#1
Hi all, hope you're well.

Me and my newly formed band are going to go to a rehearsal studio tomorrow and have our first practice together and I'm a little bit nervous. Here's some context...

Just over a year ago iI sent out an ad in Gumtree looking for a violinist for a band I was starting, got one, she became my girlfriend and we tried our best to make the band work (4 other friends in it too). Unfortunately after a bit of trying there were a couple members who clearly weren't into it so I just let it die out.
Over the past few months, me and her have been talking about starting up a new, simpler band. Since she's been learning bass I got two other members from the older band to play in a new one.
To clarify, I have several years playing in bands (and so do the other band members) and have (and currently) play with the others in different bands.

However, I'm quite anxious about what to do at the practice tomorrow. We've discussed 5 cover songs we'll play then and that's all good, got lyrics and chord sheets for them. But I'm very very eager to get our own songs going too (the drummer and my girlfriend understand that, keyboardist I think he does but can be difficult to tell sometimes) so I'm wondering how best to approach this? Either very informally and just a 'jam' or to get up and go like pros or something.
I think I'm just worried that the other members might start to wonder what they're doing here or what the point in it is, but that's probably very stupid to think.

Anyway, a long post I know but I just want to hear others' opinions. I've been in this situation before but it's been so long (just over half a year) since I've been in a practice with a band as the guitarist/lead singer with the possibility of new material, or on stage as the frontman. I feel like I'm out of practice!
#2
Hi dude

At practice play the songs you agreed to learn.

Then all have a talk about what you want to do as a band. Have a discussion about whether you want to be originals or covers? Can't be both.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#3
Quote by AlanHB


At practice play the songs you agreed to learn.


Yeah. Don't whip up surprise songs (especially if the other members seem to dislike it), and if you've agreed to play a certain song(s), practice that one/those. Don't spend your rehearsal practicing the songs - practice them at home, so you can play them together as soon as possible.

I also agree on the discussion. Make sure everyone is on the same page and happy with your direction.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#4
With people who don't know each other 5 songs is probably plenty, if you feel at the end of working those songs everyone wants to jam then fall back on something you all know or with a very simple chord structure, but remember other people will be nervous too and don't push it if someone seems uncomfortable.

Alan is right you are either essentially a covers band (lot's of paid live work but limited to songs the audiences know and love) or an originals band (musically rewarding but harder to find gigs and audiences unless you are really good or lucky) Most originals bands will do a couple of covers ( including just about every name band you know) and a lot of covers bands slip in a song of their own every now and again but you can do a 90/10 mix not 50/50. I know of the odd band who go out under different names for their originals and covers sets with the covers paying for the rest of their output, but that's a lot of songs to get on top of.

Decide before you meet what you and your partner want to do and be straight with the other musicians. You don't want to spend the next two years bashing square pegs into round holes. If there is unresolved tension about where you are headed you just won't get there.
#5
Phil Starr Hi Phil, thanks! We do all know each other quite well now, we're all on a comfortable basis with each other so rehearsals won't be awkward or anything. I agree that I shouldn't push people too much, since this'll be our first time playing as a unit!
My main aim is to play songs I've written with the band and maybe a few covers. My ideal is to have lots of covers in the backburner to just pull out of the 'hat' at a gig if needs be. I currently play in a Ska covers band with the keyboardist so we have an idea of the kind of song an audience wants to hear and when.
The idea i had was to just have these songs to get us off the ground and practice playing together so 'gelling' together with originals will be easier further down the line - I've chatted to the drummer about this and he's very happy with it.
Honestly, the response I got from most of the band in regards to what we're playing is pretty much "I'm just happy to get out and play something!".

Feeling less anxious today, just quite excited to play these songs and see how they sound, if they go well and we have time left then a jam may begin.

I'll post in this thread what the result is! :P
#6
arionxenos It sounds like you want to be a cover band dude. There's a heavy emphasis on learning covers.

