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Silenced Fred

Band set up

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What is your set up for the band? members, equipment, etc.

 

The more and more I write, it just works better with just myself and the drummer, so I think that's what its gonna be. We just had a great practice today and went over like 6 original songs plus a couple of covers. If anyone else does the two man set up, any tips or advice for making the sound fuller? If I could, I would run like 5 amps onstage like Dan Auerbach does [biggrin]

 

But just wondering what people's bands consist of?

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You'll have a hard time convincing a venue that a Drummer/Guitarist duet is going to entertain an audience. It may be good for writing, fewer cooks in the kitchen, but for performance a Bass or Keyboard player would almost be a necessity. Of course there's always the possibility your duet could catch on despite the lack of traditional line-up, but Venue Owners are usually pretty conservative when it comes to hiring paid acts. they want to see 4 members, but will usually accept 3. If you have a 5 piece band, they really think their on to something.

 

Is that way of thinking right? no. Is that way of thinking prevalent among Venue Owners? Yes.

 

Now, if you're going to take the "Play for Free" route, and take whatever opening slot you can find to expose your music and project, you'll have a lot more freedom to do whatever you want. However, be prepared for resistance from the audience, your Drummer/Guitarist duet will be labeled as a White Stripes Rip Off. Again, you may not deserve this label, but it may be a hurdle you'll have to overcome.

 

All this aside, the only advice you really need has already been given hundreds of years ago, "Above all else, this: To thine own self be true." You can't go wrong as long as you don't truly compromise yourself or your musical ideals.

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You'll have a hard time convincing a venue that a Drummer/Guitarist duet is going to entertain an audience. It may be good for writing, fewer cooks in the kitchen, but for performance a Bass or Keyboard player would almost be a necessity. Of course there's always the possibility your duet could catch on despite the lack of traditional line-up, but Venue Owners are usually pretty conservative when it comes to hiring paid acts. they want to see 4 members, but will usually accept 3. If you have a 5 piece band, they really think their on to something.

 

Is that way of thinking right? no. Is that way of thinking prevalent among Venue Owners? Yes.

 

Now, if you're going to take the "Play for Free" route, and take whatever opening slot you can find to expose your music and project, you'll have a lot more freedom to do whatever you want. However, be prepared for resistance from the audience, your Drummer/Guitarist duet will be labeled as a White Stripes Rip Off. Again, you may not deserve this label, but it may be a hurdle you'll have to overcome.

 

All this aside, the only advice you really need has already been given hundreds of years ago, "Above all else, this: To thine own self be true." You can't go wrong as long as you don't truly compromise yourself or your musical ideals.

 

Oh yeah, I hear you. I mean for me, the song writing process goes idea of chords, to writing a riff, to writing lyrics. After that, I take it to my drummer and we jam on it for a while until we get the feel and he gets the drum beat. I mean, with a bass, it will be the same type of thing if we do add it. A 3 piece might work pretty well, but who knows?

 

I just want to play, so if a bassist helps, then so be it.

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I'm not saying a Two Piece won't work, it's just that you'll run into some obstacles that you wouldn't run into with a traditional looking line up. However, the rewards of being unique and overcoming those obstacles are far greater than playing it safe.

 

Bringing in a good bassist that's willing to go along with your ideas on your songs will help. But you'll have to be willing to help them with their ideas.

 

You might want get some Moog pedals for yourself, and a midi device for the drummer and just go at it until you attract a bassist or some other musician who wants to get into your thing. At the risk of putting my own preferences in my advice, I'd stay open to the idea of a non-traditional instrument player for a bassist. Like a baritone sax, or Stand up bassist who could play some cello, but make it work in a modern way......might be Pipe dreaming, but your at an age, just going into college, you have the resources and the time to do anything you want.

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What is your set up for the band? members, equipment, etc.

 

The more and more I write, it just works better with just myself and the drummer, so I think that's what its gonna be. We just had a great practice today and went over like 6 original songs plus a couple of covers. If anyone else does the two man set up, any tips or advice for making the sound fuller? If I could, I would run like 5 amps onstage like Dan Auerbach does [biggrin]

 

But just wondering what people's bands consist of?

Try going sans pants!! [cool] Go with what works for you, no rules in rock n roll, if it works do it. My band is four, drummer, bass, lead guitar with some vox (me) and another guitar/singer ala James Hetfield. We are one of the very few four member bands with two guitars in our area so I think it gives us a little edge against the five member (one guy just singing) deal that is more common. I would dig seeing a local band with just drummer and guitar, that takes guts! [thumbup]

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I like a rhythm and a lead player for the most part but there are exceptions of course....

