#1
Hey, all! I've been wanting to start my own band, but I am not one to socialize/collaborate with other members. I'm looking more toward starting an emo punk band. Any tips? I already have a name but I'm afraid it won't sound right for a one-man gathering, you know?

Do you guys know of any modern rock bands that can pull it off with one man? Also how would I perform live?
#2
You'd basically have to play along to a backing track, which will limit what you can do on stage in terms of ad libbing etc, making the show feel extremely sterile and visually unappealing.

If you want to be taken seriously as a band, you'd be far better off having a band.

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#3
One-man bands have a proud history as street performers - traditionally using acoustic instruments of course, so not exactly "rock".

Naturally modern technology offers lots more opportunity, although - for llive performance - backing tracks are obviously cheating, and loopers might also be looked down on by purists.
Juzzie Smith is continuing the true tradition - using amps (so "rock" in that sense at least), but still playing everything himself in real time:
Last edited by jongtr at Nov 29, 2016,
#4
Would I go see a punk show that's just one guy playing guitar and singing? Honestly no. Solo music works when it's in the proper format, like singer-songwriter or voice/piano, but emo punk? You sure you can't find even a drummer to play with?

Despite what Jon is trying to say, backing tracks are fine, but it would still be kind of lame. If you had a drummer you would at least look like a serious act. A studio only project, sure, that would work, but in a live setting it just seems odd. You'd need wicked skills in marketing and socializing to get people to come to your shows, and even then it might be hard to keep up a good show all by yourself.

I remember this one guy, with a project called Mylets, that's basically one man rock. There are plenty of acoustic acts of course, and studio-only one man projects, but I can't really think of a gigging rock solo act.
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#5
The problem is that I work better by myself because with other band members my ideas aren't really respected, plus the area I live in doesn't really have many drummers who listen to what you tell them and understand what you're wanting them to do. I would prefer to be in control, but if I had to, I guess I could hire people specifically to play the accompaniment I've written at the gigs.
#6
I have written and recorded whole songs before so that's not impossible for me
Last edited by xMCR.for.Lifex at Nov 29, 2016,
#7
if you have unlimited money and are willing to either a) dumb down your compositions or b) work your fucking ass off to optimize your efficiency, or more likely both, then a one man band is feasible

or you can be low-fi singer songwriter or something i guess. but it's deceptively difficult and you hit diminishing returns quickly on how much you can do with a set budget

and even if you are a one-man band, are you trying to carry all that stuff and do all your merch by yourself? that's asking to get robbed.
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#8
I would suggest either working your material down to something that sounds good as a solo act, or learning how to work with other people. One-man bands don't usually make it any further than playing street corners.
#9
Quote by xMCR.for.Lifex
The problem is that I work better by myself because with other band members my ideas aren't really respected,

Then so far you haven't found the right band members. Also, you need to respect their ideas as well - a band is a band, always remember there's no 'I' in team.

Quote by xMCR.for.Lifex
plus the area I live in doesn't really have many drummers who listen to what you tell them and understand what you're wanting them to do.

You mean you just haven't found the right one yet. Any good drummer can do this, but as I said above, you have to respect their input as well.

Quote by xMCR.for.Lifex
I would prefer to be in control, but if I had to, I guess I could hire people specifically to play the accompaniment I've written at the gigs.

Based on what I've gained about your attitude towards things, this is your only option if you aren't willing to compromise. I hope you've got enough budget to pay hundreds of £/$/whatevers every time you get a gig that pays you a fraction of what your band will cost you.

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#10
Quote by xMCR.for.Lifex
I have written and recorded whole songs before so that's not impossible for me
As the others are saying, it comes down to two choices. Well, three, actually:

1. Be a solo performer. Vocal and guitar. Any good song is still good when played and sung by only person. You may need to edit your songs to get them to work with one guitar and voice, but they will probably be the better for it. Using a looper is cool, as I said - takes practice, but can make for impressive solo performances.
Billy Bragg played solo with electric guitar (he's more acoustic these days):
K T Tunstall makes good use of a looper:
(You don't have to like their music, it's just showing what can work.)

