How many pieces?

ChipJohns

Senior Member
OK. We talk a lot about how many drums and cymbals is enough. How about the size of the band? if you could put together the "YOUR NAME HEAR" BAND, what would it be?

Mine would be...

I would love to put together a four piece band with, (1) Drums, (2) Bass, (3) Guitar, and (4) Violin.

The type of music we would play would be a varied cross from many genre.. All of us Monster cats able to tear it up. I love things simple but full and the violin is such an awesome voice to add to an ensemble...

I don't sing so hopefully at least 2 of the other 3 will. But, we would still do a fair share of instrumental stuff.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
My band would have Drums, Percussion to include congas, bongos, timbale. Lead, Rhythm, and bass guitars. Baritone and tenor sax, trombone, trumpet. And of course a Hammond B3. That's all.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
We have five. I looked into a local dining venue which has started putting on bands and noticed that there was a four-piece playing - and they were crammed into a tiny, tiny area. Even with my mini-kit, once you add keyboards we'd struggle to fit unless we sent our singer out to be amongst the unwashed.

Robert Fripp used to talk about how the future would belong to "small intelligent units" and my may have a point (costs, floor space, technology etc). But it would be a buzz to have a large group like GD's suggestion. On the other hand, the smaller the band the more freedom for each player, hence you get people like Mitch Mitchell and Keith Moon.

Chip, violin is an interesting choice for an extra instrument, Ideally that player would be able to multitask (vocs, percussions and/or keys). In a small group you don't want players having too much down time IMO, unless sparseness is the key.Still, if you had someone who played like Sugarcane Harris on Uncle Frank's version of Directly From My Heart To You, that might not be an issue ...
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
The fewer the better.

Less egos, less people too miss practice, less people to screw it up.

But some of my favorite moments have been playing with a 5pc band, so go figure.
 

whitney/eames

Junior Member
Wow, I'd never really thought about that. I think I'd like 3 in my dream band.

Hammond B3
Bassist/drummer
Me

This way we might be able to make some money. The reason I included a bassist/drummer is so that I can get some time in on my xylophone while he plays/she plays drums. He/she could also play percussion at times. (The 3B player could handle the bass line.) The reason he/she is a bassist, is because I have been told that if there was just the 3B bass line, I'd miss the actual electric bass's presence. Is this true? (A bass player told me this!)
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
The reason he/she is a bassist, is because I have been told that if there was just the 3B bass line, I'd miss the actual electric bass's presence. Is this true? (A bass player told me this!)
Didn't seem to bother Bonzo......JPJ was known to spend a bit of time at the Hammond with the bass guitar standing idle. I think your bass player mate was - very cleverly - trying to keep himself employed.....hats off to him!!

I'm with DrumEatDrum.....4 or 5 piece will do me for the same reasons as he's already stated. "Less egos, less people too miss practice, less people to screw it up."......I will add I like the benefit of not seeing the 'spoils' get shared so far and wide also!!
 

whitney/eames

Junior Member
Didn't seem to bother Bonzo......JPJ was known to spend a bit of time at the Hammond with the bass guitar standing idle. I think your bass player mate was - very cleverly - trying to keep himself employed.....hats off to him!!
That settles it. The bassist is out. How does this look:

Hammond B3
?/drummer
Me

"?" is either tenor sax, or guitar/Chatman Stick. The question is, do I really want to have a guitarist? They are often needed when having a guitar in the band..
 

con struct

Platinum Member
Mine would be trumpet, tenor saxophone, guitar, piano/organ, bass, drums and percussion, with a good vocalist, playing some really bad-ass New Orleans funk music.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
The fewer the better.

Less egos, less people too miss practice, less people to screw it up.

But some of my favorite moments have been playing with a 5pc band, so go figure.

The more...the more ideas, the more sound, the more variety, the more fun. You miss practice too many times. Adios. Check your ego at the door or don't enter.
 

