What makes a band?

whitecatcafe

Senior Member
I say 2 things. A good singer and a good drummer.

But what if you had a good drummer but not so good singer? What do you do?

I found that most of the time, the musicians I usually play with resort to playing busier to compensate for a less than stellar singer. I like to keep things simple and serve the song at all times. I play fills here and there but only when it's called for. So I've heard feedback from people that say that I should 'play more'. It's hard because I don't hear it that way... and when my ears don't hear a drum break at certain section, it's virtually impossible for me to play one psychically. It's like my limbs just won't cooperate.

So what should I do in this situation? Am I doing it all wrong?

Should I just quit the band?

............
 

MileHighDrummer

Senior Member
My suggestion is simply - find a good singer. There are great singers everywhere. You can put up a notice in several large or mega-churches in your city. Each one will have several great singers. As do, every community college, high school and university music programs.
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
I agree, good singer and drummer are the most crucial elements.

It needs to have good feel and no one wants to listen to a bad singer, doesn't matter how great everything else is.
 
I say 2 things. A good singer and a good drummer.

But what if you had a good drummer but not so good singer? What do you do?

I found that most of the time, the musicians I usually play with resort to playing busier to compensate for a less than stellar singer. I like to keep things simple and serve the song at all times. I play fills here and there but only when it's called for. So I've heard feedback from people that say that I should 'play more'. It's hard because I don't hear it that way... and when my ears don't hear a drum break at certain section, it's virtually impossible for me to play one psychically. It's like my limbs just won't cooperate.

So what should I do in this situation? Am I doing it all wrong?

Should I just quit the band?

............
Well, I think you're doing it right, and all I can say is:
Music is about communication. What you play depends on what you want to say. When you play the drums by feel, and play a fill in certain places, it's your personality coming through. If people say you should play busier (and I'm assuming you can if you tried), then it's not you anymore, you're just playing what they want to hear, and not listening to what you want to say with the instrument. Playing things that don't feel right because people say you should play differently, well, I don't think it's a good idea. It's all about expressing yourself, and how're you gonna do that if you play to please other people, but don't feel it's great yourself?

Dunno if you should quit though.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
A band is the sum of its parts. Some bands are great because the component parts make a bigger whole. Some bands are not so good because, regardless of how good some of the elements are, If they dont fit, and spark off each other, the the whole is less than the sum of its parts.

Its not necessary to have the best musicians, look at some of the so called supergroups over the years, Its more important that the musicians are a good fit.
 

eclipseownzu

Gold Member
There is no one formula for a great band. If their was, everybody would follow that formula to make great bands. It is the sum of all the parts that matters. In a cover band you can really get away with subpar musicians if you have a great singer. Its only a step above karaoke anyway. For an original band, you need songwriters and complimentary players. If the songs suck it doesnt matter who is singing them, and vice versa.

I would say that if your heart is not in it, you should find another gig. I wouldn't waste time in a project that you are less than 100% confident in. You will just end up leaving at some later point and you will have wasted time that you could spend working on something better.
 

TomasHakkesBrain

Senior Member
A band is the sum of its parts. Some bands are great because the component parts make a bigger whole. Some bands are not so good because, regardless of how good some of the elements are, If they dont fit, and spark off each other, the the whole is less than the sum of its parts.

Its not necessary to have the best musicians, look at some of the so called supergroups over the years, Its more important that the musicians are a good fit.
Exactly. Ive been in bands which often contain 1 or 2 great players, and 1 to 2 weekend guys. What tends to happen is it doesnt sound like a band as one guy is flashy and overcompensates. The other thing is bands start playing music way beyond their capabilities, and the band sound bad and cant gel.

The main thing i do is make sure its a team effort, you start on very slow simple music and allow everyone to contribute equally. If the singer is weak maybe changes songs, transpose, or get him on another instrument.
 

MileHighDrummer

Senior Member
In that case - a team (band) is only as strong as it's weakest link. If that weak link is the front man/woman, it is exacerbated and very obvious. Must leave for a better situation, or accept it and stay. (In my best Yoda's voice).
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
We don't need no steenkin' singer!

http://rdgrocks.com
"eyecycles" came up on the page... Dig it! The feel change later on in the song is sweet.

Instrumental music can definitely be fun for the drummer. We get to stretch out and play a bit more busy-like. I like the way you did that, too. Most of the licks didn't get in the way of the also-busy guitar.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
You're not a band until you're standing on a stage with your buddies, and some drunk idiot yells "FREEBIRD"!
 

TheHeelDrummer

Senior Member
A packed house....lol

Bonzolead
Bazinga. Exactly true.

I know of bands that had great drummers and lousy singers, the opposite and bands that had lousy singers AND lousy drummers.

What matters if you are in a cover band in this situation is what kinda following that band has. If the singer has a look or is extremely popular or likable... a band can thrive.

A great drummer with a lousy singer is only going to get so far though no matter how popular the guy is. Its the same whether its the opposite or they both are lousy.

I have been in bands where the singer is incredible and no booking agencies would pick us up... and in bands where the singer was terrible and had a look and worked with multiple booking agencies.

If its just a cover band just do what feels right. If its a serious band looking to get in the studio you arent going to get anywhere.

I am at the point in my life where I just dont want to play with guys who I dont like the way they play or sing. I would rather play in a garage making music I enjoy than at Croc Rock with a singer who I dont let the sound guy put his mic in my monitor mix at all.
 

whitecatcafe

Senior Member
Well, it is a cover band. The singer does somewhat have "a look", is ok with the stage. I just want to play the songs... that compensate for other people, you know?
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
It seems to be that most people are all about the singing. If that ain't happening, then you aren't going anywhere beyond local gigs if you're playing just rock. There's a reason all these TV singing shows are so popular. We love a good singer.

But it's not enough to just be a good singer, or else all these awesome singers would be hugely popular. Some get to be a little, like that Daughtry guy. But most end up touring around with some band that opens up for some 1980's One-Hit wonder band. Really, who knows?

I'm still trying to figure it out. You know, what makes a band. It depends. What are your expectations? From a musical standpoint, I've never been involved with such great original music in my life, and I'm proud to be in the bands I'm in. One band is focused around singing, and we even have vocal practices without drums and bass. My other band is mostly instrumental fusion rock and we hardly sing at all anymore. And we don't practice covers very often either, but we have a few "songs" we can play that have singing.
 

EarthRocker

Senior Member
One thing - chemistry

You gotta' have a team / group of people who care equally about the music they're making. I think a good band can be a bunch of great friends, or it can be people who gather strictly to make music, but as long as everyone shares this mindset it can work. I prefer to be friends with the people I make music with - often things start as me responding to an ad, or an ad of mine being answered, but I always try for a personal relationship with my band mates. Music is a big part of my life, and it's really the one thing I like sharing with everyone.
 
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