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Getting a band together !!


EddiePlaysBass

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A while ago I posted an ad stating I was looking for musicians to start a cover band. No responses, and I figured I'd carry on with The Dapper Dans and that was the end of it. Now, in the past two days I have got two drummers and a guitarist who've mailed me and asked if I am still looking for people ! This means I have a whole band ready to go :) One drummer is slightly older, the other is my age and I know him from before. But the one I know has not written back. Guitarist is 23 but has played since he was 7 and has been in loads of cover bands, or so he says.

 

I will try and get the older drummer and the guitarist together for a jam, and handle lead vocals myself. If I take easy songs like "Rocking In The Free World" (Neil Young), "Walking By Myself" (Gary Moore), "Black Night" (Deep Purple) and "Born To Be Wild" (Steppenwolf) I should be able to manage bass and vocal duties. I did make it clear I'm not a good singer and would ideally like an actual singer, but to be honest we'll see how those jams go.

 

I'm excited !!!!

"I'm a work in progress." Micky Barnes

 

The Ross Brown Shirt World Tour

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Can't be complete without you, GeoffB :grin:

 

I am really psyched about this, and I hope I'll be able to handle it as I should. So far I'm putting it all together so for now I'm the default band leader, I guess.

 

This will be one of the first points of discussion. I want everyone to have a say in all matters, but I want someone to have final say and make the decisions. That person does not necessarily have to be me, but I will give them my "sales pitch", i.e. my vision of how I'd like the band to be run.

 

I was actually compiling a list of what I am looking for in band mates (including myself) and set lists:

 

Musicians:

 

- dedication : practise at home, rehearse at rehearsal so we can limit the number of rehearsals and increase the number of gigs

- motivation : the drive and desire to play out a.s.a.p. and entertain the crowd, not just friends and family

- flexibility : accept to play songs they do not necessarily like themselves

- band-oriented : lower volume, leave the occasional solo to other band members (where applicable) and realise that if the band sounds bad, no one will care about their individual instrument / voice

- input : voice opinions where needed but in a grown-up manner

- responsibility : depending on their strong points, take up a part of the extra-band tasks, i.e. website / mailing list maintenance, rehearsal organisation and structure, set list compilation for gigs, booking of gigs ... and not just rely on 1 member to do ALL of that, and then complain about it.

 

set list:

 

- varied and entertaining for both group and audience

- not every played song in A regardless of the original key, because "that's how Brian Setzer plays this song" (I checked, he doesn't)

- a mix of old and new, known and obscure

- a blend of styles without suffering from jukebox syndrome

- enough songs to rotate sets in case of frequent gigs, regardless of set length, and to play encores

 

I firmly believe that if we follow these guidelines (and I know that I'll have to follow these as well on some points) and work at it a bit, we should be up and gigging in a few months. And I do have a few contacts I can turn to for a gig or two ...

 

awesome man, keep us posted. Just curious, are you playing just covers, just originals or both.

 

Just covers for now, but at this point I'm open to anything. Since I come up with my own bass lines half the time with TDD anyway, I might as well go the distance and apply that to original material ...

"I'm a work in progress." Micky Barnes

 

The Ross Brown Shirt World Tour

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Don't have any arguement with the points you've put up there.

 

I like your idea about a Band Leader.

 

I'm 63 & have been around the block more than once.

 

The most successful bands I have participated in have all been non-democratic i.e. there was one leader/founder who founded the band to carry out his/her vision - their own vehicle, if you like.

 

The band I'm in now is like that. We all have input, but there's one guy who says (pretty much) what & how we play things. It's not a dictatorship by any means, but he drives us on.

 

The last band I was in was a 'democracy' - everyone had a right of veto & in the end we got nowhere. Both the new female vocalist & I joined the band with a list of maybe 40 songs/tunes we'd like to contribute. I ended up with 3 & she with 2. This, to an artist, is soul destroying.

 

You join any band to play music you enjoy - if you can't or not allowed to, then it'll never work.

 

Be the Boss - listen, adopt good ideas, but, in the end, make the decisions. If others don't like it, then they can find a band that'll suit them better.

