#1
Hey fellow UGers,
I just started thinking and was wondering what skills I would need to be able to perform well in a band. I just started a couple months ago and can do simple chords and I can cover some basic songs. I would be interested in playing either rhythm or lead guitar. What are some things I should have under my belt before I even think of trying to join or start a band? I don't believe that I have any skills now haha. I wouldn't know how to write a song.
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#2
Quote by ComicStix
Hey fellow UGers,
I just started thinking and was wondering what skills I would need to be able to perform well in a band. I just started a couple months ago and can do simple chords and I can cover some basic songs. I would be interested in playing either rhythm or lead guitar. What are some things I should have under my belt before I even think of trying to join or start a band? I don't believe that I have any skills now haha. I wouldn't know how to write a song.


you could probably join some pop rock/pop punk/punk rock/any permutation of the words "pop", "rock", and "punk" band.

it really depends on the genre. don't expect to join a metal band if you don't have the techniques to play metal. don't expect to join a jazz band if you don't have the techniques and/or know the theory to play jazz.

in ANY genre, though, i wouldn't even think about joining a band until you've attained some form of satisfactory fluency on your instrument. if you've only been playing for two months, don't worry about being in a band yet.
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#3
My former band bassist didn't know shit about bass skills or theory. Still he managed to play what I told him to, but I had to teach him to read tabs first, so I could note the lick he would play
#4
IMO, what's going to help above all else is a good sense of time. Don't speed up or slow down. Hit each note and each rest exactly on time, every time. It will help in the long run. Get a hold of you basic power chords, learn the E minor scale, and learn the pentatonic scale(s). After that, you're more than ready to start jamming with people.
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#5
Here's a checklist from someone that's played paid gigs in a band.

- Diatonic Harmony: Know your basic diatonic harmony, i.e. the seven degrees of the major scale, what chords you can use for each degree, how the tonics, subdominants, and dominants work in a chord progression.
- CAGED: At least know the 5 positions of the pentatonic scale and how to switch from major to minor tonalities. That way you'll know how to apply the licks you learn for the songs you want to cover.
- Rhythm: Understand the different rhythmic units, how ties work, etc. Also, practice your rhythm strumming to a metronome every day using an exercise called "rhythm pyramid" -- start with strumming whole notes, then half notes, then quarter notes, eighth notes, eighth note triplets, sixteenth notes, sixteenth note quintuplets and sextuplets, etc at the same tempo. Make sure you keep a constant up-down-up-down motion.
- Vibrato: Practice bending and vibrato to a metronome. Use unison bends to get your intonation tight.

That'll cover stuff you should know for a basic cover band, aside from knowing the actual songs themselves.
#6
Quote by AeolianWolf
you could probably join some pop rock/pop punk/punk rock/any permutation of the words "pop", "rock", and "punk" band.


Pop sure. Really depends on the rock and punk you're playing tbh.
#7
Quote by Joshua1207
Pop sure. Really depends on the rock and punk you're playing tbh.


basically anything that's not progressive or tech. or math. etc.
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#9
Quote by Freepower
Get your sense of rhythm together, learn 3 chords, form a band. That's all you need.

For some reason I would have to go with 5 bit thats just me i guess
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#10
good listening skills (as in listening and paying attention to what the other band members are playing). for me its its the best ability anyone can have, it makes everything in a band sound smoother

also the ability to compromise, and mutual respect. both of which i consider to be skills of sorts
#11
Quote by kcorkcar
For some reason I would have to go with 5 bit thats just me i guess



3 chords seems to work for greenday oholol

My goal is to learn around 20-30 songs then start searching for a band of similar music just so I'll actually have something to be able to play with them, Not just turn up and be HAY GUYS I HOPE YOU LIKE SEEK AND DESTROY AND ENTER SANDMAN LOL
#12
Quote by simpleben09
IMO, what's going to help above all else is a good sense of time. Don't speed up or slow down. Hit each note and each rest exactly on time, every time. It will help in the long run. Get a hold of you basic power chords, learn the E minor scale, and learn the pentatonic scale(s). After that, you're more than ready to start jamming with people.



Timing is all you really need in my opinion but obviously it depends what type of music you want to play. A lot of my favourite bands consisted of people who didn't know what they were doing, at first at least. That's what can lead to the most interesting sounds sometimes.

