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#1
I come to you as a troubled bassist in a relatively new band.

Our band is currently a quintet with 2 guitarists, a bassist (me), a drummer, and a singer. Me and one of the guitarists formed the band a few months ago to advance in what was pretty much just jam sessions.

About 2 weeks ago we finally found a singer (we are from a small city) through the other guitarist in the band. It was all good (our lead guitarist and I had already written some music and lyrics, prior to the band forming, and just put them together) and we were all pretty happy.

These first few songs had almost no input from the singer or the other guitarist, but I thought nothing of it because it was pretty much just pre-written stuff.

It was all good until these last few practices. We would sit down to write music, but our lead guitarist would always find some way to complain. For example, today (while waiting for the singer to come over) we jammed a little bit. After a song, the rhythm guitarist asked for a second to tune. The lead guitarist FLIPPED! In essence what he said was "If you would spend the time that you spend tuning that guitar practicing, we would be amazing!"

We are all high school kids without jobs or any source of income and the lead guitarist was basically telling of the other guitarist because he didn't have a Floyd rose trem in his guitar.

So after the complaining finally dies down, and we can sit and practice everything is good. It's all good until we start to write some new stuff. I'll use today as an example:

The singer had written up some lyrics that were really, really good. Everyone loved them (except for the lead guitarist) and we were really excited to start writing. The lead guitarist had said that he had already written some music that we wanted to use, so we listened to it. It was a nice slow piece and we started talking about how that would be perfect to lead into a heavy part. All of the sudden the guitarist flipped again and started yelling at us about how all we want is heavy stuff (keep in mind this kid is the darkest minded/heaviest minded of all of us)

I then pointed out that in the lyrics, it obviously had a perfect room for the song to pick up speed and the singer agreed that that was how we wanted it to be. The guitarist got pissed so we decided to move on to writing a chorus. The rhythm guitarist wrote a quick riff and asked the singer how he liked it. The singer told him to raise the pitch a little bit, the rhythm guitarist did, and the singer was like "That's it! It's perfect." So, the rhythm guitarist turns to the lead guitarist and starts to teach him the riff. The lead guitarist plays it once and says "I don't like it, we're doing this." And writes pretty much the exact opposite of the riff that the singer had envisioned.

That is pretty much how every band practice goes and no one but the lead guitarist can make any decisions. Is there anyway to talk the guitarist into compromising more and bossing less?

TL;DR - Band needs guitarist to compromise, any tips?

EDIT: And let me add that kicking the guitarist out is no option. The drummer is the brother of the guitarist and the practice room (sound proofed basement) is at the guitarist's house.
Quote by imdeth
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Last edited by RG5EX1 at Dec 4, 2009,
#2
We had a guitarist like that once. got rid of him. It sounds like he doesn't fit at all but idk what you want to do with him. Just sit him down and explain that he needs to compromise too. If that doesn't work, just keep outvoting him 4 to 1 and make it hell on him. He will either shape up or quit of his own accord.
By any chance does he play an Ibanez? lol
Last edited by jdrier21 at Dec 4, 2009,
#3
punch him. square in the nose.
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#4
Quote by jdrier21
We had a guitarist like that once. got rid of him. It sounds like he doesn't fit at all. By any chance does he play an Ibanez? lol


Yes
Quote by imdeth
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This signature feels so empty now.
#5
I would just tell him off. Tell him that the band is a democracy, not a dictatorship. Tell him that if he really hates a part, you'll take his opinion into consideration, but he can't veto every contribution from the other members.
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#6
Quote by DaddyTwoFoot
I would just tell him off. Tell him that the band is a democracy, not a dictatorship. Tell him that if he really hates a part, you'll take his opinion into consideration, but he can't veto every contribution from the other members.


After I left practice about 30 minutes ago I sent him a text saying

"Bands are about compromise. Keep an open mind towards everyone"
Quote by imdeth
You're like internet Jesus!

This signature feels so empty now.
#7
Quote by jdrier21
By any chance does he play an Ibanez? lol

This is exactly what I thought.
#8
Quote by RG5EX1
Yes


OMG!! my worst fears were right. idk, something about Ibanez turns ppl into Nazis cuz that's what my old guitarist played. He was a cocky SOB and though he knew everything about being in a band and tried to control all of us. we just sat down one day and told him how it was. Oh well, like I said, just try having a civilized chat with him
#10
Quote by jdrier21
btw, I dont mean to turn this into a "Hating on Ibanez" forum. but it is a funny coincidence.