 

In a perfect world, I could have a set up like The Raconteurs with me and another guitar player switching off guitar and vocal duties. I don't know what I'm gonna do the one girl that said she wants to play bass is joining gymnastics and **** so she won't have much time. I'm thinking the two piece might be the way to go. I mean, go to Purevolume.com/inaudiblesound if you haven't yet, and it isn't all just stuff like White Stripes or Black Keys, actually, very little of it sounds like them. There are songs that I am finishing up with the drummer that are much more bluesy

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To me (YMMV)...

 

I have often found that "power trio" or "power quartet/trio plus one" (three instrumentalists and a vocalist) have been by far some of the most entertaining bands out there: Rush, Grand Funk Railroad (pre-Craig Frost,) Cream, Mountain (post-Steve Knight,) Yes, The Who, Free, Blue Cheer (early--say what you will, I love the stuff,) The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Queen, Motorhead, The Jam, ELP, Beck, Bogert and Appice, the Rory Gallagher trio, The Johnny Winter Trio, Robin Trower Band, ZZ Top, King's X...

 

Good stuff, really. Correlation does not imply causation, so I won't say that they're good because they're power trios (loosely--some of them have had four or more members,) but they do all happen to follow (loosely) that format, and I happen to really like the ones I've listed. Two-guitar bands work well, but it seems to me like, often, the "lead" guitarist spends his time either filling up the "empty space" with tasteless licks that step all over the song and ruin it, or they serve as second rhythm guitarists, which is fine, albeit somewhat redundant. I think that three members in a band, as rock music's most basic and essential "complete" lineup, can often be more powerful than a band with two drummers, a bassist, two lead guitarists, a rhythm guitarist, an acoustic rhythm guitarist, a pedal-steel guitarist, an organist, a keyboardist, a pianist, three saxophonists, a harmonica player, a male lead vocalist, a female lead vocalist, three female backup vocalists, a violinist, a cellist, and, and, and, etc...A large band is the conduit to incredibly contrived music. It hinders spontaneity by fixing every player to too-specific roles. But just a guitarist and a drummer can (from personal experience) be too limited, because there aren't enough players for each musician to have a complete framework to work in. You may be able to pull it off, but I'd want, at least, a bassist and a drummer. Besides...two players makes for a very lonely stage.

 

OK...EDIT: That's not to say large bands are bad. A lot of my favorites are large bands, too (i.e. The Band, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, etc.) It's just that I love the power trio format like nothing else.

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Over the years the more long-term successful two-piece outfits have been guitar, bass and a drum machine of sorts.

 

Heck, I still have my old Univox drum machine. <grin>

 

I think a keyboard - to do the bass thing, if nothings else, could be about as good or better than a bass, depending on what you're playing.

 

Nowadays the computer backing type stuff offers a lot more flexibility - I just think it sounds a little overly computerized for a gig with five instruments and one or two human players.

 

Trio... Guitar, bass and drums - or guitar, keyboard and drums - seems to work best regardless of type of music.

 

m

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I should add that my band was a 3 piece until my friend moved away.

 

We're a lot tighter now (my drummer and I) but I wish I still had the other member with us.

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I should add that my band was a 3 piece until my friend moved away.

 

We're a lot tighter now (my drummer and I) but I wish I still had the other member with us.

 

I have some songs where I wish there could be a cool bass line, but the one thing for me, when recording, I want it to be the same as live. If there will be no bass live, there will be no bass in the recording.

 

I play more in the blues format, so the guitar part "drops out" more (by that, I mean volume reduction or less of a busy part) for vocals, but then I use the Swollen Pickle or the Big Muff to step it up when there are no vocals running.

 

It's all about embracing the space. I saw an interview with the Black Keys, and the interviewer asked about the difficulties of being in a two piece. Pat said that there is a lot of extra sound space to contend with, and you either have to play really loud to fill it, or embrace it. I think we have found a decent way to embrace it

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I'm in two bands at the moment. In the band that I play Guitar we have three Guitarists, a bassist, a keyboard player, a drummer and a vocalist. In the other band where I play bass, there is me, the bass player, a guitarist, a keyboard player and a drummer. In the case of both bands, if the bassist can't make practice for whatever reason, the practice is cancelled. The bass keeps everyone in check and basically lays down the groove. I think, of all band members, the bass player is the most important, along with the vocalist and the most underestimated. I can't imagine a band without the bass player, it's just noise. I always felt that the white stripes are desperately in need of a bassist when playing live.

