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The Problems With MY Band

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by fireworks_god, Mar 3, 2003.


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  1. fireworks_god

    fireworks_god

    Oct 30, 2002
    Okay, I thought I would describe my band for analysis from all of you.
    I have been playing bass guitar for 2 years now, and I recently dropped out of high school (senior year, halfway through the year) to concentrate on music and music alone. The extra time has really payed off, I have seen dramatic improvement in ALL aspects of my playing (speed is up to the 200 bpm sixteenth notes range), I'm developing a distinction between notes without directly working on playing by ear, and my technique has become knowledgeable, powerful, and authoriative.
    My rhythm guitarist has been playing for a year. For like the first seven months he only played guitar. Eight hours a day, every day. Seriously. He can basically play anything that he wants to.
    My drummer has been playing drums for seven years. He is the best drummer in the area.
    We don't have a singer yet (I'm going to find one in Norway when I am there for a year). My best friend has been playing guitar for awhile and is advancing as a lead guitarist.
    We are developing our sound to fill the gap in metal today. Metal keeps reaching new lows, but we intend to change all of that. We want Metallica heavyiness with the melodic aspects of Iron Maiden and In Flames (Swedish melodic metal, for those who don't know them), and various other elements (Megadeth, System of a Down, Black Sabbath, etc.)
    My drummer has the worst personality problem of all time. He is extremely huge and is very annoying. We put up with it, as long as he isn't trying to make decisions for the band.
    My rhythm guitarist has a new girlfriend and doesn't play as much as he used to. He used to be dedicated to this band and this band only.
    We work on coversongs now to develop a good foundation to build our own sound on. When we are playing, it's magical, but all sorts of problems we suffer from, too.
    I'm pressed for time here (got to go wash dishes). I don't exactly know why I am posting this; I guess I'd just like your analysis. I'm totally dedicated to music; this is what I want in life. I know we would be great if we could overcome the problems (lack of focus on their part, etc.). If it comes down to it, I will trim the fat (pun intended) of the band to meet the ultimate goals I have.
    peace.
     
  2. Wownirvana

    Wownirvana

    Jul 7, 2002
    Athens, GA
    I'm going to be a d**k and say exactly what I'm thinking right now. Maybe you should consider finishing high school since you only have half a year left. It is hard to get any kind of job that isn't minimum wage or close to it without a high school diploma. I know you think your band will make it big and you will be able to support yourself by that, but most bands can't. So unless somebody is going to pay for your expenses (which usually means living at home or mooching off of someone) then you are going to be working a lot of hours to pay your bills. What if your band doesn't make it? Or the next band your in? Or any band your in? Do you really want to be working some crap job you hate for the rest of your life? Your band seems to have lots of problems and you don't even have a full band yet. I would say finish high school, it can't take up that much of your time. I should now cause I'm in high school too. You just have to make time to do want you want.
     
  3. Ditto with wownirvana. You should stay in school so you can pursue other employment opportunities. I'm not saying that you'll crash-and-burn but they'll probably be times when the music thang ain't happening...at least you'll be able to live comfortably until things pick up.
     
  4. BassGruv

    BassGruv

    Nov 15, 2000
    SF Bay Area
    Hate to sound like an old guy,
    but Wownirvana has the right idea. Finish school.
    I've been through more line-ups than you can shake a stick at and EVERY one of them was gonna be HUGE (including my current project) !!!
    This is not to say you don't have a chance, but you should hedge your bets. This industry works on sound AS WELL AS looks and attitude. YOU may HAVE IT, but the rest of your players may not.

    Here's a thought. Play with as many people as you can manage. Hear different musical perspectives, and find some folks that you really hang well with. That is a big one. You'll be spending LOTS of time with these people. What's a good way to do that?

    FINISH SCHOOL. Maybe apply to Berklee or MI and surround yourself with PLAYERS. Have open ears and hang on to your drive!!!

    Best of luck to you!!
     
