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ideal band structure- how many players in the band

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by black_labb, Mar 13, 2008.

  1. trio

    38 vote(s)
  2. four piece-2 guitars one doubling as vocalist

    25 vote(s)
  3. four piece- 1 guitarist and a dedicated vocalist

    21 vote(s)
  4. five piece- 2 guitars and a vocalist

    11 vote(s)
  5. other- i know there are many other options-post what it is

    20 vote(s)
  1. i was curious what people felt was the ideal band structure. post what your preffered structure is, as well as what type of music it is refering to.

    personally i like a trio. it allows the bass to be more up front and lets the guitar add to the sound. having someone doubling as a singer also allows the vocalist not become bored and impatient in some type of instrumental part, and tryng to cut it short. im not a fan of rythem guitars, as i find that it is un nessisary.

    i tend to like minimalistic forms of rock and punk/post punk such as shellac, nomeansno amongst a variety of other things. im in a band thats slowly getting together, where im playing bass, and im teaching the singer (also my girlfriend) to play guitar with an open tuning and a slide. i was originally playing guitar and was teaching her to play bass, but she wasnt enjoying it too much (and then i started to want to play bass instead of guitar). i think its hard to enjoy bass much before you play another instrument, as its not so upfront in the music, which i think is why many people feel bass isnt as important as guitar.
  2. HollowBassman


    Jun 24, 2007
    Hancock, MD
    Trio. Blues/rock/alternative/country/funk/pop/swing/folk
  3. ive been in trios and quads with 2 guitars. i love both for different reasons, but cant imagine i would ever like being in a group with a dedicated singer. :shudders: works for some, but not for me.
  4. bassaficionado6

    bassaficionado6 Something about gumption

    Jan 7, 2008
    Napa, CA
    I'd like to be in a prog power trio.

    Really badly.
  5. phat daddy

    phat daddy

    Jun 16, 2006
    Tampa Bay, FL
    I like the concept of a four-piece: guitar, bass, keys, & drums with at least 3 people singing if not all of them. I'm the main lead singer in my 4 piece of this setup but everybody contributes both lead and harmony vocals at times. The only reason I didn't vote "trio" is because I think keys are a necessary commodity if you want to pull off any genre you want to, but I love playing in trios where everybody sings as well. I like bands that use as many facets and strengths from as few players as possible to get the biggest, fullest sounding product onstage with the least amount of heads to pay.
  6. Wm. E. Evans

    Wm. E. Evans

    Jul 19, 2007
    Southeast PA
    Depends, what are you trying to accomplish?

    Originals band - What ever you need to achieve your vision. :)

    Cover band or my ideal band- guitar, keys, bass, drums. Everyone sings. At least one female. The keyboardist could possibly double on acoustic. Guitar and keys split lead vocals duties, bass and drums do occasional "color" lead vocals. Everyone sings backing vox as necessary.

    My thoughts on two guitars and/or lead vocalist; I've seen a lot of primarily classic rock cover bands do lead guitar/lead vox, rhythm guitar/backing vox, bass/backing vox only on "Sweet Emotion", drums. This has it's benefits and drawbacks. Benefits; the lead guitarist is too busy singing to wank over everything. Drawbacks; ends up with too much power in the hands of the lead guitarist/vox.

    The other 4 piece w/o dedicated singer alternative is lead vox/rhythm guitar, lead guitar, bass, drums. The danger with this is unless you have a mature lead guitarist, it's hard to keep them from playing when inappropriate....

    Regardless, with two guitars, make sure their tones compliment each other, e.g. one electric and one acoustic works well, while two guitars playing PRSs through Mesa half stacks with scooped mids, well, *shudders*.

    I think dedicated lead singers would work best if a) you're doing a lot of technical material and require the specialization (ala Dream Theater), or b) you're a party band with a good stage show. Otherwise they're just one more person you have to fit into your rehearsal/gig schedule and split the paycheck with at the end of the night...