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You'll have a hard time convincing a venue that a Drummer/Guitarist duet is going to entertain an audience. It may be good for writing, fewer cooks in the kitchen, but for performance a Bass or Keyboard player would almost be a necessity. Of course there's always the possibility your duet could catch on despite the lack of traditional line-up, but Venue Owners are usually pretty conservative when it comes to hiring paid acts. they want to see 4 members, but will usually accept 3. If you have a 5 piece band, they really think their on to something.

 

Is that way of thinking right? no. Is that way of thinking prevalent among Venue Owners? Yes.

 

Now, if you're going to take the "Play for Free" route, and take whatever opening slot you can find to expose your music and project, you'll have a lot more freedom to do whatever you want. However, be prepared for resistance from the audience, your Drummer/Guitarist duet will be labeled as a White Stripes Rip Off. Again, you may not deserve this label, but it may be a hurdle you'll have to overcome.

 

All this aside, the only advice you really need has already been given hundreds of years ago, "Above all else, this: To thine own self be true." You can't go wrong as long as you don't truly compromise yourself or your musical ideals.

Excellent advice [thumbup]

 

 

 

:-({|=

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It must work different in your cities/towns than it does in Toronto....there are just SOOO many places to play here.

 

Cover bands pretty much play at pubs - with tables and chairs and waitstaff...original bands tend to play in "venues"...standing room only with a real stage and a bar at the back. not sure how else to say that.

 

When I was gigging, we had a network of bands who played together. We booked shows at these venues and did all the promotion and up-front ticket sales for themselves, had friends working the door - real DIY type stuff...we usually picked the bands who would support us...and the band that did all the organization got to set up the schedule for the night. Usually everyone wanted to go on second to last(Usually around midnight) - by the people are drunk but not too drunk and tired that they want to go home. :)

 

There was no convincing the venue management that you should be able to play, no audition...you just played and if people didn't drink enough, then maybe they wouldn't be ok with you booking another gig. (That never happened to us lol)

 

We played a few shows without a bass plater....we were plagued with Bass woes....but we had two guitars and drums....just cranked up the bass on the EQ a little and it went over fine. It wasn't ideal...i prefer a bass player but i like playing shows more! :)

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My band consists of:

 

Bass/lead vocals

guitar/backing vocals

guitar/backing vocals

drums

 

In some ways, I like playing with another guitar player (more textures and I don't mind splitting solos) but sometimes I wish is was just me so I could loosen up on my rhythm parts.

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I did the two guitars and drums thing a while. I'm convinced you can get by with a drum machine, especially the rather better newer ones over which you can exert more control, especially through a computer.

 

I think you reeeeeally need a bass line whether from an electric bass or some sort of keyboard setup. Or something pre-recorded but I also agree I think performance should look like the sound or you may as well pre-record everything and lip sync on stage... <grin>

 

m

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I've played in 3-piece (guitar, bass, drums), and 12 piece (horn) bands.

My current "Geezer" band, is 4 piece (2 guitars, bass, drums), looking for

a female singer, to expand our capabilities. We play bars, small clubs,

and (in the summer), outdoor facilities. The most "successful" band I played

in (musically), was 2 guitars, Hammond organ, bass and drums. All the members

were accomplished enough, to know when to play and when not to, so there was

no stepping on toes, or overkill, between parts played. The next most successful

was a 3-piece. So...??? Just depends on what you want to do, at the time, and

the chemistry, between the players...IMHO.

 

CB

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IMO you have a few things going against ya, first its not a complete band without a bass player. Not being a arz its just not complete in a live situation you have to not only perform but also entertain those at the club/event. Also many people want to do originals and this is what I love to do and IMO I shine if only in my own world with my originals and really the only bands who can pull that off are those with a following already. Originals out the door at the first gig is a great way not to be asked back to a club. A few weeks ago we opened for a local band who was supposed to have a following and opted to do a door fee and they would split with the bar. We brought a few people and when the other band finally started playing after we were finished the other band was actually driving people away. The owner asked us if we wanted the stage again and thats just rude and we said no. What he did do for us is pencil a few gigs in for us. So while originals are cool you have to be very careful.

 

As for equipment it depends on the bar/event. Some places have a PA and they will provide a sound guy others require you to do a PA. In a perfect world a PA is great then those up near the band are not going to go deaf due to the loud guitar and bass not being carried by the PA; and its a better mix with a PA.

