#1
Okay, so, this weekend my Dad told me his friend's band was looking for a lead guitarist...unfortunately before that he told the guy that I'd fill the position.

The band is pretty much a 50s/60s rock'n'roll show band. The members are between the age of about 60 and 70...I'm 19.

Anyway, the problem is somewhat mild. It's not really one which is answerable either, I'd just like a bit of discussion on what I should do.

The band's been going for about 6 years, they're pretty much getting as many gigs a month as they want (like, they can fill a month with every Saturday having a gig, but more likely it'll be 2/3 gigs a month), so they're pretty established, and they seem to know all the similar sort of show bands around this area of the country (unfortunately, while they can get regular gigs they aren't one of the bigger/better rock'n'roll show-bands of the area).
They have a set-list of just under 40 songs and already have 12 gigs booked for the new year. Both me and their bassist are new to the band (but their bassist has played with them before and knows the show-band style repertoire already).

All I really have to do is learn all the songs.

But I have a few qualms with the situation.

Some are a bit selfish, such as, the band aren't the best. I mean, they do an okay job, they're obviously fairly in demand, but their Rhythm guitarist (who is somewhat condescending considering tonight I managed to play just under half of their set without having heard most of the songs), isn't very good at all. He was out of tune and played everything with open chords, which sounded a bit bad. Obviously it's how he's worked up til now so he has no problem with it, but I did have. But I guess he's only there to fill out the sound a bit. He does the lead vocals which is his main role.
The bassist was alright, again a bit out of tune, very annoying to be playing with that.
The drummer was fine, his kit wasn't tuned the best though.

Other than this, these guys are using really sup-bar gear considering that they've been playing their instruments for 40+ years. The rhythm guitarist was using a Roland Cube into some kind of Tele custom (from pictures I think it's a Schecter, but my eyes are poor so I couldn't see what it was in person).
The bassist had a Laney RB amp, low-end bass amp, not terrible, but for someone who seems to have been in loads of bands, it's a bit and I couldn't tell the bass, at first glance it looked like a G&L, but it didn't sound, nor keep tune, like a G&L should!
The drummer's gear was fine, a Mapex kit. It was just badly tuned as mentioned.

I sound a major douche! But now for the other qualms I have on the situation:

From their point of view, I'm not the best candidate, I have no transport, I can't help with gear, I can't get myself to and from, I put one of them out of their way for practices and gigs.
I haven't played the rock'n'roll circuit like it seems they have, and all their friends have. There's probably someone else out there who could do a better job, I mean, I study Jazz an awful lot of the time, when Twist and Shout gets a bebop solo...


Anyway, they're the negatives to this situation, but, at the same time as all this which shouts "Yeah don't do it", I'm currently unemployed. These guys are pulling in potentially 3 gigs a month, I'd be paid £50 per gig, that's £150 more than the nothing I'm getting right now a month.
I'm also aiming for a career as a musician at some point, this would probably help in a few ways. Even if it's only some pictures or videos that I present to a university interview as part of a portfolio, it can help.
And of course, if I leave they're stuck looking for a new guitarist with 12 gigs already booked (these gigs are for the new year, any gigs they have this year the old lead player/bassist are doing).


So I dunno what I should do really.
On the one hand this can help in a few ways, but on the other, it's not very enjoyable, it's pretty time-consuming (I do have another band, which I rank higher than these guys as a priority).

I also realise how long this post is so:
tl;dr: I've been put into a show-band I don't enjoy playing with, but have regular paying gigs which would help as I'm unemployed and don't know what to do about the situation.
#2
sounds like the only reasons to be in this band for you is the experience and money

do it

but seriously try it and see if you can get them to get better equiptmen or if theyll get them set up correctlyand maybe theyll keep in better tune
#3
Ultimately, this is a decision you have to make, based on the answer to the question:

"What do I want?"

You do sound like a bit of a pratt when you discuss their gear. On the other hand, if they're not in tune, that's a major problem. I would put my foot down about tuning.

About the guitarist's style, I'd say relax - as you get comfortable with each other you can make suggestions, and you'll probably re-arange the songs slightly to account for your presence.

But it's not your job to "help" them - either you want to play some gigs, get the experience, and earn the money or you don't.

