how good should you be before joining a band?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by esp50, Jan 24, 2004.

  1. esp50


    Jan 14, 2004
    ive been playing for about half a year,and i dont wanna try out for a band and make a fool outta myself,so what should i know how to do before considering it?
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Just do it. (TM)
  3. IMO it's never too soon or too late too join a band. The more you play and the more people you play the better you'll get. If I worried about being good enough to play with all the people I played with I would never have played with anyone . So go for it, have fun and keep practicing you will get better.
  4. To be in a band makes you iproove your skills more than any teacher intitute etc can.
    Cas you are always learning songs, chops, you write new stuff etc...

    Go for it! Good luck!

  5. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    How good you must be to play with a band depends on the band pure and simple. With six months training you should be good enough for many bands, but not nearly good enough for many others.

    The way you find out is to audition. A hint you might NOT be good enough is if you are answering ads for bands that gig professionally on a regular basis, tour,record, and have been together several years. Even then you could have a (slight) shot if they are desperate and willing to train you.

    Almost any garage band would take a bassist with six months of serious training. That's how I started. Many garage bands have bassists with far less experience.

    Ask yourself these questions. How fast can you learn songs? Can you read a chart or read music? If someone calls a song in the key of A major (or any key), would you know what to do? Can you keep time with the music, meaning to you have enough finger dexterity and speed to keep up with a song? Is your equipment up to snuff to play with a band? If the band has drums, is your speaker powerful enough for you to be heard over the drums? Does your bass stay in tune?

    Also, with just six months experience, you may not be thoroughly conversant with all styles of music, so you might be happiest seeking a band that plays styles you can play. Still, you will grow as a musician if you get in a band that plays a style that forces you to learn it...such as country if you just play punk, or gospel if you just play black metal.

    You might not feel so awkward if you join a band with musicians who have a similar amount of experience as you. You can all learn together and may be more tolerant of each others' weaknesses and may move at a slower pace. Or start your own band, thus dictating the level of those who join you.

    If you join a seasoned band with a large established repertoire of music, you will have to scramble to catch up, especially if they have an impending gig. But you will grow for sure.

    In summation, do not allow your lack of experience keep you from trying to get in bands. For the most part bass isn't a solo instrument. The reason you play bass guitar is to be in bands, not to sit at home playing bass by yourself.

    Good luck and let us know how your auditions go.
  6. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    I lucked out: I got into a band starting the first week I got my bass! A friend of mine brought his granddad's old drumset down from his attic (with permission!), we quickly found a newbie guitarist, and wham! We had a band. Before long, we were playing Smoke on the Water and Sunshine Of Your Love and Purple Haze. It was fantastic motivation for me to practice every day. Good luck to you.
  7. it doesnt matter how good you are, its how good the band is, you wanna join a band similar in skill or youll be left in the dust.
  8. I started jamming about a month after I started playing bass. Really helped me IMO.
  9. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Yeah, good point. Before you seriously think about joining a band, it's a good idea to go to a bunch of jam sessions. They'll call out tunes you've never heard before, so you'll have to be on your toes. Also you'll get to play with a wide variety of players with a wide variety of skill sets and skill levels. That kind of experience can be a real eye opener, and a great learning tool.

    My 2c answer to your question would be: when you're good enough to support the band.
  10. you dont need to be good to be in a band. i mean, look at 90% of black metal bands these days!
  11. I waited well over 2 years to be in a band but jamming was frequent.
  12. Just keep this in mind:

    You're probably not as good as YOU think you are.

    You're probably not as bad as THEY think you are.

    Find a situation where both of these statements can be proven and you'll fit in fine.
  13. rumblethump

    rumblethump Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2000
    Pioneer CA. 95666
    Go audition!! You will know very soon if you can cut it , but don't take it personally if they don't ask you to join. Evaluate what you did right at the audition, and what didn't work at all. This is the only way you will be able to judge what you need to work on. Many things go into putting together a band. Personalities, musicianship, egos, similiar music interests, rehearsing time, management, and goals are just some of the elements needed to have a lean mean R & R machine. If a band is fun, go with it, otherwise keep practicing, jamming, and auditioning until you find the right one, but never be afraid to go audition. Good Luck!
  14. I did it with the guys that I'm in a band with now. Having them be close friends helped a lot so I didn't look like a fool, and they welcomingly gave me tips and threw ideas out there for me.
  15. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    of course I had been playing trombone in bands for 20 years before that. I was playing in a horn band and decided to quit and take some time off to learn how to play bass. I figured a year or two and I might be ready. I studied out of some Carol Kaye books and played along with some tapes of my old bands. One month later my old band called me saying they needed a bass player and did I think I could play their set list. Well of course I had been practicing to their set list on tape. I went in and auditioned, got the job and never looked back. Oh 20 years later I still have my old trombone.... somewhere.:bassist:
  16. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    The rule of thumb to use is to just listen to the band. You can easily tell from hearing them if you are good enough.

    Ask them for a tape or CD, attend a practice or go see them play a show.

    The ideal situation is when you're ALMOST good enough, this puts real pressure on you to learn and grow musically.
  17. BassGod


    Jan 21, 2004
    you should join... when i got into my first band, i had only played bass for a short while, and everything worked out fine. when you are new at bass and you join a band, your skills improve around the type of music you play.

    Have fun, good luck!!! :bassist: :spit: :bassist:
  18. I think the most important thing you can do is to learn how to represent yourself honestly when meeting other musicians. Seriously, you're going to play with people eventually...the sooner, the better.

    Since you feel your skills are lacking, tell the other people when you first meet them, usually over the phone. They will do one of two things:

    a) Tell you things won't work out - ie. they won't want to work with you. You won't waste your time or their time.

    b) They'll be receptive and will be willing to help you out. This is the right attitude.

    Most of the other musicians I've met won't claim to be perfect but they'll commit themselves to getting better, myself included.

    If you wait until your skills are "just right" before joining a band, you'll be waiting forever.
  19. OnederTone

    OnederTone Aguilar Everywhere Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2002
    Thornton, CO
    Donny gets a bass for his birthday, Dad graciously throws in lessons. Each week Dad asks Donnie the same question: What did you learn in your bass lesson today son?

    Week 1, Donny replies: I learned all the notes on the E string.

    Week 2, Donny replies: I learned all the notes on the A string...

    Week 3, to the same question Donny replies:


    wait for it



    ... I didn't go to my lesson this week dad. I had a gig.

  20. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    I'd disagree. I've played in groups where I never improved/failed to learn anything. I've also learned things from playing in groups that teachers could never teach someone, and there are things teachers teach that a band will never teach you. A teacher can't replace the band experience and a band can't replace the teacher experience. I'd say that you can't really judge what helps more. It is kind of like a map that shows where buried treasure is. Which part of the map is more important?