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Band Indicators


drohm

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If the guitar player and bass player are always concentrating and looking at their hands, even when not soloing, is it an indication that the band is limited? I'm used to playing with musicians that are often looking at each other, especially while comping or playing rhythm patterns. I understand the need to look at hands during solos, or more challenging sections, but not all the time. I tried sitting in with blues band last night, but something was off. Nice people, but very rigid feeling. Everything had a count (e.g., number of bars for solo, number of counts for intro, etc.) If someone missed the count, the train wrecked. No signals. It was exhausting. Wondering if my habits are biasing the experience. EDIT - Should bands use formulas, or signals?

NS3C, Hammond XK5, Yamaha S7X, Sequential Prophet 6, Yamaha YC73, Roland Jupiter X

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Rusty Mike - I get that with a big band. Everything is usually charted in that case, right? Like you said, everyone is looking at their music. But what about smaller bands - rock, blues, jazz, etc.? I would be disappointed if I went to see the Rolling Stones and they were all focussed on their sheet music. ;)

NS3C, Hammond XK5, Yamaha S7X, Sequential Prophet 6, Yamaha YC73, Roland Jupiter X

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Not sure there are any standard indicators for good bands vs bad ones. I'm not a pro but I've been in many bands that lacked and a few that really grooved. You feel it when it's happening. One thing about bands that don't groove, I always feel the need to overplay as something is lacking...when actually it's usually that people are playing too much and not all that solidly....

 

Sound/feel aside, the ability to reach out to an audience is probably more important when it comes to getting gigs (at least at our weekend-cover-band level). I've seen mediocre bands succeed because they really engage with people and at least appear to be having fun...whereas a really tight, good band that looks bored won't have non-musicians coming to see them. Related, a good look and dress is pretty important. Not everyone is in great shape (though that helps too), but dang...don't put on cargo shorts, white running shoes and a short-sleeve button shirt to a club audition...saw this with my friend's band D)

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Rusty Mike - I get that with a big band. Everything is usually charted in that case, right? Like you said, everyone is looking at their music. But what about smaller bands - rock, blues, jazz, etc.? I would be disappointed if I went to see the Rolling Stones and they were all focussed on their sheet music. ;)

 

In my Fusion band we dont use music at the gig. But Im still watching with my ears. Eye contact is there, but its not really our main form of communication.

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It doesn't take very long after the beat drops to know whether or not the band and/or musicians can play.

 

Better caliber of musicians equals fewer train wrecks. Real musicians know what, when and how to play.

 

Write down or remember this PD quotable as it relates to playing music...

 

"If it doesn't feel right, don't f8ck with it".

 

The same thing can be applied to many other aspects of life too. :D:cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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If the guitar player and bass player are always concentrating and looking at their hands, even when not soloing, is it an indication that the band is limited?
No, it's an indication that the players are limited. If they're most of the band, then the band is limited too. Is drummer also not looking at the other players?

 

I'm used to playing with musicians that are often looking at each other, especially while comping or playing rhythm patterns.
So am I.

 

I tried sitting in with blues band last night, but something was off. ... No signals. It was exhausting. ... EDIT - Should bands use formulas, or signals?
Signals, both ears and eyes. Speak, show, listen.
These are only my opinions, not supported by any actual knowledge, experience, or expertise.
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I think the biggest indicator is how the OP feels about playing with them. He might be able to rationalize it, but in the end, if it doesn't feel right, that's what matters.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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In my basement, there is no place to have my set up with the L form factor being in one corner of the band AND looking toward the musicians....

Having my keys matching the shape of the corner in the room just gives us the little one meter we need to set up the drums and have enough room for guitarist to have him NOT letting his toes "listening to his Amp..."

So, I have no choice to really really "watched them with my hears only, and I fell that I'm pitching up way more subtil irises than with my rock band....Whoch was way louder as well....

But I'm still asking for the singer to give us a clue for some ending that are in her kart or I always turn myself to them when it's on me etc...

I think both are important. It looking too much at the others might make you lose a bit of accuracy in your listening...

Don't you ever close your eyes to feel a groove and make sure you are in the pocket ?

Stage 2, C2, NL2X+TC Pedals, P08+Tetra+H9, P12+TC Chorus D50+PG1000, 2 Matrix 1K, Proteus 2K, TX802, Streichfett, Drumbrute. Guitars:G&L Legacy, Asat X2, Ibanez Artstar AS153.Bass: L2000, SR1200&2605.
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how about a guitar player who, every gig, has some "technical" gear issue. Said guitarist runs direct to a amp sim board/pedal board that goes direct to FOH (no amp), and runs guitar to said board wireless. every gig its something, some problem with the rig setup. Yesterday, said guitarist insists on a 2nd guitar for 1 song because the "Drop D" is so vitally important. That guitar isnt working with new wireless dongle so instead of just having a TS cord handy to plug in, we have to drop the song. Its opening song, with dramatic mp3 intro tape bringing the band on, etc. sort of a big suck to have to start the show on song 2. BTW - guitarist rarely strays more than 10 feet from this board, no reason to not just plug a cord in and play the song.

 

btw2 - i play this same song with another band - that guitarist plays it in his standard tune, no special guitar tuning necc. not one person in audience can tell the difference he doesn't have the low "drop D" string.

The baiting I do is purely for entertainment value. Please feel free to ignore it.
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Some bands work on a very tightly-rehearsed "rinse and repeat" formula; others are looser with more allowance for improv'd passages and such. It just depends on the band and their general "constitution".

 

I currently play in 2 bands, a country band and a classic rock covers band.

 

The former insists on rhythm passages etc. being played the SAME WAY every time; solos can have some artistic license but not much. Of course that's not an excuse to not pay attention to the band leader or other musicians. Things can still change on a dime (insert audience-requested song into the setlist; guitar solo HERE instead of keyboard solo; and so on)... so we always need to stay alert to bandleader signals.

 

The latter band is... well... quite loose about these things (but still must play your parts correctly, signature riffs must be covered, etc.). For this band, as long as you're sounding good, you can do whatever you want with your solos, even change rhythm parts if you want. Nobody complains. Just "come as you are" as a good musician, you'll fit in.

Kurzweil PC3, Yamaha MOX8, Alesis Ion, Kawai K3M
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