Don't worry, I have 3 Ibanez guitars and I don't think I'm a douchebag.
Quote by imdeth
You're like internet Jesus!

This signature feels so empty now.
#11
Quote by RG5EX1
Don't worry, I have 3 Ibanez guitars and I don't think I'm a douchebag.

Well you aren't taking me serious, that means you are like everyone else I know
Ibanez arent bad, just not my thing.
Good luck with your band. I know what you are going through and it's not fun. If your guitarist keeps trying to take over the band then he will most likely ruin it for all the rest of you. Music is something that is made to be fun and played in the company of friends. when you lose that, you lose the music.
btw, bitch-slap that guitarist for me.
#12
Quote by jdrier21
Well you aren't taking me serious, that means you are like everyone else I know
Ibanez arent bad, just not my thing.
Good luck with your band. I know what you are going through and it's not fun. If your guitarist keeps trying to take over the band then he will most likely ruin it for all the rest of you. Music is something that is made to be fun and played in the company of friends. when you lose that, you lose the music.
btw, bitch-slap that guitarist for me.


Thanks man

I just got a text from the singer and another from the rhythm guitarist and it turns out that they sat down the lead guitarist and told him what they thought about him. It seems that things are turning out better. I hope they stay like this.
Quote by imdeth
You're like internet Jesus!

This signature feels so empty now.
#13
I really don't know a reliable way to handle a control freak.

In the cases you described, I think each individual needs to stand up for themselves, and you guys need to back each other up. If you all allow him to be a dick, he isn't going to stop. If you stand up to him, he'll either get the message that you won't put up with him, and change his behavior, or he'll get all torqued up and quit. Either way, the band will be better off.
#14
Your question isn't actually "How do I deal with this person?" Your question is "How do I change this person so that he is easier to deal with?" And the problem is, you cannot. You cannot force somebody to change unless they want to. So you have 3 options: Continue to suffer, kick him out now, or reason with him and explain that if he doesn't change, he will be booted. Take your pick, and then stick to it.
Since you say that kicking him out isn't a viable option, that leaves you with another choice: what's more important, being in a band that makes you miserable or not being in a band at all?
#15
Idealy, you need to confront him as a band.
Then say, "Is everything OK at home? Have you got some serious personal problems or anything? Because you seem to be flying off the handle a lot just recently."
Then when he says "No, I'm not having any personal problems." ask him why he keeps flying off the handle and acting so bossy all the time, emphasising that his "strange behaviour" has you all a "little worried."
Eventualy, after some straight talking and soul searching, the whole band, lead guitarist included, will come to the conclusion that that's just the way he is, but that he is definately the odd one out. This is when you tell him that the rest of you would actualy quite like to enjoy being in this band and collaborate together to write music. Tell him that everyone else in the band is doing it for the "sheer joy of music", while he is taking all the joy away for you all.
Tell him that you all like him as a guy and a mate but in the band situation he has a kinda Jeckle and Hyde thing going which is greatly affecting the whole band.

By now, he's expecting to be sacked.

Then tell him, that if he can't change his attitude at rehersals and can't appreciate that the band is run as a democracy not his own private little dictatorship, then you will all have to "Let him go".

As koslack just said, "You cannot force somebody to change unless they want to." so the trick is to make him really want to change. That's why you start off by asking questions about his personal problems and touch upon any mental health issues he might have.
To start with, that immediately stops him flipping out at you while you talk about such a touchy subject because you are acting 'concerned' not 'authoritively'. Quite often, an egotistical musician will hear that and say to themselves "Damn. Is that what they really think of me!!?" it will seem like a revelation to them, and almost all people with large egos crave popularity, so in effect, you're using their own ego against them to help you solve the problem.
#16
I agree with you guys, I think he's a douche, but I like to play devil's advocate around here...

any chance he's right? I mean, does your rythm guitarist come up with generally lame(r) riffs? Is your lead guy actually a capable, knowledgeable guitarist/musician, or is he just a dick who thinks he's the next van halen. Where do the rest of you stand in terms of skill, musicality, knowledge, etc.?

