Posted by Pete on December 14, 2000 at 01:38:28:
In Reply to: Re: TRYING TO START, NEED HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! posted by Bob 'Skippy' Blechinger on November 17, 2000 at 01:38:45:
: : Hey guys, I have a hard question hear. ok, here go's. Do any of you have some advice for starting a real band. not just a high school one or a garage band, but a real one? i realy want to play funk and jazz but i have no idea what to look for in other players or how to start looking. how do you tell them that you wont get money right away but convice them to stay? i would like players my age(16) too. I allways ge flack about being a leader and a bass player becuase i cant sing and play at the same time or because i blay bass, but i want to go for it any way. so please help. Thanx
: You've asked one of The Eternal Questions that any musician asks. ;-)
: For starters, why do you think that a high school/garage band *isn't* real? The fact is, with very few exceptions, *all* of us players got started in a garage band; it's nothing to be looked down on, or ashamed of.
: When you're talking about playing funk or jazz, you're really talking about something that requires a good deal of commitment already having been made to learning the instrument by all concerned. At 16, it's a bit difficult to find musicians who are that committed, but by no means impossible. I'd say the first place to look is at your school; students who are in band or orchestra might be interested, for example.
: If I may ask, what level of playing experience/skill are you at now? This is important, because you want to get other musicians who are at roughly the same level that you are. For your purposes, players that aren't up to your level might wind up being unable to play the stuff you want to play, and players at a higher level might wind up getting frustrated for the same reasons; nothing personal, just reality.
: One of the best ways to find other musicians is to just jam with as many people as you can, any time you can. You get a good feel for other players, and it's a *very* good way to improve your musicianship in a relatively short period of time. Jamming is my preferred method, mainly because it requires you to use all your musical ability when you're confronted with something that's not all that familiar (I'm legendary in my town for "knowing every song that's ever been written"; I don't really, but I've got the best "play-by-ear" ears in town).
: Hope this helps!
We all start playing this way. But first practice as much as you can, and as productively as you can, on your own (esp. for us bassists who want to sing and play simultaneously - it doesn't come easy for anyone I know. Read what Geddy Lee, Paul McCartney and Sting went though or how much they practice TODAY to still do it comfortably). Playing with other guys is the time when everyone brings out what they're capable of, and not only is this your chance to shine, it's your chance to LEARN from the other musicians and develop musical relationships with the guitars, the singers, etc., and to build on everything that you've practiced and learned. BUT not all jams are productive, like Bob before me mentioned...if your gut feeling is that you're wasting your time, then you're probably right.
As for a "garage" band not being real...we all come from there. Many of us, except for the fact that we've done it longer, are still garage bands. Don't let that discourage you! The hardest part, after making sure you're capable of what you want to do with your instrument, is finding others who not only match your level but also are willing to stick around for the long haul. Dedication to each other as well as to the music is often overlooked, in my opinion.
Down from the soapbox now. Take care, and best of luck. - Pete
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