Alright, so my band has been at the grind for the past year, writing non-stop, perfecting, basically just perfecting ourselves until we feel were ready to gig and record. Both of which I still feel are a ways off. But that's not the point. So here's the point. He's unhappy with how much he gets to write. Usually its just me (Rhythm/Vocals) and my Drummer who write. I write the rhythm, sometimes leads and usually lyrics. I like some of the leads he does, but In my opinion the songs flow more with the leads me and the drummer make. He's also mad that we don't use any of his riffs, It's not that I don't want to, most of them just aren't good or don't fit what were going for, he also has recently decided to automatically dislike songs that just me and the drummer write. What should I do to keep him happy? or should I even attempt, I really don't want to lose a band member, dedicated ones are hard to come by where I live.
Quote by herby190
When I saw that, I thought of musical notes.... my elementary school teachers taught them as "tee-tees" "ta-tas" and a bunch of other nonsense....
Be straight up with him. The truth may hurt, but let him have it. Work with him and maybe you can come to a compromise.
Instead of just you and the drummer writing invite him in to the writing process, ask him to make a riff that goes with what you're doing, or when he comes to you with a riff don't try to fit it into a song that you and the drummer already have made instead try to create a new song around that riff.
Like Steven said, just tell him straight up. If he gets mad, oh well, his attitude will only bring you guys down eventually. So tell him straight up, if he changes, good, if he quits, get someone better.
If he wants to write a song, he should just write it.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
I can see where he is frustrated. He has no way in which to express himself creatively if you're just handing him the leads to play and denying all his ideas/input. It seems like now he's backed into a corner and has resorted to disliking all your material simply to try and get a little bit of control in the band.

My advice: If you're already the primary singer, songwriter, and arranger give the lead guitarist at least something he can call his own. It might be out of your comfort zone and it might not as sound as good to YOU at first, but let him have the input and see where it goes from there. Write some songs around his riffs, or work together and mold his riffs to fit passages in your songs.

If it really just isn't working out then it would be better to find a new guitarist that doesn't mind playing the parts you write or one that can write better than the guy you have now.

Just my two cents.
You sound like a perfectionist, and the guitarist sounds like he has a good reason to complain.
You call it "your" band, but it's everyone who's in its band. It's just as much his as it is yours.
You say you don't want to lose him, but why are you treating him in such a way if he's going to be so hard to replace?
You should be thankful that you have someone creative enough who is itching to write his own material. That's not necessarily all that common. I'm sure you can find a good guitarist who will just do as he is told if that's all you want.
Do you guys have the ability to record as a band?
You should record several takes, some of them with the riffs he wants to play, some of the them with the riffs you want him to play, then honestly assess which ones you like better. Or maybe you will get new ideas for songs yourself. Maybe you have a song that you want to sound one way and his riffs don't fit into it, but you can write a new song together where his riffs really do fit in.

I can understand your point if he's like shredding some heavy metal stuff, and you are a blues rock band or whatever. If the styles are just that different that you can't find any common ground then I do see where you are coming from. In that case you should really explain to him the type of style you are going for, and ask him if he really wants to play that type of music.
If he's unhappy with the style he shouldn't be in your band in the first place.
Last edited by Four-Sticks at Aug 30, 2010,
In my band, myself and the other guitar player write about 80%+ of every song individually, bring it to each other, get it to 95%, then teach the rest of the band.

We get excatly what we want out of each song, with minimal influence from others (in most cases). We people hear a recording or watch us play a new song, they can tell who wrote it (Mike or Brett). This works well for us.

You can have more then one sound in a band.
When people listen to us (see below) one song at a time, they don't know where to put us. I love it that way.

So, do mind having the distinction of one song that sounds like one guy wrote it, OR are you trying to make everything a uniform, full band sound??

What sound do you identify with??