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OT: Band rehab projects?


cphollis

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You can bring all the "game" you want, and you should do that. Thing is, the other people in the situation may very well be bringing all the "game" they can, or at least are interested in bringing. If you're not the bandleader you really have 2 options: 1) Continue to do your thing, look past the perceived shortcomings of the other players, or 2) Find another group of people with ability levels and goals closer to your own and play with them, since 3) Be a bandleader and hire who you want doesn't appear to be something that appeals to you at this point (I don't blame you there, man.....being a bandleader can be a huge PITA) IMO if you're going to try to exult these people to "come up to your level" you're simply asking for a heapin' helpin' of frustration....
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UPDATE:

 

Band rehab project is progressing well, all things considered.

 

I was able to fix a number of things in short order. The sound system is now much better, and -- as a result -- of course we sound better and the musos can hear things. I'm not quite sure how they did without monitors or sound guy before, but I guess that is in the past. Much happier musicians and audience.

 

I drove some chord consistency. Different musos were playing different chords for some of the songs (shocking, right?) Here is the right chord. If you don't want to play it, then we all have to agree to play it wrong, OK?

 

The surprising win? Blinky lights. I have a set of these Chauvet Freedom Sticks that pull off an engineered light show with zero effort. My rehab band now sounds OK and looks impressive.

 

The last few gigs have gotten an enthusiastic response from event organizers. So right now, we're turning down gigs and cranking our price up. Used to get $600-800 for a six part act. We're now asking $1200 and settling for $1000.

 

That's progress, right?

 

Time for the next phase of the project ...

 

Had a sit down with BL and lead female vocalist (who is quite good and without drama) this morning. Basic theme: so you like the improvements, where do we go from here? Asked him about where he'd like to see the band evolve to.

 

I softly laid out a number of options we had, a few of which involved replacing people. As well as making some adjustments to material and how he performed. Non-confrontational, just hey this is what we could be if you want.

 

Just a reminder, he gets us great gigs. Country club gigs that pay well and are low-stress. He also organizes things quite well. An ex-executive from a brand name major company. I'm playing to that. He just needs a bit of nudge.

 

The good news is that he bought into the entire rehab project I outlined.

 

We're going to build a horn section, and have a plan for that. We're going to morph the set list to play to people's strong points vs. exposing weaknesses. We're going to make some personnel changes with candidates identified. We're going to change how we do rehearsals. And we're going to readjust the band's finances to focus more on marketing.

 

All good. I presented it to him as a business proposal, which is the world he and I come from. Except it's not about $$$, more about having a blast each and every time we play.

 

I think I've figured out how to be BL without all the drama and stress. I'm the man with a plan :)

 

I'll keep you posted?

Want to make your band better?  Check out "A Guide To Starting (Or Improving!) Your Own Local Band"

 

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Kudos to you. I can't argue with better paying gigs. I like the part about being the band leader without the managerial headaches. Keep us updated.

 

(I've never heard of these Chauvet Freedom Sticks. They look like a seriously good idea.)

J.S. Bach Well Tempered Klavier

The collected works of Scott Joplin

Ray Charles Genius plus Soul

Charlie Parker Omnibook

Stevie Wonder Songs in the Key of Life

Weather Report Mr. Gone

 

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Kudos to you. I can't argue with better paying gigs. I like the part about being the band leader without the managerial headaches. Keep us updated.

 

(I've never heard of these Chauvet Freedom Sticks. They look like a seriously good idea.)

 

I'm surprised I don't see more bands using them.

 

You can set up one to be the master for the others, driven by bass notes. Each bass note triggers a different internal pattern, all the fixtures are synchronized, so it looks like you spend days programming the whole thing with chasing lights timed to the music.

 

Pretty slick looking, super easy to set up, lightweight and the battery can last through two or more gigs.

 

The only downside is that they break easily. One of my 8 just stopped working, and there's no fixing it. And they won't withstand any rough handling.

 

The audience always loves them. The band members love them as well.

Want to make your band better?  Check out "A Guide To Starting (Or Improving!) Your Own Local Band"

 

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This seems to be a common theme.

 

I don't know your age. But if you are over 50, consider its time to simplify your life vs ongoing music therapy for band members.

 

Thus, keep a good relationship with the excellent female vocalist. Create backing tracks, and when you have nailed 10 or more songs, show the simplicity of music production with just you and her.

Why fit in, when you were born to stand out ?

My Soundcloud with many originals:

[70's Songwriter]

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Interesting point of view, GregC. Might be the right thing for some, but not for me. I will be 60 this year. My life is already very simple.

