Finding Musicians for Live Performances


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Normul
01-28-2011, 03:25 AM
I have been writing, recording and producing music entirely by myself for a few years now. I have no interest in finding other musicians to join my "band" because I've tried it in the past and it simply doesn't work. I'm the first to admit that I would be a terrible musician to work with, especially in a studio atmosphere, as I am a control freak. I've taught myself to play at least a dozen instruments, produce, engineer, mix and even master just to avoid needing to call in a studio drummer or a producer, etc.

Anyway, I've been offered to play a 25 minute set at a college venue. It's just not realistic to fully execute the vast majority of my music live, let alone with the kind of sound set-up at the venue. But I have come up with 5 songs totally 25 minutes that I believe could be performed fairly completely in a live setting. Keep in mind that I account for one guitarist and lead vocals.

However, I'm unsure of two things:
1) What kind of instrumentalists, and how many would I need to play the songs sufficiently?
2) Where can I find musicians capable of playing the parts I've written and nothing more that won't want too much money or to become a member of the band?

Here are the 5 songs: http://artists.ultimate-guitar.com/normul/
Listen or skim through them and see if you can get an estimate of how many musicians I need to track down, what instruments I need fulfilled and what skill level they would need to be.

Thanks in advance for any help I can get.

Zeletros
01-28-2011, 03:41 AM
I have been writing, recording and producing music entirely by myself for a few years now. I have no interest in finding other musicians to join my "band" because I've tried it in the past and it simply doesn't work. I'm the first to admit that I would be a terrible musician to work with, especially in a studio atmosphere, as I am a control freak. I've taught myself to play at least a dozen instruments, produce, engineer, mix and even master just to avoid needing to call in a studio drummer or a producer, etc.

Anyway, I've been offered to play a 25 minute set at a college venue. It's just not realistic to fully execute the vast majority of my music live, let alone with the kind of sound set-up at the venue. But I have come up with 5 songs totally 25 minutes that I believe could be performed fairly completely in a live setting. Keep in mind that I account for one guitarist and lead vocals.

However, I'm unsure of two things:
1) What kind of instrumentalists, and how many would I need to play the songs sufficiently?
2) Where can I find musicians capable of playing the parts I've written and nothing more that won't want too much money or to become a member of the band?

Here are the 5 songs: http://artists.ultimate-guitar.com/normul/
Listen or skim through them and see if you can get an estimate of how many musicians I need to track down, what instruments I need fulfilled and what skill level they would need to be.

Thanks in advance for any help I can get.



1) matters from genre, hell my instrumentals have 40-man orcherstra parts
2) there's even a job called studio musician, downpart is= you pay em, and it's pretty costly, so find some amigos

Normul
01-28-2011, 03:56 AM
1) matters from genre, hell my instrumentals have 40-man orcherstra parts
2) there's even a job called studio musician, downpart is= you pay em, and it's pretty costly, so find some amigos
I also have a lot of songs that would require loads of musicians, but like I said, I've chosen 5 songs that I felt would be most doable live. I'm just not completely sure how many people I'd need to pull them off.
I don't need studio musicians, I play everything that I record. I need live musicians. (Unless you were referring to "studio musician" as anyone who plays someone else's music in any setting. I'm willing to split however much the gig pays evenly. I have a lot of friends that are musicians, but I've struggled with playing with them in the past. And I don't like to involve personal relationships with my music, especially close friends. Like I said, I'm a bit of a control freak about my music and that can obviously be a touchy issue with friends.

I suppose you could say I have a similar situation to Nine Inch Nails: The recorded aspect of my music is a solitary being, but I am looking to set up a live group that understands their purpose and accepts it.

Zeletros
01-28-2011, 04:03 AM
Don't know then. Only real good guitarists have personal live backing track bands like Yngwie and Vai. I'd suggest you use a backing track.

gunther_sucks
02-04-2011, 05:42 PM
I would say bare minimum would be you and a percussionist (maybe a conga or snare). You may have to rework them a little bit, but they would still sound great I think.

Hail
02-04-2011, 06:29 PM
You, a bassist, another guitar, a percussionist/drummer, and a keyboard player and you can at the very least fake through almost any recording.

food1010
02-04-2011, 09:49 PM
I don't need studio musicians, I play everything that I record. I need live musicians. (Unless you were referring to "studio musician" as anyone who plays someone else's music in any setting.Yeah I think the better word would be "session musician."

Also, it's hard for us to say what instruments you'd need without first hearing the songs you plan to play.

