Are hobby musicians generally screwed over when it comes to being in a serious band?

#1
Let me be the first to tell you I love the guitar. But, despite my many hours of practicing and having tons of fun; I do not want to do it as a career.


Now I'm going to say this and people will jump all over me like I'm some egotistical troll. I can do almost all the sweeps I want, clean for the most part minus the irritating ones like the major 3-bar-rolling sweep, know my theory really well, love playing lead, I play drums/bass/piano...etc; (and even then I still have much I aspire to and still think I suck)
Let me stop you here: I am not tooting my own horn. I definitely suck compared to the hardcore musicians out there, but I felt I need to tell you this because of my predicament.


As you can see from the above I've spent countless hours wood-shedding. I enjoy metal as my primary music choice, and it's my desired music as I feel my creative energy flows unblocked with the genre. I spend time alone writing songs and refining them. I possess the capability to make a whole album on my own minus the vocals... but I'm running into a problem. All I want is to find fellow musicians who are good at their instrument and would care to be in a band but don't have it as their primary goal.

My issue then?
I can't find any musicians that fit into this middle category.

They are always:
1) Don't really care (and then never show up to band practice), and generally tend to suck at least from my experience with a variety of them
2) Want to do this as a living and expect a workload that I can't do because of my chosen career path


There is no middle ground [that I can see].


I feel sort of stretched thin here writing everything. It's fun and all, but having creative input from other instrument masters or even just a guy who wants to write a good rhythm would be good enough for me. It'd be a dream to work with someone who you could alternate dual leads... but they tend to be higher up in the music industry.
Now when I think of people like Loomis/Broderick/Malmsteen...etc, they're all super-elite and way beyond my skill for the most part. I doubt I'd be able to star on one of their records because they have no idea who I am, and they can probably select from the best of the best.
Thus, I can't join a super good band that doesn't do tours either.


One idea I had was to just make a solo record and have other musicians fill in, though I don't think I've evolved musically to the point where I could pull that off and be proud of it just yet... or at least something of that magnitude where I'm responsible for almost everything.
It doesn't even have to be my own work, I just want some serious musicians that don't do it for their life, that's all. I don't need to release an album (but that'd be awesome), I'd like to play live...etc


You're probably getting bored/annoyed at the rambling so I'll cut it short. Questions to you would be:
- Have I just not found the right people?
- Any advice for my predicament?
- What would you do if you were me? Or what have you done?
: )
#2
Quote by Cjk10000
- Have I just not found the right people?


Obviously not, otherwise you'd be in the same position as every other musician who has a day-job.

Quote by Cjk10000
- Any advice for my predicament?


Make it clear from the start how much time you're willing to give into the band. One 2 hour practice session should be enough if everyone else does their homework outside this time. If you can do 2 practices a week, do that. Just set how much time you're willing to have free.

Quote by Cjk10000
- What would you do if you were me? Or what have you done?


Just play around more. I will have to point out though that part of getting into the "professional" bands is paying your dues with those crappy ones first. You say "I can sweep and stuff", but how experienced are you with writing parts for original songs, and how much have you gigged? How many bands have you been in so far? People will be asking these questions, as an experienced person is preferred over an un-experienced person.

Basically I just played through crappy no-name gigs, putting my hand up for everything from hard rock to acoustic folk and country, and after about 2-3 years of that I started getting noticed by the more professional guys which lead to playing with great musicians in the area. I do recognise though that before those 2-3 years, I really wasn't in a position to play with the serious guys....I just didn't have enough experience.
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#3
Yeah, the answer to your problem is the same answer to any problem in which you haven't found the right people: keep looking.
I haven't found a trick to finding a certain kind of musician, and I've been nonstop actively looking for years. I've found a lot of people, but you never know how/where to get that desired person.
All I can say is that the people you're looking for most likely exist, and to keep looking.

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#4
If you want to play with serious musicians then I dont think it matters whether it's their main goal in life or not. I say just get some serious people together and see where it takes you. Its not like you have to quit your job to play live shows.
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#5
I'll second Alan's advice. I was in exactly your position years ago. It took me ten friggin' years to find that group of people, but when I found it, it was fantastic.

Part of the key, for me, was:
-being specific about what I was looking for - what my expectations were of them, what my goals were for the project, and what they could reasonably expect from me
-having the songs done and ready to go - even if the vocals weren't that good, at least the prospective musicians know that, with their help, it can get there, as everything else is done.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#6
Does one have to go through the 'crappy' band phase?

Nowadays with AxeFX I'm able to easily create a great live sound. I've not got too much problems playing in front of people since I've had to do so many [huge] public presentations.

What experience does one get from playing live with a band that one can't get from just joining a huge band (for sake of discussion)? I've heard that you get a feel for when other people screw up what to do and stuff like that, but wouldn't you be adjusting to new personalities anyways?

I've also spent a lot of my time making sure I understand as much band dynamics as possible. The last thing a band needs is a guitarist who scoops mid's into non-existence.
What can I learn from a band experience that I can't learn elsewhere, or what have you learned that you can give me insight with?


