Quote by MeGaDeth2314

One of the most talented bands on the scene right now, imo. Check out the synth solo starting at 5:00. Quite possibly one of my favorite improvised synth/keyboard solos of all time, and the drum groove is insane as well.

*Skips to 5.00 to see solo
*Rewinds song and watches from beginning
*Watches video a third time
*Watches solo for fourth time

I need to practice more...

Thanks for introducing me to a sick ****ing band. These guys are nasty!
For the most part, yeah.

Repetition is going to be the main load of what you'll be doing if you want to be good at your instrument. I recommend picking up or finding a copy of 'Effortless Mastery' by Kenny Werner. It'll teach you to put yourself in the correct mindset for practicing and performing.

There's also the musical side to things, like, you know, theory and all that stuff, but as far as using the instrument as a means of communicating musical ideas, yeah. All repetition.

Basically, you're building a technical mastery, and not the kind that involves sweep picking arpeggios at break-neck speed. That's missing the point. It's the kind where your mind sort of gets cut out of the equation and the music plays itself.

The way I see it, when most people play the guitar, here's how it goes:

You know what you want to play -> You look at the instrument and decide how to do it -> You tell your hands to do it -> Your hands (hopefully) do it.

The goal is to get to a point where:

You have a vague idea of what you want to hear -> Your hands do it, and likely surprise you by playing it more beautifully than you imagined.

To get to the second one, it involves copious amounts of perfect practice (repetition) and the correct mindset. Emphasis on mindset. It's easy to tense up and get frustrated when the notes don't come out like you want them to. Then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and you always sound pretty stale.
Quote by willT08
45000 whobeven needs more than like 10 wtf are you buying

Average cost of living in the US is ~$20,000/year per person according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That of course includes things like eating out, mortgage and car payments, etc.

Also, interestingly enough, the average debt in the US was $8500 per person in 2008.

I'm not saying you can't live off of $10k, but have fun living in your parent's basement with no prospects of ever starting a family or owning a house for the rest of your life
Well, I think the issue might be a mental block you've put on yourself. You hear and remember how well you used to play and you're trying to get back to that. When it doesn't happen, you get frustrated with yourself and try to force it, sounding even worse.

My advice would be to let go. Try to see if your shoulders, back, stomach and/or hands are tensing up when you play, or even when you first lay hands on the instrument.

If they are, take your hands off the instrument! Take a deep breath and relax those muscles. When you bring your hands back to the instrument, don't judge the way you're playing. Just let your hands do what they're going to do, and listen. Almost try to imagine that your hands and your brain aren't connected to each other. Imagine they're playing for you. Don't even let musical ideas guide your playing. Just allow your fingers to move where they want freely.

You have the muscle memory, now let your hands do what you trained them to do If you make mistakes, don't get mad. Laugh them off or, if you can, recognize the beauty in them. Don't think of them as wrong notes or mistakes in speed or articulation but rather new notes and new approaches to rhythm. Think of your playing as beautiful even if you know your mother would cringe hearing you play.

When you can play from a relaxed and free state, you can identify what you have a mastery over and more importantly any problems with what you're playing and then begin to focus on exercises to improve or get back some of that dexterity and finesse.

Anyway, try that out, and if it works, I recommend finding a copy of 'Effortless Mastery' by Kenny Werner. It goes a little more in depth with the approach/mindset I just outlined. It worked for me when I was in a very similar rut.
Quote by Eastwinn
seriously though it means a D major chord where the lowest note is a C (which would make it, in sum, a D7). not sure how you're expected to voice that.

Probably x30232 in standard tuning. Pretty awkward though.

Maybe 8x777x would be smarter but then the D major part of that isn't in it's first inversion. Has a little different flavor, but that might be desirable.
Quote by JohnProphet
yeah, from what I gather it gets pretty fuzzy. You almost have to know who you are talking to and what their background is. Just from what you wrote above, if you and I were going to jam and I was going to play a i-IV id probably say "Ill play rhythm, you solo in A Dorian" and you would know exactly what I meant. But if it were someone with a jazz or academic background then it may be a little more difficult lol but I think theyd still get the picture. Or possibly it would devolve into a fistfight, who knows.

for my part, there will never be an instance in my life when I say, for example, "im playing in the key of aminor but I will borrow the major 6th from the parallel major"

I think it is fairly obvious that the terminology needs some freshening up. Id like to hear a term like "functionally Dorian" for a song that uses notes and chords from the Dorian mode but uses a more functional harmony.

