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Old 07-03-2009, 06:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Starting a Band- what to do?

Some friends and I are strongly considering starting a band (some kind of metal band probably, not sure exactly what), and i have recently been overwhelmed by all the things I don't know or can't do.
I have never been in a band before and don't know how to read music (I play guitar if it matters), but I am very interested in the concept, especially of songwriting. People I know who are younger than me have done a lot more in the music world than me, and I feel that it would be best to get started as soon as possible. Also, I heard that Metallica's members didn't really know what they were doing when they started out, but they got better very quickly and things really fell in place.
Does anyone have any advice for someone in my position, or books/websites that I might find useful? Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-03-2009, 07:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You don't have to read sheet music, you can get by on tabs.
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Old 07-03-2009, 08:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Pillowmint View Post
Some friends and I are strongly considering starting a band (some kind of metal band probably, not sure exactly what), and i have recently been overwhelmed by all the things I don't know or can't do.
I have never been in a band before and don't know how to read music (I play guitar if it matters), but I am very interested in the concept, especially of songwriting. People I know who are younger than me have done a lot more in the music world than me, and I feel that it would be best to get started as soon as possible. Also, I heard that Metallica's members didn't really know what they were doing when they started out, but they got better very quickly and things really fell in place.
Does anyone have any advice for someone in my position, or books/websites that I might find useful? Thanks in advance.
The best advice I can give you is don't overthink it. You don't need to decide anything at all before you start playing. Just get your friends together and just mess around playing whatever you feel like. And have fun! Everything else will fall into place, but the most important thing is just start doing it.
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Old 07-03-2009, 08:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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just go for it, learn some songs to play together, make up your own stuff at practice, next thing you know you will have an instrumental, start writing some songs, then you will have a full song
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Old 07-03-2009, 09:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I would recommend, if you plan on playing covers, learning them by ear. I don't know why you would use tabs if you can learn in a more productive way.

Also, make sure that the band is for the music. Don't let significant others or anything get in the way, but also don't let the band take over your life if it isn't working out.

In other words, don't get too stressed, I'm sure you'll have a million other chances to play in a band.

Enjoy yourself, getting too serious doesn't get you anywhere.

Much luck.

Keep us updated.
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Old 07-04-2009, 06:22 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Ok, thanks for the advice! I suppose I have been thinking too far down the road...
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Old 07-04-2009, 06:29 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Roger McGuinn's advice:
Quote:
Just get an electric guitar
Then take some time and learn how to play

And with your hair combed right
And your pants fit tight
It's gonna be all right

Then it's time to go downtown
Where the agent man won't let you down
Sell your soul to the company
Who are waiting there to sell plastic ware

And in a week or two
If you make the charts
The girls'll tear you apart
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Old 07-04-2009, 11:34 AM   #8 (permalink)
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although it's a great way to meet girls, don't let hangers on turn your practices into a party. be there with a mind to improve on whatever the band doesn't do well.
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Old 07-04-2009, 03:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janszoon View Post
The best advice I can give you is don't overthink it. You don't need to decide anything at all before you start playing. Just get your friends together and just mess around playing whatever you feel like. And have fun! Everything else will fall into place, but the most important thing is just start doing it.

this a million times over.

also keep in mind that there are about a million other bands starting up or just getting going right now. you can either stress yourself out trying to compete with the lot of them to be the next big thing or you can just say eff it! and have fun with your buddies.
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Old 07-05-2009, 07:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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By no means do you need to be able to read sheet music. There tons and tons of famous/ talented musicians who cannot read music. Can you read guitar tabs? This might be a big help and is a lot easier to learn quickly than reading music.

That being said, being able to read music does come in handy if you want to involve yourself in instruments other than guitar (like piano, in which you kind-of have to be able to read music), or if you want to write your songs down in this format for whatever reason. I'm sure there are lots of books/ websites out there that can teach you how to read music. Buy a 'beginner's guide to music theory' type thing and see how much you can learn from it. But reading music is not an absolute necessity needed for forming a band and writing your own songs.
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