GS LEAD 5
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Join date: Oct 2007
4,966 IQ
#1
Long post, skip if you do not feel like reading. No TL-DR.

So I started a band in my first year of college. It consisted of me on lead guitar, a guy from my class on rhythm (call him RG), a guy from another department on bass (call him B) and a pair of old school friends on vocals and drums (V and D respectively) and a keys guy K.

Our aim at start was to play progressive metal and make it to a really big fest which happens in our neck of the woods.

So we started jamming, doing covers, et all.

Then we started recording demos. At this point, our drummer started doing speed training to increase his double bass speed.

We never really gelled as a band in this time, since our practices were irregular due to time constraintsn a la college.

Then we started writing originals. Or rather, I started writing originals- rest of the band felt that I and D were the most experienced composition wise, and so we should do it and just give the rest their parts to learn. D in turn was lazy and told me to get to doing the lot.

So I wrote several tracks, synthy metall y stuff, imagine a mix of In Flames and Dream Theater, that sort of stuff. Recorded as well- I did everything except the vocals- rest, drum programming, synths, guitars, bass, mixing, mastering, et all, I did.

So my routine involved hours on hours of practice, on top of recording, on top of composing. We needed 5 songs, and we got there in due course of time. The songs were also of a technical nature, changing time signatures, polyrhythms, key changes, shred bits, breakdowns, clean touch style bits, the works. I really gave it my all, trying to write songs which I felt were enjoyable to listen to and technical in nature and structure as well, with complex themes, you get it. Needless to say, it was back breaking work, but fueled with youthful passion, I got on with it.

Then the keys guy decided to leave.

We searched for a keys guy for 3 months, didn't find one. Decided to go back to the drawing board, and re write our shit.

6 months later, we had a 5 track concept album done. This was in a strong metalcore style, breakdowns and double bass et all.

We sent that in for afore mentioned big fest as our demo, and we got a chance at the prelim rounds.

However, D never managed to increase his speed beyond 120 bpm- we had to skip the prelims because all our songs had double bass at 140-200 bpm.

So I decided to help him with his practice sessions. About thrice a week I'd go to his place, make him practice with a metronome, correct his mistakes, etc. Still no improvement.

Then RG decided to leave. He claimed studies, but I guess he was honestly frustrated with lack of progress.

Anyone we approached to play for in our band baulked when we showed them the tabs (all written in GP btw). All of them said that they really were not willing to put in enough time to properly learn our songs.

So we decided to go for a one guitar sound.

So we dumped the concept album, and again about 4 months later, we had another 4 tracks done with just one guitar. Less metalcore, more prog rock. Imagine a mix of Disturbed and Porcupine Tree with the odd blast beat.

Then the drummer decided that he simply cannot pull off double bass cleanly enough.

We decided against getting a new drummer, simply put, because this fellow is pretty much the best drummer we could find- aside from the inability to play double bass, his chops are really good, can pull off stuff like PT and Tool with ease, and thanks to the recent djent/metalcore fad, every drummer who CAN pull off double bass is already in a band and isn't willing to be in a second one.

So we scrapped our songs again, and decided to re do.

And that is the crux of it. Now I feel no motivation to practice, I feel no desire to spend time composing, I feel no urge to jam.

Playing guitar feels like work to the extent that I prefer studying to practicing now.

Where earlier I would practice for 3, 4, 5 hours, and keep on practicing till finger fatigue demanded I take a break, now I feel thoroughly irritated after just half an hour of practice.

Where earlier I could spend the whole night recording, now I find even 10 mins of recording or mixing feels like hard work.

I've reached the point where I no longer love doing what at one point of time was a central part of my life.

Earlier, I would go band-band-band-compose-compose-compose-getbetter-getbetter-getbetter-practice-practice-practice from morning till night, now I don't even feel like picking up the guitar.

So tell me guys. Should I quit? I have exactly 6 months left till graduation. I feel less motivation to play in a band, and more motivation to not waste those 6 months doing what I do not enjoy doing.

