#1
Hey. Recently I made a four piece band with my mates. Since it doesn't look like anyone else in my band is going to bother organising anything, I'm just going to step up.

It's complicated because two of them are in another band (which is pretty much at the same stage as this one). The other band is planning to hire out a studio for practice on Saturdays, and they (the other band) all seem to be cool with it. But now those two people (in both bands) are causing a slight problem because I really want to get out of my garage and also hire a studio. Thing is, one of them isn't willing to pay for two bands (even though he actively told me many times he plans to treat both bands completely equally) and the other is saying he doesn't want a Sunday session because that leave his weekend completely booked out on a permanent basis (which I personally think is a shithouse reason since it's only a few hours, and I asked him the other day what band he's taking more seriously, he says this one).

Basically, what do I do? How do I convince them to just haul ass out of my garage and get into a studio? Getting sessions done in my garage is a problem in the first place, on weekdays at least one of them always seems to be busy too. We can't organise a set practice day. And the three other members are pretty much some of my best mates, we're in the same high school and the other band consists of high school students too.

Also, a side question: I'm finding that it will be necessary to hire a studio to get some serious work done. It's a better atmosphere, there will be increased motivation, the band will sound better due to the environment, and I simply hate being really loud at my own house. Do you guys think the studio is necessary, or can we really make do with my garage?

Thanks heaps for reading all of this in advance, by the way!
West Ham United
Last edited by King Donkey at Aug 21, 2013,
#2
If you can't do anything at home, I don't see how you'll get anything done out of home.

Practice at home is fine. My suspicion is that:
(a) practice goes for too long (more than 2 hours)
(b) practice is too loud (ie. gigging levels) and
(c) practice lacks any form (everyone shows up, doesn't know what to do).

Is this right? Have you decided that you're an originals band or a covers band? Have you written any songs/chosen songs to learn? Etc.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#3
Pretty much spot on. Usually an average session goes for around two hours and not too much over.

We plan to be an originals band but we haven't gotten too far with it yet. Don't have a single cover learned to play as a whole band and I'm the only one who has been actively trying to write songs in my own time. Plus I can't stand the volume the other guys play at; the drummer is very loud, refuses to use pads, and he's quite obnoxious about it. And I really don't feel like I should have to use earplugs in my own house. It's not like my neighbours have complained or anything but I hate to think I could be bothering them.

It's probably more of an organisation issue than anything but the other guys aren't making any effort to write stuff, select covers out, organise anything in particular, and I can't seem to get them motivated to do any of it.
West Ham United
Last edited by King Donkey at Aug 21, 2013,
#4
Yeah you can see how you wouldn't want to fork out cash for this lroject in this state. Address the above issues and you should make some progress.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#5
I personally would be happy to be able to have rehearsal in my own garage (if I had one in the first place) without having to fear to get the cops called on me by neighbors.

I would do the following:
- Actually get some earplugs and use them.
- Sit down with the whole band and force a set day and time for rehearsal. It seems someone in your band will have to compromise, but this is what life is about, especially as an aspiring musician. If you don't have the right people with the right mindset for a band then forget about it.
- Work with deadlines/ultimatums because it seems you wont get anything done otherwise. If your bandmembers really are both, close friends of yours and serious musicians, then there will be a way to get a set day for practice.
- Girlfriend-time is not a valid excuse for a musician to be skipping rehearsals.
- Seeing as you are still in highschool and may be the main songwriter of your band, try to find somebody (be it on the internet or irl) who is a bit older, has had some band and songwriting experience and can look over the stuff you have come up with so far

Concerning the last point, I've just a couple of weeks ago met with a band looking for a guitarist which also was starting out fresh and didnt have much song material at all. Me being 21 they were ~4 years younger than me and judging the way they played their song and tried to work on it, it was apparent to me that they had very little experience in songwriting, completely lacking any structure in their approach.
Now, being older doesnt necessarily mean you are a better songwriter, but if I think about what kind of bullshit I would have tried to play with a band 4 years ago, then it wouldn't have been surprising if noone wanted to show up for rehearsal.

In any case, good luck with your band and I hope you get it together
(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
#6
Okay, first you say this:

Quote by King Donkey

We plan to be an originals band but we haven't gotten too far with it yet...the other guys aren't making any effort to write stuff, I'm the only one who has been actively trying to write songs in my own time.


