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What should you know before you start/join a band?

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  • What should you know before you start/join a band?

    Evening folks.

    So i've been playing the guitar for about six years now, I've had a few jams with friends when I just started out and we all know how that sounds. Now, I realised I wanted to start or join a blues band that can just hangout, have a few beers and play the local bars. But I don't know what I should know after six years, I mostly play around at the fretboard and doing licks that sounds in key.

    So what do -you- think somebody should know before even thinking about joining a blues band?
    I don't mean "blues songs duh", more in the terms of scales, tempo, picking, bending, vibrato kinda things.
    Im terrible at playing/learning other people's blues songs from tabs found around the internet.

    Max


  • #2

    well now...you wanna be a blues musician? Forget the scales except minor pentatonic.Timing is a part of it, but the real key (IMHO) is phrasing and knowing when to NOT play


    Youtube is a blessing I wish had existed when I was starting out.


    Pick out 25 blues songs. Try to NOT pick all 12 bar, I-IV-V progressions. Find them on youtube if they are there, and learn them...there are usually plenty of blues tutorials as well for free. Unless you are learning an iconic song like 'Hideaway' (which, btw is a great one to learn, as it has almost every riff Freddie knew in it...the other two are in 'The Stumble'   ), don't learn it note for note, learn the song, learn the signature riffs, but not the solos; the beauty of the blues is you can always muck around with it.


    The other thing is listen to the real stuff, not SRV, KWS, or even Clapton. Go back and find the stuff they listened to: Robert Johnson, Louis Jordan, Tampa Red, Lightn'n Hopkins, Charley Patton, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters....etc.


    And don't just pay attention to the guitarists...horn players and pianists all have something you can learn from musically. Oh...and despite what many think, with the Blues, it isn't about how many notes you play or how fast you play. It is how you convey emotion through your playing that matters, and that you have to learn on your own, no one can teach you that.

    "We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties due to reality fluctuations. The elves are working tirelessly to patch the correct version of reality. Activities here have been temporarily disabled since the fundamentals of mathematics, physics and reason may be incomprehensible during this indeterminent period of instability. Normal service will be restored once we are certain as to what 'normal' is."

    Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally used up and worn out, shouting '...man, what a ride!'

    Comment


    • #3

      Majo wrote:

      Evening folks.

      So i've been playing the guitar for about six years now, I've had a few jams with friends when I just started out and we all know how that sounds. Now, I realised I wanted to start or join a blues band that can just hangout, have a few beers and play the local bars. But I don't know what I should know after six years, I mostly play around at the fretboard and doing licks that sounds in key.

      So what do -you- think somebody should know before even thinking about joining a blues band?
      I don't mean "blues songs duh", more in the terms of scales, tempo, picking, bending, vibrato kinda things.
      Im terrible at playing/learning other people's blues songs from tabs found around the internet.

      Max


      Max, playing in a band requires that you know songs and how to play them. Knowing a song is knowing its key, melody, lyrics and structure (how many verses, choruses, bridges, turnarounds and in what order). Then the entire band learns and practices the arrangement (yes DM!): what's the intro and who plays it, who sings, who plays rhythm, who plays lead, where do fills and solos go, what is the outro/ending and who plays on it? 

      Noodling around the fret board and doing licks can be fun, but won't make you a player. Better to: 1. Learn some songs by listening to records, picking out the melodies and figuring out the chords; 2. be able to play in more than one key and one position; 3. learn to play rhythm first - leads will come easier to you.


      Forget tabs - lots of them are wrong anyway. Instead, find an instructor. A live one is best, but there are also a ton of free uTube and other videos out there. TrueFire.com offers good instructional vids for about $30 a pop.

      Added: Everything DaddyMac said above is golden!

      NOTE: The absence of smilies in this post should not be taken to mean that I think your post is stupid, nor that I loath, despise, or hate you; nor that I disrespect you and all your works; nor that I see you as victim or lawful prey; nor think you have the intellect of half a loaf of bread; nor that I find you disgusting or unworthy or otherwise hate your behavior, opinions, politics, gender, sexual orientation, culture, ethnic background or language.

