Developing our sound

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Kimpini, Jul 5, 2008.

  1. Kimpini


    May 14, 2008
    Right now my band is trying to develope our style/sound. I was wondering how you guys do that. Do you jam, listen to each others music or do you try to write a song? Any feedback is greatly appreciated:cool:
  2. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    The fact that you're mindful enough even to pose the question is a positive sign that you're on the right track. Seems that for the vast majority of bands, the notion of originality - or even distinctiveness - never even crosses their minds - judging by the hordes of knock-offs, derivatives and generics out there... :eyebrow:

    There is no single right answer to this - as you're about to discover for yourself by the myriad of other replies to follow. For me personally, it would tend not to be so spontaneous (read: unpremeditated) as to arise purely from a jamming situation. Rather, it would tend to come directly out of a pre-existing creative vision that I would like to develop...and for which I've specifically recruited particular people. At least as an initial framework on which to build... :meh:

  3. RodHutch


    Jan 1, 2007
    Nashville, TN
    I say writing songs tends to bring it. You can add your own thing to a cover, but I think style happens when you're expressing yourself with your own material.
  4. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    It'll either happen in the songwriting, or in the playing, or both together.
    What do you (as a group) *like* to play?
    What do you do that "feels right" for you all?
    What are your strengths?

    For example, one of the things that is distinctive about one of the bands I'm playing with now is that all 4 members sing well, and have good harmonic sense.
    So "strong vocals and harmonies" are definitive of what we tend to do, and we look for ways to enhance and expand that. If only one of us could sing decently, that (strong group vocals) would not have emerged...

    In another band, several of the musicans have strong backgrounds in Indian and African music, so "explorations of unusual time signatures, polyrhythms, and trance rhythms" is a natural place for us to go, and has become key to the band's sound... But only 2 of the 8 musicians can sing at all well, so "group vocals" is NOT part of that band sound at all...

    Hope that helps with some things to think about...

  5. why do i stumble upon almost every thread which mentions Indian music?
  6. Although it is very tempting, don't try to fit into a "genre" at all costs. Embrace all your different influences and try incorporate them into your songs. It will first sound a lot like patchwork, but over time a distinct style from all those influences will emerge.
  7. Lemoore-on


    May 11, 2008
    Try not to come up with a "style" or "sound" at all. Just play how you feel the song should be. Lyrics, groove, beat & what your trying to convey with the song all come into play. Your "style" will come out in the mix. But dont try to stay in the boundries of a pre concieved Style, it just fences you in.
  8. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    I don't get the sense that the OP was trying to figure out "what style should we restrict ourselves to"... more "how can we define a sound for ourselves and make ourselves distinct and recognizable"?

    That, IMO, is a great goal.
  9. gb2


    Mar 14, 2008
    Stuttgart, Germany
    in my current band that was an exciting time, too...

    we've founded the band about 9 months ago, and we didn't really know what we want to do.
    we all listen to nearly the same music, which is a big plus, but still we had three different genres we liked:
    stoner rock - like QOTSA
    post-punk - Interpol, Editors
    post-rock - Explosions in the Sky, GY!BE

    the first song we wrote was a heavy, 9-minute beast of kyuss-stoner rock: dropped tuning, distorted bass, 5-minute long instrumental part with free jam sections, mantra-like repetions, and all that stuff. we had a blast.

    the second song was completely different, very joy division-like, with a very high bass line, guitar with tons of delay and chorus; but still had a touch of the post-rock-genre with crescendos and a huge wall of sound in the middle part. I especially liked how guitar and bass never played the same notes and it sounded more beautiful than anything I've ev er done musically.

    the third song was pretty weak, again distorded bass, but somehow sounded like a motörhead-cover of a missing ramones b-side. awful.

    the forth song came out pretty impressive, it's still the longest (and slowest) song we've written to date. it's based around one simple guitar melody, which stays pretty much the same through the whole song, but bass and drums make such an atmosphere, it's very intense. every time we play it, it feels like meditation.

    so, well, that was the material we had when decided to record some music that peaople can get an impression of us. but you can image, with that tracks mentioned above, it would have been a confusing impression.
    so, what did we do?
    we kicked song #1 and song #3 only one day before the recording session, decided #2 and #4 to be our starting points to find our sound, and never looked back.

    we still had to write some more songs to define our sound (#5 went to garbage during the 2nd recording session), but now we nearly achieved it. and it's a good feeling.

    so, my advice: write songs (sometimes the bad ones help more to define your style than the good ones), be honest to each others about these songs, show the others your favourite songs or stuff you'd like to do, and: be open. good luck