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Old 11-23-2013, 02:44 AM   #1
Fender_freak18
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Band issues, how to sound good?

I really need help with my band. We had our first full band rehearsal yesterday at a practice room for bands. It wasn't too bad, but we weren't too pleased with it either. Me, rythym guitarist/vocalist and bassist/vocalist had been practicing 3 months acoustically, and then we went to play with the drummer.
The playing yesterday was good really, but it just sounded too messy. I need as much replies here as possible. The drummer isn't very pleased with the band's overall sound, and the bass player isn't very fond of playing bass cause he's a guitarist.

So how can we sound good together and solve these problems?
Here is the equipment we use (the amps and drums aren't ours) :

Me (lead guitar):
Squier Bullet Strat, Boss CS3, Boss DS1 (Keeley mod.), Vox v845 wah into a Randall KH-120 amp (it's one sh*tty amp, but I don't complain much)

Rythym guitar/ vocalist:
Dimavery Les Paul, Marshall JH1 Jackhammer, Peavey Valve King 212 (100 w I think)

Bass player:
Yamaha bass into an Ampeg bass amp

Drummer:
Sonor drums

If anyone can help please do, I don't want my band to fall apart cause we really have potential.

Last edited by Fender_freak18 : 11-23-2013 at 07:15 AM.
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Old 11-23-2013, 05:51 AM   #2
theTYTAN
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all of you need to practice with a metronome and perhaps practice slower while your playing together to nail down why it sounds sloppy and fix it... only advice i can give.
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Old 11-23-2013, 05:53 AM   #3
Blackst4r
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"The drummer isn't very pleased with the band's overall sound, and the bass player isn't very fond of playing bass cause he's a guitarist."....

wow.....basically itīs gunna sound like crap until youīve had a few goīs at it...."band-Chemistry" is a word that comes to mind. And there is no use having a basist thatīs really a guitarist.......thatīs just gunna bite you in the ass in a while when he finally finds a band he can play guitar in......and believe me there is a huge difference inbetween playing with someone who has chosen to play bass!!!

as for what your playing with......as long as you can get a good level between all of the instruments than you should be right....you can worry about the material side of it when you+ve all gotten better
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Old 11-23-2013, 06:14 AM   #4
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Get earplugs to eliminate some of the noisey aspect
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Old 11-23-2013, 07:09 AM   #5
Fender_freak18
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I didn't say we play sloppy, I said our sound just isn't good.
As for the bassist, I asked him to play bass, he accepted with no complaints. But every once in a while he complains. I think he's commited enough to the band since he didn't go to school one day so that he could practice the songs and make it to the rehearsal. And yeah, maybe you're right about that chemistry in the band. Me, the rythym guitarist and drummer are best pals and we played together before but we were horrible lol. So maybe he just gotten used to that and for now has high expectations.
I still need some advice on sound, because our distortions don't match up very well. Should we change amps or something?
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Old 11-23-2013, 07:19 AM   #6
MaggaraMarine
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Well, use less gain, don't scoop the mids - that will reduce the "noisy" sound - oh, and have your amps pointing at your ears so you don't need to play too loud to hear yourself. Also write your parts (if it's an original song - and if not, practice your parts accurately). Don't let everybody play whatever they want. Your parts need to fit together well to sound tight.
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Old 11-23-2013, 10:38 AM   #7
Blackst4r
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fender_freak18
I didn't say we play sloppy, I said our sound just isn't good.
As for the bassist, I asked him to play bass, he accepted with no complaints. But every once in a while he complains. I think he's commited enough to the band since he didn't go to school one day so that he could practice the songs and make it to the rehearsal. And yeah, maybe you're right about that chemistry in the band. Me, the rythym guitarist and drummer are best pals and we played together before but we were horrible lol. So maybe he just gotten used to that and for now has high expectations.
I still need some advice on sound, because our distortions don't match up very well. Should we change amps or something?



Not saying your sloppy....but a band needs time to find eachother.....that will help ;-)

1. Tune your drumset
2. Get your drummer and basist grooving together, adjust bas volume so that it sounds nice
3. Add guitars, one at a time so that they are audible, if you have the space, set up like your on stage...drums in the middle basist(+amp) on his high hat-side and guitars(+amps) right and left...make sure the basist kan hear the high hat and the drummer can hear the bas....this will keep them in sync...they are the backbone and if theyīr off it doesnīt matter how good everything else is
4. work with the eqīs...if your guitar volumes are getting to high....work with the bass so that itīs not getting to much into the high mids and guitarists will need to leave lower mids so that the bassist has space....itīs like mixing....everything needs to fit...if it starts getting to loud than it will sound sloppy and vocals will be totally lost

...and as has been posted.....less is more.....itīs surprising how too much gain/distorion will kill your sound.....what instruments and amps you use will define your sound and too some degree make you sound better....but it will never make bad playing sound good ;-)
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Old 11-24-2013, 07:39 AM   #8
MaggaraMarine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackst4r
Not saying your sloppy....but a band needs time to find eachother.....that will help ;-)

