Author Topic: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)  (Read 2600 times)

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Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #140 on: November 19, 2016, 01:51:40 PM »
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That's one of the few perqs of getting older, the change of perspective.  Those hot college girls still look great, of course, but the 30- and 40-somethings who I (mostly) wouldn't have given a second glance back when I was in school look pretty good now.
I agree wholeheartedly.

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #141 on: November 19, 2016, 01:52:56 PM »
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Three rehearsals down, four songs each, 12 songs in the bag.  We have a full set of tunes.  Next rehearsal, we run through all 12 songs to freshen them up in our minds and work out the rough spots.  We also have a name.  We are Flashdrive.  Sure, why not?

Every practice, I'm more and more impressed with our new singer, Anne, and she's more impressed with us.  She openly marvelled at how fast we're putting songs together.  Well yeah, but this is how it works in any decent band, as far as I know.  Everyone learns the songs on their own, then you spend a few hours every two weeks putting them together.  Through email, we agree on who's playing what, or what key it's in, if there's any question, otherwise everybody shows up ready to go.  So four songs every two weeks.  Another couple of months and we'll have three sets, a full evening.  Then we'll be ready to play out, just in time for summer.

One thing that still bothers me a little bit is that she still refers to the band as "you guys".  She still has her other band, the one she's been in for two years and the only band she's ever been in, so when she comes to rehearse with us, we're her "other band" and she thinks of us as "you guys".  I try to gently correct her.  Like, she'll say "Wow, you guys are really good!" and I'll say "No, WE are really good!"  And she'll say "Right, right".  Not dismissively; she's nodding her head and smiling, like she's embarrassed to have to be corrected (again).

Her other band had a gig last weekend, and she posted pictures on her Facebook page, and obviously that's the foremost band in her mind right now.  We are just her side project.  Our drummer JT took a picture at rehearsal the other night and posted it on Facebook, tagging everyone, and she removed her tag.  I'm trying not to jump to conclusions, as there can be different reasons for that.  She'd just posted a bunch of pictures of her other band's gig, and changed her cover picture to a nice band picture of them, so being tagged in a pic the next day of her rehearsing with a different band would be weird (especially since her other band members would see it, and I don't know if they know she's moonlighting).  Also, it's not a particularly flattering picture for her.

So even though the band sounds pretty fucking great (we really do) and it all seems to be going well, there just seems like a little bit of uncertainty to it all.  But as I said last time, it's nothing I can control or do anything about, so it'll just have to be.  I know, it's only rock and roll.  But I like it.  ♫♫

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #143 on: November 19, 2016, 02:03:43 PM »
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The drama, or more accurately "the trauma", continues.

We rehearse every other Saturday.  Steve (lead guitar) is currently paying the rent driving an 18-wheeler and is on the road 11 days out of 14, so he's only home every other weekend.  JT (drums) runs a restaurant and owns two other businesses and Saturday mornings are just about the only time he can manage.  Our new bassist, Tony, works various odd jobs as he can get them and his schedule can be unpredictable.  The stage is set.

After three pretty good rehearsals in a row, each covering four songs, we had 12 songs -- one set -- and the next rehearsal was to nail them down.  Finally getting a song right after working on it for half an hour or 45 minutes is fine, but if you can't come back to it two weeks later, or four or six, and get through it, you didn't really have the song nailed down.

It turns out that John (guitar, leader, and owner of the basement in which we practice) is going to be out of town, doing college visits with his son.  They've tried, but there's no other date that works.  Can we do Friday night, or Sunday afternoon?  We settle on Friday night.  I pack all my stuff into my car before heading to work, since I'll be driving out there right after work.  During the day, I get an email.  JT's grill cook's grandmother has died suddenly, the cook has called out, and JT has to cover.  Sunday afternoon doesn't work, and by Monday, Steve is back on the road.  So no rehearsal.

Two weeks later, Tony has to be somewhere by Noon for a job, so we move practice time up from 10 AM to 9 AM, so we can be done by 11 and Tony can go make some money.  I get there about 8:30, since I have to set up my keyboards, amp, and sax, so I'm first one there.  I get to the basement and meet Dave, John's friend, who is filling in on bass.  What?  Tony's start time got moved up to 11, and rather than move the rehearsal time yet another hour earlier (and on very short notice), John called a friend of his who plays bass, just so we can get through the rehearsal.

