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Questions--Starting Band/Band Dynamics (Group and Vol)

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Will Vogtman
Feb 01, 2009 6:48 AM GMT
1. How do you find people you can trust?
2. How do you maintain an artistic vision?
3. How do you direct people without stepping on their toes?
4. How often do you fight?
5. How do you find a good guitar player willing to let you solo without stepping all over you, playing too loud?
6. How do you get people over the "that's not a harmonica song" mentality?
7. How do you get everyone on board with paying taxes (or) how do you protect yourself from other members' problems with the IRS?
8. How do you pursued other members to play songs that you wrote?
9. How do you convince the band that not every instrument needs to have a mic?
10. How do you deal with a lead singer that tries to tell you how to play your instrument?

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Comments (6)

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Feb 01, 2009 7:52 AM GMT
Kingley Replied:

1. You have to just trust people until they prove to you they can't be trusted (hopefully it won't happen).

2. Try to find people that have similar musical outlooks to yourself (that can be hard).

3. Just be honest but not hurtful.

4. Most bands fight quite a lot usually it seems. Personally I don't see the point. Just agree to disagree.

5. If you find the answer let me know! :)

6. By playing it well and disproving their preconceptions.

7. Just declare what you earn the same as any other business.

8. By getting them to listen to it.

9. By "live" recording so that they can hear the true sound balance of the band.

10. By being the singer then you don't have that problem! :)

Feb 01, 2009 11:53 AM GMT
Diggs Replied:

1.Reputation of players gets around. Ask some questions about players your interested in.
2.Record a lot. This keeps you in the creative process.
3.Learn to become a music director. Be professional.
5. If he's good that won't be a problem. Good dynamic sense is part o
being good.
6.Start proving them wrong. I did it with so many tunes. Land of a
thousand dances, Ain't no Sunshine, Oy Yo Como Va.
7.The 1099 form is what I always got leaders. You don't have to
pay taxes on that money they do.
8.Demo it up with a friend and play the recording for them.
9.Drummers playing small clubs don't need a mic.
10.Start to tell him how to sing.

Feb 01, 2009 1:49 PM GMT
Oldwailer Replied:

Do a Son of Dave act!

Feb 01, 2009 7:41 PM GMT
Jawbone K Replied:

1- try and try again.
2- your vision may be subject to change both from inside as you grow and change, and from the visions of your band mates. some flexibility is important but at the same time, the courage to stick with what you want may keep you sane and on track. you may see members come and go in this process.
3- diplomacy! i have had a difficult time with this myself. keep rehearsing and listening to the song you're covering. if it's one of your own, have some sort of recording and also it's best to have the language to ask for what you want.
4- if you can find some grownups who know how to communicate and compromise, fighting should rarely happen. but we all know that's more a dream than a reality. fact is, most people who join bands do have their own agenda even if it's just to do what they do and NOT change at all from what has worked for them for years. to evolve as a band it takes dedication, open minds, and a conciliatory form of leadership. there are also lines to be drawn. certain things are just not acceptable.
5- see #1. or find a young newcomer and basically teach and train them to do what you need. having examples on cd is a big help!
6- rehearse and show proof. if you have the above open minds and you have the harp chops to prove it, no problem.
7- in past incarnations, the band leader set himself as an employer hiring contract workers, paid his own taxes, and let the members do what they wanted. i don't know if that still works.
8- write good solid material. be a good leader. sell the idea of the song. again, be flexible! many times i have presented a song idea to a band or partner, and while it may not have come out like i had expected, in some ways it was actually better. creative juice can flow through all the members. open mind.
9- creeping volume disease. twas ever thus since the invention of amplifiers and p.a.'s over 10 watts. one thing we did a few bands ago was, the bassist and guitarists, and harp guy (me) all used amps at 20 watts or less, put them facing us in front, and miced them off to a good p.a. the amps were in effect our monitors. and for small/medium venues, and even outdoor venues, this worked well. a rule of thumb for me has been, if the tables just out front of the stage have patrons yelling at each other, your volume is way too much. if you listen to the old guys who everyone claims to want to emulate, you hear dynamics dripping off every part of every song, and it's not an eardrum nightmare. small amps set up like this can go a ways if you can convince members that dynamics and tone, with the least volume necessary, can get you return gigs and save hearing and fans.
10- try playing less, benefit of the doubt. never step on vocals but do background/accent at lower volume. or BE the singer. and actually, i try to put myself in the singer's shoes and act as if i was singing, that way i won't be playing over any vocals.

Feb 01, 2009 9:11 PM GMT
Barbeque Bob M Replied:

On the tax issue, whenever you get hit with the 1099-MISC form, you are obliged to claim your portion of it as a bandleader and are responsible for your own taxes and during the year, you make quarterly estimated tax payments to the IRS. Technically, for every member of your band that you've paid at least $600++ during the year, you're supposed to hit them with a 1099-MISC also. When you do your taxes as a full time musician, make sure you've kept ALL your receipts for everything and have your taxes prepared by a REAL certified public accountant that specializes in the entertainment industry and under ZERO circumstances do you EVER go to places like H&R Block or Jackson Hewitt because these guys aren't properly trained for these things and you could wind up paying far more in taxes than you're supposed to. A real tax accountant is often also a tax lawyer as well and they will ALWAYS keep up to date about tax law changes and people from those two places I mentioned seldom do, plus the tax preparer's fee is entirely tax deductible.

It works to your advantage to claim the income because stuff like gear, strings, harmonicas, amplifiers, CD's, recording fees, advertising, web hosting, automobile expenses, depreciation, rehearsal spaces, etc., for starters are ALL tax deductible business expenses.

Feb 02, 2009 12:32 AM GMT
BluEyes Replied:

dude your up at 3am, i was up a 3am wondering were my son was. he was with a new girl
1. you cant find trust, only fools
2. don't judge
3. be yourself,be kind, understand, be fair, and understand you will step on toes
4. each and evedryday its all in degress
5. sorry not there yet.
6, you cant, just play and keep on playing
7. you cant, each person must do the right thing
8. sorry not even close to being there
9. they don't, why not.
10 does the lead singer know how to play your instrument.

I just stated, im not a musician, just a guy stuck at home teaching himself how to play.
the questions were cool. wish i was at the point of answering them all.

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