Problems With A Band And Obvious Solutions

This article is for newbies to bands. If you just started a band, here are some problems you're bound to face as time passes by.

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Disclaimer: This article is for newbies only! Well, non-newbies can read it, but don't bitch about how useless or obvious it is. Some people DON'T know, ok? Starting a band may sound like a really fun idea at first. And yeah, it is a whole lot of fun. But when you're thinking of getting serious about it, you're bound to be facing problems that'll make you consider quitting. But here are obvious solutions to these problems that may not have crossed your mind. 01. Money. Probably no band hasn't encountered money problems in their careers. Sometimes it's money matters that break up even the biggest of bands (although I can't think of any examples right now). Money problems arise when you can't afford instruments, a rehearsal space, or recording (although recording can be put off for later). Occasionally, even gigs require you to dish out a little cash. And you definitely can't expect to get paid for every gig you do. The Obvious Solution: Well, just be resourceful. When your band is just starting, the only instruments you actually need are one or two guitars and a bass. Even those instruments aren't really essential since you can always borrow (I wouldn't recommend it though as I have had some terrible experiences with borrowing). Right now, our drummer doesn't even have his own drumsticks, but he still kicks ass. Fortunately, the rehearsal studio where we practice have drumsticks we can use. It's always helpful to always have extra cash at hand, just in case you suddenly have to spend an extra buck. 02. Time. This isn't much of an issue for most bands. There's always the weekend to practice. However, occasionally, especially for college students, there are classes to attend during Saturdays. Conflicts in schedules are bound to come around especially for students. The Obvious Solution: Well, like I said, there's usually the weekend, all 48 hours of it. People tend to think that there's not enough time, when as a matter of fact, we got our whole lives! In the worst case, you can always put the band off for a few weeks or months, and have each member concentrate on his own instrument. Then when you finally have time, you can all get together to work on songs together. 03. Creative differences. Now this is something my band has gone through. Our old drummer wanted to go punk, when we were really against it. The Obvious Solution: Creative differences can be a bad thing, and it can also be good. In my band for example, the vocalist loves alternative and modern rock, I'm really into classic rock, our bass player is a nu metal head, and our drummer's into punk. We actually ditched our old drummer but our new one also loves punk. So we compromised. Whenever we write songs, each one puts a little something from his taste into it. When we do covers, we do stuff from deftones and RATM, which is more or less a conglomeration of all our musical tastes. The key here is compromise. If it just doesn't work out, a overhauling of the band is in order. 04. Gig-less. Let's face it, gigs are hard to come by these days. When you're a minor, it's nearly impossible to get a good gig, except maybe in school affairs. And you know you can't build a fan base when you don't have gigs. The Obvious Solution: Don't rush things. Gigs will come by, and like I said, we got our whole lives. Instead of concentrating on building a fan base, keep working on your music. Once you get better, you'll have a lot more gigs. Audition anytime you can, even when you're pretty damn sure you're not gonna make the cut. It's the only way you can test yourselves on how much improvement you're making. And of course, be on the lookout for ads looking for bands. I guess these are all the obvious problems that you'll encounter. Of course, these aren't the ONLY problems. Trouble will surface as your band progresses, but remember, adversity is a precedent to greatness! Good luck!

75 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    pyro_the_bear
    this is pretty good, new bands need to know this stuff, and it's good advice for more experienced bands
    slash_620
    god,you guys r lucky,im the only one i know that play guitar and i know like 500 people
    Ze_Gibson
    you missed one... Where the OTHER annoying guitarist KEEPS TURNING HIS VOLUME HIGHER THAN YOU! AHHH..! ...good god, someone help me
    playfielder
    ^.. i have to agree. a pratice at my friends house loud drum kit good guitar amp....crappy little bass amp. ARGGGH! guitarist. mr. i have yo be the loudest and take a solo every song
    sloweffect
    i have a band but we don't have - 1)guitar ..2)bass ..3)drum set ..4)our own studio so..we have to go to studio everytime to practise.. and it's need money.... our main problem now is MONEY. Also we need to study.... since were are student and its almost time for big exam....
