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Old 11-29-2012, 08:09 AM   #1
stanadon
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Wink new band advice

basically me and my brother set up a band with his other mate, im the guitarist my brother sings and his mate drums. we have great band chemsitry and have wrote 6 original songs. as a band im unsure on our direction, people have told us we need a bass but i dont want to introduce someone for the sake of it. also my brother has suggested him learning bass but i like the idea of him being an active frontman and not hiding behind a bass.

im also unsure on promoting our band, we havent got a facebook page or anything yet because we want to make sure we get it right. were unsure wether to spend money recording songs to make a facebook page or just having a facebook page with a poor quality recording. we've also thought about directing our own music video and trying to push the youtube side of things. any advice would be welcome as i think its a really diffciult choice on what way to promote your band as too many ways can mean you cna get waste peoples attention
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:50 PM   #2
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You gotta have a bass. I've never seen a live show without a bassist that didn't suck. With just one guitar and drums your sound is really gonna be lacking. I'd just find a bassist that you guys all like and can work with. That's a lot faster than your brother learning bass and taking years to get to the level he needs to be to sing and still be a tight rhythm player.
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanadon
i like the idea of him being an active frontman and not hiding behind a bass.


Geddy Lee.

Alternately, Sting.

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Old 11-29-2012, 09:35 PM   #4
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Vandalay
You gotta have a bass. I've never seen a live show without a bassist that didn't suck. With just one guitar and drums your sound is really gonna be lacking. I'd just find a bassist that you guys all like and can work with. That's a lot faster than your brother learning bass and taking years to get to the level he needs to be to sing and still be a tight rhythm player.


I've seen plenty bands live without a bassist that were great. Blackbox Revelation (a Belgian band) is a two piece and does great without a bassist. Several blues two pieces as well. Also: White Stripes and Black Keys.

Either get a bassist you like, or don't have a bassist. I would not have your brother learn bass for the sake of the band either. Also, figure out where you want to go as a band.

As far as advertising goes, I couldn't imagine my own band not having Facebook. It makes it really easy to share when and where you play with a lot of people, but also easy to share recordings etc. As far as the YouTube thing goes, I wouldn't bother with video clips until you get known. You could however upload footage of you playing live or even rehearsing if you really want to.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:13 AM   #6
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Firstly, decide how serious you are. For instance, my old guitar teachers band is a serious venture to make music a living, as such they had a music video filmed and 5 songs professionally produced before making a Facebook page. They launched early this year and already have a 3500 Facebook following (not that that means much) and have toured Australia with the Paper Kites, been offered a euro tour and have 80 000 views on their first video and another 45 000 on their second.

Thats what can happen if you wait until you are completely ready. EVERYTHING was ready before they launched their Facebook and website, everything was ready (a single ready for sale) before they even played a show. So if you are serious about it, wait. If not and this is just a venture for fun, well, I don't see any reason that you can't make a Facebook page now and direct your own music video.

Just figure out how serious this and make your decision off of that.
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:30 PM   #7
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Several blues two pieces as well. Also: White Stripes and Black Keys.


I'll give you the White Stripes but the Black Keys tour with a bassist. I still stand by the bass being necessary but I guess it is up to preference.
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:56 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by danresn
Thats what can happen if you wait until you are completely ready. EVERYTHING was ready before they launched their Facebook and website, everything was ready (a single ready for sale) before they even played a show. So if you are serious about it, wait. .


Agreed. No one will care about your Facebook page unless you have a GOOD product to promote. Play live A LOT, with or without the bass. You'll begin to figure out your sound and direction faster that way than just talking about it. Once you feel your songs are really good and worth investing in good recordings, get those done, than maybe a music video or promo video. Keep us updated!

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Old 01-07-2013, 06:49 AM   #9
stanadon
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thanks for all the replies really appreciated, i've decided to wait on the facebook page till i have more of a product, at the moment im writing a blog http://365daystorecognition.blogspot.co.uk/ to talk about my bands progress. in terms of the bass again im going to wait until i find our sound more and play more live gigs!!
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:57 PM   #10
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Putting together a new band is never easy really.
If you want it to work out, you need to make sure that all the band members are on board and are set on the same goals. Playing with a bass player or not is a personal decision. There is no rule. I think it nicer with a bass player as far as I am concerned. You can also use bass samples to back you up if you don't want to get a bass player on board.

As for promoting your band, it really depends on what you are aiming for.
Facebook is good but poor quality recording is really not advisable.
With so many people sharing their music online, no one will stop and listen to music poorly recoded besides your own mates. The principle applies as well for Youtube and others.
I advise you to spend the time needed to get a descent recording, get some gigs and grow as a band.


