Live Musician Central celebrates it’s second anniversary. Here are some statistics from our first two years.
Hey everyone, it’s been 2 years since Live Musician Central went online. I’ve been posting information to help you improve your live band for two solid years and Live Musician Central has gotten a very good response. We’ve had 86,945 page views and have been averaging around 5,000 visits per month. That’s pretty good traffic for a non-commercial Blog/Website.
Does your live band sound like a train wreck? This post will help you figure out why and how to solve it.
So you’ve searched for musicians, finally found a the perfect band lineup, and you’ve decided what type of music you want to play with your live band. You’ve had a few band practices but your new live band sounds like a train wreck. This is a common problem and believe it or not, can be very simple to solve.
The first question you have to answer is, what’s causing your band to sound like a train wreck. The most common problems I’ve seen in new bands are centered around the ability to play to a beat and individual player preparation. Continue reading “So Your Band Sounds Like A Train Wreck”
Keep your show moving by having a plan in place for song changes, stage banter and instrument problems.
I’ve played in a lot of different live bands over the years and one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced is keeping the show moving along at nice pace. What I mean is minimizing space between songs, also known as Dead Air. Dead air happens between songs and can be a serious show killer. If you aren’t engaging your crowd, you’re losing them and that’s a bad thing.
There are some key ways to minimize dead air between songs. The most important is to have a well organized, printed set list for every person in the band. When you plan your setlist it’s a good idea to group songs into sets of 3 that are easy to transition from song to song. When setting up a group of 3 songs you can group them by instrument changes, tunings, singer rotation or effect settings. After awhile, your band will remember what songs are grouped together in three’s and be able to transition quickly between those songs. This makes it easy to tweak your set list on the fly and still maintain some continuity by keeping the 3-song sets together. Continue reading “Keep Your Show Moving And Minimize Dead Air”
Having a band member that will only practice at band rehearsal is something that you can actually work around.
What can you do when one member of your band will only play their instrument when the band gets together to practice? I get this question all the time from friends and colleagues that play in live bands. It’s actually a lot more common than you may think to have a band member only practice when the band gets together as a group to practice. It’s something that you may have to deal with in your live band so let’s discuss some of your options.
It may seem like a no-brainer to just kick the offending member out of the band. That may seem like the easiest solution but let’s face it, this person may have other qualities that make them very hard to replace. For example, I was working with a young band that consisted of 3 brothers and it was a great marketing opportunity having 3 brothers in the same band. The problem is, one of the brothers would never practice his instrument unless it was band practice. It was very obvious that this brother was far behind the other two in terms of being prepared and also in his actual playing ability. But, it was crucial to keep this brother in the band. Continue reading “What To Do When One Of Your Band Members Won’t Practice”
If your live band is feeling a little stale, try bringing in a guest musician to liven things up.
If you’ve been playing in with the same group of musicians in the same live band for a while it’s pretty common for things to become routine. A problem arises when the doing the same old routine every time you get together starts to get boring and stale. This happens to a lot of bands over the course of their career and it doesn’t matter what your bands routine is.
Your band may be playing the same 3 clubs over and over to the point of boredom. Or you may get together regularly to create music in the studio and make recordings but never play out. The Beatles became a recording studio band and guess what? It still got stale and boring even for The Beatles! So what did The Beatles do to get some fresh ideas and some new life in the band? They brought in guest musicians to play on their recordings. Continue reading “Is Your Live Band Feeling Stale? Bring In A Guest Musician”
Use this technique with a metronome to improve your ability to hold an even tempo.
One of the biggest problems I’ve seen in my years of playing in a live band is the ability to keep a solid, steady tempo. If your band is speeding up and slowing down all the time, it’s darn near impossible to keep a danceable groove going. It’s primarily the responsibility of the drummer, bass player and rhythm guitarist to keep the tempo but everyone benefits when the entire band can hold a solid tempo.
The best way I’ve found to practice keeping a solid tempo is using a metronome. The obvious way to practice is to set the metronome to a tempo that you want to work on and then practice along with it. This is a very basic way to use the metronome but it’s not the best way I’ve found to use it for improving your ability to hold a tempo.