Nadz is officially in!!!

As I told you in one of my earlier posts,I was thinking of getting my good friend Nadz into formyourownband.Now he is officially in.You can expect some great tips for vocalists from all walks of music.Nadz all set for recording

Nadeesha is originally a rock vocalist,and he is often heard saying “Screaming is the next step forward after becoming a proper vocalist”.Though he is more focused on the highly operatic style of rock vocal production,widely used by the likes of Bruce Dickinson(Iron Maiden),James LaBrie(Dream Theatre),Rob Halford(Judas Priest) etc.. he occasionally adds hints of guttural growls borrowed from extreme Death Metal acts like Cannibal Corpse,and modern screamo.

He is also a guitarist and professional acoustic engineer.He will share his knowledge on acoustic engineering and mixing in the days to come.Nadz is also an Internet geek and software junkie.Don’t be too surprised if you find him rambling about how to optimize your band’s web page to achieve high search engine rankings.

He will hit the blog with a post on setting up a myspace page for your band,which is a follow-up to my previous post on how to set up a kick-ass facebook band page.

Tips on setting up a kick-ass band page on facebook.

I noticed that I’ve been getting a high amount of clicks from people who searched on how to set up a band page on facebook.As I’ve mentioned in one of my earlier posts,a band just getting started can always go and design a page for their band on myspace or facebook,or both.I consider this as a great starting point to any band.To find out what suits you best,facebook or myspace,cick here.But my major intention here is to focus on setting up a band page on facebook.In the future though,if I realise that it is important I’ll explain how to set up a band page on myspace.This is however much more complex than facebook pages.I have considered asking my very good friend,Nadeesha (Nadz) Cabral,who has been around me in 95% of the bands I’ve played in and fronts my current band,to write a few guest posts for me.This is more his subject than mine.If I’m lucky(and you too,because he really knows his I.T) you can expect a good post on myspace pages in the future.If time allows the chances of him becoming a co-admin of this blog are quite high.Keep it locked for that. 

Back to the topic.You don’t have to be an HTML genius or a JAVA expert to set up a band page on facebook.I am neither but if you do not know exactly how to handle the fixed layout to meet the needs and the image of your band,I really don’t see the point in setting it up.And the reason for people to search on setting up a facebook band page-despite facebook’s simplicity-I think is this.Frankly,whether you are a Jazz band or a Norwegian Black Metal band,you get the same layout.Having a very white background as the fixed layout,the Black Metal band still has to deliver the their black goods,in their black packaging,to the blackened hearts of their fans.So without instructing you on how to set up the page step by step,I will share with you,some tips on converting the already existing band page to a page that “kicks ass”!!!

So first things first,if you want to set up a facebook page please set up a completeNot this!!! one,there’s nothing more unprofessional than an empty page that just exists for the sake of it.If your page looks interesting people start showing concern about your band,even when you don’t have any music out.And nothing else underestimates a band more than a sad attempt to gain some cyber P.R.If you want to do it,do it completely or just don’t do it.There are many multi-platinum bands out there who started without a facebook page.

OK,so how can you add stuff to your page when you don’t even have a single out?Type something creative,surely you can type!!!Take a few snaps of your band and upload.No,you don’t have to have your guitars,take pictures of you hangin’ out together and upload.If you can,shoot a li’l introductory video for your band,the frontman can do the talking while the others lounge their butts.If you can do the latter,people will take you really seriously.You don’t have to speak as if you were interviewed regarding a grammy nomination,just play cool.30 seconds of wmv or mpeg can make you look like big time hitters.

As I sais earlier you have to do everything within the simple format facebook offers.So text really matters.If your thrash metal band type out a thrashy intro about the band.Don’t try to cater to the average Britney Spears fan who would stop by to check out the band page.The words you use,are going to be a key factor in sculpting to your cyber image.At least within facebook that is.Myspace however is much different,you can keep your fingers crossed for my friend’s post.

If you have somehow set up the page,just start inviting people.It is absoloutely point less to create a page and wait without inviting.”Let’s wait until we are tight” or “Let’s wait until we get the fans” are not going to do much for your band.Even if you don’t have pictures and stuff,if you have set it up,just keep inviting.

Here’s a good rule of thumb for the admins.Never become fans of your own page.It is absoloutely ridiculous.It just shows how desperate you are to get the fan count high.You can be and need to be desperate,but you don’t have to show it,do you?

Once the page is set,keep analysing it.Nothing beats an analysis panel with a large numbers of page hits,song plays etc..It just boosts up the band’s confidence and gives a feeling that there are people who actually listen to what you do.A panel full of zeros of not bad for starters though.It will give you that urge to invite as many people as you can,add changes to the page so people come and check you out.Do this everytime you log on.

There are many applications available on facebook for your band/musicians page.Spare a minute to check these out an add what you like.I don’t get anything for mentioning these,but out of 7369(currently)music apps,a few good applications I recommend would be;

  • iLike.
  • My merch store.
  • Reverbnation.

That should cover some basic tips on facebooking a band.Await a post with tips on setting up a hig quality myspace page.

Facebook or MySpace

Sounds more like a title from a Tech site,doesn’t it?Well,honestly these two sites are doing quite a lot to the music industry.I read more than  15 heavy metal blogs a day and three other music related blogs.I also have my own heavy metal blog.The reason for me to mention that is,if it was not for MySpace,many of these blogs will not be updated at least once a month,let alone their existence.MySpace

As I mentioned in my previous post,it’s always a good idea to start a band by creating a little online page for it.My reasons were;they keep you motivated,gives the extra publicity the band needs and it adds that somewhat facebookprofessional touch to the band even before you  jam togetherfor the first time.To read the full post click here.But there are many social networking sites,and where should you start?Ok,you can narrow down many to two because I’ve never seen a band creating a link to their bebo page from their homepage.It’s always facebook or MySpace.So what’s good for your band?Ah,I know the answer that’s easy to get away with.“Depends!!!”.