Rehearsal is not great.  At this point, it's been four, six, or eight weeks since playing the songs, plus we don't have our regular bass player, so I'm not even sure what the point was of practicing, but at the very least, it helped the rest of us to run through the 12 songs, scrape off some rust.

Two weeks later, Tony has to miss another rehearsal, as he has something going on and they need him all day Saturday.  He also mentions that now the baseball season is starting, he'll be busy on weekends.  He plays on a minor league team.  What the fuck?  You join a band, knowing that you won't be available on weekends?

John sends an email expressing his frustration.  Anne (singer) has another band, and they suck, but they're out there playing.  Steve has another band, and they're finishing their third set.  Why are we still in the basement with only a dozen songs?  (Answer: because we keep changing personnel, taking "breaks", and cancelling rehearsals when we do have a full band.)  He questions the commitment of people.  He (rightfully, mostly) complains that you shouldn't commit to a band if you can't even learn your parts and show up for rehearsals.

I sent him a reply, him only, saying that we're all busy as hell, but Saturday mornings worked for us for over a year.  Tony is the new guy, and he's a great player and also has an ear for harmonies and background vocals, but if he's the reason we keep cancelling rehearsals, then he's gotta go, and really, he shouldn't have taken the gig if he knew this.

Tony sends a reply to everyone, voluntarily dropping out of the band.  He knows the score.  So okay, this was probably the least painful way it could have happened, we didn't have to fire him or anything, but shit.  Time to find a new bass player.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #144 on: November 19, 2016, 02:04:23 PM »
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I think once you pass the age of 25, these rules apply to musicians:

1.  You have a job (and maybe even family) that takes up the majority of your time.  Rehearsals are the first thing to get tossed out.
2.  You don't have a real job (career), so you have a lot of time to rehearse.  But if you don't have a real job by age 25, it probably means you aren't exactly reliable.  So you miss rehearsals any way.

You really have a clock ticking on doing anything professionally as a musician.

Despite all that, I wish you the best in getting it all worked out.  It definitely won't happen if you don't try.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #145 on: November 19, 2016, 02:04:35 PM »
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That sucks, Orbert.  Hopefully you can find a new bass player.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #146 on: November 19, 2016, 02:05:59 PM »
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John has contacted Jerry, who was runner-up bass player last time.  Jerry did not play horribly, but he wasn't great, and it took a bit of convincing for JT and Steve to even give the guy another shot.  He's the one who played some very pedestrian parts, and said "But that's what it said on the sheet music."  I know, not exactly promising.  But a not-great bass player is still better than no bass player at all, and if there's one position in our band where we could get away with a not-great player, it's the bass.  If your drummer can't keep basic time, it's obvious and you suck.  If your singer can't sing, it's obvious, and you suck.  If your guitarist can't play, it's obvious and you suck.  Keyboards, just turn him down in the mix and no one will know the difference anyway.

But, and I mean no offense to bass players, if your bass player isn't exactly John Entwhistle, but he keeps the bottom end and is at least in the right key and stuff, the part is covered.  Yes, a really good bass player is a definite plus, and can take you to the next level.  But we have a gig coming up and 20 more songs to learn.  If he's down there just thumping roots, we at least have the part covered.  Anything beyond that is bonus, and he did show some game.  We didn't really give him much time to prepare last time, and after we'd played the song on my iPod for him, he picked up the part, so he does have ears.  I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and figure he used the sheet music to cheat a little (which I've done) and never had time to come back and work up the actual part.

So John has contacted him and impressed upon him that the position is his if he wants it, but he's gotta step up his game a bit.  John's going to work with him one-on-one a little, then throw him into the fire.  So this should be interesting.

It has now been over a year, over 15 months actually, and we've played two gigs, changed personnel countless times, and currently have no songs in the bag.  Good thing I really like to play and have a high tolerance for bullshit, because this is really getting pretty silly.  But whatever.  It's still fun to get together every other Saturday and jam with these guys.  Life could be worse.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #147 on: November 19, 2016, 02:07:21 PM »
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Band rehearsal, our first official one with Jerry, our new bassist.  We started with four "older" songs (even through they're all new to Jerry), then worked on four new ones.  We did something different, which was to listen to each song first.  I always have my iPod run through my mixer/amp, the output of which is also fed to the board.  We've gone to it in the past to settle disagreements, or just to review the song itself, but this time, we listened to each song first, then did the song.  I always create a playlist of current songs and listen to them non-stop for days leading up to rehearsals, so for me it was a waste of time, but I know not everyone else does that, so it was good for everyone to have each song fresh in their minds.  We got through eight songs in three hours.

