Podington Bear

Some bits I learned from being in a band.

Hi All,

I’m just thinking about how I got to this place.band-star-pin-music-gift.gif

I’m a completely untrained musician, but I’ve mentioned in a couple interviews that I was in an indie-pop band a while back. Bands are hard work, and they’re a lot of fun. I think all bands are greater than the sum of their parts. Besides being character-building, making music with other people is one of the most satisfying experiences one can have in life. I just wanted to share a few things I learned from being in a band that I often think about when I’m making music alone:

-Bass notes played with the kick drum give the song a tight feel.

-If the rhythm section (bass and drums) is tight you can get away with just about anything on the top end.

-Songs endings are as important as song beginnings.

-It’s totally okay if a song is really simple and a 5th grader could play it. Nothing to be ashamed of.

-Make space for the vocal, or lead.

-Look for natural accents in a rhythm and have all the instrument voices chime on them for a strong. feel. For example, a funk recipe calls for a strong two and four count.

-Songs with more than verse-chorus-verse construction are usually more satisfying.

-Freaking out after a build up usually gets the crowd’s attention.

-It’s best to play a ballad after you get the crowd’s attention, not before.

-Loud is louder when juxtaposed with quiet. (That’s how to ‘turn it to 11’.)

-Avoid stopping mid-song at all costs.

-You can change anything (tempo, key, mood, volume) in a bridge, but it can’t come out of nowhere.

-Crescendos, drum fills, slowly decaying chords, and stick counts are handy for such changes.

-The melody is the memorable part of the song.

-A satisfying show and a good album have a mix of moods and tempos.

-The right mood for a song might not come at first. Push and pull. Trial and error.

-Having fun is job #1.

Voila, making pop music is easy peasy!

-p bear