 

I would say give it some time Fred, your in college now and its your first year; hit those books and get that degree there is always time for gigging after your finished with school. Just jamming is always a great thing; and open mics are a real cool way to see how people will react to your original material. Its also a cruel way to see if your ready to play in front of the hardest crowd out there; other musicians.

 

I know, but I am writing my own stuff and around here, there are plenty of places that welcome new bands with original stuff.

 

It must work different in your cities/towns than it does in Toronto....there are just SOOO many places to play here.

 

Cover bands pretty much play at pubs - with tables and chairs and waitstaff...original bands tend to play in "venues"...standing room only with a real stage and a bar at the back. not sure how else to say that.

 

When I was gigging, we had a network of bands who played together. We booked shows at these venues and did all the promotion and up-front ticket sales for themselves, had friends working the door - real DIY type stuff...we usually picked the bands who would support us...and the band that did all the organization got to set up the schedule for the night. Usually everyone wanted to go on second to last(Usually around midnight) - by the people are drunk but not too drunk and tired that they want to go home. :)

 

There was no convincing the venue management that you should be able to play, no audition...you just played and if people didn't drink enough, then maybe they wouldn't be ok with you booking another gig. (That never happened to us lol)

 

We played a few shows without a bass plater....we were plagued with Bass woes....but we had two guitars and drums....just cranked up the bass on the EQ a little and it went over fine. It wasn't ideal...i prefer a bass player but i like playing shows more! :)

 

Yeah, a couple of places around here are open to new material. We are going to have some covers for the audience, but I'd rather work on my own. We have six completed songs, with a couple more on the way. Almost ready to record it

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Originals out the door at the first gig is a great way not to be asked back to a club.

 

This might be the case where you are, but *not* in Chicago. You hit the stage at Sub T, Double Door, Reggies, Beat Kitchen, Empty Bottle, Bottom Lounge, or even Sylvie's with a set of covers and you will clear the room. People want to hear new sounds here.

 

As for equipment it depends on the bar/event. Some places have a PA and they will provide a sound guy others require you to do a PA. In a perfect world a PA is great then those up near the band are not going to go deaf due to the loud guitar and bass not being carried by the PA; and its a better mix with a PA.

 

Every venue in Chicago has a house PA, even dives like the Mutiny and Quenchers.

 

No offense to all of you dogging the two piece, but you cats play in cover bands. Completely different game. In Chicago if you want to play in the city you play your songs and play them your way. Although there are a few two ninety minute sets cover band venues in the city they are few and far between. You have to drive out to the burbs for that.

 

My current lineup is a two piece and to me that works best. You can always expand later with bass and/or keys. As long as your guitar playing is filling and the drumming is textured enough you can do it. Think about all of the great duos of the past decade

 

White Stripes

Black Keys

The Dresden Dolls

White Mystery (Chicago's own!)

 

Neu was a duo too.

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This might be the case where you are, but *not* in Chicago. You hit the stage at Sub T, Double Door, Reggies, Beat Kitchen, Empty Bottle, Bottom Lounge, or even Sylvie's with a set of covers and you will clear the room. People want to hear new sounds here.

 

 

 

Every venue in Chicago has a house PA, even dives like the Mutiny and Quenchers.

 

No offense to all of you dogging the two piece, but you cats play in cover bands. Completely different game. In Chicago if you want to play in the city you play your songs and play them your way. Although there are a few two ninety minute sets cover band venues in the city they are few and far between. You have to drive out to the burbs for that.

 

My current lineup is a two piece and to me that works best. You can always expand later with bass and/or keys. As long as your guitar playing is filling and the drumming is textured enough you can do it. Think about all of the great duos of the past decade

 

White Stripes

Black Keys

The Dresden Dolls

White Mystery (Chicago's own!)

 

Neu was a duo too.

 

Hey Evol,

 

I gotta drop you an email soon. You pretty much summed it all up, but I got a few questions that since you play in a two piece, you could probably help me out on a lot.

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NP just giving advice as I know it, but all things considered you need a bass player.

 

Need is a strong word. In all honesty, I'm not just trying to defend my current choice, and we might have a bassist, but she's super busy. I think I'm going to just focus on the two piece.

 

Do they need a bass?

 

 

Hell, you don't even need any instrument to make music. Just a voice and clapping will do and has.

 

I have no interest in just being a cover band, anyone can do that. I want to branch out and do my own music

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