Joining a Band - 9 things to expect in your first band!
So you have been playing the guitar for a bit now and you join your first band. This is great news! Playing with other people in a band is so much fun and everyone who plays an instrument should try it! However, there are a few things that will surprise you, so we thought we would put together a blog for those people who have just joined their first band and what to expect.
These will be things that differ from practice at home or jamming along to your favourite tracks, some things you wouldn’t expect and might catch you off guard. So let’s kick things off.
Volume: Way louder
The first thing you will notice in your first band is that it is going to be way louder than you would have first thought! A lot of people underestimate how loud it will be in rehearsals. Then when you get to a gig it can be even louder. For most people when they first join a band this is the first time they would have played outside their house. So wouldn’t of experienced how loud a band is when playing. This leads us to the next point.
Settings might need to change
You will most likely need to change the settings on your amp and pedals. You will of course need to turn the volume up (More than you would think), but other settings will need to change based on your surroundings and venue. How much reverb do you need, you might need to kill some Bass or treble. The settings that you use for bedroom practice might not be the settings that you use for band practice. The more you play with other people the more you will get used to this and be able to notice what you need to change about your amp and sound. With the volume increase and the sound difference, there is something we need to talk about and that is hearing.
Protect your ears
You need to protect your ears, If you plan to be doing this a lot invest in some good ear protection. You might think that rehearsals are not that loud, but as soon as you get to a gig you will find everything will become louder and more intense. So make sure that you protect your hearing! You only get one lot of hearing and make sure you don’t blow it. If you go on any music sales website they will sell a variety of earplugs, ranging from cheap foam plugs to high earplugs. If this is something you will do a lot then I recommend investing in some mid-range to higher-end plugs. You will notice a difference.
Set Up Can take longer
It is also worth noticing that setup can take longer than you will think. Put aside some time for setting up your equipment and getting everything ready. When you are booking a space to rehearse make sure you factor in how long the set-up and tear down can be. Depending on the equipment that everyone has to set up this can take anywhere from a few minutes to 30-40 minutes. We do have an article coming out soon with tips on how to load in and out faster. A tip we can give you in this article is that you should get familiar with your gear and equipment and also with your bandmates. This will allow everyone to help set up everyone’s equipment and make the process faster.
Confidence will change
You will find that your confidence might drop a little. Playing in front of new people or new songs might put on you on edge a little. This is natural and nothing to worry about. The more you do it the more comfortable you will become, You will find that almost immediately you will settle down and feel a lot more relaxed. However, those first few practices for sessions might be a bit weird.
Now this will vary depending on who you are playing with, If you are just having a jam with some friend you might be fine, but if you have joined a local band. You may find a dip in your confidence. All you got to remember is mistakes happen, things change and that is what rehearsals are for!
Not everything is a solo
As guitarists we love a solo, however, going from bedroom practice to being in a band and learning songs you will notice that note everything is a solo. Most of the time you are sitting back in the mix playing chords and being part of the rhythm section.
Most people find that when they join a band and have to start playing rhythm they notice that their rhythm is “lacking” or isn’t as good as their lead. Practice your rhythm guitar and make sure it is as good, if not better than your lead. Go through chord voices and variations.
Rehearsals aren’t for learning, They are for practising
The biggest mistake a lot of people make when they first join a band is that they use rehearsals as a time to learn their parts. You shouldn’t be doing this! You should be showing up to rehearsals and already know your parts, or at least be familiar and practice your parts. That way in rehearsal you can work on arrangement and timing.
Getting to rehearsal and not knowing your parts is the biggest waste of rehearsal time there is, If every band member showed up and didn’t know their parts it will be more of a group practice rather than rehearsal! Make sure you are at least familiar with the music and your parts. If everyone in the band does this, you will find rehearsals being much more productive.
First Band: Enjoy it and have fun! It’s only Music
The most important thing that you can do is enjoy it! Remember that for most of us this is a hobby and we do it for love and enjoyment. People can make bands so stressful and put so much pressure on them, they tend to forget that the whole reason people join bands is for enjoyment and fun.
Remember that at the end of the day it is only music, it isn’t open-heart surgery so don’t get too stressed or worried about it. Make sure you enjoy it, have fun and try out different things, The more you do it the easier you will find it to relax and enjoy the moment.
If you have just joined your first band then congratulations! You are going to have so much fun and also learn so much! It is a great feeling playing with other people and having a laugh and jamming with friends! If you are jamming with some friends tag our Instagram in any videos! We would love to see all the jams everyone is having!
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