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Battle of the Bands advice


Silenced Fred

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20 minute set, its coming up in 2 months. Winner gets an SM58, cables, stands, gift card and some professional recording time. At my old high school, right now, its me on vocals and guitar, my friend on guitar, my other friend on drums and we might get someone to play bass. Right now, for the set list we have:

 

One Wing by Wilco (which we made a cool intro for, think of what the bands do for Jools Holland, it'l rock then we tone it down for the Wilco tune)

My original song (very chill vibe, almost going into Brand New territory, builds up though and is full on rockin at the end TWO SOLOS)

My friend's original song (very garage rock-ish. Think early Rolling Stones close to Greenhornes)

Fell In Love with a Girl (get the crowd into it, I mean who hasn't heard that song?)

I Got Mine by the Black Keys (Cool intro, we are going to trade off guitar solos in the beginning like a duel then go into the song)

 

In anyone's experience, what do judges mainly look for? We are pretty much up against a nu-metal band (wanna be Avenged Sevenfold, but the lead guitarist can solo like no other, rest of the band is mediocre at best), a band that does like Yellowcard and Lifehouse covers then tries to play some ACDC... on acoustic... that's my main worry

 

I hope to do you all proud, hopefully get some videos too!

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Well, Fuzzman, I see you have no real advise yet. What I am going to guess the judges are looking for is potential, sinse there is recording time involved. I am guessing that those awarding the prize are looking to get something out of it as well, so they might be looking for something they would want to work with. Make sense?

 

There are a couple ways to approach this. You can win the prize, or you can win the crowd. They might not be the same, but don't get jaded. It is only for fun. But regardless of the outcome, as a musician, your first responsibilty is to the crowd. You're a performer, you know.

 

That said, the crowd doesn't really care about your skills, or your shredding ability, they want to be entertained. They don't read Guitar Player magazine or gawk at gear the way we do. They are there to "see" the music, so to me that means looking cool, acting cool, and delivering solid tunes that they can get into.

 

I can't think of anything else, but I feel like there is more. I'm kinda into it. This the most real thing on the forum at the moment.

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Well, Fuzzman, I see you have no real advise yet. What I am going to guess the judges are looking for is potential, sinse there is recording time involved. I am guessing that those awarding the prize are looking to get something out of it as well, so they might be looking for something they would want to work with. Make sense?

 

There are a couple ways to approach this. You can win the prize, or you can win the crowd. They might not be the same, but don't get jaded. It is only for fun. But regardless of the outcome, as a musician, your first responsibilty is to the crowd. You're a performer, you know.

 

That said, the crowd doesn't really care about your skills, or your shredding ability, they want to be entertained. They don't read Guitar Player magazine or gawk at gear the way we do. They are there to "see" the music, so to me that means looking cool, acting cool, and delivering solid tunes that they can get into.

 

I can't think of anything else, but I feel like there is more. I'm kinda into it. This the most real thing on the forum at the moment.

 

Yeah I hear you. I told my friend that. He was all worried about winning and I just told him I'd rather rock the hell out of the place.

 

That's why I'm trying to get ways to get the crowd into it, because we aren't playing what most of the kids that go to the school listen to. I'm not playing Katy Perry or Lady Gaga, but the songs we chose to arrange and the originals have some space for crowd interaction and hopefully they will pick up on that. That's also why we want to do the little mini guitar duel thing. Its kinda cheesy, but the crowd might dig it

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THATS IT!! A chick lead singer with awesome pipes!

 

It is real hard to turn a crowd onto something they don't understand, but it can be done with a GOOD performance. But a chick singer, that rallies ANY crowd.

 

Never working with a lead singer ever ever ever ever ever again!

 

Too many bad experiences

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Guest FarnsBarns

Play tunes the crowd/judges know, this is very important! It is a fact that people are FAR more likely to enjoy listening to music they know!

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Never working with a lead singer ever ever ever ever ever again!

