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What are some ways to improve the "value" of your band?

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  • Quote Originally Posted by guido61
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    Very true. It's gigging a song where things become "locked in"---good, bad or otherwise. But unless someone is actually playing something dissonent I rarely find the need to pull a song back into rehearsal to work something out. It's from repeated gigging where a song "becomes our own"--where we're just playing it rather than focused on somebody else's recorded version of it.



    Related note: Funny how songs stray over time as well. Who here probably hasn't listened to a recording after gigging a song for awhile only to be astonished by how different the record sounds? But rarely do I ever hear something that I think---"oh, we're not doing that bit right. We need to go back and fix that". I like that evolution that songs take. I'm not that interested in bands who feel they need to sound just like a recording. That's what DJs are for.




    I find that pulling a song back into rehearsal is usually a judgement call that needs to distinquish whether the issue is with an individual is struggling with their part individually (because they haven't invested the personal practice to play the troubled passage consistently) - or truly one that requires rework. I'm good with pulling tunes back if it truly requires rework ... but prefer to put the bug up the ass of whoever needs to get their stuff straight to fix it. I absolutely HATE it when an anal bandmate insists we waste EVERYBODY's time revisiting a tune simply because one person on stage had a rough go at it at the last gig. Differentiating between a clam thrown during somebody's rough night - and a real problem with how the band has structured a tune requires wisdom - and that is often something that can sometime be in short supply.
    The SpaceNorman

    www.facebook.com/SuperstarsOfRock
    www.souldoutrocks.com

    Keyboards and Tone Generators: Yamaha CP300, Kronos 88, Roland AX Synth, Motif ES Rack
    Keyboard Rack: Samson SM10 Line Mixer, Motu MIDIExpressXT MIDI Interface, Shure PSM200 IEM system, M-Audio Wireless MIDI, Live Wires IEM ear buds, iPad wOnSong.
    Stage Amplification: Stereo via 2 Yamaha DSR112s

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    • Quote Originally Posted by SpaceNorman
      View Post

      I find that pulling a song back into rehearsal is usually a judgement call that needs to distinquish whether the issue is with an individual is struggling with their part individually (because they haven't invested the personal practice to play the troubled passage consistently) - or truly one that requires rework. I'm good with pulling tunes back if it truly requires rework ... but prefer to put the bug up the ass of whoever needs to get their stuff straight to fix it. I absolutely HATE it when an anal bandmate insists we waste EVERYBODY's time revisiting a tune simply because one person on stage had a rough go at it at the last gig. Differentiating between a clam thrown during somebody's rough night - and a real problem with how the band has structured a tune requires wisdom - and that is often something that can sometime be in short supply.




      Very true on all counts. It's tough to single folks out that way, but often times the root of the problem is just one person struggling for one reason or another. Stuff like harmony requires practice together IMO, and listening to the track assuming the harmony is already there. And that's usually best done by arriving early or staying late rather than sitting around with everyone. Nothing kills the vibe faster than stopping the music to work on an individual part in group rehearsal.
      Free prog-related metal from Michigan.

      http://www.silentlapse.com

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      • Quote Originally Posted by guido61
        View Post

        "raising your asking price and hire out sound and lights" might not be quite as simple as just doing that. Few venues are going to pay you a couple of hundred extra to cover your rental fee if they can get a self-contained band for the original price.



        You really need to understand the marketplace you're working in.....




        Whoa there Guido!!! You see, it's comments like this that just go to show that guys like you and me are ruining the forum experience for guys like Lee and Wades. When you start bringing that whole business thing to the table in a discussion like this - it simply proves that you and I don't understand that "it's ALL about the music".
        The SpaceNorman

        www.facebook.com/SuperstarsOfRock
        www.souldoutrocks.com

        Keyboards and Tone Generators: Yamaha CP300, Kronos 88, Roland AX Synth, Motif ES Rack
        Keyboard Rack: Samson SM10 Line Mixer, Motu MIDIExpressXT MIDI Interface, Shure PSM200 IEM system, M-Audio Wireless MIDI, Live Wires IEM ear buds, iPad wOnSong.
        Stage Amplification: Stereo via 2 Yamaha DSR112s

        Comment








        • Quote Originally Posted by SLScott86
          View Post

          Very true on all counts. It's tough to single folks out that way, but often times the root of the problem is just one person struggling for one reason or another. Stuff like harmony requires practice together IMO, and listening to the track assuming the harmony is already there. And that's usually best done by arriving early or staying late rather than sitting around with everyone. Nothing kills the vibe faster than stopping the music to work on an individual part in group rehearsal.