I broke out the Prophet-5.  I love playing it, but it's a 40-pound beast and up until now, there hasn't been anything that required it.  I can split the keyboard on my Yamaha and do organ/piano, piano/strings, etc.  But one of the new songs was "Separate Ways" by Journey, and that tune demands real synth, so real synth it was.  Jeez, you'd think these guys had never seen a synthesizer before.  They were literally fawning all over it.  But I suppose you don't see a vintage 80's analog synth every day.  It sounded great, which was all I cared about.

Jerry was much, much better than at his audition.  He was actually tight, yet loose and groovin' in spots.  Jumped in on some background vocals, too.  I wish he'd played like this at his audition.  I was okay with him before, but some of the others weren't sure, and it also didn't make sense to just jump on the first guy we auditioned.  Tony was amazing, but Tony joined the band knowing full well that we rehearse Saturday mornings, and his Saturdays are all tied up.  So we basically wasted a couple of months there.

Anyway, great rehearsal, eight songs nailed down.  My back hurts.  It hurt when I got up this morning; I probably slept funny, but after three hours of jamming, it's kinda bad now.  These are the sacrifices we make for our art.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #148 on: November 19, 2016, 02:07:38 PM »
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First, congrats on the new bass player.  Finding band members can be a pain.  They always seem to be great and unreliable or average and reliable.  Obviously that is because the better you are, the more options you have.

I broke out the Prophet-5. 
What other synths do you have? 

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #149 on: November 19, 2016, 02:08:00 PM »
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Separate Ways on a legit synth? :metal (although the original uses a Jupiter 8, but I'm sure it still sounded amazing). One of the few songs I can play fully on keys too.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #150 on: November 19, 2016, 02:08:17 PM »
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I think Jerry might just be a poor auditioner, Orbert. It happens to people. But god, I'm jealous of you and your synth.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #151 on: November 19, 2016, 02:18:32 PM »
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What other synths do you have? 

Just the Prophet.  For years, I didn't have any keyboards at all.  When the band broke up in '83, I got the piano, but the synth belonged to "the band", which actually meant it belonged to Pete the guitarist, who started the band and had sunk a bunch of his own money into it.  So he kept the Prophet, but let me take the Yamaha piano.  It was a weird, 80's electronic piano that was fun to mess around with, but I went back to school, got a real job, etc., and it was just taking up space, so eventually I sold it.  By then, my parents had retired and moved to a condo, so I had the acoustic piano I'd grown up with.  There was no reason to keep the Yamaha thing.

It was probably around 2005 that the Prophet that I play now showed up under the Christmas tree.  My wife found it on Ebay.  There's a company in Ohio that refurbishes and sells them.  It's a Mark III (there were three versions of the Prophet 5), exactly like the one I played back in the 80's, and because it came from Ohio and I'm from Michigan, there's even a chance that it's the same machine.  That would be wacky, but I have no way of knowing, since I lost track of Pete a while ago.

When I joined the church band in 2009, I needed something more practical, so I grabbed a cheapo Yamaha because it was all I could afford, but I made sure it had 88 keys, could split, had a bank of presets (standard Yamaha 500 voice library) and some other goodies.  Right now, that's all I have.



Separate Ways on a legit synth? :metal (although the original uses a Jupiter 8, but I'm sure it still sounded amazing). One of the few songs I can play fully on keys too.

It did sound pretty fucking great, if I do say so myself.  I know my way around the Prophet pretty well, and the patch I built, to my ears, sounds exactly like the Roland that Cain used on the album (actually I thought it was a Juno -- they look very similar).  The guys were going pretty nuts, asking me why I'd never brought it before.  Because we never needed it before, that's why.

All those knobs and switches... how do you know how to work it all?  I could explain it all, and I could even make you understand.  How much time do you have?  Just as guitarists can flip switches on their pickups and push foot switches on their pedals and make their guitar sound just like what we hear on the radio, I know my way around oscillators, envelope generators, and filters.  It's the same thing, just more nerdy.  Guitarists are cool; keyboard players are geek nerds.  It's something I resigned myself to a long time ago.

I think Jerry might just be a poor auditioner, Orbert. It happens to people. But god, I'm jealous of you and your synth.