the reason I ask is because I've been on both sides of that coin... I've had a douche bag in a band of mine who, more often than not, wrote some cool stuff, but sometimes his stuff just didn't fit, and he'd be a prick and flip out whenever someone else would disagree with him. at the same time, I've been in bands where no one else had any concept of harmony, melody, structure, theory, etc., and much of what the other members presented was, at best, re-workable into something decent. I always had to be the bad guy to them, but at the same time they knew I knew wtf I was talking about, and I wasn't a dick about it, so they usually just went with it... on the other hand, I left that group pretty quickly just because instead of everyone else stepping up their game and making an effort to learn, more and more of the responsibility was shifted onto my shoulders. That, and I was also managing us... and we didn't have what it takes as a group to really do squat. In fact, neither group lasted long with their original lineups.

you might very well be right about this guy, and I assume you are, but try to put yourself in his shoes if for no other reason than to verify your position.
#17
Quote by GrisKy
I agree with you guys, I think he's a douche, but I like to play devil's advocate around here...

any chance he's right? I mean, does your rythm guitarist come up with generally lame(r) riffs? Is your lead guy actually a capable, knowledgeable guitarist/musician, or is he just a dick who thinks he's the next van halen. Where do the rest of you stand in terms of skill, musicality, knowledge, etc.?

the reason I ask is because I've been on both sides of that coin... I've had a douche bag in a band of mine who, more often than not, wrote some cool stuff, but sometimes his stuff just didn't fit, and he'd be a prick and flip out whenever someone else would disagree with him. at the same time, I've been in bands where no one else had any concept of harmony, melody, structure, theory, etc., and much of what the other members presented was, at best, re-workable into something decent. I always had to be the bad guy to them, but at the same time they knew I knew wtf I was talking about, and I wasn't a dick about it, so they usually just went with it... on the other hand, I left that group pretty quickly just because instead of everyone else stepping up their game and making an effort to learn, more and more of the responsibility was shifted onto my shoulders. That, and I was also managing us... and we didn't have what it takes as a group to really do squat. In fact, neither group lasted long with their original lineups.

you might very well be right about this guy, and I assume you are, but try to put yourself in his shoes if for no other reason than to verify your position.


Both guitarists are on the exact same level musically. I only used the term rhythm and lead guitarist for the simplicity reasons in writing out that wall of text. The only difference in the two guitarists is that the rhythm guitarist does more alternative picking, while the lead guitarist does more just heavy riffs.

Putting myself in his shoes: I guess I can see why he wants to change everything, he is just a leader at heart (so am I, but I try to control it so I don't look like a douche) but I still think he needs to step back and realize that the rest of us have a good sense of music too (we all do too).

Like I said in a few posts above, it sounds like the singer and the rhythm guitarist sat him down and talked to him and then when I asked about practice a few hours later I got these replies:

ME: "Practice going any better?"

Rhythm Guitarist: "Yeah!"

Singer: "Yeah, i got some goooooood lyrics written"

I'm hoping that things are going good, and I guess I'll find out next practice.
Quote by imdeth
You're like internet Jesus!

This signature feels so empty now.
#19
If your little asshole of a friend isn't that talented, get rid of him or start another band. Use his place for rehearsal? Rent somewhere. Jump a sinking ship.

If he's Richie Blackmore in more than just c*ntish attitude, ie.) is actually very good/phenonemal, then sure, by all means, do what he says.

EDIT - SlackerBabbath's advice is, as standard, very good. See how it turns out winning him over.
Last edited by BrianApocalypse at Dec 5, 2009,
#20
Quote by GrisKy
wait, are you not at your band's practice? if so, why?


We had practice yesterday from 4 until an undetermined time. I stayed until 8:00, but everyone else stayed until around 10:00. So, no, I was not there for that 2 hour gap.

Quote by BrianApocalypse
If your little asshole of a friend isn't that talented, get rid of him or start another band. Use his place for rehearsal? Rent somewhere. Jump a sinking ship.

If he's Richie Blackmore in more than just c*ntish attitude, ie.) is actually very good/phenonemal, then sure, by all means, do what he says.

EDIT - SlackerBabbath's advice is, as standard, very good. See how it turns out winning him over.


