Slight Band Problem

Drumolator

Platinum Member
A few months ago, we started a blues band. Due to everyone's work schedule, we can only practice on Saturdays. We played one gig, which went OK. Here is the problem: the two guitar players want to book gigs that I believe we are not ready for. We only know about thirty songs, and about five or six of those are iffy. For example, we played "Bridge of Sighs" at the first gig. As I was singing the second chorus, I was wondering if anyone was going to play the right notes. There are several other songs that are not very tight. We have a gig for January 6 to play for 8:00-12:00, and we do not have enough songs.

I think we need more practice, and I have the most band experience. The guitar players are the ones who are shaky on the problem songs. Should I just go along with them? I really want to "play nice" and not act like a know-it-all. We have gotten along very well so far, and it would be good to keep it that way.

What do you think?
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
A band is like a marriage. You should be able to air your views without retaliation. Especially if what you say is true. If you can't tell them anything, then it's not a band and they should be paying you to be there if you can't voice your opinion.
 

TOMANO

Senior Member
I've made a living in the media and entertainment industry for 20 years. Never put your name on something that is not up to your standard of excellence.

The more you compromise operating at peak performance, the farther you will fall short of your aspirations.

Take charge and let your bandmates know that not knowing a song means not playing it until it's learned inside and out.

Best,


MT
 

ineedaclutch

Platinum Member
As I was singing the second chorus, I was wondering if anyone was going to play the right notes.
What do you think?
Nothing humbles a band more than knowing the drummer knows you are playing the wrong notes. This alone should fix the problem but often does not.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I'd say get out and gig. Thirty songs is enough. The first gig went OK, you said so yourself. Why would you think another gig wouldn't? Unless you guys are atrocious, which you didn't state, then nobody will notice a few bad notes. Cover it with fun. Many times some bad notes are the precursor to you smiling, and people like to see that. Don't be so serious! Entertainment is what people want, a few bad notes don't matter. Being too serious however will give you a boring rep.
 

fixxxer

Senior Member
You said from 8:00- 12:00, so with given breaks, you have some time. You have to step it up if you're not comfortable. If the band won't listen to you when you say, "Hey, we have to practice this $&^% and add some #@!# to this before the gig, then maybe you aren't in the right band.
It is never good taking the stage if you're not comfortable with it to some extend.
Good luck!
 

alvanko

Senior Member
I agree with larryace. Get out there and have fun. If your having fun the people your playing for most likely are too. I played a lot in the 70's-80's and while we always wanted to be technically perfect, we never were. I played then for fun as I do now. When it's not fun any more is when it's time to get out . . . . . . .
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
+1 with Larry's view, and 30 songs = 3hrs, add the band breaks and some nice "long versions" with some improvisations will be more than enough to cover the 08:00 - 12:00 time scale.
 

inneedofgrace

Platinum Member
+1 with Larry's view, and 30 songs = 3hrs, add the band breaks and some nice "long versions" with some improvisations will be more than enough to cover the 08:00 - 12:00 time scale.
Yup - also, if you are going to address the band about the situation, make sure you do it in a way that does not antagonize other members. In other words, don't call out specific people as failing on songs, talk about parts that the band needs to work on together, not just the guitar players. If you can call on specific experiences you have had in the past as lessons learned to emphasize the need to practice certain parts or songs, then that might help to motivate others. But like you said, don't come across as a know-it-all, because that will certainly cause tension.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
You record the gig, you assert your will to get them to listen to it as a band, and guide THEM to point out the errors. You are the puppet master lol
 

Drumolator

Platinum Member
Thanks for the responses. We do have fun, and in the very rural area in which I live, it is a minor miracle that we have the musicians we do. I am looking forward to our next gig, and I am sure I will have fun. At a gig I am all positive vibes. I just want us to be tight and get better. We jam/improvise too much for it to ever be perfect. Thanks again. Peace and goodwill.
 

Fman

Junior Member
It's like anything you do in life. If you are not 100% confident in the skills it will show. As an example you know where their problems are and when those measures come up in the songs you will not be concentrating on your job. You will be worried and listening to them to see if they make a mistake. It will show in your playing.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
You record the gig, you assert your will to get them to listen to it as a band, and guide THEM to point out the errors. You are the puppet master lol
Brilliant, Larry, as usual!

Most people I know like to hear recordings of themselves, me included. Email mp3s of the gig to the rest of the band (if you can't take the time to sit around with the band for a group listening session) and if they forgot about the clams since the performance, they won't be able to ignore them on a recording! More than likely that'll be all it takes to get them on the same page and right the wrong notes. You might even be able to delicately point out trouble spots without making anyone defensive.
 
4 hours is a long set. Better learn some more covers.
+1. We do 40+ songs in a set this long. Personally, I think if you don't feel the band is ready, you should say so. It's all well and good to have fun, but I assume this is a paying gig. The venue deserves the best you can give. If it's not a paying gig, go have fun and stop when you run out of material you can play well. When the band I play in started, the singer was anxious to start booking gigs right away. I told him to give it a year before going public. He later agreed that it was a good idea to wait until we could nail our set list and concentrate on giving the audience a little dazzle in addition to the music.
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
You have 3 sets worked out? Just do the first set over again in the 4th hour. Anybody who was there at 8:00 will have either left the joint or become drunk enough by 11:00 to hear it again. They probably won't even remember.
 

inneedofgrace

Platinum Member
You have 3 sets worked out? Just do the first set over again in the 4th hour. Anybody who was there at 8:00 will have either left the joint or become drunk enough by 11:00 to hear it again. They probably won't even remember.
been there, done that, usually by request of someone in the audience who wasn't there earlier
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Agree. 30 songs is plenty for a night, repeat if necessary. Gig experience far outweighs any bad notes. By a metric ton. Nothing whips a band into shape faster than gigs. The guitarists don't want to suck either. You learn the most from your mistakes, but if you try to avoid any mistakes, you are delaying the inevitable. If you laugh off any problem areas, the audience won't boo, promise.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
There's a difference between making mistakes with hitting wrong notes and not really knowing what the right notes are to begin with. Mistakes are normal but not having the homework done is another animal.
 
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