I have a music/band related issue and I wondered what other people would think of it.

There are two songwriters/guitarists in our band, when practicing a new song with our drummer that guitarist 1 wrote, we came up against some issues regarding the arrangement.

Guitarist 1 begins to play through the chords/changes with the drummer.
Guitarist 2 notices that this isn't having any affect and steps in with comments such as (the verse is 16 bars, chorus is 8 etc etc) This helped the drummer instantly and we completed the song.

After practice guitarist 1 is seriously pissed off at guitarist 2 because he feels like he didn't have control of his own song. While guitarist 2 is confused thinking he was only helping speed things up. After major debates Guitarist 2 is forced to apologise even though he didn't know why.

As you can probably tell, Guitarist 2 is Me. The other guitarist has virtually no knowlegde of music theory at all. He is a fantastic song writer and does everything by ear which I must say is also great. We've always got along great with me being the technical one, and him being more creative.

However now the age old problem has hit us! It's technical, theory related music solutions (the reasons it was invented!) against someone who has always learnt everything by ear, is incredibly talented and creative, but knows virtually nothing about how to communicate his music.

Sound familiar to anyone?
i find that democracy comes out on top. if you all decide to vote on stuff like that its a good way to let the music become what it should without hurting feelings and egos.... egos can kill a band quick. we all know that
Guitars: Ibanez AS 103 nt
Fender HM Strat
I remember reading an article, and whether you respect this band or not it doesn't change the fact that they're successful and write appealing music. I read an interview with Mark, I think it was, from blink 182, talking about how awesome it was that every other member of his band was a song writer themselves. He talked about how him, tom, and travis, all write their own songs, and their band experience is so wonderful because they can share their songs with each other, and then the next day another member of the band will have "revised" their song, and put it into a perspective that they never could have done themselves, and to me, when I read it, I realized that is what being in a band is all about.
If guitarist one wants to be the "Guitarist One Experience" that's his prerogative. But if he wants to be in a band, that entails a creative ownership experienced by the whole band on every piece of music they produce, and the intimacy that comes with sharing that part of your soul shouldn't make him uncomfortable. Try and find that article and make him read it, it might even be on UG, but he just needs to understand what being in a band means....it's not a solo project.
Thanks dude, that makes complete sence.

It's very strange as I didn't interfer with anything at all, apart from help the drummer with the arangement.

He's a good bloke, a major talent. But he got very very very defensive about the fact that I directed someone how to play his song.

Granted, when we play my songs, he doesn't need to give any input to the drummer, because I've already mapped the whole thing out for him. But I wouldn't be offended in the slightest if he did!

I even leave parts of my song 'open' for the other guys to compliment it.
Would this be a fair comparison?

Person A is a very creative thinker - well known for and self-confident in his great ideas. Unfortunately, he is illiterate.

Person B steps in and helps person A communicate these ideas to the creative team because he is virtually unable to communicate them himself.

Person A - the great one - feels both slighted and 'shown up' by someone that most others would consider to be an understudy of sorts.


There are lots of reasons why basic literacy and the ability to communicate effectively is considered essential to a society.

It's my experience that people who are not musically literate get this self-imposed sense of inadequacy when talking to those who are literate.... much like the rest of society. The key is how these people - on both sides - deal with that situation.

Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
Last edited by axemanchris at Mar 7, 2009,
Thanks, and I agree.

However, I realise I didn't make 1 thing clear. We are not talking about my friend writing everything and me playing along to his material. We're talking about two people writing & playing songs. With him coming up with two guitar parts to his songs for us and I do the same for him.

Obviously the issue was TIME, and his technique of running through the chords with the drummer simply wasn't working, whilst explaining it the way i did helped alot.

MY big problem was his reaction to my contribution. He seriously beleives that i was 'stepping on his toes'. The alternative would be to watch him & the drummer get virtually no-where.

