New Band! New Drummer!

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by beedubyuh, Dec 7, 2007.

  1. beedubyuh


    Jul 20, 2007
    Chicago, IL
    I've been playing bass in a folk-rock band for a couple of years. It's been a great experience for me. They gave me a break even though I was much less experienced than them. Now that I've got some skills, I felt the need to expand my playing into a more rockin' sound. So I hooked up with this new band, which is sort of garage/punk/lo-fi rock.

    The new drummer is like I used to be, inexperienced, but motivated. We've talked about doing some bass & drum only practices so that we can get really tight. I feel weird suddenly being the "experienced" one, but I want to make this work.

    I'm looking for advice/suggestions on what kind of exercises/material the two of us could work on. Obviously we have the band's material, but what else? Has anyone out there done this? It seems like a good idea to me. Help?
  2. I used to get together with a drummer in one of my old bands and we'd jam on just about anything that came to mind - not songs, but other things... like nursery rhymes, stuff we'd make up on the spot based on stories or news items...

    The key was not to over-think it - but just dig in and make it work.

    We'd do something like this:
    "Nursery rhymes - uh... 'knick-knack paddy-whack' - in the style of the Red Hot Chili Peppers... Ready? 1, 2, 3..."

    He'd kick off the first beat that popped into his head and I'd start riffing on something that reminded me of an RHCP tune. We'd keep it simple and eventually settle into a real groove. When the groove settled, I'd jump on the mic and start making up lyrics - well, not making them up, rather saying the nursery rhyme...

    This old man (funky, funky, slap, pop)
    He played one (funky, funky, slap, pop)
    He played knick-knack on my thumb (funky, funky slap 'n' pop)

    Instrumental break - slight freak out - then

    With a knick-knack, paddy-whack, give a dog a bone (slide)
    This old man came rolling home...

    Once we found our way through an entire verse/chorus, we'd start taking liberties with the lyrics and adding interesting stuff musically.

    No time to think - just GO! Pick a simple key, style, general idea and dive in.

    We'd also just make stuff up to explore a style. Like when Bobby McFerrin's "Don't worry, be happy" sort of reggae meets silly - we made up a song about a monkey in a tree so we could experiment with that "oo oo AH AH, oo oo, AH AH" skank...

    By NOT using 'real' songs, it opens you up to do anything and try anything without feeling like you missed or played something wrong.


    We'd do this sort of a jam before we went out for a night on the town. He'd come out to my place (where the band room was) at 7 and we'd jam until 10 then go out and check out what was happening on the Landing... It was huge fun to jam like that and we'd always end up cracking up - but we also connected really well because of it.

    We ended up playing together in a 'pep band' sponsored by Grey Eagle Distributing (Budweiser) and would play for Golden Gloves and Guns and Hoses Boxing events. At these events, we'd have to come up with well over 100 little pieces of songs - real or made-up, to fill time between fights and rounds as the ring girls strutted their stuff...

    I don't know how many times I'd just say "Something funky in G! 2, 3, 4" and we'd kick off a 30 second jam that sounded killer!

    There's on suggestion for ya... Hope it helps!