  5. jbasser206

    jbasser206

    Jul 31, 2002
    Western NY
    I hate to sound like an old guy too, BUT FINISH SCHOOL. Right out of high school (30 years ago) my band at the time went out on "tour". We even opened for a "major" recording act at several large gigs. Our drummer at the time quit HS to go with us. He never went back and finally got a GED( good enough dipolma) the last I saw of him ( our 25 reunion) he has struggled through a ton of minumum wage jobs!! Right now your music may seem to be the way to go and if so go to collage and take it up as a major.:bassist:
     
  6. I'm going to break with the pack here.

    Don't listen to these guys telling you to go back to school. You sound like your head is screwed on straight. (And your spelling and grammar are better than many college graduate adults I know.) If you have found something you want to focus your attention on, do it. Music is like any other trade, (Though it is very difficult to make a living doing it.) and it takes real dedication to master it.

    I dropped out of high school when I was 15 years old, got a GED, and spent another year wasting my time in college. School is not the route to greatness in anything.The only thing school can give you that you won't find on your own is bureaucratic structure, conforming thought, and mediocrity. (And a WORTHLESS piece of paper that says you meet their low, low, standards.) School teaches you to be subservient to others, and to seek approval from the weak-minded and lesser-than. School only teaches you how to work for someone else. Feck 'em.

    I had modest success in music, and made a decent living doing it. I own two business of my own now, and do Multimedia development for $55.00 an hour. I don't leave my house if I don't want to, and I answer to nobody but myself. I drive a new BMW, live in a beautiful house with a killer view, I dress the way I want and keep my hair like I want to. I don't beg for vacation time, or have to answer to a mongoloid "boss". I don't have to vie for promotion or beg for a raise. I don't have to deal with office politics.

    I wouldn't have had the time to immerse myself to the degree necessary to learn any of the things I do now if I had remained in school and wasted my time spitting back rote-memory "knowledge" to my "teachers".

    I would only recommend formal schooling to someone interested in hard science or the engineering field, (Must learn to communicate with others in your field in the common language, and the material will be presented to you in the order you need to progress rapidly.) though music school might not be such a bad idea for you if you are trying to develop a very technical style.

    If you are fairly intelligent, think critically, have diverse interests, and you use the time you have to advance your skills and knowledge in the fields you are interested in, you'll do well regardless.

    The caveat: Drive and self-determination. You have to be merciless on yourself, and keep pushing harder where most people are happy to coast.

    If you need someone else to tell you what to do and when and how to do it, then by all means, go back to school. You'll need the training when you get a job working for someone else.
     
  7. Wownirvana

    Wownirvana

    Jul 7, 2002
    Athens, GA
    While I think it's great you are very well off without any formal schooling, most people won't be able to do this. Obviously you are a very hard worker, and very clever to get where you are today. I know people that droppped out of school to pursue music and are now working at McDonalds. Everybody doesn't do good without proper schooling. I am going to go to college for music business management or something similar to that, so if I don't make it with a band I can still work in the music industry. School isn't just for weak minded people who want to work for somebody else. I agree some people go to school (and stay there for a while) cause they're scared of the real world, but I'm going so that I can do what I want in life, work in music. I am definitely not conforming to anything, and I am not a weak person at all, I just want to do what I want with my life, and not end up working a job I hate cause I didn't go to college.
     
  8. Wownirvana,

    Read these three sentences again carefully: " If you are fairly intelligent, think critically, have diverse interests, and you use the time you have to advance your skills and knowledge in the fields you are interested in, you'll do well regardless.

    The caveat: Drive and self-determination. You have to be merciless on yourself, and keep pushing harder where most people are happy to coast."


    Now read your reply again. Redundant, ain't it?

    You seem to have the idea that you have to go to school to be able to do what you want in life. Totally untrue, and that is the jist of my post.
    ------------------------------------------------
    Fireworks God,

    Be prepared to meet many people in life that believe they need to be shown how to do everything by others, and that if you don't have a piece of paper saying that others told you everything you know, you can't possibly know anything. Be better than the rest at everything you do. Work hard and remember to throw it in their face at every opportunity. They've already started on you....

