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

Aceman893

Member
Messages
391
Hey - let me add this amazing "wish I knew" tip at your age.

#1. While you LOVE guitar - awesome. Learn to sing! I know you said you can/do.
#2 Also learn to SING and PLAY.

A guitar player that sing decent, or even ok, backup/harmony is worth their weight in shredders.


Remember - when you say you play guitar, or are a musician, no one cares about weedley-weedily-weedily for more than about 30 seconds one time. But if you can grab an acoustic and accompany yourself, Eagles, Mellencamp, and Petty will keep them entertained all night!

To most people, music is a MELODY+LYRICS, and oh yeah...some chords. And the second you bump into a band that doesn't do three parts on the vocals - meh.

Start now. Maybe a few voice lessons. You don't need epic range - but to be able to hit the right pitch (3rd, 5th) in your octave - GOLD. Work on that a little all the time in a few years you'll be getting calls.
 

Phil3

Member
Messages
1,043
At 16 you have a lot to look forward to, and the key part right now is to find those other musicians. You didn't mention what kind of area you live in, whether it's a city where a 16-year-old can find other people and get around or not, but start snooping around to find if there's some kind of hub where a lot of musicians cross paths. In my day it might be the local guitar store, but today the easiest starting point may be a social media group.

If you were of age to be in bars I'd say to find a blues jam... I know that's not your thing, but the good part about them is that blues jams are what they are because they serve as common ground for people with a wide variety of genre preferences. Having said that there are some that will have one night a month for younger people (sometimes requiring them to be with adults).

Another option is a School of Rock type thing, if there's one in the area. Don't get me wrong... when I was 16, one thing I loved about being in a band was that we did everything ourselves without parents or teachers or coaches. But that was a different time, and we just didn't have other options. Today we have some great local bands made up of music program alumni, and I'm blown away when I see a bunch of 20-somethings who know more about playing with others and performing than guys I gig with who are in their 50's. When I see young people who already know how to play under a singer/soloist and don't noodle between songs, it's a good bet they met at the local (Lakehouse in Asbury Park, NJ) music school.

Different topic, but you mentioned writing and drums. If you already have a DAW and some money, this weekend is a great time to look into drum software on sale (Steven Slate drums for $59 or EZDrummer 2 for $79). If now's not the time, wait until you're ready and keep an eye on the sales. Once you've spent some time with them, you can come up with some pretty realistic sounding drum tracks.

So do what have to do... if you need a part-time job to pay for a music program, if you need to spend hours each week on buses to do it, do it anyway. Good luck.
A blues jam would be totally up my alley. Though never heard of anything like that locally. But it's worth looking into more.

School of rock type stuff generally needs money, local or not, that's an issue at the moment.

But I'll look into drum software. Probably not something I'll buy any time in the neae future, but I'll keep it in mind.
 

Mickey_C

1.428571428571429e-10 of humanity
Double Platinum Member
Messages
2,229
As the saying goes, the world is your oyster.

The only thing holding you back is the stuff between your ears.


... take that pearl.
 
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jogogonne

Member
Messages
602
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 rock bands in my 20s, mostly cover stuff, and then jazz bands a little later.

Just keep practicing and then when you're age 25-35 that's the prime age to be in a band.

Move to a city, you can play in a bar and your friends will come see you play and you can drink a bunch of booze. Tons of people that age play and want to form bands because it's fun and a 'cool thing to do'. Less so now than 15 years ago, but still...

Later on, people will have kids and give it up, or practice sporadically and the pool will be more limited.

Looking back to my 20s, I would consider my playing extremely mediocre but that's actually the spot you want to be in ... there's many more mediocre musicians than good, and you can always find people to play with. If you're too good, it will difficult. If you're too ******, also difficult.
 

RevDrucifer

Member
Messages
148
Some of the greatest times of my life were the result of being in a band, hands down. The joy of having a strong audience reaction to your music/band is the best drug I’ve ever had (and I’ve done 98.9% of them). The stories and inside jokes from spending a lot of time with like-minded people are priceless.

That said, there were prices to be paid for all of that and I think anyone who has played in bands for over half their life has paid those prices, sometimes without getting the benefit of inside jokes and great shows.

I strongly suggest you start teaching yourself to record and program drums. If I had that ability when I started playing in bands, we would have gotten SO much more music written. Trying to get ideas across in the practice space is not always easy. Especially if you’ve got an idea for how the drums should go, or the vocals or whatever. At the very least, it’ll teach you more about other instruments and that’, at least for me, has made me a considerably better musician all around.

I quit my last band almost 5 years ago and it’s been the most gratifying period of being a musician. I didn’t truly know the bounds of my creativity/abilities until I started writing everything myself. In fact, I still don’t know those bounds because every time I write a new song, I’m discovering something new I didn’t realize I had in me.

