#1
Hey guys, I've been the bassist/vocalist of my band for around two years now and I have to say I really used to love what I did.

Basically, five months ago, we got a new guitarist. He wrote his own stuff and was a vocalist and really talented so me and the drummer were ecstatic to get him in (our other guitar player did sweet f*** all).

But over time problems have arisen.

He lacks any form of conventional stage presence. This makes it difficult because I'm a bit mental on stage (jumping around, screaming and shit), so me and our drummer are going absolutely crazy, and he just stands there, stationary. He says he tries to create a persona of himself that he is the 'shy one' in the band. But surely the persona should come naturally and it just creates an unnatural environment on stage.

He's a massive pop-punk shipper. And he only ever seems to write pop-punk music, this means that the music I write and the music he writes clashes, with a bit of unpleasant dissonance. I write harsher, louder, heavier music (think of like heavy biffy clyro). Whereas he writes songs like Fall Out Boy. The scene around here is more geared towards heavy music, and most of the people who go to gigs enjoy heavy music. It's also just a genre that I much prefer playing and prefer.

As I'm a bass player, I try to bring myself out of the shitty bass player stereotype where all I do is play the root note. The basslines I play when not singing involve slapping/popping, freaky rhythms, crazy notation, improvised fills, all that stuff, just to funk it up a little and make it sound good. Last practice, we were working on our guitarists new song, and he showed me the chord progression. I came up with a sweet wee line using a couple of fills, he told me to cut of the fills, leaving it as just a 4-note bass line going up the A-string. Obviously, I tried to stick in a quick wee fill, just to make it sound a bit more interesting, but the guitarist told me to stop it and just play the notes. That is not the kind of bassline I want to play. :/

Our drummer is sort of just sitting in the middle, he's really happy with both of us in the band and has very little problems with it. I have no musician based problems with him and he's a class drummer. He seems to swing with our guitarist though, and tbh I just don't feel valid in the band anymore. I want to pursue a different kind of music, but I'm not sure if I should bother doing it with other people.

What should I do?
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#2
How is a guitarist that writes punk music considered really talented?

Other than that, replace him, if he doesn't have a natural stage presence for stage antics, he wouldn't get it. Moreover, you're the one who should be bossing him around.
#3
As I said, our drummer's happy with him in the band, and we would only kick him if we both agreed on it.
Casper's Friend

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Jaxville Demon Bass
Ashton BA20 Bass Amp
#5
Cud be that the drummer likes the pop genre better... and in ur position i wouldnt leave without making them clear what i have in mind. Only if they dont agree and no compromises are made, then i would think abt leaving the band.
#6
So you're a bassist and you don't like pop-punk music because it's not your type and it's boring to play ? Furthermore, a pop-punk guitarist ask you to stop making fills and just play root notes ? Well, your question has just been answered by itself. Kill him for the sake of humanity
#7
Why do all Northern Irish drummers have no preferences lol, every drummer Ive played with has just sat there and gone, Im not getting involved ill just play anything.
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#8
Quote by Aralingh
How is a guitarist that writes punk music considered really talented?


*le sigh*
-Mithaearon-
"Just because you can, doesn't mean you should."
#9
All things aside, it's pretty clear that you guys aren't going to work as a band. In your position I'd say "go with punk music with crazy basslines" but it doesn't seem the other guitarist would be open to that so game over.

Choices:

1. Quit.
2. Fire guitarist.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#10
Quote by Aralingh
How is a guitarist that writes punk music considered really talented?


this is either a noob or a troll......

anyway TS, let them know how you feel about everything. maybe you can work out more complicated bass things that work with his guitar stuff

if all else fails you quit and go in your own direction. or you get rid of the guitarist and find a new one.
Quote by Dirk Gently
Some pieces are only meant to be played by people with six fingers on their fretting hand. Sorry.
#11
Sounds like you need to get over being self-conscious about how you're perceived as a bass player. The stereo-type is going to exist regardless of how crazy your bass lines are. There are plenty of awesome bass lines that don't contain most of the stuff you mentioned.
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#12
Stop playing punk and join a progressive rock/metal band where your basslines might fit more.
#13
How does the guitarist compromise when you write the songs? It's really hard to have everyone in the band like the exact same bands and music styles. It's this difference in musical preferences that allows you to create music that doesn't sound the same as everything else. I'm curious as to how many heavier songs you play versus the more pop songs? What I'm saying is that bands are a compromise, and either you learn to play with a bit of everyones style or nobody is going to be happy.

