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Does Anyone Here Have A Band?

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Here's the deal, I play guitar and my friend plays bass. We want to be rock-stars. We've been plaing for about 4 months, and quite frankly we're not very good. There's something going on at my school and they need an opening band, so I volunteered us. Some guy is going to drum for us, but we've never played live... hell we're no where close to ready. It isn't until May 3rd and we'd only have to know about two songs. What I want to know is, is preforming llice worth it? Does the joy/excitement outweigh the nervousness of posssilby making an ass of myself in front of literally tens or fives of people.

I really need some advice on this... I feel like my musical "career" is at stake. Perhaps I'm just overreacting?

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First off, who's singing? If theres only 3 of you, that means either you or your friend on bass would probably be singing, so you don't want to pick any songs that are even remotely difficult to play while trying to sing. I've played guitar for about 15 years and I still have trouble singing and playing at the same time depending on the difficulty of the song.


Second, pick the 2 songs, and for the next few weeks up to the show, only play those songs, over and over and over until you know them by heart and could play them with your eyes closed. Theres nothing worst than not knowing the songs live.

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if it's at school, i'd say go for it..


I've never had a band that's stuck together longer than 6 months, and we've played school shit. Sure, if you fuck up, people will remember, but it's fun to act like an idiot.


I got in doodoo because i incited a huge mosh pit in our cafeteria (around 80 kids) and for still singing into the mic while moshing. They figured i was risking school equipment, but i didn't drop it or anything...


good times

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ya gotta break your legs some time man. If people are kind enough to pay attention, it's damn worth it. Just completetly ignore the fact that there is an audience while you are playing (but don't ignore the audience between songs! you need to engage them!).

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do the songs have to be original? if not, pick some cover songs that people know but don't replicate them to such finite detail.


I had a band in high school for about a year and we were getting ready to do a performance at a place in Toronto before we decided to call it quits. Lazy fuckas wouldn't practice.

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Yeah, I will be singing and playing guitar... unfortunately I don't do either particularly well. For the two songs, I was thinking


What's the story (Morning Glory)- Oasis

All Apologies - Nirvana

Walk This Way - Aerosmith


and Becky i.e. my Bass player was more into



You Really Got Me Now - the Kinks

Satisfaction - Rolling Stones

and some really lame song I can't rememeber.


I'm thinking about What's the Story and Satisfaction but I really want to preform Walk this way, I just don't think a) I can learn it fast enough and B) it will sound right with only three people. But my heart wants to play Tiny Dancer by Elton John but that has an entirely new set of problems attatched to it, what with it being.... Tiny Dancer. By Elton John. Preformed badly by two rocker/stoners and a drummer.... Still I might do it anyway. I've always had a soft-spot for piano laden ballads.

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my friend phil, from my guitar class, asked me if i want to be the second member in his jazz/metal fusion band. i laughed. he found out i play violin, and he's like, i have a vision. we make a basic melody, then we just solo like we're possessed over top of it. i'm not great at improvising... i don't know my scales and theory that cold. sad, isn't it? he still wants to, even though i told him not to get his hopes up.


so technically, i'm in a band. sort of. haha. oh phil.


ok, tips for playing performances.


i've played violin for about ten years or so now, so i have a fairly decent idea of what you need to be able to do to perform effectively. that being...


perform til you know it cold. know where your part matches up with everyone else, that way if anyone screws up, you can pull it back together. play it with your eyes closed. this is important, as bright lights and such can hurt. be able to evoke everything you want in your voice and/or instrument in your song, and just let go. it's ok to be nervous. as i've had said to me, if you're not even a bit nervous, you don't care enough. now, i guess that might not apply to professionals who know their stuff cold, but still. good rule to follow.


basically, know everything backwards and forwards, and don't throw yourself in the deep end right away. if you have to play something simpler, then great on you. i wouldn't immediately pick up vivaldi's four seasons concerto after a year of playing knowing that i wouldn't be able to play it really well. play within your abilities for now, but always push yourself. you want to have a fair bit of confidence.


and yeah, i play a bit of guitar, and singing and playing is really hard at first. at least, it was for me. i used an easy song (Against Me! - 8 Full Hours of Sleep) to learn on. simple chord strumming and vocals. and once you know one, you can move on to bigger stuff. which is fun.


