#1
Hi. I've been playing guitar for a while now, as I started playing on an acoustic about 4 years ago, and since I've been involved with playing music, I had an idea of starting a rock band and writing my own songs. As time passed, this became my primary life "plan", my only ambition, I began exploring all sorts of ways how to get there, I've been writing instrumentals, words, riffs, I've spent more time with a guitar than most people spend watching TV. And since I really listened to and love a wide variety of music genres, from punk to reggae, I developed an idea of a band which is musically, multi-genre. I've always loved the Clash for instance, they had raw punk songs, but also did poppy stuff, love songs, etc.

And I know it sounds funny, but I literally have it all figured out. I've written about 50 songs, and they're not just sketches. They're finished songs. And I love them. Some more and some less. They're original, and I think that I just need to get them out. I feel like it would be a shame if I don't. But the problem is, I know 0 people who are as interested in being in a band as I am. Like, having it your one and only thing, practicing atleast every other day. That's one problem. I'm talking about not giving a damn about getting payed, I'm talking about having people who trust me that one day we'll be a proper people band. Not just a media band or a commercial band. And getting people involved in this is relatively crazy, since no one will join a band that doesn't expect to play payed gigs right away.

The second problem is the equipment. I've been playing on shitty and borrowed equipment. I don't have a proper amp, I don't have a proper guitar (I have a Squier strat anda mini amp), my soon-to-be bassist doesn't have an amp either, the drummer is no where to be found etc.). And then there's the practicing place as well. How do bands handle this? We're all living in a city, in apartments, so practicing at home is a no-go. There's only one proper place for practicing and it's booked by bands who can afford it.

I've always told myself, you'll start a band next year, next year, next year, but nothing is changing! I just write more songs and get myself deeper in this ambition and I have a feeling I can't get out of it. It's really the weirdest thing ever. I have a NEED to play, is it normal? If I don't play like 2 hours a day, I feel like it's been a waste of a day. I think about chord progressions and melodies alot. It's haunting. But I love it though. I feel like I'm meant to play in a band, I even have a name for it, I even know exactly in what order I'll publish albums, I have everything, except the most basic things. What do you guys suppose I should do?
#2
They beg steal or borrow money to buy half decent amps.
Don't worry about the guitar a Squire is fine.
They find somewhere to practice for cheap, a farmer's barn, a pub room, a youth centre, YMCA, church rooms - if you're young/religous enough. Failing that a headphone amp / mixer solution.
Look at ads in your local music shop for people / places to rehearse etc.
It's not easy but people do it.
#3
Please please PLEASE just watch this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSiv45KEFGY

I've been playing in bar bands for way too long to not agree with this man 100%


Let me tell it straight. For many gigs - I play through a Fender G-Dec modeling amp: AKA, absolutely NOT a tone monster that makes things perfect. But it sure as **** gets the job done, it's a lot easier to transport, and I get paid just the same.

(not to mention that I use this same little modeling amp, that I bought used for like 200, at bars, weddings, etc. Playing rock, jazz, blues, and I've even plugged my classical guitar in a few times because why the hell not?)
Last edited by DrJT at Sep 9, 2015,
#4
@PSimonR Thanks mate, I'll try and get myself out there. I have to admit, I don't like ads and stuff like that, I like to know who I'm working with. And where I'm from, well, let's just say that the whole music thing is mainly folk singers or wedding bands, and if you're not one or the other, then going with an ad is just not the right way I do know a couple of rock cafes and stuff like that where I know most of the people, so putting up an ad of sorts there wouldn't be a bad shot. And I know a Squier is fine, I just haven't had pleasant experiences. It's like people don't look at you the same way after you say you own a Squier, like you're not a serious guitarist or whatever. Though I get pretty nice tones out of it and it's more than enough for starters. It's a strat, and I imagine 90% of the audience not even noticing it, or giving a fk about it (refering to the video down below ), because it looks like an expensive, standard electric guitar. Later on I plan on buying myself a blacktop Tele, that's sort of my dream guitar. Anyway, thanks for your input.