Strange. I'm suspecting this might not be the last issue with this guy
Hmm, I suspect it's all coming down to the fact that the other guitarist has some pride issues. Don't get me wrong, many musicians have em. I used to have pride issues like that too.

The thing is that pride is vulnerable. If it's attacked, it must defend. Without pride, there is nothing that can get hurt.

I feel that everything that I write comes from somewhere higher. I'm not the source of the music I write. The source is... well, let's just call it "the source". And I don't own the source. Anything that comes from it, I'm just the guy interpretting it. I'm the one channeling the energy by writing and playing it.

I used to think that I'm the source. Therefore if I wrote a song, then I OWNED IT. But that's not how I truly feel in my heart. Now, if I write a song, anyone can play it and use parts of it and if they wish, claim that they wrote it. I really don't care. I serve the music, not myself. And just playing music brings me happiness. I don't need any validation. I don't need people telling me how amazing my songs are. I'm not attached to that.

But it SEEMS TO ME, that the guitarist we're talking about here IS attached to that. I'm not saying that this is how things are, but how they appear to be from my perspective. That guy is addicted to validation and needs aknowledgment from everyone around him. He might not show it, but it comes forth in situations like this.

I would propably just tell him to grow up. If he doesn't get it, then that's that. Talent is not a face value. If you're not mature enough to be in a band, then that's it for me. Of course everyone values different things, but that's my order of importance.
Quote by axemanchris

There are lots of reasons why basic literacy and the ability to communicate effectively is considered essential to a society.

That brought a tear to my eye. haha.

In a situation where there are two or more free thinking and reative people, communucation is key. And in a band, it comes down to "what can we do to make this sound amazing?"
could also be the way you "communicated" the ideas. to help "speed things up". If you did it because you were getting impatient it might have come across condescending or in a manner that made the other guitarist feel stupid.

Listen to what your band mate is saying when he expresses his feelings. Try to understand exactly why he was upset by listening to him (not an internet forums general opinion).

Reassure him you were not trying to upstage him but just trying to act as an interpreter. Tell him you understood what he was saying and the structure of the song, that you could see the drummer was having trouble, and you thought you could help but that you didn't mean to step on any ones toes.

Tell him you're sorry it made him feel the way it does and discuss with him how he would like you to deal with the same situation should it arise again. It might require you to be more patient and just let him try to deal with his song his way. Maybe it will take him a while to explain but just hang in there he may end up turning to you for help anyway.

Also next time he shows you the song repeat it back to him how you understand it in a kind of question. Oh so it's 16 bars in the verse and then 8 bars in the chorus. etc. Maybe in that situation you could have explained it back to the guitarist in a way the drummer would understand rather than straight to the drummer.

I don't know if that makes sense but best of luck.
Explain to the guitarist that your talking about the same thing, your just using names that he/she doesn't know because they did it by themselves.
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Theory is descriptive, not prescriptive.

Quote by MiKe Hendryckz
theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.
Why is he pissed? You didnt alter his song in any way, just told the drummer the time sig?

did I get that right?

No reason to be upset if you ask me
Quote by Redwingsrock
Why is he pissed? You didnt alter his song in any way, just told the drummer the time sig?

did I get that right?

No reason to be upset if you ask me

Yeah man you're right. I really didn't think it warranted his reaction.

However after reading alot of the posts here, I think I can see a solution to this problem. To be honest, I did kind of cut in, and direct the drummer. I realise now that it would've been better to say. 'Hey guys, I've an idea, if ya don't mind, about how to map this out for the drummer'. That way I think I could've avoided hurting this guys feelings & making him feel inadequate etc.

Thanks for everyones input, it's seriously helped actually.!
you should both team up and get pissed at the drummer. Be all like "if the drummer wasnt soo stupid, I wouldnt have had to explain it to him like that"

of course, I am just kidding
If your guitarist is offended when your trying to help make thier music work, what the hell is the point of being in a band?
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Theory is descriptive, not prescriptive.

Quote by MiKe Hendryckz
theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.