So after 30 years of playing guitars I have finally decided to join a band. Up until around five years ago I was a bass player, but I got more and more interested in rhythm guitar that I have taken the plunge and will be joining as their new rhythm guitar player.

The band play a mix of covers from 50s through to present day and I was presented four weeks ago with a set list of 39 tracks, only one of which I knew previously. I have practiced hard and I can now play at least 30 of the tracks to a level that I am comfortable with. There are obvious embelishments that I can learn and add as I go forwards.

The vocalist, lead guitarist and bass player in the band have been together for 15 years, but I am joining together with a new drummer.

My concern is my inexperience in a band environment. Has anyone got any tips to consider as I make this leap! Any do's and don'ts? I am certainly not one for trying to showboat, so I am planning on being a solid player until i learn the songs more.

Finally, several of the songs that I am not confident with are Ska style songs and being a more rock/metal influenced player the style is quite different. Can anyone recommend a good learning source? I have been on Youtube quite a bit, but experience from this community would really help me.

First rehearsal tonight! - wish me luck.

Have fun! I've improved so much by playing in bands so don't worry about not being good enough, you'll get better. As for practice, playing along with songs has always worked best for me.
No.1 piece of advice is don't panic...

I find that ska rhythms tend to sort themselves out once you have a solid bass and drum groove to sit on and is sort of a perpetual motion thing, just don't stop to overthink it..
Shut up and play your guitar!
Quote by plbrynt
No.1 piece of advice is don't panic...

I find that ska rhythms tend to sort themselves out once you have a solid bass and drum groove to sit on and is sort of a perpetual motion thing, just don't stop to overthink it..


Play close attention to the drums (especially the bass drum) and the bass, and it should be easy enough play ska rhythm. Also make sure your muting is good on your left hand, for all those ghost notes.
Quote by Xiaoxi
The Byzantine scale was useful until the Ottoman scale came around and totally annihilated it.
Don't panic is good. But LISTEN to your band mates as well.

I know that seems obvious but you'd be surprised how little that happens, and everyone just winds up playing their own version of the song at once.

Work with your teammates and make their problems go away, and you won't have any yourself.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
Just relax man. First rehearsal always sucks.
Thanks everyone. It went much better than I expected, they were a bit rusty too and so as I had been practising like hell it was fine. I even managed a couple of ska tracks after some discussion. Now I have lots of additional work to do on different songs.
practice makes perfect. Both at home on your own to play the songs and then with the band as well. As regular as possible at first (atleast weekly with the band - any less frequent than that is not much use). Sounds like it went well though - good luck !
Ska is taking its time to master. That off beat strumming and muting takes some coordination!
I had a nightmare at last nights rehearsal - disappointed with my performance 😩
So an update for all those in a similar position to me - I now have only one track in our set list that I need to master (Mr Brightside by the Killers) and I have learnt my parts on the rest.

A few times I learnt a part that my co-guitarist was already playing, so had to switch to playing lead and then there are a few tracks where I have learnt it exactly to the song but found the band playing at a lower step, or they have modified the chord structure a little - that's the fun of playing in a band I have realised!!

Rehearsals are going very well, although I've been having problems with hearing my amp. Its plenty loud and I normally only have it on volume 2 in the rehearsal room, but the acoustics and its position have meant I needed to buy an amp stand.

So from all of your comments, I can agree that:

- my playing has improved immensely, way further than I could have imagined.
- I have practised so much every night to get there
- I am now going to start backing vocals and guitar together!!

On to another rehearsal... next stop a gig!
^^^^ That's awesome all is going well. To hear you amp better:

(a) tilt it so that the speaker is facing your head, rather than your feet; and
(b) experiment with your tone. Quite often a tone that sounds great in the bedroom can get lost in the mix when you introduce other instruments.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.