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New project, asking advice and for sources


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Hello again friends. ;)


I am currently in a rock band. An as much as I enjoy it ... the other musicians are not interested in being able to play well (i.e. wont practice except for when we practice once a week. not to mention that they dont understand ANY theory so I am always stuck playing to what they write because they cant play to other peoples music), and B. the audience base is so small for it where I live.


So I have thought of starting a 3 piece core of drums bass and female singer. I have sampling capabilities that I will have to explore for some things to fill in the voids. It will be along the lines of PortisHead and Bjork with a little more funk/blues influence. Also, the drummer and I will be singing, and she can play guitar. We all have great chemistry, are dedicated and have the same time constraints. So we will be slow to get the ball moving and have a full st ready, but it should be fun getting there and p[laying out.


My question is: can you think of any other bands like the 2 stated above? Anyone have experience with a core type band that just had sit in players ok keys/horns/guitar?


Next question with orienting comment: I think genre is accessible to a wide audience. Do you agree? anyone here listen to these bands? If you have not heard PortisHead give it a try.


OH another concern is The singer will be my wife!?? And I have had bad experiences before with a guy in the crowd screaming shut up B&%^$ and show us your _____ ) I think you get the idea. This was 1 of 5 shows with thast band. Does anyone know how that tends to work? On average are people somewhat respectful, or will the headstock of my bass need reinforcement  I understand the risks of giving a female gobs of attention, but if you have any comments that are relevant they would be appreciated.


Another reason I really look forward to this is that it will push me to be a very good player. I will ahve to play tastfully but fill up a large portion of the sound range.


OK I'll shut up,







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If you haven't already I'd suggest you check out the following, which perhaps include more instrumentation than you've specified but could still work:


Zero 7

Massive Attack

Martina Topley Bird


Sneaker Pimps


Although they have a male vocalist and use guitar, you may want to also check out Galactic for a good example of that kind of groove which leaves loads of space.


With regards to the idiots in the crowd, unless you start playing classier joints you'll just have to ignore it.

Now theres three of you in a band, youre like a proper band. Youre like the policemen.
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We play "Glorybox" by Portishead. Our female vocalist brought that one to us and I had never heard of them before. I can honestly say I had never even heard of that type of music before (I'm narrow minded that way) but I can tell you that it's one of our best songs now, from crowd reaction to our love of playing it.


If you can put together a 3 piece and play that kind of music well, you got my vote.


When someone in the crowd yells "show us your t*ts" hold up both of your middle fingers (tits are a small bird).

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Anders (vesterberg) beat me to it, I was gonna suggest Lamb ...


Try some Pink Floyd, and re-write tunes to fit your instrumentation and genre. I recently heard "She's Not There" (Santana?) done in a trip-hop/Portishead style with female vocals and it kicked a**.



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


The Ross Brown Shirt World Tour

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It would be interesting (and creative) to choose a certain genre (lets say trip-hop) and alter the "normal" instrumentation a little or mix with another genre. I have had thoughts going like this for a while myself. I have a steady flow of rock gigs, but my mates love rock and like to stay with rock . Nothing wrong with rock, but experimenting is exciting.


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It's frustrating being in a band that doesn't quite share your musical/business visions. You say you enjoy it, but it almost sounds like you enjoy it only slightly more than just sitting at home alone.


I'm guessing a lot of time/effort goes into rehearsals and the gigs are infrequent? That seems to be the norm for an originals band that isn't well established yet. You may need to cut your commitment with this band down to say only one rehearsal before every string of gigs. This would mean, perhaps, a single Thursday rehearsal for a Fri/Sat/Sun run, as opposed to ten straight weeks of twice-a-week rehearsals for one Saturday show. :P


Starting a second band can fill those musical/business voids left by the first band. Sounds like you're going to be in charge, so that's going to give you a larger voice in direction to begin with. The two bands won't be in direct competition, so there should be no problems.


The only thing that comes to mind when you list your new sources is the Sugar Cubes, Bjork's band before she went solo.


I'm not sure I like the "sit in" musician approach. Either find somebody to do it all the time or don't. I mean, if you were "in" a band that had two other bassists, and you were only called to make gigs the other two couldn't, how much of a priority would you make that band? I'd much rather have everyone necessary be committed and add a featured guest on occasion for fluff.


Get your core solid and then audition for another musician. Or beg someone you already know to make a commitment. It may be easier if this person only has to step in to something that's already built instead of having to help build it up from scratch.


OTOH, go with what you have. I'll just mention Clatter Amy because she is such a great example of what you can do with minimal instrumentation: in her case, drums and bass (and vocals of course). For a more well-known act, look at the White Stripes, a drum and guitar duo (who happen to be from the 'D' :thu: ).


Some jazz trios do not use typical chording instruments (piano/guitar), such as sax, bass and drums. And yes, the bass has a lot more ground to cover in a trio like that.


So there's no doubt it can be done with just bass, drums and vocals. Adding a little rhythm guitar from the lead vocalist will definitely help. But you're right, you're probably going to have to step up a little bit on bass and be a bit more of a lead instrument, assuming you're not going to get any lead play from the guitar. Hopefully you'll mostly be singing backup vox.


If you have any keyboard skills, you may want to look at playing keys, at least on some songs for variety. You can still hold down the bass with your left hand while your right hand does lead, comp, whatever.


Another idea is to switch bass/guitar with your lead singer for some songs, assuming she can play bass (doesn't have to be anything fancy) while singing and you can play some lead guitar.


Then again, if you're doing something like Mamas and Papas where the vocal harmonies are paramount and the instrumental support is almost unnecessary, well that's another road to consider. Everyone sing your butts off and just play minimal accompaniment.

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Thanks for reminding me to play other instruments Ric. I also play sax, and from audiance and schools feedback I do it well enough.

I think you are right about other players. I really want to find a organ player. OH MY I love the organ on Robot Hive by CLUTCH. Even a jazz pianist would be wonderful to have around.


ZERO 7... A Maze Ing

Massive attack: oh thank you sir for that little nugget of joy.

Martina Topley Bird Air and Sneaker Pimps not my thing.

Lamb... not my thing either. But I didnt have a wide selection of any of these bands.






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vesterberg. that is what I hope to do. I enjoy effects and highly produced music. if you check out THIS you can hear what I did when I was 17 (6 years ago) and see I have some very odd backgrounds. It might also be best to listen to it through ehadphones. Also, keep in mind it was to go along with minimal techno so it is kinda repedative.


I have thought of redoing songs in completly morphed ways, and then maybe somewhere in the middle hitting a chorus exactly like the original. I am hoping we can get this together soon, I will let you hear what we come up with.

Transposing the parts to different instruments never occured to me.


Also, the drummer/Producer I hope to work with can be heard HERE

I'm jsut hoping for some fun right now. If we click then that will be a SUPER YAY.








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I have a friend who works a lot with effects, looping, sampling and sequencing. He is a drummer, but guitar is his main instrument now. We have discussed how to play music like this live, that have spontaneous ingredients also. Nothing is more creative than a good and participating audience. It would be interesting to get good at looping live for ex. Have you tried it?

When you begin to make music with your new group, please share it.




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