He is pretty talented and has a good creative sense. The only problem is that his music would be phenomenal if it were instrumental. He wants a solo in every intro and verse and constantly needs reminding that our singer needs to room to...well...sing!
Quote by imdeth
You're like internet Jesus!

This signature feels so empty now.
#21
Quote by RG5EX1
He is pretty talented and has a good creative sense. The only problem is that his music would be phenomenal if it were instrumental. He wants a solo in every intro and verse and constantly needs reminding that our singer needs to room to...well...sing!


I'm sorry, but "pretty talented" and "good creative sense", do not=phenomenal anything. It equals good. Phenomenal is a superlative adjective, which usually describes something that is far above average, not just a bit above average.

Let me put it this way, unless this guy is truly wonderful, his solos aren't really going to cut it(over and over and over...). I'm assuming he isn't on a SRV, Hendrix, etc. level. For most bands, the vocals are actually more important in my mind. This is just my opinion, but I've played quite a few shows, and I've seen bands loose an audience, because their lead guitarist wants to musically masturbate in front of an audience. It my be fun for him, but boring as hell for almost everyone else in the room. Of course, I could be wrong.
#22
Quote by RG5EX1

He is pretty talented and has a good creative sense. The only problem is that his music would be phenomenal if it were instrumental. He wants a solo in every intro and verse and constantly needs reminding that our singer needs to room to...well...sing!

Explain about 'monotony' to him. If every song has a solo in the intro and verse, then that will look like every song is written to the same formula, it may be great to play, but to an audience it'll sound monotonous, even boring.
The secret to holding an audience's attention is 'variety' and sometimes, it's even advantagious to have no solos at all in some songs, if they suit it, to gain that variety.
#23
Dude, people like that get on my nerves so bad. Seriously just out vote every decision he tries to make if everyone else likes it, just say "I like [it] so and so likes [it] and he likes [it] you're the only one that doesn't so we're keeping it"
#24
Here's a post I made on a very similar topic about a singer. Note that Lead Singer's Disease doesn't just strike lead singers. Kinda like Lou Gehrig's disease doesn't just affect Lou Gehrig. Lead guitarists are the second largest group of casualties of this debilitating affliction.

Awww.... Lead Singers' Disease. It can strike anyone, and the results are often catastrophic. Bands broken. Friends become estranged. Substance abuse. Frighteningly, it is an affliction that has drastic effects on about 70-85% of singers. The young are more at-risk, but only because very few singers actually sing past the age of 25 - their careers cut short by this cruel and divisive affliction.

There are no known cures, but some treatments are known to have varying levels of success.

1. Confront him - nicely if possible (you wouldn't approach a tiger by running up to it and screaming would you?) - and inform him he has this disease. Denial is always the first stage. Anger soon follows, but acceptance can be achieved. Tell him that his singing career - not just with you, but with others - can be cut short by this dreadful disease. Like lepers in the bible, most people tend to stay away from these people... even if they are otherwise good people. Only saints seem to be able to endure them without peril.

2. If he can't recognize this disease through you or on his own, he must be taken directly to someone who can fix him. This doctor is typically someone who serves as a musical role model to him, and one that he respects fully. This doctor will give him a dose of 'this is how it works in the real world.... or else!!"

If getting an expert to give his head a shake doesn't work, then nothing will. Call a priest to come and sprinkle him with holy oil, and say some prayers over his body. Wish him well, and assure him that you will see him in his next life.



Now if you do wind up firing his @ss, it's not the end of the world if you need to find another drummer and another place to practice. Sure, it's a bummer, but you can't let people like that hold power over you because of some arbitrary possession or relationship or whatever.

CT
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.
#25
Kick him out. Plenty of bands have done perfectly well without a lead guitarist. Unless it's a speed-metal band or a big country band, I have always thought multiple guitars were redundant. I mean Sabbath only has one guitar, Johnny Ramone only played lead on three songs plus he never solo'd and RCHP is a single axe band. He is there as an extra, like a acoustic rhythm guitarist or a electric violin. Tell him that he is superfluous and the band doesn't NEED him.

OMG!! my worst fears were right. idk, something about Ibanez turns ppl into Nazis cuz that's what my old guitarist played. He was a cocky SOB and though he knew everything about being in a band and tried to control all of us.


