#1
At the moment my band is a four piece. There's me playing Rhythm guitar, my cousin Wes on drums, my cousin Tyler on Lead guitar, and a friend of ours Anthony doing vocals. We've jammed a few times, but have made no progress what so ever. I'm feeling like it's time I stepped forward and pointed us in the right direction.

The first problem is the lead guitarist. He plays better then me (Although verry sloppily), but can't write anything. He never writes on scales or in any key. My plan is to talk to him and either tell him to let me teach him to write, or play rhythm and let me take lead. I also need to get him to play clean. Do you think I should bother trying to teach him, or just take lead?

The second problem is out "vocalist". Personally, I want to get rid of him. He's a cool kid, but all he can do is growl and write half-decent lyrics. The only thing is, if we get rid of him, then one of us needs to learn to sing. How hard is it? Do you think we could just stay a three piece and all do vocals? Maybe add a bassist eventually?

The third problem is our large lacking of money. I have a part time job making about $130 a week, and the drummer is in a similar situation, only making about $80 a week. The lead guitar has no job, and spends any money he gets on absolute crap, such as a $99 multi-effects pedal that he claims is amazing. Just no. Seeing as we don't want to be shelling out every penny we manage to make, me need to know what is absolutley needed to buy. We know we need a mixer, 2 PA speakers, and mics/cables/stands for anyone who will be singing. Is there anything else? Floor monitors maybe?
Guitars:
Epiphone Les Paul Special II [Heavily Modded]
Hand-Built Jem Copy
Rouge RA-100

Amps:
Crate VC-50
Epiphone Studio 10

Pedals:
DigiTech Bad Monkey
MXR 10 Band EQ
Boss Noise Suppressor
Electro-Harmonix Metal Muff w/ Top Boost
#2
The only advice i can give u is to tell the "lead guitarist" to play rhythm guitar for now because u know more about scales than he does. He's eventually gonna have to learn about theory if your band wants to start writing originals regardless if he's playing rhythm or lead. good luck on your band
#3
Your fourth problem is you don't have a bassist. Seriously.

Maybe ask your "lead guitarist" to sit in on bass for a while. If he doesn't want to, then maybe you could, and play a bass/rhythm guitar mesh (stylistically).

#4
Quote by Afyum
At the moment my band is a four piece. There's me playing Rhythm guitar, my cousin Wes on drums, my cousin Tyler on Lead guitar, and a friend of ours Anthony doing vocals. We've jammed a few times, but have made no progress what so ever. I'm feeling like it's time I stepped forward and pointed us in the right direction.

The first problem is the lead guitarist. He plays better then me (Although verry sloppily), but can't write anything. He never writes on scales or in any key. My plan is to talk to him and either tell him to let me teach him to write, or play rhythm and let me take lead. I also need to get him to play clean. Do you think I should bother trying to teach him, or just take lead?


I would suggest taking lead and teaching him at the same time. Or if he objects to that then work out some kind of sharing system while he is getting his hed around some theory. If he doesnt listen to you get the rest of the band on your side first and get them to back you up. Dont gang up on him tho. Ye are all friends. Keep it that way

Quote by Afyum
The second problem is out "vocalist". Personally, I want to get rid of him. He's a cool kid, but all he can do is growl and write half-decent lyrics. The only thing is, if we get rid of him, then one of us needs to learn to sing. How hard is it? Do you think we could just stay a three piece and all do vocals? Maybe add a bassist eventually?


What do you mean by growl? As in he cant sing at all at all or is it more that he wants to sing in a growl or in some kind of screamo style. It is possible for the three of ye to share vocals but it will take a bit of practice for each of ye to learn how to sing while playing your respective intstruments . I would suggest looking for a singer. At least for the time being. Also, while i know half of UG will disagree cos its cool, but u need a bassist. Im not being biased cos i play bass, its just that for the most part any band that doesnt have a bassist(or a keyboard for that matter) usually tends to have hollow empty music.

Quote by Afyum
The third problem is our large lacking of money. I have a part time job making about $130 a week, and the drummer is in a similar situation, only making about $80 a week. The lead guitar has no job, and spends any money he gets on absolute crap, such as a $99 multi-effects pedal that he claims is amazing. Just no. Seeing as we don't want to be shelling out every penny we manage to make, me need to know what is absolutley needed to buy. We know we need a mixer, 2 PA speakers, and mics/cables/stands for anyone who will be singing. Is there anything else? Floor monitors maybe?


This is one thing about UG that amazes me. Everyone who believs that the band that is just starting out needs to go out and buy a brand new, state of the art P.A. system for practicing. My band went between using a 30w line 6, 25 w bass amp(granted they werent loud enough) but at the moment we are using a VERY old floor monitor for vocals and it works perfectly for practicing and we have even done small gigs with it and it has held up perfectly and is ridiculously cheaper than the heralded 'PA system'. This of course is assuming you all have half decent amps of course. If you do have good enough amps (and i dont mean anything fancy we have a 70w line 6, a 30w orange crush, and 35 cruiser bass amp) then u do not need a mixer. Just work out the volume levels on individual amps.

if ur band is just starting out then realistically you dont need to be playing any gigs soon so this set up will suit you perfectly for practicing and writing, giving you time to save and eventually buy the PA system
#5
Number one, don't worry about "progress" this early on. The first few times of jamming are not supposed to be incredibly productive in the creative sense, simply because those early sessions are supposed to be a period of getting to know your band mates and learning how to work with them. Yeah, you might come up with a few ideas or even really lay foundation for songs, but, because you guys are just starting to come into this together, you shouldn't expect a huge wave of progress this early on. If they're still doing this after...I don't know...six months to a year, then you're REALLY not getting anything done!

Number two, if the guy doesn't write, then you should talk to him and try and work out a way for you and him to write together. If he's unwilling to work on, then no matter how good he is as a player, he's just not worth having around, and you're better off finding another player.

Number three, in a vocalist, you want someone who will perform in a style that the whole band is really into, and you also want someone with whom the entire band will get along. Fortunately, a nice guy who's not quite up to snuff isn't nearly as hard to work out as an asshole who is a remarkable musician. If what he's doing isn't really clicking with you style-wise, talk with him and see if he's willing to experiment (like trying to combine the grunts with melodic singing, or with other forms of screaming, etc), and ask if he wouldn't mind constructive criticism of his lyrics, or contributions from other band members. Also, ask the other members if they're not really digging what he's doing, because you may be the only one not into it. If he doesn't want either, and the rest of the band doesn't really dig what he's doing, then maybe you should just let him go.

Number four, learning to sing isn't too hard. Learning to sing and play an instrument is a practical NIGHTMARE! It can be done, but you have practice it very diligently, and you have to practice it the right way. I've been trying to, and it's HARD, but well worth it if you manage to pull it off. And there are no laws of who has to do what in bands. You can all do vocals if you want.

Number five, adding a bassist can be a great addition, in that bass rounds out the low end and can often seriously bring in a whole new groove of a song. The advice I'd give about that is that if you're going to add a bassist, be sure they're a GOOD bassist! Bad bass players are like bad anything else: there's no excuse for having them!

Number six, floor monitors aren't exactly necessary, but they can be helpful. Since you guys are on a budget, use what you have until you can acquire better. If you guys are going to be pooling your resources, however, be sure that everyone is contributing somehow.

Hope that helps!
#6
Also, you can get a small (100-200w) PA with a powered mixer, two speaker cabinets, and a mic for between $200-300 from most on-line instrument dealers. Set one cab near the drummer, so he can hear what's going on, and maybe use the other as a monitor for the vocalist.

Cheap and easy practice PA that won't break the bank.