Only girl in a band...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by xxxBassJunkiexx, Mar 22, 2002.

  1. I'm the only girl in our band (Amentia : been together for little less than 4 months). Everything's gone better than I expected it to. The two guys accept me as "one of the guys" at school and elsewhere, and they're "one of the girls" to me. ((I admit, I called up our guitarist on more than one occasion when I just needed someoneto talk to)).
    But then, I get a bunch of nasty remarks and winks when people find I'm the only girl. Grubby. Yeah, I must admit, my presence has toned down some of the stuff the guys wanted to do. ( They still want me to scream like Morgan in Kittie)
    What's your take on this? I'm sure there's someone else out here in my position... any tips on things I'd better watch for/ not do?
    Thanks in advance,
  2. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    There are several highly sucessful bands with just one girl and she is the bass player. Moby, Smashing Pumpkins, Coal Chamber, White Zombie to name a few.

    Just being the only girl shouldn't be an issue. Being the best bass player you can be IS the main issue.
  3. I'm not the girl in the band, but I've been in two different bands where it was a sole female with everyone else being male. The first time, it was the drummer. Now, in my current band, it's the singer. Both of them understand how guys act in a group, but didn't take any crap when someone took it too far.

    The biggest thing is, like in any other band, be honest with them. Tell them when they've said something that bothered you. Even in a band the rules of good taste still apply. As far as other people, there will always be those idiots who think that the only girl in a band is "more than a musician" if you know what I mean. Screw them! Play your ass off and shove it back down their throats. They may never understand, but don't let someone elses narrow mind ruin it for you.
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Well, I'm not a girl but I had some students who were in the same position.

    It's kind of a vicious circle. People are not used to women on instruments other than vocals or maybe keyboards and sometimes react to that in an immature way. As a result women tend to shy away from joining a (mixed) band and nothing changes.

    Just don't let it deter you. I always tried to encourage my female students (who were better students than the male ones btw) by showing them successful women in the business.
    D'Arcy from Smashing Pumpkins, Jennifer Batten (guitarist for Michael Jackson and Jeff Beck, Rhonda Smith (bassist for Prince), Tina Weymouth (bassist in Talking Heads), etc.

    With (more) gig experience you'll learn to cope with the occasional hecklers, and you'll see that most people will give you good feedback.

    One thing that happens to women more is that their let themselves be pushed into the background more often concerning band decisions, songwriting etc. Don't forget to make your voice be heard.

    One more advice: No intimate relationships within the band.
    This may sound sexist, but experience shows that this will most likely kill the band sooner or later.
  5. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    I've been in a band with a gal before and I find that so long as nobody gets preferential treatment, it will probably work. There really shouldn't be any difference. And JMX is right - no relationships! If it didn't work out, your band is finished.

    Also I must say that two main reasons our coexisting with this girl in the band worked were: a) her ability do drink just as much beer as the rest of us did; b) extreme tolerance (and, at times, imitation) of guy-style gaseous emissions. :eek:
  6. Jennifer


    Jul 31, 2000
    Erie, Illinois
    Hi there. I'm in the same situation, except for about 2 years now. Like you, I am accepted as "one of the guys" by the band. We have recently gotten a new drummer who doesn't seem to share that attitude though. We'll see what happens there. :insert evil smile:

    I know the remarks/whatever you speak of. Sometimes you are going to be viewed as the hood ornament. I find myself dressing down sometimes to avoid the hassle. I was a cowgirl at last Halloween's bash, boy was that a mistake. :rolleyes: But, you gotta admit, a female is still unusual enough in some areas that it helps people remember your band.

    I really don't have a bunch of good advice, mostly just develop thick skin. If you have the support of your band members, who cares what the idiots say. They're just jealous anyway.

    I agree with JMX, don't let anyone push you into the background. I am lucky enough to have a friend that reminds me not to hide on stage. And my opinions do get heard, after all I control the money for the band! But I do disagree with the relationship thing since my hubby is one of the guitarists!