    sloweffect
    you missed one... Where the OTHER annoying guitarist KEEPS TURNING HIS VOLUME HIGHER THAN YOU! AHHH..! ...good god, someone help me yeah you right... it's really annoying..... and i can't even hear my own guitar when i try to do solo....
    darkstar9814
    good article, the only thing is, creative differences dont work out so well, we had some in my last band and well, me and the drummer are just starting to talk to each other again, and well our keyboardist was the biggest duche-bag ever, who wanted to decide the bands future. so if things dont work out, talk about it, or break up b4 things get to serious
    HeavyMetalKing
    he has al of that stuff cuz hes dad is a guitar and piano player and he use to be in a band so he scored all of that stuff
    HeavyMetalKing
    im in a band and soo lucky cuz our drummer has a home recording studio and a bunch amps guitars bases mics keyboards and not the cheap stuff buy the pro stuff. but our band sucks cuz we all beginners like ive only been playiiong guitar for like 7 months.
    billac/dc
    Good article and good idea to blend all the tastes into so everyone isnt left out
    die_republicans
    O_o: you missed the one about getting you're annoying guitarist to leave his girlfriend alone for 4 hours and actually turn up to practice man do i know what thats like my other gutarist hasnt come to practice in 4 weeks we parctice twice a week and we call him everytime and he says sorry jordans here i promise ill be there next time but doesnt come and its damn annoying
    BibaLin
    ok, good. their all obvious situations, but its good to remind people of them before jumping into a conclusion. Right now, our drummer doesn't even have his own drumsticks, but he still kicks ass. - lol, i guess he plays with his fingers. until he or she borrows sticks.
    EatsP1es
    dude,awesome article I know what you mean about the problems, my band have faced almost all of them. And I also know what poeple are saying about 15 year olds being ignored cos people think we're too young...It sucks! But it is kinda fun when you get an older person acting all cool then you whup his ass on guitar
    madbasslover
    good article. now you just need to make one on how to motivate the lazy ass members of the band so they actually LEARN their respective instruments (cuz face it: it's almost impossible finding people who already know how to play bass and drums unless you know everybody)
    Mental Hop
    Also, when it comes to creative differences, just blend styles together to make something new and original. John 5 did it and it sounds pretty good right?
    Mental Hop
    I have another tip. Don't only talk about your band to bandmates and other people in your everyday life, you just get boring and the band gets tired of listening to you. I made that mistake with my first band. Luckily I'm improving in my 3rd now. Oh and EET_FUK_BASS, just tell the guy that your band broke up so sorry to get his hopes up. He won't be wise to the fact that you're still together unless you tell him. And if he finds out from someone else just say it's a different band.
    TaongGumigitara
    'stig, Pinoy pala nagsulat nito?! (cool, A Filipino wrote this?!) well, it is pretty easy to figure these out, but you said it IS for newbies to bands...
    StJimmy
    This is a good article for newbs, except for the WE'VE GOT OUR WHOLE LIVES thing. Thats really not true. For teenagers, you've really only got until its time for college (assuming that you go). I know a lot of musicians who love what they do, but want to further their education. In my band, we're all discussing colleges and it looks like we'll all be stretched across the country. I think everybody just needs to look at being in a band realistically.
    ken20008
    look, here's my problems: when my band jams, everyone seems to be playing their own stuff, especially the lead guitarist and drummer. and controlling them and toning them don seems difficult. My vocals are sweet at home, they are horrible in the studio. We cant keep time, i cant hear myself clearly. i turn up the volume on the vocal amps, i hear more feedback then ourselves. the drummer just wont accept the critcism and hes my best friend. this article doesnt solve everything. can anybody help?
    Krazy_Munkey
    Sometimes it's money matters that break up even the biggest of bands (although I can't think of any examples right now).
    I don't know... maybe the Beatles, the most successful band of all time.
    Krazy_Munkey
    Sometimes it's money matters that break up even the biggest of bands (although I can't think of any examples right now).
    I don't know... maybe the Beatles, the most successful band of all time!
