Joining a band can seem a bit intimidating if you’ve never done it before. Then again, it can be the easiest thing in the world; it all depends on circumstances. If you are just joining up with a bunch of friends, then you are A-Okay and good to go.
But if you are planning on auditioning for a band, or joining a band you’ve never met any of the members in, there are a few things to know.
In this article, we’ll help you to discover these things so that your first band experience is a good one.
Our first tip for playing bass guitar in a band is preparation. Don’t jump straight into a band; being a musician is about knowing your instrument, not about playing in a band. If you picked up the bass guitar for the sole purpose of playing in a band, then you did it for the wrong reasons.
To prepare for playing bass guitar in a band, you need to hone your chops. This means practice! Take your time to get your skill up. Sure jamming with friends once in a while and playing some cover songs is fun, but it won’t get you anywhere near the level needed to join a serious band. You need to study your bass scales, the basic Majors and minors, and learn some basic theory.
It will help you know what to write. Playing bass guitar in a band doesn’t consist of all open notes on your low E string; you need to know what can work, and more importantly, why it can work. The only way to find this out is through practicing your scales and learning basic theoretical principals, such as musical intervals.
Next up, since you are considering playing the bass guitar for a band, you need to decide whether this will be a serious project, or just something for fun. This is something best discussed with the members.
Discussing whether you are going to approach music seriously with your potential bandmates will help not only you, but them also to figure out just how much time they will actually need to put into practicing on a daily basis.
If you are going to be approaching music with a serious attitude, you are going to need to make time in your schedule for both band practice and your own self-practice, because believe it or not, they aren’t the same.
Band practice should consist of the entire band together, writing or rehearsing songs. Bass practice should consist of you in either your room or living room, with no TV, phone, computer, or other distractions, practicing scales, fingering patterns, and other important bass techniques such as legato or arpeggios.
Playing bass guitar for a band is fun. That being said, it is also a ton of hard work. If you are a person who likes to play hard but doesn’t like to put in the work, being in a band isn’t going to be your cup of tea for long. If you are serious and you put in your hours though, you will never find another experience quite like being in a band.
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