#1
Alright so im in a situation where im playing in my first band, we havent gigged yet, but have been rehearsing around 6-7 times for around 4-5 hours every time.
I came into this band with a baggage of songs that i wanted to develop and bring into a band situation, as well as of course, write new songs with other people who share the love of music.

Anyway.
It started out pretty good and atm we have 6 songs that are almost ready but with each new session i've been noticing that the other members want the songs to move into other directions, and the melodies and parts they add are often not exactly complimentary.
I have no problem playing music just for the sake of playing music, i like different stuff and i could as well play in a jazz or country setting but The main thing is that i really like my songs and i would hate to see them develop into something far away from their essence and become boring/bad. So im sort of afraid of losing my songs to a project that im not so nuts about. But if i reject my songs from the band now it might spawn bad blood and or disinterest. The main reason why i give a shit about that, is because i really like most of the people in the band alot, we share a common sense of humor and i would like to keep playing with them.
what is a boy to do.
Last edited by Ignore at Nov 2, 2013,
#2
Just be open with them, explain you feel that the new parts don't compliment the song and maybe you should take it back to it's roots and refine it more before completing it.

I don't know what you expected though, they only did what you wanted them to, sometimes their vision can enhance a song or make it worse but you already have the target sound in your mind and thus become closed to the final piece. I would suggest getting a third party to hear both versions as they have preconceptions about it.
#3
Do you have a vision of the songs? Maybe talk with your band about what you want them to sound like. If you have a clear vision, write all parts by yourself. This is why I don't like the idea of every band member coming up with their own parts - that way the songs will only sound like mess because everybody has a bit different kind of vision and they may develop to a wrong direction. Maybe let them add their own things to their parts but first tell them what you are after. Just tell them to first try to play it the way you want them to be played. Then, if they have some ideas, try them but say if you don't like them.

What we do with our band is that our guitarist usually writes the songs. His songs have all parts written to them but I may change the bassline a bit to fit my style of playing. Maybe add/change some fills and stuff but the basic idea of the bassline remains the same. He may tell me to play it the way he wants and I'll do it because he has a clear vision of the song. Sometimes I write songs and tell the guitarist to play it the way I want it to be played. He may tell me some ideas and I'll listen to him.

You need to talk about the arrangement and not just let everybody play whatever they want. Arrange your songs well. I remember when we didn't arrange our songs at all and some parts just sounded like we didn't know what we were doing. Everybody kind of did their own thing.

Of course you can give a bit freedom to play fills and all that kind of stuff but so that the basic idea stays the same.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Nov 2, 2013,
#4
When I write a song on guitar and show it to my band mateys, I allow the bassist to change the bass line a little bit (like the guy before me explained), the drummer has more freedom with the beats, and the singer can modify the melody a little bit, but overall the song remains the same, no new parts or major changes
#5
I'm not very creative, but I do enjoy butchering up other peoples creations.

I love to take something that a friend came up with and twist it all up until it no longer resembles the original song at all. Then I can claim that it was all my idea.

I bet that's what your bandmates are doing to you.

Real talk.

Get out of that situation NOW.

PS. Wanna jam sometime?
#6
If you aren't willing to let other people change your songs you have two options:

1. Do 100% of the work yourself. Write all the parts, hire stage musicians, and organize everything on your own with no help or input from anyone else.

2. Man the fuck up and realize that working together is more important than always having things your way. (If you don't think thats true see option 1.) Since you are not a world famous composer I can safely say that your songs are not so good that someone else's ideas couldn't make them better. This is a big part of growing as a musician, realizing that your songs doesn't have to stay the way you first thought of it. If you are working with other people who are good musicians, they should be able to add parts you would have never thought of, and that is the magic of being in a band.

