I kinda wish I could play in a band, ya know?

Phil3

Member
Messages
1,035
I'm just here to vent. Nothing serious. Just some thoughts.

I've never really cared for the idea of being a solo artist. Or even tryin to be one. I've always wanted to jam with other people, butt heads and come up with ideas, write what we want. I also want to perform.

I can always sit down and play along to my favorite Van Halen or SRV songs, but what's the point of having the ability to play music if nobody ever hears it?

I mean don't get me wrong, playing guitar is awesome, and I'll live happily just knowing that I can just sit down and let off some steam playing along to Ozzy or something, but it would be MORE fun if I had people to share it with.

I also find that I can't write proper songs on my own, I can't program drums, and bass and that kind of thing. I play guitar, I don't know how to make fake drums and fiddle around in recording software. People play drums, not computers.

I just don't know any other musicians. So it leaves me in a bad position where I can't really do what I want to as a player.

To be fair I'm only 16, so there's plenty of time for me to find other people to play music with. It's just not happened yet.

Thoughts? Do you play in a band? Do you enjoy performing? Did you go through a band phase in your teens? Throw your thoughts in the ring.
 

wire-n-wood

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,390
...

To be fair I'm only 16, so there's plenty of time for me to find other people to play music with. It's just not happened yet.

Thoughts? Do you play in a band? Do you enjoy performing? Did you go through a band phase in your teens? Throw your thoughts in the ring.
Holy faak. You're 16. Do you know what most people on this forum would give to be able to type that sentence?

I bought my first electric guitar at 40 years old. I'm now in my 50s and have spent the last 5 years playing in a pub band... until covid. (We now have 3 new gigs booked as things come back online.)
I would love to have played in a band in my younger years. Playing music with others is where the magic happens.
 

ant_riv

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,433
Playing in a band can be greatly fulfilling.
It can also be incredibly frustrating.
It all depends on who you are playing with.

Like all relationships, success generally requires work, humility and commitment.

At 16, I had already been in several bands, but back then (the ‘70s) there was much less competition for entertainment and distractions, so more people played and wanted to be in a band.
That wasn’t necessarily a good thing though. That meant there were more people who liked the idea of being in a band but not the work, practice or commitment to improving their musicianship.

I’d suggest being as proactive as possible in meeting and reaching out, safely, to prospective situations where you can increase connections.

I used to hang out in a couple of local music stores, and would be as friendly as possible to everyone I met. When appropriate, I would ask if they knew anyone looking to jam. As I met more musicians, I met people who either turned into band mates, or introduced me to others.

Best wishes to you for finding what you are looking for!
 

fuzz guy

Member
Messages
575
If you want to play with other people then do it. There's lots of ways to connect with other musicians these days, just be careful how you do it, especially at 16.

A couple of years ago, in my late 40's, I was in a similar situation. I was really enjoying playing guitar, but playing songs all by myself was getting boring. I found some other guys in my age group with similar musical tastes and now were a band.
 

roverdog

Member
Messages
467
Post an ad on bulletin board’s in you local music store and your school. You will meet someone! Good luck!

Don’t dismiss the idea of being a solo artist. It can be very rewarding singing and playing your own songs in front of people. A different challenge! And you can use backing tracks in this day and age!

I was in bands all through High School, as a bassist, but also did solo gigs with my guitar.

Been playing in bands, on and off, since(over 50 years), with a few solo gigs. Most of the bands were gigging bar bands, with some originals with the covers. My most fun bands though, were the get together hobby bands where gigs were not important, just getting together and having fun being the focus. Sort of what we are doing now with my present band, a power trio. We get together almost every week, in a large room where we can keep the two meter social distance shuffle happening!

I do miss the adrenaline rush I get from entertaining though.

Last but not least, you always have someone listening when you play music. That person is you. The ability to play music will help you through all those times in the future that you will need it. Those times where you have to clear everything out of your head and just get lost in the music you are playing. For me, the best therapy in the world!
 