I think you need to talk with them all and define what your sound is going to be. Just because you like heavier songs doesn't mean you are going to be a heavy band, just because the guitarist likes poppier songs doesn't mean you are going to be a pop punk band. Hell your drummer may really like jazz or something but it doesn't mean you will be a jazz band. So lay it all out and see what they say and know that you will have to sacrifice some of your sound to be in the band. You don't have to write the coolest bass line for every song, sometimes just playing the root notes is fine, there have been many great songs where the bass plays only root notes.

As for his stage presence, if it really bothers you that much that he is not very active on stage then address it with him. But if that is how he feels comfortable playing on stage then he is not going to change much. I don't really think its a bad thing because you are the frontman and you are the active one.
#14
Re: stage presence- if the guitarist doesn't want to be more active onstage, at the very least get him so he's not stiff and he kind of grooves with the music, have a little motion. Then put him kind of out of sight while you go out and create all the energy. Music before stage show.

Though not allowing you to add in things to your basslines is BS. As long as it's in key and fits the song I wouldn't have any problem with my bassist deviating from the root notes if it's done in moderation.
#15
How about when the next time when it's time for a bass solo, you shoot yourself in the fawking face, that will show him.
#16
I feel like you guys should have discussed what the musical direction of the band was before agreeing to have him play. At some point, it had to come up that you wanted to play heavy music. If he told you he wanted to play heavy music too, and then started writing pop-punk, then you have every right to be upset. If from the get-go he told you he wanted to play pop-punk and you let him in anyway, then you have yourself to blame here, man.
Quote by asator
YOU'RE A CUNT AND STUFF LESPAUL1216.


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#17
if he can play well, who cares about his stage presence? it's not like people will dislike your band because he just stands there.

also, I think it's fair that he wants his songs to sound a certain way. after all, he did write them. you probably have a way you'd like your songs to sound as well.

compromise is key.
#18
Quote by lespaul1216
I feel like you guys should have discussed what the musical direction of the band was before agreeing to have him play.


^ This. Neglecting this discussion is probably the #1 reason why bands implode either partly or entirely.

That said, I have an issue with members telling other members how to play their parts. Making suggestions is one thing, but telling someone how to play their parts is another.

I mean, if you have an electrician over and you feel compelled to tell him how to do his job, I need to ask why the hell you called him. If you're more competent than him, then he shouldn't be doing it. You should be doing it. And really, if you're telling your electrician how to do his job, why shouldn't he just walk out and say, "Here. You do it."

If he trusts your competency as a bass player, then he should let you do what you're good at. If he's such a good bass player, then have him play the friggin' thing. And then when he comes to the crushing realization that he can't play guitar AND bass at the same time, he'll need to pick the one he is better at and leave the other to someone else.

You don't tell him how to play guitar, I hope. He should offer the same respect. I was in a band ONCE with someone who tried to tell me how to play guitar. I lost my patience with him. I handed my guitar to him and told him to play it.

So, at this point, you need to do a few things:
-pay for the mistake you made at the beginning when you didn't discuss musical direction and deal with the fallout of that now.
-talk to him about not telling you how to do your job.
-come to a compromise about where your musical direction is going to go.

Or...

Suck it up as a lost cause and make some tough decisions about which one of you is going to leave.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#19
First off

Quote by Aralingh
How is a guitarist that writes punk music considered really talented?



Words cannot describe your stupidity, die.