    BTW: A summary illustration of the worth of your diploma: At my former high school the mentally retarded were given high school diplomas for attending for 4 years, whether they could even communicate with other human beings or not. Poor, drooling kids (with full-time "sitters") that couldn't even articulate a single thought, verbally or otherwise, graduated with the same diplomas as everyone else. Look proudly at the blank spot on your wall where your diploma isn't, and go do what you want to do. Good luck.
     
  9. Wownirvana

    Wownirvana

    Jul 7, 2002
    Athens, GA
    I never said you have to go to school to do what you want to do in life, but I think it is a good idea to not drop out of high school to try and make it in a band. With the economy the way it is today, I think everyone should try and graduate high school, just so they can support themselves.

    "The only thing school can give you that you won't find on your own is bureaucratic structure, conforming thought, and mediocrity. (And a WORTHLESS piece of paper that says you meet their low, low, standards.) School teaches you to be subservient to others, and to seek approval from the weak-minded and lesser-than"

    You obviously think school is a waste of time and that if you aren't a conformist, a moron, or a weak person you shouldn't go. That is not true at all. I find that you need to go to school just to get a job that pays more than minimum wage. I think that fireworks god should stay in school instead of trying to make it in a band that isn't even complete. He obviously doesn't get along with the drummer either. I think he just has some very lofty dreams of making it in a band with a drummer he doesn't get along with and no singer. And so what if I'm redundant, maybe I'm just making sure I get my point across.
     
  10. "I find that you need to go to school just to get a job that pays more than minimum wage. "

    Well, I found that you can make 6 figures+ doing what you want to do if you try hard enough, without a degree or permission of any kind. If you have marketable skills and you are good at what you do, it DOESN'T MATTER. Period. No matter how many times you/they insist it does. I'm living proof. I now play video games and my bass more than I work. Clients don't ask me if I have a degree, ever. (Well, the ocassional moron asks "Who taught you how to do all this?") You can't get a degree in starting your own business, or building a sucessful band, and until recently, you couldn't get a degree in multimedia development either. You can't get a degree in drive or guts, and that is what it takes to make it in anything . And it sounds to me like Fireworks God has plenty of it.

    Neither of my two best friends finished school either, one of them runs http://www.ravelighting.com/ and puts together visuals/lighting for clubs and huge productions in major venues like Red Rocks, and the other is a Network consultant and all around pc guru, now a major investor in Bridge Centers and owns 170 acres and 7 houses. He's 27. The other is 30. Both are brilliant guys, work for themselves and are high school dropouts. You are simply wrong.

    Have fun in school, I hope you get the job you want with the diploma you need.
     
  11. thrash_jazz

    thrash_jazz

    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Let's try and keep this on topic please.

    Fireworks God, it sounds like you are in this for the long haul and very serious. It's going to be VERY hard to find people who share that commitment; I'd be surprised if your drummer issues are the last ones you ever have. Finding people who are talented, totally committed AND easy to get along with is practically impossible, and there are many established bands out there that haven't yet found that mix.

    Good luck to you!
     
  12. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    BS. If you have clients, you answer to them.
     
  13. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    That's cool. I do both. I have a "job" as a photogragher for the National Gallery of Art and I run my own photo business shooting art and antiques. In both of those arenas it's a collaborative process. Just as mutimedia development is, I assume. I don't just shoot the thing the way I want to or as I see fit. I have to find out what the client is trying to get from the photogragh. Where and how the photogragh will be used and then I shoot to those criteria. I'm glad the path you chose worked out for you. But dropping out of high school doesn't always work for everybody. And there are some fields you simply can't get into without school. To say school is worhtless is just too much of a blanket statement.
    Oh and PS. I didnt go to college. In photograghy your portfolio is your degree
     
  14. Commander Adama, did you make all of your money playing music and doing multimedia? Fireworks has a tough road ahead of him if you wants to succeed by ONLY playing music. The demand for heavy metal bassists is totally different for graphic designers.

