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Your Band and Pie

June 24, 2013

I don’t know about you, but I love pie! More importantly, what if I told you that pie can help your band? This concept, called “the pie rule” or the “100% rule”  can be the difference between sounding amateur  and sounding legit.

Think of entire band as the complete 100%. Each individual player is taking a up a smaller chunk of that 100%. BandPieEvery one in the band must be conscious of how much percentage of the overall sound they are taking up at any given moment. They also must know how much room they are leaving for everyone else.

One of the biggest problems with a lot of bands is that they aren’t playing together as a unit, they each individually doing their own thing. The guitarist plays without caring if his part compliments the drum beat and/or vice-versa. Good bands are aware of what everyone is doing, and they compliment accordingly. 

Think of it this way. If a song is just simply an acoustic guitarist on a stool by himself, he is taking up 100% of the pie. He’s playing huge, full chords and playing very rhythmically. If you throw another musicians, he now needs to take up only 50% of the pie by playing less full and less busy. The more musicians you throw in, the less space he needs to take up if he wants to keep the band from becoming muddy goulash.

Keep in mind, that means not every instruments gets an equal share at all times during a song. There are spots where certain instruments get to be showcased or highlighted, and therefore taking up a bigger piece of the pie than everyone else. For instance, during the verse of a song, the vocals may need to the focus, so the other musicians need to back off to let vocals take up some more pie space. Whatever the case may be, it must be a coordinated effort within the band, so that no one overpowers anyone. Because its not an issue of ego, its an issue of creating good sounding music.

As always, like anything in music, this rule can be broken sometimes, but you can’t break it until you learn it and put it into practice. So next your playing with your band, be aware of the pie. After all, everyone loves pie.

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