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twoheadedboy

Member
Messages
11,589
I'm just here to vent. Nothing serious. Just some thoughts.

I've never really cared for the idea of being a solo artist. Or even tryin to be one. I've always wanted to jam with other people, butt heads and come up with ideas, write what we want. I also want to perform.

I can always sit down and play along to my favorite Van Halen or SRV songs, but what's the point of having the ability to play music if nobody ever hears it?

I mean don't get me wrong, playing guitar is awesome, and I'll live happily just knowing that I can just sit down and let off some steam playing along to Ozzy or something, but it would be MORE fun if I had people to share it with.

I also find that I can't write proper songs on my own, I can't program drums, and bass and that kind of thing. I play guitar, I don't know how to make fake drums and fiddle around in recording software. People play drums, not computers.

I just don't know any other musicians. So it leaves me in a bad position where I can't really do what I want to as a player.

To be fair I'm only 16, so there's plenty of time for me to find other people to play music with. It's just not happened yet.

Thoughts? Do you play in a band? Do you enjoy performing? Did you go through a band phase in your teens? Throw your thoughts in the ring.
I played in a bunch of bands on my teens. Some of it was really fun. Some of it was a big waste of time, but overall I enjoyed it.

Unfortunately, it's kind of hard to say how I got into all these bands. I spent the first 3 or 4 years of playing guitar just sitting in my room and trying to get good. Later on, I had friends who played instruments. We started jamming and things progressed naturally from there. If you don't know anyone who plays an instrument, it might be hard to get anything going. If your school or community has a music program, that might provide a way to meet like-minded people. If that doesn't work, you might have to wait until you can move to an area where there are more musicians. While you are waiting, you can start recording and collaborating with other musicians online.
 
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WordMan

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,144
I'm just here to vent. Nothing serious. Just some thoughts.

I've never really cared for the idea of being a solo artist. Or even tryin to be one. I've always wanted to jam with other people, butt heads and come up with ideas, write what we want. I also want to perform.

I can always sit down and play along to my favorite Van Halen or SRV songs, but what's the point of having the ability to play music if nobody ever hears it?

I mean don't get me wrong, playing guitar is awesome, and I'll live happily just knowing that I can just sit down and let off some steam playing along to Ozzy or something, but it would be MORE fun if I had people to share it with.

I also find that I can't write proper songs on my own, I can't program drums, and bass and that kind of thing. I play guitar, I don't know how to make fake drums and fiddle around in recording software. People play drums, not computers.

I just don't know any other musicians. So it leaves me in a bad position where I can't really do what I want to as a player.

To be fair I'm only 16, so there's plenty of time for me to find other people to play music with. It's just not happened yet.

Thoughts? Do you play in a band? Do you enjoy performing? Did you go through a band phase in your teens? Throw your thoughts in the ring.
So -
  • Observation #1: making things happen in music is *all about The Hustle*. No one is going to make *anything* happen for you. That’s not bad or good, it is simply True and how you always need to think about it.
  • Observation #2: The Hustle is a completely different skill set vs. Playing Guitar. Just because you can do one has nothing with whether you can do the other. So, you have to practice Hustling, just like you have to practice Guitar.
  • Observation #3: Decide what hustling looks like given your situation: U2’s drummer posted a flyer on the school Connections bulletin board. Jeff Beck’s older sister new Jimmy Page’s older sister (?) and connected those two. So - ? Who do you know who plays? What friends of friends do know who play? *Ask them to jam!!* Where are there physical and online places you can post your interest? *Post something!!* When the pandemic isn’t insane, where are there get togethers a kid your age could attend? I took my teen son to weekend afternoon open mics when he asked.
  • Observation #4: What will you have ready if you can get together with another player? The others may bring ideas; they may not. They may bring *bad* ideas; i.e., things a brand-new set of musicians can’t really play. So - You want to pick cool stuff, that you enjoy and is easy to share. Do NOT worry necessarily about bringing *songs* - bring *Grooves*. Pick 5 three-or-four chord Grooves that: a) are straightforward for anyone to groove with; and b) are easy to share. I have no idea what music interests you, but I am sure there are simple chord grooves you can have ready. If one or more of the grooves work, you may as a group decide to figure out the song; cool. I would suggest use that to figure out what next set of grooves to try.
  • Observation #5: Don’t try targeting big goals yet. Can you guys jam on a groove and make it pop? Play a lead over it? You Win!!! Don’t get bogged down in trying to Figure Out Every Detail of The Song(tm) - play stuff, enjoy it and move on. And don’t meet up with these folks thinking This is My Band(tm). No need to think about marrying them; just an easy hang-out.
Hope this helps. It did with my teenaged son - he was in a band within a year of your age and played a couple of open mics down in NYC on weekends.
 