So yes, play in a band. You’ll most likely end up playing in several of them. You’ll certainly have good times, even if you never make it out of the garage/basement/practice space. But don’t limit yourself. The more you write, the better you get. Don’t waste that time in between practices. Trust me, there WILL be times you have several guys sitting in a room, just having written an intro and first verse but not a single person can come up with a good idea for a chorus or pre-chorus. For hours. Having a backlog of stuff you’ve written on your own will come in handy during those times.
 

Me Again

Member
Messages
509
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!
THIS!
Well, half of this.
Please, dear god, do not use backing tracks. The world has enough posers and computer chips “playing music” for people. If you can sing moderately well now — and you don’t have to be a virtuoso — do so, and if you can’t, work on it. The satisfaction and reward you can get out of playing for people — your guitar and your voice — is immense, or can be, and in my opinion, a musician who can do it that way will outshine everyone else doing it with backing tracks of any kind. You can also add a little harmonica, which isn’t that difficult to do well and simply, and some foot percussion (even the Electronic kind — you’re still playing it!). You can even do looping — just make sure you record all your looped material live, as you perform it, instead of playing pre-recorded loops.
Anyway as has been said here, you’re decades younger than many of us and you have time on your side, my friend. The best thing I think you can do is clarify your goals, and there can by many of them. Then get working on them. Sing, play, write, then sing, play and write some more. Be patient — if it were easy, anyone could do it. It’s not, at first. But you will get better the more you do it. And it may well be worth far, far more than the effort.
I’d say “good luck,“ but hard work, perseverance and commitment will get you a lot farther than luck.
But some luck won’t hurt either.
 

Phil3

Member
Messages
1,043
THIS!
Well, half of this.
Please, dear god, do not use backing tracks. The world has enough posers and computer chips “playing music” for people. If you can sing moderately well now — and you don’t have to be a virtuoso — do so, and if you can’t, work on it. The satisfaction and reward you can get out of playing for people — your guitar and your voice — is immense, or can be, and in my opinion, a musician who can do it that way will outshine everyone else doing it with backing tracks of any kind. You can also add a little harmonica, which isn’t that difficult to do well and simply, and some foot percussion (even the Electronic kind — you’re still playing it!). You can even do looping — just make sure you record all your looped material live, as you perform it, instead of playing pre-recorded loops.
Anyway as has been said here, you’re decades younger than many of us and you have time on your side, my friend. The best thing I think you can do is clarify your goals, and there can by many of them. Then get working on them. Sing, play, write, then sing, play and write some more. Be patient — if it were easy, anyone could do it. It’s not, at first. But you will get better the more you do it. And it may well be worth far, far more than the effort.
I’d say “good luck,“ but hard work, perseverance and commitment will get you a lot farther than luck.
But some luck won’t hurt either.
Thanks, right now I'm working on a pretty big Van Halen tribute project. But I'll make sure to spend some time playing around with song-writing after I'm done with that.

I've been planning on buying a looper for awhile now, so that'll probably help a little with... well.. looping things, mostly to solo over. But thanks for the reply I'll keep some of this in mind!
 

roverdog

Member
Messages
468
THIS!
Well, half of this.
Please, dear god, do not use backing tracks. The world has enough posers and computer chips “playing music” for people. If you can sing moderately well now — and you don’t have to be a virtuoso — do so, and if you can’t, work on it. The satisfaction and reward you can get out of playing for people — your guitar and your voice — is immense, or can be, and in my opinion, a musician who can do it that way will outshine everyone else doing it with backing tracks of any kind. You can also add a little harmonica, which isn’t that difficult to do well and simply, and some foot percussion (even the Electronic kind — you’re still playing it!). You can even do looping — just make sure you record all your looped material live, as you perform it, instead of playing pre-recorded loops.
Anyway as has been said here, you’re decades younger than many of us and you have time on your side, my friend. The best thing I think you can do is clarify your goals, and there can by many of them. Then get working on them. Sing, play, write, then sing, play and write some more. Be patient — if it were easy, anyone could do it. It’s not, at first. But you will get better the more you do it. And it may well be worth far, far more than the effort.
I’d say “good luck,“ but hard work, perseverance and commitment will get you a lot farther than luck.
But some luck won’t hurt either.
There are two type of backing tracks, those you describe, and the ones I use. For my original music, I use drums, bass, KBs and some guitars that were recorded by real people in real studio on real instruments. I could forego the backing tracks, and just do those songs on my acoustic, but in all due respect to your opinion, it is more fun for me to play my songs with the backing tracks, adding my solos, than to play them dry, so to speak.
In my solo gig, I play one set on just acoustic, and a couple of other sets with backing tracks. My audience seems to enjoy me playing to them. And the staff at one place I play tells me that that specific audience prefers the backing track sets, as it sets me apart from most of the other solo performers who appear there.
 
Messages
4,981
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!
What’s a ‘bulletin board’? ;)
 




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