What do you guys say?
Last edited by GS LEAD 5 at Oct 14, 2013,
squirttilithurt
Registered User
Join date: Aug 2008
178 IQ
#2
I feel your pain.
I am generally an extremely motivated person and have run into the same problems with guys that don't have what it takes in one way or another (inability to work in team environment; lazy and not wanting to practice; refuse to invest in gear to sound better; etc..).

What you have learned is the kinds of people you don't want in your band.

Lesson Learned = Don't ever have someone in your band that needs to be reminded/coached on how to practice their instrument.

Let me add a few more Lessons Learned from my experience:
1) Don't ever have someone in your band that won't upgrade their equipment when needed.
2) Don't ever have someone in your band looking to go through the motions of being in a band rather than making the band the best that it can be.
3) Don't ever have someone in your band that is whipped by their girlfriend and cancels band practice because of it.
4) etc... etc...

It all comes down to dedication, mutual respect, putting the ego aside, taking criticism without drama, and having fun in the process.

Finding 4 or 5 guys that have the same mindset for success is like waiting for the planets to align.
Mr.DeadDuck
UG's best Dave
Join date: Aug 2009
336 IQ
#3
If you don't enjoy it there really isn't a way back from that. I would leave.
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metaladdict123
Registered User
Join date: Oct 2007
196 IQ
#4
If your not enjoying it then maybe you need to take a break. I think anyone putting that kind of time into something is going to grow tired of it eventually. You can always try again after you graduate.
rprdo
Registered User
Join date: May 2011
272 IQ
#5
In my opinion, you should just take a break, after some time it'll come to you, you are probably just tired.
GS LEAD 5
Registered User
Join date: Oct 2007
4,966 IQ
#6
I think you guys are right.

I spoke to the rest, we agreed to give it a 6 month break, then get back and start afresh.

Thanks for the help guys really, really appreciate the help. This has been bugging me for a long time, and getting it off my back is a massive relief.
FrontmanShields
Born Songwriter
Join date: Jul 2007
72 IQ
#7
Taking a break is a good idea, as will give you a chance to recharge.

Though I must say it sounds like you over stretched your expectations and this lull or lack of motivation is due to not reaching those expectations.

What was leading you to focus so much on double bass drumming? Why write such complicated songs with different signatures and technical guitar lines? Your clearly very dedicated and talented to write entire songs of this nature, but it sounds like you've jumped to far ahead of your band mates instead of just writing to their ability.

If the drummer can't double bass, then write songs that utilise the skills he has. If you can't find a guitarist because your rhythm is unnecessarily complex then simplify that part.

I think it's this big leap that made it feel like you weren't progressing, whereas if you had started will simpler songs closer to your bands ability levels then they may have been more engaged and therefore would have given everyone a sense of progress.

It sounds like your drummer really tried to do his best, but it can't have been much fun for him to keep be pushed to do something he struggles to do rather than telling him to play what fits and what he enjoys. "You decided against another drummer" that must have been a right kick in the teeth to him to even suggest it after everything he's done

Sounds like you were forcing the players to fit the music rather than making the music to fit the players. Focusing so much on getting it how you want it you forgot to just sit back, relax and just enjoy playing music as a group.

If they could play competently then you could have played some fun (though admitted simpler) songs and just enjoyed yourselves.

Sounds like a classic case of trying to be to serious to quick, followed by major de-motivation when it all falls apart.
Last edited by FrontmanShields at Oct 14, 2013,
GS LEAD 5
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Join date: Oct 2007
4,966 IQ
#8

Though I must say it sounds like you over stretched your expectations and this lull or lack of motivation is due to not reaching those expectations.


Agreed.

What was leading you to focus so much on double bass drumming? Why write such complicated songs with different signatures and technical guitar lines? Your clearly very dedicated and talented to write entire songs of this nature, but it sounds like you've jumped to far ahead of your band mates instead of just writing to their ability.


