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Apparent dissolution of our band


tlwwalker
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Sixteen years ago I began playing guitar with Tim. Two acoustic guitars in a mancave with a pool table, bathroom, fridge for beer. He and I are very good friends and that is important to this tale. Tim has limited guitar skills and has not really progressed as quickly as I have. But he's my friend above all.

Fast forward sixteen years and the room is now a fine live music space: drums (with plexi shield), PA, recording gear, sound absorbtion, carpets, multiple electric and acoustic amps with shields all miked up for recording.  I play to have fun. Tim & I don't care if we play out. Two others are abivalent to for playing out. One is passionate about playing out. We had not played out since pre COVID. We played geezer rock too loud. The volume was starting to affent the fun factor. We gathered once a week to play and drink bee and have fun.  Did I mention the importance of fun?

Early June we played a gig at a bar for a private party. I HAD NO FUN! Hot as balls, played while sweating, we all played poorly, we were too loud (we were told twice). The crowd retreated to the air conditioned interior. We were told we could knock off early. Again I HAD NO FUN!

The following week I told the guys I no longer wanted to play out until further notice. .......

With that, the guy who was passionate has vanished. One of the abivalent ones has vanished and the other said he would return when summer ends.

Tim and I have not missed a beat. We have reverted to acoustic two part music. He has good harmonica skills. And, he has a great voice. Now that we can hear ourselves sing, we have both been able to hone our harmonizing skills. The gear is all set up. We use the recording gear to polish a song. 

I'm missing my three friends a little. But I am back to having FUN. 

Did I mention the importance of fun?

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Playing music is supposed to be fun.  Unless you are a working musician who does it for a living, it should always be fun. And even then, it should be fun most of the time. 

I'm like you. I have played in public a few times throughout my life. But I just like to jam with other people and have fun. 

I agree. Fun is important when it comes to playing music!

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Life’s too short to spend time doing anything that you don’t enjoy. I mean, I don’t always enjoy work for instance, but it provides for me the ability to do things that I enjoy. But relating this to a band situation, yeah if it isn’t pleasant to partake, then it’s time for a change. Fun is a subjective term. Getting a band together and making it work is really flipping hard. Sometimes it takes years to find out what really works and what doesn’t. But good to hear you and your bud are still playing together. All the best. 

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I too have not played out since before Covid. 

I have been playing in the same 7 piece band for some 25 years. I miss playing out, and it was rare not to have fun.

But I find myself so busy in my retirement that its going to be hard to put Blown Out back together. The Singer has another band. The other fellows have spoken about a 'comeback' but no one is actively doing anything about it. 

Enjoy your acoustic duo tlw, and good luck with it. At least you're doing something.

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Acoustic duo is great.

I've had one with a guy I was in a band with 30 years ago, and we do several gigs a year, some years way more than others, some less. We play multiple instruments, do harmonies, and can play literally hundreds of songs without needing notes. We can not see each other for months and months and pick right back up like we'd just played yesterday.

And there's no damned drummer to deal with.....

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A good Drummer plays to the room & altogether a good Band has good dynamics.. They play to the room. They also need to play to the level your PA System will allow to have good clear Vocals! If you have none of those you have work to do.. To be a good Band..

There’s an old saying… You got no Gig… You got no Band.. Most Musicians want to play out. Make Money too.. Get Girls, Socialize, Party & have Fun! Maybe a little romance…

Most Bands have one or two guys who are the Musical force in direction, Set Lists & writing Originals.. Sounds like that’s you & Tim. Cool. Maybe you should just keep it a Duo.. 

But, if you want a Band you have to play out or it won’t last long.. Too much work for nothing for most Guys..

My Drummer has a saying…. A Gig is just a paid rehearsal… How true…

Edited by Larsongs
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2 hours ago, Murph said:

Acoustic duo is great.

I've had one with a guy I was in a band with 30 years ago, and we do several gigs a year, some years way more than others, some less. We play multiple instruments, do harmonies, and can play literally hundreds of songs without needing notes. We can not see each other for months and months and pick right back up like we'd just played yesterday.

And there's no damned drummer to deal with.....

That’s because guys do your homework! The way it should be…

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Yeah certain drummers are louder than others. One guy who I played with was so loud it just got annoying. Another guy I played with wasn’t overly loud, but real good - and this was classic rock and such in a relatively small basement. If your ears ring or sting during or after practice, time to invest in earplugs - and good ones at that. 

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To the OP. Sounds like the duo is the way to go. I'm sure the other guys are cool dudes, but sometimes too many people just mucks things up. Like you said, if it isn't fun for you, then why bother.  It's much easier to get two people in synch than 4 or 5.

 

 

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7 hours ago, NighthawkChris said:

Yeah certain drummers are louder than others. One guy who I played with was so loud it just got annoying. Another guy I played with wasn’t overly loud, but real good - and this was classic rock and such in a relatively small basement. If your ears ring or sting during or after practice, time to invest in earplugs - and good ones at that. 

We used to have a Drummer who wore ear plugs.. He was the loudest Drummer I’ve ever played with!

