Putting together a band


shahnen
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Joined: 12/21/09
Posts: 88
Hi I am a teenager who is starting their first band. I have a drummer and I am a guitar player. I was wondering what are some qualities I should look for in a singer and a bassist and what are some things I should keep in mind while playing and rehearsing and in general. Thank you so much.



Shahnen
# 0
hunter1801
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Joined: 01/27/05
Posts: 1,331
For a singer, you obviously need someone that can sing the style of music you are wanting to play.

Don't think you have to worry about the skill of a bassist at your level. Finding one is hard enough.
# 2
Slipin Lizard
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Joined: 11/15/07
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Hunter's right.. and I'll this: Your singer is your "frontman"... he or she is really going to make or break your band. Try to get someone with an excess of personality... they may be a bit of prima-donna but its ok if they really bring a great show to your audience. If you get someone who's just an awesome singer though, that may well trump any other concerns.

Hey, don't take it too seriously. Chances are your band won't make it, you'll eventually all go your separate ways, so enjoy it while it lasts, have fun every time you play, and if it goes somewhere, great, but if it doesn't, don't worry about it. I think a lot of young bands try to strategize and put a lot of pressure on themselves to sound a certain way, play certain places, get to a certain "level"... that can all come later. For now, just have fun, and see where it goes. Look at "Foster the People" and "Pumped Up Kicks"... those guys had NO idea that was going to be as huge as it was for them... they were just doing their thing and it caught on.
# 3
hunter1801
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That's true. Didn't think about the whole "frontman" aspect of it. Your singer definitely needs to be comfortable in front of other people. If he has good showmanship, great, but if he doesn't, then he better make up for it in singing skills.

You probably won't be playing on stages any time soon if you are just starting out, so don't worry about showmanship too much at this point. Just know that when you do play for others, you are putting on a show. It's entertainment. Nobody wants to just sit and watch people playing an instrument. They want to be entertained. If your frontman can't do this, it'll be tough to keep your audiences attention.
# 4
shahnen
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Joined: 12/21/09
Posts: 88
Ok thanks guys! I think I know what I am looking for now, but how would I go about finding them? Thanks you guys are so much help! :)
# 5
hunter1801
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Joined: 01/27/05
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That's the typical question you run into when starting a band.

Guessing you're in High School? Your best bet is to just start asking everyone you know if they know anyone who sings/plays anything. Start hanging out with the musicians. Maybe even post some flyers up for "auditions".

Craigslist is another option, but I don't know how well it works for a start-up High School band. You generally get people a little more experienced there and the experienced ones aren't going to want to waste time with a start up band.
# 6
compart1
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Joined: 06/27/09
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You could make up flyers and post them in local music stores, music schools any place you have seen flyers posted. Even call around to local music school wouldn't hurt if you didn't want to make up flyers.
# 7
shahnen
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Joined: 12/21/09
Posts: 88
Ok thank you very much guys. Since you are here, do you mind if I ask one more question? I am performing my first time on stage in June at school. My teacher wants me to play a 3 minute unaccompanied solo. Any thoughts on composing it or anything I should keep in mind while performing? I played a 7 minute solo in class and I got a VERY positive response. But I personally think that is cause it was a lot of speed and a lot of van halen/ randy rhoads / vai licks. The solo I have to play live has to be me. Please help.

