#1
So I'm 14 and having some band problems that need to be sorted out and needed some insight.

I'm the guitarist, singer and songwriter in a punk rock trio with a drummer who's a long time friend of mine, and a bassist/singer/songwirter who we have a strange relationship with. We're all friends from middle school and we're a year into the band, but our bassist is an absolute bitch. I could write you an essay about why but I'll save you the time and give you the bottom line.

1. He's given a lot to the band musically, it's our personal relationship that's the problem
2. He's uptight in a teen-age punk band.... we want to **** around and maybe make some music and he wants to get shit done all the time he's no fun, he makes band time boring
3. He has made allusions that he wants to find another bassist and play lead guitar because "bass sucks I'm a guitarist" <----- This will never happen as I believe punk should never have two guitarists, you barley need one


So should we work through our differences or is this irreconcilable?

And how hard is it to find someone who can play some kick-ass bass and like it? He's not bad at bass but he doesn't take it seriously as he only practices guitar and I write all the basslines, but I don't want to be in a band with a bassist who wants to play guitar.
#2
Easy, talk to him about it. If he doesn't want to work something out find someone else
#3
There's a number of issues in your situation, I'll go through them in turn.

Quote by TheWEBBY
2. He's uptight in a teen-age punk band.... we want to **** around and maybe make some music and he wants to get shit done all the time he's no fun, he makes band time boring


I have no idea what you're talking about here. If you're talking about him wanting to use practice time effectively and work on songs bit-by-bit, whilst you and the drummer want to jam between every song, I'm on his side.

Rehearsals are methodical, and can be "boring". It's all about making sure your songs are as tight as possible for gigs. At home you can play around all you want.

Quote by TheWEBBY
3. He has made allusions that he wants to find another bassist and play lead guitar because "bass sucks I'm a guitarist" <----- This will never happen as I believe punk should never have two guitarists, you barley need one


I think that's bad attitude from you both. He signed up to be a bassist, there's no real reason given that his role should differ. Then there's your opinion "punk should never have two guitarists", which is both closed minded and perhaps suggests that you want to be the only guitarist in the band to get credit or something :P

Quote by TheWEBBY
So should we work through our differences or is this irreconcilable?


Your main problem is that he's "uptight" and this is explained by saying he wants to approach practice in a different way. If you can't buckle down and focus on the songs, I'd quit if I was him personally, but you can just kick him out and claim "artistic differences".


Quote by TheWEBBY
And how hard is it to find someone who can play some kick-ass bass and like it? He's not bad at bass but he doesn't take it seriously as he only practices guitar and I write all the basslines, but I don't want to be in a band with a bassist who wants to play guitar.


If he doesn't enjoy playing bass, he shouldn't be in the band at all. All my bassists have enjoyed playing bass. I'm a guitarist primarily and enjoy playing bass. To write good basslines he'll have to put in some more time at home working on them, and perhaps brush up on some music theory.

However, I'm being a little harsh, you guys are all around 14. Just take this band as a learning experience and apply what you've learnt to future bands.
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#4
Quote by TheWEBBY
This will never happen as I believe punk should never have two guitarists, you barley need one


The Clash would like a word with you....

Sounds to me like you are not playing real punk but bubble gum pop punk. If your in a band you need a certain amount of dedication but it still should be fun. Why not comprise and try to do both. If your just messing about with it then you arent really in a band your a group of friends who just mess about with instruments. Being in a band is hard work but also a lot of fun.

Why not try his idea out it may be a good thing in the end.
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#5
solution: Find another bassist, have your current bassist try lead guitar, if it doesn't work out with two guitars you already have a new bassist.
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#6
I would say the problem here is that you're both looking for different things from the band. I can easily see your point of view, you're very young and just want to have some fun and gain a little experience playing with people, and you can't really expect much more than that from a band at 14, you're most probably not going to start gigging or getting known yet, so I actually agree with your point of view on this one.

Also, most people these days seem to want to play lead guitar, finding a good dedicated bassist is very difficult from what I've seen, but if he joined a band as a bass player, I don't know what else he really expected to happen other than him playing bass

One solution may be, because you write all the basslines and he practices guitar a lot, maybe you could play bass and he could play guitar?
#7
Quote by Mithaearon
The Clash would like a word with you....


Dropkick Murphys would also like a word with you. So would Bad Religion, they have 3 guitar players on their current roster. I'm sure I could find 10 more successful punk bands that have multiple guitarists if I cared to research it. Honestly, having a 2nd guitarist really gives you a lot more creative space to work in.

