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The curse of the bands....

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Suckbird, Nov 5, 2005.

  1. Suckbird

    Suckbird Banned

    May 4, 2004
    Is it really hard to find a good band or have i just experienced bad luck?

    Just some background: I've been playing for 2years soon and i've been playing for about 3+ hours a day since january this year, i'm very serious about bass playing but i'm mostly just playing for fun...
    (you can be serious and have fun on the same time, right.. ?)

    I'm pretty much only playing at home and in school but lately i have been trying to form/join a band just to play some real music, and get some experience...

    The first attempt to form a band was with 3 of my friends, drummer,guitarist and a singer. The guitarist wasn't very good back then, he was just starting out(about a half year ago) but he showed interest for the instrument and that's what i think is most important.. The drummer was pretty much the total opposite, it was actually he who came up with the idea of this band but when we suggested songs we could play he just said "I'm too lazy to learn them", "Impossible to play on drums(about a greenday song)"... "i'm to busy", too busy being lazy i guess. He never practiced and he's a newbie with 3years of experience with a bad attidude against drumming and practicing.
    We never got started because of him, we cant have a drummer pretending that he's playing songs he didn't bother to learn or..?

    Anyway, before this happened we actually played basket case on the talent show with him, he was just playing a standard 8/8 beat without any improvising from the real song so he didn't need to learn anything new.
    We won so we went to the final at a big disco where every schools winners competed. When all the soundchecks were done i jammed a little with one of the sound guys, he's been playing guitar for 1 year and he could pretty much play any children of bodom song included solos and stuff, he's a very talented guitar player and he's practicing alot, something i really appreciate.
    Anyway, when we performed basket case it sounded like crap, the singer sang awfully false and the drummer messed up.
    When i was about to go home the guitarist i jammed with came and asked me what my msn is(was). I talked to him on msn and he told me he would like to start a band with me and he was just going to find a drummer and a rythm guitarist(he was going
    to play lead and sing at the same time a'la laiho). As the time went on he never
    said anything about the band and i asked him about it a few times and he just said "i haven't found a drummer yet" i thought he didn't want me in his band anymore and i had almos forgot him but then he called me abut a half year later and told me he found a drummer who also has a place where we could jam.
    The lineup was supposed to be bass, leadguitar/singer, rythmguitarist, keyboardist and a drummer.

    We decided to meet at a place everyone knew and then the drummer was going to show us his jamroom(cant find the proper word). I showed up there on time and the only one who was there was the rythmguitarist who stood there smoking he told me that the leadguitarist(the only guy i knew) amp broke so he had to go home and get another one.. i talked with this unknown rythmguitarist for about about 15min and then one of his other 3bands(he's also a great guitarist, he's playing lead in all the other bands and he wanted to be the rythmguitarist of a band) called and for some reason this guy was supposed to jam with them, they had a gig the day after so he left(which made the leadguitarist real upset)... the keyboardist never showed up, he couldn't make it for some reason so left were only me the leadguitarist and the drummer... this is where the big disaster starts... the drummer was a 20years old finnish(spelling?) guy and he was drinking all the time, he was so drunk that he couldn't even count to 4, i mean.. what a waste of time!! Anyway, when the drummer shut up me and the guitarist jammed just the 2 of us, we played some bodom and maiden and we both think we played very good together so he told me he was going to find a new drummer and then we could start a new band, this happened about 1-2months ago and he haven't found a new drummer yet so i guess he will call in about half year again...

    Today i went on a jam with the guitarist and singer from the first band and a drummer who was the son of the guitarists teacher.
    The guitarist has improved very very much since the first attempt of forming a band failed.

    Anyway, we jammed in the drummers dads studio and this was just a disaster... we were going to play a blues shuffle and the drummer couldn't play shuffle on drums, we showed him how to play a simple shuffle beat but he just couldn't play it, he couldn't play anything that involves triplets,... how annoying...
    even the guitarist learned how to play a standard shufflebeat on a break in school... this is not the worst part though, he was speeding up, slowing down all the time... he he desn't have any kind of time feel... the guitarist seems to be positive about him anyway, he says "just learn how to play triplets and shuffle feel and you'll do okay".

