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Rock Band 101: Part 2

By by timothy danger/special to the advocate
Sept. 26, 2012 at 4:26 a.m.


Editor's note: This is part two of a column put together to give young, aspiring garage band musicians advice from people who actually live the life. A life lived tells much more than a Google search could ever do, a special thanks to every musician who participated in my hunt for this knowledge.

Regard any recording device as an almost holy artifact for which to record all practices, especially when you and the band are sitting around twiddling your creative thumbs ... turn the recorder on ... and most of the time great things will make themselves available.

- Joe Reyna, Victoria

Be nice, genuinely nice, to other musicians and the venues you play at. This will give your band more opportunities to be asked to play again because people like who you are. Getting to know people and getting them to know you, or networking, is one of the most important parts of playing music.

- Kelsey Schneider, Lubbock

Always challenge yourself to be better. It's not that you need to be more technically skilled than you already are to be successful. It's just that everyone I've ever known who felt they were good enough already because they "just want to play punk rock," or because "they don't want to be too good" (seriously, heard that more than once) never hack it in the real world. You're growing or you're dying. Pick one.

- Frank Humungus, The Millipede, Austin

Surround yourself with musicians who actually want to play music, not just be in a band because it is popular. Being like-minded goes a long way.

- Caleb Sheblak, Stout City Luchadores, Poor Favor, Victoria

Know your worth. Gas, drinks and time all cost money that comes out of your pocket when you don't get paid. This can have a serious effect, especially if you're trying to build up a war chest for recording or tour.

- Jon Boy, Ghosts Of Texas, Austin

Don't try too hard to sound similar to a successful artist in the world. Your identity will fall into place if you continue to broaden your musical and lyrical horizons.

- Neal Tolbert, Neal's Acoustic Journey, Victoria

Timothy Danger is the music and content director as well as a co-host of the Old Man and Bitter Girl Podcast, which focuses on independent music, art and culture. He is also a musician.

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