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Old 09-28-2012, 02:58 PM   #1
seljer
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How to continue

I need to rant a bit.

I've been in a band for half a year now. At first it was just a drummer and guitarist, I joined in as a bassist (though I've been playing guitar for 8 years) then a month later another guitarist/vocalist joined. We have a decent practice space in an old early 80s fallout shelter.

Now it has come to the point, where the other band we shared the practice space with has left, taking their PA system with them. So obviously we need a PA and we've been looking up classifieds and such, but haven't yet talked seriously about the finances, and I suspect it wouldn't go well as being we're all students or working from paycheck to paycheck. I don't think anyone wants to cough up the raw cash or even has the ability to do so. The vocalist probably needs a car before diverting money to a PA, we had to bug the drummer 4 months to get him to buy himself a crash cymbal.

Personally, I'm not really sure if I even want to invest in it as I joined more for the band experience rather than the music itself. I feel that rock music, at least as we're playing it is dead. We're only playing covers and I don't think we've ever gotten to more than 8 songs without discarding ones for some reason or other, the vocalist kind of has one original song but we only worked on it once. And without having any goal, even if its 'get 20 cover songs under your belt and ***** yourself out at bars and parties' this situation is going to do anything other than linger.
The drummer is a beginner and has trouble with anything more than a basic 4/4 rock beat. The entire band has trouble with basic rhythm and syncopation. The vocalist is often off key. And I don't bring up these issues because I don't want to sound like an pompous hardass.

So yeah, any tips welcome.
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Old 09-28-2012, 04:10 PM   #2
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A lot of negatives here. So you joined the band not for the music, but to gain the band experience. Now that you have it, the band experience is what it is exactly perceived to be... factors of human, financial and musical level. My advice is for you to leave and find a band with financial stability and better musicianship. Will it be that simple?
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Old 09-28-2012, 04:27 PM   #3
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Quite possibly yes, I think I've come to that some conclusion myself too but an outside opinion helps too. I just have the hunch that it's all going to fall apart over the PA situation in the following week and I am just trying to envision how it's exactly going to happen.
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:09 PM   #4
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A lot of bands can only go so far when it comes to funds. PA systems are crazy expensive. And when nobody wants to get financially committed you can't really go anywhere unless you earn it through gigging.

But in your case you can't gig to earn said funds because you only know 8 songs and none of you are writers.

My first band only ever learned around 7 songs because we always got distracted. None of us could write songs either, though we tried. It was a lot like the situation you're in right now.

Once the band split I got a new one together, started singing myself, and started writing songs myself. Things are awesome right now and we've been together for a year. We know 35+ covers and have 14 original songs completed with 14 more ideas in the works.

I'd suggest you leave and make your own band (for fun or seriously).
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:22 PM   #5
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PA systems crazy expensive? Really?

You can get 2 powered speakers at about $300 each a power an a budget mixer for another $300. If you go used you can probably cut that bill in half. I am sure your guitar equipment will cost a lot more than this. BTW - I am sure the singer hasn't invested a dime besides a mic at this point so since PA is there mainly for the vocals he/she should throw the majority of the dough.
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:34 PM   #6
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My band chips in $10/ea a week for this exact reason.

When we first started, it was $5/ea a week (we're poor). Even than $5 added up quickly.

If you're all dedicated, doing $50 a month / each or so should be an easy thing.
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diabolical
PA systems crazy expensive? Really?

You can get 2 powered speakers at about $300 each a power an a budget mixer for another $300. If you go used you can probably cut that bill in half. I am sure your guitar equipment will cost a lot more than this. BTW - I am sure the singer hasn't invested a dime besides a mic at this point so since PA is there mainly for the vocals he/she should throw the majority of the dough.

Nice thought, but that's still $900 (assuming used is half the cost, $450). For students that is crazy expensive.

TS - Seems to me the advice from the other guys about calling it a day is probably the only feasible option. You should call a band meeting and see how the other guys think about it first though.

Also consider continuing not so much as a band, but just as a bunch of friends who jam together - that would probably reduce any pressure on you all to invest & learn a full set list, you can just enjoy playing for the hell of it. Anything that may happen in the future would just be a bonus.
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:05 PM   #8
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Well you can always just get a crappy PA for vocals or even just one speaker for one vocalist, $250 will take care of that.
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:23 PM   #9
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Don't call it a day..

that's the woosiest thing I've ever heard, and if you consider than - this probably is the right trade or hobby for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by diabolical
Well you can always just get a crappy PA for vocals or even just one speaker for one vocalist, $250 will take care of that.