Well,if by any means you can do both,please do so.But different bands need different approaches.If you are looking for something that will send the message about your band,but you are not very fond of colourful themes and fonts that rock I think facebook is the answer for you.

But if you honestly ask for my opinion,I will have to say,when it comes musician pages MySpace is a tad bit ahead of facebook.Like I said earlier,MySpace allows you to meddle with different skins,fonts and other customizable content.Whereas facebook will offer you a preset setting and you have to be happy with that.But what is easier?facebook of course.

Well,say you created your MySpace page with all the trouble.Considering the amount of time and energy you allocated for it,I don’t see why you should stop there without trying facebook.I think the simplicity is what makes facebook tick.Assuming that you will copy/ paste your MySpace text content to facebook,it shouldn’t take you more than 15 minutes to set up a facebook page or a group.

That reminds,facebook group or facebook page?That is a tough one.Here’s what you can do and can’t do with facebook pages and groups.You can decide.

With a facebook musician’s page you can upload music for streaming/downloading,but it’s not very popular among facebook users like MySpace musician’s pages.facebook groups are however much popular,but you do not get the music player facebook pages offer.So if you really want to get the message out,I suggest a group.But,here’s a good rule of thumb that I’ve often failed to follow,facebook GROUP+PAGE….NEVER!!!Well,here’s why.You set up a group and start inviting people.They join,you interact,everything starts to flow smoothly.Then you start a page and start sending messages asking them to become fans of the page.Does this sound at all professional?Hell NO!!!

So,all in all I would say,think on what you are really looking for,but no matter what setup at least one of those.


Things to do before your first jam

This post is a very strange one,you may say.Well,I agree,absurd it may sound too.But honestly before hitting the studio(garage in some cases) for the first time,there are quite a few things you have to take into consideration.These few things are very different from each other,since some may have to start three ,four years prior to your first jam,and some things are to be done just before entering the studio(or garage).Oh,and most importantly this not one of those posts where the blogger teaches” you 5.35 things to do before Blah!Blah!Blah! Without giving specific numbers,I intentionally decided to  stick with “things” because these “things” may vary in their value due to the differance of professionalism in different performers.For instance,a full time band will not bother to read the first three points,but they will find the latter few points much useful.

  • Please learn your music-Well,ironic it sounds.But I once went to play with a band for the first time.Not my first time of course,but as a band it was the first time we got together.The bassist was said to be an amateur and handled with ease.”Well,no problem” I thought,”this is something we hear regularly”.But when we started to play we realised that he simply had no idea of what “G-major” means.Seriously,this happens,and it’s not good!

And,vocalists please take voice classes before joining a band.There may be exceptions like Sharon Den Adel(Within Temptation),but as a whole the worst,most un-identified(among beginners) yet the most dangerous mistake is this.A vocalist usually fronts the band(Can’t think of a band where the vocalist does not solely front the band?Well do your research then!)and a poor front-man,musically and energetically is the worst thing that could happen to a band.

No time for classes?Oh,there’s a solution,quit music!If you have a real passion for this you’ll find time somehow.I am busy person too,but I play at 1.00 in the morning if that’s the only time slot available.

  • Focus on what you like and what you know-When people start to listen to music and really get in to it,at some point they will go through the era where they’ll desperately struggle to join a band.I’ve been through that period,and maybe you have too!But here’s the deal,just because you want to be in a band,don’t join any band.A punk rock fan joining a thrash metal band does not sound very good,does it?But could happen,I’ve seen it happen!

There’s a clear difference between what you know and what you like.Say it’s been three months since you started to play the guitar,and Metallica’s Fade to blackis one of your favourite songs.Unless you are very,very talented,the chances of you playing Hammet’s solo’s in that song are quite low if not nil(if you did play this in 3 months,I suggest you stop reading this blog and start your own one under Eddie Van Halen’s name!!!).So,without attempting a very hard song you love,try a somewhat simple song.This,however does not mean that a thrash metal band should start by playing Blink182 covers!!!

  • Set I mean chat a goal-Before you grab your guitars and start jamming,get together with your “to-be” bandmates for a little talk(preferably without booze ).It’s always a good idea to do this because,you get to understand the tastes and capabilities of the people you’ll be jamming with,in a few days.Set(or chat)a real goal with a real time limit.“Let’s play covers until we are tight” is not a goal.Tightness hardly comes around,you have to chase it down until it runs out of breath and gives in.“Let’s play covers throughout the first two weeks and then start improvising” is a much better goal.
  • 3830825044.jpg your band-Well,not only facebook,but myspace,bebo and other social networking sites can be a great way to get the message out to your freinds.This may sound a bit absurd to do this before you start even jamming together.Since you are obviously in one or more of these social networking sites,chances are that once you get the word out to your freinds and start seeing all those “Way to go”s you’ll be inspired to take your business seriously.I would also recommend creating a garageband profile.But until you get your own music recorded,it won’t be of much use.Still it’s never too early to give yourself a little idea about the system and the layout of the site.
  • Guitarists,trim your fingernails!-This is one of those things you can do even just before entering the studio.But it’s seriously more relieving to do this at home without biting them and spitting out the nails.

Don’t take the final tip too seriously!!!

With this I start my journey and I invite you to hop in and join me and FORM YOUR OWN BAND.