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4 Question You Would Ask A New Prospective Band

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When I joined my current band, they told me the following:

-We all played together back in the '70s and stopped due to families and work.
-Got back together for a tribute to a friend who had died
-Previous bass player didn't fancy continuing, the rest did.
-Wanting to rehearse fortnightly, get out and gig ASAP and earn a few quid.
-Cost of rehearsal space.

What they asked me:
-What gear did I have? (I'd add that I was asked in a sense of did I have reliable giggable kit)
-Did I own my own car?
-What live playing I had done in the past.

The rest has bee a case of proof of the pudding being in the eating

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[quote name='Grangur' timestamp='1450779179' post='2935713']
Based on my limited experience of being in a band the only one I'd add to the many great contributions here is:

Thanks for sending the 368 pages of stuff for me to print and learn, but before I learn the bass parts, can I expect to be playing what is recognised as the bass part, or is that already covered by the keyboard player's left hand?

Maybe this is more easily covered by the question, "do you have a keys player?"
"Yes."
"No, thanks then. Bye"
[/quote]

[quote name='discreet' timestamp='1450779888' post='2935728']
This is the one question I always ask. I'm sure there must be really good keys players out there, but in forty years I've not had the good fortune ever to meet one of them. :D
[/quote]

I play with a pianist who was originally a bassist - so thought is given to how his left hand and myself work together. Sometimes unison lines, sometimes harmonised, sometimes no left hand bass on the piano at all.

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[quote name='discreet' timestamp='1450779888' post='2935728']
I'm sure there must be really good keys players out there, but in forty years I've not had the good fortune ever to meet one of them. :D
[/quote]

I've left the last two bands I was involved in because the keyboard players were arseholes.
The last one a few years ago was the final straw - no more bands/gigs for me.

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[quote name='EssentialTension' timestamp='1450794898' post='2935940']
I play with a pianist who was originally a bassist - so thought is given to how his left hand and myself work together. Sometimes unison lines, sometimes harmonised, sometimes no left hand bass on the piano at all.
[/quote]

No left hand bass on the piano at all is the one way I could work with keys. Your player is as rare beast.

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How long has band been going
What happened to last bass player
How many confirmed gigs in the diary
How often do you rehearse

I think it would be pretty obvious how able the band was from the initial audition. Most of the the critical stuff you will only find out on the job. Asking questions is all well and good but the proof is in the tasting. I've been in many bands that can talk the talk.

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Do you learn the material in your own time or are you going to waste my time and money and turn up to rehearsal and expect to wing it there?

Has your singer got their own PA?

Are the gigs paid and what's the split?

When and where do you rehearse?

Is it a dictatorship or democracy?


Sorry, that's 5 :)

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[quote name='paul_5' timestamp='1450741628' post='2935496']
Generally what I'd like to know from potential bandmates is "how long do you practice for individually in-between rehearsals?" that gives me a good indication of how committed everyone else is, and how seriously they take the project.

Another way to phrase this would be "how much time should I put in/do you expect of me between rehearsals?"
[/quote]This! New covers band has a distant guitard (he works away a lot). First gig he right royally screwed up the intro to She Sells Sanctuary* which was excruciating.
*I know what you're thinking - we do Sex On Fire too :unsure:

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This is a damn good thread, but I think you'd have to ask a lot more than four questions to cover all bases.
Having just played a first gig with a new covers band two would spring to mind:
Are we seriously gonna play that craphole three times next year and;
Does the female singer pick all the songs and does her dad the guitarist back up all her choices?*
*And a third of myself: why oh why did you seriously consider a band with two family members in it?

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[quote name='Mykesbass' timestamp='1450794211' post='2935935']
When I replied earlier I forgot my golden rule - is there a couple in the band? Never a good idea in my experience.
[/quote]

My next potential project involves a couple, one of whom plays a bit of keys. Maybe I should just sack it off before we even start rehearsing? ;)

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[quote name='discreet' timestamp='1450795559' post='2935945']
No left hand bass on the piano at all is the one way I could work with keys. Your player is as rare beast.
[/quote]

We have (often) 1 finger electronic sounding keys in a register closer to the guitar....often keys are relegated to padded chords.