Because all of us are prog heads- we had decided early on what style to follow. And double bass was a bit of an emphasis because that was pretty much the ONLY skill which he didn't have in spades- both I as well as he agreed that it was the only weak link in his repertoire. Though yeah, in retrospect, we DID jump the gun. But then, we were naive and hot headed, we wanted to be a local Dream Theater and got carried away with it

If the drummer can't double bass, then write songs that utilise the skills he has. If you can't find a guitarist because your rhythm is unnecessarily complex then simplify that part.


That's the thing, our stuff was tailored to his style specifically- he loves playing stuff on the lines of Porcupine Tree, and I deliberately made a large part of our songs with that in mind- however, all our songs followed a continuous ABCDE..... structure rather than a verse-chorus-verse structure, and double bass in certain sections were necessary to add a sense of climax to the pieces. The problem is, a proggy piece can be simplified only so much before it begins to feel a bit half baked

think it's this big leap that made it feel like you weren't progressing, whereas if you had started will simpler songs closer to your bands ability levels then they may have been more engaged and therefore would have given everyone a sense of progress.

It sounds like your drummer really tried to do his best, but it can't have been much fun for him to keep be pushed to do something he struggles to do rather than telling him to play what fits and what he enjoys. "You decided against another drummer" that must have been a right kick in the teeth to him to even suggest it after everything he's done


Yeah, he did, I don't hold it against him. And it was his own suggestion after we decided to dump the double bass idea in the end- it's not like we went upto him and told him that if he can't pull off so and so speed, we'll chuck him out.

However, I totally agree with what you said about ability levels....we really did jump the gun badly, and it kicked back like a mule in the end

Sounds like you were forcing the players to fit the music rather than making the music to fit the players. Focusing so much on getting it how you want it you forgot to just sit back, relax and just enjoy playing music as a group.

If they could play competently then you could have played some fun (though admitted simpler) songs and just enjoyed yourselves.

Sounds like a classic case of trying to be to serious to quick, followed by major de-motivation when it all falls apart.


Na, like I said, it was decided from the start who was to do the composing in general- the only thing that the rest wanted was that the result should be proggy in nature, that it should avoid the typical metal band cliches prevalent in our local music scene.

However, seems we did overdo it and burnt ourselves out in the process.

Either way, with a bit of luck, a few months off the constant practice from morning till night routine should help I guess?
Last edited by GS LEAD 5 at Oct 14, 2013,
MaggaraMarine
Slapping the bass.
Join date: Oct 2009
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#9
Do you still have your old song ideas or did you just throw them away (I would never throw anything away)? They could fit some other project or maybe your solo project. Your band doesn't need to play all songs you write. You could just release a couple of solo albums if you wanted.

Yeah, and taking a break is what you should do.
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crazysam23_Atax
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#11
You could always form a solo project.

At least, temporarily, until you reform your main band. And then maybe funnel your really technical songs into your solo project and do some medium difficulty with your main band. Just an idea.
GS LEAD 5
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Join date: Oct 2007
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#12
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
You could always form a solo project.

At least, temporarily, until you reform your main band. And then maybe funnel your really technical songs into your solo project and do some medium difficulty with your main band. Just an idea.


Time constraint education system in India is ******ed as hell, course structure and timings cause time crunch- I get home at like 7,8 in the evening, leave the next day again at 8 in the morning, managing studies along with practice is a bit of a squeeze. If I could manage band and solo stuff simultaneously, I wouldn't have pushed the band so hard so as to cause everyone to burn out

And Prachett is epic btw I personally love the Vimes books. The Jeeves of the fantasy genre IMO.
crazysam23_Atax
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#14
Quote by GS LEAD 5
Time constraint education system in India is ******ed as hell, course structure and timings cause time crunch- I get home at like 7,8 in the evening, leave the next day again at 8 in the morning, managing studies along with practice is a bit of a squeeze. If I could manage band and solo stuff simultaneously, I wouldn't have pushed the band so hard so as to cause everyone to burn out

Fair enough. The thing is, though, you have like 6 months where you won't have a band. So...why not solo project? When your main band gets back together, you can shelf the solo project until a later date.
GS LEAD 5
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Join date: Oct 2007
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#15
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
Fair enough. The thing is, though, you have like 6 months where you won't have a band. So...why not solo project? When your main band gets back together, you can shelf the solo project until a later date.


