#1
So I'm presently in this band with 3 of my best friends who are also excellent musicians (All much better musicians than me). As of right now there are two lead guitarists, a drummer, and I split lead vocals with one of the lead guitarists while also playing rhythm guitar. My fellow vocalist/guitarist is definitely a better guitar player than me, and combined with him having more music theory knowledge than me, I accept that he's much better and much more equipped to write music for the band. I'm fine with all of this. He's also a talented, if inconsistent lyricist, and while he sometimes likes to write Beck-like, nonsensical lyrics, he's certainly capable of writing good, heartfelt lyrics as well.

However, at our most recent practice he decided that he would bring out his big notebook of lyrics/poems and say "So guys, I'm pretty much the band's lyricist, right?" and insist that any time we need lyrics we should just consult the book. When the other guitarist and I suggested that we write the lyrics as a band and make it a group effort, he threw the notebook at me and said "Well go ahead, write us a song. Go." and was pissy for the rest of the practice. What can we do to make sure he knows that his contribution is valued and recognized, while still stressing that it is an equal band and not "This awesome guitarist and these other schmucks"?

Also, of our biggest originals, most of them have been collaborations between all of us, and it's worked out quite well.
#2
Quote by chriscobonham
What can we do to make sure he knows that his contribution is valued and recognized, while still stressing that it is an equal band and not "This awesome guitarist and these other schmucks"?


Just say this (without the "schmucks" line). Do it maturely and calmly, and if he throws a tizzy fit, tell him to screw.
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#3
My answer would be "you have some great ideas for lyrics, but this doesn't mean that this will stop the rest of us from chipping in our parts here and there".

Although the reality probably is that he (or somebody) writes that majority of the lyrics, and only minor changes are made (if any) by the rest of the band, there's no need for him to chuck a hissy fit. Most people are quite happy with everyone knowing it, even if it is unsaid.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#4
maybe he was just having a shitty day? seems like that could be the source of most of these threads, actually.
#5
I'll second the "Having a bad day" sentiment as said above, however...

I don't presume to know how much the writing is split between you guys, but it sounds like he writes the majority of the songs, but everyone says 'you all write together'. It can be frustrating to be the one who, day in and day out, takes the random riffs/one liners that people come up with, arrange them into a song and put full lyrics on top. Then have everyone say they had an equal share in writing everything because they came up with one riff.

Like I said, I don't know who writes most. But take him up on the challenge. Write a full song, with lyrics. Present it at next practice and say, "Here's something I'm working on, what do you guys think so far?". Instead of looking at it like "oh he threw a temper tantrum!" look at it like "Hey, he's normally a level headed guy, why did he throw a temper tantrum?"

Or, he could just be a dick. Only you know.
#7
Quote by Trisonic77
I'll second the "Having a bad day" sentiment as said above, however...

I don't presume to know how much the writing is split between you guys, but it sounds like he writes the majority of the songs, but everyone says 'you all write together'. It can be frustrating to be the one who, day in and day out, takes the random riffs/one liners that people come up with, arrange them into a song and put full lyrics on top. Then have everyone say they had an equal share in writing everything because they came up with one riff.

Like I said, I don't know who writes most. But take him up on the challenge. Write a full song, with lyrics. Present it at next practice and say, "Here's something I'm working on, what do you guys think so far?". Instead of looking at it like "oh he threw a temper tantrum!" look at it like "Hey, he's normally a level headed guy, why did he throw a temper tantrum?"

Or, he could just be a dick. Only you know.


Somewhere in the middle of this. The other lead guitarist has definitely had the most contribution, but it's not like the guy in question has been inactive. However, he is known to have these days where he just wreaks havoc on practices. For instance, when the other guitarist and I were showing him a song (full song with lyrics) that the two of us wrote and teaching him the guitar part he'd be playing, he just sort of riffed around and only half-payed attention. That kind of irritated not only us, but the drummer who has been best friends with this guy and jammed with him for years.
#8
Quote by chriscobonham
Somewhere in the middle of this. The other lead guitarist has definitely had the most contribution, but it's not like the guy in question has been inactive. However, he is known to have these days where he just wreaks havoc on practices. For instance, when the other guitarist and I were showing him a song (full song with lyrics) that the two of us wrote and teaching him the guitar part he'd be playing, he just sort of riffed around and only half-payed attention. That kind of irritated not only us, but the drummer who has been best friends with this guy and jammed with him for years.


Ultimately, the thing you have to do with this sort of behavior is call him out on it - while it's happening.

"Yo, dude, you here to practice or what?"

Don't dwell on it. It calling his attention to it makes it an issue, then have a sit down with him about it.

And if he's going to keep doing it, decide if you want to put up with it or if you want to play with someone else.
#9
Quote by chriscobonham
Somewhere in the middle of this. The other lead guitarist has definitely had the most contribution, but it's not like the guy in question has been inactive. However, he is known to have these days where he just wreaks havoc on practices. For instance, when the other guitarist and I were showing him a song (full song with lyrics) that the two of us wrote and teaching him the guitar part he'd be playing, he just sort of riffed around and only half-payed attention. That kind of irritated not only us, but the drummer who has been best friends with this guy and jammed with him for years.

