Hot answers tagged

60

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 belittling people who are struggling is never productive, and in a school setting it's downright unprofessional. Unless none of your bandmates has ever made a ...


53

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), and guitar 2 plays the third and the fifth or seventh, without root note. Split the parts rhythmically: guitar 1 playing kick/snare and guitar 2 playing "hi-...


45

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. But on average, and for most typical bands, I'd say you're correct. And while I can't give a scientific reason, I can give my general opinions and at no ...


44

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 as a result of an external influence. Move up to a simple backing track cd with a strong beat, something like a blues backing track for beginners. Keep going ...


33

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 serious bind. So if you quit a week or two before a show, be willing to do the one last show if they can’t find a quick replacement. If you’ve got a written ...


32

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 isn't necessarily bad – in particular in the studio, I rather like the compact room sensation caused by many mics picking up bleed from different sources. ...


26

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 hardly be where you are now with the instrument. However, that experience is likely from different music styles and orchestra practices than your band is doing, ...


23

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 perfect" How do you know it was "close to perfect"? Are you recording or videoing yourself and then playing it back? What you think you hear when you are playing ...


21

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, I like to meet for songwriting sessions to start putting stuff together for originals. Both covers and originals will improve your skills, but perhaps in ...


15

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 in line for eight f___ng hours with 800 people at a convention center and… then you sing your heart out for someone and then they tell you it’s not f___in’ ...


15

Sounds to me like he's pushing his voice a lot harder to get over the band volume. In an acoustic situation, he's singing in a more relaxed way, but put all the instruments in, at a volume which is probably unnecessary anyway, and the sing becomes more of a shout. By turning up his mic a balance will partially be restored, (but his ears will still tell him ...


15

In an orchestral situation, it is a terrible idea to rely on the conductor - they may not be able to cue you or instead are going to give a more important cue. Just because you are not playing does not mean you're allowed to sit and wait for a bus. Scores that have been edited well will have "cues" written in the parts, so, say you zone out accidentally or ...


15

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 during the verses. For instance, in "Smells Like Teen Spirit", one guitar would play the intro, both the opening chorus riff, then one guitar plays the verse and ...


13

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 pulling off a pain-free rejection: Admiration. Sounds crazy, I know, but it is absolutely essential that you find something, anything to admire about the [...


13

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. (I don't want the audience hearing my asides!) As a former soundman, I would always pull a mic down if it wasn't being used - it saves any possibility of ...


12

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 criticism stage is the "if you don't start fixing this stuff, I'm gonna have to get a new band" stage. Once you've decided that the fixin' ain't happening, and you're ...


12

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 a musician, but also my skills as a songwriter. First of all, when I write my own songs and musical arrangements, I tend to use chords and riffs that I am ...


11

I would recommend you avoid trying to use video. Unless you are 'local' to each other the latency and jitter makes it very difficult to play together. Audio can be encoded with much lower latency and is typically a fixed bandwidth requirement so this copes better with connection issues. Tools like Jamulus (http://sourceforge.net/projects/llcon/) are ...


11

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 like). I recently played with a pianist that didn't know anything about theory, but could work out pretty much everything with his ear. I don't think I would ...


10

Your drummer should be capable of playing along to a rhythm set by another instrument rather than leading the tempo all the time. Can he drum along to a metronome? If the problem is that the keyboard isn't always sounding the beat (maybe you have a couple of bars without playing, or just holding a chord without rhythm?) then you need to add something for ...


10

Craig, the other answers all address the possibility that his "singing nowhere near as good" is because he's getting drowned out by the other band members. There's another possiblity as well. If he sings very well by himself, accompanying himself, that doesn't necessarily translate into singing well with other people who are accompanying him. It's a ...


10

Adding to Dom's answer, the key is often in listening for cues in other people. Find out what other parts are doing around the time you come back in and before, so you can listen for that sign that you're about to come back in.


10

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 mom's Celica, so everyone else else comes over to his house. Plus, even when the van is working, it's a pain to lug the set around. Much easier with guitars ...


10

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 shortcomings of the other members, if for no other reason than you might want to join a different group some day and you don't need a bad rep in the community for any ...


10

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 leader. There are pros and cons in both of them. When everyone in the band is a leader, thus making it a democracy, it is hard and time consuming to decide what ...


10

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 would go to E natural but in Bb Major a trill on D would go to Eb. However, composers sometimes put an accidental above the trill symbol, which modifies the note ...


10

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 knew no theory had a good practical of things. Those who knew the theory could learn songs much faster. In one band, I was able to help by going through fake ...


10

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 very well trying out someone on a one to one basis, where they have little to blend in with or work off, but see it from their side too. Some of the bands I've '...


9

It's just a name: it used to be based on four bars, which probably would comprise one set of chord changes (eg doowop, I vi IV V), but could just as easily be two or eight bars. It's like calling a song's bridge a 'middle eight', even though the number of bars may be different. The Beatles always called their bridges 'middle eights'.


9

In swing setups such (e.g. tenor sax battles), it is not uncommon so see "trades" of varying (typically decreasing) length : trade 16, then trade 8, trade 4 and sometimes even trade 2 then trade 1, each time building up the tension. Things could also end in both musicians improvising simultaneously. Nice example from Robert Altman's Kansas City: ...


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