Jerry said as much, but of course it seems that way now.  He was having trouble with his amp at the audition, and he told us that when he got it home that night and opened it up, something had fried on the main board.  So he was nervous, dealing with that, and hadn't really had a lot of time to prepare for the audition, due to some work obligations that popped up unexpectedly.  He started with some sheet music as a shortcut, but didn't have time to work up his parts properly.  He was easily twice as good today as he was at his audition, maybe three times as good.  A completely different player.

Someday, someone's gonna come to a gig I'm playing and see the Prophet and offer me a ridiculous amount of money for it.  And I'll have a hard decision to make.  I love it, and it sounds great, but I'm well aware that my attachment to it is purely sentimental.  It's far from practical, but it's the machine I played during what was easily the funnest time in my life.  Even if and when I graduate to a pair of Nords (ultimately, I want an 88 and a Lead), I'll always love the Prophet.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #152 on: November 19, 2016, 05:12:50 PM »
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Tomorrow we're going to do "Smokin'" by Boston.  The day after the email went out, John called me just to make sure I was okay with it.  I'd mentioned that I'd played the song before in a band.  Well, technically I suppose that's true.  Three years ago, at a one-off gig, we put together some songs and played them, and "Smokin'" was one of them.  Anyway, I told him I'd be ready.  I'd started working on it the night before, about an hour after getting the email.

The solo for "Smokin'" is interesting because it's a combination of ad-libbed and certain points where the band comes together.  Obviously we all have to hit those big A's and go "wahh!" all together, but in between he's just riffing.  And actually, he's just playing a couple of riffs, a couple variations each.  Tom Scholz plays some keyboards, but he obviously just put together enough generic bluesy organ licks to do the solo.

Anyway, I told John that I'd planned to start the solo, hit those chords where we all come together, and riff around in between, so it'll work but not be exactly what you hear on the record.  He was fine with that.  Some solos are iconic; you play them as written because they're as much as part of the song as the words (Stairway to Heaven, for example), but some solos are obviously meant for ad libbing.  So this will be interesting.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #153 on: November 19, 2016, 05:15:24 PM »
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Band practice tomorrow, we're gonna put together "Hotel California," so that should be interesting.  I got together with John and Steve (the two guitarists) last Saturday at Steve's, and we worked out who's playing what, and we're putting it together with the rest of the band tomorrow.  Basically, John and Steve cover the important guitar parts (and there are a lot of them), and I fill in B-3 with one hand and layered six-string plus 12-string with the other.  Also "You're No Good" by Linda Ronstadt, and "Wonderful Tonight" by Clapton.  Whoa, I just noticed that they're all pretty mellow, this batch.  Except we're doing the live version of "You're No Good" which kinda rocks out.  The Clapton is fun though because I'm again doing the B-3 with the left hand, but a Rhodes with the right.

We're also gonna review the two new ones from last time, Foghat's "I Just Wanna Make Love to You" (live version) and "Smokin'" by Boston.  "Smokin" totally smoked.  We sounded great, and that's a hard tune.  So we'll do some rocking, too.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #154 on: November 19, 2016, 08:15:09 PM »
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Just got back from a pretty shitty band rehearsal.  Feeling shitty, also pretty tired since I worked all day then went to rehearsal, as did everyone else.  That's probably one of the factors; us all being tired.

Once we'd decided to rehearse every other week back in March or whenever it was, John had sent out a rehearsal schedule with dates, every other Saturday through September, which is when we have a gig.  This past Saturday would have been a rehearsal day, but since it was the 4th of July, he asked if people would be able to get together Monday night (tonight) instead.  We've done it a few times before, but it always sucks.  I guess it's better than not rehearsing at all, but we're all tired, especially from the holiday weekend.  We should've just rehearsed Saturday morning as usual.  I didn't have anything planned until later in the day anyway.

Despite John sending out the song list for tonight's rehearsal nearly two weeks ago, and me making sure everyone had copies of the mp3s later that day (I'm the official curator of tunes in the band), we still got there tonight and our other guitarist has been "too busy" to learn the new songs.  Like, apparently at no time in the past two weeks did he even listen to the songs.  I honestly don't even understand that.  I put the songs on my iPod and listen to them every day, because these aren't always songs that I know, and even if they are, I've never listened to them with an ear toward learning to play them before.  Driving to and from work every day, sitting here on the PC, I listen to the songs over and over, sing my keyboard parts out loud in the car, drill them into my head.  I don't necessarily expect everyone to do that, but how can anyone, especially these days, claim that they haven't had time in two weeks to listen to the songs?