I personally feel that it is somewhat silly to try to force a strict black and white choice of "either/or" for "tonal" and "modal" when they exist on a continuum with some interplay in the middle. Its like forcing people to use only the terms "hot" or "cold." What about warm, cool, comfortable etc??

for forum usage if I must use the "M" word ill probably just say Dorian "flavor" or Dorian "sound"

Makes sense

So I guess the whole thing is a battle of semantics lol. Lovely. Add that to the pretentious attitudes that often swim around the music world and the dated terminology, and I guess we don't have to wonder why knowledge of theory and formal musical education has such a stigma anymore.

I agree that things need freshening up. It would have to involve an effort made by schools and musicians across the globe to change though, and I just don't see that happening any time soon. Especially with all the different ways there are to describe the same thing (as outlined in your post), and the attitudes people have about 'right' and 'wrong' in music.

Lol that reminds me of the first book I read on theory that stated that there were three types of pulses: duple, triple, and skipple. Apparently "skipple"was used to describe compound meter and swing music. It totally worked in the context, but I think I'd get hit in the face if I tried to use that term outside of my own work.
Wow. Reading through this thread I'm a little confused (I thought I had a handle on all this..) Can someone hopefully clarify or give me/recommend literature to help me understand this better?

So I understand that generally we write tonal music (has to do with the lack of leading tones in every mode except Ionian. We even have to finagle some things in Aeolian to get it to work, right?). I understand that even if I use the notes of the Dorian mode as a melodic device (hope that's the correct term) over a progression to get a 'Dorian "feel"', my song isn't modal or Dorian.

So is the argument here that although we can use the notes of a mode to get certain flavors, they don't define what a song is (i.e. I shouldn't say Purple Haze by Jimi Hendrix is in Eb Dorian even though the notes of the solo use the diatonic scale we would call 'Eb Dorian'?), or am I missing something? That's the way I learned it, but I wanted to make sure that it's 'correct', I suppose.

And if that's the case, can I still use a mode to describe an overall melody? As in, would it be correct if I were playing, say, a [i-VI-VII] progression in the key of A minor but using A Dorian (apparently I love Dorian today) to build the melody, and only use notes from that mode, would it be correct to say that my song is in A minor with an A Dorian melody? How does that work?
I'm not into this squealing business much myself, but from what I gather, the thumb isn't involved at all.

From what I can see: What he's doing is flicking the string he wants (you can do this with your left or right hand) while the whammy bar is depressed to a pitch he wants (i.e. if he wants to start on a 'G', he's flicking the 'A' String but depressing the whammy until he gets down to a 'G' note), OR he'll fret the starting note and flick the string. Whatever gets him the pitch he needs.

Then he's lightly touching either the 5th, 7th, or 12th fret on that same string to create a harmonic and then using the bar to find the high pitch he needs and then give it all that wavy goodness.

Try it open once without the whammy bar or fretting a note. Pick an open high e string. Now very very lightly touch the string at the 12th fret. Don't fret the string. Just touch string lightly. Do you see how that was the same as playing a 12th fret harmonic?

That's the essence of what's he doing. He's just using the whammy to find a starting pitch and an ending pitch. Add distortion and whammy to that and you have ridiculous squealing

I think he explains it a little weird, but that's what it looks like he's doing.

Also, protip: Other frets work for natural harmonics other than 5, 7, and 12. 2nd fret, 4th fret, 9th fret, and 10th fret although they're much quieter. With some distortion I think you can make them work to your advantage.

EDIT: I'm messing around with it right now and the ring finger on my left hand seems to be the most useful/economic for flicking the string for one of these squeals. Try all the fingers and see what works best for you

EDIT 2: I can totally see how you could use the thumb for the low pitch, but it seems like a pain in the ass. If you can get it going, I think you could use it to get a nice deep low pitch with the bar before you flick and squeal.

