Registered User
Join date: Oct 2006
839 IQ
Well guys... two of my friends and I have been talking for some time now about forming a band to start playing shows within the next year. We are all pretty talented, but haven't really played together at all. We finally sat down today and decided on a weekly practice time which will have to do until the semester is over and we can all move to the same house. There are two guitarists and a bassist. I have a drum machine for the time being and I have a friend who may play keys once in a while. My question is, where do we start? None of us have done anything like this before. What should we do on our first practice on Friday (3 hours)? Any tips? Also, how should we plan **** out for the future? Our goal is to be doing gigs with our own songs + covers by next fall, which is a pretty reasonable goal if we get our **** together. Our main influences include many classic rock favs, as well as jam bands such as grateful dead, phish, string cheese incident, umphrey's mcgee, and many more. So... where do we start? Haha... sorry if this seems dumb, but we are new to this whole band thing! Thanks

UG's resident narcoleptic
Join date: Mar 2004
217 IQ
anytime I'm in a band that's just starting, we pick a song that we all know and jam on it for a while to see how much musical chemistry we have together. Then we start writing or own songs.
"There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die."-Duke
UG's Hotdog
Join date: Jun 2007
741 IQ
Congrats on getting some talented people together, you're next step is to find a real drummer. Drum machines are great to practice with, and as a bass player I really like mine. That said, it just won't cut it playing gigs (you're jam band influence will be especially wasted if you don't have a percussion section that can jam). So start practicing a few covers with your buds (or some originals if you've already written them) to work on tightness and cohesive playing while you look for a real drummer.

Don't avoid song writing new songs like the plague, but it will likely be an easier process after you have found a drummer and know what he/she can bring to the band.

Before the first practice, assign a few covers for your friends to learn then you can play them at the first practice to work on playing together... I say hold of on explicit songwriting and teaching each other original songs until you get pretty comfy with each other's playing.
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2007
548 IQ
Since you guys have amazing taste in music (Phish UM SCI etc.) I suggest you start out just jamming. One of you guys start playing a melody or chord progression, and everyone else can join in when they want. This way, you get used to each other, and ideas for songs might pop up during the session. If improv is going to be the backround of your sound, then you guys need to listen to each other and know your buddies limits.

I think you should work on some covers too. Something like Fire On The Mountain will help you guy form a tight sound (during the structured part) and improve your improv chops (during the jam). Make sure you all agree on what to play though.

I don't know, just have fun.