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Author Topic: Forming a new band  (Read 7230 times)

idontunderstand

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Forming a new band
« on: 09 Jul 2012, 06:55 »

I'm sitting down to write this without any idea quite what I want to say, so bear with me. Or not.

I've recently moved out of my university city of Lund, to Halmstad, which is about two hours further north. This is problematic for a number of reasons, but of course kind of unavoidable. Now, we had to split my band, since we were three people and there was no reason for them to keep going without me. The problem I want to address here is therefore: How do you go ahead and form a new band?

I've always been the kind of person who's more into working together with someone rather than using them as sidemen to play my songs the way I've pictured them beforehand. I already know what I sound like, I don't think it's very interesting to just project my style or whatever onto others. I may have a bass line, a lyric, a melody or something, and we'll write something together using that as a basis. On the other hand I want some level of control, in the sense that I don't want to be stuck playing something which I think sucks or just isn't my thing for some reason. Can I afford to be picky? Probably not. Am I satisfied playing cover songs and occasional Guns n' Roses ripoffs written by some guitar playing turd with no interest in doing something even slightly interesting or original? Nope.

The guitar player in my former band was the kind of person I could imagine playing with until the day that I die. We connected on the level where we were usually able to just sit down and play without knowing what we were going to do, and come up with an idea within 2 seconds. It was like that from the first time we played together until the last. It was sort of once-in-a-lifetime I guess.

Y'all, do you have a musical soulmate? How did you meet? I need a project and I need someone to play with. Or maybe I should try something else, like learning how to program some fucking drums and do everything by myself. How do you do it? Which do you prefer?

Head full of problems.. no single way of expressing it. Maybe I'm just venting. I'm 26 years old and I play bass by the way, also handling singing duties whenever needed. I'll be crawling up the walls within weeks unless I find some kind of project again where I'm living now.

Answer any of my questions or just rant away like me..
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Melodic

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Re: Forming a new band
« Reply #1 on: 09 Jul 2012, 10:17 »

Step one is finding people with mutual interests, and the easiest way to do that is to go to shows you enjoy and just start talking to the people you meet there. Everything else—logistics, playing styles, personalities—will sort itself out, or not, once you start playing with someone again. It sounds like you're just anxious to get a new project started, so don't worry about all the little details and go meet someone that plays.
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blaha 41

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Re: Forming a new band
« Reply #2 on: 09 Jul 2012, 21:23 »

Going at it solo would be better than whining about it wouldn't it?

THAT being said...

I understand how you feel so much that I'm learning keys just so I can have another way I might be able to fit myself into a band. I think my next way to find bandmates will be to start hitting open mics playing some originals I wrote on the keyboard and letting people know "I'm looking to join a band."
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idontunderstand

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Re: Forming a new band
« Reply #3 on: 10 Jul 2012, 07:11 »

It's QUITE possible that I'm overthinking stuff. But I'm reluctant to just play with people for the sake of it, I've tried that before and it didn't work out for me, it just ends up with me being stuck with bands I don't really like. But then I guess there's no other way.
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Melodic

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Re: Forming a new band
« Reply #4 on: 10 Jul 2012, 23:24 »

For the love of God avoid open mics. Seriously, you're asking for all KINDS of trouble trying to find bandmates at a forum like that.

OP, just be honest with yourself and the people you play with about what you do, and do not, want to play. Bands can be a sum of their parts (and a sum of those influences) or they can be one guy leading around a group of musicians, it's up to you.
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Patrick

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Re: Forming a new band
« Reply #5 on: 11 Jul 2012, 15:48 »

For the love of God avoid open mics. Seriously, you're asking for all KINDS of trouble trying to find bandmates at a forum like that.

As a guy who runs an open mic and a jam night, I'm here to tell you that this couldn't be any more accurate.

On the upside of it though, it's great practice for me. It's a challenge making a bunch of drunk half-assed playing sound any good.
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idontunderstand

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Re: Forming a new band
« Reply #6 on: 12 Jul 2012, 01:07 »

So what's wrong with open mic nights? Not that I go to them very often but from what I've seen there's some good musicians in such places every now and then.

Melodic: I'm not too sure what I want to play, I'm just completely sure of what I don't want to play. I can be frustrating, like that.
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Melodic

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Re: Forming a new band
« Reply #7 on: 12 Jul 2012, 11:20 »

The cafe I used to work at had a bathroom that was graffiti-friendly, which is to say that writing on the walls was encouraged in the hopes that people would draw or write beautiful things. And while there were a few inspiring, original poems, and one or two really great paintings, most of it was total schlock: poorly-worded quotes, cliche truisms, and stick-drawing penises. By and large, quantity ruled quality.

