#1
Hi everyone, my question is who in your band do you communicate with most when your playing a song? I'm just curious what other people's opinions on non-verbal communication with band mates during a song. I think good communication is an important but often overlooked part of playing in a band.
So, what instrument do you play, who do you find you most communicate with and why do you think you communicate with them the most?

I'll go first, I play guitar and when I play I usually listen most to the drummer. The drummer is the most experienced musician in the band, also the singer isn't always singing and I often have trouble hearing exactly what the bass player is doing, so I tend to focus on the drummer.
#2
Yeah probably the drummer, it depends on the situation though.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#3
The drummer. He'll usually provide a fill to go into the next section so if I lose my place in the song I can get back on track, and he provides the rhythm.
#5
Like any other form of communication - it depends on who is communicating, and what they are communicating for, and what kind of communication I need.

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
I wouldn't really consider this "non-verbal communication".

To me, non-verbal communication is what conductors (and the great Frank Zappa) do, using hand signals and whatnot.

Not to be a dick, but it's kind of a no-brainer that most people would be listening to the drummer, as he's (hopefully) keeping everybody in time. Honestly, I rarely pay attention to what anybody else is doing in my band, other than when the drums drop out and one of the other instruments is playing a riff by themselves.
Quote by SteveHouse
This thread is officially about sucking Sleaze off for a sig.


Quote by tayroar
Hey Sleaze I'll give you a blowjob if you sig me. Maybe even some nudey photos?


Quote by crazy8rgood


Sleaze, that made me lulz in my pants.


Quote by 36mikeyb36
hahaha Sleaze i'd give you my mom for that one.
#7
In my opinion, everybody needs to be paying attention to the singer. I get flamed whenever I say this, but whatevs:

The singer is always right. If the singer screws something up, it is the band's job to adjust and roll with it. Every choice the band is making (except during solos and instrumental songs, obviously) needs to be made with the goal of supporting the singer

So if the singer drops a line, or misses a cue, or whatever ... you need to be on it. For the vast majority of the people in the audience, "good singer"= "good band."

Yes, this is why singers sometimes have insufferable egos. Deal with it.

Also - every single member of the band has the ability to make the singer look like an idiot. It's not just that we can easily overpower them if we want to, but if you make a mistake (or do it intentionally) that throws the singer off, then most of the audience will think,"Wow, that singer is not good," not, "Wow, that guitarist just threw his singer under the bus."

If you're not listening to your singer, you're probably doing this a couple of times a set, at least.
#8
Quote by HotspurJr
In my opinion, everybody needs to be paying attention to the singer. I get flamed whenever I say this, but whatevs:

The singer is always right. If the singer screws something up, it is the band's job to adjust and roll with it. Every choice the band is making (except during solos and instrumental songs, obviously) needs to be made with the goal of supporting the singer

So if the singer drops a line, or misses a cue, or whatever ... you need to be on it. For the vast majority of the people in the audience, "good singer"= "good band."

Yes, this is why singers sometimes have insufferable egos. Deal with it.

Also - every single member of the band has the ability to make the singer look like an idiot. It's not just that we can easily overpower them if we want to, but if you make a mistake (or do it intentionally) that throws the singer off, then most of the audience will think,"Wow, that singer is not good," not, "Wow, that guitarist just threw his singer under the bus."

If you're not listening to your singer, you're probably doing this a couple of times a set, at least.


I disagree with this because of one obvious reason. It's way harder for 3 or more people with instruments to follow the singer, than it is for the singer to follow the music. If a singer drops a cue, how do all the members know what part they are suposed to play next? Actually, the same could be said for any member, if one guitarists screws up, he just listens to the drummer or basist to get back into song. And if the drummer screws up, well, shit happens . But you can't have the majority of the band follow the mistakes of one member. I just don't see how that will work :/
Joža je kul. On ma sirove z dodatki pa hambije.
#9
I think everybody should listen to everybody in a band. You just can't completely ignore what other instruments are playing. In a good band everybody listens to what other instruments do.

I'm the bassist in our instrumental band but I actually pay most attention to what our guitarist does because he plays almost all the melodies and I react to them. It's cool when you hear that somebody plays a cool lick and can react to it.

Of course I need to listen to the drums and the overall groove too. Because if I didn't, my basslines would sound out of place.

And I agree with HotspurJr. If somebody is singing/playing a melody, they're playing the most important role in the band at the 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
#10
I played with a singer - once - who ignored the tempo the band started the song in, closed her eyes, picked her own tempo, and started singing.