 

Too many bad experiences

Oh, get over it dude. You have many many many many many lead singers in your future.

 

Not all lead singers/frontman are going to be a bad experience. A good one is just what makes it all come together.

 

And get used to it DUDE. Your days of having bad experiences with other group members is far from over.

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Oh, get over it dude. You have many many many many many lead singers in your future.

 

Not all lead singers/frontman are going to be a bad experience. A good one is just what makes it all come together.

 

And get used to it DUDE. Your days of having bad experiences with other group members is far from over.

 

Not really. I can handle vocals for now, if another musician, key word being MUSICIAN, wants to take over, hell, go for it!

 

I am not going to deal with the diva-ness of a lead singer. Listen to the Black Keys, White Stripes, and any other band where a musician does vocals and tells me it doesn't come together

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Oh, get over it dude. You have many many many many many lead singers in your future.

 

Not all lead singers/frontman are going to be a bad experience. A good one is just what makes it all come together.

 

And get used to it DUDE. Your days of having bad experiences with other group members is far from over.

 

Not really. I can handle vocals for now, if another musician, key word being MUSICIAN, wants to take over, hell, go for it!

 

I am not going to deal with the diva-ness of a lead singer. Listen to the Black Keys, White Stripes, and any other band where a musician does vocals and tells me it doesn't come together

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Showmanship and musicianship.

 

Start practicing now by NOT looking at your guitar. Look at the crowd. Trust me, the frets aren't going anywhere.

Make it a show and you'll likely be hands down better than 90% of the bands you're up against.

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Not really. I can handle vocals for now, if another musician, key word being MUSICIAN, wants to take over, hell, go for it!

 

I am not going to deal with the diva-ness of a lead singer. Listen to the Black Keys, White Stripes, and any other band where a musician does vocals and tells me it doesn't come together

Yea, it helps when the singer is musician ain't it? I hear that. I feel ya man.

 

I have a good feeling about this..I think you are preparing to rock or something.

 

But, do you really think you could pull it off without a bass player?

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Yea, it helps when the singer is musician ain't it? I hear that. I feel ya man.

 

I have a good feeling about this..I think you are preparing to rock or something.

 

But, do you really think you could pull it off without a bass player?

 

My main musical influences are Jack White and Dan Auerbach. My tone is fat!

 

And in most cases, you can't even hear the bass in the mix anyways

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Bribe the judges. [wink]

...and hope someone else didn't bribe them more.

 

Seriously, do your best, stay within your comfort zone, enjoy the audience (they'll pick up on that), don't dwell on mistakes, and have fun. but most importantly...Don't put your entire self worth on the line. I used to have a very hard time loosing competitions, now I just don't take it very well at all. [cursing][mellow]

 

{edit}Sorry I don't have any advice on how to "Win" a competition as I have no experience in that field.

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In every competition I've been in, I always kept the state of mind "I raised their self-esteem" and I tell them I was glad to do so. To me competitions were never about winning or losing, or even about the competition itself. I feel it's the time before and after it with your friends.

I've also found that I'm afraid to try my best, If not trying fails, I can simply say "I wasn't trying" but if I was trying my best I feel like my best wasn't good enough.

I'm also deathly deathly deathly terribly afraid of performing. I hate admitting it, but I may never be a performer. I do feel I have the heart of one, I remember being in fifth grade with my trumpet and playing some folk song. I was mediocre at best but I kept the audience laughing with improvised jokes.

Whenever I imagine performing, I just thinking about all of these things going wrong, a pedal stops working and ruins the chain, my guitar switches don't work, the power goes out, etc.

