Category: Playing In A Band

Organizing a Band

I recently found an interesting article on organizing a band and dealing with the changes that come along in this business of music.  The excerpts below touch on a few of the topics covered and how to deal with them.

Music is a business. You have to decide how seriously you want to pursue your personal enjoyment versus making money. This is not to say that you can’t have both and sometimes if you plan carefully you can have a rewarding experience in every way.

Music is all about entertainment. I am not suggesting you get a monkey and organ grinder. Act like you have an interest in what’s going on. Have confidence. You’re probably much better than you think.

Don’t get locked into the same old music. Some songs are treasures and you will want to play them forever. Put some new stuff in there every once in a while to challenge yourself and keep things fresh. There is nothing more frustrating to hear a good band, and years later they are doing 80% of the same old stuff.

Mixing Your Sound On Stage Without A Sound Engineer

Many small club bands or duos don’t have the luxury of having a sound engineer to mix their sound during performances. Most of the time, one of the band members mixes the sound while on stage, while performing.

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This can be difficult for several reasons:

  • The sound on the stage is very different from the sound throughout the rest of the club.
  • The person mixing generally has to stop playing momentarily to adjust the levels.
  • Different band members may prefer different mixes; for example the keyboard player may feel that the keyboards need to be higher in the mix.
  • The on-stage mixer may have little control over the level of individual instrument amplifiers or drummers.
  • In very small venues, or restaurants, the on-stage level may need to be too high (for the band’s comfort and hearing) for the audience, particularly when they are close to the stage.
  • Continue reading Mixing Your Sound On Stage Without A Sound Engineer

You’re Too Loud! Keeping Your Sanity When Playing Restaurants and Small Clubs

Restaurants and small bars make great venues for duos and small bands to play. For financial as well as practical reasons, these places are too small for larger groups, yet they still want to have live music to attract the crowds.

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However, you must always remember that YOU are not the primary purpose of the restaurant or bar. The primary purpose, as for any business, is to make money.

As a performer, you should be able to relate to this, since you need to make money as well. (If you are just doing it for the music, while a great noble and artistic attitude, you’re better off just jamming at home.)Continue reading You’re Too Loud! Keeping Your Sanity When Playing Restaurants and Small Clubs

Mixing Your Stage Sound As You Play By Adjusting Your Playing

While many bands, particularly the larger ones, have a sound engineer, there are performance aspects to the mix that only the band members control.

If you think that you can just play in whatever manner you feel like playing, and the sound engineer’s job is to make everyone sound good in the mix, you’ll fall short of your optimal sound. The mix can’t fix busy keyboards or guitar fills that walk all over the vocals.

While thinking about these things may seem distracting at first, but it becomes second nature after a while. Once you can do this unconsciously, you’ll get into your own part naturally.Continue reading Mixing Your Stage Sound As You Play By Adjusting Your Playing

Rehearsing New Songs Live On Stage

If you work in a bar band, there are likely going to be times when the bar is essentially empty. Should you take advantage of this time to work on new songs that really aren’t ready for prime time?

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The answer is not a simple yes or no. The other people working in the club, the waitresses and the bartender, may welcome hearing something that they haven’t heard you play ad nauseam.

They are always the first to get tired of your material and sound, so it may be a welcome treat for them. Or not. If your unpracticed performance is particularly bad, you’ll likely hear about it later, or hear them tell the story to customers. Of course, it could also be the best you ever perform that song.Continue reading Rehearsing New Songs Live On Stage