That's sort of what like open mics are about. Since there's no accepted "level" of professionalism, you might see a few good players in a night. But by and large, I think most of the people that play at open mics are playing there because they don't have a better, more legitimate venue to be performing in. Maybe that's because they're no good or maybe that's because they aren't motivated but either one rules them out as bandmates, let alone as entertainment.

Regardless of how sure you are of the material you want to be playing, you owe it to yourself to be vocal when the time arises. If the guy you're playing with suddenly brings out a KAOSSilator and a ukelele, speak up. Otherwise just go with the flow, something cool might come out of it.
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Patrick

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Re: Forming a new band
« Reply #8 on: 12 Jul 2012, 13:54 »

there's some good musicians in such places every now and then.

This bit.
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idontunderstand

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Re: Forming a new band
« Reply #9 on: 13 Jul 2012, 01:23 »

Well, if there was a place exclusively for good musicians I would probably go there. Eh, that sounded elitist. I don't actually care if someone is "a bad player" if there's some sort of genuine connection on a musical level. But good advice anyways, so thanks.
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Patrick

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Re: Forming a new band
« Reply #10 on: 13 Jul 2012, 08:01 »

I will say that the one I did at the bar this week kicked asses all night, even despite a few technical malfunctions. And I did wind up having a really dope band come in, and I immediately got contact info so we could book shows together. Hope is not always lost, you just gotta be there on a lucky night.
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blaha 41

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Re: Forming a new band
« Reply #11 on: 19 Jul 2012, 22:56 »

I say this out of bitterness, jealousy, & reluctant yet complete respect: Regina Spektor is the only "lead" (i.e., singer-songwriter) to get anywhere in the past 10 yrs by playing NYC (supposedly "THE"place to "BE") open mics.

I think it's different in other towns though.
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idontunderstand

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Re: Forming a new band
« Reply #12 on: 20 Jul 2012, 00:56 »

I live in a small town, meaning two things: First, there is still the same percentage of good/bad music as anywhere else, meaning that the good bands are very very few, and second, the good bands/musicians therefore get a rabid following very quickly and it's difficult to be there at the right time, so to speak. So open mics wouldn't be that bad, if we had any. :P
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Patrick

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Re: Forming a new band
« Reply #13 on: 20 Jul 2012, 02:23 »

The problem I want to address here is therefore: How do you go ahead and form a new band?

I've always been the kind of person who's more into working together with someone rather than using them as sidemen to play my songs the way I've pictured them beforehand. I already know what I sound like, I don't think it's very interesting to just project my style or whatever onto others. I may have a bass line, a lyric, a melody or something, and we'll write something together using that as a basis.

My band experience is limited, but here's the biggest things I can stress in the band-forming process. Two things:

1. Professional relationships and social relationships are entirely different. However, they are not mutually exclusive, and when combined (as it should be!), one can and will affect the other. You must constantly keep the flow of communication open and honest. But you mustn't forget that your bandies' feelings are as important to them as yours are to you.

2. Your bandmates are not just there to play an instrument, that's only a very basic expectation you should have for each other. They're there to help shore up each other's shortcomings. Using my band as an example, Matt's a phenomenal songwriter, promoter, and band face, and Paul excels in arranging pieces of song structures and keeping tempo. I specialize in session playing and vocal harmony. If any one of us were to up and quit, we'd be completely fucked during every process that matters.

These two considerations alone have served to remind me on numerous occasions that I don't hate my bandmates. I love the members of both of my bands, I think of them all as brothers, no matter how pissed I get at them for whatever dumb reason. That's the bond I feel you not only should, but MUST have.
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idontunderstand

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Re: Forming a new band
« Reply #14 on: 21 Jul 2012, 03:18 »

Very nice reply, just the kind of stuff I want people to share here. What do you think about dedication? Is it OK if one or two members (depending on the total number of bandmates) just doesn't seem as dedicated as the others, for example by missing more rehearsals than the others, not doing as much for the band as the others (both musically and er.. professionally, booking gigs and the like), playing in other bands at the same time etc.
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Re: Forming a new band
« Reply #15 on: 27 Jul 2012, 18:49 »

I've got to say that this whole thread has been incredibly helpful for me personally.  A few friends who I've known since we were toddlers and I all started learning how to play together and now we fancy ourselves a band of sorts.   This is the coolest thing that's ever happened to us, because when we play our directionless 20something asses actually feel like we can accomplish things.  What's more, we think we're good at it.  That said, the whole process of figuring out how that actually works has been really confusing, but really awesome at the same time. 

