#1
Me and my friend found out that two others that we know play instruments that would be needed to form a standard metal band. We don't know much about writing our own music, but we thought it would be a good idea to just rip off our favorite bands until we find our own voice and tone. Thoughts? Any other tips you have for a newly formed band?
#2
1 - Work on your performance, nobody will remember you or care if your stage show is dull. That doesn't mean choreography or anything like that, but it does mean knowing how to interact with a crowd, the parts you can safely headbang through without screwing up, where the gaps are in your set for retuning or changing instruments, exactly where your patch or tone changes are (clean to dirty, that kind of stuff). Basically, if it's within your control you should know it like the back of your hand.

2 - Make sure you're tight. Properly tight. Listen to everything you do with a very critical ear and always ask yourself what could be better about it.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
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Last edited by Zaphod_Beeblebr at Apr 23, 2015,
#3
I've been to see a friend's show a few times now and it's a small venue and the drummer is always too damn loud. He says some places are like that, and that it doesn't help that the drummer always sets up in the corner.

As a listener, I just want to enjoy what I'm hearing. I expect loudness but it still has to sound musical. I would say that you should take that part of the job very seriously. Whatever it takes, you gotta sound good. I think your audience will be ten times happier with simple stuff that sounds good and is played well, than if you compose something tricky and it sounds terrible because your sound guy sucks.
#4
Quote by paul.housley.7
I've been to see a friend's show a few times now and it's a small venue and the drummer is always too damn loud. He says some places are like that, and that it doesn't help that the drummer always sets up in the corner.

As a listener, I just want to enjoy what I'm hearing. I expect loudness but it still has to sound musical. I would say that you should take that part of the job very seriously. Whatever it takes, you gotta sound good. I think your audience will be ten times happier with simple stuff that sounds good and is played well, than if you compose something tricky and it sounds terrible because your sound guy sucks.

Sound guy problems are a whole mess of things that are generally out of a band's control unless they have their own sound guy though, sadly. Aside from giving the sound guy a good set of sounds to work with in the first place (which is absolutely something you should do, don't get me wrong), and sound checking well there's really not much you can do. Even sound checks might not be that simple if the venue does something other than live music during the day or their sound guy has another job and is late or whatever.

Playing live can be a real pain in the arse sometimes!
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#5
Quote by paul.housley.7
I've been to see a friend's show a few times now and it's a small venue and the drummer is always too damn loud. He says some places are like that, and that it doesn't help that the drummer always sets up in the corner.

As a listener, I just want to enjoy what I'm hearing. I expect loudness but it still has to sound musical. I would say that you should take that part of the job very seriously. Whatever it takes, you gotta sound good. I think your audience will be ten times happier with simple stuff that sounds good and is played well, than if you compose something tricky and it sounds terrible because your sound guy sucks.


I recently came to the conclusion that almost every local metal band is practically unhearable in a local pub. There's always too much freakin' bass, not just the bass guitar but also in the guitars and the kickdrum. It just a wall of bass and I can't hear any notes.
I'd say back down on bass a lot, put a lot of mids and treble in there. Because otherwise it is just not enjoyable if you have to wonder what the notes are being played.
#6
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
1 - Work on your performance, nobody will remember you or care if your stage show is dull. That doesn't mean choreography or anything like that, but it does mean knowing how to interact with a crowd, the parts you can safely headbang through without screwing up, where the gaps are in your set for retuning or changing instruments, exactly where your patch or tone changes are (clean to dirty, that kind of stuff). Basically, if it's within your control you should know it like the back of your hand.

2 - Make sure you're tight. Properly tight. Listen to everything you do with a very critical ear and always ask yourself what could be better about it.


both points are really good. i'll ad record your practices and then listen to them later. what seemed great at the time may not hold up when you're listeningt later with a more objective ear.

one thing from experience i'll tell you is to keep band practice as just that practice. by that i mean keep the distractions to a minimum. your buddies, girlfriends etc should stay home, same with the partying. once you get a set together and have it down reasonably well then invite them to hear you play. nothing worse than having to put up with people outside the band or wasted band members when your trying to get things done. have fun but be serious when needed.
#7
Quote by slash&angus
I recently came to the conclusion that almost every local metal band is practically unhearable in a local pub. There's always too much freakin' bass, not just the bass guitar but also in the guitars and the kickdrum. It just a wall of bass and I can't hear any notes.
I'd say back down on bass a lot, put a lot of mids and treble in there. Because otherwise it is just not enjoyable if you have to wonder what the notes are being played.