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1 hour ago, saturn said:

To the OP. Sounds like the duo is the way to go. I'm sure the other guys are cool dudes, but sometimes too many people just mucks things up. Like you said, if it isn't fun for you, then why bother.  It's much easier to get two people in synch than 4 or 5.

 

 

Yeah, the other guys are probably out Gigging, making a few $$…..

Edited by Larsongs
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2 hours ago, Larsongs said:

We used to have a Drummer who wore ear plugs.. He was the loudest Drummer I’ve ever played with!

The guy who I referred to that was a loud drummer - understatement - used to pride himself on how loud he’d get… I just remember every snare hit my ear drums reacted and I said enough was enough I need earplugs! I stopped one day mid-song and said that his volume was killing me. After I put in some earplugs it was still loud. He was one of those guys that neighbors could hear from outside the house while the drums were situated in a basement. We definitely had a curfew when we played with this guy… good drummer, just loud!

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4 hours ago, NighthawkChris said:

The guy who I referred to that was a loud drummer - understatement - used to pride himself on how loud he’d get… I just remember every snare hit my ear drums reacted and I said enough was enough I need earplugs! I stopped one day mid-song and said that his volume was killing me. After I put in some earplugs it was still loud. He was one of those guys that neighbors could hear from outside the house while the drums were situated in a basement. We definitely had a curfew when we played with this guy… good drummer, just loud!

Same here, he was a good Drummer.. Just not the right Drummer for us.. Our current Drummer, of the past 6-7 years, understands good dynamics & is an excellent Drummer.. He knows the BPM of every Song we play.. He does use earbuds with a Click Track.. We try to play many Cover Songs exactly like the Record.. Sometimes use the accurate Guitars that were used on The Beatles recordings..

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Fun is important. That's why they call it PLAYing music.

But I'm just the opposite. I'm happiest when I'm gigging. Playing live to an audience puts me in that blissful place where there is no space, no time, and no me, just the music flowing through me and the energy from the audience flowing back to me.

We're doing 18 gigs this month, 16 are outdoors and 14 are during the daytime. We did 17 last month. Here in Florida, it's supposed to be the slow season, when 4 or 5 gigs a month are all you can expect. I guess people are making up for lost time.

After 2 years of COVID unemployment, we are delighted to be working so much.

I gig with my wife. When we met, we were in different bands. Both our bands broke up at the same time and we found ourselves in a 5 piece together. After that, a couple of others, always with personnel problems.

It's tough to keep a band together when the players have different goals and desires. So one day 37 years ago we became a duo. I play sax, flute, guitar, bass, drums and vocals, I've since added wind synthesizer, she plays synth, guitar and vocals. I started making backing tracks, recording the rhythm section to 4 track reel-to-reel tape and mixing to cassette. That was 37 years ago. Until COVID we haven't been out of work since.

I've graduated to MIDI for our backing tracks, but still would rather make them myself than buy something that isn't quite right for us.

BTW, we play to an adult audience, bring a sound-level-meter to the gig, and to protect our audiences' ears, we don't play louder than 85dba. We've been playing to that audience since we started (it's a good one in South Florida) and enjoy it.

Mrs. Notes and I think that gigging is the most fun we can have with our clothes on.

If gigging is your fun, gig.

If sitting in the AC and jamming is your fun, do that.

There is definitely more than one right way to make music.

And as others have mentioned, life is too short to do something you don't want to do (unless you absolutely have to).

 

Insights and incites by Notes ♫

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When my group plays and we hit a groove that really gels the endorphin boost is incredible and we all feed off of the energy. My head is still buzzing from yesterdays session. At 72  I am amazed that this is still happening to me, we are playing mostly older stuff that we have modernized or jacked up a bit, our 32 year old mom has such a rich voice and singing things that came out before she was born. Anyway we are doing what ever it takes to make what ever we Play exciting and Fun. 🙂

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I play solo gigs mainly.  Rarely team-up anymore.   I get paid, but if I like the gig, I’d play it for free.  I simply enjoy playing.  I like playing music for an audience.  The only “open mics” I play are the two that I’m hosting each month at two local wineries.   Wineries pay decently, but I have fun and would do them for less.    My weekly coffeehouse gig is the sweetest gig I’ve ever played.  Starting a second coffeehouse in September and I think I’ll really enjoy it too.  If not, I’ll find a different one. ……It’s great and “God bless you” if you’re making good money gigging.  You are likely far more talented than I am.  I’m just a self-taught hack.   I make gas money and tips, but the main thing is I have a lot of fun.  I play  festivals when I can busk on a corner.

Edited by MissouriPicker
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Ya know, sometimes less is more.

Band situations are either meant to go the long haul or they are not.

Cohesion among the members, and a common path and goal is the single most important factor

my originals band has been together for over 20 years, everyone's on the same page.  all the time.

100% agree,,  if it's not fun, what's the point

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  • 2 weeks later...

So, this is my first attempt at posting an adio of my buddy and I.

Zoom L-20 board. Three Sure SM-58's - one on the Fender Accoustasonic two on the vocals. Three separate tracks recorded at three separte times by overdubbing. Steep learning curve.

I'm not embarassed......

 

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