Our drummer and singer ignored the mp3s I'd sent out and just went on YouTube and found a different version of one of the songs, didn't even bother to check and see if it was the same one, and they learned that version.  It's the live version, and is very different.  Different intro, different breaks, different ending.  Great, so we wasted a bunch more time trying to figure what the hell was going on, and finally decided we'd learn the live version, so our singer is going to email it out to everyone.  This is after I'd spent two weeks learning the studio version.

And to top everything off, we're dropping two songs which would have featured the keyboards: "Smokin'" by Boston and "Separate Ways" by Journey.  The keys sounded fucking fantastic, if I do say so myself (which I don't, but literally everyone else did).  I worked hard on those tunes. But our singer can't sing them; they're just too damned high.  It's no one's fault, so I'm not actually mad about it, but I'll admit to being pretty damned disappointed.  Not many people, male or female, can sing like Brad Delp or Steve Perry, but I'd hoped that she could.  After a couple of times through, it was pretty obvious that it wasn't gonna work.  Shit.  So we had to drop them.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #155 on: November 19, 2016, 08:16:14 PM »
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Ah, it always sucks when you can't do a really good song because its just too damned high to sing.  That's like my band with Hotel California.  Sucks cos I miss out on all that delicious guitar wank at the end!!!

You couldn't just drop the key of the song(s)? One of the bands round our circuit plays everything with guitars tuned to Eb, which makes a lot of sense.  Even just that semitone drop can make a world of difference when it comes to singing.  I imagine you're more than competent enough to change your playing to suit that, or you could do the lazy way and hit the transpose button on your keyboard, I know I would :lol

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #156 on: November 19, 2016, 08:16:28 PM »
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Damn, isn't half the benefit of having a female singer the higher range?
Separate Ways goes up to an E5, which should for manageable for a female singer with a typical register as a one off note. Even if she couldn't hit that note, you could easily modify the melodies to only need to go up to the B4 (which shouldn't be a problem for any female singer) and only sacrificing a couple of notes in the process, which the average listener probably wouldn't notice anyway.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #157 on: November 19, 2016, 08:16:45 PM »
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Damn, isn't half the benefit of having a female singer the higher range?
Separate Ways goes up to an E5, which should for manageable for a female singer with a typical register as a one off note. Even if she couldn't hit that note, you could easily modify the melodies to only need to go up to the B4 (which shouldn't be a problem for any female singer) and only sacrificing a couple of notes in the process, which the average listener probably wouldn't notice anyway.


:blob:

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #158 on: November 19, 2016, 08:17:04 PM »
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This was the second time we'd tried Separate Ways.  She wasn't too sure about it the first time, but had been working on it and thought maybe she could make it work.  I got the feeling she really wanted to do it because the band sounds so damned good on it, but the high stuff at the end was killing her.  The ad-libbed stuff is optional, technically, but the scream at the end is not, and it was just killing her.  Doable, but not healthy.

We also tried dropping it to D.  It just sounded bad.  Probably partly because we'd just been playing it in E, but also, the harmonics on the guitar don't work the same way so it wasn't possible to get that sound in E.

Smokin' was the same way.  Doable, mostly, but she really had to push herself, and it was showing.  And again, dropping the key just made it sound wrong.  I know a lot of people can't tell when the key of a song has been changed, but I can always tell immediately, and so can Steve, our lead guitarist.  It doesn't just sound different; it sounds wrong.  You're playing it in the wrong key.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #159 on: November 19, 2016, 08:19:48 PM »
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Bob, I can sing those songs.  I'll move up there and join your band.

Well, no I won't.  But it would be fun to jam out.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #160 on: November 19, 2016, 08:21:51 PM »
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Ah, it always sucks when you can't do a really good song because its just too damned high to sing.  That's like my band with Hotel California.  Sucks cos I miss out on all that delicious guitar wank at the end!!!

Anne emailed everyone a recording she'd made of us doing "Separate Ways".  She said it wasn't as bad as she'd thought, and she's willing to give it another shot, but either she sings it solo or we do some real work on the background vocals.  She's right.  Journey harmonies are clean and tight and a big part of their sound.  Either do it right or go home.