Tempoe
02-04-2011, 10:00 PM
I was thinking about this the other day, hiring session players for when you need them and writing everything yourself. If you end up getting famous, you get to keep all the money instead of say a 4 way split like a normal band. Plus the control. Kind of an assish move but could be better for a lot of people, as long as you can sing and write well.

food1010
02-04-2011, 10:28 PM
I was thinking about this the other day, hiring session players for when you need them and writing everything yourself. If you end up getting famous, you get to keep all the money instead of say a 4 way split like a normal band. Plus the control. Kind of an assish move but could be better for a lot of people, as long as you can sing and write well.I wouldn't say so. I mean, you'd be paying them to play the music the way you wrote it, seems pretty reasonable to me. If you were in a band and you told everyone what to do, you may come across as an ass.

tehREALcaptain
02-04-2011, 10:35 PM
just play an acoustic set? figure out the chords, sing the melodies, re-work the songs a bit. your songs are good, but they are not so complex and different that they require an elaborate, non standard ensemble to play (and thats not a bad thing, as if they did, you'd be less accessible commercially, and have to pass up that gig).

Hail
02-05-2011, 01:40 AM
I wouldn't say so. I mean, you'd be paying them to play the music the way you wrote it, seems pretty reasonable to me. If you were in a band and you told everyone what to do, you may come across as an ass.

Dictatorships can really work out in bands though; look at Megadeth.

Janicki
02-05-2011, 03:09 AM
Dictatorships can really work out in bands though; look at Megadeth.

Look at Guns N' Roses.

/fail

Hail
02-05-2011, 03:21 AM
Look at Guns N' Roses.

/fail

That's different, though. It was a democracy when it formed (queue CD puns), and went to shit over time and became a glorified cover band. That's more LSD than somebody with talent writing and controlling the band for the sake of the end result.

C_Miller
02-05-2011, 03:31 AM
just play an acoustic set? figure out the chords, sing the melodies, re-work the songs a bit. your songs are good, but they are not so complex and different that they require an elaborate, non standard ensemble to play (and thats not a bad thing, as if they did, you'd be less accessible commercially, and have to pass up that gig).

I completely agree with this. The "base" of your songs are not especially complex and can be played with an acoustic or even a keyboard if you can play that and sing at the same time. You really don't need a band. Just adapt.

AlanHB
02-05-2011, 06:26 AM
just play an acoustic set? figure out the chords, sing the melodies, re-work the songs a bit. your songs are good, but they are not so complex and different that they require an elaborate, non standard ensemble to play (and thats not a bad thing, as if they did, you'd be less accessible commercially, and have to pass up that gig).

I am also going with this view. If you haven't sought out a band before, nor see any need or want to, it would be the best option just to play a solo acoustic set.

Punk_Ninja
02-05-2011, 11:13 AM
Solo acoustic would be a good idea considering you're singing too.

But I always think that a lineup (in terms of a band) of:

Drums, bass, Keyboard and/or Rhythm guitar

Would be ideal for a sort of solo guitarist/singer. The key part to this being the Keyboards/Rhythm guitar, if you can find someone who does both you're golden as this means that you backing section can sound pretty versatile whilst keeping the cost of the band down.

axemanchris
02-06-2011, 11:03 AM
As long as you're clear about what you want and what your expectations are, then you should be able to find people to play with you. Some people want to just learn songs, show up and play. They don't want to have to worry about creative input or any of that stuff.

The more you're able to pay these people, the wider your range of 'available' musicians will be.

It's kinda like this....

Business #1. Is a collective. Five people, all equal owners, who work together towards a common goal that is beneficial to all of them in similar ways. This is the model that most bands tend to follow.

Business #2. Has an owner and four employees. The owner calls the shots, hires staff, directs progress, etc. The employees show up for work and do what they are paid to do. There are many bands that follow this model. Consider most solo artists - from Taylor Swift to Jack Johnson to Yngwie Malmsteen.

With model #2, the more you are willing to pay your staff, the more potential staff you will have to choose from, and generally, the greater the talent you will have to choose from.

Now, if you have no budget, you're in a bit of a pickle. Offering a percentage is going to turn people off. What if they stiff you for payment? Does that mean you'll stiff me for payment, because 20% of $0 is... nothing? What if you're only getting paid $150? Does that mean I'll get, like, $30? To learn your songs, rehearse a couple of times, and then show up and play the gig? Even at three evenings, that's $10/evening, which works out to.... geez..... $3/hr at best. And then if you're going to subtract any fees/costs associated with the gig, meaning a percentage of the net.... Thanks, but no thanks.

If you want to hire someone, I would be prepared to offer them a guaranteed rate of at least $100, which would include two rehearsals and a gig. Four people plus you.... your bill comes out to $400, plus whatever you expect to make.

If that doesn't sound good, it's time to call in some favours. Remember that guy you helped move last summer.... the one who plays bass? Call him up.

Otherwise.... as I said at first, if you're clear about what you want and what you expect, you just might find that putting together a band might work. Just make sure you treat them well, even though you're the artistic director, and you should be okay. Under model #1, you all share equally in the assets, and in the liabilities. If you all show up and get paid $100 for the band, you split your $20 to each of you, buy lunch, hang out and become friends.

CT