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Steadfastly

Member
Messages
2,577
That is a good goal but please wait until this Covid pandemic is under control. You just don't know where other people have been and who they are with. When this pandemic gets under control, try some of the suggestions mentioned. Keep playing and practicing in the meantime.
 

spencer096

Member
Messages
813
but what's the point of having the ability to play music if nobody ever hears it?
personal enjoyment

EDIT...to your point, the more I got into music the more I preferred...in this order...practicing alone, rehearsals, then way down the list, playing gigs.

the performance aspect of gigging is fun...everything else is the sloggiest of slogs. It wears on you big time real quick.
 

tone4days

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,682
I'm struck by how readily you say what you can't do. You didnt describe that you've tried those things and failed.
At 16, you might be best served to add one word to your vocabulary.

Yet.

You can't do those things *yet*.

Adopt a possibility mindset. Find ways to make new things possible for yourself. Be your own accountability partner.

Good luck
 

PFunk

Member
Messages
970
Get out and get learning and playing and then come back with that post in about 40 years if you’re still stuck in the same situation...
 

Phil3

Member
Messages
1,035
I'm struck by how readily you say what you can't do. You didnt describe that you've tried those things and failed.
At 16, you might be best served to add one word to your vocabulary.

Yet.

You can't do those things *yet*.

Adopt a possibility mindset. Find ways to make new things possible for yourself. Be your own accountability partner.

Good luck
Oh I'm aware that, like I said in the OP, I haven't had that chance yet. I'm not saying it just won't happen. I'm sure I'll have better chances when I move out, and when COVID makes its way on ouy.
 

Crowonawire

Member
Messages
527
I'm just here to vent. Nothing serious. Just some thoughts.

I've never really cared for the idea of being a solo artist. Or even tryin to be one. I've always wanted to jam with other people, butt heads and come up with ideas, write what we want. I also want to perform.

I can always sit down and play along to my favorite Van Halen or SRV songs, but what's the point of having the ability to play music if nobody ever hears it?

I mean don't get me wrong, playing guitar is awesome, and I'll live happily just knowing that I can just sit down and let off some steam playing along to Ozzy or something, but it would be MORE fun if I had people to share it with.

I also find that I can't write proper songs on my own, I can't program drums, and bass and that kind of thing. I play guitar, I don't know how to make fake drums and fiddle around in recording software. People play drums, not computers.

I just don't know any other musicians. So it leaves me in a bad position where I can't really do what I want to as a player.

To be fair I'm only 16, so there's plenty of time for me to find other people to play music with. It's just not happened yet.

Thoughts? Do you play in a band? Do you enjoy performing? Did you go through a band phase in your teens? Throw your thoughts in the ring.
Learn to record. These days the devices that will record are everywhere and good. I don’t play in a band now so I record. Plug my screen name into YouTube. What’s there is 100% mine. I like that. Music like life is a process not an achievement enjoy the journey it provides.

Edit: just for fun here is a song I wrote at 16 and recorded at 30. 60 now. Enjoy the journey brother.
 