          Agreed - vocal harmonies can require group rehearsal - even if it's primarily to help that the struggling member gets their part down. Although as one of the folks for whom singing vocal harmonies does NOT come naturally too - I find that I get the most mileage from ensuring that 1) the harmony line I'm assigned to sing is clearly defined in the rehearsal where harmony parts were decided on (i.e., what is the musical phrase) and 2) that I write down the note that my harmony assignment starts on. Armed with that - all that's usually required is personal practice on my part to ensure that I get my "starting note" (in relationship to my keyboard part) drilled into my head - and that I can consistently sing my part's "musical phrase" even when I come at it cold.



          In my experience - sloppy harmonies can usually be traced back to the band member who hasn't learned their part "cold" - and instead "hunts" for it every time the problem passage comes around.
          The SpaceNorman

          www.facebook.com/SuperstarsOfRock
          www.souldoutrocks.com

          Keyboards and Tone Generators: Yamaha CP300, Kronos 88, Roland AX Synth, Motif ES Rack
          Keyboard Rack: Samson SM10 Line Mixer, Motu MIDIExpressXT MIDI Interface, Shure PSM200 IEM system, M-Audio Wireless MIDI, Live Wires IEM ear buds, iPad wOnSong.
          Stage Amplification: Stereo via 2 Yamaha DSR112s

          Comment








          • Quote Originally Posted by SpaceNorman
            View Post

            Whoa there Guido!!! You see, it's comments like this that just go to sho that guys like you and me are ruining the forum experience for guys like Lee and Wades. When you start bringing that whole business thing to the table in a discussion like this - it simply proves that you and I don't understand that "it's ALL about the music".




            Not going there, but hiring out sound and lights isn't going to free up a whole heck of a lot of time to become virtuosos. They aren't rocket science. Worst case err on the side of caution and leave them down a bit. Tweak on the fly. You don't need to enroll in audio engineering classes to hook up subs.



            Now, lights... that can be a real pain in the tuckus if you're going for much more than just lighting the band.
            Free prog-related metal from Michigan.

            http://www.silentlapse.com

            Comment








            • Quote Originally Posted by SpaceNorman
              View Post

              Agreed - vocal harmonies can require group rehearsal - even if it's primarily to help that the struggling member gets their part down. Although as one of the folks for whom singing vocal harmonies does NOT come naturally too - I find that I get the most mileage from ensuring that 1) the harmony line I'm assigned to sing is clearly defined in the rehearsal where harmony parts were decided on (i.e., what is the musical phrase) and 2) that I write down the note that my harmony assignment starts on. Armed with that - all that's usually required is personal practice on my part to ensure that I get my "starting note" (in relationship to my keyboard part) drilled into my head - and that I can consistently sing my part's "musical phrase" even when I come at it cold.



              In my experience - sloppy harmonies can usually be traced back to the band member who hasn't learned their part "cold" - and instead "hunts" for it every time the problem passage comes around.




              I think the hardest part of working on harmonies is the diagnostics. I can't tell what's off until everything else is gone. Thankfully, our guitarist is becoming very good, and pretty much waits till he has it down before he brings it out. And when he does, it's on. Most of our harmony conversations these days are "that harmony sounded great." "Okay, cool!"
              Free prog-related metal from Michigan.

              http://www.silentlapse.com

              Comment








              • Quote Originally Posted by SpaceNorman
                View Post

                Whoa there Guido!!! You see, it's comments like this that just go to show that guys like you and me are ruining the forum experience for guys like Lee and Wades. When you start bringing that whole business thing to the table in a discussion like this - it simply proves that you and I don't understand that "it's ALL about the music".




