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Do you care if your band is any good?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by EddiePlaysBass, Jun 21, 2017.

  1. EddiePlaysBass


    Feb 26, 2009
    The intuitive answer should probably be "yes", I know. Thing is, I am in a band (which I started) and I don't think we sound very good. When we rehearse I am thinking YEAH but when I listen back, well let's say I am less enthusiastic :)

    Here's the catch: I really don't care. My most successful band sounded awful (to my ears) yet for a while we played frequently and people loved it to death. My second-most successful band sounded great, for a while we played frequently and people loved it to death. In between I have been in several bands ranging from good to what-was-I-thinking, and every time we played live, it was the same: people liked it.

    So right now, it's a blues band again. Lead guitarist has good chops but I suspect he's glued to his music stand. Rhythm guitarist doesn't really understand how to play blues and just goes with a shuffle feel on anything. I told him not to do that :) In general, I am just incorporating everything I learn from my teacher, where and when appropriate. Will suggest a song or two every now and then - even though I think we shouldn't focus on the old blues songs and more on blues rock a la AC/DC (singer can handle it). The hang is good, and we may or may not get gigs soon. And people will probably like it.
  2. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Conventional wisdom - there are three goals:
    - good music
    - good gigs/money
    - good hang

    If you can get 2/3, you are ahead of the game.

    But it's up to you. You started the band - any shortcomings of band mates are your fault, since you selected them. So, would you rather gig with this group or spend more time looking for better people?
  3. hondo4life


    Feb 29, 2016
    I would take a mediocre sound in a band of good people. It would bother me more to be in a band of awesome-sounding, stuck up, backstabbing fartwads. Of course, I would put up with anything for enough money.
    MYLOWFREQ, exidor, PillO and 9 others like this.
  4. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Springtown, Texas
    We are our own worst critics.
    You must understand musicians hear music differently than non-musicians. I've had the same experiences. Even when I thought the band was overall pretty good and we were the second highest earning band in the Tidewater, Virginia, area (Early 1970s) I would come off the stage from a set that seemed to me like a disaster and people would rave about how good we were. I always wondered if they were listening to a different band.
  5. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    IME, for a lot of people, decent vocals=good band.
  6. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    Should matter.....does for me.
  7. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom

    Feb 17, 2013
    Albuquerque, NM
    It bothers me, a lot. I get bored and uninspired. Also, if we were to gig, I would be less than enthusiastic to tell my friends to come see us. This has happened.

    If it was a one or two time jam with people that was mediocre, I'd have fun. But not in a band situation.
    G RICH 5 likes this.
  8. I would lose interest right away if it didn't!
  9. dtripoli


    Aug 15, 2010
    ^ This ^
    9 times out of 10 I usually am in a band with 2/3.
    The few times that have been 3/3 were gold.
    G RICH 5 likes this.
  10. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    It matters for me. Since I'm a jazz player, I've already accepted that I won't be playing for a throbbing throng of dancing kids.
  11. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    As others have pointed out the ears of an audience (especially a well lubricated one) are far different than the ears of a musician. I think that one, as a cover band the goal is to entertain and if you achieve that you have succeeded, and two, the more you play the better you'll get. If you like the members and people like what you do then it doesn't so much matter if everyone is a killer player. If the guitarist doesn't have a feel for bluesy stuff maybe playing with this group will allow him to develop that. Maybe the lead player will get better at not relying on his music stand. I was in a band where we would video tape (ok I just dated myself :() gigs so we could see what our performance looked like and would work on not just standing around looking at our fingers. It really helped us all develop a better stage presence and better engage the audience.
  12. Deak


    Feb 28, 2016
    Was in a horn band in the 80's and we made all three work . . . it was goose bump perfect. . . . then a few of the members fell in love.

    Have not been there since.
    Stumbo, Krakmann and G RICH 5 like this.
  13. I'm in a band with my brother(drums) and a lifelong friends (vox,guitar). I think I actually care too much.. our songs are good...but in my opinion we need to work on structure some more..guitarist thinks intro verse chorus verse hard stop works for every song...my brother and myself see it a little differently..yet when we play live everyone loves us and comes out to the shows...his view is most non musicians have a short attention span and we shouldn't confuse them...I want to write epics but yeah,I think it matters. And I'm ready to voice my opinion in a formal setting
  14. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv

    In my experience the audience cares about knowing the songs and if your singer is good. Unless your musicianship is awful or awesome they don't really care.
  15. I find it very difficult to objectively judge music I am involved with until a lot of time has passed since the recording was made. Like years. Long enough to forget what it felt like to record the music. Then I often like it better than when I was in the middle of it. And forget about evaluating a performance just from the memory of performing.