It seems like the best option there is to flick the low E with your thumb and then deaden it with your thumb as you hit the harmonic with your pick, which seems closer to what you were saying in your original post. I guess keep trying it without the bar until you get it.
I watched an interesting seminar that John Mayer did a few years back at Berklee College of Music (I think you can still find it online).

His main point was: The public is never wrong. You can't expect to be completely uncompromising in your artistry and to make any sort of money. The guys who make the most (All that pop garbage we love to hate on) are the guys who compromise the most. They take what would have been deep lyrics and musical ideas and dumb them down to make them more accessible.

The result is tunes like 'Your Body Is a Wonderland' or 'Daughters' (for John). Mayer never wanted to be known as 'that emotional dude'. He likes Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan, which is the sole reason he formed The John Mayer Trio and went off playing 60s-70s rock for a little while. This was after he wrote what some consider (in the words of a wise Youtuber) "The worst pop garbage to ever come out of the '00s".

If your thing is '80s hair metal, the chances of becoming the next big thing and being heavily successful go from slim to none if you're not willing to compromise. We can always argue "look at Steel Panther", but I think that's a terrible argument...

And yes, John says that by "compromise", he means what music snobs all around the world call "selling out". The fact is, we just don't live in a world where every uncompromising artist who works hard can make it.

John also goes on to talk about how music shifts over the decades and how toward the end of each decade, we, as the public, see the coming decade as a new time period (and a new identity) and get into new music (you can see it pretty blatantly from the 50s-now). John said at the end of the '90s, the industry was basically taking in any male singer songwriters it could find. That's how he made his career.

So his advice to these aspiring musicians was to hone their craft (instruments, voices and songwriting abilities) and to pay close attention to what's going on in the industry. If in 2017 the next big thing looks like it's going to be disco, your best bet is to make music that has some disco elements in it, even if that means compromising your artistic integrity. When you have 2-3 tracks that will sell an album (read: pop garbage), then you can use the rest of the space on the album to make tracks that you like a little better and maybe eventually you can make all tracks that you like, but the public is likely to complain that 'your old stuff is the only stuff worth listening to'.

Anyway, I figured that was relevant to this topic, and it makes sense.
Sorta reminds me of The Who for some reason...? Pretty cool though. Not sure I love the piano, but it might just be cause it's a midi file
Yellow Ledbetter by Pearl Jam is rather easy and has a great 'dad-rock' (for lack of a better term) feel.

Seeing as how he likes Pearl Jam and the lyrics to the song are unintelligible anyway, this would probably go over well
When the conversation gets stale (ran out of things to talk about), just say: "Ok, I'm going to let you go now. It was really good catching up. Keep in touch!"

Get his email or some shit to make it more convincing that you'll actually stay in contact

He may even beat you to the punch with it. He's probably thinking this is going to be just as awkward as you think it's going to be.

It doesn't have to be any more difficult than that and anyone who gets offended by that has some growing up to do.
Quote by SuperKid
its impossible to get to a professional level while studying at the same time to become engineer. of course no one is stopping you to do both things at the same time and form a band and compose tunes, but you'll probably be terrible/ be surrounded with unmotivated band members. just know that there are people out there practicing, networking, studying, composing almost 100% of their time

i finished a tough science program and i had to study all the time to barely pass some of the most difficult classes. 30 minutes of guitar noodling once in a while wont get you anywhere unless you are a genius composer. you'll probably grow out of the successful rock band dream soon enough anyway

This. If you want to be a musician, then you have to BE a musician.

Everyone wants to be a professional musician until they realize that to do that, you're looking at 8-12 hours a day, 6 days a week of practicing and studying.

It takes the same energy it takes to build the knowledge and skill set needed for another career. Good luck trying to do both OP
From all the reading I've done, most of those guys were into guys like King Crimson, Steely Dan, Miles Davis, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Love, The Kinks, The Beatles, and I think they've mentioned Karlheinz Stockhausen and John Cage a few times.

Roger was a fantastic songwriter, but according to Rick Wright, he was pretty bad with stuff like chords and note choice and couldn't even tune his bass without assistance from Rick for quite some time.

