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Young musicians, hear my rant please.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Joe Nerve, Apr 1, 2006.

  1. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Don't know if this is going on anywhere else, but I feel like sharing my thoughts anyhow. Where I live in Bklyn. NY, 3 years ago, the R&R and Punk scene was really thriving. There were lots of shows and the shows were drawing anywhere from 150 to 350 kids and adults. New clubs were opening. There were a lot of DIY places. Things were good. 3 years later - if 25 people show up someplace, it's a lot.

    Because I work in a HS I get to ask a lot of the kids what's up, and I seem to always get the same answers. "There's no bands to see anymore." "All the bands playing suck."

    Something occurred to me about a week ago. My drummer (who is about 20 yrs younger than me) has a new band he put together. They were playing their first gig last week and I asked how he felt about it. He said something like, "Well... we pretty much got it together... the guitarist is still having a really rough time though. He doesn't want to really learn the songs." BUT THEY'RE DOING THE GIG ANYWAY!!???! And my pal didn't seem to really care all that much. His attitude was, it's our first gig and it's expected that we're going to suck. First gigs always suck. WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

    I think this kind of attitude it what is killing the music scene in my neighborhood, and could in yours too. Complacency. Not caring. Wanting nothing more than to jump on a stage to glorify your own ego and not care one bit about what an audience is going to have to listen to. In the past it wasn't that way, at least around my circles. If we were going to gig, we practiced until we knew our stuff - period. We made sure we put in the hours we needed so that the first time we hit a stage, we kicked butt. Just about evey one of my first gigs with a new group was an awesome gig.

    Without going on too long, I have to add that I don't mean by this to hide in a basement until every single kink is worked out. Bands often never get out of the house like that. I mean get your act basically together, then book a gig a month or 2 down the line, and use that for motivation to be the damned best band that ever played a 1st show. If you have to rehearse 4 hours a night, 5 times a week - then do it! If you have to get together alone with your guitarist to work out stuff, then do it! I did it. Lots of us older guys did it. Pay your dues, put in the work, and be the best freaking band you can be! Everyone benefits like that. Stop torturing the people that come to clubs to hear good music, only your friends are going to clap for you if you suck.

    I'm quitting coffee tomorrow. :)
  2. bassbully43


    Jul 1, 2005
    Joe...Bro ... Man ...you hit the nail on the head ...at least in my neck of the woods...heres my rant. I have two nephews who both never had interest one in music until a year or so ago. Nep1 got a guitar and then bass asked me to show him a few chords never tuned it and threw it in the corner...big blink fan wanna be.Nep2 gets a guitar same thing show him a chord or two throws it in his closet... wanna be punker...but guitar to hard.Then all of a sudden Nep1 gets a set of pearl drums and is a new drummer in an already semi-established pop punk band from his school who lost their drummer....he gets the job cuz my brother buys him a kit:rolleyes: Nep 1 practices and within 2 weeks plays his first gig! Are the drums that easy or is their music ...turns out their music is basic 4/4 dumb pop punk basic and bad....but these kids play some of the biggest clubs in our citys since they play for free and play big all ages shows...alot of them just started have sub par equipment and little practice time and man it shows.Nep 1 has a CD already a website etc.
    Nep2 Is worse he follows nep1 gets a set of pearls joins a school hardcore screamo band and plays his first gig 1 week latter with a whole 6 songs under his belt:rolleyes: i couldnt belive they had the nuts to go on stage but these kids think they can or will be stars. I saw Nep 2s band last week they opened for 2 other bands and man they sucked but the kids loved them a wall of noise. They have the what it takes to get decent but they need to practice and take there time getting there.My cover band classic rock practiced for 8 months once a week under new lineup changes before our first gig and still practice before each gig...we did last night and still work on our show . These kids need to learn its not about rushing on stage its about what you put out to the people watching you. Good post!
  3. Joe... I lived in the Bronx, and in Westchester for most of my life and I must say, a lot of kids have that "must play live" ethic when in reality, they don't even know their tunes, let alone a tune they're going to cover.

    I empathize with the kids who don't go to shows 'cause hell, I stopped going to local shows about five years ago when I was 15 for the same reason. I periodically check myspace now to get a taste of what local music is shaping up to be, and I can say that it's pretty much the same as how I left it.
  4. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Wow, when did they pass this? :confused: :rollno: When I started playing, you didn't do a first gig until the band was damn near perfect.
  5. pay to play has MURDERED the scene here.
    so many crap bands just go out and shell out mummy and daddys money. there's no point in going to a show - everything is the same.
    no one is trying anything new. im so happy im 18 tomorrow - i can go hang in the jazz clubs/pubs! nothing new there, exactly, either, but damn good music! :bassist:
  6. morf

    morf Banned

    Feb 17, 2006
    I agree with all thats been said, most new bands today dont care if they suck to make themselves known to the public, but I am a starting, young musician and there are many of us who agree with you. I think the reason for this is that there are many many more new bands today than there were 20, 40, 60 year ago.
  7. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    I've noticed that the younger bands here, and their teen followers, only care about being "heavy". LOT'S of screaming/growling, detuned instruments, and, judging by the 5 or 6 bands I've seen, songs that are mostly played using open strings or played on the first and second fret, and the everpresent double pedals wailing on the kick drum throughout the whole song! No pattern, just "boom,boom,boom,boom,boom"! :rollno:
  8. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Amen, bro. You never get a second chance to make a first impression...

