#1
I don't really know what I'm asking here but yeah here goes. Me and my friends have practiced with each other playing cover songs for about half a year. At first it was great. We played some songs we liked and we would just have fun playing the songs over and over again. Just recently we got connections and found a way to play during our homecoming assembly. For some reason this has created problems within our group of friends. We can't agree on a song really anymore, we like totally different genres and bands. Like I mean there's one song we can play, but after that our guitarist goes off to play something completely strange and just starts messing around with a solo. Then the other one goes off and does the same, then I sorta do the same thing with my bass. By this time we just have a bunch of noise and us practicing random songs. This is when the meeting becomes a big waste of time. It's like we don't know what to do anymore. We play in a band because...well we have nothing else better to do. I guess what I'm trying to ask is, how do we make our band fun again?
#2
That's why my band broke up. I just stopped being fun and we wanted to still be friends.
#3
This is actualy a common problem.
Musicians get together with plans and intentions and ideas, then they play together until the ideas that they had have run out, then everyone starts getting bored because nothing is sounding 'fresh' anymore.
It's especialy hard when you have several members in your band with completely different tastes in music and you're trying to agree on a cover number.

But that can be worked to your advantage.

In a band with members who have different tastes in music, if that band writes music as a team with each person adding their own parts, then you end up with a mixture of everyone's tastes, which will sound original as it won't follow any particular genre.

If you've never done this before, don't panic, it's quite easy.
Start with something basic, just a beat, then get your bassist to come up with a bass line or maybe a riff from your guitarist, it doesn't really matter which comes first bass or guitar. Now you have a tune.
Now come up with another tune that compliments the first tune. The first tune will be your verse and the second tune will be your chorus, or vice versa, whichever works best for you.
Now write some lyrics, don't worry about your first attempt being some sort of literary genius or something, thousands of bands lyrics hardly make sense, it's just the feelings that the words inspire that are important.
Arrange it to go something like verse, chorus, verse, chorus, guitar solo, verse, chorus, end. That's the basic song setup used by almost every band that's ever existed since the 50s at some point or another.
As you write more and more songs, you'll gain experience and confidence and you can start adding other bits of music to your tunes, middle eights and bridges, that sorta stuff, and start messing around with the song formula, like maybe for example, verse, verse, chorus, middle eight, chorus, end. or any other order you wish to put them in adding or dropping verses or choruses or bridges/mid eights as you go, the sky's the limit.
You can even write two completely different songs, with different beats and splice them together, making one long complex epic. Maybe the first verse and chorus from one song, then a verse, chorus, bridge and solo from another song, then go back to a verse and chorus from the first song before ending it, and it doesn't have to be just two songs, try it with three or even four songs.
This is also a useful way of recycling rejected songs, just take all the best bits from them and throw them in the mix.

This also gives everyone more of an appreciation of everyone elses musical tastes, which makes picking cover songs a damn sight easier, but it also means that people can start coming in with songs they've written at home for the band's approval, because everyone will have a better understanding of everyone elses tastes and appreciate it more, it makes them more willing to try out something that just one of you has written, and if everyone, or even just a couple of you do this, it will add even more variation to your set, which is what keeps an audience's attention and stops them getting bored of you.
Quite often someone will come in with a song that's not bad but needs a little work, in which case the band can work on it, but only with the permission of the person who brought it in because sometimes, songs that people write can be a very personal thing

But the main thing is, with you all experimenting and bringing it all together as finished tunes and learning together and making real progress, you'll suddenly find you ain't bored of it anymore.

It's important to remember that give and take is essential when writing as a team, no one is going to be 100% happy with every song you write so don't aim for that because it's an impossible target, but everyone will have their own personal favourites, so look at it like this, the price you pay for being able to play your favourite songs in your set is having to play your least favourite songs (which will be someone elses favourites) in the set, which is a fair price, and quite often you'll find that your least favourite songs of the set start to grow on you the more you play them.
Also, if you have any songwriting disputes among yourselves, take a vote on it, if you are outvoted, tough luck, everyone must agree to go with the majority decision or it simply won't work. (this goes for any other dispute among your band as well.)
Last edited by SlackerBabbath at Sep 13, 2008,
#7
SlackerBabbath makes everyone else here redundant.
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Theory is descriptive, not prescriptive.


