Our band is starting to lift off, any advice?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by BassMisfit, May 15, 2001.

  1. BassMisfit


    Dec 31, 2000
    Irwin, PA
    Well here's the senerio, my band currently is gaining recognition for not sucking and I was hoping for some advice. We consist of bass, lead guitar, and rhythm guitar. None of the drummers in our area are worth trying out, cause they are potheads or they suck, so currently we use a drum machine. The rhythm guitarist sucks badly but he has a huge amp that my lead guitarist runs out of so we just don't practice with the rhythm anymore. Me and the lead just made a demo disc that most people like and now some decent drummers are showing interest! I'm so exited because by this summer we will surely be playing shows! We have loads of equipment and have gotten a Kelsey 24 ch. mixer for free! Do you guys have any advice to help us along the way? Thanks
  2. ill let u know when my band doesnt suck
  3. yawnsie


    Apr 11, 2000
    Hmmm... quite an unusual set up you've got there, misfit. It seems to me that you're looking for a drummer, but have a rhythm guitarist that's hanging on by virtue of the gear they have.

    First of all, I'd say get rid of the rhythm player, amp or no - believe me, there's no point in having dead wood, regardless of whether that would possess a decent amp or not. You've just made a demo with you and the lead player, so why bother adding someone on rhythm? The fact is, your lead guitarist should try to get his own amp sooner or later, anyway. It's not an easy thing to do - my band had to part company with a guitarist not long ago, so I know it's not exactly pleasant. However, sometimes it needs to be done.

    As regards a drummer, how is the drum machine working for you at the moment? There's no rule saying you MUST have a drummer, so if you can get a little box to do everything you want, it's no problem. However, the fact that you say you'll surely be playing shows by summer tells me that you've never played live before, at least not in your current group. Try out a few drummers, to see which one works the best with the songs you have, your playing, and can bring the most to your band. Hopefully, the success of your demo will enable you to be picky - take time to make your final decision, as it will pay off in long run.

    Anyway, I hope that little lot has been of some use to you. Good luck in the future - let us know how you get on...
  4. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I agree with yawnsie! Get rid of the crappy guitarist. If he's got good gear, great...but if you have a mixer and don't need to compete with a loud drummer, what difference does it make that the other guy's got a big amp?

    I'd then start auditioning drummers when you have a chance. Live is usually better than memorex;)
  5. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    I agree with yawnsie and RAM. Ditch the rhythm guitarist if he is no good. Believe me, it is easier to just be rid of him now and find someone that is worth having around. There has got to be somebody else out there who can handle your rhythm guitar duties better if this guy sucks. Just be patient and try out as many as you can--don't just settle on the first one that might be a little better than the one you are replacing. The next guy that comes along might totally blow you away, so try out everyone that responds to your ad.

    Then I would definitely try to find a drummer. I have never been a fan of drum machines. There is just something missing from them that a GOOD drummer can add to a band. And here again, try out as many as you can before deciding on one.

    This can be a long, painstaking process. (believe me, I know, my band has auditioned tons of guitarists and vocalists in the past). But the end result will pay off.

  6. don't doubt the potheads. i don't condone drug use but cliff burton is my god and he was a pothead. oh yeah and i think he played the bass too.
  7. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Let's be frank and deal with the harsh realities of becoming a successful and serious band that plays paid gigs and possibly has a demo or full CD available for sale to the public.

    Harsh Reality Number One: Each member of the band must have the equipemnt he requires to play gigs. No serious musician can rely on borrowed equipment. Each member of the band buys, maintains and transports his own equipment.

    Harsh Reality Number Two: A drum machine won't cut it for a live band gig. I don't mean a solo player who plays guitar or piano with a drum machine in a restaurant or bar. I mean a BAND. If you are limping by or making do with a drum machine, you won't look professional. You will look like amateurs who couldn't attract a drummer.

    Harsh Reality Number Three: Each member of the band must take responsibility for his own development as a musician. If your rythmn guitarist "sucks', what are his deficiencies and can he remedy them with lessons, extra rehearsals or more practice? Get his committment to improve the areas in which you feel he is deficient and if he cannot or will not, either play without a rhythm guitar or get someone else who can play it satisfactorily.

    Harsh Reality Number Four: Your band has evidently reached a crossroads in which serious decisions need to be made in order for your debut to be as successful as possible and so your band will be welcomed back for more gigs. Sit down and talk about all your concerns and devise a plan to address those concerns and remedy shortfallings.

    You must do that or your first gig may not result in the triumph of achievement you would hope for. You owe it to your public to be prepared to play when you leave the garage and hit a real, honest-to-goodness stage.

    Good luck and let us know how things go for you. I just love new bands starting out. They have so much enthusiasm and high hopes.
  8. bumpcity


    May 12, 2001
    No matter who you pick up, make sure that you all know each others goals, and that they are compatible. My drummer of 5 years just left my band, and it is an ugly seperation, so far. Some of us in the band are serious about going pro, he wasn't. Even though I may not be in it for a career, I have made sure that the others who are know that, and in a year or so, when I have to quit, they know and are prepared. It's much easier (and honorable) to be upfront...my guys know to start looking for a bass player in a year. Otherwise, like what happend to us, someone can just get ired of all the shows and bail on you (when you have gigs lined up for places that you don't wanna cancel on last minute)...It's ugly. I think band members need to be friends and have that same trusting relationship if they wanna last...just watch VH1 behind the music!!! Anyway, just my $0.02 about trying to find a new drummer, 'cause I am in a bad bind right now for one, and I know how you feel.
  9. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    I agree 100% with JasonOldsted. You can NOT call yourself a drummer, bassist, guitarist, etc., if you don't own the instrument or equipment that supports that statement. Don't keep a guy around just because his gear is "awesome," but do give him the chance to improve before you give him the boot. If you are against drug use (to the people that don't consider pot a drug, I got news...), hold out until you can find someone that doesn't do drugs - they're out there. It may take some time, but it's better than the alternative. (More than one of the drummers that tried out for my band lit up right there in front of God and everyone, one time with the guitarist's kids in the next room! They weren't asked back.)
    My final nugget of wisdom is this, when all is said and done, and all of the gear has been packed away for the evening, this is a BUSINESS - that's why it's called the music INDUSTRY. You must treat it as such if you want to be successful in your ventures. No matter how good you are, or how well-known you become, always try to maintain some semblance of professionalism both on and off the stage and when dealing with your comrades.
  10. Just don't rush things. Its all well and good to say "oh we need this, and have that" i always try and step out of that and say "but what do we need to do".

    I agree with what everyone has said, and don't diss potheads, my drumemr is one and we wouldn't trade him for anything. its not about what gear they have or what they're into. If they can play the stuff and contribute then friendships and the gel of the band forms over time.

  11. BassMisfit


    Dec 31, 2000
    Irwin, PA
    Thanks for all the helpful info guys! Well, here's the deal w/ the rhythm guitarist, he now is going to learn drums! He's also letting us use his amp any time we want!Nice guy. One more thing, i'm no anti-pot guy as a matter of fact im sort of a reformed pot head myself. But the lead guitarists mom caught us high and it can't happen again. Thanks, and keep the replies comin
  12. Any Time dude. See we don't have a problem with parents anymore. We found a place to rehearse, proper rooms for like $20 unlimited time. PLus its BYO grog, pot etc.

    If you're band is gettign somewhere, try going somewhere like a rehearsal room, hang out with other bands etc.