Practice Vs. Playing Live

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by ancient, Jan 29, 2008.


  1. ancient

    ancient Member

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    As a bunch of unexperienced aspiring rock musicians trying to form a band... Is it fair to play 'out' at the expense of your listeners?

    As fun as it is to play, the band I am in is seriously not that good (including myself). I'm not saying we suck, but I just dont think that we're anywhere near ready to perform in front of a live audience. Compared to the bands I have seen play in the NYC area... On a scale of 1 to 10 I would say that we're not even a 1, and that's being generous!

    At this point we are trying to do all originals. It has taken over a year to get where we are now with the ability to play in synch, but sadly enough that is not all the time. There are still lots of missed notes and stuff that is either out of order or makes no sense.

    I know what good music sounds like, and to actually play it is a different story. When it comes to technique, structure, dynamics and tone I would describe our sound as being sloppy, inconsistant and not very musical overall. But it's fun! We are able to come up with some interesting riffs, sounds and textures to work with but at this point it's all just bits and pieces. Sometimes it can really sound good and at other times as equally bad!

    Now that we have the raw beginnings of a song or two, some of my band members have suggested booking a show. To me booking a gig with out any songs doesn't make sense but one of my band members insists that setting deadlines will help to speed the process of developing our music... And now that the goal is to play live, everything we practice in the studio is starting to seem forced and rushed.

    With the pressure to eventually play out live "for the sake of playing out live", it seems like some of the magic has been lost. I feel that if we let our music develop naturally, in the course of it's own time something interesting and of quality may eventually present itself. I love to play but it seems like we're far from the standards of a band worthy enough to blast music in the face of an audience.

    Enlighten me please, I need some perspective on this...

    :confused:
     
  2. rhp52

    rhp52 Supporting Member

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    playing 'out' without being prepared is not gonna cut it. Try to find the real issue here. What kind of commitment level exists in the members?
    Have you set realistic goals as far as time is concerned?
    Do you have structure in place so you know what is to be accomplished at a rehearsal?
    Are you sure that each member is competent enough on their instruments to actually contibute, or is it causing more chaos?
    Just some things to think about
     
  3. The Captain

    The Captain Member

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    That piece of advice to get a gig to put pressure on everybody and get things going is often quoted, but it's not realistic for most people. MAybe it works for professionals but not for recreational musos.
    What it actually does, is take something fun and turn it into a work deadline.
    Sounds like music was a recreation for you and now it is suddenly work.
    Which is why I'm not in a band (apart form being too sloppy myself). I play music on my terms, sounds like you do too. Suddenly, this is all on somebopdy else's terms, so it's not fun any more.
     
  4. whitenoise

    whitenoise Member

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    find a place,

    throw a party. Invite all your friends. tell them to bring friends. let them know that you guys will be playing for a few hours. Have fun.

    get a good feel of the crowds reaction. if they are giving you the "gas face", practive much more before booking a show at a club.
     
  5. bridgewal

    bridgewal Member

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    I would agree that parties are ideal for easing into live performance. That was my first experience.
    Playing live is extremely important to your improvement as a player and a band. However, if you rush into gigging before you're ready, you run the risk of ruining your band's reputation right off the bat. People can have long memories.
     
  6. dewey decibel

    dewey decibel Member

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    I agree with the last two posts.

    But keep in mind- a band can only get so good in the basement. Playing live is an important part of your development. What I mean is if you wait "till yer ready" it will never happen- you'll never be ready. It's like a baby bird- at some point he's just gotta jump out the nest and it either happens for him or it don't. Luckily, for your band it's not a life or death risk (or maybe it is, the crowds can be pretty hostile in NYC)....
     
  7. bug0711

    bug0711 Supporting Member

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    This may work for ya'll:

    Drop in on an open mic night, have someone record it. Go back to the garage, watch it, cry a little, then woodshed your tails off. Repeat often.
     
  8. Ed DeGenaro

    Ed DeGenaro Supporting Member

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    It's simple if your audience doesn't dig it they won't come back, no audience, no gig. But it is their choice to hang and listen...my take one doesn't get better without playing live. So I say go make 'em suffer. :)
     
  9. JohnM

    JohnM Member

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    You could always open for another band...if they don't make you look bad, congrats! but then go find a better band to open for...At some point you're going to pick up the tips/ways/motivation to up your band's game.
     
  10. Shiny McShine

    Shiny McShine Member

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    I say that you learn to simplify what you're doing to the point that it's within the scope of what you can do well. My friend Jim Scollard leads a group of kids at church who are flat out rank beginners and at times they actually sound inspiring. Maybe a mentor is the answer?
     
  11. Mark Wein

    Mark Wein Member

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    +1

    I think that you need to find a few low stress places to play and just get out there and do it...sometimes I think one bad gig is worth 100 rehearsals...
     
  12. Butterfly

    Butterfly Gold Supporting Member

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    In college my friends and i started a band with little skill and probably less native talent. We had no fear for some reason, and were a punk band playing simple stuff. One night we played before another band that was popular and good. I thought we totally sucked (we did). Later that night a drunk dude came up and said we played his greatest hits tape. So you never know. Find a party to give it a shot, you may like it.
     
  13. gainiac

    gainiac Senior Member

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    That's the ticket. Do a "showcase" at a place like Montana Studios (rehearsal joint) book the large room for a few hours and have small little party.
     
  14. bastet

    bastet Member

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    Does your band currently do any covers?

    I think practicing well known songs will give you an exact feel how tight or in synch your band is, as well as showcase each players ability or lack of.

    Don't forget to have FUN!!
     
  15. Shiny McShine

    Shiny McShine Member

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    Don't go down the covers path, it's a waste of time if you're trying to become an artist and a force in music. Look at influential pop groups such as Devo, T Heads, etc. from my era. They can barely play their instruments and they rocked the world. Don't let the high brow types around sell you on endless practice and technical mastery. The way is to have a vision first and manufacture the technique to support it not the other way around.
     
  16. Mark Wein

    Mark Wein Member

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    I don't know if I entirely agree with this.

    I think that its important to have your own voice, and there are plenty of guys (including a favorite of mine, the Edge) who learned to play "along the way" but I also think that its a little foolish not to take advantage of the established tools that can help you get to the sounds that you are hearing faster.

    There is also nothing wrong with playing some cover songs, even if its just for your own enjoyment...many artists who developed VERY recognizable and unique sounds (including the Beatles, Van Halen and Hendrix) started their performing life playing and absorbing other peoples music...
     
  17. Shiny McShine

    Shiny McShine Member

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    Hey Mark, were you in And Your Little Dog Too back in the early 90's?
     
  18. Mark Wein

    Mark Wein Member

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    HOLY FRICKEN COW!

    How did you know that? :eek:
     
  19. Mark Wein

    Mark Wein Member

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    Your name wouldn't happen to be Mark too, would it?
     
  20. Shiny McShine

    Shiny McShine Member

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    Yeah, small world isn't it! It's good to hear from someone from the old days. BTW, you're going to love it here. The gear, the people, the knowledge... there's nothing like it.

    Sorry, everyone for hijacking this thread but I was in a band that he was in playing bass and doing the recording at the time. We actually had label interest but just didn't quite have what they needed to hook the deal. Learned a lot and had some really great times in that band.
     

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