Yes, the band needs to support the singer, but the singer is sometimes just plain wrong, wrong, wrong.

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 gorkyporky
I disagree with this because of one obvious reason. It's way harder for 3 or more people with instruments to follow the singer, than it is for the singer to follow the music. If a singer drops a cue, how do all the members know what part they are suposed to play next? /


The problem is that while the guitarist can drop out for a verse and pick it up at the top of the chorus, and the audience will think it's an artistic choice, if the singer tries that then there is no verse and everybody knows it. To the audience - the lyrics often ARE the song.

If you practice, and practice listening to each other, it's not that hard. Bandmates who spend time actively listening to each other develop an incredible intuitive understanding of each other. It's one of those things that just sort of happens, and I can't really explain it - like, how did we all know we were going to go up a 4th there in that jam? But we did. I could relay lots of stories about this kind of thing, about one band member picking up on - and compensating for - another member's mistake with a timing that seems impossible without psychic powers.

I don't mean that we listen to the singer to the exclusion of listening to the other musicians. But for example, in a lot of songs where you've got a straightforward progression, let's say something like C Am F G repeated twice. The singer's supposed to come in on the C, but blows it. So what do you do? The singer comes in on the next C and you all play the progression one more time. This is obvious if you're listening - but if the band is only cuing on the drummer, and the drummer isn't listening to the singer, then the singer's going to be halfway through the verse when everybody shifts to the chorus and it's a train wreck.

This sort of thing really isn't that hard in most rock music - if you're listening.

I played with a singer - once - who ignored the tempo the band started the song in, closed her eyes, picked her own tempo, and started singing.


Well, I wouldn't want to play with her again, either.

But I will say that, you know what? When that happens you play the song in her tempo and yell at her later.
#12
^^^ I'd just keep the band at the usual pace and let the singer catch up.

I have been in situations where one member loses their place before, it could be the bassist and you end up shoutjng out chords, or the singer where you say the words in time to them, kinda like a conversation. I've never slowed the whole band for one person though. It's easier to fix one incorrect element than change the rest to match it.

In an acoustic duo however you have a whole heap of leeway to follow eachother so I guess if there's only two instruments (eg. Guitar and voice) you can chase eachother but any more than that it just sounds messy.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#13
What happened was the drummer kept his own pace, probably hoping the singer would find OUR tempo. The bass player, as is his job, followed the drummer.

As the guitarist, my role is to provide the top end of the rhythm section, but also accompany the singer with some sort of harmonic progression. I was torn. I tried just kinda shooting out chords where I thought they might make some sort of compromised fit, and it just.... didn't... work....

The song degenerated into a 12 bar blues where nobody really felt much like continuing.

Funny thing is, it was actually even worse than this. Before the "screw you, I'm picking my own tempo", this is what happened:

- band starts song measurably fast, but not completely undoable
- singer turns around, holding the mic to her face, and yells to the drummer... "It's too fast!"
- drummer slows down a bit, but not quite enough, apparently.
- singer, into the mic again, turns around - "It's still too fast!"
- drummer slows down a bit more. Arguably, still a bit fast, but not anything the average person would have cued into.
- singer picks on tempo....



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.
#14
Wow, that sounds bad axemanchris. I agree with what was said above about it being important to make the singer look good, but I think you still have to follow the rhythm from the drummer and bassist. I think you only need to follow the singer with regards to song structure. Say for example that the song has two verses then a chorus. If the singer does only one verse then goes into the chorus then everyone should go straight to the chorus because the band will look worse if the singer changes back to the verse than if everyone switches to the chorus.
#15
Quote by kilbie
Wow, that sounds bad axemanchris. I agree with what was said above about it being important to make the singer look good, but I think you still have to follow the rhythm from the drummer and bassist. I think you only need to follow the singer with regards to song structure. Say for example that the song has two verses then a chorus. If the singer does only one verse then goes into the chorus then everyone should go straight to the chorus because the band will look worse if the singer changes back to the verse than if everyone switches to the chorus.

Of course.

You need to listen to your drummer to play in tempo. But that's pretty basic stuff. You don't actually need to actively listen to the drummer to be able to play in tempo. You just kind of feel the tempo. But you need to listen to other guys in the band too, you can't ignore them. I play in a wind band and I really hate guys who can't listen to what other people do. The only thing they do is they stare at the notation in front of them and sometimes look at the conductor. But they don't listen to what other instruments do. And if they are playing the wrong part, they may not even notice it.
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