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HELP!!! Band Problem

Kooky Mogessi

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I've been trying to start a band for a month or two but things arent going too well. The singer cant sing well(honesty he kinda sucks) but he's one of my best friends and the guitarist wants to play more metal while the stuff I want to play tends to be more punkish. I dont know what to do. Should I quit the band? What would be the best way to do it?(all the guys in it are really good friends of mine)


I'm sure most of you have had this problem several times and could help me out. Thanks

"Cliff Burton (the "Major rager of the 4-string mother f***er", from Metallica)" Direct quote from Wikipedia (censored out of respect for the forum)
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I'm not too sure about Indianapolis, but are there other players you could be working with? Maybe you could hook up with others, and you could play in more than one band. That way you could develop a relationship with other players/bands, and then jettison the friends as bandmates for your new, "better" situation. They'd stay your friends, if they really are, and you're out of the situation, on to greener pastures.

It sounds like it's a fairly recent group gathering anyway. Be honest with them and yourself, and if that doesn't work, then what kind of friends are they?


Good luck...






I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.






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If they're your friends, do it as something that you do when you get together as friends, much the same as drinkin a few or watching a game. I mean really, you gonna complain about getting to jam? Do it with an open mind knowing that its just for fun. Look for another project with others. You can be in more than one band. Friendship is important.
Check out my work in progress.
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Originally posted by chewstermaniac:

If they're your friends, do it as something that you do when you get together as friends, much the same as drinkin a few or watching a game. I mean really, you gonna complain about getting to jam? Do it with an open mind knowing that its just for fun. Look for another project with others. You can be in more than one band. Friendship is important.

Yes, I agree. Don't take the "practices" too seriously, just have fun. Then, I would start another band without them.


JDL :cool:

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Is this a band? Or just a few friends getting together to play some songs? I mean no one has quit their day job yet, I hope :D


Just say to the guitarist, hey let's play three songs you like and three songs that I like.


Meanwhile, if you want to be in a band, keep your eyes open for people that are into the same music as you are. That doesn't mean that you have to stop playing songs with your friends.


Unless you aren't having fun, then you should stop playing music with your friends and you can play basketball with them instead.

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No use in ruining friendships over a band. It's perfectly fine to play with your friends, especially concerning different styles. You can learn a lot from different styles of music. Now, the guy who can't sing, on the other hand, may be out of luck on the help, but he can learn how to sing. Unless you are mentally retarded, anyone can learn how to sing. Don't just give him the boot. He is your friend. Use this as a learning tool. Find a band that plays a style you're more interested in and do both. I have played in 4 bands at the same time before and no one had a problem. Of course, one was a classic rock cover band, one a T40 cover band, one a punk band and one a hard rock band, so it wasn't like I was "sleeping with the enemy." It was a lot of fun but a hell of a lot of work. Just do what you can handle and it will be all good.
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An amalgomation of different styles is never a bad thing, unless it is. If you see this as a project that's not going anywhere, you might just as well take the opportunity to bend and play in another style for the sake of the jam. That whole "plays well with others" moniker really does hold true, especially for bassists. Whether or not you play them, it's helpful to play styles out of your comfort zone every now and again.


And a word of caution: on the off chance that this goes somewhere, or in the future- DO NOT GET STUCK WITH A SINGER WHO "CAN'T REALLY SING!" Take it from me- a band with excellent musicians and a bad singer will not go anywhere because the simple truth is that the singer is the most easily heard member of the band, both on stage and on disc. Simply put, no body wants to hear a bad singer.

...think funky thoughts... :freak:
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Hi Penguins,


This is a big problem, sorry. I totally understand.


Some questions:

1. Does the singer know that he does not sing well?

2. Have you clarified YOUR definition of what this band is about? (since it's your band, it seems that you are the one who should be calling the shots).


I suggest that you write it out, so you can stay focused. Here is an example:

We will play this kind of music ________.

We will wear this kind of wardrobe __________.

We will rehearse this many days per week ______.

We will develop a three hour set, and learn this many songs _________.


Ask them if they agree. If not, tell them that you love them as your friends, but you have to create a band that carries your vision! They will still be your friends (hopefully!)


Another reason to do this is because I am assuming that since you started the band, you are doing most all of the work. There is a LOT of work involved in having a gigging band. Making and paying for flyers, having enough equipment, having a place to rehearse, etc. And, of course there is the unbelievable amount of time that you dedicate every week. And, creating lead sheets, tab sheets, arrangements, etc.


In regards to the singer... start NOW and be totally candid about when he is off key or singing in a wrong style, or whatever he is doing wrong. Be gentle, but be honest. If he really likes singing and would love to sing, he can take lessons and greatly improve what he is doing. And you can always say, "Buddy, I don't know how to express it, but we're just not achieving the sound I'm looking for." If he asks for specifics, then really try to explain, preferably in private.


