What should I know to play in a band?


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Rabada
12-24-2007, 12:47 AM
I tried a search and couldn't find anything.

I started playing guitar a couple of months ago, and fell in love. I can play a few easy songs all the way through, and am working on a few more complicated songs. I am taking lessons from an instructor and am trying to learn my scales. Basically, what all should I focus on learning before I try to join a band?

cjb2293
12-24-2007, 12:52 AM
learn your scales, especially if you plan on being a lead guitarist and making solos, and also make sure you can keep a good rhythm and play along with other instruments (like music off your computer or a friends guitar)

rocknskate4
12-24-2007, 12:53 AM
practice, practice, practice

Rabada
12-24-2007, 12:56 AM
learn your scales, especially if you plan on being a lead guitarist and making solos, and also make sure you can keep a good rhythm and play along with other instruments (like music off your computer or a friends guitar)

I bought Guitar Pro and am learning Reptillia by playing along.

GITARdud391
12-24-2007, 12:58 AM
definitely be able to keep time,pay close attention to the snare and bass drums.

axemanchris
12-24-2007, 01:11 AM
Being successful is all about the following few things:
1. Be competent on your instrument. You don't need to be Malmsteen. Just competent.
2. Be sensitive to the big picture. Play with taste, and know when you are (and aren't) in tune and in time, and not too loud. Let others have their space too.
3. Good songs and a good singer are way more important than who can shred faster.
4. If you want to get signed, be prepared to play the game of 'the young and the pretty.'
5. Relationships are critical - don't be a jerk. Not to your bandmates, people in other bands, promoters, fans, etc. You never know who is going to show up where, and if you kicked them in the balls at some point, you can bet the pigeons will come home to roost. People are more likely to help you (or take you into their band) if they like you.
6. Be reliable and conduct yourself professionally. Show up on time for rehearsals, and have your homework done. Don't get loaded at practice or gigs.
7. Common interests and goals are way more important than finding the best players to play with.
8. Know your limits. If you can't play Dream Theater, then don't. You'll just piss people off because their time is being wasted.
9. Be prepared to work. Rehearsals, homework, putting up posters, calling clubs and promoters, maintaining a website, designing/ordering merch, contacting media and creating awareness, recording, etc. It can easily become a full-time job if you let it.... and it should be a full time job if you want to make a career out of it.
10. Check your ego at the door.

Notice that it's not really about how good you are as a player, as much as it is about personal/social skills?

CT

Another bassist
12-24-2007, 02:09 AM
Notice that it's not really about how good you are as a player, as much as it is about personal/social skills?

CT


+1

jazz_croatia
12-24-2007, 08:02 AM
You should know how to organize your time. You should be able to sacrifice somethings for the sake of the band (bitchy girlfriends and the like). You should know when not to play. That is the most important thing. But that comes with experience.

Ben Wright
12-24-2007, 08:43 AM
You need to be able to get the right sounds and harmonise as a band. Make sure the drummer isn't overpowering the singer, lead guitarist etc.
If you don't get the sound levels right then the band won't succeed.

Rabada
12-24-2007, 03:11 PM
Thanks for the advice. I feel like I have most of the social skills. I am learning lead, and my instructor is going to teach me how to improvise. My musical influences are mostly music like The Strokes, Amber Pacific, Franz Ferdinand, MCR(yes I like them), GNR, and some local bands. I would like to play metal influenced music, but with a good singer.

I am a bit older than most starting guitar players (20). I understand the social aspects, and really appreciate them, but I was really asking what I skills and abilities I need to learn on guitar. I try to practice scales with a metronome, and covers using guitar pro to play the drums, bass, and rythm (or lead, depending on what I am learning) I told my instructor what my goals are, but I am not going to start lessons until the spring semester.

So basically I am asking, what should I practice and what should I concentrate on to join a band? I plan on knowing all common major, minor, and seventh chords, The major and minor scales and pentatonics, reading sheet music, and working on various techniques. Hopefully in a while I will be able to improvise too. What else will I need?

Ultraturtle0
12-28-2007, 10:38 PM
Give us a list of songs you can play. Like, ones you've completely run through. My first year of playing guitar I mostly got my feet wet by just hammering down as many songs as I could, building my mental "song library", and subconsciously learning more about song structure and songwriting techniques through that, and by listening to/analyzing music CONSTANTLY. Heck, I'm listening to music right now.

