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need a backing band? read this!

Posted by Ras_Adam 
need a backing band? read this!
June 24, 2019 01:09AM
Andy Bassford
47 mins ·

A message sent with love to all artists who have shows to do with a band that hasn’t played with them before. Some of the following points should be obvious, but based on my experience over the last few months, they aren’t. And I’m naming no names.

1) Please send us your music as soon as you confirm with the promoter that you are on the show. By “music” I mean sound files that anyone can open and play immediately. If you are sending sound files via a file sharing service such as Dropbox, make sure that everyone you send the song to has access to your folder. iTunes files are a problem if you don’t have an account with them. Convert to.wav or .mp3 before sending.
2) If you have a 30 minute slot on a show, do not send 12 songs for the band to learn. Send six. Allow five minutes per song. This allows you to extend endings, talk between songs, and still do your full show. If you get an unexpected encore, we’ll deal with it on the spot. Pick something we all know.
3) Do not expect the band to put your song list together for you. That’s your job. If you send a list and then swap a couple of songs around, that’s fine.
4) If you insist on sending YouTube links to your songs instead of audio files, DO NOT send us a badly recorded live video with a band playing the wrong chords. Just because your vocal is audible doesn’t mean the guitar part is. Send the official released version. This gives us a fighting chance of learning the parts correctly. If the live video has arrangement wrinkles that you want us to duplicate, that’s fine. Send both and explain what you want.
5) Do not assume that we know your song because it’s a hit somewhere. Send the audio!
6) Do not tell us to “look up the song on YouTube.” If there’s a popular remix, that might come up in the search before the version you want. We’ll learn that and none of us will be happy about it at rehearsal.
7) Do not bring in a brand new tune at rehearsal and then expect us to sit there working out all the parts. Rehearsal studios are horrible places to learn songs from a patched in iPhone. Rehearsal is for putting your show together, not learning tunes we’ve never heard before...unless you have a chart...do you know what a chart is?

Do not depend on the show promoter to do any of this. They have other things to worry about. If somebody working for you is responsible for getting us the music, follow up with them to make sure it’s done. It’s your career after all.

Cue changes onstage, it makes you look cool and helps us out.

Keep your expectations reasonable. We should know your songs, your keys, and our individual parts. We are not going to know all the elaborate segues, overtures, and complex arrangements you worked out on your last tour...do your show without them for the most part. We don’t have time to nail them.

Also realize that, although this is your career, to us your show is one among dozens of gigs we are doing this month to pay the rent. We care about making you sound good and sending the people home happy. But we also care about the same things for dozens of other artists. If you can afford to make us think about your music and no one else’s for the next year, great! Let’s talk!! But you probably can’t yet.

Finally, your life is much better if you can get the band on your side...If you think you’re bad, get up there by yourself and perform for 90 minutes without a band or tracks. See how it goes...then get back to me. Even if we are only your band for one show, we are people, not interchangeable parts. Act accordingly and we’ll all have a lot more fun. Thanks in advance.
Re: need a backing band? read this!
June 26, 2019 08:48PM
Haha - hilarious (but all too real!!)
Re: need a backing band? read this!
June 27, 2019 10:09PM
and on the flip side I've heard the artist having to say to the backing band:

Q. - Do you know how to tell if the stage is level?

A. - The drummy drools out both sides of his mouth.

smiling smiley
Re: need a backing band? read this!
July 15, 2019 10:55PM
Mega thanks for the needed healthy laughter, although sadly there is a lot of perceptibility, and genuineness in this.

Dale Hauskins
Californian fusion reggae lead-rhythm GUITARIST.
CD/Tour credits: Pato Banton;Martin Campbell;Phil Chen;Fully Fullwood;Majek Fashek;Myka 9;Scientist;Tippa Irie.
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