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First time in a band...

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by facepalmmaster, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. facepalmmaster


    Jan 4, 2012
    So my friend just asked me if I wanted to be in his new band, and while I really want to do it, i'm also hesitant. I have only been playing for a bit more than 7 months, and while he seems to have faith that I can do it, I'm not sure.
    He described it as an alternative/metal band, and ive mainly been practicing slap, plus I dont really know anyone but him (hes the guitarist). Any tips?
    PS Im a teenager, so this isn't really serious business, but i'd still like to do well
  2. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    I would work on learning all the scales instead of slap. The roi is much higher.

  3. Raymeous


    Jul 2, 2010
    San Diego
    GO FOR IT!!!

    You can practice in your bedroom all you want, but being in a band will teach you all kinds of things that can only be learned by experiencing it first hand. As you stated you are young and have plenty of time, but the sooner you get moving on this the better you will get at it.

    There are a couple of things to keep in mind in terms of attitude going into it.


    Take the time to listen to your band mates before jumping to a conclusion. You may learn something, or you may teach them something. Basically try to understand their point of view, and go from there, whether its a specific chord change, or something larger in terms of "artistic direction". Make sure everyone gets a chance to express themselves and you'll be in a happier situation. You may not like a particular song but maybe one of the guys really digs it. Decide as a BAND what to play and what not to play. If anyone's not happy... drama starts.


    Don't waste other peoples time by showing up late or pulling a no show. If you need to cancel for whatever reason, let them know about it BEFORE the guys start packing up their gear. Don't make them lose a Saturday because "I forgot".

    Be prepared to play. Practice is what you do on YOUR time, rehearsal is what you do on band time. Do NOT wait until the bands all together to finally get around to starting the stuff you were supposed to learn last week. Yeah I know.... more homework. And remember nothing says that two of you can't get together to hash things out prior to rehearsal.

    Pull your own weight. Load up equipment like everyone else. Help the drummer set up his kit if you need to, or have the drummer help lug out your bass rig since you helped set up his kit first. Yes even the singer has to get dirty with the gear unload/haul away. This also relates to finances. Don't be the "financial sponge" or the "bank". Keep a close eye on your budget and don't borrow too much, or give out too much. Let guitar guy pick up the tab for his own strings and the drummer his sticks. It is okay to help them out in a tight spot, but don't make it a habit. Just sayin'

    In short be responsible. Getting an early start like this will ensure that other musicians will love having you around. As soon as you become unreliable or untrustworthy your done whether in a band or just in life.


    Everybody want's to "Make it!" but few actually do. Pick something achievable like getting 3 songs ready for a school talent show, or having the band put together a list of tunes to cover, learning one a week until you really start to gel as a band. Once you have a minimum of a 30 minute set play at a friends birthday party or back yard BBQ or something.


    It doesn't matter how much it cost or the current condition its in. Don't break your stuff, or anyone else's. If you do bust something, even on accident, bring it up immediately, before they find out about it without you telling them first. Talk with the owner on how you will smooth things over. Even if they say it's ok and don't worry about it, find something you can do like buy lunch or some small gesture of grace.

    Continuing with the gear theme, don't worry about whether or not you have the latest and greatest or what is thought to be the best brand. Do NOT buy any brand simply for the name thats on it. Buy it because you love it. I have custom made basses made with incredible woods and amazing electronics, but I also love my $200 completely stock Squier P-bass special. Rock what you got and don't get too caught up in the "shiny" stuff. Is there a difference in gear quality? Of course there is, but don't be too worried that you don't own it yet. You will get some of that soon enough.


    This is a biggy. Your band mates "significant other" is OFF LIMITS especially if they're hot. Hugs and/or a peck on the cheek are one thing, but any more than that is just a powder keg of drama waiting to happen. Don't do it!!

    So to wrap it up (there are more points I could make but I'll spare you from that for now) have fun! Be courteous and respectful of your bands time, equipment, and relationships. Allow people the room to be themselves and in return they will allow you your own space to be creative and discover who you are and the musician you want to become.

  4. ^ all that and have fun.

    Wear earplugs. I lost some hearing and picked up a little tinnitus in my early years playing rock before I wised up.
  5. Bert Slide

    Bert Slide

    May 16, 2012
    Louisville KY

    There was a guy once who used to play in bands when he was younger but had gotten married, had kids and drifted away from the music scene. One day his oldest boy, now in high school, said to him "Dad, I wanna learn to play an instrument."

    Dad replied "That's great, Son, what instrument would you like to learn?"

    Son: "I wanna play bass Dad."

