Me (guitar) and two of my friends recently started a band leaning towards classic rock; Rush, Yes, REO Speedwagon, Led Zep, Van Halen, etc etc. And turns out our other good friend's band just broke up. Now he is joining our band in the near future. We are all 16 if it matters.

I guess you could say I'm more of a rhythm guitarist than anything. My strong point being making up chords, strumming, and fingerpicking. Alex Lifeson being my main influence, I normally try to work as both a lead and rhythm guitarist, throwing in licks in between chords and arpeggiating when they're clean. Whenever I do solo from time to time, I tend to make it fitting to the song and very emotional, not caring for speed so much as how it fits the song.

On the other hand he is more metal influenced; Metallica, A7X, Dream Theater, and likes to play with heavy distortion and power chords. He is a very talented lead guitarist as well. The talent that he has in lead is what he lacks in rhythm though. He has trouble playing clean strumming patterns on a steady beat, has little knowledge of chords and how they fit together, and feels the need to speed up most songs when they would sound more appealing at a slower pace. Is there any way I can help to work this into our music better?

Our bassist also just began playing this year. He picks things up rather fast, but seems to have a closed mind about what style of music he will play, and I'm not sure if he practices outside of band practice/jams. Any suggestions for helping this would be appreciated.

Also, in terms of finding a singer, are they a must have for gigs even if your music is diverse and not just a steady pattern? Everyone in my area who say they are singers sports a black hairdo with a fringe over one eye with their fingernails painted black. This is not the kind of singer we are going for. If there's any suggestions on this as well, much appreciated.

Thanks for any and all feedback.
Last edited by The Necromancer at Jul 21, 2006,
Classic Rock singers are very hard to come across. Generally It seems that your guitar playing and the other guitar player are at a clash, and that usually doesn't mix. Anyone in a band knows how better they feel when you find players with a chemestry, which it doesn't seem like you will get with this metal guy. On the other hand genre's and new styles aren't created by people who do the same drawn out things over and over again. I'd say try a jam with him first, and if you can't seem to get anywhere, he's obviously not for you, and you can tell him that you don't think his style fits the music. He will understand, especially when he realizes the band wants to do more than Yngwie everything.
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Can any of you guys sing well at all? See, when i started my band, we had 5 members, 2 guitar, 1 bass, 1 drums and one individual singer. Even then he had an ego the size of a bloody house [the singer], so after about a year and a half we got rid of him, with the rest of us sharing singing. At the time, none of us could sing well at all, but 1 year down the line, my voice is ****in strong if I don't say so myself, and the band is now a tighter unit than we ever could have been with 5 members.

The point I'm trying to make is, the smaller you keep your band, the less likely it is to have rifts, and problems with contrasting musical taste. If any of you can vaguely sing, i would try without a singer, then see where you are in 6-12 months. If it's still ****, you should probably search, but for now try and build it up.

And for now, yes i would say a singer is a must. How many bands do you frequently listen to without vocals? if you're into instrumental music cool, but if not, I would say definitely get a singer.

About the bassist, are there any other bassists? 'cause if it's like this now, you might want to get someone else before you are a couple of years down the line, and too deep into the band to get rid of someone.

And the other guitarist? whup him into submission, give him a metronome and an acoustic, make the bitch practice!!! Also, get him to have his volume lower on the rhythms and pretend it's so he has more 'impact' when he plays leads. Haha. Just sort them out in general, find something you're good at then challenge them to a tournament on it for band supremacy. Like arm-wrestling or something.

Any questions mate, post again.
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Quote by Danno13
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as for this new guitarist, you could comprimise with him if need be to play what you and your band normaly play and you guys play some of the stuff he likes, but only if you have your hearts set on him being in the band, and as for your bassist I don't know what to say about him being closed minded but if he doesn't practice regularly I'd talk to him about it and if it doesn't change I'd kick him out of the band. but don't listen to me, do what ever you want.
yeah i'd say jam with them. see how it goes.. if your trying to play a softish love song and he's shreding, **** it aint gonna work.. as for your bass player.. tell him to learn a song, and if he doesen't learn thbe song by a jam tell him he's out...

and yeah if any of you can sing and play your instruments at the same time try, even if you cant sing. pick up singing for Dummies or something.. theres a lot of bands with ****ty singers around. I might get flamed for this, but mick jagger isn't a very good singer (especially now days) but he's world famous for it.
Thanks for the responses guys.

As for finding new band members, we're all very close friends and live in a cow town where everyone plays guitar but noone plays drums/bass. I thought a possible solution would be to have different genres for practice days, like do blues, then funk, then metal, then unplugged, classic, etc. to get everyone well rounded. Has anyone else attempted this? If so, how'd it work out?

Pertaining to a singer, I think I could do it with some work, although when I try to talk and play at the same time it sounds like an autistic 6 year old. Is there any dfeining quality in a classic rock singer I should look for or try to emulate with my own singing?

Much appreciated
Who writes the music (if its original stuff)? Because generally the best lead singer is the person who writes the music and basicalyl anyone coudl be a good vocalist with work and if you like you could just not have a lot of complex vocals. Vocals arent the most important part anyway, unless youre an emo band. And youve made it clear that youre not so its all good.
Don't force it (the singing). I had about 6 months of trying to be Lemmy!! And most classic rock singers sing in a high register, like a ****ing banshee. You're a Rush fan right? That could be a bit tricky, maybe a couple of octaves lower than the whole dog whistle thing. I'm saying most classic rock singers are pretty high, but some aren't. The thing that ALL good classic rock singers do, is sing it like you mean it. There's no point being half arsed about it. With any voice you just need to get in there, people get bored if you're just going through the motions. Plus you can drop notes too as long as it's full of passion!! I mean, Anthony Kiedis is probably in the biggest rock band in the world, and the guy basically talks. Not to put him down, but it shows you, you don't need to be the best Singer, to be the best Band.
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Quote by Danno13
YDPBC > awesome.

Why Thank You.
Helpful bunch ain't ya?

My problem is being able to sing in front of people I suppose. When I'm out practicing alone I can do it just fine. But yeah I would definately agree that you have to really mean it to be a great singer. So I think I'll try that. As for how the original music is made, basically I make the bass part and the rhythm, then if we record it I make a solo track to go over it. Lastly, is there a set way for good music to be made; do you work the music around lyrics or vice versa, or is it all just what comes together?

I would say, if you're the one piecing it together, just what comes naturally. Although, NEVER do the vocals as an afterthought. Held me back for about a year. It's kinda essential to get a good chorus melody to make it good. If you've got a good riff, then get good vocals to match it somewhere else in the song. I've you've got a good vocal melody, put chords behind it so it doesn't detract.

Don't be worried to take a lot of time over writing a song either. I've just finished the best song i ever wrote. It's been pieced together over the course of 14 long months.......
Banter Assassin. Every thread I touch dies.

Quote by Danno13
YDPBC > awesome.

Why Thank You.
Last edited by Y.D.P.B.C at Jul 21, 2006,