                Wow. I don't think it's ALL about the music. I love SHOW!!!!!! I can see if you weren't paying attention you might think that is my take but that most certainly is not my take. I love Bowie and Marilyn Manson and Ke$ha and Gaga and MJ. I've played in cow punk bands dressed accordingly and dressed like early Roxy Music. I've had long hair, boots and black T's and whatever was right for that particular gig. I've done it for a lot of years. I love performance. All about the music?



                I apologize for not being very clear. That's NOT the case.



                I think subs would add value to their presentation.
                __________
                Your god doesn't exist but my god does and he is all loving. If you disagree with me I'll kill you. - Prince Ea

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                • Quote Originally Posted by wades_keys
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                  Here's my band of two weeks in a rehearsal situation. You tell me what sounds more musical, has a more focused look, better stage presence? Perfect!? No. But: veterans with 3 smart rehearsals vs two years of bar band slog rehearsals? You tell me bro. Money where my mouth is.




                  The honest brutal truth? I think both bands are lacking a lot of the same stuff. And that same stuff is the stuff that will cost you gigs and money. Is your band more "musical"? Perhaps, but the biggest problem I have with discussing musciality in general is that it is so subjective. And, just like subs or lights or harmony vocals, is only ONE PART of the being able to have to the whole package needed to create more "value" for a band.



                  What BOTH bands lack (based on what I can see from the video clips, and I hate to judge from video clips because it's hard to get the "full experience" from them) is that "IT factor". Any sort of compelling prescence--musically or otherwise--the draws the crowd in.



                  That bands that make money are the ones that build followings. And following are built by having the ability to hold audiences and keep them wanting to come back for more. And the way bands do that is by having that "it factor". Having something --- or usually a combination of things -- that will keep people watching and listening and, if applicable, dancing all night. If you look at any of the successful bands in your area, you'll see that THIS is the common thread they all have. Not harmony vocals, not subs, not lights, not amazing chops, not gimmicks. The good bands use some or all of those things to help create that ability to have something special. And that's true whether you're a 7-piece party club band playing to tracks, or a wedding band, or a power metal trio, or an acoustic jazz duo or a flamenco guitarist.



                  In your band's case, your guitarist is an adequate singer, at best, and boring to watch. Nothing in the video made me want to keep watching or listening beyond a few seconds. And yeah, the playing was fine. And yeah, with more practice you'll play better and tighter. But if you think that's gonna be enough you're as dead wrong as anyone who thinks simply adding a set of subs is the answer.



                  When I think of great trios, the first one that comes to mind is The Police. And yes, they were amazing players. And had some great songs. And a great look with the similar hair styles and a great gimmick going with the white-ska thing. And they used all that to help create their "IT factor". But what really drove it over the top was Sting. His voice, his singing style, his stage presence is what made that band so compelling. Now, not every cover band is gonna have a Sting up front, obviously, which makes reliance on the other stuff even more important. And there are all sorts of ways to make the most use of the other stuff to compensate for the things you don't have. Again, using the best of everything you have to create that "IT factor". And the weaker your front person is, the more you really have to work on implementing the other stuff.



                  Lee bemoans the "party band phenomenon", or whatever he called it. But really all that comes down to is bands pulling out all the stops to be as compelling a live act as possible and yes, it's often done by bands with less-than-amazing front people because such singers/performers are pretty hard to come by.



                  So yes: it's important to play and sing and sound and look as good and as interesting and as entertaining as possible. All bands need ALL of that. However your particular band needs to divvy all that up so that it all adds up to "100" is dependant upon the individual band. But having that front person really is the biggest piece of puzzle.



                  TimKeys talks about how great of a singer/storyteller his front guy is. And no doubt his ability to draw people in and keep them coming back for more is the schtick that works for that band. Which is the biggest part of the reason why they can get by with minimal gear, minimal lighting, and a band that never rehearses. And even only has a drummer for some gigs. Some people have that ability to just tell a story and captivate a room. Some people are so cool looking that their physical presence alone does that. But the less of that you have up front, the more you have to start adding on other elements.



                  Great chops is great. The better the band plays, the more everything else is easier. No doubt. But from a "value added" standpoint, great chops is only going to take you so far. Beyond your ability to impress your musician friends and boost your own ego (ZERO dollar factor) the best thing that strong musicianship can do is help create a groove that keeps a dancefloor packed. But after that, you're reaching the point of diminishing returns.



