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how to fail!!!

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Mixmasta J, Jan 15, 2006.

  1. Mixmasta J

    Mixmasta J

    Dec 4, 2004
    From HotDrum Forums:

    How To Fail As a Band: Recipe for Disaster
    by Steve Solari

    So many people want their band to "succeed." They want to "make it, and make it big." Sure, that's all well and good. But some of us just want to waste everyone's time and take a nose-dive into anonymity. We're not concerned with success, just the appearance that we're going somewhere when we actually are headed nowhere with unprecedented speed. Let's take a look at how to properly fail as a band.

    First off, don't have a vision for where your group is going. Be content with the "we'll play anywhere, anytime, as long as the money's good" philosophy. Be perfectly content to play in any local dive that offers you free drinks. Talk a lot amongst yourselves about one day recording a demo and getting representation, but don't ever, ever follow through. And most importantly, don't write down any of your band's goals, much less put a time limit on them. That's seriously dangerous ground. There's no stopping you with that stuff.

    Next, hire people who just don't care, hopefully like yourself. They're very easy to find, and after they're hired they are extremely flexible about schedule changes. As a matter of fact, they will even initiate them, often at the very last minute. This can be very convenient for those times you're just not in the mood to practice. These bandmates also won't be busy working on their skills at their instrument, so you can go to the movies or just hang out with them and relax.

    When you do practice as a group, don't take it too seriously. Don't worry about the intros or endings of your songs. Have faith that they will work themselves out mysteriously before the next gig. And don't work on one song more than once or twice. You don't want to wear them out. Why would they call it "playing" an instrument if it took that much work?

    Let's take a minute to talk about tempo. Feel free to change it from one practice session to the next, and then at the gig just do whatever comes naturally. If you really want to fail properly, never use a metronome. If you can play with a click, you can play with just about anyone and anything, so it's too risky. If you develop a sense of time and the ability to adjust it appropriately, you're just begging for success.

    Pitch. Make sure the vocalists don't concern themselves too much with being "on key" and never tell them if they're flat or sharp. They will find out themselves, usually at a gig when the audience complains. If you told them in advance and they made a small change, the problem would only disappear, further increasing the likelihood of success. Flat shmat, sharp shmarp. Just sing and let it flow. You're bound to fall good and hard on your face.

    Appearance. One thing that consistently makes a band succeed is charisma. If you look like you're having fun, the audience will have fun, too. And when they have fun, they love you and will ask you back. Who wants the hassle of repeat performaces? Been there, done that. And don't worry about what you're going to wear. If you actually dress for something, it looks like you're serious about it. People pay attention when you're serious, and that's the last thing you want if you're headed toward true anonymity.

    Finally, don't network with other musicians. Once you've met with someone else in the business, throw away their card and for heaven's sake don't put them in your address book. Don't even keep an address book. When you're done working with someone, poison the relationship deliberately and burn that bridge completely. Otherwise they may send work your way in the future.

    Keeping all this in mind, you should be able to waste everyone's time and go from bad to worse like nobody's business. And soon business will be the last thing troubling you. These techniques have stood the test of time and have helped thousands of people shatter their dreams of success. Follow them and you're home free and home-bound. Abandon them, and those dreams stay intact and actually have a good chance of coming true. But who wants success, when failure is so easy?

    Here's to a gig-free, miserable life as a starving artist
  2. BassChuck


    Nov 15, 2005
    I hope you are feeling better now. Please know there are many goals in the music business. Playing at the top of your form with a band that is also at the top of their form is a good goal and most musicians want that.

    If you count fame as a barometer of success, you might be setting yourself up for a lifetime of depression. Being able to pay the bills with money earned as a musician is a fine and noble goal.

    If you are CHOOSING to sacrifice for your art, don't. The only people (IMHO) who can live that way are people who simply cannot fathom any other option.

    Good luck with everything you do. And here's to making good music with good people for good people.... that should be reward enough.
  3. Mixmasta J

    Mixmasta J

    Dec 4, 2004
    maybe I put this in the wrong forums, I just realized this would go well in the HUMOR section ;)

    I meant this as a joke oh well thats the internet for ya! :rolleyes:
  4. jimbob


    Dec 26, 2001
    Charlotte NC
    Endorsing Artist: Acoustica Mixcraft; Endorsing Artist: DR Strings
    I thought it was great!
  5. RLT


    Jul 10, 2004
    South Central OH
    While it is ment as a joke. The sad truth is too many bands follow these rules religiously.
    It is a great primer to show young bands what not to do.
  6. Tingly


    Jul 16, 2005
    Yonkers, NY
    Yeah, that was excellent!

    Unfortunately, some of those things really hit home.

    Now, if I can only figure out how to delicately bring up some of those issues with MY prima donnas?
  7. pklima

    pklima Commercial User

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Karoryfer Samples
    All young musicians should read this and also watch "This Is Spinal Tap".
  8. txbasschik


    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    Oh, so you've played with my old band! ;-)

    Cherie ;-)
  9. jimbob


    Dec 26, 2001
    Charlotte NC
    Endorsing Artist: Acoustica Mixcraft; Endorsing Artist: DR Strings
    I am thinking the same thing...not about all of it because we do ok for the most part...but some of it.
  10. LMAO this is great.
    i was just musing at the attitudes of the local bands around here and thinking "man its almost like someone gave them an instruction book on how to fail." i guess someone really did. too bad you didnt patent this method before it became so popular
  11. I didn't find the humor in this post like others did. My band is recently coming to a bit of a crossroads, where we can go the rout of what this post said (which we haven't been doing to the extreme, but have been a bit lazy), or we can actually make all of our ideas come to life, which really isnt that hard. It just takes the slightest bit of effort. The problem with alot of good bands is that since they're good musically, they think that business will just come to them. We thought that for a number of years, and have recently realized that notes and numbers ARE NOT bedfellows. Good insightful post. You can bet your ass I'm printing it and showing it to the rest of the guys.
  12. I had many of these problems, except maybe a little different in one of the first bands I was in. I was doing it for satisfaction, the singer wanted fame, the guitarist didn't care.

    Singer spent more time creating a "cool" myspace for the band and talking about how cool we were rather than actually practicing. After being together for a month maybe and having a handful of original songs, said singer spent more time figuring out which recording equipment to buy, so we could record and get gigs! Besides, who wants to write songs before gigs?

    Left that band, but learned alot...like "Get your priorities in order" :)


    Apr 23, 2005
    has to be the best movie ever made.
  14. That's the nail on the head right there. Being in a band doesn't _have_ to be hard. There's always a demand for new music, or new acts to play at local venues. Sometimes it's just getting off your duff and dropping off some demos or making some phone calls that's all it takes, rather than just sitting around talking about it, or posting on a message board :ninja:
  15. FrigginChris


    Feb 6, 2006

    these three things were my biggest complaints about my now ex band
  16. It's humorous but it's no joke. It's a very poignant way to get a point across. It points out many traps that people can get into without even realizing it.

    They have a book for computer programmers based on the same premise. It is called Anti-Patterns. It's a great book. Very educational.

    - Dave