At a Crossroads with Band Situation... HELP

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At a Crossroads with Band Situation... HELP

Postby stevie » Tue Oct 18, 2005 10:19 pm

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Oct-18-05 AT 06:20 PM (EST)]I need the help of you more experienced folk... Perhaps this is something that you had 'wish you had known' as well...


I'm on the very verge of starting a blues band... Problem is, the band. I could easily start one NOW, as i have a good amount of willing musicians who are interested to fill in the parts of a rhythm section...

But someone very close to suggested that i could have a 'floating' rhythm section (changing from time to time).


I kno that BB King, Buddy Guy, Johnny Winter, Otis Rush etc etc. didn't have a solid and consistant lineup for their bands, in contrast to someone like Stevie Ray Vaughan who was with Double Trouble for most of his careeer.

Does anyone have any input about rhythm sections? Would it be more beneficial to have a solid rhythm section or more diverse? what are the pros and cons of the two?



What i want is a laid back group of musicians who wanna make some blues but also 'mix it up a bit' and add some different tastes into the mix WITHOUT compromising the blues core...
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RE: At a Crossroads with Band Situation... HE

Postby roy bluesboy » Tue Oct 18, 2005 10:52 pm

Stevie, take a few weekends and invite different musicians over to jam. A good band is more about interpersonal dynamics than anything. Find the guys that "jive" well together and are open minded. A band is like a marriage - it is most important to get along and have the same broad ideas of what a band should be. Although it is good idea for one or more of the guys to be experienced, do not decide who fits best just by their skill level. Similar work ethics & "fun factor" are a must. A "Floating" rhythm section sounds like a crappy idea to me - it takes a long time to get a GOOD rhythm section. You may think you are choosing the band but they are choosing who they want to play with as well. Remember this too - in MOST bands there is no real leader. Bands are units and being the frontman, lead guitar player or "guy who owns the house where we practice" does not make that person in charge. Good Luck, Roy BB
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RE: At a Crossroads with Band Situation... HE

Postby jeffl » Tue Oct 18, 2005 11:38 pm

Roy: your points about "fit" are good. I've been rehearsin' with a different band a few times lately,and gigged once with 'em, and I've yet to see 'em loosen up and have a good time. The frontman's really dry. He's talkin' about doin' a true blues band project, and I'm wonderin' when I'm gonna find out why these guys are playin' with him. So,maybe he and I aren't a good fit. I'm accustomed to playin' with guys I love to hang out with,for the most part.
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RE: At a Crossroads with Band Situation... HE

Postby maxx england » Wed Oct 19, 2005 4:40 pm

I have only rarely made it up on stage, because I have not been able to find people into the same stuff I am and with the same attitiude of give & take & hard work.

There are any number of raging egos and Hendrix wannabees and I just don't want to deal with that. I'm here, like everyone else, for the music and I don't want the joy of it tarnishing.

A fixed bunch of people you can stand to be around for prolonged peiods, all having the same fun you are, seems to be the way to go and if that means you end up as a 3 piece, then OK.

Whatever your choice, make sure you will be happy with the outcome.
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RE: At a Crossroads with Band Situation... HE

Postby spud camp » Wed Oct 19, 2005 5:06 pm

I'm new to the blues scene but I was a bass player in rock bands since I was 16. I jammed with a lot of different people and personalities. Ironically the best bands I was in were some of the least talented. The reason is, we clicked. There were no egos, no jealousy, just a common commitment to perform our best. When we were on stage there was no stopping us, and the people in the crowd can feel that electricity. I remember one time I saw Metallica on their Justice for all tour, it was right after Cliff had died and they had Just got Jason Newstead. It was painfully obvious that Newstead just simply did not "click". Talent wise he is a great bass player but it just wasn't there. He kinda just hid in the corner and did his thing, years later it finally came out that they never did get along, but I think everybody already new that. Being in a band is a big responsibility, there are a lot of other guys counting on you to get it done. My advice is......pick your band members carefully, and take your time. It said up above that its like marriage and that is dead on, you will be spending ALOT of time with these people, and there is always a possibility of income.
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RE: At a Crossroads with Band Situation... HE

Postby savage » Wed Oct 19, 2005 10:59 pm

>Ironically the best bands I was
>in were some of the least talented. The reason is, we
>clicked. There were no egos, no jealousy, just a common
>commitment to perform our best. When we were on stage there
>was no stopping us, and the people in the crowd can feel
>that electricity.

these are the things that are important in a band. The original post stated that certain artists had "floating" rhythm section. This usually isnt a delliberate choice in a band, but usually a decision made to fill in/replace members when the leave in the light that "the show must go on". A band is another word for a group... A band can be considered a team of people who have similar ideas. If you dont get along and have fun it doesnt matter how good every band member is. What's the point of playing music if you're not gonna enjoy it? If you leave a band "open" (so to speak) you're not gonna have any sort of tight chemistry that makes every band unique.
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RE: At a Crossroads with Band Situation... HE

Postby ricochet » Thu Oct 20, 2005 1:30 am

Well, if you're at a crossroads, be sure to get your guitar tuned.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."
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RE: At a Crossroads with Band Situation... HE

Postby susudio » Thu Oct 20, 2005 4:31 pm

Stevie, it all comes down to commitment. I've seen too many situations where gigging bands had to check in with one to several "members" before taking show dates. Problem would be the other "members" were playing in several bands and had conflicting dates. In this situation, you'll lose the rapport that's needed for a good relationship and there isn't a commitment to the "union".
Hey, where's Dr. Phil when you need him?



