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4 Question You Would Ask A New Prospective Band

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[quote name='TimR' timestamp='1450803305' post='2936043']


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.
[/quote]

True, however bookings should be easy to verify. For my band all you have to do is check our gig schedule history on our web site.

Blue

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[list=1]
[*]Is that your real hair?
[*]What's that funny smell?
[*]Can you lend me some money to buy a bass. And an amp. And a car.
[*]Pardon?
[/list]

Edited by JapanAxe

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[quote name='gary mac' timestamp='1450775024' post='2935638']
Do you play Mustang Sally?

Do you play Brown Eyed Girl?

Do you play Alright Now?

Do you play Johnny B Goode?
[/quote]

All songs I use to dread playing until I changed my attitude about my dislikes and took on a more professional outlook.

My dislikes are not really important. I just came up with new innovative ways to approach and play those songs.

I now have fun playing all those songs.

Blue

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1. What's it like playing in this band? What's the culture like?
2. Can you describe an average gig or recording session?
3. How do you see the band evolving in future?
4. How soon are you going to make a decision about a new bass player?

A bit 'job interview' I suppose, but could yield some useful information.

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[quote name='blue' timestamp='1450820856' post='2936268']
I just came up with new innovative ways to approach and play those songs. I now have fun playing all those songs.
[/quote]

That's the trick, isn't it? You can probably apply that kind of innovation to other areas of life, too. It's about getting to a happy place regardless of circumstances while you try to improve those circumstances - if and when necessary. It's a gradual process.

Edited by discreet

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My four questions would be:
1) What audience are you targeting and do you have an idea of a coherent set list to play to them?
2) What’s the deal with PA and transport?
3) How’s the money split – is it an equal split or is there a principal and the rest of the band get wages?
4) Whose round is it?

There is no right or wrong answer to any of those questions but it is always best to know up front what you are getting into to avoid any possible misunderstanding. If it was an original band that had any possible chance of success I would also want to know about songwriting credits / publishing / copyright, etc.

Edited by peteb

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[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 know (and indeed have played with) a few excellent keys players. They are all barking mad of course…

Not necessarily bad guys but massively eccentric, even by the high standards set by most musicians playing in bands...!

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[quote name='discreet' timestamp='1450821169' post='2936270']


That's the trick, isn't it? You can probably apply that kind of innovation to other areas of life, too. It's about getting to a happy place regardless of circumstances while you try to improve those circumstances - if and when necessary. It's a gradual process.
[/quote]

Yeah, at the bar level it's not worth it to get caught up in petty dislikes.I don't like this song,that strictly high school level band mentality.

If those songs bother a person so much I'd say,join an originals band.

Blue

Edited by blue

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[quote name='peteb' timestamp='1450829924' post='2936345']
My four questions would be:
1) What audience are you targeting and do you have an idea of a coherent set list to play to them?
2) What’s the deal with PA and transport?
3) How’s the money split – is it an equal split or is there a principal and the rest of the band get wages?
4) Whose round is it?

There is no right or wrong answer to any of those questions but it is always best to know up front what you are getting into to avoid any possible misunderstanding. If it was an original band that had any possible chance of success I would also want to know about songwriting credits / publishing / copyright, etc.
[/quote]

Agreed,especially the PA question.Here in the States for cover bands if you don't own a decent board and PA, you won't be gigging. And at bar band pay, you wouldn't be able to hire out for a PA and sound tech.

Blue

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Do any band members have a wife/girlfriend who;

1) Rings up very 5 minutes to find out what time you'll be home.
2) Will sulk when told the band won't be doing any Taylor Swift covers.
3) Comes to gigs, gets totally bladdered and then runs off crying because she's not the centre of attention.
4) Comes to gigs, doesn't get totally bladdered but thinks she's a backing vocalist in spite of sounding like a 3 a.m. cat fight.

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[quote name='Japhet' timestamp='1450870757' post='2936550']
Do any band members have a wife/girlfriend who;

1) Rings up very 5 minutes to find out what time you'll be home.
2) Will sulk when told the band won't be doing any Taylor Swift covers.
3) Comes to gigs, gets totally bladdered and then runs off crying because she's not the centre of attention.
4) Comes to gigs, doesn't get totally bladdered but thinks she's a backing vocalist in spite of sounding like a 3 a.m. cat fight.
[/quote]

:lol: Not having girlfriend trouble by any chance? Been there, done that! :)

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1. Will I need to know any notes besides G, C or D?
2. Are all your gigs on my local bus route?
3. Can you ensure all gigs finish in enough time for me to be home by 11?
4. Are any of the venues less than 500yds from a school, park or playground?



[size=2](http://weinterrupt.com/2013/04/bassists-craigslist-ad-could-be-funniest-ever-goes-viral/ for those scratching their heads as to the reference!)[/size]

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Questions to the band assuming I know how many gigs they want to do.

Do I have to pick up the drummer / vocalist / guitarist / keyboard player who doesn't drive?
Is it a democracy re band decisions and payment? ( I don't have any problems with a band MD if what they say is valid)
Do any of you think that the first note or chord of any song is always the key of that song? :lol:

Question I'll ask myself.
Will I get on with, and enjoy playing with these people?

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[quote name='blue' timestamp='1450843799' post='2936371']
Yeah, at the bar level it's not worth it to get caught up in petty dislikes.I don't like this song,that strictly high school level band mentality.