Roger got his idea to do longer compositions from Bob Dylan. I forget which song Bob does that encompasses an entire side of a record, but when Roger heard it, he said 'Why wouldn't I be able to do that too?'

Anyway, that's what I've read over the years.

I would say that some of the general concepts may have came from their influences, but Pink Floyd was all about creation, innovation, and a fascination with new and different sounds. I don't think they 'borrowed' as much as a lot of the other guys at the time.
Your survey is broken. I answered that I would NOT want an electric whammy bar and it made me still answer the last one

I abuse the hell out of the 6-point trem (I have it 2-pointed) on my MiM Strat and I never go out of tune. And when I say 'abuse the hell out of', I ****ing mean it.

I guess maybe if you have something like a Squier Bullet and this thing cost like $20 to add, it would have a selling point, but it sounds about as useful as the self-tuning Gibsons, and would probably last about as long as they did in popularity on the market.

If it ain't broke...
Agree with all of the above Especially the try before you buy.

You may think that you're a les paul kinda guy when you may end up being an SG or a strat or a tele or a PRS or an Ibanez kind of guy.

I started out thinking I was a Les Paul guy, was playing on a shitty (ESP) LTD and kept drooling and dreaming about owning a LP.

When I finally got all the money together for a mid-range Epi LP (~$500), I went to the store and tried every LP I could afford. Then the guy handed me a Made In Mexico Fender Strat. Changed my perspective completely. It played like I imagined it would feel playing a Les Paul. It was a dream come true AND I had this wonderful tremolo to play with. I haven't looked back since.

The lesson there? Get some cash together and try out everything you can possibly afford at the store. You may be surprised what you go home with.

Just be warned, I see you're having tuning issues when using the trem system. Getting a Squier will not necessarily fix that (Squier trems go out of tune pretty easy. Most people I've known hardtail them). Made In Mexico Fender is when you start getting into a decent trem system, but seeing as there's not much of a price difference (if any) between a Fender MiM Standard and a middle-of-the-road Epi LP, I'd go Fender over Squier if at all possible
Quote by steve_muse
Here's what I do. I'll take the lens out its case, put it in the middle of my palm, pour some saline on it, give it a good rub, lay the lens on my finger tip, put another drop of saline on it, insert into my eye. When it's time to come off, I take it out, clean it with the cleaning solution I have, wash it away with saline, put it back in its case (which is refilled with the bacteria cleansing solution stuff).

Amidoingitrite? How do you know for sure if they're clean? Can you see it? #prayforme

Nah, you can't see if it's clean. You're putting them in right though

You can make sure they're clean by cleaning them with a solution that has Hydrogen Peroxide in it. Something like this. The Saline is only hydrating the lenses (which is super important too!), not cleaning them. This stuff kills the bacteria but you have to leave it in the solution overnight or it'll burn the hell out of your eyes.

Contacts should be cleaned every ~10 days to be completely safe.
Quote by steve_muse
Waitwaitwait, there's been some nights where I become really sensitive to light and can't watch the TV or anything, but I just thought that's cos my eyes are tired or something. It's fine the next day tho. Am I dying?

Nah, you're good. A little bit of sensitivity is expected every once in awhile.

Have you been leaving them in for longer than intended? Do they feel dry? If you answered yes to both, then change them out That's when you may start to develop a problem.

When they get old, they get massive amounts of bacteria and stuff caked inside and that's what infects your eyes.

Also, when the more silicon based ones dry out, they can cut your eyeball. Neither one is fun. Take care of your lenses.
Hmmm maybe turn up the gain or volume or preset? If none of that works, you could try adding effects later. Get Reaper and you can run something like Guitar Rig 5 through it to get any effects you'd ever want.
What I was saying is that I think you can set the amp as an input signal in a DAW like Reaper and record that through the USB.

I have no idea why you wouldn't be able to get a clean signal, even in Audacity. Was your amp set for clean when you tried it? It could also be that you had the amp too loud and it was clipping the signal.
I think the Fender Mustang V2 has USB connectivity so you may be able to record without the Focusrite.