    Yeah sure... me, the singer and the guitarist are better drummers than him, we have only been playing in school and he has been taking lessons... i like the singer and the guitarist but i dont think there's any chance that we can get a rid of the drummer, he's a very nice guy and a friend to the guitarist and he is also the son of the guitarists guitar teacher, wonder what he would say if we kicked him...

    i live in small town(50.000people maybe) and i dont there's too many musicians around but does it really have to be so hard finding a band that actually work... i would like the be in band that plays rush, dream theater, symphony x and stuff like that but i have to keep in mind that most of this kind of music is alot harder for the guitarist and drummer so i would be happy to play
    anything from green day to chilipeppers and whatever..

    When i think about, in all 3situations it has been the drummer who is the problem... is it just bad luck or is it very very hard to find a good drummer?
  2. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Don't despair. Your situation is fairly typical of what occurrs when one either tries to start a band or join one that is just forming. It took me three years of trying before finally being in a band that worked. Even then we had missteps...yes, with the drummer. We had three before we finally were pleased with one.

    Before that first successful band, I had been in a whole series of failed attempts at bands that were never complete or the members were not dedicated or they didn't have transportation, a place to rehearse, acceptable equipment or couldn't agree on music style, etc.

    But with each failure, I learned more. I learned how to size up musicans quickly to see if they would be willing to do the work needed to be a serious band or if they were just fooling around or they weren't the caliber of musician we needed and wouldn't be competent quickly enough to help us.

    The easiest way is to join an all ready existing band that has its act together, but as you may be relatively unknown at this point you may not get those invitations and may not have the network to tell you when an audition is coming up.

    Whatever, don't give up. I got really discouraged at times, but I kept trying. Each experience, even failures, are valuable. You will learn more and more about band dynamics. You will meet more and more musicians. You begin to network and build up contacts. One day, you WILL have a complete band. Mind you, it will have plenty of challenges to resolve, but it will happen if you keep on trying and facing each frustration.
  3. Good drummers are very hard to find in my experiences, especially in a small(er) town. I feel for you. It took a looong time in a relatively densely packed state (NJ) to find my current drummer and he's a jerk!!! Nah, just kidding, but it is discouraging trying to find other enthusiatic and talented people to create with, only to experience the problems you've had. Just don't let them get you down. Keep playing and if you're lucky some young kid today will be your great drummer tomorrow. Keep playing with everyone you can and eventually you'll find somebody - we all do. You might have to wait a bit or maybe move (seriously), but hang in and someday you'll laugh at these memories. It's all we can do.
  4. burntgorilla


    Jan 24, 2005
    Drummers are hard to find, it's a bit of a problem I find. And then you get a drummer you like, and you have completely different music tastes. I guess the only way to overcome that is to write your own stuff. I'm doing that in my band and I'm just hoping all our different tastes will mix together and produce something listenable.
  5. Tired_Thumb

    Tired_Thumb Guest

    I've had the worst luck finding bands, and in such a large city makes it ironic. My first venture into a band was what ended up being a jam band, me on keyboards / trumpet, a bassist who played nothing other than straight quarter notes and whole notes, a drummer who wanted to play with a very creative style, except the circumstances forced him to play straight ahead, and a guitarist with no musical taste, and who's life to him was a nonstop solo. I'd take a trumpet solo, this dude would still be soloing. The drummer would take a drum break, this dude would still be soloing. The bassist happened to be at home on guitar and was an excellent and unique rythm player, and I always had a passion for great bass, so the idea between the drummer and I was for me to practice like crazy on the bass, the current bassist to play rythm guitar, grab a singer and the lead guitar player would be forced to lay back when it "wasn't his turn". Well, we had a successful jam session with me on bass and the other bassist on guitar and found a new direction, but when the other guitar player showed up, his attitude was "look what happens when I leave you guys alone!" His little world was thrown off balance, and when we were finally supposed to have a scheduled band meeting to discuss all this, the drummer had to postpone it due to whatever, then the guitarist and the other bassist couldn't show up to to whatever, then I realized that that band I'd spent a year beating my rear end off to make sound good stood no chance.

