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Got the gig, but a few worries

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by BillyRay, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. BillyRay

    BillyRay Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    I was auditionning today and all went pretty well. The drummer is good and has a nice style: doesn't pound too much but he has all the good stuff in the right places. Is a friend of syncopation and that means he is a friend of mine.

    Vocalist and guitarist are both pretty rusty. Vocalist has talent, guitarist is also good altough he doesn't seem confy soloing. But its workable for a rock cover band and he doesn't have any attitude whatsoever.

    What has me worried is that the singer and guitarist will quiet the band after they hear a mistake or will just have us start over from scratch for some pretty mundane stuff (singer being off key, missing a cue, etc.). The singer hasn't gigged for over 4 years for Pete's sake, its normal to forget something. This means that the whole 4 hours, the atmosphere was pretty tense and that we only worked on 4 songs. When I asked the vocalist what songs he wanted to add for next week, he said none. It's not as if we were to be gigging next week and needed to perfect an already complete setlist, we are building one from scratch, working out kinks is what rehearsals are for! I told them I want to gig and fast before the audition: not giggign enough is one of the reasons I'm quitting my other band by the end of September. I've always been a seat of the pant kinda guy, playing songs with only a chart and maye some lyrics on it, so I can fake it and just rock it.

    The thing that was the most fun was when the singer went for a piss and the drummer and I just jammed. We connected in a snap. When the vocalist came back, the music felt somewhat stiff. We were getting better by the end of the 4 hours though.

    To add to the problem, we are booked for 4 hours at the practice space at 20$ a pop per band member. I'm not ponying up money for 6 months before we have two sets of material: I'm not in it for the money, but it would be nice not to wait 2 years to break even...

    PS: This band is not an established one. The other three guys have all played togheter in the past, but were short of a bassist to form a band. This is where I come in.
  2. tycobb73


    Jul 23, 2006
    Grand Rapids MI
    We never stop for little mistakes. Its "ok the basic structure is there, learn your details because we're going to do it at tonights show. " We spent 2 hours setting up yesterday and a half an hour learning 3 new songs that we performed last night.
  3. Adam Bomb

    Adam Bomb

    Mar 26, 2008
    Bezerkely, CA
    At rehearsals in a previous band, the singer would shut us down mid-song and bitch about the tempo and the key. Tempo and key were fine. Listening to recordings later, I would hear her struggling. I think she would just get tired and want to stop.

    I quit.

    I think it is fair to talk about *how* to practice: "Why don't we run through the whole song, and then compare notes? It's not like you're going to stop us mid-song at a gig." (Then he can tell you that he intends to stop songs during gigs, and then you can quit.)

    --Bomb :bassist:
  4. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I would run like hell. If that's the way they're running things it is absolutely not worth the investment. You'll put more time, aggravation, and money into rehearsing than you'll ever be able to make up for in gigs. And at 4 songs per 2 4 hour rehearsal you're never going to get out there anyhow.
  5. BillyRay

    BillyRay Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    I basically told them I would think about it and call them back ASAP.

    I see the band's potential, but at the same time, I'm not doing this for the long time association (multi year plans, gigging 50 dates a year) unless the guys REALLY cook. The 20$ a rehearsal is also a major money investment for a "no gig yet, maybe in 5 months" type of band.
  6. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Could they just be nervous about having a new member? If you have nothing else lined up, I might give them a couple more practices.... just to see if they loosen up.

    But an hour per song is worrying.
  7. BillyRay

    BillyRay Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    They could be nervous because they are rusty as hell, but I don't really have a month and money to spare so they get their stuff right again.