2. Form a band - or join a band. Soon as you like. Learn to negotiate all the personality issues, and/or be patient while looking for the people you get on with best. (You wouldn't marry the first girl you meet, right? You need to try several out. Same with bands... except you don't have to sleep with them....)

3. Be a one-man band - trying to play different instruments at the same time - and accept it will have mostly comedy value. Hey, it's all showbiz!
Last edited by jongtr at Nov 30, 2016,
#11
Quote by xMCR.for.Lifex
but I am not one to socialize/collaborate with other members.


^Good luck trying to make art for a living then.

+1 to Jons advice; he beat me to it.
"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
#12
Quote by xMCR.for.Lifex
The problem is that I work better by myself because with other band members my ideas aren't really respected, plus the area I live in doesn't really have many drummers who listen to what you tell them and understand what you're wanting them to do. I would prefer to be in control, but if I had to, I guess I could hire people specifically to play the accompaniment I've written at the gigs.


1) being in a band is infinitely more fun and motivating for the players and the audience than a one-man show. If you walk on stage and play to a backing track after a full band just played a set, the enthusiasm level in that audience will plummet. Good luck booking shows without a band - it's going to be insanely difficult. If you can't even round up a few players to play in a band, good luck rounding up an audience.

2) a good drummer will come up with much better parts than you can write - same goes for bass. It's hard to think like a drummer or a bass player if you don't have an enormous amount of experience playing those instruments, and so the parts you come up with, as a guitar player, will be simplistic in comparison to a dedicated player. In other words, your music will sound better if you team up with good players.

3) Controlling and micromanaging come at an enormous cost. No one wants to be in a band with a control freak who is dictating everything, especially when there is zero money involved. Bands require compromises on parts, songs, and all kinds of other issues - it comes with the territory. I've played with two lead singers who had the messianic complex, and guess what - they both aren't doing anything because no one wants to play their music - it's buzzkill playing in projects like that, and not at all worth it considering all the volunteer hours being in a band requires.

4) The practical reality of being in band is that the players normally learn the parts as written and then modify them to taste after jamming them a lot. For a drummer that probably means changing the fills and maybe adding variety where there is too much repetition. I've never played with musicians who simply refused to learn a part and insisted on playing something completely out of context.
#13
Quote by xMCR.for.Lifex
I am not one to socialize/collaborate with other members.
That's OK, IMO. JP implies that prevents you making art for a living, but it never stood in the way of painters, sculptors, poets, novelists...

And it never stood in the way of solo musicians either.

If you just want to make music in your bedroom, for yourself alone, I wouldn't be wasting my time posting. But I'm guessing you want to share it with others somehow. You may not want to socialize with fellow musicians, but you appreciate that music has a social function, as a communication from you to an audience. (In a sense it's your way of expressing yourself, communicating what you want to say, yes?)

You just seem to be stuck in this notion that you need a band around you. You don't. (Or, as I said, if it's your dream to have a band, then you just have to put up with all the hassles that come with the territory.)

As you said later:
Quote by xMCR.for.Lifex

I would prefer to be in control, but if I had to, I guess I could hire people specifically to play the accompaniment I've written at the gigs.
You could indeed. Some solo artists do work like that.
But any accompanists worth your while will want paying, every time. Probably more money than you will be making. I.e., you have to be prepared to invest in your future, financially, a whole lot more than the average amateur musician/band member does. You'd be very lucky to find musicians prepared to work with you for nothing, who were actually any good (who would play your music the way you want). If they don't want paying, they'll either expect some kind of collaboration - or they simply won't be any good.
If you really are prepared to pay pro quality musicians, you needn't worry they'll look down on you as an amateur. But they will expect clear instructions, signs that you really know what you're doing, and can give them clear parts to play.
Last edited by jongtr at Nov 30, 2016,
#14
Quote by jongtr


3. Be a one-man band - trying to play different instruments at the same time - and accept it will have mostly comedy value. Hey, it's all showbiz!


nothing funny about the footdrum

https://www.footdrums.com/
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#15
Quote by Hail
nothing funny about the footdrum

https://www.footdrums.com/


...

Maybe it's my sense of humour...

BTW, I like comedy music. The great appeal of punk was it was funny. EMO punk, now I'm not so sure....
Last edited by jongtr at Nov 30, 2016,