If those songs bother a person so much I'd say,join an originals band.

Blue
[/quote]

I guess one questions (for covers band) is:

How do you choose the tunes?

The phrase "high school mentality" is a good one as i know of players who want to play songs that are "cool" regardless of whether there is an appetite for them from any perspective audience. Ignoring the wishes of punters and venues is plainly stupid but i can remember many instances of song suggestions which were ridiculous. When challenged the suggester might say something like "its got a great groove/interesting solos/amazing harmonies" which all may be true but if the tune is relatively unknown and you are playing the typical cover band/party band gig it seems like a waste of time.

There isn't an easy solution to this. We've sent hundreds of emails with links to stuff over the past few years and had some great debates about which tunes will have some mileage and which won't. Its got quite heated on occasion. The solution we are running with at the moment is that the 4 main members of the band can choose one track which the others have to learn. We then take 4 tracks to a rehearsal and prepare them for gigging. The ultimate test is the gig and we all know if something has worked or hasn't.

Alternatively, we don't rehearse and take a couple of new tunes to a gig and play it them for the first time during the set. These songs are normally cushioned between favourites so that if they don't go down well there is something popular just around the corner. The key to working this way is for everyone to:[list]
[*]Really nail their part of the song
[*]Ensure everyone is learning the same version (not obscure live versions)
[*]Keep the tune faithful to the original structure so that everyone knows where the beginning middle and end happen (this is also useful if you use deps as it makes it easier for them)
[/list]

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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]

You haven't experienced my current band (me and Mrs Zero) or former club band (drummer and keyboard player) then.

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Have you got many gigs lined up?

(Covers) Does everyone get a bit of a say in the songs? (Originals) Does everybody get a bit of a hand in the songwriting process, or even bring other songs in?

Who on earth did your website?

That bassist you're sacking, is he a Beatles obsessive who likes asking essay questions?

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[quote name='tauzero' timestamp='1450879903' post='2936643']
You haven't experienced my current band (me and Mrs Zero) or former club band (drummer and keyboard player) then.
[/quote]

:D I did think about you, and delighted to be proved wrong, but I'd still be very wary joining a band with partners in the line-up.

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Someone mentioned earlier "does anyone have small children" - it's one of mine, but from the other way around. We auditioned a guy who is now in the band and he has a small child, he and his wife split childcare duties so:
He can't do anything in August. Or around Easter, and turned down NYE (having said he could do it, then he couldn't after discussions at home, then after it was too late said he could do it after all). He can't do Sundays. If he plays Friday, Saturday is out. You get the picture.
He's a great guy, and a great front man (he sings, too). He was by far the best candidate at audition time I did ask the question, and he did say he had a small child etc. which rang alarm bells with me but we decided to take him on anyway. I'm not sure I'd do it again, though as it has cost us a lot of gigs. So much so, that we are considering an alternative lineup for Sunday stuff and August etc.

Edited by phil.c60

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[quote name='discreet' timestamp='1450871727' post='2936568']
:lol: Not having girlfriend trouble by any chance? Been there, done that! :)
[/quote]



Never any problems with Mrs Japhet, but previous bandmates girlfriends..........jeeez.... don't get me started!

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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]
[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]

Quite clearly a case of pianist envy there, I think.

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[quote name='Japhet' timestamp='1450892256' post='2936811']
Never any problems with Mrs Japhet, but previous bandmates girlfriends..........jeeez.... don't get me started!
[/quote]

Well yes, I didn't think for a minute that a bass player's partner would behave in such a manner. :)
It's usually the guitarist or singer's girlfriend for some reason. Or if there's a keyboard player, his boyfriend.

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[quote name='blue' timestamp='1450820856' post='2936268']
All songs I use to dread playing until I changed my attitude about my dislikes and took on a more professional outlook.

My dislikes are not really important. I just came up with new innovative ways to approach and play those songs.

I now have fun playing all those songs.

Blue
[/quote]

If its for decent money or your doing it for a living, a mans gorra do what a mans gorra do, agreed.
But there are quite a few on here that play covers for little or no profit cos' they say they enjoy it. In their case, why play stuff you hate ?

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[quote name='blue' timestamp='1450819730' post='2936247']
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
[/quote]

Don't do auditions... you get asked if you are interested.
It depends what playing circle they come from.

Even the guys from the same 'pool'... doesn't always mean they have the right chemistry.

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100's of bands so you have to cute with your set and you need to be able to put it over.

Split is important so I'll ask them how much they need to make.
Saturday gig rate is a lot different to other rates.
Split is relevant as some people just want to turn up and play... so if they do nothing else
all they are brining is their playing.

So, you need to weight up what they bring to the party in total and decide
if you can afford it... in more ways than one.

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[quote name='BottomE' timestamp='1450877196' post='2936629']


I guess one questions (for covers band) is:

How do you choose the tunes?

The phrase "high school mentality" is a good one as i know of players who want to play songs that are "cool" regardless of whether there is an appetite for them from any perspective audience. Ignoring the wishes of punters and venues is plainly stupid.[/quote]

How songs are suggested to a working bar band is important. There's always a member that wants to bring a new song to a band solely because they like it or think it's cool. And sometime these can be great songs.

Thing is there s 're a lot of great songs that are not a fit for most pubs or bars and in some instances not even appropriate for live performance.

Blue

Edited by blue

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