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Simple things bands can do to sound better.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Blackbird, Feb 28, 2003.

  1. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    So my band just transposed five tunes to keys that were more comfortable to our singer. It's *way* easier for instruments to play in a different key than having a singer wreck their voice by singing outside their comfortable range.

    The weird thing is that the songs now sound weird sometimes. I can't use some open strings like I used to but new possibilities have opened.

    Another thing I remember from my first band that made us sound worse than we had to was that everyone was into playing very loud. If we'd pulled back, we'd have had a more even and interesting sound.

    What else can bands do to improve (besides rehearsing)?
  2. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Hmmm...not my area of expertise but I think that I can offer a little of advice.

    At rehearsal make sure that everyone's tone is "compatible" if you will, with everyone else. So, make sure that no one persons tone drowns out someone else, or steps on someones toes. Try and get everyones tones to blend together in a harmonious way.

    I don't know, I'm not really good with band mangement, but I know from prior experience that when the bands tones aren't mixed well, it doesn't sound as good.
  3. Oh right ! thats where we've been going wrong ! :rolleyes:

    Back to square one .
  4. Don't let the drummer drink before going on stage. We've been caught out on that before.
  5. Don't let your guitarist write the songs .

    Death to root notes .
  6. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Before gettin' on-stgae, I always/usually say this-

    "Think DYNAMICS!"

    ...and it can be a subtle thing like:
    1)Playing somewhat "softer" on the verses
    2)More "up" on the choruses

    About shifting keys for the vocalists(& some bands even de-tune down for their singers...e.g. The Smithereens).

    Years ago, I was playing in some pickup band for a charity event here...
    I recall two tunes in particular-
    Tune "A" was in "A"
    Tune "B" was in "A"
    The chick singer(from a local Country band) needed this:
    Tune "A" dropped to "G"
    Tune "B" raised to "B"

    I made a comment like "This is ridiculous".
    She said, "It's easy to see who the professionals are here".

  7. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    Actually A is a funny key for me. I have written 4 tunes in A and two stayed and two got transposed to B.

    Back on topic one of the bees in my bonnet is when bands sound the same all the way through a set. Ok the bass drums and vocalist pretty much stay the same, but the guitarist could switch the distortion pedal off and the keyboardist could try something other than piano/string pad.
  8. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    I don't tend to write in A.

    I think it's because every bloody guitar song is in A. I'm fed up of it!

    And I always think A is kinda a guitar key, and I write on piano, generally. I prefer flat keys, and more unusual keys. B is good. I like Db too.
  9. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Lower the volume. That is the simplest wy to sound better.
  10. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    I write on bass and guitar mainly in D E G A and B
  11. Put the alcohol and pot down. Do as I say, not as I do.
  12. jivetkr


    May 15, 2002
    practice listening not just playing.

    the key to a band, like any other relationship, is communication. That starts with listening.
  13. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000

    ....And with lowering the volume, then that helps you accomplish what Jim was talking about, by having more control over your dynamics. (I truly believe dynamics are what seperates good bands from great bands.)

    I also agree with WR's idea about tones. I hate playing with guitarist that have their bass up to 9 and their treble at 2.
  14. I'll second that .
  15. Damn straight...
  16. JimK and WoodChuck nailed my view.
  17. hmmm...how about this: if you do drugs, do them when you write stuff, not when you perform it.

    WR- i agree with the tone-blending commment. lately i've adjusted my tone quite a bit, to something that's easy to play with for my bandmates, and tried to lay back in the mix a bit and just complement the other instruments. and it's doing wonders for how my band sounds.
  18. im with u floyd

    it easyer to write music when your "under the influence" but not to perform
  19. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    The spaces in between the sounds are as important as the sound itself. When one gets too loud instead of asking that person to "turn down", others just pile on. Soon MUD evolves.
  20. frankencow150

    frankencow150 Guest

    Oct 17, 2001
    Less is more. My band tried too hard to be "different" and we got nowhere. Now our music is quite simple but it's fun to play and I like how it sounds.

    If something just isn't working, fix it. Like if someone in your band likes something but you don't like it, just try to make up something new and go over it and play it as a band and see how it sounds.Experiment.Don't be afraid to do/play something you haven't done before.