Sounds like you need the money, so take it as a job for the time being. It's not like you're marrying them.
#4
This band is most likely not as poor as you're implying. They're playing 3-4 gigs a month, and probably have been doing so for many years. This pure fact would indicate that they are not in fact "crap", but actually "good" and "in demand".

Your issues are:

- The singer plays open chords a lot. That's not a problem to me, but you seem to have taken it personally. This allows you to play pretty much anything you want, you're not restrained by having to imply the rest of the notes. I'd just take it as a blessing.

- The band has sub-par gear. At one point I attached all instrument's worth to what name it has. Over time and experience with a multitude of instruments I was actually able to determine an instrument's worth with reference to how it feels and sounds, not by it's price tag. It appears you're not at that point yet. In the end your only real questions are "does it work?" and "can it be used for a gig?". The cube can be put through the PA. It gets louder. Any problems with tone you'll have to keep for yourself, although I think the clean channel on the cubes is actually quite good.

And here's some problems that you mayn't have considered:

Quote by Punk_Ninja
I managed to play just under half of their set without having heard most of the songs


I'd consider yourself lucky. If somebody showed up to an audition for my band who hadn't bothered learning any of the songs, I'd kick them. Waste of time. You'll respond with "but they're all I-IV-V songs", but I don't care. I'm sure you couldn't make up the riffs/structure/etc, and they all sounded similar by virtue of you not being familiar with the songs. On a more practical level, if you didn't put the effort in now, I wouldn't expect you to put the effort in later.

Quote by Punk_Ninja
I have no transport


Yep another problem. Probably not as big as the above, but not the most desirable situation as one member will have to go out of their way to take you to and from gigs.

Quote by Punk_Ninja
I sound a major douche!


Correct! And if this attitude continues, it can impede your future career.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#5
Here's a perspective from the other end of the spectrum.

I'm 47 years old, been playing guitar for 40 years and in bands for at least 30. I probably do things a way that you wouldn't agree with, but it works for me, and if you sat in with our band (the baby of the bunch is 44) you'd find whole bunches of things that don't mesh with you, but, we're working 2 or 3 times a month, and all of us have, at one time or another done what you have aspired to do. We've all made our living, for a while anyway, playing music. That being said, I'm sure that it's not your favorite type or Genre of music, BUT, you will learn from it.

The next time you're all together for practice, look at all those guys and start adding up all of the years of performing experience and practice time that these guys have. Listen to their stories, I know they've got a few.

I know it's an instant world now, and everything at 19 feels like it's going to take the rest of your life to get through, but even if it's a job with this band for a whole year... You'll be 20 when it's over... but you'll be 20 anyway. When I was 16, I was learning AC/DC, Ted Nugent, Journey, and Boston, yet the first band I ever played with was playing country. And in the late 70's, that was definately when country wasn't cool. But it taught me a lot about teamwork, practice habits, harmony, and made me a better guitar player overall, preparing me for a life filled with performing music.

You're going to learn more from this band, I'll bet, than any you've been in. Even if what you learn is that you don't like it, But, you'll be able to play it.

Give it a shot, and communicate that it's, at first, a trial period, and try to give them a date that you'll make up your mind by, say 90 days, and then stick to that date, yes or no. I'll venture a bet that you'll get to like it, if only a little.

Oh, and you might ask you Dad to not volunteer you for stuff in the future..
I Play Guitar
Some Like it
Some don't
I don't care
Beats Workin'
OLD GUYS RULE!!!!
Last edited by Papabear505 at Nov 28, 2011,
#6
Quote by Papabear505
Here's a perspective from the other end of the spectrum.

I'm 47 years old, been playing guitar for 40 years and in bands for at least 30. I probably do things a way that you wouldn't agree with, but it works for me, and if you sat in with our band (the baby of the bunch is 44) you'd find whole bunches of things that don't mesh with you, but, we're working 2 or 3 times a month, and all of us have, at one time or another done what you have aspired to do. We've all made our living, for a while anyway, playing music. That being said, I'm sure that it's not your favorite type or Genre of music, BUT, you will learn from it.

The next time you're all together for practice, look at all those guys and start adding up all of the years of performing experience and practice time that these guys have. Listen to their stories, I know they've got a few.