    My second major band had two great guitar players. Unfortunately, they weren't interested in having a great bass player. I would try to come up with a good line for their songs, then the lead guitar would say, "hmm, why don't you play this instead," then he'd take my bass and play a completely dry, notey, guitar inspired bassline. Then we would do a funk song, and I would try to come up with a great fingerstyle line on my fretless, then the rythm guitar player who was also a bass player took my bass and said, "play it like this," then he started a completely dry slap line, and the lead guitar player literally almost started "beating off" in the middle of the room when he saw somebody slap on bass (read my pet peeves post). Anyways, I was kicked out of this band once I dared to show up to help compose music, hence, they were a completely guitar driven band. That lasted for about a month, but I put a year's worth of rehearsal time into them, why, I don't know.

    Third major undertaking lasted for two months. This was going to be lead by me and was to be my "jazz metal" project. Ended up, I got emails from people who knew nothing of what I was talking about. I tune EADGC as my style is influenced by Jaco Pastorius and Cliff Burton combined in metal, but both guitar players I eventually found demanded that I downtune like crazy and follow their lead. Neither guitar player ended up showing up at the same rehearsal, a drummer was never found, and the vocalist, who was supposedly new to the scene, triumphantly proclaimed that we have to spend $850 a month on the best practice facility and $1,000 to have our demo mastered, two things I could have provided for free. The straw on the camel's back was that I wanted a very fusion oriented drummer like Sean Reinert, and the vocalist said, "all the drummer has to do is double kick!" Anyways, I abandoned them, and don't know if it regrouped.

    So, I end up thinking, my ideal group doesn't exist. Thus, I've been preparing some recordings on my own and slowly building them up into songs on my computer, and hopefully that might turn into something.
  6. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    My thoughts about why drummers are so problematic is that their equipment is so complex ( I mean in mechanical terms, not electronically) and hard to transport and then set up, then tear down afterwards. Drum skins need replacement, cymbols crack, stands get loose or shakey, etc. Drum sticks can be chewed up in just one long rehearsal session. Added to that drums are so darned noisy to practice on.

    Drumers have a lot of issues to resolve, plus they need to have such excellent timing. Kids see spectatcular rock drummers and think, oh that is so cool, but they have no idea the investment of money, time and practice it takes to get to the level of a top drummer.

    Even really competent drummers who have been in high school bands have quite an adjustment to the hand and foot independence required of a complete drum kit including high hat, bass drum, snare, cymbols and other size drums and acessories.

    Young bands starting out do have a struggle getting drummers because the good ones are in such high demand. They can be prima donnas about what bands they play for and what music they play. So you are more or less stcuk with beginners and hope you can find one who is willing and eager to work and improve, rehearse and stick with yur band. Even the best drummers started at some point...well, like we all did.
  7. Actually, a lot of what I read in your post reminds me of bassist. Yes, we have an instrument that is easier to play/transport, but we're just in very short supply. And the image of the bass player isn't going for us.

    Afaik, most bands have problems finding _bassists_ but we don't see that side because WE are the solution to that problem.

    I don't know how most drummers start out in your country, but most over here start out with complete drum kits (I know mine did).

    Anyway, I'm glad I got in a good band the first time I applied. But then again, they've had their problems with people before I joined, so I didn't see any of these. All I can say is: keep trying:)
  8. joninjapan


    Aug 13, 2003
    Tokyo, Japan
    I thought I was reading my own biography in your post, I think most of us have "been there done that". I know I was lucky to hook up with some great players in my first year, I was only about 6 months into the bass. But that was high school, it didn't last.... I tried to place myself in postions where I would get a chance to play, anytime anywhere. Over the years it was hard to find others, but on occasion I did and it was great. Never give up. I also had a place to play weekly no matter where I lived, my church, where I lived we had a wide range of musical styles in the church and it was great and challenging too.

    Always make yourself available when not "in a band" and try to keep playing somewhere, somehow... of course rockin' at home works too.

    Drummers should be your "best friend" in the band... they're the hardest to nail down though...

    Keep on thumpin'
  9. Suckbird

    Suckbird Banned

    May 4, 2004
    Dont know how this will work out but the singer says he has found a good drummer, his current band played smooth criminal at a disco and everyone played wrong(except the drummer) and the singer sang worse than me(that says alot) so i guess he's willing to join a better band...