How To Deal With A Troublesome Band Member

Fight, Resent, Quit and leave? Why take the easy way out when dealing with troublesome band members? This article should help you approach those not so easy situations, helping you embrace the dreaded "awkward conversation".

Ultimate Guitar

It may possibly be the most common problem most if not all bands come across. An issue that can make or break your bands future. But what do you do when one of the band members just isn't pulling there weight? especially if the band member is one of your good friends. Obviously with you been so close you want to refrain from the aftermath of been overly blunt. But you can't tip toe around this either if it's having a detrimental affect on your bands progression. Firstly its key to gauge how serious the other band members see the band and the problem in hand; as this will help you set the tone of what could potentially be a tricky situation.

Now unfortunately in this tricky situation there is no easy solution. To put it simply, your going to have an awkward conversation. Now it seems to be a natural reaction that everyone and anyone automatically avoids any form of awkward communication. Afterall if this came naturally the daytime talk show industry would instantly become redundant. But regardless of how badly you wish to find an alternative solution; communication is always the best option. Now this may seem like I'm stating the obvious, but the real key to navigating this rocky road is how you approach the dreaded awkward conversation. "Focus on the outcome you want" Firstly you need to consider what it is you want to come out of the conversation. In most cases you'll want them to feel valued, motivated and most importantly excited. Afterall you want them to put the effort in, and to achieve this they have to want to put the effort in. So to start, dont be too overbearing, condescending or sarcastic. You have to control your frustration and annoyance. Allowing this to creep into the conversation will create conflict; and this will ultimately lead to an outcome thats difficult to rectify. "Utilise an effective and proven sales technique: Focus on them" Those people who work in sales, or business in general, will know that the key to effective communication is to focus on your customer. Now this maybe a completely different senario but the same principle can be just as effective. The main element of this is to make sure your not focusing on what you see as the problem. Your not talking from a perspective of "I think this" or "I think that". Focus on them and draw them into the conversation. Achieve this by asking how they see the band progressing and what they'd like to do moving forward. Get a feeling for where they're at so you come across as inquisitive ans interested in their point of view. That way it doesn't seem your pulling them to one side to criticise them.

No-one reacts well to direct criticism so dont ask why their fooling around, instead ask what they think of your ideas, and casually drop in that their help can achieve them. That way your ensuring you're always talking and not lecturing. Afterall , if you can't manage to have a normal casual conversation with your best friend, then you've a whole different problem you need to address.

"Finally, try and always remember..." Atsome point you were both excited about been in a band and you both at some point had the same vision. To maintain that vision as you progress, and to ensure that you remain on the same page, you must communicate and respect each others opinions. Talking through your points of view and finding compromises should come naturally to anything you do as a team. A band is no different, and hopefully this will help prevent tricky and awkward situations arising. If they do, then this article will help you to remember those simple and effective steps you often forget when someone is rubbing you the wrong way.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    To FrontmanShieldsThe first parts cool,just seems like page one.Are you gonna elaborate on this or is that it?It makes a lot more sense to me than some of this crap. "The correct way to string your guitar"Jesus,man,since I signed up on this about a week ago cause I got hurt and can't play for a little while and was lookin for some info on something I'm having a hard telling whats real and whats not.Could there really be that many idiots out there?As far as the second part goes,it seems really simplified.Does the guy have enough talent?Would he work if he stopped his crap,whatever it is?If he can't cut it musically he's down the road.If his drinkin or drugs or throwing chairs out the 18th floor window is the problem,can you straighten him out.Is it worth it?I got sent down the road once,and I thought it was my playing,and it was REALLY hard to take.About a month later I found out the head of the band,s wife had a thing for me.I guess I was the only one who did'nt know it.After that first month three out of the other four came over my house and wanted to start something new.They just had to finish out the road trip.It was like one of the best days of my life.I had been thinking about quitting,and I don't know how to do anything else.I'm just saying,it's complicated,for people like me,it's my life.That was a very long time ago and I still remember that first night.I even went out and played the last set.Anyway,theres my two cents..panhead201
    Hi Panhead201, Thank you for taking the time to read my articles. As you've noticed is a very diverse musical resource, aimed to all musicians of various skill and technical knowledge. This lends itself perfertly for both the experienced players and those individuals who have just picked up a guitar and have started to self teach. I only wish such a resource was available when I first started. As UG has such a range of people all at different stages in there musical development, there will be a vast range in the articles you read. Some will outline the basics and some will go deep into musical theory. My articles are aimed to try and help a wide range of musicians from professionals who do this for a career to those who are just starting out in there first band. Obviously your experience is quite a unique one, but I still feel the head of the band should have spoke with you. Or just stopped inviting his wife to your shows. Thanks, FrontmanShields
    Yeah man,I thought so too.I guess I'm a little jaded.I was on my bike and the car in front of me stopped.I got stopped too.The ford explorer behind me never even hit his brakes.I woke up three days later on life support.I did'nt know you could stick that many tubes in a skinny white guy.Doctor said if they pulled the plug I had less than one percent chance.Talked it over with my wife and kid and pulled the plug.Two weeks later I went home.Changed my outlook on a lot of things.Thats why I'm recording all the stuff I'd written for myself over the years.Don't know where you're gonna be tomorrow.Keep writing,man.Somebody,s gotta tell the few who'll make it this part of it.At least it's somebody with a brain that works.