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Old 01-18-2013, 05:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Vandalay
I'll give you the White Stripes but the Black Keys tour with a bassist. I still stand by the bass being necessary but I guess it is up to preference.



Not for every song though. The bassist and the keyboard player come and go depending on the song. The earlier stuff is without and the newer songs are with the full band.

If you want a bass in your sound, get a bass. If you don't, then consider bi-amping and think about using bassier inversions to your chords.
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:37 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Art Vandalay
I'll give you the White Stripes but the Black Keys tour with a bassist. I still stand by the bass being necessary but I guess it is up to preference.


Id say theyre the exception to the rule. Generally bands sound like ass without a bass.
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:41 AM   #13
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Id say theyre the exception to the rule. Generally bands sound like ass without a bass.

LIES!!!! I've heard plenty of bands who suck WITH a bassist and plenty who sound awesome without. There's no rule that says you must have a bassist or you won't sound good. Period. End of story. Clearly you can be successful without one, but most people are just used to it. My bands drummer has another, albeit less serious, band and they sound just fine without a bass player because the guitarist dial their eq to fill in some of that frequency.
Your reasons for not having a bassist seem a bit odd, though, my band went through the same thought when looking for a vocalist, not wanting to effect the collective mojo if you have bass parts for your songs, it only makes sense to find a bass player.
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:51 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonny bb
LIES!!!! I've heard plenty of bands who suck WITH a bassist and plenty who sound awesome without. There's no rule that says you must have a bassist or you won't sound good. Period. End of story. Clearly you can be successful without one, but most people are just used to it. My bands drummer has another, albeit less serious, band and they sound just fine without a bass player because the guitarist dial their eq to fill in some of that frequency.
Your reasons for not having a bassist seem a bit odd, though, my band went through the same thought when looking for a vocalist, not wanting to effect the collective mojo if you have bass parts for your songs, it only makes sense to find a bass player.



There's always room for bass parts, there's part of the sonic range that just can't be filled with anything else, unless you got a keyboard player to fill the space or something.

and yes the black keys do use a bass player, even in some of the studio stuff (Dan plays bass for those songs), check their wiki page/band page, if you've seen them live you know this. They hire players as touring musicians to fill out the sound.

Same for practically all touring bands. The actual band may not consist of a bass player, but they sure as hell hire on a bassist or some other musician to fill out the low end to complete the sound.

In my mind, there's no way around it. Something has to fill the space.
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:39 AM   #15
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There's no rules in rock'n'roll, but if you want to do something different you have to figure out a way of making it work. That's the creative bit you have to do yourselves.

Here's what you do. You don't mention performance so I guess you haven't got that far or have only just started. Just go on doing what you are doing, it's fun, you are writing and working well together. Six songs isn't really enough anyway so keep going, ride the wave. Then start performing, freinds, open mic, school or college, anything you can. As soon as you start putting it about people will notice you, network with them. Sooner or later you will meet other musicians and maybe a bassist who likes what you are doing and wants to join in.

Read the biographies of many bands and they start off with a few mates who start playing and writing and who remain the core of the band (Jagger and Richards) others join later or come and go but the band lives on.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:20 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scguitarking927
There's always room for bass parts, there's part of the sonic range that just can't be filled with anything else, unless you got a keyboard player to fill the space or something.

and yes the black keys do use a bass player, even in some of the studio stuff (Dan plays bass for those songs), check their wiki page/band page, if you've seen them live you know this. They hire players as touring musicians to fill out the sound.

Same for practically all touring bands. The actual band may not consist of a bass player, but they sure as hell hire on a bassist or some other musician to fill out the low end to complete the sound.

In my mind, there's no way around it. Something has to fill the space.


That's a bit different. They have bass on recordings, which means they clearly want a bass somehow involved. Not having a bass player at all does not equal failure as a musician/band, but most people do want a bass player because they plan bass parts for recordings. Animals as leaders have bass frequency, but no electric bass while Even Brewer's solo album is ONLY bass. There's no right or wrong way, just the way that works best for the individual/band.
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Old 01-20-2013, 05:41 AM   #17
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I think it's possible to go without a bass (I'm a bassist so no "guitarz the best instrument ever" mentality) but I believe it will be difficult to fill out your sound without one. Remember that the guitar can't fill out anything below the fundamental of the lowest string. e.g. if you're tuned to standard then the guitar can not (without the help of modulating effects) fill out anything below ~83-84Hz, the fundamental of the low E string. The bass guitar helps to bridge the gap between that and the kick by extending down to ~42Hz, after which point you're feeling it more than you're hearing it anyway.
Which brings me to another point, it's a lot trickier to have the audience 'feel' the groove of the music without something filling up that low end because that's the part you feel.