1. Tune your drumset
2. Get your drummer and basist grooving together, adjust bas volume so that it sounds nice
3. Add guitars, one at a time so that they are audible, if you have the space, set up like your on stage...drums in the middle basist(+amp) on his high hat-side and guitars(+amps) right and left...make sure the basist kan hear the high hat and the drummer can hear the bas....this will keep them in sync...they are the backbone and if theyīr off it doesnīt matter how good everything else is
4. work with the eqīs...if your guitar volumes are getting to high....work with the bass so that itīs not getting to much into the high mids and guitarists will need to leave lower mids so that the bassist has space....itīs like mixing....everything needs to fit...if it starts getting to loud than it will sound sloppy and vocals will be totally lost

...and as has been posted.....less is more.....itīs surprising how too much gain/distorion will kill your sound.....what instruments and amps you use will define your sound and too some degree make you sound better....but it will never make bad playing sound good ;-)

I agree. If a professional band used crappy gear, they would still not sound bad because they could play so well and use their gear right. Of course having good quality gear makes you sound better but it's not the most important thing. The most important thing is to know how to use your gear and of course to be able to play your parts accurately. Any equipment can be made sound acceptable (as long as it's loud enough to cut through).
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Old 11-26-2013, 04:12 AM   #9
Phil Starr
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I would expect there to be a few things about your playing which need to be sorted, playing with a drummer means keeping time is more important, there's still some flexibility about time keeping when you play acoustically especially since the rhythm guitarist and singer are the same person. Now you all have to keep strict time with the drums. I'm a bass player and it takes time for you to learn to work with a drummer, I'm on my eighth whereas your bass player is on his first and I'd still expect it to take me a few weeks to really get beyond polite co-operation. The drummer in most bands often cues up the rest of the band for anything other than verse/chorus changes and if they aren't so familiar with the songs that will take a while to happen.

Technically there are a few things.

You don't mention mic's or PA, in reality your vocals are more important to your sound than the guitars (sorry UG) If they weren't well forward then you will be missing a lot.

It sounds more and more s**t as you increase the volume as your ears switch off at high volumes, it gets harder and harder to hear yourself and you play badly when you can't hear yourselves. The temptation is to turn up your own volume but this makes it worse for everyone else. The solution is to turn down, point your own amp at your ears and to learn how to pick yourself out of the mix.

Focus at practice. This isn't about how you will sound in performance yet, this is about learning to play together. The drummer needs to concentrate on laying down a solid beat whist he learns all your little oddities and foibles. Bass and drums have to learn to lock together and the rhythms the bass and drums are playing will be subtly different and both will have to adjust. Guitarists are going to have to be more disciplined, no more extra bars or half bars at the end of choruses! The biggest pressure will be on the bassist, The drummer will keep time, the guitars and vocals will keep the melody and harmonic content but will probably make mistakes. The Bassist holds it together and will effectively decide what to do when the inevitable mistakes happen as they are holding down both the rhythm and the chord changes. There is so much more to live performance than being a bedroom player and this is what you practice is for. The focus is upon listening to each other and to identify where the pressure points are and then to adapt, not just to repeat the practice you did at home.

Listening to the rest of the band and discipline are more important for now, once you start to gel then you can move on to a full dress rehearsal, set up as if you are on stage and really go for it. For the moment it is hard work which you can relieve at the end of practice by a jam session.

Last edited by Phil Starr : 11-26-2013 at 04:13 AM.
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Old 11-26-2013, 03:01 PM   #10
cameronio_2000
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I am in a band and really our first practise was the same but after a while we just seemed to work really well together its all about finding eachother rythyms
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Old 11-30-2013, 06:20 PM   #11
Haydenr25
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Firstly, everyone should know their parts and be able to play them well. Not practicing or not knowing your parts is a huge disadvantage. Even one person being sketchy can really bring things down.

Start off with a clean slate for everyone. Drums shouldn't be tuned too high or low. Your drummer can tune his drums for the sound he wants after the band has got an idea of the sound they want. EQ on all the amps should be set to halfway and on all effects. Don't add any delay or reverb or anything to start with.

Start playing and adjust your sounds as you go. Use less of everything to start with. Less gain, less chorus. Play at lower volumes. This can help you iron out the creases. The bassist should have a nice deep tone, he's not playing lead guitar. No need for a load of treble, just enough to cut through. Guitarists should focus on the midrange, filling out what they need to. Your drummer should hold everything together and keep time, leave out extravagant fills for now.

As a general rule, things that sound good on their own don't sound good in a band. The awesome fuzz tone you had at home in your bedroom won't sound good when playing with other people. A ton of delay for your Pink Floyd cover may need a whole lot less in your band compared to jamming at home.

As long as you can all keep time and get through a couple of songs, then you should start to tweak your sounds. Comment on how each others amps sound, how the snare sounds. Your bassist may need a touch more bass in his tone to fill out the bottom. Your drummers snare may be tuned too highly for your country band. More treble may be needed for the guitar solo to let it stand out.

Your bassist should stick to the drummer's kick drum for now. Maybe bump the midrange to let him cut through nicely.

Just mess around but only change one thing at a time. Don't redial 3 effects pedals and your amp's EQ in between two songs, because if it sounds crap you don't know where to go back to and start to tweak. Be conservative about your volume. Just because you can't hear every bit of your amp and you're the other side of the room doesn't mean your bandmates can't hear it. Have fun, compliment each others sounds and experiment dude.
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