Then you say this:


Don't have a single cover learned to play as a whole band, the other guys aren't making any effort to select covers out,[./quote]

You need to decide, first, if it is a cover band or an original band. You need a direction.

Quote by King Donkey

and Plus I can't stand the volume the other guys play at; the drummer is very loud, ...I really don't feel like I should have to use earplugs in my own house.


People experienced in bands know that playing at a reasonable level is much more conducive to getting tight than playing loud. Unfortunately, if you tell people this and they don't believe you, then they will either have to learn it on their own, which takes time, or they will never learn it.

Quote by thorbor
Work with deadlines/ultimatums


Deadlines, yes. You need to be organized, have a vision and set goals. Goals require deadlines.

Ultimatums, no. Ultimatums are a form of bullying at worst, and manipulation at best. They represent a power imbalance that suggests you are the power broker and the other person needs to be subservient to you. Unless this is the relationship you both want, then it is doomed to fail. Most people want to be equal partners - or at least on a level that affords them the respect of not being totally subservient.

If you want employees that you can boss around, then hire employees. This almost always involves paying them for their efforts. And then, like any job, a happy employee will do a better job. A well-paid employee will be less likely to move on to another better job. An employee who gets bossed around for no money will quit in the blink of an eye.

I'm the kind of player who will invest my own money into a project, who will re-jig personal plans on a moments notice if possible, who will take one for the team, and be a stable and reliable partner. I'll try to problem-solve any situation and negotiate a solution that meets the needs of everyone. However, I'm not one to take someone's crap. Give me an ultimatum and I'm out. I had one jack-off a number of years ago, just before a gig, basically give me an ultimatum. He told me, "well, it looks like you have a choice to make." Well, I made my choice fairly quickly, as it turns out. I got up on stage, grabbed my gear, threw it into my car and left him without a lead guitarist a half-hour before the show. To this day, I have no misgivings about that. F*** him and the horse he rode in on.

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.
Last edited by axemanchris at Aug 22, 2013,
#7
Quote by axemanchris
I had one jack-off a number of years ago, just before a gig, basically give me an ultimatum. He told me, "well, it looks like you have a choice to make." Well, I made my choice fairly quickly, as it turns out. I got up on stage, grabbed my gear, threw it into my car and left him without a lead guitarist a half-hour before the show. To this day, I have no misgivings about that. F*** him and the horse he rode in on.

CT

Damn, what on earth made him do that?

And thanks for the advice to everyone, I really appreciate it.
West Ham United
#8
Quote by King Donkey
Pretty much spot on. Usually an average session goes for around two hours and not too much over.

We plan to be an originals band but we haven't gotten too far with it yet. Don't have a single cover learned to play as a whole band and I'm the only one who has been actively trying to write songs in my own time. Plus I can't stand the volume the other guys play at; the drummer is very loud, refuses to use pads, and he's quite obnoxious about it. And I really don't feel like I should have to use earplugs in my own house. It's not like my neighbours have complained or anything but I hate to think I could be bothering them.

It's probably more of an organisation issue than anything but the other guys aren't making any effort to write stuff, select covers out, organise anything in particular, and I can't seem to get them motivated to do any of it.

Have you ever played together? Because what have you done if you don't have any songs to play?

I disagree with people who say that you shouldn't play any covers if you are an original band. I would actually advise to first play a couple of covers so that you learn to play together and then to start playing your own songs. Playing covers on a gig is a different thing and if you are an original band, you may not want to play covers on a gig. But what's wrong with playing a couple of cover songs for fun? It's good to learn to play with the other guys in a band. And starting to play songs that everybody knows is a good way to start - you'll learn each other's playing style.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#9
^^^ For me it's just a bit of a waste, you could be using that time making original songs.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#10
Quote by King Donkey
Damn, what on earth made him do that?


Arrogance and megalomania.

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.
#11
Quote by AlanHB
^^^ For me it's just a bit of a waste, you could be using that time making original songs.

Honestly I have to agree with him. The other guitarist brought up the idea of learning a few covers, so that at the very least we have some music to play that people would already recognise. Plus I think it would help the band to find their way in learning to play with each other and decide what we like doing the most.

To each their own, of course.
West Ham United
Last edited by King Donkey at Aug 23, 2013,
#12
Quote by King Donkey
Honestly I have to agree with him. The other guitarist brought up the idea of learning a few covers, so that at the very least we have some music to play that people would already recognise. Plus I think it would help the band to find their way in learning to play with each other and decide what we like doing the most.

