Author Topic: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)  (Read 1679 times)

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Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #420 on: December 17, 2016, 11:55:35 AM »
I noticed the other day that I hadn't seen any Facebook updates from Anne, and I checked and we're not Friends any more.  Bummer.  For at least a few days after the showcase fiasco, she'd kept me, after cutting everyone else, and I thought maybe I had some kind of special circumstance.  We'd worked separately from the rest of the band to work up a song for her mother's birthday, which we celebrated at our second-to-last gig.  Also, I seemed to be the only one that didn't have a serious problem with her, and I really do consider her a friend.  Heck, we played in a band together for two years, greeted each other with hugs and the occasional peck on the cheek.  We go from that to literally no contact at all?  But she probably thought it best to just cut all ties, which is understandable.  Any time one of us posts something and she sees it, it would remind her of this awesome band she used to be in that fired her for reasons that she somehow cannot comprehend.

What's odd -- and 100% on me, I admit -- is that I still have her son as a friend.  I'd gotten to know him pretty well, since he came to a lot of the gigs and even helped me load up my stuff a few times.  Also, he and John's son did "House of Gold" with us that time.  We have gigged together, and I always feel an extra connection to someone I've played music with.  Plus, a few times he told me that I was the coolest guy in his mom's band.  Anyway, we're still Friends, as are Larry Who Was Briefly in the Band and yet Played No Gigs with Us and also Amy Who Rehearsed with Us and Played No Gigs with Us.

I guess I don't feel the need to cut them from my lists because I don't believe in burning bridges.  It didn't work out, okay, but I have nothing personally against either of them, or Anne's son, and who knows?  Someday I might need to get ahold of a guitarist or singer, and they might be the perfect fit.  If they don't feel the need to cut the tie, I don't really care.  I've hidden them from my Newsfeed because I don't really care about what they had for dinner or the latest pictures of their cats or whatever, but music is different.  You never know when your paths might cross again.

Offline pcs90

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #421 on: December 17, 2016, 12:05:32 PM »
Yep. I keep everyone on my friends list. I did a major clean-up a year or so ago, but those were all people I barely knew anyway that mostly added me from when I was in high school or whatever. But even with musical projects that don't necessarily end on perfect terms, it's up to them to remove me. You never know what could happen.

Offline Sir GuitarCozmo

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #422 on: December 17, 2016, 08:50:14 PM »
Orbert, do you remember what chord was the issue on Separate Ways? The pre chorus part still confuses the hell out of me, and I've devised a somewhat alternate way of playing it myself, that kinda covers all bases.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #423 on: December 17, 2016, 09:18:13 PM »
Orbert, do you remember what chord was the issue on Separate Ways? The pre chorus part still confuses the hell out of me, and I've devised a somewhat alternate way of playing it myself, that kinda covers all bases.

There are a few chords in the song where I'm not sure whether I should be playing the B or the C in there, although it's never clashed whichever I've gone with (I'd imagine it would sound worse with the range and voicing on guitar though). It would have to be either the pre-chorus or the chorus, as the verses just chug the E, and every other section is using the chorus progression.
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Offline Jester

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #424 on: December 17, 2016, 10:16:01 PM »
I noticed the other day that I hadn't seen any Facebook updates from Anne, and I checked and we're not Friends any more.

Maybe she did a google search of some keywords (band name, bandmember names, gig venue names, songs rehearsed) and stumbled upon your diary here?
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Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #425 on: December 17, 2016, 10:37:13 PM »
It's possible.  I'd feel kinda shitty if that were the case, but I feel kinda shitty about the way the whole thing went down anyway.

Orbert, do you remember what chord was the issue on Separate Ways? The pre chorus part still confuses the hell out of me, and I've devised a somewhat alternate way of playing it myself, that kinda covers all bases.

There are a few chords in the song where I'm not sure whether I should be playing the B or the C in there, although it's never clashed whichever I've gone with (I'd imagine it would sound worse with the range and voicing on guitar though). It would have to be either the pre-chorus or the chorus, as the verses just chug the E, and every other section is using the chorus progression.

I think Cain has some fun with the chords throughout, taking advantage of things like Em, Em/D, Em/C, and the fact the Em/C can sound just like a CM7 (because it basically is).  The verse is Em, D/E, C/E.  The pre-chorus is just C, D, Em, D, C but the last time you go D, Em/C and you get the CM7 effect when you get to Em/C, but to my ears, there's no question that that's the right chord.  I hear both the CM7 tonality and the Em.

Then with the chorus, he turns it around: Em, Em/D, Em/C, though each Em is actually D-Em, D-Em.  That's where most people get the background vocals wrong.  Harmonies stay on E and B because the chord never actually changes, only the bass.  It's D-Em, D-Em in the keys.

I don't remember exactly which chord it was, though I think it might have been one of the times it should've been Em/C and he went to C.  Em/C gives that nice CM7 effect as mentioned, but you absolutely cannot have a C in the chord itself.  The resulting CB dissonance would kill you.  I think that was what we heard.  You can just about get away with it when practicing it by yourself, but the chords will clash if someone plays C while some else's playing Em.

Offline Jester

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #426 on: December 17, 2016, 10:49:31 PM »
It's possible.  I'd feel kinda shitty if that were the case, but I feel kinda shitty about the way the whole thing went down anyway.

If true, she knows you kinda wanna bang her as well  :o  So she has her own little victory, so don't feel too bad   :biggrin:

Nothing in your diary is something other musicians haven't gone through in one form or another themselves.

But please, fix that damned chord already.
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Offline Sir GuitarCozmo

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #427 on: December 19, 2016, 09:02:15 AM »
I think Cain has some fun with the chords throughout, taking advantage of things like Em, Em/D, Em/C, and the fact the Em/C can sound just like a CM7 (because it basically is).  The verse is Em, D/E, C/E.  The pre-chorus is just C, D, Em, D, C but the last time you go D, Em/C and you get the CM7 effect when you get to Em/C, but to my ears, there's no question that that's the right chord.  I hear both the CM7 tonality and the Em.

Then with the chorus, he turns it around: Em, Em/D, Em/C, though each Em is actually D-Em, D-Em.  That's where most people get the background vocals wrong.  Harmonies stay on E and B because the chord never actually changes, only the bass.  It's D-Em, D-Em in the keys.

I don't remember exactly which chord it was, though I think it might have been one of the times it should've been Em/C and he went to C.  Em/C gives that nice CM7 effect as mentioned, but you absolutely cannot have a C in the chord itself.  The resulting CB dissonance would kill you.  I think that was what we heard.  You can just about get away with it when practicing it by yourself, but the chords will clash if someone plays C while some else's playing Em.

That all makes sense, because I've often figured JC is playing something different on top of what everyone else is playing, in order to color things differently.  Off the top of my head, an example would be the guitars playing an E power chord while the keyboard plays a G major chord, resulting in an Em7 tonality.

So what I've found myself doing is on the two chords behind "If you must" (pickup to pre-chorus), I'm playing (all notes will be low to high) A-G-C-E and B-A-D-F# (Am7 and Bm7).  Then on "Go", I play a G/C (C-B-D-G) and a D.  On "Wish you love", I do D and Am7 (as noted previously).

To my ears, this was the best way I could seemingly incorporate everything I was hearing into one guitar part, especially if the keyboard player is nonexistent or doesn't know the song any better than I do.  :lol  I know the G/C creates a bit of dissonance, and I don't have a guitar in front of me, so I might not be remembering that right.  In my head, the bottom note is the guitar part and all the other notes would mimic the keyboard parts.

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #428 on: December 19, 2016, 11:03:33 AM »
Interesting.  I don't play any GM (or Em7) anywhere.  I'm not saying it's right or wrong, I just stick to Em, D, and C throughout, and with the way they play against the bass, it sounds right to me.  Definitely on the word "Go" I'm doing Em where you're doing G/C.  But I'm not covering a bass note anywhere, so I really don't know what he's playing there.

On "Wish you love" I'm doing D-C, which of course is very similar to D-Am7, and again I don't know what the bass is.  If he's playing A with my C, then were have the Am7 tonality.

The only time I vary from Em-D-C is "How we touched and went our separate ways" which I play Am7, D, D#dim (basically D with D# in the bass).

Offline Sir GuitarCozmo

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #429 on: December 19, 2016, 11:46:55 AM »
I used the Em7 reference as a random example of the thought process I had in mind (guitars play E power chord (E-B), keys play a G major chord), not necessarily as a reference to an actual part of the song.  This idea actually plays out the same in the C/Am7 example from the song, now that I'm thinking about it.

The "If you must" chords on guitar are A5 - B5 (root+fifth chords, of course).  I assume this is where you play C and D.

The first chord on "go", is a C5 on the guitar.  With your Em, that would make a Cmaj7.  Then everyone plays D.  Then the guitar plays D5 - A5 (on "wish you love"), which with your D - C, which would, as you said, make for an Am7.

Then there's the second half of the pre-chorus where the only change is on "miss you love", where the guitars play B5 - C5.  What do you play here?


As an aside, it absolutely fascinates me that one little part of a song we all know so well is proving to be this involved, when all parts are considered.  You're looking at it from a completely different perspective, chordally, than the guitars are.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2016, 12:03:52 PM by Sir GuitarCozmo »

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #430 on: December 19, 2016, 01:03:04 PM »
At "miss you love" that's where I go D - Em/C.  Interesting that you play an open B where I play D, but I can see (hear) it.  The implied Bm7 would work.  The chords do sound fuller than a simple D major.  It's the bass that tells you whether that D is really a D, or if it's a Bm7.  Then I really do play an Em/C, since I go two hands on the synth for a few.  I like the extra C an octave down to give things some punch.

Now that I think about it, if the bass is B-C and the guitars play open B-C, then me playing D (plus the mid-low D) still works, and gives it even more of that yummy seventh dissonance.

All this discussion has reminded me that I've never been 100% certain of the chords in the first place.  I played "Separate Ways" back in the 80's and never knew then if it was "right" or not.  It sounds good to my ears, and of course in our biz, "right" is exactly that. It just has to sound good, and sound like the "real" thing to pass for correct.  That makes it "right". :)

Offline Sir GuitarCozmo

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #431 on: December 19, 2016, 01:13:17 PM »
You know your chords better than me, Em/C would also be considered Cmaj7, right?

Okay, so the full chordal context is as follows:

If you  must   gooooooo I wish you love - you'll never walk   alooooone.  Take care my love, miss   you love.

Am7    Bm7   Em/C  D      D     Am7                 Am7   Bm7   Em/C   D             D    Am7       Bm7   Em/C


That's pretty cool, actually.  Thank you for the insight from your side of it.  I'm tempted to sit down and record just the pre-chorus instrumentally, just to hear a little better how the parts work together.  It was always hard to nail down the guitar parts, because I was hearing the keyboard chords playing something different and it threw me.  Now, if I ever find myself in a band playing this, I guarantee you we will play it more accurately than anyone else in the area has ever played it.  :lol

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #432 on: December 19, 2016, 02:10:39 PM »
That matches what I'm playing on keys, except sub C for each Am7 and D for each Bm7.  I'm playing (bottom to top) G-C-E then A-D-F#, so with A and B in the bass, they're Am7, Bm7.  It's almost semantics at this point; truly, the difference is just in my head.  But I really do think of it as C/A, even if the result is equivalent to Am7.

And again, I don't really keep of what's going on with the bass, other than to help me out sometimes when first working out the chords.  But I prefer the "cleaner" sound of G-C-E against A in the bass, implying Am7, to actually playing an A in there somewhere.  Same with A-D-F# against B.  I like the subtly different dissonance created by going C/A to the Am7.  It's a big, full-sounding chord either way.  Also, I like when the keys aren't just doubling the guitars.  You get different textures, similar two guitars playing different inversions or even just messing with the sounds (clean vs dirty, different harmonics, etc).

Now I need to listen to it again and pay attention to the bass.

Offline Sir GuitarCozmo

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #433 on: December 19, 2016, 02:23:44 PM »
Right, so the full thing looks like this:

Keys:

If you  must   gooooooo I wish you love - you'll never walk   alooooone.  Take care my love, miss   you love.

C        D        Em    D       D     C                       C       D       Em    D              D     C           D       Em


Guitars:

If you  must   gooooooo I wish you love - you'll never walk   alooooone.  Take care my love, miss   you love.

A5       B5      C5    D5      D5   A5                     A5     B5      C5    D5             D5   A5          B5      C5


Combined chordal context:

If you  must   gooooooo I wish you love - you'll never walk   alooooone.  Take care my love, miss   you love.

Am7    Bm7    Cmaj7  D    D     Am7                 Am7   Bm7   Cmaj7  D            D    Am7       Bm7   Cmaj7



Yeah, basically semantics as to what to call them.  I guess the difference is all in how you learn.  If I played an Am7, I'd know it by that name, simply be the movable chord shape my left hand was employing, and it would never occur to me that it was a C/A.  Sure, if I wrote down all the notes, I'd see that technically those are the notes I had, but I never would've looked at it like that.  I feel like it would be really worthwhile to start looking at chords that way, for a fresher perspective, and it's something that I want to actively try to do from now on.

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #434 on: December 19, 2016, 03:03:41 PM »
I have the advantage (if you could call it that) of having messed around on the piano for a while before ever taking lessons, then taking lessons from a very good teacher, then quitting and continuing to mess around and teach myself.  Just from learning "Chopsticks" and "Heart and Soul" before ever seeing a written note, I knew some chords and the basics of cadences and resolutions.  I remember even then playing around with those basic progressions and taking solos and shit.

Then when I took lessons, I learned what it all "looked like" on paper.  But I was an obnoxious 10-year-old, and once I learned how to read music, I figured "Okay, the lessons worked, I can now play the piano" so I quit.  I mean, the point of taking lessons is to learn how to do something, right?  And as far as I was concerned, I could play, I could read, so mission accomplished.

But I loved it anyway, and continued to push myself.  My sister bought lots of sheet music, mostly books but a lot of singles as well, and back then they all had the chord symbols and little six-string guitar fingering diagrams, at least for "popular" music.



I played through all of them, and also looked at the chords and learned how they related to the notes.  I didn't think in terms of inversions; I just knew what notes the chords were made up of.  I started buying my own sheet music for stuff like Yes and Genesis, and holy shit, some of those chords and progressions were nuts!  But again, there it was, all laid out three different ways.  This was stuff my classically-based piano teacher did not, and could not, teach me.  But I dig deeply into it because it was awesome.  I learned early on that the sheet music usually left out the solos and other significant instrumentals, so I had to come up with those myself.  The goal was a performance-quality solo piano arrangement of the song, the whole song.  Most of the time the solo was just over the same progression as the verse or chorus, but I still had to figure it out.  The prog stuff, they didn't even bother trying with the instrumentals.  It was just a double bar, and the transcription picked up when the vocals came back in.  That presented some interesting challenges, but again, being "forced" to figure all of this out myself made me a better player.

Offline Jester

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #435 on: December 19, 2016, 03:19:09 PM »
Yeah, basically semantics as to what to call them.  I guess the difference is all in how you learn.  If I played an Am7, I'd know it by that name, simply be the movable chord shape my left hand was employing, and it would never occur to me that it was a C/A.  Sure, if I wrote down all the notes, I'd see that technically those are the notes I had, but I never would've looked at it like that.  I feel like it would be really worthwhile to start looking at chords that way, for a fresher perspective, and it's something that I want to actively try to do from now on.

Your best entry into that type of stuff is probably to formally learn a bit about 4 part harmony.  It is the basis for "orchestration".  The foundation.

Some things to try out:
1.  Distorted guitars do very well with power chords and diads.  Main reason is all the harmonic coloring from the distortion.  That also means more complex chords can quite frequently be a mess with distortion.  With that in mind, consider the guitar's role sometimes as being the chord meat (diad) and using the other instruments (commonly the keys) for the color.

2.  Flip that with clean guitar.  Especially arpeggiated playing.  You can then have another guitar doing the power chord thing or just consider the keys, bass and even vocal harmonies can now take the role of the "chord meat"

3.  Two distorted guitars can break up a color chord into a diad for each of them.  It isn't a guarantee though.  And it doesn't have to be them both playing "whole notes".  One could play quarter notes and the other staccato eighth notes, as a simple example.

4.  Distorted guitar diads, with second guitar having more of a lead feel playing single notes that are more for harmonic content than melodic content.  Although in 4 part harmony, you will see how they basically do both.  Independent and part of the larger picture.

5.  A fun experiment is to have two guitars play single notes, but not on the same beat.  So guitar one plays the root and holds it for a whole note.  Guitar two comes in a half note later and plays a whole note of ... the third to make it simple.  The first guitar is still holding that root note, but a half note later (a whole note for the guitar in isolation), it moves done to the 6th (relative to key center) which makes the guitars playing the 6th and 3rd or essentially a perfect 5th apart.  This is a good exercise because it really lets you zero in on the simplest of harmony and how faster movement can happen even though each guitar is playing long ass whole notes.

There's really so much you can do when you look at the guitar as 1/4th or 1/5th or whatever fraction of the total music as opposed to it needing to be juggernaut every song, every measure, every note.  And don't forget the other option.  Silence from the guitar.

Four part harmony will definitely get you thinking in that head space.  The first thing you will notice is that four part harmony really, really, really hates metal guitar (doesn't like parallel 5th movement - ahem - power chords).  Just remember, it is theory, not rules.  Don't feel the need to make everything fit theory and don't feel the need to disregard it simply because it goes against some things you've come to love.  That's just a neat challenge to force you out of your comfort zone.  In the end, you get the best of both worlds.

For the record, I never actually think in theoretical terms when writing.  Especially during the inspiration phase.  Just like you probably never think of Zep or KISS or whatever when writing.  It just became a part of you.  Theory is very similar.
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Offline Jester

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #436 on: December 19, 2016, 03:32:45 PM »
In terms of playing around with chords and inversions and single note movement as opposed to entire chord shapes, I'd recommend thinking in Van Halen - Running with the Devil headspace.

Zeroing in on just the D - G - B strings.  For a starting point, play a major barre chord (root on the low E).  Now get rid of all the fingerings that aren't on the D - G - B strings.  Toss out you pick and just pluck all three notes at the same time with your fingers.  This is like playing a triad on a piano.  At a slow to medium tempo, play eighth notes of that current triad.  Every eighth (essentially a new measure), change just one note from that triad shape.  Keep that eighth note pulse running with the idea you are going to change just one note in that shape every measure.  Your ear is really going to start to realize the significance of the single note movement in relation to the 3 note harmony.  It also frees you up from diatonic scales.  You can move a half step, when the current key called for a whole step movement.  Essentially, you are most likely employing some complex theory chord substitution or key change, but you've broken it down to the simplest form of simply using your ear.

This similar to how I messed around on piano as a little kid.  I learned the C-E-G closed triad and would drop the C to B for B-E-G.  I didn't know about inversions or chord progressions.  I just liked the way it sounded.  And I'd keep doing it, eventually wondering what would happen if I mixed in some of those black keys I always had trouble getting to work.

You can do it on more of a conscious level.  Play that C-E-G or I chord.  Maybe try the simplest I - IV - V - I progression.  Figure out how you are going to get there on just those 3 strings with as little actual movement as possible.

Those 3 strings can become a home base for chord movement.  When you can always find the core of the chord there, you can usually find the doubling or color notes on the other 3 strings either by recognizing the mini shape within, or simply using octaves or whatever to find the other notes to make the chord "bigger" more guitar strum chords.
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Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #437 on: December 19, 2016, 03:39:24 PM »
Is that how it's spelled?  "barre chord"?  I always figured it was "bar chord" because your index finger makes a bar across the top.

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #438 on: December 19, 2016, 03:44:43 PM »
Also, kinda wacky that such a discussion takes place in this thread, after I split it off from the main Musician's Chat Thread, as this is obviously stuff that could be of interest to musicians in general.

Offline Jester

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #439 on: December 19, 2016, 03:53:07 PM »
Cozmo is also in a certain mode in his own thread.

I'd love if some actual musician - composition techniques threads broke out.  Most of my knowledge is from the past and is not currently being practiced, but maybe if I found the time and a thread to have back and forth, I'd find some spark to get back into it.  The spark is there, but real life keeps it from igniting again.
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Offline Jester

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #440 on: December 19, 2016, 03:55:01 PM »
Is that how it's spelled?  "barre chord"?  I always figured it was "bar chord" because your index finger makes a bar across the top.

I've seen it many ways
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barre_chord

I don't get caught up on what is correct.  Especially with guitar as it is one of the most perverted and messed up instrument to study.  Probably draws the most "DIY" informal players of any instrument, so the terms start to become more slang than codified.
Political discussion post-election = pointless.
Nothing like getting a lecture on “what is and will happen” from the same people that just went 0 for 100 at bat during the election cycle.

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #441 on: January 03, 2017, 05:46:24 PM »
John has been busy scheduling meetings and practices and stuff.  With some help from Jerry (who is better at online resources such as shared calendars and Google groups), the band's shared calendar is set up, and before any practices are not one but two band meetings.  These take place on Wednesday evenings at John's house.  The first was last week, the next one is tomorrow.

The meetings were to go through the existing song list and decide which ones to keep and which ones to drop, talk about new songs that the new members might be bringing in with them, and lay out the future direction of the band in general.

As it turns out, Jess is not available for tomorrow's meeting, so in the interest of expediency, Jess and Angela conferred (apparently quite a bit) and put together a list of songs, including who will sing each one.  We went through that first, then went through the existing list.  The list from the girls had a healthy dose of Country songs, and nearly all were from the 80's, 90's, and later, since the girls are 20 years younger than us guys.

JT was thrilled that we were considering stuff written after 1978.  His tagline is "merely the drummer" but that doesn't stop him from whining about Classic Rock.  He really is quite sick of playing Classic Rock.  He's the one person in the band who's been playing pretty consistently since the 70's, so he has a legitimate gripe -- except that he joined a Classic Rock band.  John just wants his band to succeed, and a lot of that depends on keeping his singers happy.  Jerry is more into Alt Rock, including many bands I've never heard of or given a shit about.

By the time we were done, no saxophone songs were left, and actually very few of the current song list was left.  The band is now aiming for something between 80's and 90's stuff, some Country, and a little Rock and Roll.  Most of the songs have either no keyboards or a shitload.  In the past, the guys have raved at how well I play.  Yeah, that's nice, but I've been listening to them on the radio for 40 years, and let's face it, they're just not that hard.  Preparing any Classic Rock song for practice was usually just a matter of working out what key it's in (elapsed time: 2 seconds) and building a patch (elapsed time: 2 minutes).  Then play the song because it's the same three chords over and over anyway.

I'll actually have to learn this new stuff.  I'll need to cover layers and layers of 90's synths with a pre-programmed Yamaha P.O.S. and an ancient analog synthesizer.  I like a good challenge, but come on.

The biggie is that the band has, quite suddenly, evolved into a band that I'm not so sure I want to be in any more.

John tends err on the side of "over communicating" and leaving us the option of skimming past it when necessary.  After the meeting last Wednesday, I fully expected him to send an email recapping what was discussed, what remains to settle tomorrow (select songs for the first four practices, and make final decisions on a few "iffy" songs that people wanted more time to listen to), and in general raving about how excited he is.  Because that's what he does.  I shot him an email expressing my concerns, including a reminder that one thing that we used to stress was how to distinguish our band.  The keyboards, the saxophone.  Both of these have been scaled back because what now distinguishes us is that we're so damned good and we have two hot singers.  Or this will be the case in a few months anyway.  But originally the first meeting was supposed to be to decide which songs to keep and the second was to talk about songs to add.  Somewhere in there, I'd hoped to remind people that we do have a saxophone/keyboard player, so I figured I'd let John know my concerns and he could work that into his meeting recap.  You know, just a mention to keep the sax and keyboards in mind.

He didn't answer my email, and no recap came out.  Today, he sent a reminder about tomorrow's meeting, and that we'll be making final decisions on some of the "iffy" songs.  Apparently we will not be having any saxophone in the future, and we are quite clearly no longer a Classic Rock cover band.  We will try to be all things to all people, with Rock, Pop, Country, and a whole lot of stuff that honestly I have very little interest in playing.

I like to play.  Actually, I love to play, and I love to play with other talented musicians, and I love being part of something that sounds really good.  But it will take work to get to that point, it generally helps if I at least like the music, and I just didn't envision this rebuilding period to be such a radical change from what we were previously.  I'm going through the current list and I can honestly say that I don't actually like most of them.  I was going to count, because numbers carry more weight, but I think the result will just depress me even more.

Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #442 on: January 04, 2017, 09:36:11 AM »
 :(

Hef is right on all things. Except for when I disagree with him. In which case he's probably still right.

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #443 on: January 04, 2017, 10:36:58 AM »
I couldn't help myself.  I went through the new, non-final list, and counted.  Of the 45 songs, over 20 are from the old list, maybe not as severe as I'd thought, but half the songs being new is still pretty severe.  The girls did include some songs from the current list in their new list.  Yeah, thanks.

What bugs me the most is not the change of direction, it's that my private email to John voicing my concerns was completely ignored.  The day after the first meeting would have been the perfect time for the recap, with a little guidance on what to keep in mind when choosing songs for the band.  Instead, in emails leading up to the meetings, John kept emphasizing that we're a great band with tons of talent (which is true) and that we can play anything, therefore it's a blank slate as far as he's concerned.  I wasn't thinking that we were going to completely reinvent the band.

The girls, being so much younger, are certainly more in tune with more recent stuff.  Some of it is not horrible.  I'm calmer now, and after going through the list again, some of these songs might even be fun to play.  Not many, but some.

We'll see.  After tonight's meeting, we'll all have a better feel for how things will go.  I'll probably stick with it because I'm stubborn, I do like learning new stuff, and because we really are chock full of talent and walking away from that would be a damned shame.  Plus the fact that I've publicly scorned former members for doing exactly that.  I hate hypocrites.  I just would rather be playing songs I like, or at least know.

Offline pcs90

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #444 on: January 04, 2017, 02:01:11 PM »
If I were in your situation I'd definitely stick it out a bit longer. Especially since you say some of the new songs do have a lot of synth, it will probably be fun once you learn them.

With songs that don't have much (or any) keys in the original, do you create extra parts, or just sort of chill out? Some bands play covers as closely as possible to the originals and some change  up the arrangements, so just checking. If you have some freedom to change things up that could definitely be fun and give you more creative possibilities.
The fact that your email was basically disregarded is kind of crappy, though. I mean, aren't the meetings also to make sure everyone has input? So surely they should leave some songs that you enjoy playing that are more keys or sax dominant...maybe bring it up tonight?

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #445 on: January 04, 2017, 02:38:29 PM »
With songs that don't have much (or any) keys in the original, do you create extra parts, or just sort of chill out? Some bands play covers as closely as possible to the originals and some change  up the arrangements, so just checking. If you have some freedom to change things up that could definitely be fun and give you more creative possibilities.

It depends on the song.  The idea is usually to copy the original studio version as closely as possible.  What we've decided is an "acceptable variation" is doing a live version of the song the way the original artist/band might do it, but some personnel is different, some instrumentation is different, and it's naturally going to sound different.  But we keep the essence of the song.  For example, we do "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" by Pat Benatar.  There are no keyboards in that song, but it's mostly a unison riff by the guitar and bass anyway, so I also play that riff using a B-3 patch.  Fattens up the sound, makes it rock a bit harder.  Then there are things like "Hotel California" which has at least four guitar parts and no keys.  We do that with two guitars playing the main lines you hear and would recognize, and I'm filing in with a strumming kinduv sound in one hand and B-3 padding in the other.  Some songs I have no choice but to just add a piano or B-3 (those are usually safe choices), and if there's anyone out there going "Hey, there's not supposed to be keyboards on this song!" then fuck them, because what else am I supposed to do?

One of John's mantras for the band is that it's a compromise; no one will get everything they want, but everyone will get something that they want.  I get that.  With six, now seven, people in the band, it's a given that there will be songs some people don't like.  It's just that when you start with a group whose goals are more aligned, more people will be getting more of what they want more of the time.  I originally joined a Classic Rock cover band, whose only goal at the time was to get together in John's basement every other Saturday, play some tunes, and have fun.  Not everyone liked every song, but we all liked most of them, so it was cool.  As members have left and been replaced, we accidentally became good enough to start thinking seriously about playing out.  It's now a foregone conclusion that that's what we want to do, and we seem to agree on the frequency of rehearsals and gigs, so that's good.

The song list is much more difficult to compromise on.  The girls came in with their list of tunes in order to expedite things, but what really happened is that except for a couple of songs which we all agreed were poor choices for one reason or another, they were all in.  That's half of our total set list which I had no input into, except to try to veto if I really had an objection to it.  The remaining half of the songs came from the old list, but there are songs there that I already wasn't thrilled about.  So we're down to maybe 30 or 40% of the songs are those that I actually like, where it used to be more like 70 or 80%.

I get it.  We have new members, very talented members, and we want them to feel welcome in the band and that their choices are valued.  Also, I'm probably the one who's most hung up about playing songs he likes, because... well, because I'd rather play songs I like than play songs I don't like.

You're right in that once we get to playing the songs, I'll probably find that I like a lot of them.  That happens when you play live.  Once the adrenaline is pumping, you get off anyway.  But in between gigs and practices, the doom hits.  Whereas I used to look forward to learning new tunes, digging into them because I've always liked them and am looking forward to playing them in a band, now it's looking at a list of songs, half of which I've never even heard of, many of which I actively dislike, and trying to get excited about learning them.

We'll see how it goes.

Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #446 on: January 04, 2017, 03:35:42 PM »
Bring in Lifting Shadows Off A Dream or Metropolis.  See what they say.

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Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #447 on: January 04, 2017, 04:21:33 PM »
I couldn't even get them to try "Abacab" or "Turn It On Again" and those were actual 80's radio hits.

Actually, I had JT on board for "Turn It On Again" but then the band exploded and regrouped yet again so yet again any support I'd built up was gone.  When Pat was singing, we had "Come Sail Away" and "Babe" which are both boring as fuck, and I was working up support for "Fooling Yourself" which is actually interesting.  Gotta start again with that, too.

Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #448 on: January 05, 2017, 07:24:40 AM »
Fooling Yourself has that instrumental bridge with tricky timing, doesn't it?  Should be cool if everyone can pull it off.

Or am I thinking of Come Sail Away?  lol

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #449 on: January 05, 2017, 10:12:42 AM »
Come Sail Away is still on the list.  I suppose I'll have to be happy with that.  Main song is in C, but it has the wacky bridge in Ab (during the "fast part") with the bass and guitars doing differently-timed things while the synth takes a solo.

Fooling Yourself has some tricky timing in the intro and outro, and the bridge is in 7/4, so it's a bit on the tricky side.  But it's a more interesting song to play.

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #450 on: January 05, 2017, 11:56:22 AM »
Overall, last night's meeting wasn't bad.  We reviewed the list from last week, which included a number of "write-in candidates" and compared notes.  No two of us had exactly the same write-in songs, which I found amusing.  There were a number of artists/bands where we had two songs and were supposed to listen to both of them and we would decide which one to do.  We made those decisions last night.  One of the new songs has saxophone in a prominent role; the only potential sicking point is that there are keyboards at the same time.  Angela plays the piano and has played some keyboards in previous bands, so I asked her if she could cover some chords while I play the horn line.  She's fine with that.  Then John points out that there's no guitars at that point (boo hoo) so maybe the guitars could play the line and it'll sound cool and I could play the keyboard part (boring chords), so let's just do that and put it on the list.

I said "Now wait just a minute you stupid micro-managing pindick mutherfucker.  We already axed all the songs with saxophone, we add a song that actually has saxophone, and you want to play that line on guitar?  Fuck you."

Actually, what I said was a bit more diplomatic, but that was the basic idea.  Short version: we're doing it as is, and too fucking bad that there's actually a song with no guitars.

We decided that scoping out the next four practices is too much (actually I just said it and most people agreed), but the next two makes sense, since I will be out of town for the first one.  The others will all be there and can work on songs with little or no keyboards.  Second practice I'll be back.  We picked five songs to work one for each of the next two practices (1/14 and 1/28); two new songs and three old ones.  10 songs is half of what we'll need to play the thing in June, so obviously we'll be well on our way, and at that rate we'll be ready by the end of February.  And if that rate continues, we'll have a full song list by the end of April, ready to gig once Spring arrives and the flowers start blooming.  Realistically, that rate will likely not continue, since things pop up from time to time, various folks have to go out of town or have family emergencies, that kind of thing, but we can make up a certain amount.  It may turn out that we can grind out more than five songs every two weeks, since the three oldies shouldn't need that much work and most of the new ones are pretty simple.  That's why I suggested scoping out two practices rather than four.  We don't know yet how it'll go.

Overall, I'm feeling a bit better about the whole thing.  I've been listening to the new songs a lot lately, mostly cranking them during my commute, letting them sink into my brain, trying to find things to like about them, that kind of thing.  Angela is such a babe, and damn she can sing.  I'm willing to hang on for a while just because of that.  Yeah, I'd rather be playing songs I like, but I will end up liking some of them, at least more than I do now, because that always happens.  Rebuilding season kicks into high gear now, as the others start working on new songs for 1/14.

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #451 on: January 27, 2017, 11:52:12 PM »
Tomorrow (actually today, since it's after midnight as I write this) is the first full practice with the new lineup.  We'll start by running through the five songs from last time, just to brush them up, then put together the next five.  That's the plan, anyway.  Due to various people's commitments before and after, we get two hours.  Personally, I think it's a bit optimistic, but what the heck.  From the notes I've seen, the practice two weeks ago went well overall.  Two songs with no keys but for which I'm making some stuff up, the other three with minimal keys, mostly embellishing stuff, so those songs were a good choice.  I'll add my parts, we'll get a better feel for how they work overall, then we'll work on the next batch.  All in two hours.  We'll see how it goes.

Emails going around, there's chatter about adding more rehearsals.  Fuck.  We already have every other Saturday, and half the time we won't have everyone, so there's talk of "penciling in" other practices, which we can always call off later if we don't think we need it.  I don't want to rehearse every week.  I don't want to have to learn songs every week.  Every other week is fine, but this is a hobby, and I actually do have a life.  I mean, it's not really much of one, and I do love my hobby, but I don't want to be spending every evening working on songs.

Offline pcs90

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #452 on: January 28, 2017, 05:15:41 PM »
Wouldn't it be better to find some times where everyone can come rather than having multiple rehearsals where not everyone can make it?
Maybe that's just not possible at the moment, I don't know, but even if the rehearsal schedule has to be changed a few times to get everyone there, that seems more productive to me, and then there would be no need to add on more rehearsals if everyone has their parts together.

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #453 on: January 28, 2017, 07:55:06 PM »
That's how we're doing it.  The vast majority of rehearsals with be with everyone there.  The one on Jan 14 was screwy because John put the every-two-weeks schedule out there before I had a chance to block out the time I'd be out of town.  We practiced today with the full lineup, and will again in one week, and will most of the time.

I agree that there's often no point in rehearsing without the full lineup because you'll have to go over the same tunes again later, although that's not always a bad thing, and you're probably gonna do it anyway.  So in that sense, it still helps.  With this many people, one person not being able to make it is not necessarily a reason not to have rehearsal.  It would be hard to without the drummer, or bassist, but we'd probably still have rehearsal without one of the guitars or singers.

Today we went through the five songs from last time and added keyboards and tuned up some vocals, then we went through five more songs.  We actually did it, and did it pretty well, in about two hours.  None of the songs are perfect yet, but some of them of already pretty close.  When everyone works up their parts separately, putting everything together is so much easier and nicer.

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Saga of Orbert's Band (consolidated)
« Reply #454 on: February 05, 2017, 03:27:04 PM »
Yesterday we got together for about three hours and ran through the five songs from last week again, then added five more songs.  Holy crap, we're getting good.  No irrecoverable train wrecks, but since it's rehearsal, we usually started the song again rather than playing through it if things got too bad.  We always like to have at least one time through the whole song without things breaking up too much.  The idea is to pound our way through the list as quickly as possible, then over the next few months we'll keep playing them over and over.  Songs don't have to be 100% locked down the first time at rehearsal, we can and will come back to each song.  But most of the first run-throughs have been pretty clean.  We're getting into some tricky shit, too.  But damn, this is the best lineup yet, in terms of both talent and chemistry.  Right now, that's what keeps me doing it.  Most of the newer stuff isn't really my bag, although it's mostly fun to play, so what the hell.