Being in a band, should it really be this difficult?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by andy474x, Oct 8, 2016.

  1. Lee B.

    Lee B. I stitch my wings and pull the strings.

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    I am also looking to get into the weekend warrior thing in the next year or so, after I whip some songs back into shape. Amazing what a five year hiatus does to wreck what meager chops I used to have!

    I personally hope to meet a drummer who cites influences like Ginger Baker, Levon Helm, Frank Beard, David Garibaldi, or Peter Erskine... good chance my eardrums would survive then!
     
    #21 Lee B., Oct 19, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2016
  2. Parralax view

    Parralax view New Member

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    I just basically wore my self out on bands. I played in bands from being a sophomore in high school in 1963 until around 1999 with break for service in the late 60's. I thought it would be one of those life long endeavors as it is with some guys who play forever for the sheer love of it. Turns out, personalities and responsibilities outside the band took it's eventual toll. Moving to Hawaii was going to be a new start for me in bands, bringing a Texas style of playing to something new.. It's a fairly closed musical society here, you have to be basically "sponsored" in and I was, until my sponsor moved. After that, it kind of dried up and I really didn't care any longer. I'm content now to use my Trio pedal, my looper etc. and just continue to hone my skills like that. I get it that some need bands to complete their musical journey and I thought I did too, but at 68, I'm really now just too old for the requirements of being in a band.
     
  3. kidego

    kidego New Member

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    Jaa jaa jaaa jaaa.. welcome to the band´s world

    I hear you man, I have been in band´s for around 20 years now.... and it can be from living an eternal honey moon to a real nightmare, unfortunately the 2nd option is more likely to occurs.

    A band its almost the same as a to be in a couple relationship; The course of it will be dependent on each character on the movie, some guys and girls are harder to deal with than others... I recommend you guys get together and establish rules, agreements and routines for the band and this has to take place apart from your rehearsal time.

    Trust me, a great performance and unity on a band will require LOTS of time and patience, do not forget LOTS of talking too. If time its a constrain in your band, do your self a favor and find new mates, mates with same or similar interests and goals as you (assuming you are serious about music). If you do not follow this simple advice, do not complaint !!!

    Worst case scenario; you all can still play together BUT this has to be treated as a hobbie and have lots of fun. But do not expect to be on a good established band working without some rules. A band where there are minor to none real musical expectations its a hobbie and if this is your case, just relax and have fun playing with your friends.

    If you are serious about a band, find serious people to work with

    Good luck in your quest man !!!
     
    #23 kidego, Oct 20, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2016
  4. Boogie

    Boogie SuperD

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    Too old? Too OLD??!! Is that a pledge pin on your jacket??!! :D My neighbor, 15 years to my senior, coaxed me into playing with his band that had been together since 1963 ( a year before I was born) and I haven't looked back since. I still play periodically with them, but almost 25 years later, I've consistently played in 4 other cover bands and 1 prog rock originals trio. It's what keeps me sane in an insane world. You just need to keep your eyes and ears open for great people in the same boat as you: misery loves company (that was my mantra)! Granted, my "vintage" rock buddies don't want to/can't gig every weekend, but they love playing and I'm so fortunate to be able to learn from them. Anyone that has setup on stage and ever performed for a crowd knows you can never replace that feeling. Go get that feeling back again!
     
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  5. aristotle

    aristotle New Member

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    Story of my musical life. Must be my winsome personality or something. I've never understood how I get the guys who play with me to play with me.

    In any case, for the OP, are the drums mic'd? In my experience, the issue is usually the opposite. Amp'd instruments overwhelming un-mic'd drums in small clubs. I'd really think that most PA's would be able to put vocals above un-mic'd drums no matter who is playing them. But if he's too loud, what does he say when asked to tone it down? You might try (at practice at least) an experiment where you put a mic out front and record some songs where everybody else plays down at what you consider to be a reasonable gig volume. Play it back to the drummer. Unless he's bad to the core, he'll recognize that it sounds like schlock.

    Regarding the rest of it, it all seems so geographic region dependent. Here in Maryland, it's super easy. Range of music venues, range of crowds and tastes, range of musicianship. A guy here at the office moved from California. His observation about Maryland is that:

    A. Everybody has a Maryland flag (and usually some sort of bumper magnet of a crab made out of the flag colors.)
    B. Everybody parks "commando" (back-in)
    C. Everybody is in a band
    D. Every dive bar has a band

    Good place to play out in my book. Go to New York, or Nashville, or any place with a really "happening" music scene, and I can't compete with the guy in front of the doughnut shop playing his squire through a crate with his case open for tips.
     
  6. vchizzle

    vchizzle Birdman.

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    A loud drummer is tough, there are times to bash it out and times to lay back. I suppose it depends on if he's just slamming all the time, disregarding dynamics or? The volume is an issue, glass barricade thing may be the only way. Or a new drummer if he doesn't get the problem. Some, it's just how they play and you can only tame a gorilla so much.
    I hear ya on the recording end of it. That's frustrating. Some people are less motivated than others. Maybe a little nudge to a specific bandmate or 2 could help? Just say, "hey, checkout "track x" on dropbox and see if you can work something up with it."
    I would ask yourself if you'd be more happy not playing with these guys? Finding the right guys to jam with is a pain in general, so consider that the grass isn't usually greener. Most threads like this, I can go down the list of issues and say- yep, yep, check, OH YEAH...I know that feeling!
     