It really seems like you two have different visions about what the band should be. My suggestion would be to sit down with him, talk like adults, figure out what all your issues are exactly and see if you can reach some compromises. Try him out on lead guitar for a couple weeks, see if he works out. Maybe have half your practices be fun, half of them be focused, that way you're getting stuff done but breaking the monotony. If you really can't work out your issues, though, remember that your band is your hobby, you're doing it for fun, and if you don't like the situation you're in you have to change your situation, which may mean letting your bassist go.
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#8
I've done it a million times- 9 times out of 10 if your bass player is primarily a guitarist, he'll never be happy playing bass and it will severely affect his performance. Find someone who's content with not being the center of attention all the time.
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#9
I'll go through the issues here that I have. These are just my issues, but they are strong opinions of mine.

Quote by TheWEBBY


1. He's given a lot to the band musically, it's our personal relationship that's the problem
That's a problem that should be worked out. This is a valid point for you.
2. He's uptight in a teen-age punk band.... we want to **** around and maybe make some music and he wants to get shit done all the time he's no fun, he makes band time boring
I understand that you're teenagers, but so are all the kids in my band. We work. We play our songs. We do a lot of ****ing around, but we save it for after practice. We practice, jam, and write for three hours, than play video games. That's why we have over 15 songs that we've written that we have in our setlist. If writing and practicing your band's songs isn't fun for you, you have no business being in a band. Either grow up, or stop. You can dick around on your own time. If you really wanna be in a band, get somebody who doesn't mind not getting anywhere.
3. He has made allusions that he wants to find another bassist and play lead guitar because "bass sucks I'm a guitarist" <----- This will never happen as I believe punk should never have two guitarists, you barley need one
Like somebody said, this is closed-mindedness.


So should we work through our differences or is this irreconcilable?

And how hard is it to find someone who can play some kick-ass bass and like it? He's not bad at bass but he doesn't take it seriously as he only practices guitar and I write all the basslines, but I don't want to be in a band with a bassist who wants to play guitar.

In the end, you need to get your priorities straight. I'm sorry if I came off as harsh, but if somebody in my band wants to dick around, I tell them they can do so, but not on our time. When we're in practice, we're in practice. We can have fun and jam on nonsense, but we only allow that because many of our songs get written that way. We start with retarded bullshit, polish it, and end up with a great sounding song.
Again, sorry for harshness.
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#10
Quote by AlanHB

I have no idea what you're talking about here. If you're talking about him wanting to use practice time effectively and work on songs bit-by-bit, whilst you and the drummer want to jam between every song, I'm on his side.


Yeah but if TS and the drummer just want to have fun and jam then all the power to them. I don't think anyone's right here, maybe the band just isn't right for the bassist who obviously wants a more serious project as a guitarist.
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#11
Quote by AlanHB
There's a number of issues in your situation, I'll go through them in turn.


I have no idea what you're talking about here. If you're talking about him wanting to use practice time effectively and work on songs bit-by-bit, whilst you and the drummer want to jam between every song, I'm on his side.

Rehearsals are methodical, and can be "boring". It's all about making sure your songs are as tight as possible for gigs. At home you can play around all you want.


I think that's bad attitude from you both. He signed up to be a bassist, there's no real reason given that his role should differ. Then there's your opinion "punk should never have two guitarists", which is both closed minded and perhaps suggests that you want to be the only guitarist in the band to get credit or something :P


Your main problem is that he's "uptight" and this is explained by saying he wants to approach practice in a different way. If you can't buckle down and focus on the songs, I'd quit if I was him personally, but you can just kick him out and claim "artistic differences".


If he doesn't enjoy playing bass, he shouldn't be in the band at all. All my bassists have enjoyed playing bass. I'm a guitarist primarily and enjoy playing bass. To write good basslines he'll have to put in some more time at home working on them, and perhaps brush up on some music theory.

However, I'm being a little harsh, you guys are all around 14. Just take this band as a learning experience and apply what you've learnt to future bands.


This guy knows what he's talking about.
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#12
Another idea- now, I'm under the impression you guys are looking to form something pretty damn standard from your 2 guitarist angle, but bear with me here- tell him to work some of his lead riffs a couple octaves down on the bass as a bassline. You don't have to have boring repetative standard pop punk basslines of eighth or sixteenth note root notes being strummed all over. Tell him to get melodic!

As far as personal issues go- A band, if you are striving to be successful, is much like a job. At 14 I'm not sure if you're a working man or not, but if you are you'll know that there are a LOT of people in the work place that will downright piss you off. You either grin and bear it or try and reasonably work it out so that you can continue doing your job successfully. Same applies to a band. Either realize that you are in the band to work and put your issues aside or find some time to talk it out peacefully with the dude.

There's my 2 cents.