I actively despise it when people do that (oh god, Loutallica).

Writing a song for a band is different than writing a song for yourself. If you leave his parts open for discussion, he'll be more inclined to pay attention and input, because his input matters. If you sit him down and say "these are your parts, learn them," it kinda kills the mood. If he always tells people what to play in his songs though, then yeah, double standard. I agree with the guy above; nip it in the bud. Ask him if he even likes the song, which may avoid some issues later.

It does sound like he has some control issues though, which are hard to resolve because it's something he has to deal with himself. Chat about it over a beer/refreshing beverage after practice.

Also,
Quote by GrisKy
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But I don't like fish sticks!
#10
I'm in the band with chriscobonham, I'm the other lead guitarist. Last practice the guy he's been talking about was quite irritating throughout the entire practice. The thing is, he's actually moreso the focal point of the covers we're doing instead of the originals. Chris and I wrote a complete song together, and we were trying to show him, and every single time we started something he would just start riffing loudly, but we wasn't even being a joker about it.

We've written a few songs together 'as a band', even though one of us usually has a starting idea, and we together work on it. But our other vocalist/guitarist is very unpredictable.

For example, Chris and I wrote one song together, I wrote a song with the drummer and the other guitarist did a few chords behind it, then we put lyrics he already had to it. Chris and I also wrote another song together which used lyrics from his book, but he had no real contribution to this song other than that. And then I wrote a riff for a song that we worked around and he and I wrote the lyrics together. So, other than guitar solos, he's really written no actual original music so far.

However, he's practically decided that he's the frontman for all of the covers we do. We decide on a song and he goes right to 'okay I'll sing that',etc, practically leaving Chris out of the loop musically, other than playing 3rd rhythm guitar. I don't know if he's threatened about us or what, but he can lash out often.
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
#12
Quote by blake1221
You guys don't have a bassist?


This issue is being looked at.

I'm considering sigging this because of how funny it is I keep hearing we need a bassist.
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
#13
Ive never played in a band. I jam with some guys but Im new at this. However I am coming from the sports world where I have played on (non pro but very competitive) several teams for the last 25 years... first football (US) and currently baseball.
you asked:
What can we do to make sure he knows that his contribution is valued and recognized, while still stressing that it is an equal band and not "This awesome guitarist and these other schmucks"?

I suspect bands, like the sports teams are never equal. Its just a fact of life. You admitted yourself there is a talent gap.

The key thing in EVERY sports team if you want good chemistry is for people to know their roles. No team of any kind, band or otherwise will succeed for an extended period of time without the players knowing their roles.

Aside from that you have the individual egos that may need stroking. Mine never did.. I batted cleanup, pitched, played CF and was essentially the best player on the team (or one of the best) but just because I dont need it doesnt mean others dont. Some guys just need that. If you know your good its easy to lead by example. If the competition or talent is close to equal on the team its more off a challenge.

Your solution:
Is to have a band meeting and be honest. Acknowledge there is friction, understand it comes from the fact that its clear everyone in your band doesnt know their role, or perhaps wants their role expanded and go from there.

Understand if you want your band to work individuals will have to make concessions. You may have to let go of the creative direction and input you thought you had. Your band mates may have to concede some of that control to you.

If the individuals are committed to the success and growth of the band they will work on fitting into their roles, which always means conceding something as an individual. If your band mates see the band as a vessel to further their own ambitions then its going to be more difficult. If thats the case all isnt lost, it just means you have to find some middle ground.
he of tranquil mind
#14
Quote by thePTOD
This issue is being looked at.

I'm considering sigging this because of how funny it is I keep hearing we need a bassist.


Go for it, if you want.

Why do you need three guitarists, though? Sounds like one of you is being stubborn and doesn't want to give up their instrument, no matter how unnecessary they are.
#15
Quote by blake1221
Go for it, if you want.

Why do you need three guitarists, though? Sounds like one of you is being stubborn and doesn't want to give up their instrument, no matter how unnecessary they are.



I play guitar in it, I can solo and write/play interesting things, which is why I play guitar. Our other lead guitarist can generally do the same thing. Chris only plays rhythm guitar occasionally, and just sings most of the time.

We're probably all stubborn towards playing guitar. I don't know if our other guitarist finds bass to be a 'lower' instrument than guitar, but he could actually do that sometimes.
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
#16
Quote by thePTOD
I'm in the band with chriscobonham, I'm the other lead guitarist. Last practice the guy he's been talking about was quite irritating throughout the entire practice. The thing is, he's actually moreso the focal point of the covers we're doing instead of the originals. Chris and I wrote a complete song together, and we were trying to show him, and every single time we started something he would just start riffing loudly, but we wasn't even being a joker about it.

