#1
Hello, all. I'm new to the forums and I'll try to explain my problem as best as I can.

I'm the bassist for an alternative band in Illinois. We've been around for about a year now even though we've only played one show. At the start, we were a trio with me on bass and vocals, a guitarist, and a drummer. I've been playing for about 3 years now and I consider myself at least average with both bass and singing. The guitarist was very good at what he did but was sort of a perfectionist asshole. The drummer is okay and he can improvise pretty well which is a very good quality for what kind of band we have.

Now for a little backstory. Everything went fine with our band in the beginning. We made a couple songs, and covered a lot of others for a show we were going to play. The show itself wasn't so great, and throughout it the guitarist was complaining about how bad we sucked. Even so, we finished it with people still standing around watching us.

The next day, we had a practice and we got into a bit of an argument. The guitarist was yelling at me for apparently being a terrible bassist and he was 'joking' around about how 'easily replacable' I was. This went on for a couple practices and got to the point where I just walked out and quit. Months passed, and I was bouncing around from band to band with little to no success. Eventually, the drummer messaged me on facebook saying that he wanted me back because they've done nothing after I left. As I really had no options at the time, I gladly agreed to join.

We practiced for awhile, but the guitarist never came around to join us. This was because he was always too 'busy'. I let this slide for a long time, but after the third or fourth time he was too 'busy' for us I decided it was time to find a new guitarist.

I texted this older guy that I knew played guitar. He reluctantly agreed and we had a couple practices. He seemed much more laid back, even though he wasn't as good as our first guitarist. We ended up making what probably ended up as our best song. After a while, he decided that we didn't 'respect his talent' enough for him to be in the band anymore.

I was devestated after this. I felt like for once in a very long time, we had a good thing going and he just gave us up to pursue something else. I then had a couple of mostly unsuccessful practices with just me and my drummer. We then decided we needed to get more people in our band. We both contacted a few people that we knew. We ended up with two guitarists, a keyboardist, and a trumpet player who also played guitar. I was feeling very positive about this and I couldn't wait for our first practice as a fully rejuvinated band.

The day of our practice was yesterday and I was very excited. But by the time we all got together, only three of us showed up. It was just me, our drummer, and one of the guitarists. He brought along his girlfriend but apparently didn't have a guitar on him, so he had to borrow one. I don't know whether it was him, the guitar he was using, or the amp, but it sounded absolutely terrible. The tone was awful, and it felt like he was just playing for the sake of speed and he wasn't even on key most of the time. Every time I tried to bring the three of us together to write a song, he was either making noise with his guitar or talking to his girlfriend. This was very frustrating to me. We ended the practice after hours of accomplishing nothing.

I'm sorry for the book you had to read so far, but I felt like I had to tell you all of this to give you a firm grasp of what is going on here. I have to ask at this point, what the hell do I do? I've been losing a lot of my motivation, and I'm just all around confused. I need advice, so I'll appreciate any that you give me here. Thanks for reading all of this if you did and if you have any input, please reply.
#2
Wait for the others to come. If it still goes badly, I don't know what to do. I've never been in this situation. That's really harsh
Good luck.
#3
The only thing harder than being in a band and making good music is finding the people that work well together to form a band that can create good music.

It sounds like you and the drummer have a good thing going. Stick with him and keep writing tunes. Keep searching for people, but be more careful in who you invite...maybe go out to a show with them or talk to them about their musical goals, their obligations, what they're willing to invest in a band.

Somebody playing well is just the first step. You need somebody who will actually contribute and stick around...those people are hard to find, but don't stop playin because of that...it can take time.
#4
Agreed with Chronowarp.

Keep doing your thing with the drummer. Enjoy it for what it is. Key your eyes and ears open for other guitarists.

And don't make it about "being a band" right away. Get together and jam, and see if you connect with people. Once you've gotten together with people who you like, make it official and have a conversation about what your expectations are of each other. eg, I can't help but wonder if the guy who showed up with his girlfriend (but without a guitar) thought it was just a chill hangout jam session, and you had expectations that it would be something more serious.

But thinking about it as if you're in a band together before you've had a successful jam (or two or three) with them is putting the cart before the horse. It's kind of like having an engagement ring in your pocket on a first date.
#5
Find a proper guitarist lol.
Your drummer doesnt seem too bad.
And no girlfreinds to practice.
METAL!
#6
Welcome to Bandleading.

Being in a band is only partly about the music. Most of this forum is about trouble with the bassist/drummer/singer/guitarist and 90% of this is more about personal conflict then music.

The first thing to realise is that there is a lot of fantasy and ego about. The ego can drive people to be terribly competitive and arrogant, especially when combined with an insecure personality. The same personality traits when combined with an obsessive nature can lead someone to really high levels of skill with their instrument, it does stop them becoming good band members though and they often fall by the wayside.

Real bands are peopled mainly by team players. People who listen and are prepared to compromise. Yeah, you've got to take it seriously and argue your point sometimes but it is always about the music not personal stuff.

Stick with your drummer, like they've said. A tight rhythm section is a lot rarer than a decent guitarist and they can't do it without you. Don't get too hung up on the band thing or on finding a killer guitarist and just jam along with as many people as will give it a go. Sooner or later you will find something that works. Once you have played publicly a few times together then you have a band. Meanwhile a bassist and drummer that work together, well that's a beautiful thing.