"A monkey in a suit is still a monkey"
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RE: At a Crossroads with Band Situation... HE

Postby stevie » Thu Oct 20, 2005 5:25 pm

Hey thanks for the GREAT advice guys !

I appreciate it a lot.



2 of em are really interested, and i will be jamming with them sometime next week. Ive known one of them for probably... 2 years, and the other earlier this year. The seem like good musicians.


One of em plays multiple instruments, which is good, but she said she really doesn't know the blues that well. THe good thing is, is that she is VERY VERY eager to learn so that will help. I tihnk she would be a nice part of the band, cuz she play different instruments.


The fact that they are eager the play with me, and eager to learn is probably one of the most important factors as well, yea?



THanks again for help!

-stevie
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RE: At a Crossroads with Band Situation... HE

Postby deltablues57 » Fri Dec 30, 2005 6:07 am

Just reading your post. Like the others said find guys you like to play with. Find guys who like playing the same style of music you do. Playing music you really don't like sucks! Just because the only obvious opportunity is to play with guys who are playing music you don't like is no reason to be miserable. There are people out there who like the same as you sometimes you just need to search. Hitting open mic nights is a great way to meet other musicians.
A rotating rhythm section is a really bad idea. The band will never become polished if you all don't play together regularly. PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE doesn't mean make the sounds. The sound is the whole group together. If you practice together you sound like you have practiced together.
If you go to open mic nights you can always tell who is with the band and who is just sitting in. Even if he is a great musician he has not worked out the song with the band and it usually shows.
Find guys who don't have real big EGO's. I would rather have a less seasoned player to work together with than a HOT SHOT who thinks he is "Stevie Ray". I have really grown sick of guys who think they have to play loud distorted overbearing leads over the rest of the band. If you are a professional musician(from the sound of your post you are not)maybe you will have to put up with the BULLSHIT EGO'S of some hot shot musicians. But if you are not just have fun. When it is not fun any more it is time to leave!
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Postby MudcatMatt » Sun Nov 11, 2007 5:52 pm

There is no substitue for a consistant lineup who are used to playing together.

My old band were together for six years and by the end of our run we were like a single entity. We each instictively knew what the other was going to do at any given time. You simply cannot achieve that sort of tightness with a "floating" band.
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Postby stratman_27 » Sun Nov 11, 2007 7:46 pm

It takes a long time for a rythmn section to come together and constantly keeping it changing your going to be beating yourself up. When you find people you identify with and and connect with musically your going to want them around.
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Postby allanlummox » Mon Nov 12, 2007 5:48 am

The best bands I've played in have been groups of musicians that were available for - and playing - other gigs.

The more the cats are playing out, the more music they are playing, the better their brains are working musically.

Of course, for this to work, it helps if it's a cash - generating situation.
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Re: At a Crossroads with Band Situation... HELP

Postby michelle » Fri May 23, 2008 10:11 am

the last band i was in we were all learning our instruments and we all wanted to play blues. I had been a "female vocalist" for twenty years pandering to what the guys wanted to do and what key they wanted to do it in. Dont get me wrong , i learnt alot and became very versatile vocally but when i started taking the guitar seriously it was great to get together with another "female vocalist who was learning double bass, a sixteen year old girl who was learning drums and a classically trained pianist who wanted to learn how to kickarse. For the first time in many years i had FUN playing and performing. We played afew great gigs but then i had to relocate half way across the country. i am now playing in a band with my sister and brother who both have different musical tastes but we harmonise beautifully. I guess what i"m getting at is it depends on your motives. If your after a career then you gotta play with people who are also after a career. If you want to learn new stuff then play with people who want to learn new stuff, if you want to have some fun play with people who want to have fun. But then life is always what happens when your making other plans. Just keep playing 8)
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Re: At a Crossroads with Band Situation... HELP

Postby jeffl » Fri May 23, 2008 2:05 pm

I do think that you can learn to appreciate a musician whom you may not have "clicked" with at first. The frontman I referred to earlier in this post a coupla years back has had me play with him a few times since I met him, and I've kinda learned his "language" and had alotta fun playin' with him. Everybody approaches music from a different angle, and there are numerous ways that musicians "process" music in their minds. For example, some guys see tunes as a series of phrases,chords, transitions, modulations, intros, stops, etc., while others have the tune come to them in a "package", like digital information compressed into a single byte. The latter group tend to be more naturally gifted, while the former may be able to get themselves to play even better than the "gifted" bunch. It may take a while to adjust to a musician who processes music differently than what you're accustomed to, but you can grow from the experience, and then enjoy it.
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