Embracing using regular subs

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by Gasp100, May 9, 2015.

  1. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    My goal at the end of last year, top of this year was to try and rarely use subs. That meant ONLY subbing a drummer or bass player (that we all had previous experience with) and turning down (or more correctly not pursuing Saturday gigs... NOT easy to keep a variety band working when you can barely book a Saturday LOL!).
    This has actually worked ok, but I need to expand the amount of venues we play and therefore I have no choice to bring in some subs for lead. I have two upcoming gigs, a full band and an acoustic duo with two female subs. Both are qualified, one is a great singer (maybe a little "distracted" sometimes) and the other is a solid singer but has a great look / stage presence.
    I'm not making any secret to the fact that I'm using subs and in fact I'm going to embrace it and use it to my advantage (ie. being available for more shows). In essence it's going to be two bands, two separate lead singers, a Friday lead and a Saturday lead.
    This is the only way I can keep lead #1 from burning out and keep the musicians working. It will also allow me to increase my own "sphere of influence/contacts" and get us / keep us into rotation at some very solid venues that you need to be in which ONLY do Saturday's for covers.

    I know some may feel this is a negative - I've only ever had one club manager call me on this tactic (and quite frankly he's kind of a dick and is a real PITA to work with, although the venue itself is very nice).
    I guess I could actually make it 2 separate projects, but that seems like even more work.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. misterturtlehead

    misterturtlehead Member

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    I just learn the tunes and show up and do the job. With one band I have been working with since New Years Eve we have used three different drummers and three different bass players. Next weekend we will use a fourth drummer.
     
  3. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    No one cares about a drummer or bass player, unless they're really something.

    If you're trying to build a following and you're subbing out your female lead, it's really going to impede that. If you expect people to come see your band, and there's a different girl up there, it's not the same band, to 99% of the people that go out.

    I know I have a different viewpoint than most here, but I'd rather reschedule or cancel a gig than use a sub, even for drums, etc.

    I really hate that "flying by the seat of your pants" feeling that using a sub creates, at least in any band I've been in. I find it impossible to really concentrate on putting on a good show if I'm wondering if the sub is going to blow it, or if Im having to spend the night giving visual cues to the guy, so he knows what's going on.
     
  4. GuitarGuy66

    GuitarGuy66 Member

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    I know this one band, the main members are the singer, guitar player and keyboard player. They use subs all the time for drums & bass. They have different guys they use in each big city. It works out for them.
     
  5. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks guys, yes I guess I'm going to approach it kind of like 2 separate acts. I will be upfront with venues and I'll have live video of each female lead so I can basically say here is who you get depending on the show.

    When I review my list of top venues (my criteria is places that pay decent, either have house sound / dedicated engineer OR a good built in crowd, within ~30-45 minutes away) the list is about 3-5 places (full band) and another 2-3 acoustic. 2 of those 3-5 full band ONLY book covers on Saturday nights.

    It's entirely possible my main lead may just want to drop back to acoustic duo stuff. Then the sub will just end up being the full band girl.
    We'll see.
     
  6. ohiomatt33

    ohiomatt33 Member

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    I agree with loudboy, if you're trying to build up a following, having different lead vocalists at shows will be a real problem.

    Have you thought about advertising it as "'Lurleen Lumpking and the Hootenanny Band" and "Other Female Vocalist and the Hootenanny Band?" Not sure if that would work for your band dynamic, but it would be helpful to avoid confusion with venues and fans.

    I run a 5-piece country act, and I don't book if my guys aren't available. That being said, I sub for two other acts in the state, a bigger country act, and a smaller 90's college rock cover band. I don't really have anybody in my area that I would trust to sub for me in my own band. :dunno
     
  7. DrumBob

    DrumBob Gold Supporting Member

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    In my main band, we now have twenty-six members who rotate, so a venue never knows who they're going to get. It's a little like Forrest Gump's box of chocolates. The concept works; we play up to 280 gigs a year, and everyone in the band is a quality musician. On occasion, someone will hire us for a private party and specify who they want on the gig. We can usually accommodate them if we have enough lead time.

    In my band, we sub out drummers and bass players on occasion, as our drummer is in another band, and our bass player has occasional work commitments out of state. I have literally dozens of guys I can call. In today's musical world, subbing is a part of the game if you want to work, as many musicians play in multiple bands. It's reality, and I had to get used to it, but it's not an issue if you use musicians who are players and not goofballs.
     
  8. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    I'd have no problem subbing myself out in my own project if the guy was worth it to my players and it would get / keep our name out there in a good / new venue. I know 2 guys in particular that are monsters and could easily fill my shows but they aren't band leaders and I would still need to handle logistics. I've toyed with the idea of building / booking / doing sound for a band.... Might be interesting.
     

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