 

And, Good Luck With It, Eddie!!!!!!!!!!!

 

:D

 

G.

 

 

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the World will know Peace": Jimi Hendrix

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=738517&content=music

The Geoff - blame Caevan!!!

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Band democracies CAN work, but it assumes a rare ingredient among musicians: MATURITY.....

 

While I think this works for some things, I think logistically, it's always better if you can have one person ultimately calling the shots. This is particularly important when it comes to booking. There are times you get that call for a potential show, and you have to make some quick negotiations to land the gig while the window of opportunity is open. If you have to get in touch with everybody and get a consensus, that opportunity may pass before you get back to them. If you've all talked about it ahead of time and you know where everybody stands, then one person can have the authority to negotiate and make those decisions on behalf of the band. Of course whatever decision he/she makes, the band has to back up and deliver upon.

 

When it comes to things like picking songs, etc. it's not necessarily as critical to have one person calling the shots, but if they have a good vision, it can still be preferred. Other opinions CAN end up being a distraction from the overall goal or vision of the band as a whole. It's rare that all band members would have the exact same vision. I think the better way to handle it is to agree on a vision, then have one person execute that vision with support from the band.

 

Ultimately, I just think there is less confusion and things get done more smoothly and more efficiently if all communication and decisions are funneled through one person (a band leader). "Practice is Sunday at 6pm and we're working on this list of songs" - email goes from BL to the band. No confusion - you don't have the guitar player talking to the singer about one thing and the drummer talking to the bass player about another thing, then show up at practice and try to hash it out and maybe only get one song done instead of 6. Now, in this example, the BL would have picked the 6 songs after feedback from all the band members taking into consideration what they want to do, and what fits best with the overall vision for the band. It's just a smoother way to operate.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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One thing I am wondering about, though, is how many people are actually AFRAID of a "man with a plan". Usually when I post an ad and get a reply, I send them something along the lines of what I posted above: little rehearsal, regular gigging.

 

This obviously means "working" and I'm beginning to think that my region of Belgium is filled with musicians / instrument owners who just want to "jam" and get away from their wives, because they don't tend to write back after that ...

 

It even happened with a drummer & guitarist I'd played with when I just started out. Guess they didn't see it coming, because back in the day I was more timid and now I'm a bit more confident in my playing (though not much) and I know what I want.

 

Anyway, I'm trying to apply the below to The Dapper Dans, to see if it'll work :

 

Ultimately, I just think there is less confusion and things get done more smoothly and more efficiently if all communication and decisions are funneled through one person (a band leader). "Practice is Sunday at 6pm and we're working on this list of songs" - email goes from BL to the band. No confusion - you don't have the guitar player talking to the singer about one thing and the drummer talking to the bass player about another thing, then show up at practice and try to hash it out and maybe only get one song done instead of 6. Now, in this example, the BL would have picked the 6 songs after feedback from all the band members taking into consideration what they want to do, and what fits best with the overall vision for the band. It's just a smoother way to operate.

 

We started fooling around with "Surfin' Bird" and I suggested our lead guitarist sing it, which he LOVED and he took to it immediately. Of course, him being him, he wanted to play it in A (I-IV-V, so A D E again) but our singer suggested we tack the Batman Theme on to it and that one's in A too, so I let it go :) I'll just lean away from my upright towards my microphone and grunt "bird bird bird" or scream a high pitched "batmaaan" and have fun with it :thu:

 

To explain where Surfin Bird links to what 80's-LZ said: I suggested we work on "Surfin' Bird" and another song we started last night, and add "Rip It Up" by Elvis (I think it's Little Richard originally, but we all know the Elvis version). Ironically, that Elvis song is again a I-IV-V in A ... I might just do an instruction DVD someday on that progression in that key !

"I'm a work in progress." Micky Barnes

 

The Ross Brown Shirt World Tour

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One thing I am wondering about, though, is how many people are actually AFRAID of a "man with a plan". Usually when I post an ad and get a reply, I send them something along the lines of what I posted above: little rehearsal, regular gigging.