Sadly this is both a condition of the bands and the venues. Metal bands are often all too concerned with their guitars having a lot of low end (for teh br00tz) without realising that this should really nearly all come from the bass. But then it's really not helped by small venues with low ceilings from what I understand about acoustics.

Quote by monwobobbo
both points are really good. i'll ad record your practices and then listen to them later. what seemed great at the time may not hold up when you're listeningt later with a more objective ear.

Yeah, that's a really good point, I think a lot of practice spaces these days double as studios so if they offer a service like it I don't think it tends to be that expensive, so take advantage of it every now and then (once a month or so if you practice every week) and make sure you listen to the recordings properly and identify specific things you need to work on. There is no such thing as a band who can't improve what they do.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
Last edited by Zaphod_Beeblebr at Apr 24, 2015,
#8
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Sadly this is both a condition of the bands and the venues. Metal bands are often all too concerned with their guitars having a lot of low end (for teh br00tz) without realising that this should really nearly all come from the bass. But then it's really not helped by small venues with low ceilings from what I understand about acoustics.


Yeah, that's a really good point, I think a lot of practice spaces these days double as studios so if they offer a service like it I don't think it tends to be that expensive, so take advantage of it every now and then (once a month or so if you practice every week) and make sure you listen to the recordings properly and identify specific things you need to work on. There is no such thing as a band who can't improve what they do.


use whatever you can to record. even if the qulity isn't great it will still at least give you something to listen to. we used a cheap cassette recorder back in the day. you can get those hand held 4 track recorders for a couple hundred bucks that will make suprisingly good qulity recordings. a worthwhile investment for a band.

don't get me going on the brootz thing. i'm guessing if more of those bands recorded themselves and heard what a muddy mess they actually sound like then the whole more bass thing would be fixed
Last edited by monwobobbo at Apr 24, 2015,
#9
Quote by monwobobbo
use whatever you can to record. even if the qulity isn't great it will still at least give you something to listen to. we used a cheap cassette recorder back in the day. you can get those hand held 4 track recorders for a couple hundred bucks that will make suprisingly good qulity recordings. a worthwhile investment for a band.

don't get me going on the brootz thing. i'm guessing if more of those bands recorded themselves and heard what a muddy mess they actually sound like then the whole more bass thing would be fixed

For sure, anything better than a phone will do the job well enough but it's going to be noticeably better if you can get the practice space to put a half decent mic in the middle of the room and record that way. Your point definitely stands though: record practices, listen, improve!

Hahaha, quite probably, but then I've seen more than enough shoddy metal bands who just plain didn't have very articulate playing as well, which really shows up when you're playing a unison line through a tonne of gain. As much as I don't like to admit it... most local level metal bands are composed of people who can't really play well enough for the kind of material they want to write
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#10
Start simple. Learn songs that you know you can play well and play tightly. You are judged more on how well you play together as a band than how well you play as individuals. Don't try writing your own songs until you have learned to play other peoples songs well. You won't have any frame of reference to judge how good or bad your band is until you can play songs that you can all have the same access to and something to compare yourselves to.

Play something lots of people will want to listen to. I can't say this enough. Save the lesser known songs till you have created an audience and established yourself. Those obscure songs you, your fellow band mates and a few friends might enjoy won't get you an audience outside of your personal circle of friends.

