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Newbie Finding a Band

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by jeffreyjrj, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. jeffreyjrj


    Jan 24, 2012
    Oh, hello there talkbass members. After browsing these forums for a few weeks i finally decided to join this haven for bassist.

    Anyways lets get back onto the subject. I'm 20 and i have been playing bass for about a year and a half. I have also been taking lessons for about a year. I'm trying to join a band, but i am unsure if my skill will suffice. When i asked my bass teacher if i'm ready he says "go for it, your more than good enough." i dont know if should believe him cause he always praises me so much like im his best bass student. I know i could join a cover band since there aren't too many songs that i cant play; however, i have no connections with any musicians and the one i do is a (D-BAG). so i have resorted to craigslist. Majority of the adds for craigslist are for Original bands and i know that my music theory isn't at a very high level. i dont know if you people are familiar with Studybass.com, but i have made my way through every lesson block. excluding the harmony section which includes Circle of fifths and fourths, and all the sharps and flats in certain keys blah blah blah. I am fairly weak in the harmony section.

    the only things i'm able to use to judge my skill is playing covers and i know that anyone can play covers. some of my recent accomplishments were Jamiroquai - Dont give hate a chance, Runaway, mr moon. dont know if these are difficult or not. by the way i can slap decently.(Wooten style [not Flea])

    I have been hesitant to reply to anyone on craigslist because they all say they want pros or they have been playing for 20 years.

    Any advice on what i should do?
    would i be able to get into an original band?
    Do i need to memorize all of the harmony (circle of fifths/foruths sharps flat) so it's basically second nature to me?
    (should this have been posted in general instruction tab?)
  2. DaDrew2112


    Apr 7, 2011
    You hardly need anything to get into a band. If all else fails play the root. Just do it so you can start building your skills.
  3. pklima

    pklima Commercial User

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Karoryfer Samples
    Your teacher is right. If you know all the notes on the E, A and D strings up to the 5th fret you know enough to join many a band and play the roots of whatever the guitars are doing.
  4. Go for it. It is the only way to know if you're "ready" or not. "Ready" is relative anyway, and as everyone says, you can be the foundation already simply by playing root to the guitar. Key thing is keeping time with the drummer.

    Don't advertise yourself as "lead bassist" LOL
  5. Maybe you really are his best student? Sounds like you need to find a group of guys that are on your level that want to jam, or guys that are willing to help you become a better musician.
  6. My knowledge of terminology is basically non-existent, and all I've ever played in are original bands. My first band, back when I was in the same boat as you - thinking there's no way I was good enough to be in a band, was a very intricate and intense progressive death-metal band. When people have faith in you and push you to improve, you'd be amazed at what you can accomplish.

    Are you at least somewhat creative? Can you pick up your bass and make something up that sounds decent, even if it's really, really simple? If yes, you've just met the requirements for an original band. Don't let your mind limit yourself. Over thinking is the worse thing you can do. Just jump in the deep end and swim! You can do it... :bassist:
  7. oldcatfish


    Jan 8, 2011
    Try finding a church to play at...even just to sub once a month. That will build up your confidence and give you experience playing with other musicians. Depending on the church, you may need to learn bass lines close to the original artist, but with most churches, you'll get the opportunity to improvise.

    Even if playing in church isn't a goal of yours, it will prepare you to play in either a covers, or original band.

    If church just isn't your thing (if you are atheist or something), try checking with local drum and guitar teachers...see if they have any students that might be interested in starting a band.
  8. randyripoff


    Jul 12, 2008
    Do it! All the cool kids are doing it! :p

    Seriously, just do it. I think you'll find that you're much better than you think you are.
  9. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    Becareful, joining a band is easier being in a band.

    Somethings to consider:

    What type of band, hobby, basement jam band, cover band original? Gigging or non gigging.

    If you want to gig, how often.

    Money, if your looking to gig what type of money are looking for.

    Distance, how far will you travel to rehearse and gig.

    Gear, do you have what you need?

    Remember, a lot flakes with nothing going place ads looking for bass players.
  10. Good advice for a seasoned bassist. For the OP, not so much IME/IMO. If he has a bass, an amp and a speaker cab (or decent combo), that's all he'd need at this point.

    My $.02? At this point playing with anyone (since you have a teacher that can help you correct any bad habits) will be great for you. The most important thing is going to be personality and genre. Find people you get along with playing music you like and you're all set.
  11. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    I use to think picking up an instrument later in life was an obstacle to moving forward.

    I have changed positions. Our lead guitarist didn't pick up guitar until 7 years ago, she is now 29 and mesmerizes our crowds.

    So, good timing.
  12. mikeintheboat


    Jun 13, 2011
    Meet with a few possible bands and see if you even get along with the members. Find some people around your age and your musical taste. Check post boards in local music shops or CL. Sounds like you have plenty of skills to be in a band. And, you will never improve your skills as fast you will while playing with other musicians. If its a cover band, thats cool cause you will feel confident, and you will most likely get into originals anyways. Just seems to happen like that.
  13. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    And your still young enough to go the originals route
  14. senp5f


    Jan 27, 2008
    Santa Barbara, CA
    GO FOR IT.

    Playing with other people is what will make you a great bassist. Listen to even the great bass players, and you'll often hear them pounding out quarter notes or eight notes on the roots of the chords.

    Why? Because they're holding the band together. You can't do that until you have a band to hold together!

    Just remember, when you're just starting out with groups, it's more important to put the note right on the downbeat than anything else.

    DO IT.
  15. I second this.

    I know very little in the way of theory, but I understand how songs are structured and the role of the bass.

    I'm self-taught, but I'm looking at taking lessons to improve that area.

    Honestly the most valuable things I've learned/discovered (both musically and in terms of the music industry as a whole) have come from being in many different bands, some of which were quite frankly awful.
  16. mikegug


    Oct 31, 2011

    Dude, if you even KNOW what Circle of Fiths is, you'll do just fine.

    Don't be a bozo. Join the circus! ... and I don't even know what that means. I just made it up right now.
  17. As a fellow newbie bassist (and being in a band), I think I can give a few insights.

    First off, I think you should just try it. Maybe not with the professionals but try to aim for a bit less at this stage. I think that the key here is to learn how to work in a band, and become a better player and musician at the same time. Maybe try to state in your ad (if you have one on craigslist) or your replies that you're starting and want something that's kind of semi-serious or casual. Once you get better (perhaps even past those bandmates), and your goal is to become professional, move on. One step at a time, right?

    Second, I disagree with you that playing covers is easy and anyone can do it. Certainly, anyone can play covers... if they devote time to them. And many people probably think they can play a song, but maybe they playing it wrong, or sloppy. Besides, it seems all to easy if you learn songs from tabs, until you realize they're just interpretations of another musician. Better try to learn songs by ear. Believe me, it's worth the effort. I've been doing so for the last few months, and it's paying off by developing my musical ear to a higher degree. Having a good ear gives you a good edge.

    As for the theory/ knowledge of harmony... heck, I don't master that either, but as with anything complex and worth the effort and time, I think it comes in time, by keeping at it. Besides, one advantage I think us bass players have is that, as long as we lay down a steady groove, the others can be satisfied. Not that anyone should stop there... but if you groove with the drummer, it is good enough. I have received praise from bandmates and family about my playing, and I'm not by any measure a GREAT player... but I'm working to become one. The reason for the praise? I have worked hard to keep my timing and rhythmic sense steady, my technique clear and clean, and my tone relatively even. Oh, and I try to be versatile by learning both fingerpicking and using a pick, and try songs from different genres (well, within rock mostly, but progressive rock can be so much different from, say, punk or even straight rock).

    Bottom line: just join a band, you won't regret it one bit. Regardless of the result, the experience will be worth the effort as you will undoubtedly learn something valuable from the experience. At least that's my motto with my current (and first) band.

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