    And what the hell, go ahead and scream like Morgan in Kittie once in a while. I scream like the dude in Slayer every now and then. :D
  7. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Well, a couple in a band is a little different IME.
  8. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Cool, you should hear the new singer from Arch Enemy, she's amazing.
  9. Some people act really stupid when I tell them that our drummer is a girl. I told this one guy (who was surprised that I said "she" when describing the girl) that our drummer was female, and of course, his response was "Dude, is she hot?". :rolleyes:
  10. Jennifer


    Jul 31, 2000
    Erie, Illinois
    Your're right, I suppose relationships between teenagers and old married people are different. :)
  11. Gia


    Feb 28, 2001
    No offence........but if you make an issue out of it, it's likely to just become a bigger issue and get worse.
    I've just very recently joined a band with 3 girls and two guys and it works just as well as when I was the only girl in a band. After the first week it no longer is a problem and the only real difference in attitude from the rest of the band members was that they tended to sometimes call me "ickle g" in front of non-band people. Which was cute at best and annoying at worst.
    Anything you shouldn't do ? IMHO you should never play up the fact that your the only girl in the band to other people. It's pretentious and annoying lol. :rolleyes: But it can be useful to embarrass guitarists sometimes......:D
  12. Our uhm " singer " is female..( she grunts, screams & sings )

    at first i had a little trouble with the sexist-jokes , belching and stuff like that.. but it turned out she didn't mind.. she's 100 % " one of the guys " now.. joins in on the belching, jokes, etc.. :)
  13. jalepina

    jalepina Guest

    Mar 6, 2002
    SW Colorado
    I am and have been the lone female in a couple of bands...

    I didn't get any harsh comments though, most people loved the idea... just get up on stage and rock! The only thing that irked me was when I got up with a band to play a few songs, and a group of girls hit the dance floor right in front of me... would these be groupies?? Guess they were just showing their approval??

    Just do your thing, and I think (for the most part) people will respect you. In my case, I get more compliments than hassles..

    Now for my next venture, recruited a female guitar player.. I think it will go over well.


    And would you men quit writing in "I'm not a girl, but.." :p lol...
  14. *ToNeS*


    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    was drumming in a band where we had this girl Tali on bass - i was young and immature at this point, so i used to laugh my arse off at how funny she looked being dwarfed behind her massive 5-string (complete with spikes, chains hanging off it, the whole bit) :D

    to me, a girl playing death metal was never something i was going to take seriously. but damn, did she put me in line! every rehearsal she was kicking my arse over everything - i was rushing, i was lagging, coming in too early/late, cymbal placement was all wrong, i was eyeing off her butt during gigs, etc. she was only two years my senior, but younger than the other two guys in the band too, and she used to tell them where they were going wrong! no-one ever gave her **** because of her sex, i'll tell ya that. although a bit over-bearing at times, she had the right idea. assertive, letting her hair down when it was appropriate, and most importantly: drinking her fill :)

    for me, this experience ended the debate about women in modern rock bands, or in any musical ensemble for that matter.

    kick some sincere posterior, Laura! :)
  15. In my last real band we had a female singer. Course, she was, I mean IS my girlfriend, so the other guys didn't try anything. Otherwise I would have to have killed them.

    Rock on
  16. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
  17. I agree, relationships are a NO NO NO NO, but then again, you werent suggesting that you were gonna have one.

    The two most recent ventures i am involved in, firstly a Hip-Hop/Soul thing, which we are only recording and not performing (our 7inches are being played at local venues) and a hard rock band (in the vain of at the drive in) both have female singers.

    I have to admit, when i was first told about them my first reaction was "so, are they good looking?", but in the end i/we am/are lucky that we have found two singers perfect for our bands. I have been in a number of bands, perhaps too many, but IME I think its important to let people do their own thing without compromising the "creative vision" of the band, no matter what sex/race/age they are.

    If your bandmates want you to sing like the dreaded MOrgan from KIttie, do it if you want, dont if not. If people are giving you crap cos you are a girl, either stick up for yourself or ask your band mates to back you up. But, guys being guys, you are always gonna get the "is she hot" treatment, its just how we are.


    PS I'm not sure how this relates to the original post or those subsequent to it. :)
  18. I think the main thing is to respect your fellow musicians and make sure they respect you, irrespective of sex. I'm in the same boat as Jennifer - married to the guitarist, but most people who see us don't know that.

    At practices, I can take the miasma (just discovered that word ... unwholesome emissions!!) and the sexist jokes as long as they are funny! I hate the thought that things are toned down because I'm female.

    Being paranoid, I often think people see me on bass and think I'm going to be a token female playing root notes. I take positive pleasure in proving them wrong... although they probably don't notice what I play :rolleyes:

    After our first gig, I was told by the pub landlord, to wear more make up and dress more sexily. I didn't like that much and deliberately dressed down next time! These days I do enjoy dressing for gigs, but that's my choice, nobody elses.

    Just play and enjoy yourself!
  19. Chuckles


    Mar 14, 2002
    So...are you hot!!!;) Just KIDDING. Seriously ignore the drunks and the morons who can't get thier IQ above thier shoe size and keep on rockin'!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)
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