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  7. Parralax view

    Parralax view New Member

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    Hawaii is a strange place for bands. I was actually told once at an audition that my style was a great mix of Texas and jazz, but I was too old to fit the IMAGE of the band. WHAT!?!? it is what it is and it basically turned me off to the musical snobs out here.
     
  8. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

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    Thanks for the replies fellas. We've gotten to the point where these guys are good friends of mine, and I think they would take it very personally if I left the band for another project - and that sucks, because I don't want to be that guy. Fortunately, and this might be a weird thing to say, but fortunately I think the band is kind of wearing itself out. Our drummer is a good guy, but he's one of those people that lives his life cranked to 11 - motorcycles, hot-rodded Corvette, etc., so he's playing every gig like an arena. Don't get me wrong, he's good and would be great touring arenas! But when you're playing a bar with 50 people in it, and you have to crank your 2x12 to the breaking point just to keep up, it's just not fun for people to listen to. Especially when these are bars that sometimes have acoustic bands, sometimes have open mic, and then we show up like... us. Sometimes the PA at these deals is just a small system meant for vocals and acoustic guitars. My problem isn't the fact that we're not playing huge venues, it's that when we go into the neighborhood bar and start to play and the room clears, it doesn't click with them, that people might be at their weekend watering hole wanting to relax, and might actually like them if we weren't giving them a headache premature of their next-morning hangover! We played on Saturday, fortunately another band brought a nice PA system, but it was interesting to watch the other bands. The first group to go on was, I would say, one of the top bands doing originals in the area. They're all talented, have good songs, keep it tight, and really filled up the space with sound without going overboard - and they got a great response from a packed room. Second band went on, these guys are a local and very typical bar band, half stacks cranking, drummer reaching for the ceiling before every hit (actually very comical to watch) - the place was practically empty by the time we went on. And to be honest, that's kind of our schtick too. Accordingly, we're getting invited to fewer and fewer venues around town, so I think our days are numbered. I've talked to our drummer about dynamics and what's appropriate, but he just insists that his kit doesn't sound right if he doesn't play loud, and I also think he's gotten such a muscle memory from playing our songs so loud and hitting so hard, that it would throw him off to play quieter because the rebound off his drum heads would be so diminished.

    We're working on some new material right now, which I would like to finish strong with, but it's not getting a lot of traction with the whole band in terms of everyone sitting down and writing their parts to new songs, as I mentioned in the first post. So, if we get into spring and nothing is moving, I think I'll have a legitimate reason to step out. And, if shows don't start to pick up, I don't think everyone is going to be motivated enough to keep it up either. There are some good bands doing rock, soul, R&B stuff around town, something more palatable would be a welcome change. I guess that makes me a sellout, but what can I say, I'm a people pleaser! If things take a strange turn and start to pick up, I think I'll push for the plexi-cage, as mentioned above. Heck, I would even buy the thing if he would use it! Ideally, I would love for him to play an electronic kit when the situation is appropriate, but that's probably like asking one of us to play a Line 6 Spider...
     
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  9. CVS

    CVS Not so new member

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    I have been in my current band for about 4+ years and it is amazing to see see how people change, evolve, develop, (or fail to develop as the case may be). Never a dull moment. Unless your into the band to make serious $, pursue the kind of music you like to play (at least that's my motto;))
     
  10. dmatthews

    dmatthews Dave's not here...

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    Very insightful observations Andy. Sounds like you're ready to ride it out. I understand how frustrated you are and I really respect your attitude.
    I sincerely hope you find the right situation and fit. Rock on brother.
     
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  11. Boogie

    Boogie SuperD

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    I think we all reach a point where we're basically guitar whores and do it for the love of music, regardless of the genre. It certainly isn't for the money!
     
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  12. CVS

    CVS Not so new member

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    Amen to that brother!
     
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  13. CVS

    CVS Not so new member

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    One other option to consider. I have been creating my own backing tracks using a looper. I put down bass, keyboard, and guitar parts and then play over the track. Usually I will play a smooth jazz kind of tunes or blues tunes. I have been pleasantly surprised by the reception that I have been getting even though the majority of the songs I play have no vocals (you would not want to hear my voice). There are definitely pros and cons with this approach, but for some, it might just work, especially if you can sing.
     
  14. shinksma

    shinksma What? I get a title?

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    Exactly. One of the more successful/popular local musicians in the same rough circle of music as my band does it full time - he has no day job, he plays out every day he can, and writes and practices every other spare moment. he plays solo, him and a guitar, sometimes a kick for a cajon (works well, believe it or not), no loopers or backing tracks. So he's not sharing the fee.

    And he still doesn't make enough to survive. Fortunately his wife is super supportive, and has a day job herself that seems to be enough for them.

    But there is no way I could imagine giving up my day job to be a full-time musician. I don't make nearly as much as some around here, but I make way more at my job than I would getting gigs every night.

    It is too bad that the art of musicianship is not appreciated financially for locals and start-ups. I was going to say it isn't appreciated as much as other entertainment like pro football (either type), basketball, hockey, etc, but I think the artists like U2 or Taylor Swift or Roger Waters are the musical equivalent of a pro baseball team, over-compensated for well-honed talent, and schmucks like me playing local gigs are the equivalent of the really-minor minor leagues or pick-up games at the local field. There is very little middle ground of musicians being able to make a good solid middle-class living - you are either famous and worth $200 a seat at a 60,000 seat stadium, or a nobody and barely worth the $5 cover charge at a bar that holds 100 people when it gets full. If you even can charge a cover...

    Sorry, I got off topic there, but I guess I needed to vent.
     
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  15. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc Get in, loser, we’re going shopping.

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    Go for it!
     

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