One other bit of advice. Band practice is not a sporting event. If you are serious about practicing and getting comfortable at interacting with each other as a band, leave the girlfriends and other observers home. Working with multiple personalities in a band is difficult enough without outsiders offering their opinions or influencing how you and your fellow players will talk and work with each other.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Apr 24, 2015,
#11
It's an awful lot of work to make a band good and tight. There were moments where I had great fun but overall it's never been an enjoyable experience for me. Of course it hurts that I've been extremely unlucky in finding people to play with that weren't dumbasses/douchebags. In a small town, your options are limited. So my advice would be to find competent, mature people to play with that understand and want to sound good.
#12
Quote by jlowe22
It's an awful lot of work to make a band good and tight. There were moments where I had great fun but overall it's never been an enjoyable experience for me. Of course it hurts that I've been extremely unlucky in finding people to play with that weren't dumbasses/douchebags. In a small town, your options are limited. So my advice would be to find competent, mature people to play with that understand and want to sound good.


and good luck with that . bands are work no doubt. finding people that you can get along with on a personal level and a musical level isn't easy. been in more than 1 band that got together learned a set maybe played one or two gigs (usually for next to nothing) and then broke up cuz (fill in member here) had a huge ego trip or his girlfriend said he'd be better off without band and so on.....
#13
The ego trips are really the death sentence for almost every band I've ever been a part of. Creative differences played a big role as well. The thing is I will gladly play almost any genre, and will even play bass as competent bass players are rarer that guitar players, and yet still would clash with someone's point of view. I get along with most everybody but put us in the same room with a guitar in our hands and it becomes a war zone for reasons I can't understand or explain.
#14
Quote by jlowe22
The ego trips are really the death sentence for almost every band I've ever been a part of. Creative differences played a big role as well. The thing is I will gladly play almost any genre, and will even play bass as competent bass players are rarer that guitar players, and yet still would clash with someone's point of view. I get along with most everybody but put us in the same room with a guitar in our hands and it becomes a war zone for reasons I can't understand or explain.


musicians are egotistical to a point for sure, some way more than others. you do have to have some ego just to have the balls to get up and play so that's just part of the deal. many players are really insecure so they feel the need to one up others etc. some suck and just don't know it.

creative differences is an intersting topic all to itself. finding people on the same page there is defintitely key to being in an band that plays original material. definitely sucks to join a band and then find out that one or two of the other guys writes all the songs and won't even listen to any of your input or play your material. these things need to be worked out up front and honestly. musical direction is another thing that needs to be agreed on at the beginning (and as an on going thing). if one guy wants to be the next motley crue but evryone else wants to be Rush then you know you'll have issues.

if you start the band and have a style and direction then make sure everyone is on board and believes in that.
#15
Quote by monwobobbo
musicians are egotistical to a point for sure, some way more than others. you do have to have some ego just to have the balls to get up and play so that's just part of the deal. many players are really insecure so they feel the need to one up others etc. some suck and just don't know it.

creative differences is an intersting topic all to itself. finding people on the same page there is defintitely key to being in an band that plays original material. definitely sucks to join a band and then find out that one or two of the other guys writes all the songs and won't even listen to any of your input or play your material. these things need to be worked out up front and honestly. musical direction is another thing that needs to be agreed on at the beginning (and as an on going thing). if one guy wants to be the next motley crue but evryone else wants to be Rush then you know you'll have issues.

if you start the band and have a style and direction then make sure everyone is on board and believes in that.


I just gave up on the band thing. I'm building a studio and just recording all the instruments myself. That's the beauty of today's world, technology can let you become a one man band. That being said, I'm not opposed to playing with others, but it's unlikely we would be on the same page.
#16
I like the idea of recording myself as well. But I rather enjoy playing live and getting other ideas from other people.
My gear
Ibanez RGA42E (6-string), Ibanez RG7421 (7-string w/Dimarzio Evo 7 and Ionizer), ESP LTD MH-50 w/floyd rose
Flashback Delay, Digitech RP1000
Marshall JCM2000 Dsl 100
Marshall 1960a W/ Eminence Governors and Patriot Red White Blues
#17
Quote by Xerosnake90
I like the idea of recording myself as well. But I rather enjoy playing live and getting other ideas from other people.


