#1
I’ve been playing a couple of years both on acoustic and electric and I’m starting to get reasonably good, I’ve just passed a stage where I’d now class myself as intermediate and my ultimate goal is to join a band and play rock/indie stuff.

At the moment I jam with a very close friend who’s been learning about the same length of time although he’s quite a bit off my level and I don’t think we suit each other’s playing style and to be honest I think he’s holding me back.

I did have an offer of jamming with a very old friend a few months ago but he’s an accomplished player who was looking to start a band and and start gigging straight away and although I feel confident in my playing I think it would have been too much out of my depth.

So where do I go from here, ideally I’d like to hook up with a few players of similar or better standard and just practice for a year or two with the long term aim of gigging but where’s the best place to find musicians? I can get up and play and sing at parties with my acoustic no problem but I need loads of practice playing with drums and a base to get the timing right, I know playing in a band and filling just your part is a lot different from just playing an acoustic on your own.

Any ideas?
#2
Give it a try and jam with him, it's the only way you can gauge whether you are at the right level or not.
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#3
it's about the feeling man.

if you FEEL he's holding you down this is only going to cause trouble later.

if you jam with someone that doesn't mean you're in a band with him and contracted and can never leave him anymore, a jam is just a plain jam.

if that jam FEELS good, and you really feel like this could last, just go for it. if you guys are a match things will work out.

and if they don't, well, too bad, it was worth trying right? and with that you've also gained expirience.
#4
You never know untill you try.
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#5
The biggest thing you need at this point is to jam/be in a band with people that compliment your playing. Meaning that you get along, and they are at the same level or better than you are so you can lift each other up to learn new things.

As far as playing out, until you have done it, you will never feel you are ready. My suggestion is to go to an open mic night if they have them in your area and just go up and play. Nobody will boo you off stage for messing up. The worst thing that could happen is that you mess up a little and learn what you need to do for next time.

The more times you get on stage, the more comfortable you will be.
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#7
Quote by mdeeRocks
If you can keep the tempo and know about 3 chords you can gig.


You don't even need that, as proven by some of the absolutely god-awful bands I've seen at local shows.
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#8
If you're planning on waiting untill you become good enough to play live then you will jump on the stage as an old man...

Just go jam with the man and see what's up with him, he could even greatly help you improve if he's that much better than you are so, why not????
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#9
Well, our shitty band got on a gig when we only had played like half a year or something. And the audience liked it. Because most audiences dont know shit about music, people love you anyways : p
#10
If many of the local musicians are any indication, then you don't need much....

John Prine has built an entire career (and dozens of top-notch songs) using only three chords for the most part. As he says..."They sound good to me."

I watched a young lad come into our open-mic club some years back and tear the place up with three chords and a bunch of old "rock & roll" tunes. He was an entertainer in spades though not a great musician.
#11
If you can draw a crowd, you can gig.

Definitely jam with the accomplished player, at the least it will push you to get better.
#13
you aren`t going to know how good you are until a 3rd party tells you how good you are...

if this other friend wants you to try out for a band go for it, you`ve got nothing to lose if they turn you down.

you`ll learn so much more about playing the guitar by playing with and in front of others.

there`s always open mic nights at local pubs that you could go in for.
#14
I actually started playing live shows only a few months after learning guitar. I joined a rock school (Paul Green School of Rock) and they offered anyone at all level to take part in there seasonal shows. It was a Megadeth cover so I figured I could at least play rhythm. What I didn't expect was to get not 1 but 2 of Marty's solos! I was freaking out as you might have imagined.

I found out though, when you have the pressure to play live in front on a whole bunch of people it forces you to learn 5x faster than you would if you where just playing around. It made me get up to my friends level who had played for 2 1/2 years in just the 2 month I had to get ready for this concert.

Once you get up there for the first time you feel nervous and you can't stop thinking about parts you didn't get to practice enough. Than once it all starts if you just believe in yourself you might make some mistakes, maybe even a lot, but if you just keep going and don't stop than most people won't even notice that you messed up. If you can give the audience a good show and give a lot of stage presence and show that your confident than they either won't notice or just won't care if you messed up a little.

