#1
Alright, I have a few bands at the moment, and one of my two best friends is in the one I will be talking about. We had a practice friday where we worked out 2 songs that we had about half done. We have 2 guitarists a drummer and a singer. We started up one of the songs and the singer (my friend) was singing off key a bit, but we finished the song. Then the otehr guitarist and I very casually said, "Hey man, the song is in E and you were singing in D, do you think you could fix that?" And he threw his arms up in the air and practically yelled "Well, I don't know keys or anything, so!!" So we just told him to sing a bit higher or lower (hoping it'd work out) And in this song, both the guitarist and I have 8 measure improved guitar solos.

Then he got on drums for a minute and he and I showed the other two an instrumental part we did, so then the other guitarist took off his guitar decided to sing this one. He listened to the song in full once, then the next time through he came up with an entire melody from lyrics he had, on the fly, in one take.

Our singer left on a high note, but us three got talking. He's the least musical member of our band, we all understand scales and keys and stuff, and he goes with the '3 chords and the truth, it's about the music not the technicality' idea. Which none of us really care for. He jokes about it sometimes, but other times he gives backhanded compliments like he's calling me or my more musical friends know it alls, as if we're pretentious, which we are not.

Also, he is (was) the drummer in my metalcore band, in which my other best friend is the vocalist, but the drummer from band 1 joined and he's much better, so he's the drummer now.

If this stuff happens on a regular basis, should we tell him that we don't want to play with him? We probably will, but I'm just asking for advice. He's a great friend, but he just doesn't learn stuff that he needs. And we could try to teach him but I wonder if he'd cooperate, and it'd really drag us down practice wise.

Also just to add, my metalcore vocalist (and best friend ever) isn't a very musical guy, but he actually wants to learn stuff and puts time in to learning keys and notes on his bass, etc, while the other guy doesn't really.
Quote by willT08
Quote by HowSoonisNow
How was Confucius death metal?
You've clearly never read any Confuscius.

As I wait on the edge of the earth,
I can see the walls being torn down again
Only to be rebuilt in another name,
On a different day
Last edited by thePTOD at Aug 22, 2011,
#2
You need to have a serious conversation with him.

This isn't a "we're breaking up with you" conversation.

Rather, it's a "this is the musical direction we want to go with the band ... are you willing to come with us on that road, recognizing that it means you're going to have to work on these things?" conversation.

He's your friend and someone you've been playing with for a while, so he deserves to be given the option. Heck, you may talk to him about what you want to do and he may say, "Well, I like playing with you guys, but that's not for me," which would have him leaving the band with no hard feelings.

I think bands can survive different levels of skill and experience ... but they can't survive different levels of commitment and effort. Not talking to him will hurt your friendship - don't let it fester. My band at the moment may be on the verge of blowing up because my drummer wasn't capable of having a mature conversation about his concerns in a timely manner.

It sounds like his ego gets in the way of being given notes, and that he feels self-conscious when you guys correct him, lashing out because of it. It's hard when your bandmates criticize what you're doing - very few musicians don't have their feelings hurt when that happens. But sometimes the guys who have the weakest technical chops are the most sensitive about this sort of stuff - it's their sense of self, not their skills, that they're putting out their, so criticism is personal.

Therefore your conversation should include a lot of phrases like, "We love your energy and passion." "We think you bring a lot to the band." and "We want to keep playing with you," before you get to stuff like, "Your technical limitations are holding you back from being the best singer you can be." "Improving your technique won't hurt your energy."

And be prepared for him to take it badly no matter how well you phrase it. He may stomp out of the room pissed. But you know what? Give him 48 hours. Give him time to cool down and think about what you said, to vent about what dicks you all are and then to come back and say - if he wants to - "You know what, you're right, let's find a way to do this."

Maybe he won't. But if you treat it like that, no matter what, you'll come out of it with the friendship intact (after a little while, at least).
#3
Not a lot of people who don't play a theory reliant instrument know more than the basics about music. Most singers and drummers, I mean. If he can't understand "sing higher/lower" (I don't think most singers consider the name of the notes they sing. I don't.) he might just be a bad singer, so fire him, or get some earplugs or a monitor so he can hear better. If he's being uncooperative and confrontational, fire him. Simple, huh?
#4
I think both of you are right. I considered him a musician, but given his lack of knowledge of... Anything really (doesn't know notes, keys, scales, just plays open and barre chords) and his lashing out (he gets mad at me and pretends like I think anything less technical than dream theater is horrible, his indie is the best hipster attitude) and the fact that he doesn't even try to learn anything, I don't really think I consider him a musician anymore. I want him to get better but I can't force him.

My best friend, on the other hand, doesn't know music theory, but he actually tries and wants to learn. Any tips on how I should go about teaching him basics, any general order?
Quote by willT08
Quote by HowSoonisNow
How was Confucius death metal?
You've clearly never read any Confuscius.

As I wait on the edge of the earth,
I can see the walls being torn down again
Only to be rebuilt in another name,
On a different day
#5
Quote by thePTOD
Any tips on how I should go about teaching him basics, any general order?


Generally it major/minor scale construction, chord construction, chord functions/cadences, tension/release. Throw in circle of 5th somewhere in there (or just give it to him with scales) and hell have solid basics. Later on you can go into different scales, substitute chords etc. But those first things are essential basics, teach him those to be on he same page when talking about music
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#6
Quote by hr113
Generally it major/minor scale construction, chord construction, chord functions/cadences, tension/release. Throw in circle of 5th somewhere in there (or just give it to him with scales) and hell have solid basics. Later on you can go into different scales, substitute chords etc. But those first things are essential basics, teach him those to be on he same page when talking about music


Alright, thanks. He's a vocalist and a bass player, so I might not touch on the chord construction/functions too much, but I'll give him the basics. If I can get him to tell me one day 'Hey man, I made a riff in E minor in 3/4' I would feel accomplished.
Quote by willT08
Quote by HowSoonisNow
How was Confucius death metal?
You've clearly never read any Confuscius.

As I wait on the edge of the earth,
I can see the walls being torn down again
Only to be rebuilt in another name,
On a different day