I started a new band about a month ago. It's me on drums, a lead guitar and rhythm guitar, and bass right now. The bass player and rhythm guitar are roommates. Other than that we were all strangers, but quickly gelled together and have become pretty good friends so far. Writing seems to be progressing well, the guitarists have lots of ideas, and we have 3 songs fully written and more in the works. Things seemed to be going great. Last practice however, the bassist says he wants to talk. After going around the room and having everyone say where they thought the band was going, the bass player tells his thoughts. He believes that we need to focus more on one specific genre, and he really wants to focus on music that sells to the masses. One of the songs we have finished is in 3/4 time and is more on the obscure sounding side. i knew he disliked the song, but apparently he hated it enough to question our direction as a band. He even said that he was close to quitting the other day. After the meeting we proceed with practice and he seems generally happy. The next practice we start off with one of the songs we were working on, and one that the bassist had particular input on. We decide however to change it a bit to make it flow better. As the two guitarists and I try to figure out the new arrangement, the bass player kind of zones out and starts playing who knows what, and we are having to talk over him. He continues to do this even while we are trying to play the song. After finally getting it down pretty good, and us three agreeing it sounds good, we ask him what he thinks? "It's a song." He says. He says he liked it better the old way and we shouldn't have changed it. So we move on to a new song. We start working off of a riff the guitarist had and start figuring out parts, again the bass player is sitting there playing his own thing, not related to the song. Again after getting a good chunk of the song written we ask what he thinks. "It's another song." He then complains that we don't use his ideas, and the three of us agree that he has basically only given input on the one song and we didn't use it, and that happens.

I haven't spoken to the other guys but I think we should cut ties now. He was a downer at practice, wasn't contributing, doesn't seem to like any of the songs, and has already made it known that he wouldn't have a problem quitting. The only thing is that him and the rhythm guitar are roommates and best friends, they usually car pool together to practice. I don't want to kick the bassist out and have the rhythm guitarist leave also. So should we stick it out and hope his mood improves or deal with it now?
Quote by TNA
the bass player kind of zones out and starts playing who knows what, and we are having to talk over him. He continues to do this even while we are trying to play the song.

Without tooting my own horn, I have a lot of experience in bands, and have seen a lot of band members quit. This playing around aimlessly is a definite sign that they don't want to be in the band anymore.

So it's all good, let him go, find someone who's into the band.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
It is vital for a band to share the same vision. If he is a decent bassist and it would require some time to find another one, then you might want to sit down with everyone, including him, outside of rehearsal and talk it through.

Basically, you all will have to make compromises. If you dont find a middle point that both parties can confidently agree on, then I can only second Alan on kicking him out. Hopefully the guitarist would understand.
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He sounds disrespectful and petty. If you guys aren't even friends then who cares? Let him leave. Or you could try and make your music a bit more accessible to get him back interested in the group, there is nothing wrong with making your music a bit more catchy in order to appease a band member who wants to be more mainstream, that's part of the collaborative effort. No one is telling you to churn out Lady Gaga shit.
Thanks, but he did end up quitting last week. Ironically though, we are moving in a more mainstream direction. He's just impatient and didn't want to wait for the very new band to start finding it's direction.