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Hello guys,

A month ago me and some of my friends started a rock band. During this period of time, I discovered I'm really interested in audio and music and whatever is connected to it: recording, mixing, playing... everything (well, there certainly is a thing i wouldn't like, but I haven't discovered it yet).

But the problem is how to start? How to learn? How to train my ears to say what is good and what is bad? And if I hear something's not good, but don't know exactly WHAT is wrong, how to learn that? How did you guys start? Are there any good books on the things available? Any *really* good online resources?

Well I'd be very grateful if you could help me starting so I would be able to explore myself then...

Thanks very much,


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Well I'd be very grateful if you could help me starting so I would be able to explore myself then...

Thanks very much


Welcome to the forum. This is a good place to learn so you're already started. If you go to the hosting site home page


you will get a lot of ideas.


I suspect that people on this forum might be able to help you better if you are more specific:


1) What instruments/vocal parts do you have?

2) How much time can you spend practicing?

3) What's your budget?

4) Do you have any engineering background?

5) What styles of music do you like?


General advice:

1) Listen carefully to CDs of bands you like.

2) Play along with the CDs

this will teach you to play in rhythm and

it will also train your ear

3) Talk to other musicians (like you are now)

4) Take lessons from a good local teacher

(this gets into the time and budget questions)


If you are learning rock/pop tunes there are a lot of TAB sites that have the chords and lyrics of the songs written down.




This message has been edited by ChrisJ on 04-20-2001 at 03:49 AM

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Thanks. I'd just add the specifics you said:

1) In the band I play keyboard. I've had 9 years of piano playing in music school so I don't have problems with playing what I've learned till then. Um, I don't like the synethesized sounds very much, so I would almost say I'm playing "a small piano", not a keyboard. I use almost only the piano sound and sometimes some hammond sounds. Oh, the exception is the Clav for Bryan Adams' Summer of '69 http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/wink.gif

2) Practice - I have my keyboard near the hi-fi and computer so I often play songs I know when I listen to the CDs. Well, I actually don't do much *real* practice, because I learn things faster than our guitarist and don't know what to practice more exactly.

3) What do you mean by budget? (uhh, my English...)

4) Nope. I don't have any engineering background - I think that's the main problem - the main reason for this is cause I don't know how to get close to someone who knows those things.

5) I like mostly rock music. I like also soft metal (oh, I hate death metal almost as much as rave...) As far as pop is concerned - I don't really love it, but it's ok. Oh, I like jazz very much, especially blues. Well my view on the world of music has changed when I discovered how to play a basic blues pattern on piano http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/wink.gif


As I'm the most experienced member of the band, I would probably have to help the others. How?

Thanks again,



This message has been edited by mte on 04-20-2001 at 10:42 AM

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Audio can be approached the same way you approached piano when you knew nothing about it.


Practice, Experimentation and Humility.


I spent two years in a "recording school". Aside from the people I met, the experience was pretty worthless. I learned more by buying a 4-track than I ever did sitting in front of a $250K console in class.


I would suggest a few things:

1. If there are any pro, semi-pro, or home studios in your area, see if you can contact these people and sit-in for some of their sessions. There's a wealth of knowledge to be soaked up at any of these places.


2. Buy a four track. You can get cassette four-tracks for next to nothing now, and they'll teach you the fundamentals of signal flow, EQ, and multitracking.


3. Read as much as you can, but believe half of what you read and about a quarter of what other people tell you. There are some fundamental things that seem to have a popular consensus, but all the rules can and will be broken.


4. Be humble and kind to everyone willing to help you out.


5. Keep reading this forum, there's alot of really talented people here who are amazingly generous with their knowledge.


6. Just keep doing it. Take every opportunity you can to learn more and exploit it to the fullest.


my measley .02



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You have just entered a vast, confusing world. I have started and/or joined many bands in the last forty years including a group I just joined two weeks ago. There are no simple easy answers for your question.


You have made a good start by finding this forum, however, how to learn songs, how to get along with bandmates, how to rehearse, etc. are all questions that are specific to you and your situation. I can offer some generic tips I have learned over the years that may help.


1. Have a meeting. Discuss the goals of the band, the time and effort each member is willing to invest. Find out what kinds of music you want to do. Figure out what everybody can manage for rehearsal time. What gigs are you trying to get and who should try to get them. Who does what in the band..P.A., song prep, bookings, promo material, etc.


2. If you are the fastest learner then perhaps you should be in charge of rehearsal. Be prepared. Have a tape of the song (if you're doing cover tunes), know the chords, have the words written for whoever will sing and provide direction with patience.


3. Try to learn and respect the limitations of your bandmates. If they are having trouble with a part, learn to let go and move on. If they aren't comfortable with a song you really want to do, move on to another tune. The same applies to you if it's a tune they really want to do and you're not into it. I learned a long time ago it's only four minutes out of your life to do a song they like and you don't. And the next time you can do your song.


4. Have fun. If you're bickering and spending too much time sweating the details, move on.


5. Read, read, read. Search out magazines, books, internet sites (like this one) and anything else you can find. Search Amazon.com for books on music, recording, etc.


6. Pay your dues. There is no substitute for "doing it". Unless you have a band full of prodigies you must practice your craft. I still practice my sax four or more hours a week. The term "good enough" just does not apply.


Good luck and welcome to a highly rewarding, extremely frustrating way of life.



Mark G.

Mark G.

"A man may fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame others" -- John Burroughs


"I consider ethics, as well as religion, as supplements to law in the government of man." -- Thomas Jefferson

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