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New band

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Tym2cu_bass, Apr 8, 2004.


  1. hey, I'm starting a new band with some friends. the thing is we all like all sorts of music and we really don't care what genre we play (as long as its not slow jazz, classical, and pop).

    any of you pros out there have any advice on starting a new band(besides lots of practice)?

    -thx
     
  2. Well, there's tons of ways to go about it. I tend to find it works best if you start with some jamming, with no expectations that it will sound "good", then pick one or two songs everyone likes (a cover) to play. You wouldn't obviously have to play covers, but for a first jam it can help bring everyone together and "get the ball rolling" so to speak. If someone's got a riff or something to bring to the table, have everyone listen to it and try to come up with something. Really, over time, you'll start to find the "center" of your band and will figure out what your sound will be. Hope this helps!
     
  3. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    my experience has taught me a handful of do's and don'ts.... but i'm not going to list them as such. just gonna blabber.

    i think it's imperative to get together with the guys in someone's house before hitting the studio, and get clear on what you'd like to do when you add drums and amplifiers to the mix. it's a good idea to pick at least 4 songs that you know you can all play, whether it be originals or covers - and it's an even better idea to practice them acoustically (again, in the house) before doing the whole band thing.

    here's the reason. when 3, 4 or 5 guys hit the studio and there's no clear focus the result is generally a lot of confusion, a lot of time wasted, and a lot of bad sounds coming out of the room. it is INCREDIBLY discouraging and it get's really difficult to schedule future get togethers. i've seen sooooooooo many projects go down the tubes because people didn't have a clue what they were going to do once they all got together. it's also a big waste of money if you're renting studio space.

    if it's fun when you get together, and it sounds good you'll be motivated and it'll be easier to get it together. do your collective homework. learn songs - the more the better. go prepared. if you're new at the whole band thing i'm not too sure that jamming is the best first thing to do. it takes a lot of practice to be able to do it and make it sound like anything worthwhile. i'd say play some songs, then fool around and practice jamming cuz it's the best way to get to know one another.

    keep it fun, keep it light, and remember that most people (especially musicians) are SURE that THEY'RE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT, about just about everything concerning the music you're playing. :D
     
  4. Well said. Just get everyone together, plug in, be in tune, find a groove, and run with it. Youll be suprised at what kind of things will come out of each of you! You'll know what to do after that.
     
  5. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    not looking to start an argument, but genuinely curious? has this REALLY worked for anyone? anytime i've ever gone about it that way, nothing came of the band we were trying to form. we had a couple of jams at best, and nobody's interest was sustained after the first or second get together. my experience has been that without a plan, the project/band (whatever you want to call it) was doomed. if the above WERE to work I think you'd have to be, A. very experienced, B. very, very lucky, and C. all on pretty much the same page musically, which i think is rare.
     
  6. I agree. The most prolific projects I've been involved in started with a clear direction, some melodic ideas, and riffs. From here jamming can facilitate ideas that build on that starting point. Of course if you are doing covers exclusively, just bang out an agreed list, practice up on your own, and get together to make it happen. You should be learning your part on your own, not during rehearsal. Rehearsal is for focusing on the song as a whole, not practicing your parts. Read those last two sentences again and stress them to everyone in the band.
     
  7. Also...

    It sounds like this is a first time experience for you and probably your friends. Get together and set some ground rules and expectations. Get this crap out on the table before you run into problems later. At first it may seem awkward, like doing business with friends, but it will help everyone in the long run. Ignore this advice at your own peril.
     
  8. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    There is absolutely nothing wrong with jamming first...Geez you're musicians right?

    But having said that, you definitely, at some point, need to sit down and have a "band" meeting and talk about the direction you want the band to go in. Have everyone take notes and...

    1. Write down the bands/songs you like. Come to a general consensus as to the type of music you are going to play. This is THE most important aspect of any band. More bands break up over musical differences than anything else.

    2. While it is a cool idea to be a band that is democratic, usually one or two band members are natural leaders. Find out who should take charge of things...i.e.- where to rehearse, who organizes the rehearsals, who will make up set lists (usually someone who has a good feel for how songs flow from one song to the next), who would be in charge of finding gigs and booking. Who is going to be in charge of transporting gear and how that person will be reimbursed for the use of his/her vehicle. It's not that all don't have a say in things...it's just been my experience that only one or two should direct the band (NOTE: this is not about an ego trip...it's just that too often decisions don't get made when it's always a democratic vote rule). you will easily find out who is a leader...that person will be the one who does the most talking and gives out the most ideas and is the most excited about it. Let them run with it!!! But all have a voice in it and of course, all MUST participate!!!

    3. Who is going to find the cover tunes, i.e. - who has the collection of CD's/tapes or who is going to buy them if no one has what you want to do (if you choose to do covers). Perhaps everyone should find ten songs they want to do. Then at the next meeting you guys can sit down give them a listen and see if they can be done, given your instrument and vocal talents. Begin to define what music you want to do at the second meeting.

    4. Set up a band rehearsal schedule and stick to it. Find out when everyone is available.

    5. Once you have at least ten songs selected to practice and you have a schedule set for the band to rehearse, then every band member has something to shoot for...a goal to accomplish. In this way, you'll find out who practices and who doesn't. By the third meeting or rehearsal, you should have a clear idea whether or not you've got what it takes to get the band going. Either everyone learns their parts and the band rehearses them before moving on to the next ten songs...or you've got some slackers and the band won't go anywhere.

    6. MOST IMPORTANT: Have fun! Music is meant to be enjoyed. If you take the fun out of it, the band won't last. One can get a job anywhere...but there are only so many opportunities to have fun playing music...so enjoy the experience. Part of the success of any band is the bonding and camaraderie (friendship) of the musicians that allows for great music to be played.

    Go ahead and jam for awhile...nothing wroing with that. Just don't make it an all night jam session where you get nothing accomplished. Have a serious meeting to outline where you are all at and where the direction of the band is going to go.

    Good luck!!!