If anything do this - when you guys are ready to play shows - you can always do your best to a) use the venues PA or b) borrow a PA from a local place or a local band.
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seljer
I feel that rock music, at least as we're playing it is dead.
It must be the way you're playing it. After the 70s I'm sure similar thoughts were being thought around the early to mid 80s. Then came the late 80s and early 90s GnR Metallica RHCP Rage Against the Machine Nirvana Pearl Jam etc. Rock doesn't die, it lies in wait.
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:22 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by 20Tigers
Rock doesn't die, it lies in wait.

This is very true - Rock music started in 1955 (thats when it was first recognised at least, no arguments about who/when etc please!!!) and has kept evolving ever since. Not many genres can say that.
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:01 AM   #12
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Well you've come to the right forum. what your band needs is a band leader. someone needs to take responsibility.

You need new songs to play.
You need a reason to play them. The goal of a performance.
You need structure so you improve your performances at rehearsal
You need to solve the PA problem

I don't think the equipment is a problem you can't solve but you lack direction. Since no-one else has taken responsibility do you want to take it on?

From your personal point of view.

My wife has a saying: "don't put out your dirty underwear until you have clean". If you leave this situation are there other people you can play with? If not you could end up back playing by yourself. If there are other people you can play with why not just do that? There's nothing at all to stop you playing different styles of music in three or four different bands at the same time just as long as you can make all the practices. Some of these projects will take off and others will die.

If you aren't gigging it isn't really a band, it is just a group of mates playing together, if it is fun then there's nothing wrong with keeping going. You can always go back to guitar and play together acoustically, thus solving the PA issue.

Good luck with whatever you decide.
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:55 PM   #13
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Alright. Since the original post, we've kicked out the drummer, got a different one, wrote an original song and still have the PA system. I also spoke openly about leaving the band but with the new drummer things actually progress... I don't even know for myself where I'd be in a half a year (i.e. get a job when I finish uni and move) so atleast the others know that.

The new drummer is actually competent (some slightly rough feelings from the old one but I guess that was expected...but he admitted himself he just wanted to hang around and play drums and drink beer whil the rest of us were slightly more ambitious), we now can actually get a whole lot of stuff done in a practice sesion.
The band that owns the PA has their own practice space set up with full mics on everything and in-ear monitors and don't need the PA system for the time being so they're lending it to us...so thats still an issue.

I'm still slightly disillusioned with the music we're playing/making (we do a Knocking on Heavens Door cover ffs, albeit sped up). But at least theres now a solid goal set (playing a gig of at least 50% original material in the coming spring) so...

Last edited by seljer : 10-28-2012 at 06:59 PM.
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:46 AM   #14
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its all experience man...it'll make you better without you even realizing it
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Old 10-29-2012, 12:00 PM   #15
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http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-...table-pa-system

I have this PA. It's clear, loud, and gets the job done. No complaints with it.

And any time there's a sale event the price usually drops to $250.

As for your other problems... seems like they're solving themselves.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:25 AM   #16
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Another update for anyone who reads this stuff, maybe theres some educational value in all this.

We lost the PA, temporarily ran the vocals through an old bass amp for two practices. Then the new drummer left the band (his reason was that his boss put him in a different deparment and he no longer had the time...but 4 days later he sent me an email asking about my own musical projects) and the next day I left as well, citing lack of time and musical differences . I picked up my amp from the rehearsal space yesterday. During this period they had found a new drummer (still bassless) and vocalist bought a powered mixer for 350 but thats not even the issue now.

The couple of original songs that did develop weren't anything to write home about, not even by mediocore radio rock standards (what the vocalist wanted to write apparently), I couldn't envision ourselves getting paid for playing them...at all . I was also generally frustrated by the lack of musical knowledge of the others (I was the only one with formal musical education).

I in the meantime purchased a little 4 channel mixer, two crappy mics and a DI box. Enough so I can express my musical ideas with this stuff during the little time I have during weekends. I'll try again with other musicians when I finish school and have more time.
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:00 PM   #17
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Just keep plugging at it, persistence is the key. You have to keep playing and I find it easier in a band format, at least you have some structure to rehearsals. My skills have been falling apart since my last band situation feel down the tubes - I barely play 2 hrs per week, and that's on a good week

So I am again considering just joining a band just to peel a few layers of rust from my playing.
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