To each their own, of course.

Yeah, I mean, if you don't already have any songs written, why not just go and jam with your band? At least in our band we don't write songs together or use any practice time for writing new songs (sometimes we come up with some new ideas though). If somebody comes up with something, he shows it to the other members and we start playing it. But if you don't already have any ideas, it's good to have something to play with your band.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#13
Well I think you guys are both approaching writing original music as an equal thing, everybody jams and hopefully spontaneously everything falls into place. In my experience this tends to be pretty inefficient, and usually ends up in just random jams and everyone gets bored and distracted. For example TS has had several, and the band still has no songs.

It is good to have something to play together, so try this method out, which I've employed with my original bands:

- Someone thinks of an idea
- Person records and emails or mms' the idea to everyone
- Everyone works on their parts separately outside of practice
- At practice you get the song together

Just in case you come up with the surprisingly common excuse "I have nothing to record with" I ask if you have a phone. Do you have a phone? Cool. Use that to record.

This way you have something to play. It's pretty rare that a song will actually be written by everyone in the group - usually there's one or two central songwriters and the other guys will add their parts to the songs.

As for "playing covers so that the band has something to play that the audience will know", the issue is that the audience will tend to only remember that cover you did, and nothing else. It's not surprising, that cover has had millions of dollars poured into the advertising of that song, and it's also probably better than your original songs. However if the best song you play is the one that wasn't written by your band, it doesn't help push your original music.

If the main concern is that you want to play stuff that the audience already knows, become a cover band.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#14
Quote by AlanHB
Well I think you guys are both approaching writing original music as an equal thing, everybody jams and hopefully spontaneously everything falls into place. In my experience this tends to be pretty inefficient, and usually ends up in just random jams and everyone gets bored and distracted. For example TS has had several, and the band still has no songs.

It is good to have something to play together, so try this method out, which I've employed with my original bands:

- Someone thinks of an idea
- Person records and emails or mms' the idea to everyone
- Everyone works on their parts separately outside of practice
- At practice you get the song together

Just in case you come up with the surprisingly common excuse "I have nothing to record with" I ask if you have a phone. Do you have a phone? Cool. Use that to record.

This way you have something to play. It's pretty rare that a song will actually be written by everyone in the group - usually there's one or two central songwriters and the other guys will add their parts to the songs.

As for "playing covers so that the band has something to play that the audience will know", the issue is that the audience will tend to only remember that cover you did, and nothing else. It's not surprising, that cover has had millions of dollars poured into the advertising of that song, and it's also probably better than your original songs. However if the best song you play is the one that wasn't written by your band, it doesn't help push your original music.

If the main concern is that you want to play stuff that the audience already knows, become a cover band.

No, that's not what I meant by jamming with a band. We write our songs mainly at home. We have actually never written a song that way. We may have written a part of a song that way but not the whole song. But before anybody had any songs, we played some covers for "warm up". Oh, and if somebody came up with an idea at the practices, we could play around with it a bit.

I was only talking about playing covers as "warm up" songs until you have some original songs. Because nobody in the band may not have written any songs yet. And it's always fun to go and jam together and have something to play together. And I agree with Alan about playing covers live. I don't think it's necessary if you are an original band. You want the audience to listen to your music. Of course if you can come up with a really original version of some song, maybe do it. But if it sounds exactly like the original recording or really close to it (so that you don't add anything new to it), I think it's just waste of time.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#15
With my original band, we didn't need to start with covers to have something to all play together. I sent them recordings of the songs I had written, and they learned them and we played those.



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.
#16
Quote by axemanchris
With my original band, we didn't need to start with covers to have something to all play together. I sent them recordings of the songs I had written, and they learned them and we played those.



CT

Yeah, of course if you already have written songs. But somehow I understood that TS's band doesn't have any original songs yet so in this case it's good to have something to play with the band.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#17
^^^^ Maybe you should delay meeting up before jamming so that there's original stuff to play.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#18
Why? It's fun to play together. We started with a couple of covers to get to know with other guys in the band. I mean, you aren't wasting any time if you just go there and play with them. Band should be about fun, not all about business.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#19
^^^^ I guess when I was new to bands jamming for the sake of jamming was fun, that's probably where you're at now. However it tends to lose its charm over time either as a result of not achieving your goals like the TS, or from lack of efficiency, which is where Axemanchris and I are coming from.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud