#1
I am in a band that is trying to find our particular style, the problem is that what our guitar players and singer want is to have a pop punk band, which I think is too overdone and bland. I am trying to think of ways to make the band our own unique thing, like different instruments like alternative percussion or ukulele. Has anyone ever used "different" instruments in their bands with any success?
#2
Honestly, if you're not wanting to play pop punk, your best bet is probably to join another band.

However, the best way to create a unique sound is to combine all your influences.
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#3
Try using instruments outside of their traditional use, learn to play a lot of instruments yourself, and don't join that band.
#4
being in a band that plays a ukelele or whatever in pop punk or any other genre besides world music is way too gimmicky. i say pick a new genre, not including the word "pop" if you want to be original.
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#5
the odds of actually creating something new now days are very very slim. but if you arn't happy playing that style of music then you wont do well with the group. the best thing to do though is just take a style and try to put you own little spin on it
#6
Quote by schaden
I am in a band that is trying to find our particular style, the problem is that what our guitar players and singer want is to have a pop punk band, which I think is too overdone and bland. I am trying to think of ways to make the band our own unique thing, like different instruments like alternative percussion or ukulele. Has anyone ever used "different" instruments in their bands with any success?

you might want to play in another band if you dont want to do that. playing a style thats popular doesnt mean you can be original. just try to find influences outside of the genre and mix them in. no one can be 100% original anyway. just try to sound like you and you should be fine.
#7
Kazoo on every song, all the time, infact leave the band and go solo on it
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#8
Quote by Black Star
Honestly, if you're not wanting to play pop punk, your best bet is probably to join another band.

However, the best way to create a unique sound is to combine all your influences.

Exactly. Add influences and write unique songs then play some good refreshing pop punk. If that still doesnt sound appealing you might need to find another band.
#9
hopefully i can convince them to add some ska influences, not sure how they would feel about the horns though
#10
Quote by schaden
hopefully i can convince them to add some ska influences, not sure how they would feel about the horns though

Ska and Pop Punk blend nicely, but its nothing new. You don't need horns if you don't want them. Horn players just get annoying anyway.
#11
I was in a pop punk band and I played harmonica on a few songs. Shit was cash.
#12
I think it's pretty sad when people think the only way to make unique music is throw in some half assed parts on instruments you can't really play worth a shit.
#13
Don't go out of the way to make your band unique. That's likely to sound forced and turn out pretty bad [/generalisation]. Find a band you want to play in, and just play. Any uniqueness will come from the sound of each member adding to the whole.

But, just to contradict myself a little; don't be too scared about experimenting.
#14
Quote by schaden
hopefully i can convince them to add some ska influences, not sure how they would feel about the horns though


There's a ska band around here that covers Reel Big Fish without using horns. If done right, it sounds really good. However, you should probably start with "Where Have You Been?" by RBF if you're looking to convince your band.
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Quote by MuffinMan
Jesus was all like "To those about to rock, I salute you." then he grabbed his mighty axe and rocked the Romans out really hard. Of course they were strict classical music so....
#15
Listen to a band called "Ponytail". They're one of the most unique, pop-punk bands I've ever heard.
#16
Just by being completely "normal" you can be unique. If you look up the topic in this forum where people were supposed to list why their band was unique, everyone in the topic ended up listing the same three or four reasons. Which doesn't seem very unique to me.
#17
I generally see the vocalist as what makes a band unique or not. Thats the one thing that nobody else in the world can have, your voice. If the lead singer is lacking or trying to copy another singers voice styling the music won't be unique or different.
#18
Quote by schaden
I am in a band that is trying to find our particular style, the problem is that what our guitar players and singer want is to have a pop punk band, which I think is too overdone and bland. I am trying to think of ways to make the band our own unique thing, like different instruments like alternative percussion or ukulele. Has anyone ever used "different" instruments in their bands with any success?
"Trying" to be unique is usually a bad path. Going out of your way to be different just for the sake of being different is counter-productive.

Always experiment with fresh ideas, but only use what really feels right and interesting. Doesn't really matter if it's common and something similar has been done before or if it's something radical. If it works well, use it. If it doesn't, don't.

If you put a little of your own personality in anything, it becomes unique. Don't try to force it. Just let it happen. Regardless of how "different" it is, just make it good.
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#19
Your mate's influences and playing styles make a band.
So if the other guitar player and singer pop punk band style, and the drummer has metal style and you have a funk style the blending of all of those is what makes your band's sound.

It not about trying to have punk band or a metal band sound. Its about creating music with people and collaboration. Let your fans classify what your sound is, cause classifying yourself will have your bias view of what you want to be seen as.

You should be forced to change you style to meets someone else approval. So if they what you to change your style find other band that like you for what you bring to the mix.
#20
Synth drum! :P

Actually I did see a really great band at a show last night which had a regular drum set, synth drum, keyboard/synth set up, guitarist, bass and vocalist. They were really tight. Trying to think of how to describe them. Hmmm, maybe if coldplay played hard rock :P thats all I can think of
#21
Well bands with 'different' instruments like violins and stuff are the ones like My Dying Bride, Diablo Swing Orchestra etc.
If you're aiming to be unique, think of something to enhance your music, don't put different instruments like violins and cellos for the sake of it.
And if everyone else wants to play pop punk and you don't... find another band
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#22
experiment. in my main band. not my pop punk cover band. my main one. we have used banjos, ebows on guitars with weird effects, electric pianos with effects pedals, rotary organ, storm drums, djembes, and other weird shit.

id post a link, but all our recordings are shit quality from our first show and sound way different than our sound now.
#23
Quote by eaton1012
Your mate's influences and playing styles make a band.

It not about trying to have punk band or a metal band sound. Its about creating music with people and collaboration. Let your fans classify what your sound is, cause classifying yourself will have your bias view of what you want to be seen as.



Word ^^^^^.

If you think alternative instruments or percussion sound good in your band, go for it. But don't do it just for the sake of doing it. One of the old singers in one of my current bands used to provide tambourine, maraca, and woodblocks. We thought it sounded cool; we're a piano/indie rock/pop(GASP) band so it meshed well and audiences liked it too.

You could try adding a keyboardist, but the power-pop punk thing is already getting way overdone too...

In the end, do what feels right. Maybe start off doing pop punk just to get your chops as a band then over time you'll start to develop a unique style together.
#24
You can always do what I do and play in the pop punk band, then write some music of ur own solo or join another experimental band. This way you can play in a band with your friends and still fulfill your vison artisticly
#25
Listen to www.myspace.com/crimeinstereo very original take on punk in some songs, alot of experimental riffs and odd effects. www.myspace.com/setyourgoals are more true to the genre but use a metalcore style approach.

The genre can do alot outside of the generic 180-200bpm 4 chord progression bashing. To be honest, adding a extra instrument is kinda as overdone as the basic genre itself.

Try and find the bands grove and write alternative versions of the riffs and see what comes out.
#26
You make a band unique by asking people on the internet how to make your band unique...


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#27
Great way to be unique is something you can't perfectly pinpoint - generally, its just writing better music and performing better than other bands out there. Im a big fan of pop punk and some bands like all time low and fall out boy do sound kind of generic, but they do it way better than hundreds of other bands that try to sound like them.
#28
One fun thing to do is take a simple song that you all like and make it your own. Change up riffs, timing, instruments, whatever. That's a good way to find your style I guess.
Is your taste similar to pop/punk? If so I say join the band and see what happens. My drummer is really into indie (Dirty Projectors, etc.) and my rhythm guitarist was into GnR and Van Halen and such. Started out as a clash of style but ended up working out well.
Good luck.
#29
Quote by SomeoneYouKnew
"Trying" to be unique is usually a bad path. Going out of your way to be different just for the sake of being different is counter-productive.

Always experiment with fresh ideas, but only use what really feels right and interesting. Doesn't really matter if it's common and something similar has been done before or if it's something radical. If it works well, use it. If it doesn't, don't.

If you put a little of your own personality in anything, it becomes unique. Don't try to force it. Just let it happen. Regardless of how "different" it is, just make it good.

This.
#30
My main advice would be to try to find a way to naturally infuse your influences into the pop-punk base your bandmates are constructing. I don't know what instrument you play but you don't usually have to switch to find a lot of new options that can freshen things up considerably. If you're a drummer just syncopating a bit at punk-rock speeds will immediately shift things in a more interesting direction. If you're a bassist or guitarist you can dig into some jazz theory and design your parts to imply and 'lead' the chord changes already being established (for example).

Unless your bandmates are completely against you doing something other than the narrow style they're pursuing (which is understandable, but still worthy of walking away from, even if they're your friends) then there are lots of ways to add flavor without trying to learn a new instrument or adding more people. There's so much that can be done to pitch, timbre, harmony, melody, etc that you should be able to find something.

Additionally get TIGHT. The best bands I've seen can read each other like books and shift to one another's mistakes and changes in tempo and feel... they can jam or run through rigidly established song structures with collective ease. Purely how tight a band is can largely make up for how original they are, especially live.
Last edited by RadioMuse at Jan 22, 2010,