Try downloading Reaper and update your amp to the latest firmware (Here). Connect the amp through the USB port on your computer and see if Reaper will recognize it in the settings as an input signal (Read page 9 of this pdf).

I think the Fender USB amps usually come with Amplitube, so if you can't get it working in Reaper, that's another alternative.

Anyway, that should work to get you started with recording demos. When you're ready to start mic'ing amps, singing, and get more into mixing, the Focusrite will be a good thing to buy. Right now, I don't know that you need it.
Well there's this:

Otherwise, I think you'd be looking at something like a Roland GR-20 but that requires a midi pickup
Depends how busy I am. I guess on average 3-5 times a week.

I see my girlfriend on Sundays so I don't masturbate on Saturdays and obviously not on Sundays. I found out that the sex is way better if I don't pull my pork the day before I see her.
I thought it was great too. I was just quiet about it
I've had contacts for around 8-9 years. I use Air Optix which are a little more bothersome than most, but they last for 30 days (I keep them in for ~50. They're usually ok).

Have you tried Acuvue? That's what I started on. They're mega comfy (You want the Hydrogel ones). You can only leave them in for a few days tops though.

No matter what brand, just be sure to keep them hydrated and don't leave them in for too long!

I've had 3 eye infections. They're really gross and hurt like hell. Your eyes become photophobic if it's a real bad infection, meaning you have to pretty much keep a blanket over your head cause even the light coming through your eyelids feels like someone's pulling your eyeball out (not fun). You have to get prescription eye drops or wait it out for 3 days.. It's nasty business. Don't be like me. Clean your lenses
Looks cool man. I subscribed.
I think with some proper mixing, this song would shine a lot better. The guitars sound a little bit like mush during some parts. I can hear some interesting things going on between the two, but they need more definition

That, and there was this one part where the bass guitar could use a little EQing or maybe a DI track mixed into it (I think it was around ~2.25). It's got a sick little bass line going but the notes aren't defined the way they could be.

Overall though, this track sounds pretty damn good. It's got the same kind of vibe going as the album In With The Out Crowd by Less Than Jake. I like that. Keep up the good work!

You may also consider doing something different with the verses. They were good but I really started liking the song when the chorus came in. It seems like every other part aside from the verses really shines.
Quote by LegendaryBear

I was hoping you fellas could help me a bit make a daily excersise plan?
Where I need help is, how I should exercise, what I should exercise, how to get the motivation to daily exercise?

Ok, what you practice is up to you. You have to ask yourself: "What do I want to learn?", and then find some exercises to begin establishing the muscle memory to do them.

If you want to start playing to a metronome, then go find one online and do it. There's even a free one I have on my phone (iphone).

My recommendation (or rather, what works for me) would be to find an exercise that you believe will improve an aspect of your playing, find what speed on the metronome is comfortable for you to practice on (so that you're playing it perfectly and effortlessly), and then drop it 20 bpm. Practice that for 1 hour, then do 5 minutes at a speed 20bpm higher than what you decided was comfortable.

You can repeat the workout as many times as you want during the day. I would stick to only one exercise, and do it every day for ~two weeks (maybe 3). That seems to be a good amount of time for it to sink in.

You can also do this with licks/riffs/songs, just remember: the shorter the passage that you work on, the better it's going to stick in your brain after 2-3 weeks and eventually integrate into your playing style.

I can't motivate you. YOU have to want to do this. You have to want to become a better musician. You have to make playing the guitar something you LOVE to do every chance you get. Getting a teacher is also a good suggestion

For improvising, I think the most useful book I read was 'Effortless Mastery' by Kenny Werner. It gets a little metaphysical, but even after you've played for only a year and a half, I'm sure you've had moments when guitar and music in general felt effortless (that one 'sick jam' where you were doing that crazy shit you never thought you could do). That's where you want to be when you improvise/practice/perform and that book helped me get to where I can take a deep breath and get there.

Anyway, I'd check out the book (maybe it's not your thing, but it helped me tons), and get to practicing Good luck!