 

This obviously means "working" and I'm beginning to think that my region of Belgium is filled with musicians / instrument owners who just want to "jam" and get away from their wives, because they don't tend to write back after that ...

 

It even happened with a drummer & guitarist I'd played with when I just started out. Guess they didn't see it coming, because back in the day I was more timid and now I'm a bit more confident in my playing (though not much) and I know what I want.

 

I've come across so much of this in the area I'm in (East Midlands - Leicestershire). What I call 'the Saturday Club'. Only interested in getting out & jamming with their mates & drinking beer. Playing for themselves. And not learning new stuff.

 

Going to an open mike night once a week would probably keep most of these guys happy.

 

 

 

Anyway, I'm trying to apply the below to The Dapper Dans, to see if it'll work :

 

Ultimately, I just think there is less confusion and things get done more smoothly and more efficiently if all communication and decisions are funneled through one person (a band leader). "Practice is Sunday at 6pm and we're working on this list of songs" - email goes from BL to the band. No confusion - you don't have the guitar player talking to the singer about one thing and the drummer talking to the bass player about another thing, then show up at practice and try to hash it out and maybe only get one song done instead of 6. Now, in this example, the BL would have picked the 6 songs after feedback from all the band members taking into consideration what they want to do, and what fits best with the overall vision for the band. It's just a smoother way to operate.

 

That's exactly how we work in my present band. We learn off CD or PC at home then put it together at a rehearsal, go down the pub to the Open Mike night & play it.

 

Everything's run by email.

 

G.

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the World will know Peace": Jimi Hendrix

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=738517&content=music

The Geoff - blame Caevan!!!

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One thing I am wondering about, though, is how many people are actually AFRAID of a "man with a plan".

Maybe "leader" isn't the right word. How about "director"?

 

All bands need direction, right? So put someone in charge of direction. Only one person drives an auto at a time, right?

 

There's nothing wrong with a "man with a plan". Yes, you'll get more responses to "let's get together and jam and see what happens" than "let's put together a funk band to play shows and here are 10 songs to get us started". Of course if your intention is to start a performing funk band you'll probably waste more time with the former approach than the latter.

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I've come across so much of this in the area I'm in (East Midlands - Leicestershire). What I call 'the Saturday Club'. Only interested in getting out & jamming with their mates & drinking beer. Playing for themselves. And not learning new stuff.

 

Going to an open mike night once a week would probably keep most of these guys happy.

As long as everyone in the band has the same goal there's nothing wrong with getting together once a week to hang out, jam and drink.

 

However, sometimes people with these goals mistakenly respond to an ad from a band with different goals. Because, you know, after spending years in someone's basement maybe it would be fun to play on a stage at least once. After all, don't all bands just get together once a week -- the only time anyone picks up an instrument -- to hang out, jam and drink? :eek:

 

I agree with you, Geoff, the open mic is a good outlet for many.

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I've come across so much of this in the area I'm in (East Midlands - Leicestershire). What I call 'the Saturday Club'. Only interested in getting out & jamming with their mates & drinking beer. Playing for themselves. And not learning new stuff.

 

Going to an open mike night once a week would probably keep most of these guys happy.

As long as everyone in the band has the same goal there's nothing wrong with getting together once a week to hang out, jam and drink.

 

However, sometimes people with these goals mistakenly respond to an ad from a band with different goals. Because, you know, after spending years in someone's basement maybe it would be fun to play on a stage at least once. After all, don't all bands just get together once a week -- the only time anyone picks up an instrument -- to hang out, jam and drink? :eek:

 

I agree with you, Geoff, the open mic is a good outlet for many.

 

:wave:

 

If a band doesn't play in public, is it a band?

 

:)

 

G.

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the World will know Peace": Jimi Hendrix

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=738517&content=music

The Geoff - blame Caevan!!!

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I'm in a somwhat unique situation; on a large base in the middle of the desert. We have an open mic/live music event once a week. As we add players, we send out a song list of recommended songs so those who show up to play have a tleast one song in common. It's actually working better than we expected. Considering the age ranges from 20 to 60, no one can assume everyone knows "Pride and Joy" and "Rock and Roll".

