#1
Dear UG'ers, your fellow padawan needs some advice... again... ( )

The situations kinda difficult, if rehearsals go well, if we create some new good material everything is fine for me, maybe because the success and the feeling of accomplishment blind the real facts...

but if the rehearsal sucks like today and everyones just sitting around playing some random crap for two hours because i don't just instantly *snap* come up with a great idea. i try not to sound snobby or something, but its unfortunately just like that.
Our drummer cant even spell a word english right (im from austria, you know, german mother tongue, but we write our lyrics in english), and the bassplayer plays for like 4 months and isnt born harmony genius, so no help from nowhere. Its just... they need my stuff to even make something wich sounds like a song and this fact puts a lot of pressure on me because i'm somewhat responsible for the bands progress and success (im the lead singer to btw., for the pressure...).

this just kinda sucks for me, everytime not everything progresses as i want i have some doubts about my skill or creativity and if this is the stuff i really, i mean im REALLY wanna do (i take the whole music stuff very seriously, i invested a vast of time and money in this **** and just don't wanna **** up)

what would be my best act? quit it all sucks dick really deep and hard, but sometimes i even consider it, talking to them and force them to contribute some stuff is pointless, i tried it and IF something came up, it was not really what we need.
i love it when you hate the world ~ Zuko
#3
things arent goin to be 100% fine from the start. nothing is going to be, but keep at it. live ur life, keep a pad of paper and pen handy, and whatever u feel or get emotional about write it down, u can easily turn it into a song. it would be great if u had like 3 or 4 different songs lyrically, then u can go to band practice and try to get some backing down. as for the musical side, have u got a guitarist? a good guiarist can help u get some backing chords for ur lyrics, since ur bassist isnt too great (from what u have said), then he can jsut do the bass note of every chord. or do somethin along those lines. as for your rehersals, u need to sit down and say to the guys that we are going to do X today. allow them to have a brief warm up session, id say max of half hour. then get down to work. a few hours of focused work can get the basis of a song down, then use other practices to iron it out and fine tune it.
#4
uh i forgot to mention i'm the one and only guitarist too, we thought about getting a second one for all the crazy third's licks but just for that we considered it would be too difficult to get even 4 people together.

its just i'm often not satisfied with my own work, just rubbing down some chords is to easy, maybe i think to big for me till now (i consider myself as somewhat intermediate to advanced guitarist, with some theory knowledge, not mr jazz himself, but atleast i can build a key and get the chords out of it), its i want to achieve a very distinctive sound and have no backup in the band if its just not working like we want it.

thx for advice btw.!
i love it when you hate the world ~ Zuko
Last edited by Lonely at Apr 17, 2008,
#5
Quote by thedudemeister
things arent goin to be 100% fine from the start. nothing is going to be, but keep at it. live ur life, keep a pad of paper and pen handy, and whatever u feel or get emotional about write it down, u can easily turn it into a song. it would be great if u had like 3 or 4 different songs lyrically, then u can go to band practice and try to get some backing down. as for the musical side, have u got a guitarist? a good guiarist can help u get some backing chords for ur lyrics, since ur bassist isnt too great (from what u have said), then he can jsut do the bass note of every chord. or do somethin along those lines. as for your rehersals, u need to sit down and say to the guys that we are going to do X today. allow them to have a brief warm up session, id say max of half hour. then get down to work. a few hours of focused work can get the basis of a song down, then use other practices to iron it out and fine tune it.
this guys got it right, for inspiration though and a quick way of getting riffs together make a compliation c.d of bands you all like then go get stoned or drunk (depending what your into) or just have a pure laugh watching t.v with a few instruments handy, cuz your situation reminds me of what my band used to do and thats how we fixed it using both these methods.
hmmm.... i have no idea what to put here...
#6
ok then, have u got any lyirics down? could be just a few lines on a piece of paper. if u have, try singing it, find a pitch which is comfortable. then try to put chords to it, once that is done, show it to ur band mates and see what they think. how long have u been playing?
#7
hmm, so you're quite advanced and the others aren't? My Band and me, we are playing for some 2 years together now I guess and the start was really bad, but what was really really cool was, that we all kind of knew how to improvise and jam around. So we just took a-minor (our drummer was drumming in C-major xD ) and just played what our fingers wanted, this will free their mind and get them some ideas, they might not come up with by thinking about it. Cover some stuff, that's fun to play and try to get some differences in them, maybe start an improvisation in the middle of the song. We used to play Suck My Kiss from The Red Hot Chili Peppers (instrumental) and each of us got his won solo, so we repeated the Verse like 4 times or so.
If your bassist doesn't know stuff like scales, show him some, they will eventually recognize, what they are able to do...