    The more I think about this, the less I really want to get involved in this. They are good, but the whole vibe in the band is somewhat off. There was not a lot of fun to be had (except for the interplay between the drummer and me...)
  8. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Did you get the drummer's number/email ;)
  9. xshawnxearthx


    Aug 23, 2004
    new jersey
    it's a cover band you guys should be ripping through songs left and right in a 4 hour time frame.

    just be honest, tell them your deal and see if you can come to an agreement. if not, steal the drummer.
  10. BillyRay

    BillyRay Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    I really can't picture myself stealing the drummer. He has been a friend fo these guys for 10 years. I've met him twice in my life and talked to him for about 3 minutes ;)
  11. alembicguy

    alembicguy I operate the worlds largest heavey equipment Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Have you mentioned this to them like you have on here?It might help to let them understand what you expect out of them as a band.Just my 2 cents.
  12. Dogsferatu


    May 22, 2007
    Austin, TX
    I work with cover bands quite a bit, and sometimes put them together for one off gigs for a certain female vocalist friend of mine. I send the musicians the tunes by email and we have one rehearsal for about 3 - 4 hours before the gig with the vocalist. Day of rehearsal I give vocal/chord charts out and thats about it. We do the gig, get paid and go home to our native band(s) until needed again. You get the main parts right that the audience will recognize and make it your own.

    I had one guy that played guitar as a hobby , but only could play what was on the original recording. We couldn't deviate from the norm. The music was stale and boring. Really boring. Man can't live on I-V alone. I wasn't sad when that gig ended, and refuse to play with him (in charge) again.

    On the other hand I joined a group who had originals only and would never even get through one song before going to the next. It would drive me nuts, and they would never gig. I was out within two 4 months realizing it would never be tight enough to do originals, they could never handle covers...
  13. 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
    +100. Tell them everything you posted on TB in a calm, professional manner.

    They need to practice at home and rehearse when you get together. Make that distinction to them and go from there.

    Also, if you go through the whole song, then just work on the parts that are weak, not the whole song again and again.
    Recording the rehearsal might help that out.

    It's got to be fun! Life's too short. Maybe they'll listen and maybe they won't.

    It's may be worth a try if you see potential. Getting a gig setup (a month or two out) will get everyone focused. If they're not interested, they you know what to do.
  14. mutedeity


    Aug 27, 2007
    Isn't this stuff just common sense? You have to tell them that stopping songs is not good practice and a waste of time. Tell them it has to stop. If that is a problem you are in the wrong band. Simple really.

    If the guitarist and vocalist aren't up to par and have little prospect of being up to par ditch them, take the drummer and get some guys that are decent. Really, you are playing covers, it shouldn't take months of rehearsals before you are ready to gig.

    Plus what Stumbo said
  15. baalroo


    Mar 24, 2008
    Wichita, KS
    Actually, most jazz and orchestral settings I've been in stopping songs and working out issues was the prefered method. Seems it's only rock settings where this is looked down upon. Of couse in rock settings players tend to be less professional and focused and stopping a song and fixing something can cause MORE chaos. It makes sense to me that if you have a 3 minute song and 3 mistakes are made, you stop 3 times and fix the problems and the song is perfect.... assuming you run through the offending sections once each it can be assumed the whole thing should take 10 minutes max and the problems should be solved. A 4 hour sessions in a cover band I would assume then should be able to crank out at least 15 songs or so with relative ease and with plenty of breaks and "fun time/jamming/etc" in between. (I don't play in cover bands, but since everything is already written and arranged ahead of time and assumably chosen to fit the abilities of the bands this seems logical to me).

    So, getting through one song that everyone should already know per hour is atrocious. I don't even know how it's possible to be that inept at a relatively simple endeavor. If it was me I would ditch'em.
  16. BillyRay

    BillyRay Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    Cover bands usually cater to a dancing, non-musical crowd, so (small) mistakes are a given. In an orchestral setting, you can't have the oboist pedalling the root because he can't remember his line in a particular section of the song. In a guitar solo, it's usually perfectly acceptable to do so with some embillishment. Also, there's no substitute for trial by fire: you can rehearse the same 10 songs for three years in your basement to make them perfect or you can gig them on 3 occasions. The songs will probably sound and feel the same afterwards: second nature. Gigging is 20 rehearsals rolled into one.

    With that in mind, what cover bands usually need to succeed is not mind blowing tightness or perfect song renditions, it's:
    a) A huge and good repertoire that people want to hear
    b) Having fun on stage
    c) Good vocalist(s) and a great frontman

    Right now, they're about 1 for 3 with not a lot going on for them in category a) and b).

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