Or is your aim to be one of those bands that say they are an originals band but play mostly covers.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#7
Quote by arionxenos
Phil StarrThe idea i had was to just have these songs to get us off the ground and practice playing together so 'gelling' together with originals will be easier further down the line - I've chatted to the drummer about this and he's very happy with it.


Maybe its just me, but i found that playing covers and writing original songs have little to do with each other. While playing covers, you are all pretty sure what you need to play beucase the songs are already written and arranged. But writing originals is a different thing entirely, because egos can clash quite a bit when two or more people have different ideas. Sure, learning a few covers from the start does help the band get of the ground and at least have something to do, instead of launching head first into writing originals, without really knowing the others skill level or mode of operation. But every cover you learn will take time to get down properly. Time that could be used to write and refine your originals. Ive seen a bunch of bands start this way, and then one and a half year in, instead of having a solid set of originals with like 4 covers thrown in, they have two hours worth of cover songs and one bad original. Because if you dont write songs a lot, you dont learn how to write them well.

Dont get me wrong, i dont think there is anything wrong with cover bands, and if you are a good one, it can earn you quite a lot of money, and you can have very fun gigs. But ive never seen a band that has a bunch of good originals songs, while also knowing a huge set of cover songs. Its either covers+1 or 2 originals or a set of originals+2 or 3 cover songs. It just comes down to time, beucase learning 50 covers by heart is obviously gonna take time to learn.
Joža je kul. On ma sirove z dodatki pa hambije.
#8
Yo guys, thanks for the replies. Happy new year too!

I think a couple of you got the wrong end of the stick. Bands aren't as black and white as EITHER a cover or originals band. PLENTY of 'originals' bands (ie everyone we listen to) have/had lots of covers in their arsenal. I am in two separate covers bands and yeah it's a completely different market you're looking at. I am ITCHING to play songs I've written with a band, it's been too long.
The idea to start with covers is to just get us off the ground and see how we gel together. Like I said, I've played with the others in different bands and they've played with each other, we're all good friends, so I know each person's ability and I know how to get the best out of them (at times).

The rehearsal was great, we did some covers and messed around and 'jammed' a fair bit which was very good, feeling great, we had a really good rhythm going and locked into a song very quickly. This bodes well for the future and I've already been sending ideas to my girlfriend who consistently gives good advice on the songs. We haven't rehearsed since because it was an awkward time of year (Christmas) but we're organising the next one, and continue to play with each other outside the full band context. We're still very eager to get moving and play at least one gig before the start of summer, which seems possible to me - though I'm always optimistic!
#9
arionxenosGreat to hear it went well dude.

Did you figure out if you were going to be originals or covers?
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#10
AlanHB Hey Alan, thanks! Well I don't think it's the kind of conversation we need to have really. I mean we have talked about writing our own songs and the band all wants to do something like that so it's definitely going to happen. If not then I'm out lol
#12
Quote by arionxenos
AlanHB I don't think it's the kind of conversation we need to have really. I mean we have talked about writing our own songs and the band all wants to do something like that so it's definitely going to happen. If not then I'm out lol


See, it absolutely IS the kind of conversation you need to have from the get-go. When you call a place for a gig, they will ask, "Are you a cover band or an original band?" They will tend to book one or the other, because their clientele will expect one or the other. If you give the wrong answer, you don't get the gig.

If you dupe people into joining your band as a cover band and then decide to go original, or let the cat out of the bag later that that was the plan the whole time, they'll be pissed. You even said, if people aren't willing to do that, then you're out. Establish that from the beginning rather than starting up a cover band and quitting six months later because it never became the original band you wanted in the first place.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#13
axemanchris It is pretty amazing the amount of singers that have quit cover bands because they thought they'd be making original music too.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#14
Singer shows up to first rehearsal - sees a big list of covers on the set list.
Spends three months learning said covers.
Begins gigging with full set list of covers.
Quits because he thought he was joining an original band.

LOL



CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.