We've written a few songs together 'as a band', even though one of us usually has a starting idea, and we together work on it. But our other vocalist/guitarist is very unpredictable.

For example, Chris and I wrote one song together, I wrote a song with the drummer and the other guitarist did a few chords behind it, then we put lyrics he already had to it. Chris and I also wrote another song together which used lyrics from his book, but he had no real contribution to this song other than that. And then I wrote a riff for a song that we worked around and he and I wrote the lyrics together. So, other than guitar solos, he's really written no actual original music so far.

However, he's practically decided that he's the frontman for all of the covers we do. We decide on a song and he goes right to 'okay I'll sing that',etc, practically leaving Chris out of the loop musically, other than playing 3rd rhythm guitar. I don't know if he's threatened about us or what, but he can lash out often.

I find it's a lot harder to write a song totally "as a band" than writing with one or two other people out of main practice, so I hear you there.

It sounds like he doesn't know how to play nice. The whole "Only use lyrics from the book" is a bit of a dick move. I tend to write the lyrics in my band, but I'm very careful to always ask everyone what they think, if they have ideas for lyrics and generally try to get input. Hell, I beg my bandmates to come up with lyrics lol. How does he react when you try and change/critique lyrics he's written? (Careful with this; if it's a heartfelt song changing it can be touchy lol).

For the covers thing... does he do that when he doesn't know the song and Chris does? Does he react well when he gets asked to sing backup? If he gets touchy when he's asked to share lead vocal duties, then that's a pretty big issue as his having fun is interfering with everyone else.
#17
If he doesn't know the song and chris does, then he either learns it, or acts irritating when we try to teach it to him. Sometimes he doesn't sing at all, but the times that he sings, he's always the lead singer. There's only one song I think that I sing on, it's one that chris sings lead on, and I just double him in the chorus. The guitarist treats it like it's HIS band most of the time, he doesn't mind when chris sings, he just always takes up singing duties if he has the opportunity.

I also want to add that even though I'm one of the lead guitarists and I have so far maybe contributed the most original music in this band, I'm very laid back on writing. I rarely write lyrics for the band because I'm focused on my other band in that aspect, and if anyone comes up with stuff I usually try to help. I've never tried to take over this band, but I get the feeling that our other guitarist may think that chris, our drummer, or I are trying to do so.
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 Oct 20, 2011,
#19
I guess a more objective question would be "Who's the best singer?" Whoever gets the top spot should naturally take over the main vocals, HOWEVER you have a larger issue I think...

The un-named guitarist needs to chill the hell out and learn how to work with people, as I wouldn't really like playing in a band with him by the sounds of it. If you can't let other people drive, you shouldn't be in a band, unless you're paying them to be there or they don't care.

As stated by fishmike earlier, you guys need to sit down and talk candidly and honestly. If you're all friends, then this shouldn't be a problem. If you like what he writes, tell him, but also say you want your input to be considered and respected. If he can't deal with that, then you might have the unpleasant option of parting ways. Just try your best to avoid personal attacks, and focus on how to fix the problem.
#20
Quote by thePTOD

However, he's practically decided that he's the frontman for all of the covers we do. We decide on a song and he goes right to 'okay I'll sing that',etc, practically leaving Chris out of the loop musically, other than playing 3rd rhythm guitar. I don't know if he's threatened about us or what, but he can lash out often.


Look, at a certain point you're either going to stand up for yourselves - and for each other - or you're not.

The best time to call someone out on being a jackass is when they're actually being a jackass. The next time you're trying to explain a part of a song to him and he starts riffing on something else, just say "what the f?"

The next time you bring an idea for a cover and he says, "I'll sing that," say, "No, actually, I want to sing that."

Avoiding conflict usually doesn't work.
#21
Quote by HotspurJr
Look, at a certain point you're either going to stand up for yourselves - and for each other - or you're not.

The best time to call someone out on being a jackass is when they're actually being a jackass. The next time you're trying to explain a part of a song to him and he starts riffing on something else, just say "what the f?"

The next time you bring an idea for a cover and he says, "I'll sing that," say, "No, actually, I want to sing that."

Avoiding conflict usually doesn't work.



We're going to have to do so soon. None of us are going to deal with it. Also, the thing about killing the mood by telling him what parts to learn...That has only happened so far with one song, and he got pissy about it. I fear what will happen if we keep needing him to learn originals...
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
#22
Quote by thePTOD
We're going to have to do so soon. None of us are going to deal with it. Also, the thing about killing the mood by telling him what parts to learn...That has only happened so far with one song, and he got pissy about it. I fear what will happen if we keep needing him to learn originals...


Stop fearing anything and take care of the problem.

Look, whether consciously or not, he's controlling the band through his lame behavior. You have to make it clear that isn't acceptable.

The longer you wait to take care of it, the bigger a problem it will be.

Him getting pissy is not a reason not to do something. If it kills the mood for a practice, so be it. You've killed one practice. But you establish your expectations and ultimately you give him the choice with what to do with it one way or the other.