Now I'm having mixed feelings.  Yeah, great song, keyboard sound is a big part of that, but it is literally the one and only song which uses the synth.  I love my Prophet; it sounds great and is perfect for the song.  But it's a 40-pound beast and hauling it to rehearsals and gigs just for the one song is kinda dumb.  Also, we go to a gig, keyboard player has a fucking Prophet up there, and we play one song with it?  Oh, that's right; maybe two people in the whole place would even realize.  Forget I said that.  Anway, as disappointed as I was to drop the song, part of me wouldn't miss having to haul it around just for the one song.  But I'm a whiner.  The band was originally "70's classic rock" but we've been moving into some 80's stuff.  If we actually did a few more songs with synths, it would be worth it.

We do "Hotel California".  She sounds pretty good on it, and so do the background vocals and everything else.  The two guitarists do the main guitar parts, and I lay a bed with Hammond in my left hand and a 12-string patch in my right.  Rolling the chords sounds just like strumming, and it's definitely good enough to fill in behind the guitar lead lines.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #161 on: November 19, 2016, 08:22:30 PM »
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Ah, it always sucks when you can't do a really good song because its just too damned high to sing.  That's like my band with Hotel California.  Sucks cos I miss out on all that delicious guitar wank at the end!!!

Anne emailed everyone a recording she'd made of us doing "Separate Ways".  She said it wasn't as bad as she'd thought, and she's willing to give it another shot, but either she sings it solo or we do some real work on the background vocals.  She's right.  Journey harmonies are clean and tight and a big part of their sound.  Either do it right or go home.

Now I'm having mixed feelings.  Yeah, great song, keyboard sound is a big part of that, but it is literally the one and only song which uses the synth.  I love my Prophet; it sounds great and is perfect for the song.  But it's a 40-pound beast and hauling it to rehearsals and gigs just for the one song is kinda dumb.  Also, we go to a gig, keyboard player has a fucking Prophet up there, and we play one song with it?  Oh, that's right; maybe two people in the whole place would even realize.  Forget I said that.  Anway, as disappointed as I was to drop the song, part of me wouldn't miss having to haul it around just for the one song.  But I'm a whiner.  The band was originally "70's classic rock" but we've been moving into some 80's stuff.  If we actually did a few more songs with synths, it would be worth it.

We do "Hotel California".  She sounds pretty good on it, and so do the background vocals and everything else.  The two guitarists do the main guitar parts, and I lay a bed with Hammond in my left hand and a 12-string patch in my right.  Rolling the chords sounds just like strumming, and it's definitely good enough to fill in behind the guitar lead lines.

I'd love to hear some of your cover band tunes, can trade you tune for tune ;)

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #162 on: November 19, 2016, 08:23:18 PM »
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At practice the other day, we were working on "Hard to Handle" by the Black Crowes, which has some Honky-Tonk piano in it.  After we finished a run-through, John says "Bob, nice job on that Honky-Tonk piano."

JT, ever the smartass, says "Hey, isn't that racist?  Since it's Bob, shouldn't it be Asian-Tonk piano?"

"Asian-American-Tonk piano," I say, "if you please."

So there it is.  The tune has Asian-American-Tonk piano, courtesy of the resident Asian-American keyboard player.


My wife got a chuckle out of it, but I had to explain it to my kids.  I know; if you have to explain it...

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #164 on: November 19, 2016, 08:27:18 PM »
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Anne emailed everyone a recording she'd made of us doing "Separate Ways".  She said it wasn't as bad as she'd thought, and she's willing to give it another shot, but either she sings it solo or we do some real work on the background vocals.

If it helps at all I'd checked this song out years ago, to possibly do.  The chorus harmonies are actually fairly easy to remember, as the harmony notes above and below the melody do not change.  The upper note is a B, throughout and the lower note is an E, throughout.  I just double checked this on the little piano app on my phone to make sure I remembered right.  Of course it sounds odd, because the melody part has an A and an F# in it, then the backing chords are Em, D, and C.

I'm almost positive this is how I remember it, so give it a listen, try those harmony notes, and see what happens.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #165 on: November 19, 2016, 08:27:31 PM »
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There's also the pre-chorus harmony a 3rd below.

