#1
Notice that in the below examples, I'm only using the Guitar/Bass/Drums for instruments, since some things like Synth can be switched in by anyone.

"Power" Trio setup- Guitar, Bass, and Drums with one of them doubling for Vocals. Notable examples being people like Rush, Cream, and others.

"Normal" Setup- Guitar, Bass, Drums, and a Vocalist. The instrumentalists sometimes do backup vocals also. Some notable examples are The Beatles*(They kind of switched up a lot of instruments and stuff though), RATM, Van Halen, and others.

"Classic" Rock setup- Rhythm Guitar, Lead Guitar, Bass, Drums, and Vocalist. The instrumentalists sometimes do backup vocals also. Some notable examples are Aerosmith, Metallica(?), Guns and Roses, and others.

From a band-forming and musician point of view, which of these is your preferred format? What are the pros and cons of each?

I personally prefer the Power trio setup. It isn't as hard to find three people who can really jive together. I also prefer one guitarist, since it makes covers a lot more workable and in my hometown there weren't a ton of musicians, so when one mediocre band tied up TWO good guitarists and you just needed one, it got on your nerves.
#2
i prefer the rock setup but i also like playing metal where most of the time to do good covers you need two guitarists.

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#5
i've been in a classic rock setup, but that didn't last long. then we tried a "normal" one, and we couldn't click with that. I would like to try a "power" trio because that covers all the bases and with less people, less problems
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#6
Classic is what I prefer, because I do alot of harmonies, octaves, etc, over the rhythm guitar but my god it's a pain in the ass to organize and deal with.
#7
I think the most versatile is the classic rock setup, but I prefer the power trio as far as dynamics go.
#8
I like the Power Trio for its raw punchiness. But there's absolutely nowhere to hide in there and all three have to be really good at their instruments. Covering the guitar on solos is essential. Listen to Cream when Eric is wurbling away up front. The others are doing just as much work keeping the whole thing right.
I note none of the options has any place for keyboards. Considering the keyboard players I have known, I'd say that was good thinking. ('cept Ken Hensley)
I did once have a heavy rock band which was Guitar, Bass (and vox), Drums and Fiddle.
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#9
Power Trio or Normal Setup.

Right now I'm in a Classic because the singer is convinced that's the only way to do it and it's really starting to piss me off. It's kind of like too many cooks in the kitchen. Unless you all really, really get along and work together it won't work. However when it comes time to play shows, there's a lot more going on as far as stage presence.

Normal has less of a chance of the music sounding muddy, but then there's the issue of making the guitar carry itself instead of relying on a rhythm/lead to go off of. Depending on the guitarist though that may be a non-issue.

And Trio is just awesome. :lol: There's the issue of stage presence and being entertaining as one will be singing leaving most of that to whoever isn't singing. Also you have to be able to find someone who can sing AND play an instrument at the same time and not suck at either. However it's much easier to get along and bounce ideas off a smaller amount of musicians. When/if it gets to the point where the band are being paid for shows, the money can be split into larger sums for all bandmates which is always a huge plus.

no.
#12
there are a multitude of different setups...

I think it really depends on the people in the band and how they are willing to function.... sometimes certain formats just dont work with certain people
#13
So basically do we prefer to be in 3, 4 or 5 person bands? I'm really not bothered. Anything from 2 or upwards is a OK with me (I'm currently in a two person band)
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#14
The 'Thrash' setup (I call it that as 3 of the big 4 have it as their set up)

Lead Guitar
Rhythm Guitar
Bass
Drums
And one of the guitarists/bassist doing vocals.
#15
I think the best setup would be a group of people (however many) that can play more than one instrument each. If you want versatility, and bigger range of sound, thats the way to go.
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#16
I'm going to use anecdotal evidence against that. A small band in my hometown using the classic rock setup thought they were really versatile because they could all "sing", all play guitar, and multiple of them could play drums. But the sound wasn't consistent. You may say some bands like The Beatles or Cake don't have consistent sound, but in the overall picture it was. This was more like four crappy part time guitarists, some people who could keep time, and a bunch of different voices. Sure it was versatile, but most of the time I don't think versatility in instrumentation by just switching up who is playing the instruments creates a good sound.
#17
I find it easier to work with just a bassist, its great to have another guitarist to trade licks with, but i feel that sometimes i work better on my own, not entirely against working with another guitarist though.
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#19
There's something really badass about a power trio.
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#20
I think Metallica and Megadeth are Power Classic (Rythm Guitar w/Vocals + Lead + Bass + Drums) setup, which I think kicks ass.
EDIT: I mean, it is lame to see the vocalist just dancing around while Lead Guitar solos…
Last edited by Fiire at Aug 15, 2009,
#21
Cuddlecore. Guitar, Ukulele, Glockenspiel, Bass, Piano, Synths, Drums, and whatever else you can find. Oh, and everyone sings.
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thats like... a really broad range... how can you like dragonforce AND beethoven Dx
#22
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Cuddlecore. Guitar, Ukulele, Glockenspiel, Bass, Piano, Synths, Drums, and whatever else you can find. Oh, and everyone sings.