                  Great chops can also be used to really exenuate the strengths of a great vocalist. But, then again, if you don't have that great vocalist, you're kind of wasting your time with some of that as well. Think about James Brown. Think about all the cool amazing things his band does that make his stage presence and singing even more compelling. Think about the same band doing the same with...say...ME up front. Not quite the same thing, is it? Regardless of how good the band is.
                  _________________________________________________
                  band websites:
                  http://www.JumpStartYourParty.com
                  https://www.gigmasters.com/Rock/Jump-Start
                  https://www.facebook.com/JumpStartYourParty
                  http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/jumps...587fe5f12.html

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                  • Quote Originally Posted by SLScott86
                    View Post

                    I think the hardest part of working on harmonies is the diagnostics. I can't tell what's off until everything else is gone. Thankfully, our guitarist is becoming very good, and pretty much waits till he has it down before he brings it out. And when he does, it's on. Most of our harmonies these days are "that harmony sounded great." "Okay, cool!"




                    To me, good bar band harmony is all about the arrangement. The reality is that more often than not the harmonies we're trying to emulate were originally sung by vocalists with far better tone, better training and more talent than that which my band of weekend warriors bring to the table. A workable bar band arrangement has to take everybody's vocal tone and more importantly vocal range into consideration ... as well as their ability to sing and play simultaneously. We're fortunate in that our sax player is a retired high school band director who really has an ear for arrangement - he and our guitar player get together and work out the harmony parts.



                    As I said in my previous post - I am NOT a natural singer. Harmonizing is definitely a learned thing for me. I look to our arrangers (our sax player and guitar player) to tell me "...start on this note - and sing thewords to this musical phrase". Armed with that - it's then on me to go off and learn my part such that I can sing it one demand. I'll be honest and say it usually takes me a little work to get to the point that I've learned the starting note of my harmony phrase in relation to my keyboard part and/or the rest of what's going on in the song at that point such that I can sing that note on demand. I also have to work at the independent coordination of singing the phrase properly without it phrasing being influenced by whatever my hands are doing in terms of my keyboard parts. However, once I truly learn my part - I'm extremely consistent about hitting it every time it comes around (even with a multi-beer handicap!).



                    If I don't put in the time and truly ingrain that starting note and musical phrase into my head ... my harmony parts are an "eat **************** and howl at the moon" affair.
                    The SpaceNorman

                    www.facebook.com/SuperstarsOfRock
                    www.souldoutrocks.com

                    Keyboards and Tone Generators: Yamaha CP300, Kronos 88, Roland AX Synth, Motif ES Rack
                    Keyboard Rack: Samson SM10 Line Mixer, Motu MIDIExpressXT MIDI Interface, Shure PSM200 IEM system, M-Audio Wireless MIDI, Live Wires IEM ear buds, iPad wOnSong.
                    Stage Amplification: Stereo via 2 Yamaha DSR112s

                    Comment


                    • Since we're talking about stage presence and harmony . . . .








                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2Et2-5bvE8

                      Comment








                      • Quote Originally Posted by SeniorBlues
                        View Post

                        Since we're talking about stage presence and harmony . . . .




                        Exactly. I can't imagine anybody walking into a club and not stopping to watch and listen to that guy for at least a few minutes even if you didn't like the style of music.



                        And, obviously, much much longer if you do.
                        _________________________________________________
                        band websites:
                        http://www.JumpStartYourParty.com
                        https://www.gigmasters.com/Rock/Jump-Start
                        https://www.facebook.com/JumpStartYourParty
                        http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/jumps...587fe5f12.html

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                        • Quote Originally Posted by SLScott86
                          View Post

                          This. I didn't hear the kick. Solution: subs. It could have been tighter. Solution: practice. I have no clue how this became an argument debating the merits of two things that couldn't be much less in conflict. It's like arguing between driving your car and buying groceries.




                          It shouldn't have been an either or proposition. My only point was how quick a lot of folks jumped on the purchase fix. Buy subs. Clearly, my point was either misspoken by me, or misunderstood by some. Probably a little of both.