      F*** 'em if they can't take a joke!

      Comment


      • Notes_Norton
        Notes_Norton commented
        Editing a comment

        To play in a blues band, you need to know how to play the blues - that's a given.

        But what about the band itself?

        I've been in bands all my life (so far) and I now use the Count Basie approach. Attitude is more important than chops. Oh, of course you need good chops, but a player with a good attitude with decent chops is better than a super player with a bad attitude.

        Remember, we call it PLAYing music. Too may people forget the PLAY.

        I've been in bands where when someone made a mistake, another member went postal. I've seen people so serious about it that they play nothing but empty notes. 

        If the band is truly having fun, the audience will feel comfortable and it gives them permission to have fun. If the band or a band member is up tight, the audience will feel the discomfort.

        There are musicians who want everything done their way, stay away from those. There are others who like the input of other musicians and work as a team member to get the best music, even if it means discarding their own suggestions. Keep those.

        When you have players with the right attitude, get your song list up, rehearse it until you can play the songs well, and play them until you can recover from any mistakes. There will be distractions, somebody coming up during your solo and asking you to play "Happy Birthday" for someone, or requesting a song while you are singing. A distraction at the wrong time can mess things up. In the bands I've been in, we had an agreement, when something happens, go forward and never go back. That seems to work best.

        When someone makes a mistake, the band needs to help cover it up with no dirty looks or lectures after the gig. One of the main differences between pro and amatuer musicians are how mistakes are handled. Firstly the player with enough experience knows how to cover up most personal mistakes. But most isn't all, and in that case, the rest of the band needs to be eager to help. Sometimes feeding a lyric, playing an obvoius lick, or a million other things. This comes with experience. And in those rare moments when there is a train wreck, joke about it with the audience. They want to be on your side, let them laugh about it with you.

        When you feel ready -- get out there and have some fun.

        Insights and incites by Notes


    • #4

      Lots of good advice so far. One thing I will add is that a working knowledge of basic PA will serve you well. If your project involves building a PA, read the manuals of EVERY element of your system. Nothing can kill a gig mindset and distract you more than stressing over the system until starting time and trying to troubleshoot on the fly.:smiley-angry037:

      Comment


      • #5

        A lot of good advice offered above.

         A band is a lot of work and a big commitment. It can either be tremedous fun or a total bitch if you don't find the right butch of musicians.

         Hopefully you can find the right players to make it work.

        ________________________________
        I keep stimulants handy in case I see a snake,which I also keep handy.W.C.Fields

        G.B.#275

        OK We'll close down the business,have the manager shot,and give you back all your money.will that make you happy?

        The Hot Rod Owner's Club

        Comment


        • #6

          loads of good advice here.  There are loads of 'blues jam nights' around, it's good to get 'on the job' gigging experience with out having to actually commit to a band at these nights.  Also you always find people to start a band with when you're ready.  Have fun!

          Comment


          • #7

            You should have your scales under your fingers and also your improvising. Maybe you should also check out playing out of the box to sound different than all the others. Today I listened to some Robben Ford, really interesting blues.

            Comment


            • daddymack
              daddymack commented
              Editing a comment

              Reino Tulonen wrote:

              You should have your scales under your fingers and also your improvising. Maybe you should also check out playing out of the box to sound different than all the others. Today I listened to some Robben Ford, really interesting blues.




              tomorrow, listen to Nick Curran, and then Duke Robillard...


          • #8

            "What should you know before you start/join a band?"

             

            1) There's no money in it

            2) Never bring a $10,000 guitar to a $200 gig

            3) Your drummer can't play bossa nova

            4) Try to find a really good keyboard player

            Comment


            • Professor Tom
              Professor Tom commented
              Editing a comment
              Do not get involved with unreliable people who are always late, after a while it can really piss you off.


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