Quote by MiKe Hendryckz
theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.
#8
Quote by SlackerBabbath

It's important to remember that give and take is essential ... the price you pay for being able to play your favourite songs in your set is having to play your least favourite songs (which will be someone elses favourites) in the set, which is a fair price,


Excellent advice.

Quote by SlackerBabbath

Also, if you have any songwriting disputes among yourselves, take a vote on it, if you are outvoted, tough luck, everyone must agree to go with the majority decision or it simply won't work. (this goes for any other dispute among your band as well.)


While I agree that a democratic approach will work fine for issues that, in the long run, are really inconsequential, like whether you add an extra chorus on the end or not, some decisions - those that are potentially divisive - must be unanimously agreed upon or not done at all. Otherwise, the 'outvoted' person or people always have a major thorn in their side, and it will eventually lead to their departure.

Quote by highwaytohell

i quit giving advice. Slacker is god.


Damn.... I have a feeling my Slacker sig is in jeopardy of being replaced....

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.
#9
Quote by axemanchris

While I agree that a democratic approach will work fine for issues that, in the long run, are really inconsequential, like whether you add an extra chorus on the end or not, some decisions - those that are potentially divisive - must be unanimously agreed upon or not done at all. Otherwise, the 'outvoted' person or people always have a major thorn in their side, and it will eventually lead to their departure.


I know what you mean, and I can imagine it not working as planned for every band, but I think it all depends on the band members you have really.
Which is yet another good reason to make sure that the people you choose for your band are people who you can get along with and are NOT, self obsessed nurotics with a bad temprement, but people who will calmly state their point and explain why they make that point. In other words, cultivate a state of grown up healthy debate.
That way, whenever a vote is being made, people quite often tend to take other's points of view into consideration slightly more than they might normaly do. Which can only be a good thing.
Whenever I've played in original bands, that was how we always did it for songwriting, and we've never had any problems.
Slack Babbath still make all our decisions like this, for any decision, but to be honest, we very rarely need to take an actual vote on anything because we're normaly on the same page and generaly agree with each other anyway. But then, we've all been jamming around in different bands together for at least 18 years. We all know each other extremely well by now.
As long as everyone knows that majority decision rules and agrees to abide by it first and everyone is grown up enough to realise that to sulk when you're outvoted just causes unessesary problems for the band, it works just fine.
The only real problem I've found is when you have a 4 piece band (or any other even number of members) split 50/50 on a decision, in which case we always get our roadie (who's been with us since the beginning and is almost like another member of the band) to take the deciding vote.


Quote by axemanchris

Damn.... I have a feeling my Slacker sig is in jeopardy of being replaced....

CT

Not gonna happen yet bud.
Last edited by SlackerBabbath at Sep 14, 2008,
#10
This is actualy a common problem.
Musicians get together with plans and intentions and ideas, then they play together until the ideas that they had have run out, then everyone starts getting bored because nothing is sounding 'fresh' anymore.
It's especialy hard when you have several members in your band with completely different tastes in music and you're trying to agree on a cover number.

But that can be worked to your advantage.

In a band with members who have different tastes in music, if that band writes music as a team with each person adding their own parts, then you end up with a mixture of everyone's tastes, which will sound original as it won't follow any particular genre.