Now you do definitely want parts to be complimentary, but the way to achieve that isn't dictating what other people can and cannot play. It takes everyone setting aside their egos, and actually having an honest discussion of what they like/don't like, and trying to find a unified vision for the song. (If you're really good you don't even need to talk about it, the song will just happen on its own, but it doesn't sound like you're ready for that kind of thing at all.) Everyones focus should be on what will make the song sound the best, not what will make them look the coolest. (I'm projecting here because these are all the things I wish I had known back when my old band was still together.)

Another very important thing to realize is that no one can just start writing good music right away. What it takes is practice. You have to write A LOT of material until you can consistently come up with good stuff. And you know what that means? A lot of it is going to be bad. Does that means you should be lazy? No, but you just need to come to terms with that. You need to give songwriting your best effort, and when it comes out bad, just move on and write another song, and keep moving on until what you have is good. If your band mates take one of your songs and make it boring or bad, you're free to address that, "Hey guys, can we make this songs better? I don't really like this part.". If no one is being an egomaniac this shouldn't be a problem. But like I said, at the beginning this will often just be bad no matter how much work you put into it. But thats okay, thats just how art works.
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#7
Quote by Danjo's Guitar
If you aren't willing to let other people change your songs you have two options:

1. Do 100% of the work yourself. Write all the parts, hire stage musicians, and organize everything on your own with no help or input from anyone else.

2. Man the fuck up and realize that working together is more important than always having things your way. (If you don't think thats true see option 1.) Since you are not a world famous composer I can safely say that your songs are not so good that someone else's ideas couldn't make them better. This is a big part of growing as a musician, realizing that your songs doesn't have to stay the way you first thought of it. If you are working with other people who are good musicians, they should be able to add parts you would have never thought of, and that is the magic of being in a band.

Now you do definitely want parts to be complimentary, but the way to achieve that isn't dictating what other people can and cannot play. It takes everyone setting aside their egos, and actually having an honest discussion of what they like/don't like, and trying to find a unified vision for the song. (If you're really good you don't even need to talk about it, the song will just happen on its own, but it doesn't sound like you're ready for that kind of thing at all.) Everyones focus should be on what will make the song sound the best, not what will make them look the coolest. (I'm projecting here because these are all the things I wish I had known back when my old band was still together.)

Another very important thing to realize is that no one can just start writing good music right away. What it takes is practice. You have to write A LOT of material until you can consistently come up with good stuff. And you know what that means? A lot of it is going to be bad. Does that means you should be lazy? No, but you just need to come to terms with that. You need to give songwriting your best effort, and when it comes out bad, just move on and write another song, and keep moving on until what you have is good. If your band mates take one of your songs and make it boring or bad, you're free to address that, "Hey guys, can we make this songs better? I don't really like this part.". If no one is being an egomaniac this shouldn't be a problem. But like I said, at the beginning this will often just be bad no matter how much work you put into it. But thats okay, thats just how art works.

I agree with this. But I would first write parts for all instruments so that they get an idea of how the song sounds like. And after that they could start tweaking their parts. You don't want the parts to be too different from the original idea because that may change the song too much and it doesn't have the same feel as the original idea. I mean, I let people tell me if they have any ideas to improve my songs. I like collaborating with our band's guitarist. When we started thinking about our songs a lot more and really telling each other what to play, everything started sounding better. Songs need to be tight, you can't let your lead guitarist solo all the time and drummer to play fills wherever he wants to and bassline have a complete different groove than the drums. So I think TS's problem is that he just writes his own parts and lets the other members write their parts. I would at least give an idea of how I want the parts to sound like. Even if you can't play drums, you can tell the drummer what kind of beat to play (for example what beats to accent).
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#8
Yeah. Normally I'm in the "bands are collaborations, deal with it."

But there's a difference between collaborating in a band, and giving your bandmates room to create within the context of songs that you created, and writing songs with a band.

The original poster is talking about bandmates adding "melodies" and, it sounds like, whole new song sections. SO it sounds to me like he's brining in song fragments and not liking where the finished songs end up.

What I would suggest is that you write the songs first: all the melodies, all the sections of the song (verse/chorus/bridge/etc) and then you leave it to your bandmates to fill in their musical parts (the drums, bassline, etc) given the harmonic and rythmic context you've already devised.

