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Pedals or Band Members..?

People start bands every day, and the first thought is usually to find members. Two guitarists, a bass player, drummer, vocals, and keys etc… Why all these people? Less really can be more. The less people needed to make a decision the better. I have been in both 4 and 5 piece bands, as well worked with large teams in business. It can be a nightmare…

A few years ago my buddy and I started a 3-piece band. Me (guitar & vocals) him drums, and one other friend playing bass. It was simple from a collaborative perspective but lacking in sound. To solve this problem we had to get creative. The solution was integrating 2 Boss RC-2 loop stations. Each one enables the artist to record up to 99 tracks and then overlay as you please. For those of you who have not used one it is possibly the best band mate ever. It never goes off tempo, and always does what you say! 

The method I used for live sessions was to pre-record rhythm guitar and keys into separate slots. This freed me up to focus on vocals and lead. Another way I used it was to add little background effects such as "key moment" distortion or feedback builds, that are usually only present on mixed recordings.  This worked great for a while.

However, A few months later our bass player left to do a pilgrimage in France and you would think things got even more complicated. Wrong. We simply overlaid the bass with the rhythm guitar track….! Here we were. 2 guys making the same full sound as a 5 piece. I am not saying this is for everyone but certainly worth a try before you add a bunch of members.  Also, when your drummer is gone, you can still practice using the RC-2 built in drum loops. Here are a few bands that do just fine as a 2 piece:

  1. The Helio Sequence
  2. Mackintosh Braun
  3. The White Stripes
  4. Vive Voce
  5. Local H
  6. Daft Punk
  7. The Kills

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