Should You Stay In The Band If You’re “Forcing It”?

If you find yourself “forcing it” when playing in front of a live audience, it may be time to quit your band.

Nobody "Forcing It" here!
Nobody "Forcing It" here!

   There comes a point in every musician’s life when playing in a live band becomes a grind. Things start to lose their newness after awhile and the band just doesn’t seem like much fun anymore. You start to notice that learning new songs isn’t much fun anymore and the practices become a drag and a burden. Even having to pack all your equipment up and head to the gig seems like more work than it’s worth. It’s at that point that you may ask yourself “should I quit this band?”.

   As I’ve said before, playing in a live band is work more often than playing. Sometimes the constant work that goes into making your live band be the best it can be gets to be a real drag. It’s easy to get caught up in hating the non-playing aspect of being in a live band. But, you keep working and grinding it out because of the the feeling of stepping out in front of a live audience which is giving you a lot of love for your great effort.    Continue reading “Should You Stay In The Band If You’re “Forcing It”?”

Being A Musician Playing In Multiple Bands

Playing in multiple bands can be a challenge but it also opens up some excellent performance opportunities.

Matt Rushton - Lead Guitarist
Matt Rushton - Lead Guitarist

   I’ve been playing in live bands since I was 15 years old and in that time I’ve been a member of many different types of bands. I’ve been in cover bands, original bands, wedding bands, jazz bands, country bands, rock bands and the occasional church group. I’ve been in some of these groups simultaneously and I’ve had some interesting times juggling multiple bands.

   There are a few different reasons I like to play in multiple bands. I know a lot of great musicians and I like to play music with all of them. Some of the musicians I know are more skilled at different types of music than others. So I spend time playing with different groups of musicians and I get to play different styles of music with different lineups of musicians. I personally like to play a lot of different types of music so playing in multiple groups allows me to play more varied music styles.     Continue reading “Being A Musician Playing In Multiple Bands”

Make Singing Practice Fun With SingStar The Video Game

SingStar the video game is an excellent way to practice your singing as well as your live performance.

SingStar PS3 Bundle
SingStar PS3 Bundle

   I’m always looking for good ways to practice my live performance. You can only sing along in the car for so long before you’re bored to death and there’s really no way to practice your stage moves while driving. It’s also not a lot of fun to do boring old Karaoke especially at home without an audience. That’s where SingStar the video game comes in extremely handy.

   If you’re not familiar with SingStar it’s a singing game that you can play on your Playstation 2 or Playstation 3. It’s a step up from Karaoke and it will help you work on your live performance in several different ways. The game basically has a selection of songs along with the original artists music video for the song. SingStar is much better than Karaoke simply because it uses the original artists music rather than a cover band playing the music. To play you just plug in the microphones, select a song and start singing. The lyrics appear onscreen with a pitch indicator that shows you how well you’re singing in tune. The game will score your performance which gives you a good idea about where you need to improve your singing. Continue reading “Make Singing Practice Fun With SingStar The Video Game”

What Is The Typical Band Lineup

The Beatles - 4-piece perfection

   So you’re a musician and you want to become a live performing musician. You want to start a band and you’re not sure what instruments you need to get a functional band together. The beautiful thing about playing in a band is the fact that you’re going to be playing with other people. You won’t be a solo artist anymore when you play in a band. In fact, the definition of band is “An unofficial association of people or groups.” So I guess technically you only need two people to start a band. The first thing you need to decide is what type of music you’re going to be playing. If you decide you want to play hard rock then the lineup requirements will be different than if you are playing bluegrass. How many people you have in your band can really affect your band chemistry as well. Musician’s tend to have large personalities and the more you add, the more interesting and challenging things can become. Let’s take a look at some typical band lineups.

Continue reading “What Is The Typical Band Lineup”

A Nod To A Classic, The Ventures – Wipe Out (Live)

   I saw this while perusing the Guitar Player Forum, Rampdog posted a link to this classic live performance of Wipe Out by The Ventures. I didn’t realize how hard these guys really rocked live! Talk about technically proficient on their instruments. I think my band’s going to start stretching out a bit more on this one. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

The Ventures – Wipe Out (Live)

Hal Leonard Gig Guide Book With CD – The Performance Guide For Bands

Hal Leonard Gig Guide

   I’m always checking out new and interesting products to help make my life in a band easier. I was looking at some guitar tablature books and stumbled onto the Gig Guide series published by Hal Leonard. The Gig Guide series is designed to provide musicians with a blueprint for building bands.

   What Hal Leonard has done in the Gig Guide series is to pick a musical genre, say Classic Rock, and compile a 12-song setlist. It’s the same thing I’ve done for you with the Live Musician Central Set List series. You get several tools to use to learn the songs with the Hal Leonard Gig Guide series. Along with the list of songs are a Lead Sheet with the basic essential parts you’ll need to know to play the songs. This could be as simple as chords and melody. You also get a demo CD with a full band playing the song so you can hear how you should sound. Continue reading “Hal Leonard Gig Guide Book With CD – The Performance Guide For Bands”

A Classic Performance From Sister Rosetta Tharpe

   After playing music for so many years and being in the business I do tend to get a bit ho-hum about all the greatness out there. I start saying “Well, another Van Halen clone…yawn.” Or “Wow, 500 notes per second…snore.” Then something truly great will catch my attention.

Continue reading “A Classic Performance From Sister Rosetta Tharpe”

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