    Mr. Clean
    nice column, even if the answers may be obvious in some cases it can be helpful for those who may have over looked them
    EatsP1es
    you missed one... Where the OTHER annoying guitarist KEEPS TURNING HIS VOLUME HIGHER THAN YOU! AHHH..! ...good god, someone help me yeah you right... it's really annoying..... and i can't even hear my own guitar when i try to do solo....
    True! So True! The worst thing is that I'm an all-round rock kinda person and our other guitarist is into punk...
    EET_FUK_BASS
    hey, at least u have a drummer is my exact thought too we put up signs and shit everywhere, and all we get is a 29 yr old (signs said 14-16, and although we are flexible on age, three 15 yr olds and a 30 yr old would be just wierd) who told old stories to our guitarist (frontman) umm, any way to tell a kid that thinks hes our singer/3rd guitarist tha he's not w/o makin him mad? he goes to the same school as me but not the same as the other 2 guitarists
    monkeyspks
    ahm ok, kind of pointless, but i guess you're making a couple good statements.
    Bulletbass man
    yeah money is definetely a problem in my band im the poor kid so im constantly saving cause these kids have more spending money and are constantly buying bigger cabinets we kicked our old drummer out cause after he got a eletric drumset (which we think are gay) we kicked him out cause he got these huge ass speakers for it
    TheDriedZulu
    Somebody needs to write an article on manipulating adults into letting us high school kids play shows. I know a really good band from my small town who has already been in major shows like the Roxy in Seattle, and has even been invited to open for a band that opens for Sum41, all as freshmen in high school. Check out their site @ www.savethehero.tk. I've asked them to reveal their secrets, but they won't tell me.
    Emenius Sleepus
    oh and also just to complement the article a little, self-booked shows can be a help as well, although like you said, the band will need to fork out some cash.
    Emenius Sleepus
    good article. a lot will probably read it and say *** this is obvious, because they wouldn't bother to read the whole thing. but good effort - simple, informative and offers solutions as well as the actual situations. I think I might show this to our guitarist who formed the band and has a tendency to think he is god. Nah seriously though, he's into classic rock, our drummer is a goth/metalhead, I have influences that range from slayer to slipknot to hendrix to prodigy to afi and nofx and red hot chili peppers and alice in chains, our singer loves all the grunge and the bass player is full on metal. So yeah, five different tastes in music but our other guitarist is also a massive Slash fan and only really wants to play rock. so biig creative differences issue. Thanx dude, good effort
    slash_rhoads
    WhiteKnight123: OMFG THIS IS SO F***IN OBVIOOUS!!! Just kidding... Very good, and yes i am in highschool myself, and even though my band is serious and has some good riffs, lyrics, and solos we still can't get too many gigs because we are only 15 and no one takes us seriously, because the emo queers give us a bad name..... WE can still get a few non paying gigs to get a fanbase, but how will that buy new drum kits and amps?
    Totally agree w/you dude, just because our age they dont take us seriously
    SeepZ
    yeah like you said, pretty obvious, but good nonetheless. covered most problems, and i've been through most of 'em...
    biohazardous56
    its cool when a band can afford a rehersal studio and not afford drumsticks there whole issue of money is they dont know hoe to use it
    Thegeetarnoob
    I'm 15 too. The only gigs we can get are non-paying ones where we have to sell tickets. :| I think they don't take teens seriously because of our cracky vocals! :'(
    CKS2N
    Hang on..."This article is for newbies only! Well, non-newbies can read it, but don't bitch about how useless or obvious it is. Some people DON'T know, ok?" So all newbies to this site are a newbie to guitar and being in a band, are they? I take it you only said for non-newbies not to read it so you didn't get grilled?
    slash_rhoads
    great, they should make more articles 'bout making bands, for all of us who are starting a band
    ONEppl1strgl
    good artical. biggest prob for kids like me in HS is def $$$ for equiptment. in my band ive spent twice as much as as all the other members combined.
    VoodoChildGirl
    Bye the way it sorta helps for pple who dont have a band and are trying to get major research