It is possible to have keys in a band and still have space to play,

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I think you need a full discussion on the following subjects
Money –
· Expected earnings
· How is the money spilt or are you on wages
· What happens to any financial contributions I made should the band split or I leave?
· Tax responsibilities
· Expenses, how and what are they paid for.
Who pays for accommodation and meals on stay over’s.
Gigs –
· Expected amount of gigs + fees
· Locations and how much travel, time and driving is involved
· Commitments do you or others have any commitments that will mean not taking or cancelling gigs.
Expectations –
· What you expect from each other in terms of professionalism and attitude.
· Rehearsals, new songs and is everyone willing and able to learn learning them on time.
· What will happen if expectations are not met?

Responsibilities –

· Will you have any other responsibilities that are not gig related or obvious? Someone’s got to maintain the gear, clean the van, get the gigs, phone around, do the books and even unload the van before it goes into the garage and all the stupid little jobs like that.
· Drink - no one minds a band member having a drink or two and most bands will get drunk together at some point but many not won’t want someone who is constantly drunk or stoned at gigs or when working.
· Wife and girlfriends – again no one minds wife and girlfriends coming to the odd gigs but some bands don’t want them their all the time.

Copyright – For original bands mainly.
· Who owns the copyright to the songs and what other peoples contributions is worth. A rhythm sections part counts for very little so expect nothing unless the songwriters the one who comes up with the lyrics and melody is happy to give you credits

There are no right or wrong answers but if you know what you a getting into it saves allot of problems in the future.

Edited by ironside1966

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1. When choosing ice cream, does your guitarist like it whipped or... [i]scooped[/i]?

2. On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being not at all, 10 being entirely, how much does your drummer think he is Neil Peart?

3. How much do I get paid?

4. How much do you get paid?

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[quote name='KevB' timestamp='1450799294' post='2935988']
It's not just the questions you ask, it's how much you believe the answers.
[/quote]

Exactly. The questions are unimportant as the replies won't match any real world outcomes.

Just turn on your radar and get involved. If it gets strange; bail before you become bitter.

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[quote name='KevB' timestamp='1450799202' post='2935987']
My next potential project involves a couple, one of whom plays a bit of keys. Maybe I should just sack it off before we even start rehearsing? ;)
[/quote]

Well the way this thread is running...

Then again Kev, people play the lottery every week and the odds there are probably even worse!

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[quote name='Twigman' timestamp='1450799669' post='2935995']
We have (often) 1 finger electronic sounding keys in a register closer to the guitar....[b]often keys are relegated to padded chords[/b].
It is possible to have keys in a band and still have space to play,
[/quote]

Nice, but I've found it impossible to find a keys player who is content with playing with one finger, or to being relegated in any way. Thus far they seem to have been rampant megalomaniacs who imagine the band is at their disposal and all choice of music, arrangements, etc are their sole responsibility. Obviously I've been very unlucky.

Edited by discreet

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Can they play?
What gigs have you got?
Do they know what they are doing?
Is it going to be a great gig?

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What style of music are you writing?
How often do you rehearse/write together?
How reliable/punctual are you?
Do any of you work shifts, evenings or weekends?

As mentioned above, how much you believe the answers is key.

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[quote name='Lozz196' timestamp='1450773928' post='2935615']
How many gigs per year are you looking at
Re gigs, are they local or distance gigs, if distance what`s the set-up on transport/staying over/driving back
If covers - as they get paid better - what`s the division of the fee
Did the last bassist leave or were they sacked, if sacked, what for
[/quote]

All good questions. So many guys don't ask questions about pay, what the split is, how they get paid and when. IMHO, club and pub pay should be an equal split. It's not enough money to start paying some more than others. Not even a few quid (I don't actually know what a quid is) for whoever got the booking.