 

I'm also in the chapel worship band, and we practice a little together, but do most of the practices separatelt through out the week and get about 3 hours togetehr befroe services to sound check and rehearse. THat also works pretty well, and encourages all of us to practice on our own so as to make the reheasals worthwhile.

 

Still, we do have a band director.

"Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, yet you cannot play upon me.'-Hamlet

 

Guitar solos last 30 seconds, the bass line lasts for the whole song.

 

 

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I was actually compiling a list of what I am looking for in band mates (including myself) and set lists:

 

Musicians:

 

- dedication : practise at home, rehearse at rehearsal so we can limit the number of rehearsals and increase the number of gigs

- motivation : the drive and desire to play out a.s.a.p. and entertain the crowd, not just friends and family

- flexibility : accept to play songs they do not necessarily like themselves

- band-oriented : lower volume, leave the occasional solo to other band members (where applicable) and realise that if the band sounds bad, no one will care about their individual instrument / voice

- input : voice opinions where needed but in a grown-up manner

- responsibility : depending on their strong points, take up a part of the extra-band tasks, i.e. website / mailing list maintenance, rehearsal organisation and structure, set list compilation for gigs, booking of gigs ... and not just rely on 1 member to do ALL of that, and then complain about it.

The only word that worries me is "dedication". Some people use that as a code word to mean "you cannot belong to any other bands" or even "it's better if you don't have a social life so you can be available at our beck and call". (I avoid ads that want "dedication" and "loyalty".) Instead I like to say "hard working".

 

As far as taking care of tasks, I understand. Believe me. Maybe the appropriate audition question would be something like, "Are you willing to help make this band successful by helping out with things like posting fliers, updating the website, etc.?"

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I have run into what Eric was talking about a couple of posts up. I want to be in a gigging band. But there are gigging bands, and there are "gigging" bands. I don't want to practice much (I don't need to practice "Highway to Hell), I don't want to reherse much (just new stuff), and I don't want to gig much (maybe one a month or so).

 

You join or start a band with the purpose of gigging. That should be the goal. The band should be clear exactly how much time and effort should be spent on that. A band that expects me to practice two-three hours a day, reherse four hours once a week AND gig six times a month is asking way too much time for me to commit. I like my family, my day job and sleep.

 

Open mics are great if they are run well. I've seen too many here in my area that are just venues for a "house band" to play half a night, then expect crap to happen while everyone is out back blowing dope. Got a little tired of running around the bar trying to find a drummer and a guitar that knows the same stuff as I do.

 

The other problem is that other local bands would arrive and do "mini-sets" which meant the occasional musician would have to sit around and wait 20/30 minutes for the local band(s) to clear out. See previous paragraph.

 

Project A insisted I didn't bring an instrument the first time. We spent two hours talking so they could get an idea of where my head was at. More bands should try that.

 

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

 

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Interestingly, my dad said he wants in on this, so I now have a real band :thu: Well, the elder drummer replied stating he wants to get together (after I told him all about "my" plan) but I've yet to wait for the guitarist. I'll give him a few days / a week and then I'm going to call another guy I know ... See what gives.

"I'm a work in progress." Micky Barnes

 

The Ross Brown Shirt World Tour

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Open mics are great if they are run well.

 

Sorry to take this a little OT, but our booking agent also plays in a band and has some side projects. He does one show called "Build-a-band", where his band plays all night. They have a huge repertoire and can pretty much play anything. If you have a group of guys, you can take the stage. If you don't have a full band, you can sit in - whatever. It works out pretty well. Normally it's just one or two musicians sitting in with the band, but sometimes, it's equivalent to "open mic".

 

The other one he does is "Rockstar Karaoke", which I thought was a clever way to compete with Karaoke. You get the idea, the band plays and people sit in on lead vocals. He's got a big binder of lyrics printed out for people. For folks who like to do Karaoke, they get to sit in with a real band.

 

Personally, I don't think I'd be able to do either - I'd end up shooting myself in the head, but he's been able to keep some regular Monday/Tuesday gigs doing that sort of thing.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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