EDIT: It might also be a good idea to start reading through some theory. There's a sticky on here that has a lot of pages of great info That can help quite a bit (especially with improvising).
Quote by willT08
Probably 'Framed Sound' or something like that

I don't really know

Hmmm ok. So I guess I'm not understanding why you seem to have an issue with terms/ideas like rhythm, timbre, notes, etc. Is it all the 'rules'?

I mean, all of those terms are used to describe things about sound and how it's organized into music no matter how abstract your concept of music is or how many 'rules' it breaks.

Whether you like Yoko Ono screeching nonsense into a mic, the deep wubs of dubstep, the sound of waves crashing against rocks in a new wave track or the sound of an electric guitar, all of those have to do with timbre and all of them at least imply notes and a rhythm on the most abstract level.

I can understand not liking the idea of placing rules on something as abstract as music (I used to hate it), but written music, all those dots and lines, aren't really used to put rules on music.

I don't know. Maybe I'm beating a dead horse, and I'm not expecting you to love written music, but I guess I just don't understand all the dogging?
Quote by willT08
I completely disagree with this

Is it worth me reading the rest?

I'm honestly super curious after seeing your posts around here: How would you define 'music'?
Quote by Eastwinn

then why does everyone keep saying it

From wikipedia:
Music theorists sometimes use mathematics to understand music, and although music has no axiomatic foundation in modern mathematics, mathematics is "the basis of sound" and sound itself "in its musical aspects... exhibits a remarkable array of number properties", simply because nature itself "is amazingly mathematical".

That might have something to do with it
I don't think "music is math" is a good way of putting it because the word 'math' is just as broad as the word music and we associate different things with both words.

Math can mean adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing. It can also mean studying patterns, ratios, quantities, changes over time, and speeds. The second part of that sounds a hell of a lot like music.

There are tons of ways you can use math to express elements in music. We actually do it quite a bit, and unknowingly. How do you think equal temperament came about? Guess who invented it's predecessor (which equal temperament is very heavily based on) by using math? (Hint: It was Pythagorean. You know, that geometry guy?) Ever tried learning scale theory? I've seen it broken up into matrices and described using binary codes to represent scales and intervals.

I guess the point is that it may not be 'math' in the sense that we sit down with a graphing calculator and make music, but it's no secret that the two of them are pretty much married with a few kids
You might try setting your microphone about an inch lower from where you have it now. I get the impression that you have it set now so that your head is tilted slightly upward. Set it up so that when you face directly forward, your mouth is lined up with the diaphragm of the mic (center).

You should be able to look down (with your eyes. Not moving from singing) and see your pedal board. If you can't, than you have the mic angled too high. Remembering the order of your pedals and where to stomp is kind of a 'feel' sort of thing and you'll get it just by using your board more and getting used to it.

That should fix your 'I can't see my board cause I'm singing' problem.

As far as making mistakes? We all make them. Professionals even make them. I would advise practicing until you're getting these songs right 10/10 times at home, though. Just make it a routine, at least for a few weeks. Go through the set top to bottom like 3-4 times every single day and you'll get to 10/10 in no time. You have to make it so you don't have to think about what you're doing anymore. You just do it automatically.

Good luck man We've all been through exactly what you're going through. It sucks and it's embarrassing, but you'll make it through no problem.
Quote by Hail
you're on my shit list

Not sure if it's considered 'emo' or 'scene' or whatever the hell, but if it's that kind of music with overly breathy vocals and misuse of acoustic guitars, what you want to do is:

Make an open D chord and strum in a generic fashion. Now, make sure to keep the highest two notes ringing (F# and D), and use your remaining finger (because using a fourth finger on the guitar would literally break the entire genre!) to imply a bassline. Some choice notes are C, B, and G.

If you want to get real crazy, you can raise the F# you've been letting ring out to a G every once in awhile.

Once you've written your breathy lyrics involving breathy subjects like teen angst and the tragedy of your iPhone 6+ bending in your skinny jeans, you're going to want to pick a melody that ignores all other scales except for the diatonic scale that you're working in.

Be sure to also avoid paying attention to accented beats, intervals, meter (except 4/4!), and anything that may show a glimmer of any kind of knowledge of music at all costs. Remember: This is raw breathy angst, and you're the first guy that's ever written music like this!

