.

    The good thing about the band is we're all at about the same level with none of us previously playing in any bands. The plan is to learn 3 songs at a time and then when we have enough of the learnt and are feeling confident, to start doing some open mic nights to get some stage practise, eventually looking to get some gigs.

    Myself and the guitarist/singer are into the same music/bands, so that's a good start. The drummer is into all sorts and is happy to play anything, which is great. We are going to be covering bands like Oasis, Stone Roses, The Jam, Kasabian and The Beatles.

    I can't wait to get started, our first rehearsal is on Thursday

  9. Tituscrow

    Tituscrow Banned

    Feb 14, 2011
    NW England
    Were you all strangers before you started the band, or were you already buddies?
  10. mldavis


    Jul 22, 2013
    South Wales, UK
    All strangers mate.

    Met up with the guitarist/singer on Friday and we are all meeting up tomorrow to discuss some ideas. First rehearsal is on Thursday, can't wait.
  11. Tituscrow

    Tituscrow Banned

    Feb 14, 2011
    NW England
    That changes things in many ways. Good friends who finally get a band going can find it awkward if difficult conversations need to be had...for example it turns out that your best mate of 20 years actually sucks on the drums in a band situation.

    At least this way, there are no real expectations or preconceptions, but the disadvantage is that it might turn out that the other guys are asshats :)

    Either way, any band is a good band at this stage.

    How old are you guys? What songs have you got lined up?

    Oh...I notice you're in South Wales. I'm from NWales originally, currently exiled in the far north of England (Carlisle).
  12. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Sounds to me like you've got a good plan. :)
  13. mldavis


    Jul 22, 2013
    South Wales, UK
    Yeah that's true, we are really looking forward to getting started.

    Aged 21, 22 and 25. First three songs we are learning are Oasis - Rock n roll star, Kasabian - fire and Stone roses - I wanna be adored.

    From Swansea I am mate.
  14. Tituscrow

    Tituscrow Banned

    Feb 14, 2011
    NW England
    So...bass, drums, guitar...is anyone up for singing? If this is your first practice as a band, spend as much time as you can just jamming. Don't worry about note-for-note covers, even though that's a good starting point.

    Give your drummer a nice 4/4 blues groove to suss out each others timing, and let the guitar player add something over the top.

    In my experience, I've known within the first half hour or so whether it was going to work.

    Good luck, and let us know how it goes.
  15. mldavis


    Jul 22, 2013
    South Wales, UK
    Our guitarist is going to give the singing a go.

    Thanks for the advice man, really appreciate it. Yeah the plan is to just jam it up on Thursday to see how we gel.

    Will keep you updated on our progress! May even get some videos up at some point.

  16. Tituscrow

    Tituscrow Banned

    Feb 14, 2011
    NW England
    Spend time tuning and agreeing on volume levels. Finer details like tone can wait.

    Try not to stand just in front of your own speaker...walk around a bit to get a feel for what you sound like from other parts of the room, and you'll get a sense of what your bandmates are hearing you play, rather than just what you are hearing yourself play!

    And you'll hear this a lot here on TB from folk with far more experience than my 30 years in bands...but you simply must click with your drummer. A band with a bassist and drummer that do not groove is like a car with no engine under the bonnet.
  17. rust_preacher

    rust_preacher Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2009
    Have someone who knows the rehearsal space PA and monitoring, mixers etc. THERE to help you get started.

    Decide together which YouTube version of the songs you aim for, as the baseline.

    Attempt to play the songs THROUGH, not just noodle choicest parts.

    And, whatever everyone else said. You have chosen the path of great enjoyment, it is to be cherished. I wish you all well!

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