If you've never done this before, don't panic, it's quite easy.
Start with something basic, just a beat, then get your bassist to come up with a bass line or maybe a riff from your guitarist, it doesn't really matter which comes first bass or guitar. Now you have a tune.
Now come up with another tune that compliments the first tune. The first tune will be your verse and the second tune will be your chorus, or vice versa, whichever works best for you.
Now write some lyrics, don't worry about your first attempt being some sort of literary genius or something, thousands of bands lyrics hardly make sense, it's just the feelings that the words inspire that are important.
Arrange it to go something like verse, chorus, verse, chorus, guitar solo, verse, chorus, end. That's the basic song setup used by almost every band that's ever existed since the 50s at some point or another.
As you write more and more songs, you'll gain experience and confidence and you can start adding other bits of music to your tunes, middle eights and bridges, that sorta stuff, and start messing around with the song formula, like maybe for example, verse, verse, chorus, middle eight, chorus, end. or any other order you wish to put them in adding or dropping verses or choruses or bridges/mid eights as you go, the sky's the limit.
You can even write two completely different songs, with different beats and splice them together, making one long complex epic. Maybe the first verse and chorus from one song, then a verse, chorus, bridge and solo from another song, then go back to a verse and chorus from the first song before ending it, and it doesn't have to be just two songs, try it with three or even four songs.
This is also a useful way of recycling rejected songs, just take all the best bits from them and throw them in the mix.

This also gives everyone more of an appreciation of everyone elses musical tastes, which makes picking cover songs a damn sight easier, but it also means that people can start coming in with songs they've written at home for the band's approval, because everyone will have a better understanding of everyone elses tastes and appreciate it more, it makes them more willing to try out something that just one of you has written, and if everyone, or even just a couple of you do this, it will add even more variation to your set, which is what keeps an audience's attention and stops them getting bored of you.
Quite often someone will come in with a song that's not bad but needs a little work, in which case the band can work on it, but only with the permission of the person who brought it in because sometimes, songs that people write can be a very personal thing

But the main thing is, with you all experimenting and bringing it all together as finished tunes and learning together and making real progress, you'll suddenly find you ain't bored of it anymore.

It's important to remember that give and take is essential when writing as a team, no one is going to be 100% happy with every song you write so don't aim for that because it's an impossible target, but everyone will have their own personal favourites, so look at it like this, the price you pay for being able to play your favourite songs in your set is having to play your least favourite songs (which will be someone elses favourites) in the set, which is a fair price, and quite often you'll find that your least favourite songs of the set start to grow on you the more you play them.
Also, if you have any songwriting disputes among yourselves, take a vote on it, if you are outvoted, tough luck, everyone must agree to go with the majority decision or it simply won't work. (this goes for any other dispute among your band as well.)



Well done comrade!


I also think for a band its important sometimes for there to be a well defined band leader. Someone who steps foward and really gets everyone on track, cause its hard sometimes when everyone is going off in their own direction.
#11
Quote by tangled

I also think for a band its important sometimes for there to be a well defined band leader. Someone who steps foward and really gets everyone on track, cause its hard sometimes when everyone is going off in their own direction.

That works extremely well when you have one person in a band who's more experienced than the others, but in a band of equally experienced musicians, it can actualy cause resentment. You get people saying things like 'Who's he to tell me what to do? I know just as much about it as he does.'
Although having a leader who's role is more to do with encouragement or just someone who comes up with the ideas which the band then either accept or reject, rather than someone who orders others around is perfectly acceptable.
Last edited by SlackerBabbath at Sep 16, 2008,
#12
Quote by SlackerBabbath

Although having a leader who's role is more to do with encouragement or just someone who comes up with the ideas which the band then either accept or reject,


Which, to me, I think is ideal.

Quote by SlackerBabbath

rather than someone who orders others around is perfectly acceptable.


True. Mind you, if one person is a more established musician with more experience, the others probably should recognize this and defer to his/her judgement unless they have good reason otherwise (note: not just blind complacency). That is, of course, assuming there is a relationship of trust and good faith.

They won't need to be ordered around. They'll just cooperate, accepting the voice of experience as leadership.

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
Quote by axemanchris
Which, to me, I think is ideal.


True. Mind you, if one person is a more established musician with more experience, the others probably should recognize this and defer to his/her judgement unless they have good reason otherwise (note: not just blind complacency). That is, of course, assuming there is a relationship of trust and good faith.

They won't need to be ordered around. They'll just cooperate, accepting the voice of experience as leadership.

CT


Agreed on both points.