Weighing options on "band" configuration.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by EduardoJoel, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. EduardoJoel


    Feb 19, 2011
    Some of you might know from my previous posts that currently I only work with a guitarist/singer who has been my friend for a long time. Both of us have had difficulties in "band" setting and prefer to work with each other in this manner. In the last couple of months we have written a lot of material (20+ finished songs) and we have been discussing how to deliver this material to the public as well as perform it live.

    I was largely inspired by another post here about different configurations for the same act and have come up with a viable solution but I still want to get advice.

    The concept is to record 2 versions of the material. One all acoustic that features us as a duo in an acoustic set up and another one with a full "band" and electric instruments. The thing is that when showcasing our music and trying to promote ourselves to venues, the demo itself should be true to what we can do live. I wouldn't feel comfortable handing in a full band demo and showing up as an acoustic duo and vice versa.

    I don't want to miss out from playing bigger venues just because we function as a duo. Another thing that I considered was that instead of bringing in a drummer as a hired gun just go Live PA with the back up band. We don't want to bring another person with "equal say" into a project that is already well underway. This is something that we discussed from the beginning. Just flat out paying musicians for their work in the studio and live, instead of making them part of it.

    We have our weekly session tomorrow. Would it be better to ditch one of the set ups completely? Do both? Do neither? Would it cause confusion to try to "brand" ourselves in different manners simultaneously?
  2. stick to duo trio... a talented drummer who can freeform time..
  3. EduardoJoel


    Feb 19, 2011
    We are lucky enough to know a drummer who is ridiculously remarkable. What do you think of the idea of paying him outright for his services instead of making him part of the band?
  4. I see no problem with that. That's what working musicians want--to get paid for their services.
  5. EduardoJoel


    Feb 19, 2011
    It would be a change of pace for me. Usually we just bring people in as "equal partners" but that entails other shared responsibilities. I feel like this would provide work ethic and move the project along. I have seen duos succeed in Spanish (which is our language and market) like Sin Bandera. Which what I hope to model ourselves after. In this case instead of two guitarist it would be one bassist and one guitarist both singing songs and parts of songs.

    I was wondering what people thought about recording songs in two configurations (acoustic and full band electric) simultaneously. Too ambitious for a first record in this configuration?
  6. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I used to play a lot of country gigs, and I was never an "equal partner". It is the singer and the band. The singer chooses the songs and the keys. It never bothered me at all since that is just how it worked. I am sure you will have no problem finding hired guns.

    As is two configurations too ambitious? Can you afford it? Can you afford the time? If so, go for it.

    If you can only do one, I might be tempter to go for the acoustic if that is your normal setup. You can explain to venues that "you can provide a complete band". Although, again, I played with guys that did solos, duos, or full band. But they always recorded full band. Then again, these weren't demos.
  7. Raymeous


    Jul 2, 2010
    San Diego
    I recently found myself in the same situation...

    My long time friend is an all around multiistrumentalist/songwriter/singer/engineer that is very good at all of the above (the bastard!). Even though his CD is very layered like a Seal album, it is also very song driven and translates to simple acoustic guitar and vocal settings.

    Last month we did a gig as a trio with guitar/vocals, bass, and percussion. His friend from the coffee shop scene filled in with the djembe and percussion work. We would like to do the full band thing at some point, but it's just a matter of the right people and the right amount of time.

    For me I play guitar, bass, drums (sort of) and keys, and all I really want in a band at this point is two people that show up on time and know their parts. I love the full sound of a full band, heck give me an orchestra and a choir and I'll put them to use, but in all reality keeping track of people and their schedules is a serious PITA.

    Stay a duo with add in percussion for a while. It will continue to be fun for a longer period of time.
  8. EduardoJoel


    Feb 19, 2011
    Thank you guys, you have given me a lot to think about.

    Regarding money I am funding the project and I have a set budget for it. I still have to figure out what goes where and whether or not is enough to basically do the same record twice. The thing is that if we're going to play just as an acoustic duo It would be harder to book gigs having a full band demo.