When you do that, then the song is yours - and you can play it however you like with the band, and if you ever break up it's still your song and you can rewrite those parts with new bandmates.
#9
There are many solutions to this problem.

a) Be a jerk and stay firm on them not changing your songs, you'll probably get kicked out immediately but they may accept and if the songs are well received, you win, else, they'll kick you out, in any case, they'll probably bear ill feelings towards you.

b) Deal with it and just keep going, if the songs end up being loved by everybody you eat your words, else, you'll get a good reason to choose option a)

c) Get everybody to compromise (that includes you), talk to them about what you think about they changing stuff so much and see if you can reach some kind of agreement, also, explain your vision of the song when you present it to them, that way, they'll probably consider that when "adjusting" their parts and try to keep everything within the "spirit" of your creation. You can also come to an agreement such as "the one who brings the songs in is the one who decides what to do with it" so only you can mess with your own songs, but whatever the rest bring in, you've got no control over.

d) Challenge them, make people listen to both versions, your original versions and the "re-arranged" ones, see what people finds better, a different (and hopefully unbiased) point of view may help clarify who was in the wrong, you or your bandmates.
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#10
Quote by Danjo's Guitar
*Long and insightful post.*


Quote by MaggaraMarine
*Long and insightful reply to above post.*


Both of these guys basically sum up what I was thinking about this entire situation. What it basically sounds like is that you're just writing your parts to the songs and not really giving a basis for the other guys to go off of.

When I'm writing my own songs, I come up with a groove for the bass and a drum idea in mind. I know that when I show it to a band, they'll change it a bit to suit themselves and it'll help improve the song. Even in famous bands, they do the same thing. One (or more) member(s) will come to practice with an idea for a song. They'll have the lyrics, melody complete with a sketched out idea of how the song will go. The band than will add their own style to it so it'll make it better. Being in a band, and not a solo project, is about cooperation.
Skip the username, call me Billy
#11
^^^ Yeah total +1 here.

I will also add that it's painfully obvious that you are very new to bands.

This is because:

1. Your practices are at the ridiculous length of 4-5 hours, which means that they must lack proper structure.

2. You suffer from an extreme protection anxiety to your songs. Hey I remember the first songs I wrote too. I thought they were the best ever. Then I listened to them many years later and thought that they sounded like a beginner playing his first songs, which they were.

So yes, as above. Either accept the collaborative nature of a band or hire session musos.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#12
As HotspurJr said, there's a difference in adding your own style to the song and completely changing the feel of the song. And based on the OP I think the band members are completely changing the feel of the song, not just adding their style to the song. And how to prevent that, you need to write some kind of basslines, drum rhythms (you should at least know the groove of the song) and guitar riffs and whatever parts you have there. You should let them tweak them to fit their style. And also be open to their ideas. Try them. But to me it sounds like everybody comes up with their own ideas and nobody talks about them, they just play them over the song. As I said in my earlier posts, talk about what you are after with the song. What is the basic idea of the song?

I don't think you should change the feel of the song. Because that's pretty much what the song is about. If the feel changes, the whole song sounds completely different. If it's your own song, you need to first explain the song to your bandmates - what you want it to sound like. Maybe do a demo recording first and let them listen to it. But don't be afraid of changing the song a bit. In the end nobody cares who the songwriter is. You should only care about how the song sounds like.

As I said, in my band the problem was that we never talked about these things and everybody just played how they felt about the songs. Now we have started talking more about it and everything sounds so much tighter (sometimes I tell our guitarist how to play a guitar part because he doesn't have the right feel to it).

So out of Niiko_Xeneize's options, I would either choose c) or d). But d) only after you have talked about these things. It could be an interesting option and it could improve your song a lot. (It may even be that people don't have patience to do their own versions and they'll all approve your version of the song - if that's what you want. )
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Nov 3, 2013,