Thank You
# 8
gypsyblues73
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Then make it you. But at the same time, you should keep your audience in mind. Is it going to be a lot of the same people who heard you do the 7-minute solo, or similar people who'll probably get a kick out of hearing the same kind of thing? Then throw in some of the types of licks that they loved the time before, but stay true to yourself. Like maybe 2 minutes of you doing a solo that's "you", with a minute of the shred stuff dispersed here and there, or a 2:30/30 second split. Or you could do a solo that slowly builds into the "flashy" stuff where it's almost like a wild crescendo at the end.
As far as the band, I second the frontman comments. The last singer I was in a band with was a great showman, and great singer as well. Pics from our first gig together, he had a "rock star" pose in every one of them, as he was singing. I don't think he even knew he was doing it. That band was put together from Craigslist. If you put an ad on there (and it is a great resource for finding musicians) make sure you stipulate what age and skill level you're at. You don't want a grizzled 40-year old pub veteran showing up to audition! Also, make sure you get along great with the singer and bassist. They should be laid-back and drama-free, as much as possible, or personality clashes will kill the band.
# 9
shahnen
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Joined: 12/21/09
Posts: 88
Haha ok thanks everyone. I think I know everything I need. Thank You!
# 10
Jahan Honma
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Joined: 03/26/12
Posts: 61
I remember when I lived in Hawai'i, I tried to put a metal band together SO MANY TIMES! I had some friends that could play but they didn't practice hard or were only interested in playing songs that would get them girls. Hahaha. I tried and gave up over and over again for over 5 years. Then I decided to just move to Japan and BOOM! I have had 10 AWESOME bands so far. I've been with my current one for over 4 years now. I hope you can find some worthy players more quickly than I did. :)
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# 11
gypsyblues73
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Where are you in Japan? I'm on Okinawa, and trying to get into the scene here and put a band together, but it doesn't seem too lively, or I haven't met the right people yet.
# 12
Jahan Honma
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Joined: 03/26/12
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I live in Niigata but I used to live in Okinawa and they have tons of bands last I remember. If you go to a college and ask about the music related clubs you can probably meet some people. They'll all be young. That's what I did out here in Niigata and it worked though.
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# 13
Mason Bruce
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Joined: 05/11/14
Posts: 25
I'm in the same boat and I think its probably best to find people who like the same music and also people who you enjoy being around. Skill doesn't mean much if you can't see yourself hanging out with these people day in day out. I think that increases the bands longevity.
# 14
fdeets88
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Joined: 11/07/14
Posts: 9
Ok so here are some things to think about when looking for a bassist.

-you want someone with good time
-someone who is confident enough to hold the tempo
-if you also have a drummer the performance between the bassist and the drummer must be tight and strong for the are the foundation of sound that your songs rest on.
-always give them chord changes to a new song you are introducing them to. Even if the song is a standard some vocalists change key or make alterations.
# 15
Jure G
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Joined: 12/16/14
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it also cool to find some one you'll enjoy playing with. nothing is more frustrating than play a gig with guys you don't get a lot with.
# 16
Yitbird
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Joined: 12/05/09
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Just play and have fun if your wanting to play out get a gig booked and go for it your going to embarrass yourself anyway the first time or so. Go play for free and let things develop. If you try to practice and become good you will fail instantly because you yourself will never be satisfied with your playing so if you wait til you become satisfied your band will collapse. I am now 62 and every band that I played in that made money and I did make a living doing it learned about 15 songs maybe in 2 to 3 sessions and went out to play. Those bands grew and made money. The bands that worked for 6 hard months never went out to play never got good enough. Plus we threw chairs at each other LOL I know when younger I threw a guitar or two, have fun.
# 17
debes335
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I put a band together playing Moody Blues songs for ten years.
The four primary band members were from four different states. We practiced on our own with Moody CD's and then got together once in a while for a group practice.

I think it was the most fun I ever had in my life. But not withoout angst.

You all should watch the movie "The Commitments" and you will see what I mean. There are always disagreements and ego clashes, kind of like a four way marriage. But in the end well worth working together.

Deb
# 18
mike hark
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Joined: 01/25/11
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ive been playing the guitar for 40 + yrs and am always learning some thing new but I recently got together with a couple guys and we all just click.still looking for a singer tho.trying out a new guy this thurs,dont get discouraged keep plugging away.if I hadn't done that I never would have met the guys im with today.keep the faith and never give up.
every one be cool and enjoy.
mike
# 19
Slowhandfan52
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Joined: 09/03/14
Posts: 8
In your quest for playing partners be on the lookout for a Bassist, Drummer, etc. that can also sing lead or backing vocals. You do/don't need a front person, that's up to you but you do need to have as many band members as possible sing. It makes a huge difference in what you can or cannot play.
# 20