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61 votes

I play oboe and I'm in the top band, but I feel like a failure whenever my band director yells at me

If your band leader/conductor/teacher is yelling at you then there's only one failure in the room, and it's not you. Whether you're leading complete beginners or seasoned performers, yelling and ...
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57 votes
Accepted

How to play songs that contain one guitar when we have two or more guitarists?

Some alternatives from the top of my head Double the guitar part on both guitars Double the bass part on one guitar Split the roles inside the chord: guitar 1 plays power chords (root and fifth only),...
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45 votes

Why are there many guitarists, but only one drummer in a band?

This is not always true. While most bar bands have this set up, if you go to many large concerts (for instance the Eagles concert tour), you will often find many percussionists working simultaneously. ...
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44 votes

Why can't I play with a backing track or other musicians

From my experience, start really simple. I started with a metronome, and played a familiar piece at a variety of tempo's to get me used to listening to the beat and playing the notes in the right time ...
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  • 561
34 votes
Accepted

Etiquette of Quitting a Band

When you quit a band, you should treat it as any other professional job. This means let them know in advance, and follow through on any commitments where not following through would leave them in a ...
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  • 6,369
32 votes

Why can't we leave all mics on during a gig?

Well, every mic you toss into the mix also adds more ambience, a bit of feedback from PA and monitors, and will pick up sounds that aren't really supposed to be heard at all, like breathing. Now, this ...
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27 votes

I play oboe and I'm in the top band, but I feel like a failure whenever my band director yells at me

Oboe is a hard instrument. 1 year and in top band? You must be doing something right. I presume that you have had significant exposure to music (choir?) previous to starting on oboe or you would ...
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  • 271
23 votes

Why can't I play with a backing track or other musicians

Learning to play with others is a skill that needs to be learned just like any other thing that you need to learn to be able to play. "I’ve practised a piece all week and have it pretty close to ...
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  • 7,030
21 votes
Accepted

Which would benefit my band the most, learning covers or writing originals?

You should do both! When I just start working with other musicians, I like to get a cover or two under our belts so we can feel each other out and learn to play as a group. Literally at the same time, ...
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  • 51.4k
15 votes

How do you determine if you're ready to join a band?

Just going to paste Dave Grohl's take on this: When I think about kids watching a TV show like American Idol or The Voice, then they think, ‘Oh, OK, that’s how you become a musician, you stand ...
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15 votes

How to play songs that contain one guitar when we have two or more guitarists?

Generally I would have only one guitar play during the quieter parts and both guitars play the same thing during the loud parts. Often this means both guitars play during the chorus and only one ...
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  • 51.4k
14 votes

Agreeing on the key of a (cover) song as a band

Maybe not right and wrong - but impractical and stubborn come to mind. As far as covers go - if the band wants to be entirely faithful, then they will need to play in the original key. And that ...
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  • 174k
13 votes

Etiquette of Quitting a Band

The best advice I've seen for rejection was in the context of dating, but I think it applies equally well to the kind of social and professional rejection involved in leaving a band. The ABC’s of ...
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  • 6,567
13 votes

Why can't we leave all mics on during a gig?

Never understood why any mic needs to be live when not in use. Every mic I use on a gig will be equipped with an on/off switch, and it's expected to be used. My own vox mic is only ever on when I sing....
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  • 174k
12 votes

Etiquette of Quitting a Band

A bunch of people have said a lot of right-on stuff. I want to hammer one point home. The moment you give notice? It is no longer your job to give constructive criticism. The constructive ...
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  • 3,947
12 votes

Which would benefit my band the most, learning covers or writing originals?

I agree 100% with everything Todd Wilcox stated in his excellent answer! To add to what he said - as a songwriter myself, I find that learning covers is a great way to improve not only my skills as ...
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11 votes

Why should my band learn music theory?

I'll focus mainly on the Or why I should not worry about it part of your question. I believe that in bands, the most important thing is to be able to play the songs you want (and compose if you ...
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10 votes

Etiquette of Quitting a Band

So long as you give some notice, and don't quit half-an-hour before a gig, you're doing it right :-) . Personally I don't think it helps to vent your exact list of grievances and perceived ...
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10 votes

Why are there many guitarists, but only one drummer in a band?

I can certainly explain why there aren't many rock bands with multiple drummers. Because every garage band practices in the drummer's garage. The drummer can't fit the drum set in the back of his ...
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10 votes

Stucturing Rock Band Practices

I don't think there is a definite answer here. I have been in bands where all the members act as 'leaders' at the same time and at bands where one is the leader. In most bands I know, there is a ...
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10 votes

What is a trill?

Your band teacher is more accurate in most situations. In standard notation, a trill means you should alternate the written pitch with the note a step higher in the key. So in D major a trill on D ...
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  • 17.9k
10 votes
Accepted

Why should my band learn music theory?

I've had various bands with members who know differing amounts of theory. Some people knew no theory and others had degrees in music. In the long run, it usually made no difference as those who really ...
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  • 23.1k
10 votes

Is it common practice to audition new musicians one-on-one before rehearsing with the entire band?

Playing without the rest of the band? I'd walk away from it. It's a two way thing. While you want to know how the prospective player works, they also want to know how the rest of the band works. All ...
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  • 174k
10 votes

Should I use PA speakers for a full band all the time?

I went down a similar path to eventually starting a full band to accompany me on stage in paying gigs vs playing just for fun. My band has bass, two guitars, drums and vocal mics for all four ...
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9 votes
Accepted

Band rehearsal: how to prepare for suboptimal monitoring conditions?

As part answer ( the rest later), the 'can't hear you' syndrome makes everyone turn up, and the listening is even more difficult. It should be possible - often is - for a band, just about any band, to ...
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  • 174k
9 votes

I play oboe and I'm in the top band, but I feel like a failure whenever my band director yells at me

Good musicians can be bad teachers: they have a tendency to demand incredibly high standards from themselves and from everyone else, and they sometimes have an "artistic temperament" that leads them ...
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9 votes

Why can't I play with a backing track or other musicians

Backing tracks take no prisoners! They won't stop and wait while you work out what the next note is. Don't worry about this. You're not alone. Can you get a copy of the backing track to practice ...
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9 votes

Is it common practice to audition new musicians one-on-one before rehearsing with the entire band?

You might be interested to know how auditions go for positions in symphony orchestras. In most, but not all, cases, applicants perform solo or with a piano accompanist for a couple rounds. If they ...
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9 votes
Accepted

What's the best way for guitar and piano to play together in a jazz quartet?

As a guitarist, if I'm playing with a pianist, I usually do a couple of things. If I haven't played with them before, I'll usually lay off a bit in order to get a feel for how the pianist wants to ...
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  • 12.1k
8 votes

How to conduct rehearsals in a small band?

As I see it, only you and your bandmates can answer this, because it depends on what you want to do. First off, if you're not gigging... what exactly are you rehearsing for? Someone needs to step up ...
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  • 51.4k

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