It's great if you find the right people. Some of my fondest memories involve playing with others, but it can be a outright pain in the ass at times too. Oftentimes, it's great for a while and then something causes it to go south and it never recovers.
#18
Quote by jlowe22
I just gave up on the band thing. I'm building a studio and just recording all the instruments myself. That's the beauty of today's world, technology can let you become a one man band. That being said, I'm not opposed to playing with others, but it's unlikely we would be on the same page.


i have a home recording setup as well. nothing fancy but it works. (some results found in profile link). it is great to just try out ideas and have control over the music. also gives you plenty of insight into recording which can be a bit of an eye opener as well.

playing with others is great fun most of the time. i miss it and if work schedule allows i may get into a band of sorts at some point down the road. moe to have fun this time rather than to try to persue the "rock star" dream.
#19
Quote by jlowe22
It's great if you find the right people. Some of my fondest memories involve playing with others, but it can be a outright pain in the ass at times too. Oftentimes, it's great for a while and then something causes it to go south and it never recovers.


Sounds like any relationship with unsolveable differences. To be honest I've only played live with a cover band, joining them for a couple of songs. Was a great time, never went through song writing with another group. I'm working on getting a band going with some friends/people I know. I'm excited to see the kind of sound we can come up with. I'm open for anything really.

Of course, playing live is still such a rush. The first time I stepped up and got past my nerves it became something I loved doing.
My gear
Ibanez RGA42E (6-string), Ibanez RG7421 (7-string w/Dimarzio Evo 7 and Ionizer), ESP LTD MH-50 w/floyd rose
Flashback Delay, Digitech RP1000
Marshall JCM2000 Dsl 100
Marshall 1960a W/ Eminence Governors and Patriot Red White Blues
#20
Quote by Xerosnake90
Sounds like any relationship with unsolveable differences. To be honest I've only played live with a cover band, joining them for a couple of songs. Was a great time, never went through song writing with another group. I'm working on getting a band going with some friends/people I know. I'm excited to see the kind of sound we can come up with. I'm open for anything really.

Of course, playing live is still such a rush. The first time I stepped up and got past my nerves it became something I loved doing.


It's definitely a rush, I enjoyed that aspect of it at first. But the rush left me after a while of playing the same mediocre crap every night. I live in an area where you are forced to play pop country or hip hop, and i refuse to play either ever again. We had plenty of originals but no one gives a damn about your originals whether they're any good or not, especially if the girls can't dance to it.
#21
Nothing makes you a better player than playing live. If you plan to make music a full time or part time vocation you need to be open to playing anything in any style. Not because you love that particular type of music but because it makes you better as a player. You also won't grow as a musician by playing in the same genre all the time. Playing different styles forces you to learn chords and scales that you won't encounter if you just limit yourself to playing one or two styles of music. Playing in any style also gives you the opportunity to network with other musicians and could lead you to better opportunities like studio work where diversity is a "must have". Eddie Van Halen started his music career on piano playing piano and entering classical piano competitions (see the EVH interview at the Smithsonian he recently did on YouTube). Steve Vai, John Petrucci and many other great players are graduates of Berkeley School of Music and are players who can work in any style. Jason Newsted of Metallica did a jazz album with Lou Pallo of the Les Paul Trio. The great country singer guitarist Vince Gill does a smoking lead on Alice Cooper's album "Welcome to My Nightmare 2". The list is long of great players who made it a point to play anything in any style and get better at their craft.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Apr 28, 2015,
#22
Quote by Rickholly74
Nothing makes you better player than playing live. If you plan to make music a full time or part time vocation you need to be open to playing anything in any style. Not because you love that particular type of music but because it makes you better as a player. You also won't grow as a musician by playing in the same genre all the time. Playing different styles forces you to learn chords and scales that you won't encounter if you just limit yourself to playing one or two styles of music. Playing in any style also gives you the opportunity to network with other musicians and could lead you to better opportunities like studio work where diversity is a "must have". Eddie Van Halen started his music career on piano playing piano and entering classical piano competitions (see the EVH interview at the Smithsonian he recently did on YouTube). Steve Vai, John Petrucci and many other great players are graduates of Berkeley School of Music and are players who can work in any style. Jason Newsted of Metallica did a jazz album with Lou Pallo of the Les Paul Trio. The great country singer guitarist Vince Gill does a smoking lead on Alice Cooper's album "Welcome to My Nightmare 2". The list is long of great players who made it a point to play anything in any style and get better at their craft.

Just as a completely irrelevant point of fact: John Petrucci didn't graduate from Berklee
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#23
Thanks for correcting that. I see on his bio he attended Berkeley but it doesn't say he graduated.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.