It's one of the things I like about the band I joined. I've been with them for 4 years. At every single over the last 4 years I have been paid in cash during load out or load in by our admin person. I think were lucky we have non stage talent collecting and handing the money. Only exception are gigs where the fee is over 2k, then We usually have to cash a check.

Blue

Edited by blue

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[quote name='rOB' timestamp='1450818398' post='2936216']
What style of music are you writing?
How often do you rehearse/write together?
How reliable/punctual are you?
Do any of you work shifts, evenings or weekends?

As mentioned above, how much you believe the answers is key.
[/quote]

I usually also like to know if band members are single or married and who has young children. Which members have physically demanding day jobs.For young guys it's not much of a problem. However for guys in their 60s it can be a potential issue.

Blue

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[quote name='rOB' timestamp='1450818398' post='2936216']
What style of music are you writing?
How often do you rehearse/write together?
How reliable/punctual are you?
Do any of you work shifts, evenings or weekends?

As mentioned above, how much you believe the answers is key.[/quote]

Good questions for an originals band. And for originals bands I think it's a good idea to ask if there is a band fund and all the details on where, when and how the money is collected and managed. Those that have followed my threads know I'm down on band funds and for good reason.

Blue

Edited by blue

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[quote name='JTUK' timestamp='1450817337' post='2936198']
Can they play?
What gigs have you got?
Do they know what they are doing?
Is it going to be a great gig?
[/quote]

You should know a little bit about the level of musicianship from the auditions.

If the band has a solid history of bookings and a lot of gigs on the books,they probably know what they're doing.

Blue

Edited by blue

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[quote name='blue' timestamp='1450818688' post='2936223']
...I don't actually know what a quid is...
[/quote]

A 'quid' is UK slang for a pound = one GBP (Brirtish Pound Sterling), currently equal to one US dollar and forty-eight cents according to the exchange rate at 21:33 on Tuesday, 22nd December 2015. :D

Edited by discreet

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[quote name='ironside1966' timestamp='1450802103' post='2936021']
I think you need a full discussion on the following subjects
Money –
· Expected earnings
· How is the money spilt or are you on wages
· What happens to any financial contributions I made should the band split or I leave?
· Tax responsibilities
· Expenses, how and what are they paid for.
Who pays for accommodation and meals on stay over’s.
Gigs –
· Expected amount of gigs + fees
· Locations and how much travel, time and driving is involved
· Commitments do you or others have any commitments that will mean not taking or cancelling gigs.
Expectations –
· What you expect from each other in terms of professionalism and attitude.
· Rehearsals, new songs and is everyone willing and able to learn learning them on time.
· What will happen if expectations are not met?

Responsibilities –

· Will you have any other responsibilities that are not gig related or obvious? Someone’s got to maintain the gear, clean the van, get the gigs, phone around, do the books and even unload the van before it goes into the garage and all the stupid little jobs like that.
· Drink - no one minds a band member having a drink or two and most bands will get drunk together at some point but many not won’t want someone who is constantly drunk or stoned at gigs or when working.
· Wife and girlfriends – again no one minds wife and girlfriends coming to the odd gigs but some bands don’t want them their all the time.

Copyright – For original bands mainly.
· Who owns the copyright to the songs and what other peoples contributions is worth. A rhythm sections part counts for very little so expect nothing unless the songwriters the one who comes up with the lyrics and melody is happy to give you credits

There are no right or wrong answers but if you know what you a getting into it saves allot of problems in the future.
[/quote]

You've obviously been in a few bands. I like where your heads at.

All great stuff.

Blue

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[quote name='discreet' timestamp='1450819935' post='2936250']


A 'quid' is UK slang for a pound = one GBP (Brirtish Pound Sterling), currently equal to one US dollar and forty-eight cents according to the exchange rate at 21:33 on Tuesday, 22nd December 2015. :D
[/quote]

Cool, thanks.

Blue

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