Sounds like Lynyrd Skynyrd or The Airborne Toxic Event.
Maybe not… More like an orchestra.
#23
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Sounds like Lynyrd Skynyrd or The Airborne Toxic Event.
Maybe not… More like an orchestra.

An orchestra of adorable puppies
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thats like... a really broad range... how can you like dragonforce AND beethoven Dx
#24
I prefer the "normal" one but where the singer also plays guitar.
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#25
It's easier to get ideas through in a power trio
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#27
Although it'd depend on the specific people and circumstances, I'd imagine that I'd definitely want at least 4 members in the band that I'm in at the moment. I've tried the "power trio" - as you call it - set-up and while it was certainly fun because that was simply how the pieces of fate fell (oh, how poetic of me!), having more members offers a certain level of flexibility that minimalism lacks.

Having three members generally means only one guitar (unless it's a guitar + vocals, guitar and drums formation like my first band), and I find that quite limiting. At the minimum, I think a separate vocalist, guitarist, bassist and drummer would be preferable. At least there's the option of having the vocalist play rhythm or additional guitar of some kind. Two guitarists (thus making a five-man band) could also well work, but with my current band, that would probably incite too many creative differences. XD
#28
If you ask ME, I would have much more band members than 5, maybe adding keys and other non-rock instruments. My ideal band would be something like: acoustic guitar/vocals, electric guitar, keys, some type of wind instrument, bass, drums, and various percussion.

But out of the choices, I would pick the 5-member group.
#29
None. For me it's a singer playing an instrument, 2 guitars (max) bass, drums and keys
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#31
Right now we're running a "Power Trio" setup and it works MUCH better than when my singer wasn't playing bass and we had another bassist.

It makes scheduling SO much easier. We take up less space. We get larger cuts of the proceeds ( in theory ).

The main reason is that the singer/bassist and I are the main creative forces behind the music and we have stronger personalities, and the drummer mediates things if we are getting frustrated with each other.

It has its disads though - we play mostly hard rock style stuff, and unfortunately I don't get to do many leads. When I do play leads, I play them an octave lower than I usually would so the meat of the low end isn't so noticeably gone.

Part of me wishes we had another guitarist, but I think it's only really going to be necessary if we do metal.
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#33
I'm 'in' (haven't practiced in forever, I'm probably leaving) a classic rock setup right now, and it's a huge pain in the ass. I'm working on my singing right now so I can front a 3-piece, because trying to organize 5 people is a lot harder than 3. And I HATE unreliable people.
#34
Quote by DoctorM
Right now we're running a "Power Trio" setup and it works MUCH better than when my singer wasn't playing bass and we had another bassist.

It makes scheduling SO much easier. We take up less space. We get larger cuts of the proceeds ( in theory ).

The main reason is that the singer/bassist and I are the main creative forces behind the music and we have stronger personalities, and the drummer mediates things if we are getting frustrated with each other.

It has its disads though - we play mostly hard rock style stuff, and unfortunately I don't get to do many leads. When I do play leads, I play them an octave lower than I usually would so the meat of the low end isn't so noticeably gone.

Part of me wishes we had another guitarist, but I think it's only really going to be necessary if we do metal.


I recommend having your bassist do power-chords/octaves and using grind for your solos. Works for motorhead
#35
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There's something really badass about a power trio.


I agree. Its hard to describe. Maybe its the way they communicate with each other. I like my Power Trio, as we have a lot of energy, and things sound simplistic, raw, and filled with emmotion. Thats not to say that only trios have energy, it just works for me.

But if I wanted to form another band, I would like another trio.
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