You could be the next Fleetwood Mac
#7
Thanks for all the advice, I really appreciate it. I will stick with the drummer for as long as I can because we do make a pretty good groove together.

Next practice, I'm going to go over every member's aspirations when it comes to being in a band. I understand that it isn't really a 'band' yet, but I hope we can work out something that will make it that way. Thanks again.
#8
But I have another question: do I just kick out the guitarist that we practiced with and sounded horrible or do you think I should give him another chance?
#9
I wouldn't have him come back if he sucked that bad and didn't even have a guitar.

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#10
Quote by jthm_guitarist
I wouldn't have him come back if he sucked that bad and didn't even have a guitar.

This

I Personally the whole " guitarist sucking" thing could have just been that he was nervous or something, but the fact that he didn't even bring a guitar says he really wasn't that invested.
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#11
How old are you, by the way? Are you in high school or are you an adult?

Either way the problems can be the same. People with high egos are most of the time not worth having in a band, even if they have a lot of skill. Keep it up with your drummer, you will eventually find someone who fits. It's not always right away but there are some good guitarists out there who will do what they can to make a band work.
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You've clearly never read any Confuscius.

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#12
Quote by thePTOD
How old are you, by the way? Are you in high school or are you an adult?

Either way the problems can be the same. People with high egos are most of the time not worth having in a band, even if they have a lot of skill. Keep it up with your drummer, you will eventually find someone who fits. It's not always right away but there are some good guitarists out there who will do what they can to make a band work.


Well, we're all around high school age. It all started out fine, but I can definately say that ego sort of ruined it.
#13
I think the problem with the guitarist that wasn't very good is that maybe he doesn't know what you expect from him. You need to figure out if he has strengths as a guitarist. Although he sounds pretty bad maybe just see how interested he is in the band. There is really no excuse for him not having his own guitar, he could take out a loan or something. End of the day it is just whether you want to play or not find the people who really care.
#14
Quote by COREYTAYLOR721
I think the problem with the guitarist that wasn't very good is that maybe he doesn't know what you expect from him. You need to figure out if he has strengths as a guitarist. Although he sounds pretty bad maybe just see how interested he is in the band. There is really no excuse for him not having his own guitar, he could take out a loan or something. End of the day it is just whether you want to play or not find the people who really care.


The thing is that I've played with the guy before. He wasn't great, but he never sounded this bad. His excuse for not having his guitar is that he left it at another guy's house. I don't know how valid that is.
#15
Quote by TheTad00
Next practice, I'm going to go over every member's aspirations when it comes to being in a band.

This is the kinda thing you gotta do over a beer.
#16
Quote by Shaunanaunanaun
This is the kinda thing you gotta do over a beer.


I would, but the oldest guy there is 16
#18
Quote by Shaunanaunanaun
This is the kinda thing you gotta do over a beer.


Nah this is the kind of thing that you do at an audition. You make sure that they can play, and you like the way that they play. You then have a quick chat to see if you get along and make sure you're on the right page.

Anyways, TS, you're describing some pretty standard situations:

1. You quit the band because you didn't get along with a band member.

I think it's also relevant that you only played one gig in a year. The band gets bored and starts fighting with eachother.

2. Someone else quit the band because they felt they weren't respected.

You don't really expand on this, it would be interesting to know what happened though.

3. You hired someone who can't do the job.

Cut him.


And whilst we're at it, it sounds like your practices are a combination of songwriting and practice. That's extremely inefficient, and extremely boring. Write the songs away from the band, and present it to them when it has some sort of form.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#19
Quote by AlanHB
Nah this is the kind of thing that you do at an audition. You make sure that they can play, and you like the way that they play. You then have a quick chat to see if you get along and make sure you're on the right page.

Anyways, TS, you're describing some pretty standard situations:

1. You quit the band because you didn't get along with a band member.

I think it's also relevant that you only played one gig in a year. The band gets bored and starts fighting with eachother.

2. Someone else quit the band because they felt they weren't respected.

You don't really expand on this, it would be interesting to know what happened though.

3. You hired someone who can't do the job.

Cut him.


And whilst we're at it, it sounds like your practices are a combination of songwriting and practice. That's extremely inefficient, and extremely boring. Write the songs away from the band, and present it to them when it has some sort of form.


Well, what happened was we didn't practice for about a week because our drummer was extremely busy. (This wasn't like our first guitarist's 'busy', as my drummer actually told me what he was doing.) and he felt like this was our way of telling him he wasn't wanted or something. So he ignored us for two weeks despite my constant attempts to call and text him. He answered the first time, but quickly backed out saying he had homework to do. The next week I called him he didn't answer. Later that day, I saw his facebook status asking for a band that 'respected his talent'. That was the end of that.

And the thing is I did write the songs away from rehearsal. I wrote the bassline and the melody to a song and I expected my drummer to improvise a good beat, which he did. When I tried to explain what the guitarist was supposed to do, he was busy wanking his borrowed guitar to impress his girlfriend or something. When I finally got him to cooperate, it sounded bad and wasn't on key. This went on for a couple of songs we tried to do for about four hours until we finally decided to call it a day. My drummer says that it'll get better with a couple more practices. I'll wait for everyone else to show up to see if he'll sound better with the other three people. If it doesn't work I'll just have to kick him out.
#20
get rid of him i guess there r other guitarists out there and u have a lot of time to progress as a band.