So anyway, I don't see how both of your influences are that different. I have a hard time believing that Billy Clyro is that far from pop-punk. Sometimes it sucks having songs that are totally outside of your preferred genre, but that's life man. I feel for you, I hate indie music, but my guitar player/vocalist loves it. Were a punk/pop-punk band, but often we have indie sounding songs. I just put up with it, because if I'm that odd man out, its tough luck. I feel like that may just take a little bit of getting used to. If you absolutely hate the songs he writes, then maybe it might be time for a new band, only you can decide.

Now, onto him telling you how to play the bass. Once again, I feel for you pal, I'm a bass player as well. Sometimes it kinda sucks having to play root note parts, but sometimes its necessary. As a bass player, were there support the band. If the song feels like it needs slapping/popping, freaky rhythms, crazy notation, and improvised fills then by all means, use them. But I hate to break it to you, but even in most heavy music, a bass player masturbating all over a song only takes away from it. An audience most likely won't even care what the bass player is doing. Even if what he wants isn't the bass line you want to play, it may be better for the song. If I starting slapping and popping, throwing freaky rhythms, and playing fills all over my walking bass lines in my jazz band, I'm pretty sure I would get shot, by the audience or the band members.

Now, I'm not saying that he is right in telling you how to play the bass, but I feel like there's more to this. If the band, or songs are moving more towards a more simple or poppy sound, you may have to cut back on that bass fills, slapping and popping, and all of that fun stuff. I'm not saying stop, just cut back a little . Not that you should change who you are as a player, but I think we all go through that phase of wanting to be at the front of the mix throwing as many fills in as we can. How do I know this? I've been trying to break out of that.

I realize that I'm playing the devil's advocate a little bit, but it would probably be a good idea to give the band a try, and figure out a way to make the two of you work.

And if none of that works, find a new band, or kick him out.
#20
Quote by axemanchris

That said, I have an issue with members telling other members how to play their parts. Making suggestions is one thing, but telling someone how to play their parts is another.


Why?

Let's say i have completed all the guitarwork and vocals for a song, shouldn't i have the rights to say "this is how i want the bass or drums to be played"?
#21
Quote by vismbr
Why?

Let's say i have completed all the guitarwork and vocals for a song, shouldn't i have the rights to say "this is how i want the bass or drums to be played"?


I guess it comes down to leadership style, and that's not my style.

Consider people's motivation for playing in bands. Most people want to feel like a contributing member - not a robot that gets plugged in and does what its told when its told to do it. When people feel like they are valued members of the team, and that their musical sense is trusted and respected, they are more likely to stick around. If someone is going to be plugged in, programmed, and carted from show to practice to show to practice, the only thing that will keep them around for very long is some other extrinsic reward - namely money or popularity.

As a writer, on our last album, we had a few parts that weren't exactly as I had written them. A lot of the drum and bass parts that our rhythm section came up with were, in fact, BETTER than what I came up with. That shouldn't surprise anyone, because I am neither a drummer nor a bass player. (at least not that good at those instruments anyways) There was one bass part that I wrote that was crucial for the song and it HAD to go like that. It was a struggle for our bass player to learn because it was one of those "you can play it like that phrase-by-phrase for a demo without too much difficulty, but as a package, thanks for the hand-buster" parts. He committed himself and he nailed it because he recognized it as important. The key, though, is that I trusted them because they had a skill and background I don't have (at least not as much as them) and the end result was better. Similarly, they trusted my musical judgement, so they recognized that if I had something that was a great fit, they went with it and didn't question it. There was surprisingly little discussion one way or the other.

The trade-off was that I had some guitar parts that weren't as well received by our other guitarist and I had to settle for something not quite the same. Were they inferior? Arguably. Did it negatively affect the success of our band? No. Was it worth having a good old-fashioned band blowout/dominance-establishing p!ssing contest for? Hell, no. What I got in return were four really good original songs that he had written and that we wanted on the album. We got a good guy who was easy to get along with. We got connections to media through him that furthered the reach of our band. We got to keep an otherwise dedicated and valuable member of the band because he was happy, committed, and felt respected and valued.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#22
^ Of course, if you select people to be in your band whose musical sense is something you don't trust or value, then the question is "why the hell is that person in your band?"

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.