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DonaldDemon

Member
Messages
8,818
I felt the same way about playing when I was 16, learned a lot playing to albums/radio in my bedroom but was ready to play in a band. Once I got my license I did exactly that, find some other musicians through ads and people I knew and started my own band. Be patient, you will have plenty of time to get it together, pandemic pending of course.

We didn't even have the options available now for home recording and making tracks. I'd say take advantage of learning them and get used to being your own metronome and how to fit your timing in the pocket. That's one thing I wasn't prepared for playing in a band. You can't learn that playing along to tracks and not recording to see where your timing is off. Great timing makes great players and more enjoyable to play with others. No one wants to play with the bad timing player!
 

Phil3

Member
Messages
1,035
You might have better luck when you're 18 but you can still try now.
^ this is probably right on. Really I don't live in a very musical town, or one with many people to begin with. So I'll likely have to wait until I move out.

I felt the same way about playing when I was 16, learned a lot playing to albums/radio in my bedroom but was ready to play in a band. Once I got my license I did exactly that, find some other musicians through ads and people I knew and started my own band. Be patient, you will have plenty of time to get it together, pandemic pending of course.

We didn't even have the options available now for home recording and making tracks. I'd say take advantage of learning them and get used to being your own metronome and how to fit your timing in the pocket. That's one thing I wasn't prepared for playing in a band. You can't learn that playing along to tracks and not recording to see where your timing is off. Great timing makes great players and more enjoyable to play with others. No one wants to play with the bad timing player!
I've been working on my rhythm playing as of late, realized I've spent so much time on leads that my rhythm playing isn't up to par. It's something I'm working on.
 

TL;DR

Member
Messages
1,413
but what's the point of having the ability to play music if nobody ever hears it?

This line of thought will likely lead to frustration. I played in bands in the 80’s as a teenager, and it was great because the audience gave a crap about what you could and couldn’t do. I “retired” in 2012, and by then nobody really cared what the band was doing, only that they were quiet.

it would be MORE fun if I had people to share it with.

This is the right reason. If you get in with the right people, it’s a bunch of fun
 

sleewell

Member
Messages
10,522
cant hurt to start trying now. start w people your age first. its just getting together and playing music so really it doesn't matter how old or young you are.

playing in a band is tons of fun. i wouldn't wait 2 years without at least exploring your options first now.
 

DonaldDemon

Member
Messages
8,818
^ this is probably right on. Really I don't live in a very musical town, or one with many people to begin with. So I'll likely have to wait until I move out.


I've been working on my rhythm playing as of late, realized I've spent so much time on leads that my rhythm playing isn't up to par. It's something I'm working on.
Rhythm is huge and widely overlooked, especially by guitarists who just want to shred the weedly weedlies. I read an interview in a guitar magazine (can't remember who it was) but they were talking about how important rhythm was to guitar and how they focused on it, even approaching playing rhythmic lines like a snare + bass drum would do, or even mimicking what the snare/bass is actually doing. It really stuck with me and made me realize I needed to focus more on that. I know from experience that other musicians love playing with others that have great timing/rhythm/feel. I know I do and others have told me that's why they like playing with me. It doesn't matter how fast you can play if your timing is for sh1t. It will probably take a little time to get used to adjusting to play to others when you do, but that's normal. Once you realize the potential there it makes it all the more fun.

edited to add: getting a looper pedal is a great step in further your timing, even better if it has a beat/metronome built in.

Writing music in another muscle that needs to be developed but you need to get out of the "can't write" mentality and just start doing it. The earlier you get yourself into that zone the easier it will be later in life...or just be a cover band player forever, which some are fine with too.
 
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Daytona57

Member
Messages
2,111
Find a drummer, and they will come. Drummers are hard to find and will take a jam group, to the next level, of becoming a band.

Playing with a drummer, will improve your natural metronome and musical abilities and will offer stability, that will be attractive, drawing a bassist and other guitarists, to your group.
 




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