    Dad: "That's wonderful Son, I think that's a great idea and I will support you in whatever you want to do," while secretly wondering, of course, having some band experience of his own in the past, why his boy would pick the instrument least likely to impress the women folks. Nevertheless, he was a good Dad and was exited that his son wanted to learn to play so he took him out and bought him a bass, an amp, and four weeks of lessons.

    The first week, after his boy came home from his lesson he asked him, "Son, what did you learn today?"

    "Dad, I learned all the notes on the E string."

    Week two after his second lesson Dad asked again, "Son, what did you learn today?"

    Son: "I learned all the notes on the A string."

    Third week comes around and the kid doesn't come home from his lesson till late night.

    Dad says, "Where were you, I called your teacher and he said you didn't show up for your lesson."

    Son: "Sorry Dad, I had a gig!"

    Moral?: It ain't rocket science. If you can count to four and have decent eye-hand coordination you will do fine,

    Go have fun.

    PS: If it's "alternative" that means you can slap, pluck, pick or scrape it on a cymbal if you want.
  6. Bert Slide

    Bert Slide

    May 16, 2012
    Louisville KY

    This will usually happen right after the rest of the band finishes riding unicorns over rainbows!;)
  7. Hey bud,

    I'm 17 now, been playing since I was 11. I got in my first band at 13..... we went NOWHERE.... I spent 14 up until the time I turned 17 bouncing out and in of various bands that mostly wouldn't make it out of the basement.... I did a few different cool things, an Acoustic Folk thing and a few Blues jams that played out a couple times and had various gigs in the Studio... I landed my first REAL gigging band recently, I joined and played the next 6 weeks out playing everywhere... All the time I spent jamming with guys in the basement conditioned me for what I'm in now.. They're a professional calibre band, and you'd think I'd have no business playing with them. But I did a TON of shedding to prepare for it but all of the lessons learned from jamming with anybody and everybody got me ready for it... ANY chance you get to play with somebody is gonna help you ESPECIALLY at where you're at now... Because they'll show you new things you didn't know/think of before and it'll help you... You won't know until you try.... So get out there and jam!!

  8. Winfred


    Oct 21, 2011
    Don't sweat it dude. Here's everything you need to know:

    1. Show up on time
    2. Know your part
    3. Don't be an @$$hole.

    99% of musicians can't do all 3 of those.

    If you can manage those 3 things, you'll be in lots of bands and play as much music as you've ever wanted.
  9. klokker


    Jan 7, 2009
    Steele City, NE
    You have to get the ball rolling to get anywhere. Go for it and do the best you can. If you want to play in a band, the only way to learn is to be in one.
  10. denhou1974


    Mar 6, 2008

    If you don't believe in yourself then nobody else will either. Join the band. Play some music. Learn, and have fun.
  11. whitedk57


    May 5, 2005
    Franklin, NC

    It's inevitable - when you play in various bands, you'll meet this guy...
  12. kbakerde

    kbakerde Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2012
    Do it. You can play by your self for years and you won't really grow. You will improve more by playing with other musicians in a couple months than by yourself for a year.
  13. facepalmmaster


    Jan 4, 2012
    Roi? whats that? And yeah, although i've heard of meta bassists who slap, so im not gonna just stop :p
  14. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone Banned

    Feb 23, 2011
    Do it!

    The greatest thing about playing music is to be in a band and create your own.
  15. facepalmmaster


    Jan 4, 2012
    Awesome man, I'll have to take these into consideration, although I dont think all of these really apply to this situation. I think its more of a jamming band, not so much a serious gigging band, though im not sure what will happen. I hope that the whole being on time thing isn't a problem, but my friend knows that I have a job at a day camp, so I cant do much on weekdays (he lives 30 mins away, so to get there and back after I get home at 5 will consume a lot of time). But yeah, ill remember this stuff, and if I do get into a serious band it will come in handy.
  16. facepalmmaster


    Jan 4, 2012
    Probably haha, he has a bass amp at his house that is 300 watts (or so he says) and probably a pretty big guitar amp, so yeah, probably a wise investment
  17. facepalmmaster


    Jan 4, 2012
    Well, id hope I can keep a beat after 8 years of cello :p And same thing with hand eye coordination and video games.
  18. facepalmmaster


    Jan 4, 2012
    I will :D
  19. facepalmmaster


    Jan 4, 2012
    I would hope i have at least #3 down, and I'm almost never late, so number 2 will be the only thing I need to focus on
  20. I believe he means "Return on investment" meaning, scale knowledge will get you further then learning to slap will. I'm assuming anyway...

    I'd do it. If nothing else it will be a great experience.

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