#1
I have recently started teaching myself to play the guitar, and would like to start a band in the future. I have always wanted to be in a band, and think it would be a great opportunity to meet some people with similar interests to me.

That being said, what level of playing should one be at to play in a band. I know that you could start playing at any level, and I want to start playing with other people as soon as possible, but what are some basic things that you should know (eg. chords, techniques, amount of songs, etc.). I play the piano, so I know a lot of music theory already. It's mostly the playing that needs work.


Thanks
#2
You need to be able to play in time, and play a chord sequence (ideally a whole song) without having to look at a chord sheet. Of course, you need to be at a similar level to the other people in the band, so you can follow what they're doing, or they can follow what you're doing. But you can have a band of absolute beginners, and it will sound OK provided they all play in time with each other, and play the same chord at the same time.

IOW, it's never too soon to get out and play with other people - you just have to find people who are roughly at your level, and share some of your tastes. And it also helps that you like them, get on with them socially. Some would say that's more important than shared musical skills. (I was asked to join my first band before I could play any instrument at all - because they were all my schoolfriends, and they knew I could learn what I needed once I was in the band. And I did.)

Obviously the more skilled you are, the more choices you will have of who you can play with, and the more in demand you will be as a potential band member. But then you learn a hell of a lot of useful stuff just as a beginner in band - if you can find a bunch of folks who will accept you. (Being able to play piano as well as guitar already gives you extra points . In fact, I'd say a competent pianist is way more desirable to a band than a beginner guitarist. Beginner guitarists are ten a penny. The theory may or may not come in handy...)
Last edited by jongtr at Sep 29, 2016,
#3
Start now if you can find people at your skill level - you will collectively improve a lot faster if you are in a band - it's more motivating and learning to play with others is invaluable experience.
#4
If you can play along with a drummer, you're good enough to jam. When I was a beginner, I didn't know how to play with random drum beats, so drummers played along with me...which really isn't right, but those were short jam sessions of me playing riffs I knew with a drummer in the room.

My first band and I would print out fretboard diagrams of scales (search google bassstudy fretboard printer,) and just play nonsense, it'd sound good, and sometimes terrible, but it was fun. The fretboard pages are useful if your bandmates have no understanding of theory, it'll help them pick up on scale patterns faster too. The drummer had 4 months of learning, the bassist had like a month of me teaching him before the drummer joined. We learned two covers and recorded some of the pick a random scale jams and put a few on myspace, then we found a singer, I wrote 7 original songs, including lyrics, before we split. I'd never written a full original song before that, Just saying if you're in a place where there's not a lot of musicians, you might end up starting with people you'll have to teach along the way.

There used to be jam sites where you could pick out a drumbeat, key, and chord progression to jam over, but I haven't used one in so long idk if they still exist. Try practicing with backing tracks, just drum beats, or with drums and chord progressions, knowing theory puts you at a huge advantage, unless you want to stick to covers https://www.google.com/search?q=guitar+jam+along+online&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

Part of the reason I stopped picking up a real guitar and started composing was because it's not nearly as fun as it is with a drummer, I get sick of listening to me by myself with one instrument. That's when I composed music alone, and now sometimes I get work for like, videogame composing and stuff.

Also keep going on that piano along with guitar, synthesizers can really help you understand the production side of DAWs and digital recording. My production/music writing process with be way different if I could play piano. Guitar sample banks, like shreddage, and elect6ity have gotten pretty sophisticated, but nothing beats real guitar, just saying it's also a route you could take with a digital audio workstation if you wanted to compose entire songs yourself.
Last edited by stratkat at Sep 29, 2016,
#5
I agree with all the above. Start as soon as you feel you have the ability to move smoothly from one chord to another and you have your basic chords down. Find others who are near your level or hopefully two steps better so you can learn and get practical experience. A band offers you a chance to interact with others. It's often as much social as musical and you get a whole new world of friends who are musicians. I met most of my closest friends through various bands I have been in.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.