Also, it's important that you buy a capo. You can take this first song you've written, throw a capo on the second fret (always pick an even fret so the dots follow the same pattern!!), change a few lyrics and the tempo, and before you know it, you'll have an album!

One last tip: Keep the notes to a minimum. Anything outside of the vocal melody that exceeds 16th notes will also break the entire genre.
Been smoking since I was 15. I'm 22. It's just habit now...

Honestly? I like smoking. I like the taste. I like blowing smoke rings and clearing my nose with smoke. I like the stress relief. It hasn't had anything to do with 'looking cool' since the day after I tried one.

I've cut down over the past year (from pack/day to 3-4 cigs a day) and mostly smoke my eCig, but they're illegal in certain areas (bureaucratic bullshit. They just don't want them around because they can't tax it...).

I kind of want to quit before I turn 25, but we'll see how that goes. I'm trying to get my shit together in other areas of my life and I can't be bothered with the stress of quitting right now.
Nah man. Don't be that guy...

I mean, you'll get laid and all that, but then you'll find out 3 months from now that she banged Fabio down the street and didn't even shower before she came over.

Do you really want to put your pee pee where Fabio's pee pee was just a few hours ago?
I have no idea what you should do about the PA system. Maybe someone else can address that with some proper advice.

Regarding the 'leader'. A band I quit about 6 months ago had the same situation. Our 'leader' had issues with rhythm and articulation and had an attitude or would brush it off when someone would say something about it.

It turned out, that he really did know he had issues with those things, but was insecure about it. People can be incredibly insecure about music, as you probably well know. That's why most people say they "can't sing" even though nearly every human on the planet has the ability to sing.

What really got him to make some efforts into fixing it was to listen to himself play. Do you have any way to record what you guys sound like? We had this Sony (or was it Tascam?) thing that the drummer owned and we'd record our practices and listen to them back at the end. Hearing his mistakes and how it was ruining the sound of entire sections got him to make the effort.

If that fails, maybe playing it 'to the record' at practice for awhile will help. I know that that's helped in a number of cover bands I've been in. Just throw that song on the new PA system and play along to it 2-3 times then play it without the record.

If all of that fails, it may be time to just bite the bullet. I've played in bands (live) where the incompetence of others has made the whole band sound pretty 'eh'. It's part of playing music, and would actually be a good lesson/experience for you if your main goal was to get more experience playing with a band.

It's called 'Damage Control' and it's an awesome skill to have. You have to be able to react to other's mistakes on stage and make things sound better or at least passable. It'll also make you less nervous the next time you go on stage with a new band some day, because no matter what, it won't be as bad as that one time

If you have to go that route, make sure you know your parts backwards and forwards and can play the song all the way through without making mistakes (also make sure you can start from other parts of the song. i.e. start from the chorus). I know it seems like the most embarrassing thing in the world, but at least you know you have YOUR bases covered, and playing bad shows is an important thing to experience if you plan on doing this more in the years to come.
It's not bad. It sounds like a lot of the other stuff that's going on nowadays, but I do like where it's going. I guess it sounds a little 'safe' to me. Keep cracking at it, and I'm sure it'll turn into a pretty cool tune You might consider doing something interesting with the vocal melody so that it has something unique about it to make it pop a little more.

I would certainly try to start getting together the other instruments. I don't like the tone you've got going on, but I'm sure that has something to do with the recording more than anything. Maybe try rolling off some of the gain on your amp or preset or whatever? You've got a little too much distortion going and it's getting screechy/sounds like a Boss Metal Zone cranked (not good). You could also try mixing in a clean guitar for each of those guitars playing the same notes to retain some of the clarity. I promise either way will actually make your guitar tracks sound heavier and fuller.

I can tell you right away that one of the three guitars loses all of it's importance when that lead hits (it gets drowned out) and the rest of the time, whichever one is in the lower register could easily be replaced by the bass. I would actually run with that idea if at all possible (making one of those tracks the bass track). 3 guitars CAN work (Maiden proves that), but if your intention is to start playing this with a band, 3 guitarists is, more often than not, more hassle than it's worth.

Sorry, I kind of assumed you wanted constructive criticism so that's what I gave you