Whether your brother learning bass is a lot more dependent on the the type of music. If it's one of those styles where the bass line is 8ths on the root of the chord then he should be able to pick it up fairly quickly (just sit there with a metronome and play to it for a while) then a little more time to be able to play and sing. If you're playing something more complex then get a proper bassist, they (should) know their stuff and should be able to come in, learn the parts, and go.
As for the whole active frontman thing look at how other bands with singer/guitarists or singer/bassists do it, the rest of you just have to pick up the slack a little. Pierce The Veil is a great example of this. Because the singer (Vic) is stuck behind a mic stand the bassist (Jaime AKA Hime) is just going mental and bringing up the stage presence.
My current band is a guitarist/singer, a drummer, and myself on bass. Because I'm the only one not stuck in one place (kinda annoying seeing as the guitarist is the one with the wireless system) I move around a lot, jump about, and try to get the audience involved as much as possible because I'm the only one with total freedom to move around the stage.
So if you're brother plays bass and is stuck to a mic stand a lot then you need to be moving, even if it means instead of playing all the beats of the chord you just play, lift up your right hand (or left if you're a lefty) and shout "Come On!" or something.
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:12 PM   #18
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It doesn't need to be a bass guitar that does the bass parts. The first thing that comes to everybody's mind when somebody says "bass" is bass guitar. Piano can play the role of a bassist (The Doors, Led Zeppelin), even guitar can do it (at least if it's tuned low). But they need to play differently. Not the basic guitar stuff with solos played on high frets and strings. Maybe even no solos (in a guitar-drums duo it will sound stupid if there are that kind of basic guitar shred solos, there could be an instrumental part with some chords/riffs though). People need to be able to think about different kind of solos and different kind of parts. But if you have written the song and it needs bass parts, then get a bassist. But if the guitar part by itself sounds good, no need for bassist.

You could get a bass synth that you could play with your feet.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:49 PM   #19
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For those saying bass is a requirement, it can be done without- sometimes. Some bands sound great regardless, but some would just sound terrible, it depends on your style. And I have heard awesome bands play amazingly without a bassist in gigs, it is doable (the bassist usually sat in as rhythm guitarist because they didn't have one for gigs). You could also get a pianist, as someone else mentioned (well, unless you're going for a certain style, it may not be what you want). But introducing someone to the band usually won't hurt. If you don't like him/her, kick him/her out- the three of you started the band after all, not him/her. Also you could do it yourself on recordings- playing a relatively simple bass riff isn't too hard for most guitarists. Just takes a little bit of playing to get used to the big strings and big frets, and if you choose to not use a pick, to practice using your fingers. Another alternative is a lower baritone guitar (I personally want one tuned to A Standard so I can use it as a bass but also play it like a guitar). They're deeper then a guitar but not as deep as a bass (usually tuned to C,B or A Standard), and some bands have used them as a replacement for a bass really well. That would easier for you to play if you did it yourself, but harder to find either someone with a baritone guitar or to find a baritone guitar for yourself to play (although not that hard, the store here usually has ONE on a rack in the far back of the store).

As for the recordings, you might want to wait. Try getting gigs wherever you can. If you're making enough money to get professionally recorded (say, an entire album, not just a song or two), then do it. If not, invest in decent recording equipment and do it yourself- you can make it sound almost professional most of the time. That way you pay for it once and can record as many songs as you want.

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Old 01-28-2013, 06:54 PM   #20
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Although there are successful bands that sound good without bass, the vast majority of bands do have bass players. Obviously it is completely up to you whether or not you want a bass player. I would suggest that you have a careful listen to bands that you like and try to listen for the bass parts. This will help you to see what bass could add to your sound. If you know any bassists, you could ask them to play with your band as a trial to see how you sound with a bassist (of course you should tell them it's only for a trial and that they're not in the band).

With regards to promoting your band, I would look at trying to get some gigs. Gigs are a great way to improve as a band, as playing live is quite different to playing in your bedroom or wherever you practice. Gigs will also help promote your band and provide you with an opportunity to meet other bands and other musicians (who might just happen to play bass). You should also create a facebook page for your band. This is important so that when people see your gigs and like your band, they can find out more about your band from your facebook. And if they "like" your band, they will receive your bands posts in their newsfeed, so you can tell them all about your gigs (I think... I'm not great with facebook). I wouldn't bother spending money on recording at your stage. If you really do want to record, I would look into cheap ways to record at home using free recording software. I think at your stage is more important to focus on making your band sound good musically (ie. write more songs, keep practicing and improving the songs you've already written)
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