I know it's an instant world now, and everything at 19 feels like it's going to take the rest of your life to get through, but even if it's a job with this band for a whole year... You'll be 20 when it's over... but you'll be 20 anyway. When I was 16, I was learning AC/DC, Ted Nugent, Journey, and Boston, yet the first band I ever played with was playing country. And in the late 70's, that was definately when country wasn't cool. But it taught me a lot about teamwork, practice habits, harmony, and made me a better guitar player overall, preparing me for a life filled with performing music.

You're going to learn more from this band, I'll bet, than any you've been in. Even if what you learn is that you don't like it, But, you'll be able to play it.

Give it a shot, and communicate that it's, at first, a trial period, and try to give them a date that you'll make up your mind by, say 90 days, and then stick to that date, yes or no. I'll venture a bet that you'll get to like it, if only a little.

Oh, and you might ask you Dad to not volunteer you for stuff in the future..


Well in this case it's not so much the music, it's the situation. I have, a couple of times, been put into a gigging situation with genres I'm not used to, which has been helpful to me, cos it obviously requires me to get into that genre which helps my playing and whatnot. But with this band, it's quite apparent that they aren't what they used to be/what the other bands doing a similar thing are like. They get the gigs, but they aren't exactly the type of musicians I could learn from. Which is a shame.

But thanks for the insight!
And I've tried to get my Dad to stop doing stuff like that, he never listens!

Quote by AlanHB
This band is most likely not as poor as you're implying. They're playing 3-4 gigs a month, and probably have been doing so for many years. This pure fact would indicate that they are not in fact "crap", but actually "good" and "in demand".


They are pretty poor. You have to realise this is a band who's in demand in an average sized town in mid-England. They're in demand with the social clubs and stuff, not any "real" venues. The reason they're in demand is cos of the stuff they're doing as opposed to their standard. I mean, they do the job at an alright standard, but they aren't exactly people who I can learn off during the experience.

Quote by AlanHB
Your issues are:

- The singer plays open chords a lot. That's not a problem to me, but you seem to have taken it personally. This allows you to play pretty much anything you want, you're not restrained by having to imply the rest of the notes. I'd just take it as a blessing.

- The band has sub-par gear. At one point I attached all instrument's worth to what name it has. Over time and experience with a multitude of instruments I was actually able to determine an instrument's worth with reference to how it feels and sounds, not by it's price tag. It appears you're not at that point yet. In the end your only real questions are "does it work?" and "can it be used for a gig?". The cube can be put through the PA. It gets louder. Any problems with tone you'll have to keep for yourself, although I think the clean channel on the cubes is actually quite good.


My issues aren't that the singer plays a lot of open chords. A lot of the tunes demand open chords, but the tunes that don't demand open chords, like the rockier numbers, with a Roland Cube's distortion, an out of tune guitar AND the open chords, it's a bad mix.

Way to be condescending on the gear.
I don't care about the names on the headstock, nor the price. I care about the fact these guys are using gear that doesn't sound great.
The clean on the Cube is quite good, but the guitarist was saying he wants to cut some stuff from the set, most of that stuff being the tunes he uses the clean tone on.

Quote by AlanHB
And here's some problems that you mayn't have considered:

I'd consider yourself lucky. If somebody showed up to an audition for my band who hadn't bothered learning any of the songs, I'd kick them. Waste of time. You'll respond with "but they're all I-IV-V songs", but I don't care. I'm sure you couldn't make up the riffs/structure/etc, and they all sounded similar by virtue of you not being familiar with the songs. On a more practical level, if you didn't put the effort in now, I wouldn't expect you to put the effort in later.


"hadn't bothered learning any of the songs". Wrong, for one, I learnt as many as I could. Also, realise I said that I got told about this band on Saturday. I practiced with them on Monday.
I have an excellent track record with learning band's setlists in around 2 days. But those set-lists were 10-15 songs long. Not an entire set-list which features 3 sets AND a bunch of encore songs. I'd like to see anyone try that in two days, on a genre which they aren't used to, while they have a couple of other things going on.

Quote by AlanHB
Yep another problem. Probably not as big as the above, but not the most desirable situation as one member will have to go out of their way to take you to and from gigs.


Exactly, which is why I'm not sure it's fair on them to keep lugging me around. It's not so bad with my other band, cos the bassist lives quite close and my house is pretty much always on the way to wherever we're going. But these guys live a bit further out.