    And like I said before, what's Fireworks going to do during the slow periods? He's gotta have a backup plan and not finishing his basic education really limits his options.
     
  15. Wownirvana

    Wownirvana

    Jul 7, 2002
    Athens, GA
    You can say I'm wrong all you want but that doesn't mean it's true. You don't know what it's like for a kid my age to drop out of school and try to get a job. I should know cause I know plenty of people that have done this. They are now working fastfood, construction, the grocery store, or somewhere similar. Drive and guts are all great and when you put them together with the right resources for getting the job you want (schooling, an internship,etc.) you have it a lot easier than if you just rely on drive and guts. I never said you can't make it without school, I'm just saying that it is a lot easier with school.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher

    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Problem 1: You have personality hangups with the drummer, and he's the best one in your area. Drummers are hard to find; good ones harder.

    Problem 2: You're playing cover songs. While this might suit the sort of venues that you want to play, it's not a ticket to bigtime success. Does anyone in the group write?

    Problem 3: You've been playing 2 years. However good you may be in your own private Idaho, there are still lots of things to work on. What does it mean to "develop a distinction between notes without directly working on playing by ear"? You should be working on ear training, amongst other things.

    Problem 4: No lead singer. No lead guitarist. Why go to Norway? (You don't say where you're from, but I assume that you're not in Norway.)

    As for the school thing, no one's the boss of you. If you strike out in music, you can always go back.
     
  17. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    I agree with this. In my earlier post I put a PS in there about me not going to college and your portfolio is your degree. Well I've kinda rethought that a bit. It's the guys who went to colleges like MIT or The Brooks Institute of Photography that are landing the really big accounts like Ford and Sony and Nike. I can't even get in to those doors because I don't have that educational backround on my resume. So I guess what I'm saying is that school doesn't automatically make you smart or sucsessful it does open doors that otherwise wouldn't be available to you
     
  18. vegaas

    vegaas

    Nov 6, 2001
    Milwaukee
    Stay in school. You only have half a year left. You more than likely will be kicking yourself years down the road if you dont. I dropped out when I was 16. I am 34 and doing ok for myself now, but I had to work a lot harder to get to this point than I would have had I graduated.
    Also, if you graduate you can go to college for music! You think you are good now, study music for four years and then look back and see how little you actually knew.
    Just my 2 cents because I have been there.
     
  19. fireworks_god

    fireworks_god

    Oct 30, 2002
    First off, it sucks I haven't had access in the past couple of days and that I didn't have enough time to round out the original post, because I left a lot of holes open and I have a lot of points to defend aganist.
    I am levelheaded enough to know that I need my basic education (if only to get jobs). That is why I plan on getting my HSED (High School Education Diploma, and I think it also stands for Better Than A GED Diploma, and also Just as Good As A High School Diploma) in April. The end result is the same, and I get a LOT more free time to hone my craft, which is what is really important to me here. It doesn't matter to me if I never "make it" in the music business (although that is a major goal and I will die before I quit attempting to achieve that goal). That isn't why I am interested in music. I only want to be in this to play my instrument with other people, create my own music, get my music out to as many people as I can because it is great music and it has a message for them (music is suspossed to have meaning. but nu-metal radio won't agree), and have fun doing it every second I am doing it. I mean, I look to the future and plan things out, one has to, but I enjoy living in the now.
    A lot of people here are addicted to security. Security feels comfortable, but it limits you from getting anywhere far. I know what I aim for is a long way away and very hard to reach. But I'll be damned if I give up before I even begin. I am very independant and capable; I don't need to go to college to have people teach me what to do. I can do that myself. I take responsibility for who I am and live the way I want to live, and that's all that matters to me. I trust myself and my ability, enough to risk any "security" in my life to get what I want. I am going to live my life and get what I want. Life's an adventure I intend on living. (I think it was Bill Gates who went bankrupt several times in his life before he became the richest man in the world)
    Right now my band is in the development stage. That's why we work on covers, to get a good background playing music and working with songs that we can use as examples for our own songwriting. We are (most of us) striving to master our instruments and be the best we can. We are doing this in every aspect, from songwriting, to technique, speed, dynamics, and finding our own creative voice on our instruments. Chris (the rhythm guitarist) might decide he doesn't want to this at full focus, and Mike (the drummer) is really good and all, but I don't think he'll last. John (the lead guitarist), hasn't been playing too long, but he has the same determination I have and is really advancing. I know that I am going to come across people that aren't going to fit in the puzzle and people that will, but I think that is what makes it interesting and challenging (to me, challenging doesn't mean give up automatically, but rather, try my hardest to overcome the challenge).
    Now, my four problems:

    Problem 1: You have personality hangups with the drummer, and he's the best one in your area. Drummers are hard to find; good ones harder.

    For the most part, I can handle his personality (once and awhile he gets really bad). It is definitley a problem I wish I didn't have to put up with, and if a good oppurtunity arises, I won't. However, I will gladly put up with how annoying he is if it will help me towards getting what I want out of life.

    Problem 2: You're playing cover songs. While this might suit the sort of venues that you want to play, it's not a ticket to bigtime success. Does anyone in the group write?

    We're learning a lot about songwriting, insturment interplay and music in general by playing coversongs. That is why we are playing them now, before we start to write our own music. We're just drawing from the databank of colors to find what we want and to make our own paintings with these colors. One of my greatest desires is to be in a band that has its own unique and creative sound that no other band in existence comes close to. This is only Phase 1 in the sequence towards getting that.

    Problem 3: You've been playing 2 years. However good you may be in your own private Idaho, there are still lots of things to work on. What does it mean to "develop a distinction between notes without directly working on playing by ear"? You should be working on ear training, amongst other things.

    Since this is what I am basing my life on, I have analyzed every single thing there is to analyze, from the band itself to my playing. Doing this, I know every one of my strengths and weaknesses, and what I need to do to reinforce my strengths and develop my weaknesses into strengths.
    ("develop a distinction between notes without directly working on playing by ear" means that without directly working on ear training (listening to tones and trying to name them, you know, the process of trying to ear train) I have just about picked it up just from playing and working on songs.)

    Problem 4: No lead singer. No lead guitarist. Why go to Norway? (You don't say where you're from, but I assume that you're not in Norway.)

    We don't have a lead singer yet because I don't know any lead singers, and the ones that claim to sing aren't really singers. At this point and time we really don't need a singer to work with (although, if the oppurtunity was there, we would). I think the vocalist the most important member of the band to the fans in most cases. I'm not going to get into discussing why I think that, but I think most people would agree with me (I know that in truth, every single member is of equal importance in the band, but that isn't the way most fans look at it). I definitley am not taking less than 100% for the vocals. I know it will take a lot of time to find a singer to meet my expectations, but I am willing to be patient and find one.

    My trip to Norway isn't music-orientated (I'm getting paid to go babysit for a year there, truthfully, but getting paid to go to a European countery for a year is worth it. )
    However, I am going to take that full year with almost no responsibilities (No job, etc. except for watching the two kids during the day) to discipline myself to become a master, a professional. I will also be working on songs, trying to find a vocalist, working with musicians over there to learn from them, and to experience what an open-minded country has to offer (it'll be quite the relief from America).

    Anyways, I'm sorry for taking everyone's time to write so much. I'm not trying to be hostile here and attack anyone; this is the only way I can fully explain my views, so you can make a better educated opinion over my whole situation. Hopefully, some of you will learn that the only thing preventing anyone from accomplishing anything is yourself.
    Peace.
    (Kudos to Commander Adama! I agree with every single thing you said, even the part about the doofi getting their diplomas (we had doofi here getting them too for classes like Phonebook 101)
     



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