Of course, I do not say any of this with the experience of actaully being able to work out this problem. But I do totally understand the problem, if you know what I mean.


Good luck! ... connie z

"Change comes from within." - Jeremy Cohen


The definition of LUCK: When Preparation meets Opportunity!



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Thanks everybody. Helped alot. I'm going to see the guys tomorrow and I'll talk to them then. Once again, Thanks.


All you guys are soo smart.

"Cliff Burton (the "Major rager of the 4-string mother f***er", from Metallica)" Direct quote from Wikipedia (censored out of respect for the forum)
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Private is the key to all of this: don't let tensions flare in front of anybody outside the band- fans, families, club owners. Nowthing will make you look more unprofessional than continuous fights. THe fights will always happen, just don't anybody see them.


best of luck- we've all got your back

...think funky thoughts... :freak:
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"Singer that sucks"...


Well, that describes my current situation pretty well.


And it's me.


I can sing OK, but there are many songs we do in the band that are outside my range. The good thing is that everybody knows it, and we're looking for a real singer so that I can stop screeching.


Remember that if you take our advice and


- keep your friends

- join another band

- be willing to play all different styles


it doesn't mean that your friends will feel the same. That's why you have to focus on the "friends first" thing, and hope that they see it the same way. Sometimes they don't....


Good luck



Acoustic Color


Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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Only you can tell what the score really is there (and that may only be in hindsight). But a few things occur to me.


Expectations. The first band I helped start was right after I decided to get into bass just over four years ago. I had been in bands so I had a pretty good idea how fast things could progress (provided my plucking hands could get faster - I was really slow when I began unless all timing was thrown to the wind). Anyway, they had played for some time and were convinced we would have our own songs, a good rhythm section feel and our own band sound in much less time than I believed.


And I turned out to be right. What they didn't know would fill an encyclopedia. I soon passed them up as a bass player, already had theory and chords and notes names so I could communicate, knew the fretboard better than guitarist did, had a better ear, and listened to enough styles to be able to take the music interesting places. They were truly limited.


What was worse: they really didn't work on their most deficient areas and even attempted to hide the fact that there were any problems. That coupled with their somehow unrealistic timeframe was truly frustrating them because they had no patience to do all the work that development required.


Be sure that your timeframe for goals is realistic - not only for them, but for yourself. Things tend to happen in plateaus, so you have to persevere long enough to see results if inexperience is part of the overall personnel mix. Be very honest with yourself where you are at in your development and make sure you do not project your weaknesses on the others or exaggerate your lead if you have one.


Singing. Well, if you think there is a problem, suggest lessons. You'd be surprised how many singer-frontpersons and background singers of topnotch acts take lessons when they have time, and have, for years.


But if that is not at this current time realistic, I guess what I would do is try to groom several people in the band as part time lead and backgorund singers, so everybody gets a shot at developing themselves. The improvement of one singer can often spur growth in the others, it spells each other from too much stress, and it allows one to find their vocal persona. If a person wants this chance in a band and never really gets it that can later cause attitude problems.


A band of friends should all be supportive of each other, and give each other opportunity. In turn, no shucking and jiving about who is working hard at it. Illusions are the enemy.


As far as styles/genres, it's been my experience that even if the final band product can neatly be categorized into one genre, that it pays to have diverse influences. I'd say let people bring what they wnat to the table, and have a feast. Some individual composing, some collaboration, and then see what kind of band develops out of it. Evolution usually takes care of itself, given the chance.

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Oops. Missed another bit about singing. Some people come about it pretty naturally and others require a little time before the good stuff kicks in (category 2 for me). Some have lots of styles they can do, others have a selected one or two that they can eventually deliver well.


For many instrumentalist-oriented people, singing seems to be intimidating. They feel exposed; the voice is so personal and revealing. They may have attitudes that are in the way of taking it seriously, or fear failure so much that it keeps them from connecting.


At some point you have to cut your losses if someone is determined not to grow or picks a type of material that just isn't them. But if it's friends, you should have time to see what is really what.


Good luck! Nothing beats playing music with other people you like.

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Another thing to consider:

Sometimes very cool music comes from people who don't totally see eye-to-eye on overall style and can't necessarily sing very well.


The Mighty Mighty Bosstones are an example of this. Black Flag was another. So was Faith No More.


Also... Sometimes a "sucky" singer can develop a style that really works in spite of their suckiness. Check out Fu Manchu (http://www.fu-manchu.com/), for example. Scotti Hill became singer for that band by default, but he never really sings, per se. He developed a talking, sing-song style that works well for his band. Another example? Les Claypool. He'll never be confused with Pavorotti, but he's got a style that works for Primus. Encourage your singing friend to be himself and do whatever comes naturally.


The point is this:

Get together. Mess around. See what comes out. You'd be suprised at the interesting things that can happen. Stuff that shouldn't work sometimes does... very well.



"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

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