If nothing helps, get another band... At the moment, if I was to go out of our band, I wouldn't go with starters, so really think how well you have developed as a musician when choosing fellow musicians!
#8
i've been playing since beginning 2006, 1 and 1/2 years of pure bass ownage, then is witched to guitar (i played both instruments parallel, but more bass early) because guess what... there were just no proper guitarists around, i just had to make a move for progress, then a friend of mine started playing bass and it somehow worked out personally, we like the same music but have just totally different experience levels.

if someone wanna hear a piece ouf my work click here (myspace), this is a self recorded piece of a song, drums are gp5.
i love it when you hate the world ~ Zuko
#9
sounded a bit over the place but u seem like a decent enough guitarist. get some lyirics written, get some chords down, and take it to your next band practice and show the other band members. sing/play them the song, if they like it they can put their own stuff to it. and for the bassist, show him a basic scale, get him a book or see if he has a teacher, a teacher will help him out and help his improvisation. but the most important thing is that u keep at it. as Aganim said, do some covers, it will give u some basic songs u will know to form a gig playlist, also, when u know the song, find out what key it is in. take stuff from the song and experiment with it, eg. i like Can't Stop by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, i know it is in E, i also know 3 solos for the song, i learnt from live versions, so i can pick bits from the solos to create my own little solo for the song. it will help with musical knowledge and give you some little licks which u can use. it mite not be much at first, but its a good way to start
#10
sounds like yer in a not-so-good band relationship. i have been in a quite a number myself, and am in fact in one right now.

usually my problem stems from the fact that no one is interested in what i would like to do and my material is met with rolled eyes and incredulous stares, sometimes they'll massage my ego a bit and wait til it is forgotten about.

the best advice i can give you is to get what you can out of this, find a goal in this band and make practices into experiments and trial-and-error runs. try to get as much information about being in a band as possible from this bad experiance, because truth be told no band is this harmoneous creature that pumps music out with equal input from everyone; and learning how to manipulate and put forth and take ideas from different bands and situations your in makes you a better musician(well a better person for being able to analyze what will work with other musicians). this is an important part of music that is usually overlooked.

if this band is really going nowhere then just start looking for other people to play with, give less and less attention to your current 'band'(usually just not getting on their case to come to practice is a real easy way of disbanding unmotivated musicians). but it is frustrating, self-defeating and somewhat artistically destructive to go on with band members that aren't on the same level as you(this is skill wise and motivation level wise as well, this can also be what influences you and what kinda music they wanna make compared to what they wanna make).

i will give you an example of how i cope with my situation now. i am in a band with 2 roomates and a singer that lives a little far away. the other guitarist is just plain out not as good as me, so i try to give him lessons to make him better and he doesn't practice enough to actually see noticable improvement. the crux is that he is not skilled enough to play alot of the music i have written for the band, this is compounded by the fact that the singer "can't write lyrics to my songs because they are too weird"(i have 3 songs under my profile if you care to hear what i write, and how hard it would be to write lyrics to them). so now i am basically stuck in a band that i can't contribute music to, their song writing is slow(4 songs in 1.5 years) and all the songs sound the same. i would quit but they are my roomates and it would rock the social order of the house. instead of fretting and worrying i have pretty much just given up on them, i use the band as a way of practicing writing poppy and unassuming counterpoint riffs for their songs and i avoid practice whenever i can. it is actually a pretty good crucible for writing, because i write things i wouldn't normally write, and i write them in ways that i wouldn't normally do it, i have taken some of my ideas into my own personal music and has developed a side of music i wouldn't normally develope. i have also started playing with a group of other more like minded musicians near where i live and spend most of my music attention on them. since my roomates are really more interested in 'playing band' then actually 'being a band' this has not really caused any problems.

key points here are: 1)find a contructive use for what you are doing now and find a way to exercise a skill set you wouldn't normally use 2)start working toward a better musical position with more like minded musicians.