The worst time I've ever performed was at a country jam I was convinced to go to. Here I am, this long haired hippie, with a flying v, in front of a bunch of people he does not know. I was told to go up and play a song, but I didn't know one damned country song, so I improvised a blues lead. That went well*. The next month I went back and I had a chord progression written, and I remember just being so terribly afraid that they wouldn't like it, that I completely butchered it*. I had people asking if I was a beginner [blush] (I am in no way vain about my playing and think I'm mediocre, but it hurt to be asked that)

So what did this experience teach me? Well, after practicing my chords for a few months, and persevering, I was able to learn pinball wizard, a song I was almost certain I'd never be able to play because I don't pick with my dominant hand. I also learned that screwing up isn't the end of the world, sure it was as embarrassing as hell, but I'm a better player because of it. I would never have written Distant Lands if I hadn't played those nights, a track that I plan to redo, with less mistakes, but I'm really proud of the feeling of that song.

I also learned that not everybody doesn't have the same interests in their playing, that's cool, I respect everyone who plays and listens to different music now. It's the same energy, just channeled differently. They play what they want to, and I'll play what I want to, but if you begin playing each others stuff, you get better at your own stuff. So just have fun Nathan, and don't think of this as my advice to you, but my own hijacking of your thread just so I can *****.

 

p.s. I think this is the longest post I've ever made.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*sarcasm

*I still do believe it was the only original song played there.

 

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If we are going to hijack a thread to tell stage horror stories, I guess one where a guy is putting together a band for a competition in front of his peers is as good a place as any, right?

 

Sometimes when it ain't your show and there are a number of bands involved, you have to work with what you got. Sometimes that means a stage where you can't hear each other well or even hardly at all.

This particular time I was going to do my first gig in front of poeple in, say, about 8 years or so, and my playing was rusty enough as it was.

It was a showcase kinda deal, not a competition but a number of different bands, so the stage was littered with equipment giving even less space on an already wide but shallow stage. And a house PA as well.

The band before played a metal thing, and they killed. We had a blues act.

I was an idiot and forgot my tuner pedal, and there was a big *** pedal board set up for the next band, and the guitarist was kind enough to insist on setting me up on a bypass to let me have a tuner.

We did the proffesional thing and went on and played even though the stage sound was so bad we could barely hear each other. It sounded really off to me. I couldn't hear well enough to see who was out of tune, and all I could do was just confirm what my (this guys) tuner was reading. About halfway through the SECOND song I took a solo and it hit me like a ton of bricks: I was really off, by precisely a half step. Of corse, I tried to just be cool and look at the audience but it was obvious to me they were watching me because they were wondering what was making me sound so bad. So I just had to stop playing and look cool while the rest of the band finished the tune. Just me, the audience, a band going on without me, and an extremely sick, bad performance with no excuses. (Imagine what playing a half step out sounds like, and the look on the audiences faces)

It is on tape too, somewhere. You see, the reason there was so much extra "sound" that we couldn't control is because it was being recorded for a late night tv program on like a public station or something.

 

Does that make you feel better or worse?

It's ok and appropriate to laugh or give me hell.

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In anyone's experience, what do judges mainly look for?

 

A strong frontman with good chatter between songs. Lively showmanship and an entertained audience. Whoever has the best stage presence & keeps the crowd shaking their bottoms will probably win. Don't be boring. Dress the part, too. Don't wear sneakers, jeans, & t shirt/polo. Let the other schmucks do that. Ask yourself 'what would Jack White pick out of my closet?'

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Play tunes the crowd/judges know, this is very important! It is a fact that people are FAR more likely to enjoy listening to music they know!

 

 

Absolutely important! Back in high school, my band played in a battle with a group from Cleveland. We were doing all easy top 40 tunes, and probably not very well. The band we were up against was older - in their 20s, and they were from the big city. They were fantastic! They did great & difficult music that we'd never even heard before. They had real talent, fabulous harmonies, excellent stage presence, lights, awesome equipment, - they had it all! We listened and gawked in total awe and amazement; there was no way we could win this. Hell - we were almost too embarrassed to play in front of these guys! But because we were doing songs that all the high school girls knew - we did win! 40 years later I still think about how great these guys were, and how inexperienced and mediocre we were. We won because of the material we were doing - period.

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