    Edit: +1 to phat daddy. :)
  7. Nick Kay

    Nick Kay

    Jul 26, 2007
    Toronto, Ontario
    My last band was a four piece for the most part. One guitarist, one guitarist/singer, the drummer, and me pulling triple duty on bass, lead vocals and keys. Near the end of things, we also brought a dedicated vocalist into the fold (who also played bass in another band), but that lineup never made it on stage.

    I have trouble working in smaller groups. It takes a lot of the pressure off songwriting when you have more guys to bounce ideas off of. Similarly, the live show can be a lot more dynamic when there's a bunch of guys on stage with you. Playing off the audience is key and all, but there's something to be said about the Iron Maiden triple-power-stance, or fretting for one guitarist while the other is taking a solo. There's just more possibilities with more folks in on the process.
  8. MyUsernameHere

    MyUsernameHere ?????????????

    Nov 3, 2007
    Lexington KY
    All good bands need background dancers...everything else is subjective.
  9. nortonrider


    Nov 20, 2007
    This lineup sounds pretty good to me.
  10. Tslicebass

    Tslicebass Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2007
    It is the only way you can make any good money playing originals anymore. Or if you want to do covers 5-6 piece is about right.... unless you have multi instrumentalists. Then you can get away with fewer band members
  11. Nitto


    Mar 18, 2007
    Adelaide, South Aus
    four peice is working for us at the moment (Drums, lead guitar,with myself on bass and a dedicated singer) because we write and play the more jazz/blues/rock sort of stuff, some of which is more understated, maybe with bass and hat/snare work with brushes.

    Would love to get a rythym guitarist and expand into more styles like reggae/funk/r&b etc because our guitarist is much more of a lead guy, so i guess that'd be a five peice hey?

    As for having a dedicated singer, i'm all for it; we have a gorgeous lass with a contralto voice and spot on pitch who can play bass... which never hurts :bassist:
  12. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    Lead Vocals

    My fave band format.

    Although most keyboard players these days are tards. :rollno:
  13. J-B'ass


    Sep 3, 2007
    I prefere the four-piece dedicated vocalist thing, because i think you can get a lot more expression/freedom from each isntrument and voice when there's one guy behind each wheel. that and i wish i was led zeppelin.
  14. kickupthejam


    Feb 22, 2008
    A trio all the way. However, the members all have to be pretty nifty at what they do to pull it off. Rush anyone?
  15. ysand


    Mar 26, 2005
    Well, for the rock/hard rock/metal thing i guess that the 5 member band is teh ideal, with 2 guitars, 1 bass, 1 drums, 1 vocalist (and maybe 1 keyboard player).
    For other genres i think that a trio is fine, if someone is good at playing and singing at the same time. (Cos i'm not :p )
  16. Deacon_Blues


    Feb 11, 2007
    4-pieces for me, with as many people as possible doing vocals. I want keys as well, they make the choice of what music to play much less limited.

    I have experienced some problems in all 5-piece groups I've been in. Mostly it's about dedication and problem finding rehearsal dates. To me, trios often feel too limiting musically. So 4-pieces are my thing.
  17. skin


    Jun 22, 2003
    Baton Rouge, LA USA
    We like guitar, drums, bass, keyboards (with a B3. Leslie/ elec piano, 2 synthesizers) and a lead female singer... that's our ticket.
  18. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    I am in a one guitar/dedicated singer band. I kind of like the idea of a guitarist/vocalist- one that plays sometimes. Trouble is, our singer is so short and stumpy/round that a guitar doesnt look good on him.
  19. i originally had a 5 piece with two guitarists. It became complicated because they were too alike tonally and it made me get lost in the mix a LOT (even though my amp was way louder). One of the guitarists ended up doing fills most of the time anyhow, I can handle the rhythm guitar parts myself with the bass and they sound way freakin better...alt rock had a great formula, sorta like In Bloom by Nirvana had =)

    But I think a dedicated vocalist is important, vocals arent to be overlooked in my opinion and that way the instrument players can focus on other stuff besides having to sing in key.
  20. Going from a sextet to a trio has really reduced my stress. And I (theoretically) make double the pay!

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