Band Communication - where are the words?

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baytamusic
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Re: Band Communication - where are the words?

Post by baytamusic » Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:27 am

misterMagoo wrote:But sometimes I will bring a riff in, and the drummer will start playing something which fits, but it doesn't convey the mood that I'm going for properly.
Not meaning to reiterate myself too much. But this is the wrong idea to have about writing songs with other people IMO.

Lot's of times I'll bring ideas to practice with ideas in my head, but I don't tell them to anyone really. And trust me, I have them, I'm a drummer of 16 years. I even play drums in another band. Anyways, it's usually something sort of general, a chord progression or whatever. But usually we'll just jam on one idea for an hour until it all starts to flow. Sometimes even my original guitar part disappears and I end up playing something else. By the end everything is just flowing and feeling totally natural.

Now, the band I play drums in is easy. Everyone in the band is just really great at their instruments. So, someone will come in with a song that's already written and we just throw it together. Maybe makes some edits to the structure, but it's super easy. We already have six songs after three practices and we're tight on them. It's odd how easy it's working, but it's a really laid back situation. We don't really think about the songs too much. We just play them.

misterMagoo
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Re: Band Communication - where are the words?

Post by misterMagoo » Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:47 pm

baytamusic wrote:
misterMagoo wrote:But sometimes I will bring a riff in, and the drummer will start playing something which fits, but it doesn't convey the mood that I'm going for properly.
Not meaning to reiterate myself too much. But this is the wrong idea to have about writing songs with other people IMO.

Lot's of times I'll bring ideas to practice with ideas in my head, but I don't tell them to anyone really. And trust me, I have them, I'm a drummer of 16 years. I even play drums in another band. Anyways, it's usually something sort of general, a chord progression or whatever. But usually we'll just jam on one idea for an hour until it all starts to flow. Sometimes even my original guitar part disappears and I end up playing something else. By the end everything is just flowing and feeling totally natural.
I usually try to do it this way first. I'd really rather not tell anyone what to play. But sometimes I'll be asked for ideas too. I don't think it's as bad as you think. If I have a suggestion I'm certainly no nazi about it. It's just that sometimes the drummer will be doing something that just doesn't lock.

Neil I think your suggestion about finding new musicians would probably be my best bet, I don't always feel like I have a good connection with the drummer!!! Unfortunately its very hard to find someone who's got the time and drive to stick with it around here.
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Deacon Blues
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Re: Band Communication - where are the words?

Post by Deacon Blues » Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:11 am

trying to make the whole band thing work has made me appreciate how much hard work and frankly how much luck is involved in being in a successful band. it amazes me that it ever happens.

i think the thing about great bands is that they don't just do it one way. there are bands where there is one control freak, and the other indians just dig the chiefs vision so much that they're happy to take a back seat role creatively. then oppositely, there are bands where everyone is so good at complementing each others parts that no one needs to make suggestions. i'd imagine that page probably let bonzo do whatever he wanted.

its all about putting ego aside and doing whats best for the song. my approach is to record it done your way and then his way, and then make the decision by democracy. one way will truly be better in the end. and if it isn't, neither of what your playing is what should be on the final product.

i think in most bands, there is a main creative force who is lucky enough to find musicians who both 1) play in a style that the main creative force already really digs, and 2) are open to suggestions without it ending in tears
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Van Cleef
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Re: Band Communication - where are the words?

Post by Van Cleef » Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:10 am

baytamusic wrote:It's a touchy subject, but generally I think you should stop thinking the song should turn out just like you hear it in your head and let it develop naturally between everyone's input and playing style.


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Y0UNGBL00D
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Re: Band Communication - where are the words?

Post by Y0UNGBL00D » Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:28 pm

my keyboardist just always tells me bassist to learn how to play music haha
and he just tells the drummer "no double bass, no china!"

im like the governor. i line-item veto or approve thigns as necessary. but generally we let it work itself out.
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Stainboy
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Re: Band Communication - where are the words?

Post by Stainboy » Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:49 pm

I'm the songwriter in a trio. I usually just start by playing and singing the song to the band on an acoustic guitar. Then we do several loose runs together and see what happens. If I have a definite idea about a part or the feel I will tell the bass player or drummer "give me your version of this" or I will say "this is what I came up with, what would you do here?". If what I'm hearing in my head isn't working, I'll be the first to call myself out and move along. Basically, I want the band in on the writing process because I'm a team player, and also because they're good players who are able to surprise me with their ideas. This makes for good creative tension too. I also give writing credit to everyone in the band. A little credit goes a long way in making your bandmates feel like they're an asset and not just someone taking orders. I'm lucky to be working with players who appreciate the songwriting and are happy to be a part of it. If the people you're working with don't appreciate the songs, no amount of communication can fix that.
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