It's not that Ibanez turns people into nazi's. Its just it's the type of guitar that appeals to people who are already like that. But I'm not saying all Ibanez fans are douchebags. It's just statistically more plausible that a band controlling egomaniac would chose a guitar that looks more metal than your common Strat copy. It's a status thing, like "I'm better than you b/c I have an Ibanez and you play on a Squier. Get a real instrument" (This was actually said to me once.)
Actually, I go by Dave, but there are already too many Daves on this forum.


Fender MIM Stratocaster
Fender Jaguar Bass
Epiphone EJ200 Super Jumbo
Fender Excelsior 13w
Acoustic B300HD (with matching 1x12 cab)
BOSS BD-2W
NYC Big Muff Pi
Last edited by kangaxxter at Dec 6, 2009,
#26
Slacker, if you aren't the Messiah, who is? Damn, this news really wrecked my whole day. Sorry, you just made me think of the Pythons--"Life of Brian".
#27
I've had that problem before, and let me tell you, it's not worth staying in a group with someone like that. Everyone gets frustrated at him, eventually everyone will get frustrated at everyone else, and your music will start to suffer because of it. Try to be open-minded to his ideas, but make sure he's clear on the fact that if he's not open-minded as well then you will be gone.
#29
Quote by chokmool
Slacker, if you aren't the Messiah, who is?


How should I know? I assume you're not the Messiah either, so do you know who is?
All I'm saying is... it isn't me.
#30
I am.



CT
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.
#33
It can't be me, I just based my handle here on a Mayan god. I would have no real influence outside of the Americas. Of course, that could change in 2012. Nah, Axeman it is.
#34
as a musical asshole, I found learning to accept the ideas of others is the greatest thing ever. what makes a song perfect is the way the ideas mix, such as letting each band member have a song or two which is solely theirs, then songs that are everyone getting equal say, then 2 people work it out first. this allows me to be a total ass when it comes to what goes where in Paper, Faker, or City Rats, throw in a few thoughts on Icarus, Blinding, or Look Into My Eyes, and let others do the work with White Shirt, The Dancer, or Childlife.

try it.
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Quote by Jason Jillard
HUMANITY WHATS WRONG WITH YOU.


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#35
I've said here before, whomever is the primary songwriter can be dictatorial, that's true in our band. That does not mean that the writer will not take suggestions. Anyone who comes up with an idea gets consideration. If we try it, and it works, it's in, if it doesn't it's out. None of us get offended if our idea didn't work.

That said, the primary writer has what could also be described as a director's cut. Ultimately it is up to the writer what gets played, or not. Again, none of us take offense to that.
#36
I hate to disappoint you guys, but the messiah was a hitch-hiker in Utah... WAS.


...I canibalized him.

Hey, gimme a break. I was hungry!
#37
Quote by GrisKy
I hate to disappoint you guys, but the messiah was a hitch-hiker in Utah... WAS.


...I canibalized him.

Hey, gimme a break. I was hungry!


Dad likes you. He has some anger issues, and he can be tough, but he's fair.
See you at the Fire Lake. BTW there are plenty of musicians here.
#39
post up the singer's version of a song, and the rest of the band's version, and we'll decide for u what 2 do =) It's obvious that the lead guitarist is very stubborn in his ways, which isn't exactly the healthiest thing 4 a band... however, it should be noted that maybe his narrow-mindedness is his quest for perfection in music. (In other words, maybe you guys are fine with a simpler, less original melody/instrumental/etc, whereas he has higher standards, which could be good for the band in the long run) All I'm saying is he's being unreasonable, yes, however, some of the most famous musicians/vocalists got there by having a vision and not compromising on it. So you should use this forum to get the opinions from many experienced musicians on what is better.
#40
We used to have someone just like that in my band. Our first gig he insisted on using his own amp which has a broken tube amp that sounded like shit, even though he had access to a much better amp.

Also we cover alot of foo fighters, and other bands like that, and he was more of a metallica and system of a down kind of guy.

Plus we really wasn't that great, and was always arqueing with me and the other 2 band members.

So we kicked him out, end of story. Since then we have played almost 10 gigs and are getting known around the town we live in. And he is still struggling to start another band, and the people he recruits keep leaving him and all I can do is laugh.

Nufff said.
The pick of destiny wasn't made from the tooth of the devil, it was made from mine.
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