    Keep working to get better but take your own criticism with a grain of salt. It's great to spur improvement but don't let it derail your motivation or happiness.
    pcake, karla684, Stumbo and 1 other person like this.
  16. Spent


    May 15, 2011
    Upstate NY
    The most popular band I was in was also the least talented. We played some great venues and packed houses. We also made more per gig than my other bands typically did in a year (hyperbole, but only slightly). I've played with bands that still amaze me when I listen to the recordings. The difference wasn't how we played but what we played. The popular band played top 40 and dance music. We played it very well, but it felt soulless; I used to call it my plastic blow up doll band. In reality any band that played what we did would have the same experience. We weren't unique, we were a live juke box. In the end I left because, while the band was (and still is) popular, I didn't think we were that good. I went back to a band that I consider to be excellent, playing very few gigs to very few people, but in the end is a fulfilling experience. So yes, I do care if my band is good.
    marmadaddy and G RICH 5 like this.
  17. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone

    Feb 23, 2011
    I used to not really care as long as I had fun playing with the guys.

    Nowadays I would say I priorities a little different:

    Music first:

    I have to actually be able to relate to the music myself, that I not only like the music we play but also feel that there's a realistic future in it.

    Not so much on an economical level, but more artistically speaking.

    That it would be a project where I would evolve as musician, bass player and/or composer, as well as something I actually would be proud to be associated with.

    On a very close second come the people:

    I have to be able to relate to the people I am playing with, both on a personal level, personality wise as well as as musicians.

    We have to have about the same ideas and expectations about what it means to be playing in a band, as well as we have to be on approximately same skill level as musicians on our respective instruments.

    If these two criteria are not in place, I can't see any realistic future as a band, and I might as well just go waste my time on something just as meaningless and properly more financially rewarding for me.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2017
  18. FugaziBomb


    Jun 5, 2017
    I just left a band because of how awful it was. There was zero situational awareness behind the drum kit. The drummer would frequently keep playing over parts that the drums were supposed to drop out in and would often end up a measure behind or ahead of the rest of us. He also could not keep time when doing drum rolls, and was adamant that there was nothing wrong with that.("Yeah, I can't keep time when I do fills, so?") He was the BL and did a really great job booking shows, but the shows were always a travesty.

    This band also had a DJ who played sound bites and loud noises over all my guitar solos (Oh yeah, I was the guitarist). I even made sure to give him plenty of spots in the songs to do DJ... uh leads, I guess? But every time I went into a solo: BEEEEWWWWWWWWWW WAH WAH WAH coming from the DJ. Then there was the bassist... great guy, really. Really talented dude, but he way over played. Almost every bass line was indecipherable noodling. Maybe I'm being too hard on the guy, as I am primarily a bassist, but it was not gelling for me. So I left. The band played a lot, had a lot of friends that came and saw them, and was - at least on paper - very successful. However, I was having a horrible time playing with a band who were not thrilling crowds other than their own friends, so I quit.

    If you're in it for the fun of it, and genuinely having fun, keep at it. If you're not having any fun, quit. If it is your primary source of income - or a large portion of it - things get a little tougher. Now we're talking about a job you are not sure you want to stay at, and I'm not sure I'm qualified to help you with that... :smug:

    Edit: FWIW This was not my main muse, so I still have a project that I find very fulfilling.
    MYLOWFREQ and Stumbo like this.
  19. Always room for improvement. Challenge yourselves!
    Jrussblues likes this.
  20. Kevan Campbell

    Kevan Campbell Bergantino Artist, Vibe9 IEM Artist Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2008
    Austin, TX
    In my mind, "good" can mean a lot of different things. I flat out won't play with anyone that doesn't have a solid handle on their instrument and/or voice, but one of my current projects drives me bananas when there's too much dead air between songs (which to my mind doesn't make for a "good" performance or show). I've also recently discovered that I won't really be allowed to be the acting MD for this project in spite of being told I would be, so I'd have to say that there's a definite end in sight with said project.

    Money, tunes and hang...pick two if you're lucky, one if you're desperate. I was given some really good advice here on TB a couple years back when I was playing with a band that was a great hang, but the tunes altogether sucked because the musicians were not musically literate and the pay was almost non-existent...the wisdom of TB said that nobody in the audience would care if I was on point if the rest of the musicians onstage sucked, and my reputation would be hurt by that association. Maybe the best advice I've ever received from TB Land.
    LiquidMidnight and FugaziBomb like this.
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    Primary TB Assistant

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