If you wanted to know, I did in fact nail both the solos (She Wolf and Five Magics) almost perfectly with minor mess ups. The show turned out great and it brought me into a whole new light of thinking about guitar.
#15
i consider a band gig worthy if they can play together in time and the instruments mix well together (i can make out the notes and rhythm etc.)

what i find what really makes a difference is if the audience can actually hear your guitar and not a messy wall of distortion.

after that, practice playing your songs and NOT LOOKING at your instrument. this makes you look a hell of a lot more professional and gives you more experience for stage presence.
Last edited by btp at Aug 10, 2010,
#16
You learn really fast when you're out of your depth. Even if you just take your old friend up on a Jam with no initial gigging commitment it maybe worthwhile. Granted it'll be horrible at first but once you realise you can do some of it then you tend to improve. (Speaking as someone who only ever improves by such extreme methods!)

This isn't to say you shouldn't be working with the other guy as well. Good bands work well for so many different reasons.
#17
Try jamming with players that are above your level. This will encourage you to improve and to catch up, which will make you advance faster =D. Also, you can gig as soon as you learn a few chords and songs, I've seen all level players doing shows live
#18
Cheers for the advice, i guess an open mic night would be a good start but coming from a quiet rural area there are not many about. I've thought about busking but it's the timimg i think i need to practice rather than the performance. I think i need to find my balls and just go for it!
#20
Actually you can start to gig, when you want to show your talent to others. Audiences will prefer someone who is not that good but has fun on stage over someone who is a bit better but who's bodylanguage shows that he doesn't like the fact that everybody is watching him.

Bare in mind that on stage you can only play like 60-70% of what you're able to play at home. The more experience you have the higher this number will be, but it will never ever reach 100 or even 90%.

Before doing a gig, make sure that you can play your set without looking at each other, because if you always need your cues it's very likely that you miss one when playing.
#21
Quote by crevs1972
Cheers for the advice, i guess an open mic night would be a good start but coming from a quiet rural area there are not many about. I've thought about busking but it's the timimg i think i need to practice rather than the performance. I think i need to find my balls and just go for it!


Just go for it, if you have desire to gig then you've got it already.
#22
Quote by Oosh.
You never know untill you try.

The biggest thing you need at this point is to jam/be in a band with people that compliment your playing. Meaning that you get along, and they are at the same level or better than you are so you can lift each other up to learn new things.

As far as playing out, until you have done it, you will never feel you are ready. My suggestion is to go to an open mic night if they have them in your area and just go up and play. Nobody will boo you off stage for messing up. The worst thing that could happen is that you mess up a little and learn what you need to do for next time.

The more times you get on stage, the more comfortable you will be.
#23
In my experience, the MORE you play out, the BETTER you get. it may be that you start out playing battle of the bands at your high school, then move to bars, then clubs, then ARENAS!! if you are lucky!! lola

also, even if you don't have a band yet, get to know some guys who play locally and sit in with them on a song or two...

go to open mic nights and show your stuff. you just gotta work your way up!! good luck!!

PEACE
#24
Quote by rolandgunner

Bare in mind that on stage you can only play like 60-70% of what you're able to play at home. The more experience you have the higher this number will be, but it will never ever reach 100 or even 90%.


urgh, I disagree with that entire statement.
#25
Quote by rolandgunner

Bare in mind that on stage you can only play like 60-70% of what you're able to play at home. The more experience you have the higher this number will be, but it will never ever reach 100 or even 90%.


That's for people who are scared, if you are confident and don't get nervous, there isn't a difference.
#26
Quote by BgOslicK
urgh, I disagree with that entire statement.

+1
I tend to play a lot better when I'm jamming with people. When I get home I think how the **** did I play that well?!
#27
Well just a couple quick tips from me. If you make a mistake just keep going, chances are the crowd won't even have noticed it anyway. Don't make a expression or get caught up in the fact that you made a mistake. That goes for looking at a member who made a mistake also.

Depending on where and what gear you are using, you may not always hear every member in the band even with monitors. Depend on your knowledge of the song and your drummer as the foundation of the timing and where you are in the song. And you can at times use vsual cues without looking amatuer.
#28
^ hes totally ****ing right on the listening to the drummer to keep it tight. as a 2 guitar band i can hardly if at all hear my buddy on the other side depending how big the stage is.

i wish i knew all these tips when i started playin shows