I think the point is more the singing ability than knowing what the parts are. The lower E in the chorus is easy enough (and you could either forgo the higher B, or do it an octave lower, which I'm not sure they don't also do anyway), but the pre-chorus harmony may present some trouble for an average male vocalist.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #166 on: November 19, 2016, 08:27:48 PM »
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Oh yeah, I get it.  It ain't an easy song to pull off, regardless.  Just putting out the info.  I was just sitting here thinking about the pre-chorus harmony and thinking "I'm pretty sure there's only the lower harmony there".  I didn't think that pre-chorus harmony was very demanding, but maybe I'm not remembering right.  I'm kinda out of it lately.  :lol

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #167 on: November 19, 2016, 08:28:03 PM »
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Yep, prechorus is just the two parts, lead and harmony. The chorus has more layers, but they're dead simple parts if you can hit the note. The pre-chorus melody isn't that hard if you're a solid vocalist, goes from an E4 up to a G4 (A4 briefly), so the range is narrow, but it may be upper range for regular dudes.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #168 on: November 19, 2016, 08:28:16 PM »
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The fortunate thing about the high harmony is that, if you can hit it, it doesn't last very long, so it doesn't tire you out too badly.  I always do the high harmonies in anything we do, because nobody else can do them, despite the fact that my talking voice is decidedly UN-high.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #169 on: November 19, 2016, 08:28:28 PM »
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And also because it's a BG vocal and doesn't move around in register, falsetto is ok.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #170 on: November 19, 2016, 08:28:57 PM »
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The chorus harmonies are actually fairly easy to remember, as the harmony notes above and below the melody do not change.  The upper note is a B, throughout and the lower note is an E, throughout. 

That's exactly what it sounds like to me.  I could not convince the others that this is the case.

And also because it's a BG vocal and doesn't move around in register, falsetto is ok.

I'm making some progress convincing them of this.  To me, the important part is that the notes be there, and if it's just background vocals, quality of voice is far less important.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #171 on: November 19, 2016, 08:29:19 PM »
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The chorus harmonies are actually fairly easy to remember, as the harmony notes above and below the melody do not change.  The upper note is a B, throughout and the lower note is an E, throughout. 

That's exactly what it sounds like to me.  I could not convince the others that this is the case.

And also because it's a BG vocal and doesn't move around in register, falsetto is ok.

I'm making some progress convincing them of this.  To me, the important part is that the notes be there, and if it's just background vocals, quality of voice is far less important.

When it comes to background vocals, pitch is much more important than tonal quality or how you hit the note. People are focusing on the lead vocal, with the background vocals just adding fullness, as long as they're not mixed louder than they should be.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #172 on: November 19, 2016, 08:29:40 PM »
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I actually, on my little android screen piano, tapped out the upper, lower, and melody notes all at the same time and it sounded just right.  I can see how it would be tough to believe (the harmonies don't move AT ALL??  With different chords in the background that aren't Em??  Bullshit!), but that's most definitely how it goes.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #173 on: November 19, 2016, 08:30:07 PM »
...
The chorus harmonies are actually fairly easy to remember, as the harmony notes above and below the melody do not change.  The upper note is a B, throughout and the lower note is an E, throughout. 

That's exactly what it sounds like to me.  I could not convince the others that this is the case.

And also because it's a BG vocal and doesn't move around in register, falsetto is ok.

I'm making some progress convincing them of this.  To me, the important part is that the notes be there, and if it's just background vocals, quality of voice is far less important.

When it comes to background vocals, pitch is much more important than tonal quality or how you hit the note. People are focusing on the lead vocal, with the background vocals just adding fullness, as long as they're not mixed louder than they should be.

I'm definitely a backing vocalist :lol

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #174 on: November 19, 2016, 08:31:57 PM »
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So... the long-awaited first gig is scheduled for this Saturday.  This is the band that played two gratis gigs last summer, did pretty well and got reasonably good comments, then we took a short break while people went on vacations and stuff, and two days before we were to reconvene and start working up our third set, our singer quit.  She was followed out the door by the bassist, because he's her husband and it was pretty much understood that she was the reason why he was in the band.

Over the winter, we auditioned singers and bass players, found a great bass player, then it turned out that he can't practice on Saturdays, which is when we practice and he knew that.  By spring, we had a singer and bass player and started building a set list.  We're up to 26 songs, two or three sets (kinda), and this Saturday would be my first actual paid gig since the 80's.

It's an outdoor gig, a block party, and it's supposed to rain all day.  Rain date is Sunday.  It's supposed to rain all day.  Shit.