That's the thing. I'm so irritated with the damn instrument, I can barely play half an hour before I put it back in its case I'm that demotivated to play. Bassist and drummer told me they felt the same way when I spoke to them later, only the vocalist is still gung ho cause he joined only a few months ago (we went through several vocalists, but it wasn't really related to the problem so I didn't mention it in the OP).
Last edited by GS LEAD 5 at Oct 14, 2013,
AlanHB
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Join date: Aug 2008
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#16
So basically at the start of college you formed a band, and by the end, you still had issues writing songs.

Why would you go back? Sucker for punishment? Perhaps you secretly enjoy that you wasted all that time?

By the end:

- How many songs did you have down as a band?
- How many gigs did you play?
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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Blackst4r
in Gibson we trust
Join date: Apr 2013
284 IQ
#17
Jesus Christ what a piece of crap band to be in....why the hell would you write Music far over the capacities of your co-musicians?.....sounds like your a real pain in the ass to play with.

...here´s the thing, there is no use of you going back to them unless your going to involve them in the songwriting process and allow them to add input on the can´s and cant´s....you pretty much had one bandmember quit because your expectations were way to high and I´m guessing there probably quite fed up with you ...or they´re just a lazy bunch of fockers that really have no potential whatsoever and just enjoy the fact that they can tell people "I´m in a band" but are really just walking instrument hangers?!?!?

or you do this the professional way, this allows you to be the little "composer nazi" you seem to be,..you start your own band. You have five songs with ideas, a concept if you will....now all you have to do is like a boyband manager would and fill your concept band with musicians...start auditioning people that have the qualifications and musical abilities to fill the qriterias you need.
I believe in god, jesus and the holy ghost.....or as i call them Angus, Kirk and Lemmy
Usernames sucks
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Join date: Jun 2010
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#18
I have the same issue. In my band i write almost everything (me and drummer often write drums and lyrics together, but i do the most part). We are soon done with a 4 track ep, and i am the only person on there. I sing, play guitar, play bass, program drums, synths, mix, master. Ive spendt so much time on this (and i dont have any time really). The other guys dosent seem to get how much time i use on this. As well as being the only guitarplayer (and play supertechnical stuff), i sing at top of it, and i needed to learn how to sing from scratch only for this band. So i feel your pain dude :/
AlanHB
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#19
^^^ So soon you'll have an EP that your band can't perform.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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crazysam23_Atax
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#20
Quote by GS LEAD 5
That's the thing. I'm so irritated with the damn instrument, I can barely play half an hour before I put it back in its case I'm that demotivated to play. Bassist and drummer told me they felt the same way when I spoke to them later, only the vocalist is still gung ho cause he joined only a few months ago (we went through several vocalists, but it wasn't really related to the problem so I didn't mention it in the OP).

Well, ok...but you have 2 choices here:
1) Go back with your current band after 6 months, keeping in mind that everyone will probably be rusty and your drummer sure as hell won't be able to double-kick the bass drum at over 120bpm. You'll probably have the same issues as before.
2) Strike off on your own, so to speak, and try it out for 6 months. After that time, you can decide whether you want to continue with your former band or not. (I assume you have a basic recording interface and can learn how to set up your own drum tracks and so on.) At that point, assuming you have several recordings of your own, you will have more musical leverage, so to speak, despite the fact that you probably won't have performed at all during those 6 months.

Quote by Usernames sucks
We are soon done with a 4 track ep, and i am the only person on there.

At which point, there's no reason for you even to have a band, since the other members probably can't even play what you wrote. You're honestly better off on your own.
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at Oct 20, 2013,
innertom
Registered Sex Offender
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#21
Fire your drummer and get a better one?
Or maybe try to get everyone involved and jam out some stuff they can actually play