Join a band now or wait - am I procrastinating?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Matthew_84, Jan 13, 2015.

  1. Hi TBers,

    Every 3-4 weeks I jam with a few friends. It is strictly a jam, and everything is improvised. I'd like to get to start/join a band that meets up every week or so, practices their butts off and builds a proper repertoire of covers and maybe some original material, so we can gig... Not really for money, but just for the fun of it.

    However, I hesitate to do this today because I believe to become a great musician one has to imitate, assimilate, and then innovate... I truly believe that imitating most of the players and basslines that really inspire me, will help shape my style into what I want it to be.

    But, there are still a lot of songs and artists who's material I still desperately want to learn, and I mean a lot... Probably another few years of learning material. And truthfully, I don't know too many of these songs now as it is, though I seriously plan on changing that in the future. But because of this it's hard for me to start a band and recommend the material I want to play because I still have to learn it myself.

    Every once in a while I get fed up and roam my local classifieds to join a band or meet up with someone in hopes of starting a band... However, it usually ends up with me feeling pressured to learn 5 songs in a week, and I don't really like any of those songs, or at least, they're not on my list and thus I feel like I'm not using my time as well as I'd like to.

    I'd really like to join a band, but at the same time I feel that I should learn all of the material that I want to learn first so that I don't mind learning the other material that would be more appropriate for covers.

    I also can't help but feel that I'm procrastinating as well though... I'm just curious about if any other hobby players were in the same boat, and what you did? Perhaps met up with one other player that had a very similar taste as you and learn one song a week, you pick one, and then they do, etc?

    Thanks in advance,

  2. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    You've gotta start somewhere. Don't procrastinate unless you feel really unskilled & unready.

    My advice to you:

    Start / join a band now.

    You'll be surprised how quickly you progress just by getting serious about learning songs - covers or originals with other people.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2015
    hrodbert696, JLY and Gluvhand like this.
  3. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Inactive

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    So many misconceptions. Get in a band and see what it is about.
    • If you want to play, and are playing covers, you will likely play some songs you don't even like, let alone aren't on your list.
    • You will never learn everything on your list, it will keep changing
    • You don't always know songs you want the band to learn, it happens all the time
    • You need to push yourself - lots of us learn 5 or more songs in a week for an audition.
    • It's very rare to get in a band where EVERYONE works their butts off. Get used to it and learn to deal with it.
    Get out there and good luck.
  4. Yeah, I think that's a good point, one that I often forget.

    That's a very good point sir! It is constantly changing, and I'm always adding new songs/artists that weren't on my list the week before.

    That's good to know, thanks.

    I understand that, and I do certainly need to push myself more than I have been.

    I appreciate all of your feedback guys. Thanks!
  5. Winfred


    Oct 21, 2011
    You're way over-thinking this. No offense intended! I want you to play bass, have fun, AND make money at it for the rest of your life. :)

    Just play. Don't over-analyze, and get caught up in "what ifs", or "should I's".

    Play. Jam. Join a band. Practice by yourself. Whatever.

    If you want to play professionally, be a weekend warrior, or play in your home by yourself, just do it. There's nothing to think about. :)
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  6. Skeeter1


    Oct 24, 2012
    Bass is meant to be played in a multiple intrument setting like a band. The only way to learn how to apply your musical knowledge and work within the framework of a live musical production is to get out there and do it.

    It will quickly identify areas of your skill set that need improvement, which leads to more focused practice and direction, which makes for a better musician.
    JLY and Matthew_84 like this.
  7. tedious1


    Feb 14, 2014
    Bah, if the greats hesitated to join the bands they did when they did, would they have ended up being greats?

    The only sure fired way I can think of to make sure you never are listed among the greats is to stop imitating, assimilating and innovating.

    And being in a band doesn't preclude imitation, assimilation or innovation. More than a few people on TB could make the case that a band not only doesn't preclude such things, it can be an excellent platform to promote them.
    Matthew_84 likes this.
  8. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    After 2 years of practicing on my own, and not thinking I was band worthy. I went to my first audition and got a call back that night to join. My playing improved tenfold in the next year. Every practice or gig a great learning experience. Do it!
    Matthew_84 and drummer5359 like this.
  9. Sounds good guys, I just posted an ad on my local classifieds and I listed a few of the bands I'd like to cover, which not only shows the style of music I want to play but would allow me to cover a lot of the material I am hoping to learn well... Fingers crossed I get some decent replies.

