How to improve a musicians

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by thecovenant32, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. thecovenant32


    Jan 3, 2013
    Well, I like to play some music with my friends I'm 14(bass), the singer is also 14, and the drummer is 13, the oldest one would the guitar player he is 17, so yeah we're expecting to become better musicians, and any tips would work.

    Tell me what you think, the guitar's amp messes up with the effects, we got lots of mistakes, and also this was recorded with a cellphone and no editing was done, so yeah, bad quality audio
  2. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
    Getting better can only be done through practice. There are no short cuts. Everyone has to practice on their own and then you have to practice as a band. Pick 2 or 3 songs at a time that everyone can work on at home. Then play them at rehearsal. Once you are close to mastering them, pick a couple more, and so on. As far as the song is concerned, better vocals would be a huge plus.
  3. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    There was a town in Canada called PIckering that produced a ton of really good musicians. Much more than you would expect from that town.

    The reason everyone thought these guys progressed so fast? a) Nothing to do in the town b) a place for teenagers to play.

    This guy had converted an auto body shop into a teen hangout spot ("dry pub") and hosted local teenage bands every Friday and Saturday evening. So, these guys had nothing to distract them. They practiced, and then performed regularly in town. They got better and better.

    So, assuming you've got dedicated guys, find a place to perform regularly, and try to minimize distractions. That last part will be will be hard as no one will willingly give up girlfriends and video games, and other things that distract them.

    But apparently, this worked for Pickering as they produced a lot of musicians that became touring guys at a young age for Sum 41 and Avril Lavigne and other bands you'd recognize..
  4. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    Here is my list of 20 things guaranteed to make you a better musician:

    1. Practice
    2. Practice
    3. Practice
    4. Practice
    5. Practice
    6. Practice
    7. Practice
    8. Practice
    9. Practice
    10. Practice
    11. Practice
    12. Practice
    13. Practice
    14. Practice
    15. Practice
    16. Practice
    17. Practice
    18. Practice
    19. Practice
    20. Practice
  5. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Which is most important though? :D

  6. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011

    That's why it's bolded.
  7. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are.

    After #20, "perfect" each song on your own. I suggest you use slow downer software to make backing tracks so each member can practice their part. Also make chord/lyric charts.

    If you can't play each song perfect on your own, amplifying your imperfect playing won't make the band better. :atoz:

    Becoming a better musician, IME, is not a social exercise. That's why it's called "woodshedding".

    Check out my TB Wiki page below for more great TB info on learning/playing bass.

    Good luck.:)
  8. Definitely work towards perfecting the songs on your own by practicing by yourself. Encourage your bandmates to do the same. I find that playing in a band setting is a great way to make progress as a musician, provided that you are always bringing your best playing to the table. Be sure to LISTEN to your bandmates and what they are playing! Chemistry and communication is important to making an entire band into better musicians.
  9. Mitchinboxer


    Jan 25, 2012
    Totally agree with everything said, practice on your own and with the band as much as you can. Personally, when I want to get tighter, I'll schedule a practice with just me and the drummer and really lock in with him as tightly as I can. Then at the next band practice even guitar parts and vocals that were previously sloppy and out of time slide right into place.
  10. 5StringFool

    5StringFool Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2011
    Greenup, KY
    "Musicians should go to a yard sale and buy an old f****** drum set and get in their garage and just suck. And get their friends to come in and they’ll suck, too. And then they’ll f******* start playing and they’ll have the best time they’ve ever had in their lives and then all of a sudden they’ll become Nirvana. Because that’s exactly what happened with Nirvana. Just a bunch of guys that had some s***** old instruments and they got together and started playing some noisy-a** s***, and they became the biggest band in the world. That can happen again!"
    ~ Dave Grohl

    OP I think Mr. Grohl would say you're on the right track... now just keep practicing. ;)
  11. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Neither of those artists are from Pickering. Sum 41 are from Ajax nearby and Avril Lavigne is from a different nearby town. I would also say the biggest part of those bands seeing success is that all three mentioned towns are within the GTA (Greater Toronto Area). Still a great story and probably true for the most part.
  12. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.

