Category Archives: Joining a Band

Sound Advice Part I (The Email)

*** Schedule Note! As of April 2nd, 2012 I have openings Wednesday night 7:00pm, 7:30pm and 8:00pm.  Email me for details ***

Hey all –

In October, something went wrong with my website – while it was up, I could not post more blog entries.  As my daily work and family life got busy, I put off working on it until January when my host decided they were terminating the type of account I had and required me to upgrade to a new site.  That forced me to reinstall wordpress on the new site and get this puppy up and running.

but during the down time…

I got an email out of the blue from a site called BandMix.com.  Someone wanted to know if I was interested joining their dance band.  It seems that their guitarist and founder no longer had the time to stick with a practice and gigging schedule and was quitting (on very good terms) the band.  They had a show in early December, 2011 and then they had to find someone by February 3rd, 2012 for their next show.

This greatly piqued my interest.  First, in the last 3 years I’ve made 3 attempts to form bands, only to be thwarted by personal issues – varying levels of commitment, varying musical abilities, and varying musical directions.  This has been well documented in my previous posts (see Band categories).  I’d pretty much given up on it for the time being, but I joined bandmix.com out of frustration back in 2009.  Besides a brief flirtation with the all original band Lipshok, it was quiet out there.

Sound Advice is a top 40 band, but saying that doesn’t mean a whole lot.  Top 40 now seems to come in 31 flavors.  This band’s material went back to Born to be Wild and Gimme Shelter, and up to Hot and Cold (Katy Perry) and Give a Litte More (Maroon 5).  To say it’s all over the map is an understatement.

Actually, this is the kind of music I do well in.  My teacher never let me box myself in – I was playing rock, blues and jazz in my lessons with him.  Those fundamentals let you branch out into just about any musical style (you may have noticed I left out Country!  Not my forte…)

The band is a 6 piece (with a guitarist) and has both male and female lead singers (that’s a big plus – you can cover a lot of range of material with that combination).  Then there was a drummer, a bassist, and keyboards.  I’d be the only guitarist.  Great!  I like that.

The first thing to do was to go listen to the band.  Their next gig was in early December at Bases Loaded in Antioch, CA.  It was time to do some reconnaissance work and find out:

1) What does the band sound like?

2) What kind of guitarist do they have now (and are used to)?

3) What kind of gigs do they play?

All of this matters.  If the band sounds horrible, well, I’ve been there.  I can’t fix other peoples playing.  If their guitarist is like another Larry Carylton, I would have my work cut out for me.  And if they played dives in bad areas where we have to fear for our lives, it isn’t worth it.

Next: Part II – The Sound Advice Report Card

Spencer