    Thanks again everyone.
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  10. tedious1


    Feb 14, 2014
    Good Luck!
    Matthew_84 likes this.
  11. Gluvhand

    Gluvhand Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2014
    Rockland County, NY
    I did the same recently. Good luck to you.
  12. RED J

    RED J Lol

    Jan 23, 2000
    Ain't nothin' like a little OJT. !!!
    Matthew_84 likes this.
  13. INTP


    Nov 28, 2003
    Dallas, TX
    Good for you for moving ahead.

    FWIW, if you find yourself learning songs that you don't care about and/or don't think you'll ever play again, remember that you're still learning from them, and at the very least you'll get better at the process of learning songs.
  14. Thank you. You too.
  15. That's a good point.. There is always something to learn. Thanks
  16. delta7fred


    Jul 3, 2007
    The sooner you get in a band (rather than a bunch of jam friends) the sooner you will have to play outside your comfort zone. Nothing like a bit of pressure to focus the mind. An impending gig will (should) really make you work but you will be all the better for it.

    I am reluctant to learn my favourite songs with a band. After playing them, possibly murdering them, 50,000 times it amazing how they drop off your favourites list.

    If I have a list of songs to learn the first thing I do is put them on a loop and play them whenever possible until I am heartily sick of hearing them and they are ingrained in my brain.
    Once I know instinctively where the changes come and what the arrangement is then I will learn what the changes are.
    (At this point I would be happy to play the song with the band at a rehearsal)
    Next I learn any signature bass parts.
    If the song gets accepted as one to go on a setlist I will then learn any intricacies. There is no need to know it note perfect if it going to get dropped, even then I may not play it note for note if the proper bassline doesn't fit with what the rest of the band are playing.

    Edit - I never regret learning a song even if we never get to gig it. It is all experience and bits of it can be probably used in the future.
  17. Hmm. That's interesting... Every time I go to learn a new song, I start at the beginning and learn it note for note, which makes learning a Jamerson tune a long process. Thanks for the tip!
  18. jthisdell


    Jun 12, 2014
    Roanoke, VA
    Good points above, that bass is better/more fun/meant to be an accompanying instrument so you will learn more and faster by being in a band. No, all of the songs will not be your favorites but you can still learn by playing them and as we say "making them your own". The most important thing you can learn is how to follow along and lay down a groove for a song that you don't really know. Tell me what the changes are and let's go. if you can do that you can play most anything. I had a teacher 40 years ago who taught me that. Invaluable lesson. When I joined my current band they would say "Do you know such and such?" and I'd say no. And then they'd play it and I'd follow along and then they would say "I thought you didn't know that song" and I'd say that I did not know it. And they would just look at me and scratch their heads.

    Unfortunately the hardest part of being in a band is finding 2-4 people who can get along and who all want to play out and are not afraid to lay it out there before it is "perfect" (it never will be). Harder than it sounds. I read all the drama in the band management forum and am so thankful that I am with the guys I am.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2015
  19. +1
    Yep. Don't waste time. If your goal is to join a band then get to it! Playing with people is a different skill set than home alone with the CD/MP3 player. Playing with people live at a gig is different yet again – all good learning experiences and you don't get better at something by not doing it, unless you want to get better at procrastinating. Just ask me, I'm an expert procrastinator. If someone were to pay me for it, I'd be rich beyond your wildest imagination.
    I was going to post this sooner, but...
  20. delta7fred


    Jul 3, 2007
    There are I'm sure differing opinions on this, this is just my method - an iterative process. It is a long and tedious process learning a whole song note for note in isolation, particularly for a beginner.

    We will usually have a list of suggestions to look at. At the end of a rehearsal we will blast through a few playing what we know of them, whatever words we can remember and a few chords with root bass notes. We will change the key if necessary to suit whoever is singing it, most of our songs are not in the original keys (we are all old gits and our voices are pretty shot).

    If it sounds like it is going to work we learn it for the next rehearsal, I will get the changes down for this and probably any signature parts.
    If the recording of the next rehearsal sounds good I will then work on the intricacies. The other 2 guys never seem to notice these, they are for my own personal satisfaction.
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