HotspurJr and supersac, thanks for the insight.

I think the best thing to do is to check 'em out for a short while, if it doesn't work for either of us (I am very worried about me getting into this and having them regret the decision of choosing me) I guess I can leave with them having time to find a suitable replacement.
#7
but they aren't exactly the type of musicians I could learn from


We'll have to "agree to disagree" on this point... In my opinion it's a golden opportunity, (perhaps a "Golden Oldie" opportunity )

Opinions and advice are free, and not mandatory.

I've learned things from every musician I've played or "Jammed" with. (even if it was just that "that guy's an @ss and I don't like him... ) Most recently, a 14 year old girl, who's dad talked me into letting her sit in on a practice so she could feel what it was like to play guitar with a band.

But, ultimately, it's your decision, and I wish you well, which ever you choose.
I Play Guitar
Some Like it
Some don't
I don't care
Beats Workin'
OLD GUYS RULE!!!!
Last edited by Papabear505 at Nov 29, 2011,
#8
Quote by Papabear505
We'll have to "agree to disagree" on this point... In my opinion it's a golden opportunity, (perhaps a "Golden Oldie" opportunity )

Opinions and advice are free, and not mandatory.

I've learned things from every musician I've played or "Jammed" with. (even if it was just that "that guy's an @ss and I don't like him... ) Most recently, a 14 year old girl, who's dad talked me into letting her sit in on a practice so she could feel what it was like to play guitar with a band.

But, ultimately, it's your decision, and I wish you well, which ever you choose.


Oh, well, don't get me wrong, I will learn some stuff, stuff about being in a showband, I'll obviously take a lot more note on the 50s/60s rock'n'roll stuff, and I'll listen to a hell of a lot more Beatles records than I have done previously, I'll probably have some alright contacts around the area too if I ever do the covers band thing again too.

But I don't think I'll learn stuff from this band like I'd learn from being in a Jazz band, a Funk Band, etc. In this band I'm there to play pentatonic licks over the tunes essentially, all well and good, but if I wanted to be in a band which I'd learn stuff from, I'd prefer it to be stuff which is a bit more taxing.

Not that I can complain, £50 per gig for playing a few rockabilly licks!


I got a call from the drummer earlier saying he and the guitarist thought I "Have potential" and am like their previous guiarist who joined at 17, and how he thinks I should pick 5 songs to tackle on Monday. All stuff which kinda seems lends itself to a "We don't think you can hack it" attitude. =/
So I'm not sure as to whether or not they want me cos I fluffed up a bit practicing with them last night.

I dunno...well, I'll check 'em out, see if they want me/I want them and see how it goes.
#9
Quote by Punk_Ninja
...

I got a call from the drummer earlier saying he and the guitarist thought I "Have potential" and am like their previous guiarist who joined at 17, and how he thinks I should pick 5 songs to tackle on Monday. All stuff which kinda seems lends itself to a "We don't think you can hack it" attitude. =/
So I'm not sure as to whether or not they want me cos I fluffed up a bit practicing with them last night.

I dunno...well, I'll check 'em out, see if they want me/I want them and see how it goes.


No, it is probably not a "We don't think you can hack it" attitude. It is probably them thinking that they are taking you under their wing and showing you the ropes. So, yeah musically you don't think you could learn anything from these "old farts." But I bet you they could come up with 200 things about the music industry that you have no clue about.

Yeah, their ears may have gone bad a decade ago and they have probably practiced 900 times together and gotten a bit lax with it and totally set in their ways. But as far as you are concerned, no matter how talented you think you are, you are still green. To them, it is probably a matter if they want to invest the time and energy into mentoring some new kid.

It would also be up to you to be able to play those "few rockabilly licks" with vibrancy and passion on stage and in practice. If you can do that, then just imagine how it will feel when it is something you are really into.

At the same time, if you aren't passionate about it, they may not want you there either. Not really fair to them. I don't know if I could have been at 19 either. Playing music you're not into with a bunch of geezers at nursing homes and community centers isn't exactly living the rock and roll dream.

Tough decision. Though I think you have been looking at the wrong aspects of it, like their equipment. I would practice with them again and see how it goes.