    Take lessons and PRACTICE. Learn music theory while you're learning songs. Learn to read music as well as training your ear. It's great to learn songs by ear, to be able to play what you hear. It's also great to be able to understand what you are hearing. Knowing harmony, chord structure, scales, key signatures, time signatures, note values, etc, makes it easier to learn, read, and write music.

    I think piano lessons are the best for giving you a good overall education about music. You can take those lessons and apply them to any other instrument. It's just a matter of putting your fingers in different places. ;)

    I started playing guitar in my first garage band when I was 13, after seven years of piano lessons. I moved to bass because I liked it better. I also played clarinet and tuba in high school. Then I was a music major in college and played a lot of different instruments. You've got a lot of fun ahead of you. :D

    EDIT: I just listened to your soundcloud. You guys sound terrific for a bunch of "tweeners". My first band didn't sound that good until we practiced "Hard Day's Night" for a week in my garage. :p

    Thank you for your indulgence,

  13. pipFunk


    Feb 1, 2005
    + about a billion on practice... but also, don't get trapped listening to just one genre.

    There are many great bass players out there across the whole range of music, don't discount them because they are old school, or country, or whatever, they ALL have something valid to offer the aspiring player.

    So, in the spirit of offering you examples, look up (off the top of my head) these bassists:

    Victor Wooten
    Bootsie Collins
    Herbie Flowers
    John Entwhistle
    Jaco Pastorius
    Geezer Butler
    Paul McCartney
    Lemmy Kilminster
    John Paul Jones

    It's not required that you "like" their music, just emulate their musicianship... they all bring something different and relevant to the table, and that can help you to bring a fresh take to any sound. This is relevant to all instruments, but seeing as this is TalkBASS and all...

    I'm sure the others will chime in with other examples! :)
  14. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Your band sounds way better than anything I was doing at 14. Just keep doing it.
  15. pklima


    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Yeah, exactly. Practice your instrument and also absorb as much knowledge about music as you can. Learn piano, learn theory (you can start with Youtube videos explaining the basics), learn about recording and signal processing, check out some random old and new genres that don't use bass guitar at all...

    Also try to find some way to perform in front of actual people, even if it's just a couple of songs at a school function or playing at some friend's birthday party. You will learn things that no amount of practice or theory can replace, like which of your songs get a better reaction.
  16. randyripoff


    Jul 12, 2008
    Practice. Practice more. Then practice some more.

    One other thing; play with other people, especially people who are better than you. You'll learn from them, they may learn from you, but it's a good way to improve that you can't get just from woodshedding.
  17. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    I hate to say it but everyone here is dead wrong. Kind of embarrassing how many.
    Practicing is not even remotely the most important thing a musician does. Compared to the most important thing, practicing is like double knotting your shoes. Totally non important. If you don't do the most important thing, practicing for eight hours a day won't move you forward a single inch. If you don't do it, you're not even actually a musician.

    If you guys still don't get it.

    50. Practice
  18. Milk


    Sep 16, 2013
    Montreal, Canada

    He didnt say they were from Pickering he said the some guys that were part of the touring bands were. Though i wouldn't think Sum 41 has a touring band since i thought they were a full band already.... One thing is for certain, while im sure these are great paying gigs, i'd die before i played for any of those "artists"
  19. Milk


    Sep 16, 2013
    Montreal, Canada
    All the listening in the world won't give you muscles coordination, improve your fingering or picking speed or fluidity, etc. At best it's half and half. I mean i did a lot of listening before i started playing a bass you know...i still sucked when i started...
  20. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.

    I agree that listening is very important. Developing your ear so that you recognize what you are hearing will help you in many ways. I have sat in with bands that played songs I've never done, or even heard. But because I can listen to the chord progression, what the other instruments are playing, I can know what's coming next so it sounds like I actually know what I'm doing. :p

    Classes in "figured bass" (chord structure, inversions, harmony) and "solfege" (sight-singing) would be excellent ways to start training your ears. I didn't take classes like this until I was in college but you may find some similar resources available online if you want to get a head start.

    But don't forget to practice! ;)

    Thank you for your indulgence,