CH3 Bandcamp Lesson 5: Practice
February 24, 2012
Welcome back to the CH3 Bandcamp, a web series of tutorials brought to you by Guitar Center, Pabst Brewing and Dow Chemical.
Here at CH3 Bandcamp, we offer the guidance and valuable tips gleaned from our thirty-plus years in the music industry.
Follow our advice and soon you’ll be rockin’ like your heroes here at CH3, and remember: We will be selecting one promising young band this semester to open one of our actual gigs in either Hemet or Bakersfield, and even allow you to set up our professional gear and learn how to sell Merchandise!
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Alright young rockers, welcome back!
A quick note about last weeks episode, Lesson 4 : Naming your Band, in which we offered you the handy CH3 band name generator, based on a verb, the word Social or Society, and the first name of a failed politician.
Due to a computer glitch, we’ve heard from six different bands now named Bleeding Society Newts, but that’s okay.
We’ll deal with that in Lesson 15: Copyrights, Trademarks and Suing the Fuck Outta Those Other Clowns!
Today’s lesson deals with that unavoidable task-practice.
Yes, kids, be it Robert Plant and Jimmy Page or even Chad from Nickleback, the stars that inhabit the musical galaxy all share one key thing, I mean, besides herpes simplex 2:
practice practice practice!
Now that you’ve selected your brothers-in rock (see Lesson 3: How to Spot a Suitable Bandmate and Lesson 3.1: For God’s Sake Do Not Choose a Chick Singer) we must get right to the task at hand—let’s learn how to play these goddamn things!
Yeah, I know—you’ve got Guitar Hero nailed and you and Randy next door don’t sound half bad on Green Day Rock Band, but let’s get serious kids.
Besides, it’s a well known fact those video games weren’t developed to actually teach skill at playing an instrument, but at creating the next generation of drone pilots for the military.
So at least ya got that going for ya!
What we need first off is a place to practice.
Here are some suitable places to practice:
In the Garage
In the drummer’s Garage.
24 hour Laundromats
Opening slot at Alex’s Bar.
Here are some not-suitable places to practice:
Paid rehearsal Studio
Crack house (trust us on this one)
In the Garage with the garage door open, and stupid Randy from next door watching from the sidewalk and yelling how much we suck—No, you suck Randy! You Suck!
You Midwest kids, you got it made.
You have those holes under the house, so absurd to us Southern Californians, waddaya call them? Basements? Cellars? Rapecaves?….. Yeah, that thing!
Well, just go on down there and put an American Flag up –upside down, natch!– on the wall, a soiled Persian rug underfoot, a bare lightbulb or two and ya got it!
Your studio awaits, gentlemen!
Your typical garage presents a few more challenges. First off, it’s cluttered as hell, even though Mom told you to clean it since Easter.
Second, it has all the soundprrofing of a paper bag, which means every sour note and sappy lyric will be judged by your snooping neighbors.
Just ask dear old Mrs Ramasaki, who’s lived next to my Mom for 40 years, who still stops me and asks why we took the fuck your house and everyone in it! line out of Wetspots.
Anyway, get the boys together and spend a silly Saturday sweeping out the black widows and dumping Dad’s boxes of old gay porn, and then you’ll be ready for the next step: actually playing a song.
There are a few more obstacles, of course.
The drummer has forgotten his sticks, so have some extra handy or be prepared to wait another 45 minutes for him to go back and get them.
The fuckin’ guitar player only wants to play Darkness’ I Believe in a Thing Called Love intro over and over again at max volume, while you are on the phone with Sam Ash trying to find drumsticks at 10pm.
And the Bass Player? Pfft–don’t get me started!
But now it’s down to business!
The amps are warmed, the drummer has a stick in each paw, the lead guitar has shut the fuck up for a moment and the bass guy…well, he’s here anyway.
And with a sure handed count off, it’s off and away on your musical career!
Here are some suitable songs to attempt starting and stopping together:
How’s it sound kids? Not so hot, huh?
Well that’s okay, just keep at it, until the cops come or Mom shuts off the electricity.
Your homework assignment is to get all the way through Blitzkrieg Bop without stopping, got it?
All downstrokes, and don’t let the drummer cheat either, goddamnit!
We’ll meet back right here for next week’s Lesson 6: Building Your Band’s Image and How to Make Sharp Matching Sweater Vests at Home!