@DrJT I watched it and I realize how much I overthink some stuff. I haven't even had my first gig yet and I'm worried about not having expensive equipment. Plus the guy is hilarious and has great videos and tips. Thanks for this, it made my day
#5
As nice as it is to think "I don't need money, I have music" - most people need money. I need money, and to get money I have to work 5 days a week. The other people in my bands also need money and also need to work. Aiming to practice properly every other day is very unrealistic, finding people who are prepared to drop everything else in their life just to play in some amateur band will be very very difficult. Look instead for people who love playing music and you'll have a lot more success.
#6
I had a similar problem. My band went through 4 drummers, and I think about 9 bassists. Me and the singer always wrote/did almost everything from the start, and we realized with the amount of time we put in, almost nobody else we could find was willing to put in the effort, especially into a project that we started. We ended up becoming a 3 piece by finding a drummer who was interested in working hard at music, which wasnt easy.

Finding people in ads looking for a band isnt really the way to go in my experience. I haven't found anyone on there except people who just want to jam once or twice a month, and maybe a show once a month. If youre going to college, try asking around the music based courses. Try going to local shows and talk to some bands. You'd be surprised how many people are looking for a new band to jam with.

And like the others have said, you don't need amazing gear to play live, most small venue's sound setups arent good enough for anyone to notice a difference. Alot of places mic amps to the pa, but in a larger venue without that option you may need a more powerful amp than a mini amp.

As for a place to jam, my band briefly rented a storage unit and jammed there. most storage units have their own power and are fairly cheap. I know a few bands from my area who have done this without problems.
Amp:
Vox AC30
Guitars:
Fender Telecaster, Fender Jaguar
Keyboards:
Roland Juno 106, Nord Lead 2X, Yamaha DX7
Drums:
Roland TR-707
#7
I honesty think you need to dial down the intensity and open yourself up more. Be more realistic. As someone else has said, people need money and most aspiring musicians need some form of financial support. Not everyone can live off mum and dad until the "make it".

Also, you need dial down your over planning as this maybe off putting to any potential band members. You state you've written a ton of songs and already know the album order? What that says to potential members is that they should give up everything for a band where they'll have no creative input. The songs are done and the albums sorted.

If you want to go down the full "been a full time band" route then it needs to be a equal creative journey for all members. That way everyone feels they have the same amount invested. They'll be more committed to something they helped create.

In terms of finding band members. Just get out there and meet people, place ads and be open to meeting and collaborating with different types of people. Be more open to there ideas and their ambitions.

Finally, as its 2015 and you have a ton of songs, there's nothing stopping you from going solo and starting your musical journey online. Buy a used SM57 and start recording, post them online, do some videos and promote your music. Even if this is temporary, you will find it easier to find other musicians if you have some demos of your music.

All the best mate.
Last edited by FrontmanShields at Sep 12, 2015,
#8
OK rhetorical question.

Do you know how many good musicians never play to a live audience?

No, neither do I, but it is definitely more than half, much more than half. If you include those who only play to friends or at open mics then I'd guess that 90% never get round to playing more than a handful of gigs. Many never get to play with a band even. Sad but true.

You have to be pragmatic to play in a band, that's kind of why there is a bandleading forum, it's about practical problems.

So how keen are you to play with other people and how keen are you to play live? Will you compromise and if so do you have any lines in the sand you won't cross? You see I'm a live musician, I gig regularly and get paid for it and I have been since I started playing just about. I'm not a good musician and I'm not fussy about what I play, I just like working with other musicians, I love an audience and I don't have a big musical ego.

You look like a guy who is competent at least as a musician and who will practice forever. The thing you need to go along with that is the ability to work with other musicians and to develop your skills as a live act. That's a whole second set of things to learn which is completely separate from playing the guitar. So perhaps you should look at how in a practical sense you could develop those skills. Could you join someone else's band and play their music, not because it is an aim in itself but because you need the experience to get where you want to be? There's nothing wrong with playing with a band for a year or two to gain experience, even if it isn't your first choice of music. You say you like a wide range of styles so it shouldn't need to be something you'll hate, You'll learn far more than you can ever imagine just by being in a band, any band, well, any gigging band.

Good luck.
#9
+1 on Phil's comments. Just get out and play.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.