Just make sure you can play or hit or do whatever at the right time and then find the band or style that what you do works for.
Last edited by REMJohn at Jun 21, 2010,
#13
Quote by STONESHAKER
Here's a checklist from someone that's played paid gigs in a band.

- Diatonic Harmony: Know your basic diatonic harmony, i.e. the seven degrees of the major scale, what chords you can use for each degree, how the tonics, subdominants, and dominants work in a chord progression.
- CAGED: At least know the 5 positions of the pentatonic scale and how to switch from major to minor tonalities. That way you'll know how to apply the licks you learn for the songs you want to cover.
- Rhythm: Understand the different rhythmic units, how ties work, etc. Also, practice your rhythm strumming to a metronome every day using an exercise called "rhythm pyramid" -- start with strumming whole notes, then half notes, then quarter notes, eighth notes, eighth note triplets, sixteenth notes, sixteenth note quintuplets and sextuplets, etc at the same tempo. Make sure you keep a constant up-down-up-down motion.
- Vibrato: Practice bending and vibrato to a metronome. Use unison bends to get your intonation tight.

That'll cover stuff you should know for a basic cover band, aside from knowing the actual songs themselves.



All completely valid skills and I don't dispute their usefullness at all. However, do you need them? R.E.M., U2, The Sex Pistols etc all suggest not. Of course, it depends what you want to do though.

All I'll say is, don't underestimate the creativity of ignorance.
#14
rhythm, timing, a few power chords, octaves, a good drummer. thats a skill all in itself to find a good drummer who's cool, not in a band already, and likes the same music.
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#15
Play what you're told to play, learn music efficiently, write music efficiently. Basic things like timing, rhythm and lead, recovering from mistakes, and jamming is a good skill to posses.
#16
Quote by REMJohn
All completely valid skills and I don't dispute their usefullness at all. However, do you need them? R.E.M., U2, The Sex Pistols etc all suggest not. Of course, it depends what you want to do though.

All I'll say is, don't underestimate the creativity of ignorance .

This alone is proof you need to learn. Its much better to know what you're doing. I used to have that flawed logic.
#17
Quote by REMJohn
All completely valid skills and I don't dispute their usefullness at all. However, do you need them? R.E.M., U2, The Sex Pistols etc all suggest not. Of course, it depends what you want to do though.

All I'll say is, don't underestimate the creativity of ignorance.


Yeah, I'm not sure whether Cobain was up to scratch with his diatonic harmony

I'm with Freepower. A couple of chords, rhythm. That's all you need.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#18
You need to be able to really 'lock' in to a rhythym section. Feel the music!
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#19
Quote by Dio10101
This alone is proof you need to learn. Its much better to know what you're doing. I used to have that flawed logic.



Yes it's better, but you don't NEED it to start a band, or start a 30 year multi-million dollar career for that matter. It does make things quicker and easier but there is a risk of starting to play "within the rules".

Once you learn that something shouldn't/won't work you're much less likely to try it or even think of it than if you were ignorant of the fact.

I'm not suggesting it's better to be that way, and given the choice I'd rather know everything, but sometimes it does help to be a little clueless as it forces you to try something different.
#21
Also, learn Team Skills and People Skills

Someone in the band has to manage situations, starting with song writing. You have to be able to communicate and work together. Everyone must be able to take critisim and work together. You kinda need that more then an actual playing abilitites, which you will develop if you work together.
#22
Power chords, palm muting and timing = Green Day

I love Green Day, just saying that simple and stuff thats quick to learn can make you multi-millionaires
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#23
honestly, just get together with people at about your skill level and jam some song you all know. Or get together with more experienced people and have them mentor you. thats what i did. being surrounded by talented and skilled people when i was learning was super helpful. But being in a band is a lot of work. if you can find people who are good friends who generally like the same music, you can have a lot of fun with it, while learning quickly. once you start playing and having fun with it, and make it less of a chore, you pick it up so quickly.
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#24
Quote by Freepower
Get your sense of rhythm together, learn 3 chords, form a band. That's all you need.



Hey it worked for Blink 182. But seriously, have fun a write stuff you'll have fun playing. Fans generally give you a break if they can tell you're really "feelin it."