                          It's like in the production game. Do you know how easy it is to feel you need to get a new pre or compressor or mic when you run a studio/production business? You want to reach for the fix. "I need a U47." But really, I find myself too quick to place a vocal mic. I've got some nice mics, but somehow, I get pulled, frequently, into my own crazy game of believing the fix is a 47. Well, that would do wonders, as would subs, but for me to fixate too quickly on the "buying" solution... that's a mistake I try not to make too often.



                          But you know, if you really need a 47 or one of the wonderful modern versions, you might need it. Putting that off has made me a better engineer/producer. Is it either/or? Of course not. Though... I know a few guys that have bought the 47 and really haven't taken the time to learn how powerful using your ears and intellect and troubleshooting wisdom can be. And the vocal tracks I cut using far lessor mics, are in fact better. Should I get a 47? Of course. Should I have gotten one 20 years ago? Maybe...



                          ...maybe not. But that's just me. If I asked what I could do to make my services a better value, some might shout, "Buy a 47!!!" Some migth say, "Learn to move the mic in the perfect spot." Choosing to take the time to learnhow to place a mic by no means makes me any less wanting and needing of a U47.
                          __________
                          Your god doesn't exist but my god does and he is all loving. If you disagree with me I'll kill you. - Prince Ea

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                          • Sounds great!






                            Quote Originally Posted by SeniorBlues
                            View Post

                            Since we're talking about stage presence and harmony . . . .








                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2Et2-5bvE8




                            Comment








                            • Quote Originally Posted by Lee Knight
                              View Post

                              It shouldn't have been an either or proposition. My only point was how quick a lot of folks jumped on the purchase fix. Buy subs. Clearly, my point was either misspoken by me, or misunderstood by some. Probably a little of both.



                              It's like in the production game. Do you know how easy it is to feel you need to get a new pre or compressor or mic when you run a studio/production business? You want to reach for the fix. "I need a U47." But really, I find myself too quick to place a vocal mic. I've got some nice mics, but somehow, I get pulled, frequently, into my own crazy game of believing the fix is a 47. Well, that would do wonders, as would subs, but for me to fixate too quickly on the "buying" solution... that's a mistake I try not to make too often.



                              But you know, if you really need a 47 or one of the wonderful modern versions, you might need it. Putting that off has made me a better engineer/producer. Is it either/or? Of course not. Though... I know a few guys that have bought the 47 and really haven't taken the time to learn how powerful using your ears and intellect and troubleshooting wisdom can be. And the vocal tracks I cut using far lessor mics, are in fact better. Should I get a 47? Of course. Should I have gotten one 20 years ago? Maybe...



                              ...maybe not. But that's just me. If I asked what I could do to make my services a better value, some might shout, "Buy a 47!!!" Some migth say, "Learn to move the mic in the perfect spot." Choosing to take the time to learnhow to place a mic by no means makes me any less wanting and needing of a U47.




                              This post needs to be read and reread, IMHO.

                              Comment








                              • Quote Originally Posted by Lee Knight
                                View Post

                                I My only point was how quick a lot of folks jumped on the purchase fix. Buy subs.




                                Probably because A) his question was how best to spend $1000 that would help improve the value of his band.

                                B) he mentioned subs himself first.

                                C) there was no discernable low-end in the video clip.



                                So, pretty obviously the answer would be "yeah, you could use some subs." There's really not too many other ways to compensate for the obvious lack of low end which is pretty much prerequisite for a band playing that style of music.



                                And yes. Practice, man practice. Which doesn't cost anything but time. But didn't really have anything to do with the OP which was about having some money to invest in the band and how best to go about it.



                                As a real estate appraiser, I get asked all the time what's the best way to invest some money into a home to increase the value. Now it may very well be that they could accomplish much simply by doing things that don't really cost much money like making sure their lawn looks nice. And I might give them that advice. But it's not the same thing as answering the "investment" question. Which probably involves remodeling the kitchen.



                                .
                                _________________________________________________
                                band websites:
                                http://www.JumpStartYourParty.com
                                https://www.gigmasters.com/Rock/Jump-Start
                                https://www.facebook.com/JumpStartYourParty
                                http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/jumps...587fe5f12.html

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