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Is 6 people too much in one band...?

Jimmy25

Member
Messages
136
So we're forming a band in university. And is 6 people too much in one band...? Some band mates thinks it's alright, some think it's too much. Male: 1 lead 1 rhythm 1 bass Female: 1 keyboard 1 drummer 1 vocal.

Personally I think it's too much. At the very least one between rhythm guitarist & keyboard can be taken out I think? But at this point it's a bit difficult to tell someone to quit if you guys know what I mean... What should be done??? Or perhaps it would work??
 

Teleplayer

Moder8er
Staff member
Messages
20,182
I used to play in a band with two guitarists, bass, drums, keys and a lead vocalist. Four of the people sang. All players knew their instruments.

We always played at a respectable stage volume and never stepped on each others' toes. Band sounded killer.

We did everything from originals (we had about 15 of them) to Allman Brothers to Maria Muldaur to Zep, U2, Storyville, Stevie Wonder, Dr. John, SRV, ZZ Top, surf music and everything in between. We were all over the map song-wize, and everybody - including club owners and fans - loved it.

That band ALWAYS got called back for gigs. We rocked hard, filled clubs and made everybody money. We were on the regular rotations of three clubs ion Chicago; in large part due to the diversity of our song list and drawing power.
 

buzzp

Supporting Member
Messages
7,102
Agreeing with the questions coreybox just asked, I don't think that's too many people.

I happen to cover vocals and lead/rhythm guitar in my band so we don't need as many people. In the studio, my band will lay down seperate rhythm tracks, lead tracks, vocals, bass, drums, and keyboards.

I think the next question is, how often is the keyboard player and rhythm guitarist going to be utilized?
 

frennis

Member
Messages
1,343
Can sound great if done right. Every song has overdubs, so you would have to compromise less with that band. Get as many singing as possible and work out the harmonies, (3 females should help with the high parts). Plus, it will teach you how to really play in a band, and not step each other.
 

cbpickin

Tweed Supporting Member
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,135
We have six and it is not too much because everyone is doing a unique job:

vocal
guitar
bass
drum
keys
harmonica

I personally wouldn't want a second guitar player, but the keys really add great texture to songs that we miss when he can't make a gig.
 

gtrjake

Member
Messages
368
I played in a 6 piece cover band until recently, 2 guitars, keys, bass, drums, vocalist. Worked out just fine, except it can get really cramped on small stages! We kept volume down by having small 1x12 guitar cabs on the floor in front like monitors and letting the PA do the work.
 

Benny

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
1,352
Plenty of bands seem to do just fine with two guitars, bass, and keys at 5, 6, or more members. I can think of Allman Brothers, Tedeschi/Trucks, Black Crowes, Tom Petty/Heartbreakers and Grace Potter/Nocturnals off the top of my head. Plenty of bands have made it work with 6 or more as well, from larger jazz combos, Parliament/Funkadelic, Tower of Power, Chicago, pretty much any band that has a horn section.

In my own experience, the primary challenge that larger formats present (apart from basic logistics, relationships, and economics) is making sure your arrangements are good. On the upside, good arrangements can (sometimes) lead to less demanding individual parts, which leaves more time/energy/brain power for making sure you're putting on a great show.

Simply put, six is not too much (and may be just right) if you can all work together to make music.
 

mikendzel

Member
Messages
1,018
The answer to your question; it depends. It's the people, not the instruments, that make the band.

I've played in the same band for roughly 15 years, minus a 2 year hiatus in the early 2000's. At one point we had 7 people in the band! It was always fun. The key was knowing how little you could play and having fun with it. You can learn a lot about tone and playing to fit into a band that will benefit you down the road! If everyone works together and picks the correct tones, and plays sparingly it could be an awesome time!

We are a 4 piece now and I have to admit, I miss the big band.
 

MKB

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,726
My old band had up to 10 pieces (depending on which horn players showed up). All those horns and keys made playing rhythm guitar MUCH easier. It was a fun band, and we sounded terrific. The only issue with so many folks in the band is it dilutes the money quite a bit.

$1200 gigs were hard to find, and split 10 ways, that's $120 each minus expenses. But a 4 piece band can easily find $500-600 gigs around here. The lower count bands make more money and gig a lot more.
 

capnjim

Senior Member
Messages
1,228
It won't be a problem for long. If you have three females and three males eventually somebody will be killed in a bloody flurry of nails and hair.
 

Flyin' Brian

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
30,270
Is 6 people too much in one band...?

No.

Tedeschi Trucks - 11
Doobie Brothers - 8
Allman Brothers - 7
Tower of Power - 9
Chicago - 8
 

germs

Member
Messages
6,025
No, but that said, the more people you have in the band, the smaller everybody's paycheck is. A good keyboard player can oftentimes replace the second guitarist, but it really depends on the music you're playing.
yup. depends on the goals of the band.

if it's an originals band, just to create/perform music then no. it's not too many. it's never too many!
 

tiktok

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
23,530
So we're forming a band in university. And is 6 people too much in one band...? Some band mates thinks it's alright, some think it's too much. Male: 1 lead 1 rhythm 1 bass Female: 1 keyboard 1 drummer 1 vocal.

Personally I think it's too much. At the very least one between rhythm guitarist & keyboard can be taken out I think? But at this point it's a bit difficult to tell someone to quit if you guys know what I mean... What should be done??? Or perhaps it would work??
I've been in several five and six piece bands over the years. Getting the entire band in the room for two consecutive rehearsals was very rare. Over the years, my impression has been that scheduling four people is twice as hard as for three people, and five people is twice as hard as four.

And personally, I avoid playing with students at all costs: they have very little say in their schedule ("Whoa! I'm failing out--I need to bear down for the next month and then I'm on vacation and I'll be back in January! Unless my parents say otherwise! Oh! And some friends are in town this weekend, so I can't play that gig!").
 

DGTCrazy

Mod Squad
Staff member
Messages
16,169
I've played in Big Bands (11 people/with Brass Section), down to 3-piece. How many that are in the band is irrelevant.....as long as you sound good!
 

tone4days

Member
Messages
6,712
one potential benefit, if it is managed to be such, is the idea that a big group can more often absorb an absence if folks can cover for each other

to me, a college band is an opportunity to build fun memories with people you like ... if it is a 'serious' undertaking, then yeah, it can be rougher ... but if the group can cultivate a 'the more the merrier' attitude, you should be golden ...
 

lofgren

Senior Member
Messages
1,008
depends what type of sound/show youre going for. Ive seen springsteen with 14 people on stage in the band.
 

PatrickE_FenderADV

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
28,326
You can have 12 on stage if ya'll get along well, respect the space, have the material to warrant that many... AND don't mix sex within the band ranks!

Seriously though... I'm in a five pc and sometimes there's too many cooks in the kitchen.
 

smallbutmighty

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,290
If you're trying to make money, 6 is too many IMO.

If you're not trying to make money, do whatever you want.
 






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