Living Dead Drummer

Platinum Member
I always like working with 3pc groups. Less people to call when you book gigs, and less people to pay, but seeing as this is a hypothetical situation I would do this:

Singer
Guitar
Bass
Drums
Percussion
Keys/Synth
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Interesting thread Chip. My current band has evolved from a 3 piece to a 5 piece. The 3 piece lineup was just perfect for hammering out "in yer face" rhythm based rock. I love the challenge of a 3 piece. Getting a full & interesting sound takes some considerable skill & imagination. Great for small venue's too. Now the band is a 5 piece, we have much more material scope and song writing depth. The addition of a piano/hammond player made the biggest difference of all.

Strangely, my ideal band would be guitar, bass (both with vocals), me on skins and a 3 piece brass section.
 

ChipJohns

Senior Member
Chip, violin is an interesting choice for an extra instrument, Ideally that player would be able to multitask (vocs, percussions and/or keys). In a small group you don't want players having too much down time IMO, unless sparseness is the key.Still, if you had someone who played like Sugarcane Harris on Uncle Frank's version of Directly From My Heart To You, that might not be an issue ...
Yes Pollyanna. My thought exactly. Along with I love the versatility of the Violin. Just think about the different cultures and Genre it is used in! It is quite an amazing voice.
Interesting thread Chip. My current band has evolved from a 3 piece to a 5 piece. The 3 piece lineup was just perfect for hammering out "in yer face" rhythm based rock. I love the challenge of a 3 piece. Getting a full & interesting sound takes some considerable skill & imagination. Great for small venue's too. Now the band is a 5 piece, we have much more material scope and song writing depth. The addition of a piano/hammond player made the biggest difference of all.
Strangely, my ideal band would be guitar, bass (both with vocals), me on skins and a 3 piece brass section.
Thanks KIS! What made me think of this is the choice some of our best make. On one end of the spectrum you have Dave Weckl and his band. Granted the type of music dictates this too, but still his choice. Then there is Benny Greb who tends to choose smaller units. His own bands 3Ergezmer, or whatever it is, and he also plays with Stoppok.. Then there is the Ron Spielman Trio.
Made me fantasize for a few… @:)
My band would have Drums, Percussion to include congas, bongos, timbale. Lead, Rhythm, and bass guitars. Baritone and tenor sax, trombone, trumpet. And of course a Hammond B3. That's all.
I do love playing with a band that has a B3 in it...
ANd, most sexy Avatar yet GD! @:-O
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Yes Pollyanna. My thought exactly. Along with I love the versatility of the Violin. Just think about the different cultures and Genre it is used in! It is quite an amazing voice.
Yes, it fits many styles - blues, jazz, gypsy, bluegrass, folk ...

If anything happens to my current band I'm going to advertise to form a bassless duo with a guitarist, think White Stripes. It doesn't have to be their de stijl approach, nor even as commercial. A guitarist in one of my old bands and I used to have a two-person jam every Saturday morning (sometimes in an incredibly fuzzy state) and we'd go off on the most mad psychedelic pseudo-fusion raves.

Best of all, no bassist to give me The Glare when I failed to be an obedient little drum machine :)
 

tbmills

Gold Member
my band, come on go with us, is a 5 pc

chase - piano, keys, banjo (vocals)
jacob - guitar, lap steel (vocals)
dustin - guitar, violin
chris - bass (vocals)
taylor (me) - drums

we use vocal harmonies throughout our entire set and do not have a designated lead singer.
with this line up we can cover most any sound.

shameless plug - we are currently in LA (viper room wed 3rd) and are working our way up the coast. if you live out here, please stop by. our shows are posted on the myspace at the link in my signature.

thanks
 

razorx

Platinum Member
I would have drums, lead/rhythm/acoustic guitar, and bass. Oh you can't forget keyboards. So that would make 6.
 

maddrummr

Platinum Member
Hrm...I've never really thought about this.

I would love to have a band of: Trumpet, Trombone, Saxophone (Bari, but it also depends on the song) 2 Guitarists, a bassist, violin and of course a drummer. Yeah Its kind of big but its what I would like. A lot of possibilities and we could cover some Dave Matthews Band charts.
 
Top