  9. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    I agree wholeheartedly.

    BTW, good post, Joe. The music scene around here is a bit different from where you are, obviously, but I have seen a few bands that literally had me walking out the door after 2-3 songs. But they don't last long around here. There are enough good, established bands around to play in the clubs, so these half-assed ones will not get rehired anywhere. Word travels fast around here.
  10. lyle

    lyle Guest

    Jan 10, 2004
    Vernon, B.C. Canada
    good post! I work my ass off to put a good set together and perform it. Thats what its about isnt it performing. People pay money to come see you you better rock their socks! A while back my town used to have a pretty good thriving metal and punk rock scene but due to venues shutting down, all there is now is maybe a harcore or screamo show once in a while. What my band started doing is we got our own venue and put on our own shows. We get bands we like and show them to other kids. We try and have a show atleast every month usually every second week.
  11. I think that's a very important part of the rant as far as applying to the clubs around here. I also think the club owners are just as responsible for it as the bands are.

    There's a small number of local bands that can draw - not friends but fans - on a regular basis. They'll play maybe four times a year, put on a killer show, and disappear for a few months until the booking cycle comes back around. Meanwhile, there's 300 other bands out there that bring out 50 friends to see their first half dozen shows before the friends realize the band sucks and stop showing up.

    If more clubs were more discerning in who they book, the average person would increase their chances at being able to walk into a club and hear a good band, and not just a band that's on stage because they have a lot of friends who like to party.
  12. great post joe. As a 21 year old dude i guess i could be considered a kid. I totally agree with you on your post. Unfortunately the TV isn't helping our situation. When all these kids watch their favortie stars music video, then house on cribs, then them at the award show, then them on their own reality show, it makes sense why this has happened. Kids think music is a formula where you put yourself in and magically big rich dude with lots of hot babes and money comes out.

    I have 3 different projects, and i have always been OVERLY prepared for a gig. So i guess what im saying is that there's hope!
  13. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    Glen Cove, NY
    My jazz-pop band (We're all kind of session players doing what the trumpet player tells us off lead sheets) only practiced twice in full before a big gig. We nailed it, for the most part.

    It's not impossible to pull stuff off, but it's a different story when it's rock bands that have no training and aren't professionals.
  14. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Joe, I agree whole heartedly as well. Haven't been on stage in God knows how long because the bands I always end up playing with are looking to jump the gun, something I refuse to be part of. I'm not satisfied sucking in the slightest. I'd rather be overly prepared than suck at a gig.
  15. Hey Joe...

    Stay on the coffee man, you are right.

    Tell these kids to un-suck themselves first..tell him someone "big"may be watching, and that one show could ruin things if they sound like they don't care about the music...
  16. Joe, you could not be anymore right. Kudos brother. Kudos. Fight the good fight, and give 'em hell. :fist:
  17. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    +1 on this opinion!

    I've been playing since the late 60's, and local bands generally sucked back then, generally sucked in the 70's, generally sucked in the 80's, generally sucked in the 90's, and generally suck nowadays, too.

    The players who belong to this forum do so because we care about our gear, care about our techinques, care about our music and want to learn by sharing other bass players' experiences and opinions.

    We are not the majority.

    But the fact that the majority of small-club bands suck is not a new phenomena by any means.

    A couple of years ago I answered an internet ad from a bunch of OLD guys (my age ;) ) who wanted to reform the band they had played in in the early 70's. It was real frustrating because none of these guys could play their instruments. At first I chalked it up to them being rusty because they hadn't played for 30 years. WRONG! They were never any good. One of them proudly gave me 45 they had recorded when they were a working band in 1973. ARGHHHHH - it was the worst noise I had ever heard.

    So don't call the young musicians of today any more talentless than their predecessors. I think today's dwindling crowds speak more to the increasing musical sophistication of the average audience than to the decline in quality of the average bar band.

    Just my opinion, based on what I see and hear. Maybe you remember all the bands being great when you were younger!
  18. flatwoundfender


    Feb 24, 2005
    Have you heard any of today's pop music, I don't think it's a matter of musical sophistication, if anything it's a decline. And I'm pretty sure the local bands of the 60's and 70's knew what notes were. Plenty of the local bands of young people have little to no knowledge of this, not saying that means a lack of talent, but it usualy does.
  19. this thread is a great example of why i love this forum!!

    nothing beats honesty
  20. rylche


    Oct 27, 2005
    yeah, pay to play really brings the whole house down.. especially down here in my country. the place isn't big, and with all these sucky bands playing, there's little wonder why people stop going to live shows anymore, unless it's a huge, established band.

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