I guess it's kind of like when you start dating someone and you really click, but then after the first "neat, we're dating" phase, you have to transition into the "neat, we are best friends who are fucking" phase, you know?
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Patrick

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Re: Forming a new band
« Reply #16 on: 29 Jul 2012, 03:29 »

Sounds about accurate. One thing that bums me out is how quickly things can start to feel slow once the initial "YEAH SEX" part of it wears off. On the upside, that makes it so much more fun to learn new material.
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idontunderstand

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Re: Forming a new band
« Reply #17 on: 30 Jul 2012, 01:19 »

I think you need to keep some element of competition within the band and not just be content with, well, just playing. The marriage metaphor is as accurate as a metaphor could get though. It's important to remember that even though you don't have er... amazing sex/jams all the time anymore you are still able to achieve things you couldn't have done when you started dating/playing.
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dr. nervioso

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Re: Forming a new band
« Reply #18 on: 11 Sep 2012, 17:54 »

So I know that this might not exactly be the thread for this, but it's close and I really didn't want to start a new one.

I really want to form a band, but I am a singer and I really don't know what style of music my voice really meshes with. I know that I can't control what the music will be like completely, but I need to know what kind of musicians I need to look out for instruments-wise.

I'd love to make the classical rock band, but I don't reaally have the voice for that. Mine is somewhere along the lines of jazz, with some good vibrato. I'm flexible in my range, but I can't change it midsong Actually I think I'll post a video I made so I could record my voice (FYI: I used my iphone so the recording is pretty crappy, I apologize, it's my only recording device. I also make a few slip ups on the lyrics too, so please bear with me. This was purely a way for me to listen to my voice, I wasn't really planning on sharing it, but it works for this)

 http://quietube3.com/v.php/http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lonM1c9-mTY&feature=youtu.be

Please be nice to me and my voice
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idontunderstand

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Re: Forming a new band
« Reply #19 on: 12 Sep 2012, 01:06 »

Without even listening I'd say you should go forward and see what happens. Classical voices tend to work well in stuff like, for example, electronic music, etc. Be open and sing your heart out.
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Patrick

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Re: Forming a new band
« Reply #20 on: 14 Sep 2012, 01:30 »

So your voice isn't awful like Bob Dylan's, you can still rock if you damn well please. Just takes a bit more work, 'cause you have to figure out how to make it work for you. What kind of melodies work, what kind of songs you write, etc. etc.
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VonKleist

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Re: Forming a new band
« Reply #21 on: 14 Sep 2012, 01:56 »

Ehh, Dylan could sing if he wanted to.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dW81cD4pqoE&feature=related

But it´s a good example for something that especially Bob Dylan recognized, which is that singing voices don't need to be these flawless beautiful voices of the say, swing-era, to make an impression and find an audience.

But yeah, you have to find the kind of stuff that works for your voice. I assume by "classical rock" you mean The Who, later Stones etc. so listen and learn
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osoeMtSbxtU
and go look for bands that are doing tryouts or find some musicians and try to get them together. While you´re doing that you can maybe get a microphone and try recording on instrumentals to get used to working with your voice in the context of the style of music you would like to create.


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Kwaping

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Re: Forming a new band
« Reply #22 on: 14 Sep 2012, 09:35 »

Can you do Queen?
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Re: Forming a new band
« Reply #23 on: 14 Sep 2012, 09:43 »

I can do some of bohemian rhapsody. Also I am pretty sure I can do fat bottomed girls because I sing the chorus to myself all the time. I could never get the hang of we are the champions for whatever reason.

I should probably work on my breathing at some point. I know for a fact that it limits my singing
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Patrick

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Re: Forming a new band
« Reply #24 on: 15 Sep 2012, 20:53 »

Diaphragm diaphragm diaphragm! All day every day. If you're not pushing from where yr intestines are, you're doing it wrong. Also, there's something to be said for belting the shit out of it until the song screams for mercy. That's what I do when I sing anything Lennon or McCartney.
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idontunderstand

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Re: Forming a new band
« Reply #25 on: 16 Sep 2012, 13:36 »

Diaphragm diaphragm diaphragm!

Saying this out loud is actually a pretty good exercise.
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