EDIT:
just listened to your song, that is really not that band, quite good really. you should probably work on your arranging skills with these guys if they are so willing to be lead, getting down a recorded song says a bit about their ability and motivation. try and make and develope as much for your songs as possible and present them to your band, then start perverting, counterpointing and making variations with the songs(i saw you have a bass so come up with your bass players bass lines and present them to him). also i like someones idea about improv and jamming, that is always important, if you don't do it than try it
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
Last edited by gumbilicious at Apr 17, 2008,
#11
thx for the detailed answer...

for my opinion the major problem isn't the creation of songs (we goht like 6 songs down in 3 months), my problem is just... it feels somehow unfair to me, i want that everyone contributes and can back me up but i just don't get the feeling, i invest a vast of work in the songs and the others just play along what i tell them and if i ask them "what would you wanna change" they just say "whats your problem with the song, tell us", they don't even notice the original first version is bad arranged and has some downparts.

i just feel unfair about the whole band, or im just searching another music mate, someone who contributes the equal amount of dedictation and enthusiasm for the band
i love it when you hate the world ~ Zuko
#12
i usually compare the creation of music equally among musicians(ie everyone cares, and knows how to contribute and give input into song creation) to the simulataneous orgasm... it's a myth. in a band there will always be someone who is writing the majority of the songs(the minority of bands who actually have some kind of equal contribution to music are too small in the minority to really count them, so the all-inclusive generalization can be accepted) and that person who writes all the songs will most likely be the one who cares about them.

song writing and, just as important, song arrangement are skill sets to be developed, but you will find plenty of musicians who will neglect this skill set either out of ignorance or just plain non-interest. there is nothing really wrong with this as maybe just becoming proficient in playing music may be enough to satisfy them. i find this happens alot with trained musicians that actually were in 'band' in school, they can read music, and they are skilled, and they can cookie cutter out a song from what they learned in school, but they aren't really good or creative in song writing, they are just happy enough to play other people's music(boy am i going to get some band geeks FLAMING me for that one, but try and understand that was not an all-inclusive statement, it is just the reflection of my personal experiance with many people that were trained musicians).

my advice would be to once again, just realize that no one is going to work as hard or be as excited about your music as much as you are, and to make this dissapointment into an opportunity to develope a oft neglected skill set for your own benefit, cuz i'll tell ya, usually when your in a band it is like pulling teeth to even get people interested in playing stuff that you wrote, everyone is usually trying to get their own songs played an developed.

some advice on dealing with this lack of interest, you kinda have 2 choices:
1)the least challenging of these choices is to arrange just about everything, this means you come up with as much of the music as possible, all the guitar parts and bass parts and even a direction for the drums to go in. figure out the keys, and key changes, the time signatures, and tempo's. do as much as possible. then submit these ideas to the band

2)try to make songs you think the band would find interesting and make them open enough so they can develope the parts into something that is more their style. this is incredibly challenging in the fact that you are pretty much trying to read their minds and then extrapolate what they would like to play and what would be in their skill set. frank zappa was incredibly good at making arrangements of his songs specific to the skills and interests of the members of the bands he put together(but his musicians were dreadfully good at their instruments too). this is a skill that boarders on the godly and is a worthy skill to try and develope.

good luck
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
#13
what I suggest, is just make better use of your practices!

Here is what I suggest, split the practice into 2 parts (to start)

1: Rehearse your material thus far that you have written for upcoming shows etc.

2: Write some music!


Inform your bandmates you want some direction. When you write you wanna try writing and not just randomly playing crap. Try certain chord progressions, lead patterns over them?

If you do want to jam, add a third part to your practice which is

3: Random jamming and playing


Just don't let your entire practice become step 3! Good luck, hope this helps. Music is fun, but you also want to be serious about it to an extent. If you actually wanna write music productively, you have to work at it in a productive fashion.