don't be afraid to push yourself, but know your limits. i'll use a mountain bike analogy. if you see a sick line and you're racing, and you know it would be awesome if you just hung it all out and ripped it up, but don't know if you could stay on, well, play it safe, but still have fun.


that probably made no sense to anybody, but that's ok.


go listen to some Against Me! or i'll send you some of their demo tracks or something. as a band, they show you that you can just belt it out with sincerity, and it comes across wonderfully. perhaps it isn't the most musically melodic thing, but hey, that's stylistic.


most importantly, i guess, is to pour yourself into it. in anything you do, show your unique flair and such. if you want to scream out the song, go ahead. if you want to slash away at those chords, do it. do what feels right to you. sincerity means more to me (and most people) than does a lackluster, empty performance, no matter how technically sound without emotion.


anyways, have fun!


i made no sense at all. all apologies. ;)

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I'd offer you some advice, but all of my on-stage experiences with my bands have been rather disasterous (I'd like to think that they were by no fault of my own). Anyway, the only things I can recommend are:

-do not play if your guitarist decides to go on vacation when you're supposed to have your gig.

-do not play in a band with someone with untreated bipolar disorder and manic depression. It will only lead to one of your other band members running off the stage crying, the crazy one doing a 'war dance' around a tree, and you, stuck, alone on stage, apologizing, and then leaving with your tail between your legs.


I've had other things go wrong as well , but um, I've had some good experiences, too (haven't played a show in about 5 or 6 years). So just practice A LOT and relax. You'll have a good time.

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First of all, wtf? Who comes to a god damn forum and cries to a bunch of nobodies about how he's probably going to be a fuck up. Who gives a shit what other ppl think. Go the fuck up there, do your shit. If you suck.. so be it.

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Just practice. And have fun with it. The crowd will be able to tell if you're all uptight and such, so it's okay to be nervous, but seriously, just go up there and have a good time. You shouldn't be overly concerned with how other people think you did if YOU had a good time.


Really, you should be playing/writing music for yourself anyway. It's cool that you want to share it with others, but trying to please everyone at once is going to kill you. Some people are going to think you suck, IT'S OKAY!!! Listen to the radio sometime and you'll realize that every one of those bands has been/is still being told that they suck. It's okay. Just make sure that you learn something from your first performance, and build off of it for the second.


Best of luck, hope it goes well....



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About your song choices:


Walk this way - Good song, probably impossible on your part to sing at the same time as playing it if you're still relatively new at both.


All Apologies - Nirvana songs are always a good bet since Cobain had to play guitar live and sing at the same time, so you know it can be done. Though I'd recomment Heart Shaped Box or In Bloom which is mostly powerchords.


If you're into greenday, give them a shot, they are the powerchord masters (easy to play and since at the same time)and everyone loves them. "She" or "Who Wrote Holdon Caulfield" are easy oldies for that. Longview is also just bass and drums in the verse, with the guitar only in the chorus, making it pretty easy too, and everyone loves that song.


EDIT: Just realized you're female, that also gives you some Hole options. Courtney Love is a horrible musician and she could still play live.

Edited by british_steel
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Doesn't mean that she should though.


I was thinking the same about the Nirvana tune. That isn't the easiest tune to play, and God knows that he was high as a kite half the time he played it, but I would have picked Polly myself, but that's just personal choice. Mind you, with a high school audience that is really listening to your choice, you might freak the hell out of your teachers ;)

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Guest Bimbly

youll probably suck the first time. if not youre the exception rather then the rule. its something you get more comfortable with as you do, so get out there and keep doing it until youre good.

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This is too late, oh well.


I've been in a band for 3 years about now, and I can tell you that in every performance we've done, the adrenaline rush and enjoyment of playing live definately outweighed the nervousness. You're nervous when you get up there but by the end you don't want to get off. But somebody had it right when they said "know your songs with your eyes closed" although most people won't notice when you mess up unless you make a big deal of it. Example: Yelling "Shitcock!" after playing a wrong note.

A few fun songs to cover that make you look good at guitar even if you're not is Say it ain't so by Weezer and Street Spirit by Radiohead. And a fun song for the vocals is Hey by The Pixies if you don't mind looking a bit silly.

You should have done the show by now, so update us on how it went when you can.

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