Trying to get the band to focus on basics

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by black_JB62, Aug 11, 2003.

  1. black_JB62


    Aug 10, 2003
    I am currently in a 3-piece alternative rock band consisting of the singer/songerwriter, a guitarist, and myself. We've been together for about half a year now, and have put together a decent bunch of songs which hopefully we can bring to stage soon.

    I think our songwriter & guitarist are great players and express themselves well, but I have noticed that we (including myself) are having trouble with really basic ensemble stuff like keeping tempo and making sure our rhythms fit. Since we don't have a drummer, we rely on a drum machine.

    In order to develop our rhythm instinct and to force us to listen to each other, I suggested to the other members that we work off a metronome instead of the drum machine, because I felt we were using the drum machine to "cover things up" and make things sound, well, like a song. I thought the drum machine was kind of unproductive in a practice setting, since we should be brushing up on our musicianship and not on some mental masturbation. Of course in the best of all worlds we would have a real live drummer.:meh:

    I have received a cold response from the vocalist and the guitarist regarding the metronome idea:spit: Am I making a decent case? Does anybody have suggestions on other ways I can get my higher-frequency bros to focus on sounding more professional??

    Any comments welcome. Rock on.
  2. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
  3. black_JB62


    Aug 10, 2003
    Thanks, I feel much more reassured that somebody agrees. I will try suggesting it again at our next practice.
  4. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I suspect your bandmates just don't enjoy the feel of playing without drums (even if it is a machine).

    If your concern is that the rhythms aren't tight, well then address it as such.

    And then get looking for a real drummer, for pete's sake!
  5. Exedore


    Nov 15, 2002
    Pasadena, Ca, USA
    I think cassanova (or Ed Friedland) hits the nail on the head. Metronome is way better and will help you a lot with keeping tempo.
    This could be a good opportunity for you guys - I'm assuming you're looking for a drummer(?) It'd be good to get that stuff down before you have a drummer and can lean on them.
    Shoot, I should take my own advice...;)
  6. black_JB62


    Aug 10, 2003

    Thanks for your kind advice, I put my foot down on this and told my boys to turn the friggin' drum machine off or else. Practice worked great with the metronome, and the guys have a new found appreciation for tempo and rhythm. Also raised the focus of the ensemble, to boot.

    Bass 1, guitar & vocal 0.
  7. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    And/Or, program a simple beat into the drum machine. Do away with the fills and washy cymbal noises.
  8. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    We have a drummer and still use a metronome. It's a great tool print up these posts and show your band members. One thing I can't stand is when our drummer loses the tempo it sounds like crap. You can miss a note here and there but the everyone will notice a tempo change.
  9. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Are you not recording rehearsals? Record rehearsals.

    I record all of our band's rehearsals and shows. Then, after a month, I put together some solid examples and some bad examples and play it after rehearsal, so everyone in the band can hear the good and bad that we do.
  10. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    That's a great idea!