But anyway, what songs can you play in time/with a metronome? I think chances are you're ready. Lots of bands just strum one chord progression and sing over the top of it. I'm not saying they're bad bands, I'm just saying that lots of people are ready to get out there and start writing music with other people.

frigginjerk
12-28-2007, 11:08 PM
Being successful is all about the following few things:
1. Be competent on your instrument. You don't need to be Malmsteen. Just competent.
2. Be sensitive to the big picture. Play with taste, and know when you are (and aren't) in tune and in time, and not too loud. Let others have their space too.
3. Good songs and a good singer are way more important than who can shred faster.
4. If you want to get signed, be prepared to play the game of 'the young and the pretty.'
5. Relationships are critical - don't be a jerk. Not to your bandmates, people in other bands, promoters, fans, etc. You never know who is going to show up where, and if you kicked them in the balls at some point, you can bet the pigeons will come home to roost. People are more likely to help you (or take you into their band) if they like you.
6. Be reliable and conduct yourself professionally. Show up on time for rehearsals, and have your homework done. Don't get loaded at practice or gigs.
7. Common interests and goals are way more important than finding the best players to play with.
8. Know your limits. If you can't play Dream Theater, then don't. You'll just piss people off because their time is being wasted.
9. Be prepared to work. Rehearsals, homework, putting up posters, calling clubs and promoters, maintaining a website, designing/ordering merch, contacting media and creating awareness, recording, etc. It can easily become a full-time job if you let it.... and it should be a full time job if you want to make a career out of it.
10. Check your ego at the door.

Notice that it's not really about how good you are as a player, as much as it is about personal/social skills?

CT

+ a million

this is all gold.

but my own rule #1 when it comes to knowing if you're ready to play in a band or not:

RHYTHM. get your timing down. be able to play a steady 4/4 rhythm to yourself, by yourself, and always bear the rhythm in mind when jamming. if you aren't playing something that fits the rhythm, everyone will notice and it will drag down the quality of the jam.

other than rhythm, there are a few more things you should focus on to get up to snuff for band situations:

-always always always play every note, chord, riff, etc like you MEAN IT. Get in the habit of always fretting every note in the chord, and make sure that you are playing every note of the riff, at the right time, and it sounds smooth. Make sure to be aware of your pick attack, and how your pick hand affects the sound of the guitar.

-get good at playing power chords and barre chords, and quickly changing between chords with a minimum of bad guitar noise, be able to play steadily while palm-muting, and generally be able to bust out riffs using power chords. 75% of the music in rock and metal songs is based on power chords, so you might as well be good at playing them.

-this one may seem simple, but keeping it in the back of your mind will help you immensely: YOU AND YOUR BAND ARE THE ONLY ONES IN THE ROOM MAKING SOUNDS. IF SOMETHING SOUNDS BAD, IT'S DEFINITELY COMING FROM THE BAND, AND YOU NEED TO FIX IT. break down what you're playing, and find out which note(s) is causing the song to sound bad, and compromise on a part you can both play.

hope that stuff helps

Ramco
12-28-2007, 11:50 PM
Be confident onstage - very VERY confident. Don't worry about seeming like a self-centered egotistical prick, because if you have an aura of knowing exactly what you're doing people will respect you. If you screw up but continue to be confident then people won't remember it, but if you let it shake you then the audience will write you off as not worth their time. Take control of the stage, and if you fail at least you will have failed with style.

Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should do it. Every guitarist should know that in the long run their power chords are much more important than their solos, and sometimes a solo just isn't necessary. The song and performance of the band is job 1.

Your first gig WILL SUCK!!! It's up to you how hard it'll suck, though. If you take my advice and are confident in the face of possible (or total) failure you will shine so much brighter despite this.

Even if you know a gig sucked DON'T TELL ANYONE!!! Not everyone was listening to the mistakes; in fact probably no one heard them but the guys onstage. If you tell someone that it sucked it makes you look bad and will color the gig in their mind, and they will most likely play back the mistakes in their mind and agree with you.

Performance and character are key. Know what kind of image you wish to project to the audience, and figure out how to turn playing a couple of songs into a show. Stage presence, song introduction, moves, facial expressions and awareness of your fellow bandmates are important things to learn. Music is not just an audio medium; if it was then people wouldn't go out to shows or dance.

Don't let practices become hell itself - you don't need to go over every song in your set. The most important thing to get out of practice is meshing well as a band, which includes getting a tight sound and making sure you don't hate each others' guts. If someone doesn't know a song too well let them work it out by themselves later. If there's an argument over a song skip it and come back to it later, so everyone can hear it with a cleared mind and see if they were right or not. Throw in a fun cover or two while you practice just to keep spirits up - chances are working on a song that everyone's heard before will be a lot easier, and will end up tightening up your playing together much more than any other song.