One of the problems I have is I don't want to put effort into a band that doesn't care, but basing stuff off of AlanHB's choice it looks like I may not have a choice. What then? Save up the really good riffs for when one would do a solo album or a serious band?
: )
#7
i you play guitar/drums/bass/piano, why not go into the studio and record everything yourself? No need to work with people who dont care, you can do everything exactly the way you want and you'll be able to make more money with it:P
#8
Quote by Ih5g
i you play guitar/drums/bass/piano, why not go into the studio and record everything yourself? No need to work with people who dont care, you can do everything exactly the way you want and you'll be able to make more money with it:P


I'd do this!

@OP: Though more musicians = more input though, thats the only potential problem. Unless you're some sort of God (which you claimed you're not)
Last edited by AtomicBirdy at May 14, 2011,
#9
Yeah, I'd record/write at your own pace by yourself and jam with (possibly crappy) people in the meantime until you feel confident enough in your own material and can present it to bands to either have it tweaked or learned. A lot of people don't want to put much effort in, but if you say "Here's the material, learn it, we'll be playing shows as soon as we're tight enough" things move a lot faster. That's why cover bands can learn so many songs so fast - the material's already there.

Plus, if you have your sound recorded, you can find people in your genre a lot easier because they'll know upfront what to expect and realize they can contribute as much as they like if they're motivated and serious, or just sit and play according to the part if they're more laid-back. You get people from both sects and an equilibrium can be established.
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#10
When looking for bandmates, just find people who have your same mindset. There might even be a chance you're given the opportunity to do this as a career, even if it's not what you're trying to do. Some of my favorite bands are guys who just wanted to have fun and ended up being good enough to do it as a source of income.

Also take Demon Hunter into account. They are a pro band, but they do limited touring because the (lead singer?) has a very successful graphic design business and doesn't want to leave it very often.
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#11
I've never settled for playing with crappy musicians. At least not since I was 18 or so. Sure, you find yourself playing with the odd one who is a bit of a hack, but have standards and stick to them.

When I did find the band that took me so long to put together, they were probably the *best* musicians I had ever played with too.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#12
Quote by axemanchris
I've never settled for playing with crappy musicians. At least not since I was 18 or so. Sure, you find yourself playing with the odd one who is a bit of a hack, but have standards and stick to them.

When I did find the band that took me so long to put together, they were probably the *best* musicians I had ever played with too.

CT


i dont really have a problem iwth crap musicians as long as they seems willing to improve...fact is band practise can really help crap players become good
#13
Quote by Cjk10000
What experience does one get from playing live with a band that one can't get from just joining a huge band (for sake of discussion)? I've heard that you get a feel for when other people screw up what to do and stuff like that, but wouldn't you be adjusting to new personalities anyways?


The ability to play with other people is a skill that has to be worked on. The only way to do this is by playing with other people. There are many, many sub-skills which make this up, for example playing with and in response to drums, structuring your parts so they don't conflict with the vocals, even setting a tone on your amp that complements the sound of the band is a sub-skill. Ultimately you want to aim to play the songs back-to-front in your sleep, pull off all those little stop-starts that the songs may have without having to make eye contact with the bandmates, and discuss changes and criticism of the music in a diplomatic fashion with people who may be overprotective of their parts.

For example I remember when I was starting out that somebody indicated that when I played on a clean channel, I was nowhere near as loud or as confident as on the distortion. That is something that I would have never thought about before, and put in work for months making sure that I was playing at the same volume with the guitar on both distortion and clean. Turned out I wasn't as confident on the clean channel, but I just never noticed before.

If I play with somebody who hasn't played with a band before, it is painfully obvious.

Quote by Cjk10000
One of the problems I have is I don't want to put effort into a band that doesn't care, but basing stuff off of AlanHB's choice it looks like I may not have a choice. What then? Save up the really good riffs for when one would do a solo album or a serious band?


Playing in a band will put a thruster on your skills with the guitar. You'll be writing better riffs by the time you're getting competent with the band, and you'll be less attached to the riffs/songs as well.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#14
My keyboardist, drummer and I have been playing together for 20+ years now. We've had different singers, bassists, second guitarists...

After a 2 year hiatus, we decided to give it a shot again. Told potential bandmates exactly what we were looking for and everything has been going great. We all have day jobs and just use music as an outlet/hobby. I'm certainly not that great on guitar, but do a good enough job, our bassist just started playing and both singers are first time band members, but we found people with the same attitude and we're having a blast. Have 18 songs down in two months, first gig is this Saturday.

You just need to be specific about what you're looking for I think.
#15
If you want "serious" musicians that don't want to do your project as their life's goal then find some guys who are already in a serious band and ask them if they'd like to do a side project with you. That way you'll get input from guys who are experienced but they won't mind the minimal work load since they will already be dedicated to their other full-time band. This is not uncommon.
#16
You might consider corresponding long distance by sending files via email to others who feel the same as you.. I know some people who have done that and it works well for them as they have no desire to perform live. It might expand your talent pool and choices.