 

The other thing my wife and I do is rehab houses. Not a simple task either. We find something with good bones and long-term potential, and then do the hard work required.

 

Besides being somewhat financially rewarding, you get the pleasure of creating something of value that wasn't there before. Sort of the same thing here.

Want to make your band better?  Check out "A Guide To Starting (Or Improving!) Your Own Local Band"

 

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Interesting point of view, GregC. Might be the right thing for some, but not for me. I will be 60 this year. My life is already very simple.

 

The other thing my wife and I do is rehab houses. Not a simple task either. We find something with good bones and long-term potential, and then do the hard work required.

 

Besides being somewhat financially rewarding, you get the pleasure of creating something of value that wasn't there before. Sort of the same thing here.

 

Personally, I don't do drama very well. So the band member stuff eventually involves drama. But you are patient so you make it work out.

 

With what I suggested, you have much more control, like owning a small business.

With artistic musical direction, I much prefer having that.

 

I might be over-simplifying, your female vocalist is attracting 90% of the eyeballs, so in terms of potential gigs, a shredder lead guitarist or a loud rock drummer is not going to be the main event.

 

Of course, you have to have confidence in ability to produce drum, guitar parts. It can be done and its done on keys most of the time.

 

The audience is not going to notice if the guitar part to Mustang Sally is not sonically exact like the vintage recording. They are 90% focused on your singer.

 

I understand many want to stick to a conventional band approach- its social ,too. Being part of a 4 piece/5 piece with you directing it/shaping it.

 

In my mind, its not about the money, and I have no mercenary interest. Lucky where I can be more idealistic and not constrained. Or seeking conventional approval.

Why fit in, when you were born to stand out ?

My Soundcloud with many originals:

[70's Songwriter]

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you get the pleasure of creating something of value that wasn't there before

 

Just like writing software...or songs :)

Hammond: L111, M100, M3, BC, CV, Franken CV, A100, D152, C3, B3

Leslie: 710, 760, 51C, 147, 145, 122, 22H, 31H

Yamaha: CP4, DGX-620, DX7II-FD-E!, PF85, DX9

Roland: VR-09, RD-800

 

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you get the pleasure of creating something of value that wasn't there before

 

Just like writing software...or songs :)

 

especially original songs ;)

Why fit in, when you were born to stand out ?

My Soundcloud with many originals:

[70's Songwriter]

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I attempted rehab with a band only to discover halfway through that it was the BL who was the real bottleneck, both musically and attitudinally.

 

I'm in the same situation. One of my current bands has been stuck for years at the same level (good but not great).

We play well but don't engage the audience, we focus obsessively on insignificant details and don't care about more evident liabilities (main one: the bandleader is a good solo singer but cannot do choirs...and we do vocal harmonies in almost all our songs) and showmanship.

 

And this mostly comes from the bandleader, which is 15 years older than the rest of us, founded the band, owns the rehearsal room etc.

 

But he doesn't care about our advice, and refuses to let go of his role of singer despite his shortcomings.

And of course, it's out of the question to improve our stage sound by using in-ears or what. Guitar amps to 11 and "I CANNOT HEAR ME!", that's the way.

Put up a better show, engage the audience more? "HA, WE'RE NOT CLOWNS!"

 

Please note there are no hard feelings, he's a really nice guy, but he's simply aiming for a target he cannot reach, and in doing so prevents all of us from progressing.

And of course, he wants to rehearse all the time even if we have few gigs and have been playing the same songs for years.

I humbly proposed to start searching for a dedicated lead singer, and it almost broke up the band.

 

Don't know what to do, I love the band and the music and I'd hate to leave, but I'm starting to feel I'm wasting my time.

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You don't need the band leader's permission to go in-ear. You just need a couple of hundred bucks, as long as you're stationary (like a keys player).

 

I'd love to go in-ear myself, but I have no idea how I'd mix the band with those things in. :/

Hammond: L111, M100, M3, BC, CV, Franken CV, A100, D152, C3, B3

Leslie: 710, 760, 51C, 147, 145, 122, 22H, 31H

Yamaha: CP4, DGX-620, DX7II-FD-E!, PF85, DX9

Roland: VR-09, RD-800

 

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Long post, but how many of you do this? Intentionally or unintentionally?

 

I used to but I am now old enough that I am tired of holding hands.

 

I don't mind some development work or offering my superior PA. Dealkillers are things like antagonistic guitar heroes with loud amps and no consideration for other members of the band.

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