I can bet at least one time in your life that you have been to a live concert before. Whether you have seen your favorite band, or that beloved solo artist, you have seen some type of show. Me personally, I have been to so many concerts that I honestly can’t keep count. Being a musician who plays in a band, I love to watch other bands and learn how they put on the best show possible. So, this week I want to talk about what it is like being in a band, and what a band, music wise, is actually made up of. This will be a 2 part series, so next week I will talk about how, as a guitarist, you should try to play in a band.
A band can have so many combinations of instruments to create their unique sound. I have seen 2 piece bands, 3, 4, 5, even 12 piece bands (one piece in a band equals one musician,) and so on. Despite all the variations, there is still a strict guideline that every band has to follow. They have to be able to produce sounds in the BASS, MID, and TREBLE range, or low, mid, and high. You have probably seen these settings in your car, or on your home stereo. These musical frequencies give a perfect balance and allows live performances to feel like an in studio recording. So, how do you fill those frequencies? There are so many instruments out there that do the job, but we will focus on all the instruments we use in our band.
We have 5 piece band, with 7 instruments, and an automated program to play extra back ground music. Drums lay the foundation, and the rhythm. The bass guitar sets the lows, a piano gives a balanced mix, and can sometimes be the lead instrument for a song. The guitars come into play right before the vocals. In my band, the guitars lead a majority of all songs. The rhythm guitarist plays low-to-mid driving chords to help fill in space, help carry the rhythm with the drums, and make the song more powerful. The lead guitar is usually doing some type of higher end stuff on the guitar to make it stand out and give the song an appealing factor that makes it fun, sound good, and memorable. Below is a pretty neat diagram of a stage layout. This is actually our bands layout and what we send to event coordinators to get a feel of our set. Note, this plot was made before we added a piano, and our device for background music.
Like stated before, this is my bands layout, and how we like to do things. I am no expert, but I have been doing this for many years and feel like my knowledge in putting together a band is very good. I believe our band sounds great because everything is so balanced. As long as you have that balance in a band, than you will sound great! Now, this does not count if you are not a good musician, but that is a different story song.
Check back next week for part 2 of this series!