#1
I am a bassist in a 3-person band in which the other two members are a guitarist/singer (frontman) and his girlfriend (drummer). Frontman and his girlfriend are a little over 10 years older than me and frontman has quite a bit of experience with amateur shows as a performer. He also has a small PA and quite a bit of gear. I have a lot of respect for him. The drummer is pretty good but she is a little off-beat at times, but easy to get along with. This is my first time in a band but I have been playing guitar/bass for over 11 years, and I am pretty talented.

We have been practicing for about 3 months now and we have a solid 32 song ready-to-play list of covers that we've been working on. There are about 20 other songs that we are also working on. We have a very similar taste of music and it seems like we have similar goals with this project - at this point it is supposed to be about having fun and getting some opening/gigging experience. There are a couple things that are starting to really piss me off, though:

Too much yapping and noodling at practices. I want to run through the songs and work on improving them. I have brought this up already. I feel like we should be performing already and the talk between songs during practice is hindering us from making a lot of progress.

Frontman is a little arrogant at times. Here's an example: Tonight at practice, he referred to me and the drummer as accompaniment when we were hashing out what key to play a song in. I bit my tongue hard. These kind of comments rub me the wrong way. I get it - the lead part is obviously important, but if I am just accompaniment, he should seriously consider just going solo. A lot of the songs we are doing would sound like shit, though, because bass takes a lead role in about half of them!

I also made a suggestion for another cover tonight. Great - we both love the song. We got through most of the instrumentals tonight. But he really got my goat when he said something like, "but if I can sing it better, it will be hard to step away from the role." Again, I didn't really respond to that and I just kind of nodded my head because I am thinking we should experiment with stuff and not worry about who is "better" at this point!

These are just two of about 6-7 comments that have been pretty big turn-offs for me and I am starting to wonder if his ego is going to drown the dynamic I thought we had during the first 3-4 practices. I am a guitarist as well and I can sing/play, too; I would say we are equaled in skill on guitar, but I just happen to really enjoy playing bass. In fact, when I was looking around to join a band, I wanted to join as a bassist! Before joining this band, I was hoping to be a part of a project in which instruments such as bass are genuinely appreciated beyond their traditional role as being a rhythm instrument in hopes of possibly creating something original. These comments are really starting to make me wonder, though.

Not having any experience in a band (outside of school) I am not really sure how/when I should speak my mind or assert myself. I mean, even when I try to point out that he is playing something in the wrong key or wrong tuning he tries to turn the table. So I learn the song on the spot in a different key and then he realizes he is wrong, which is very frustrating. Any advice on what to do?
#2
If a person makes you feel uncomfortable - tell them. They'll eithet be a jerk about it or stop doing it. Either way it'll bring an end to the situation.

Anyways you guys are doing the cover band thing wrong. Right nnow you are learning songs at practice. Practice is for getting the songs together - you learn them at home. So lots of wasted time already.

The playing around in practice too is a waste of time like you think.

It's quite obvious that this guy doesn't have as much experience as you think. Professional musos don't like to waste time, this guy does.

This band sounds fine if you like hanging out and playing tunes i in a house. You guys might even play a gig one day. But nothing serious will ever come of it.

If you're comfirtable with this, it's right for you. If not, leave
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#3
Welcome to the world of bands. There isn't a right way of dealing with this, if you confront him then you've thrown the dice and you'll either resolve it or it'll end up in a row and bad feeling which will kill the band.

It's time to get out there gigging, if you've 30+ songs gig worthy after 3 months and you've not gigged before then that's par for the course.

You're the younger one and they are a unit so if there is a fall out you'll be on your own, you've put a lot of work into this so reap some reward. The reward is to become a gigging musician.

I'd advise you to ignore the ego thing for the moment, frontmen need some ego to be any good so you always have to put up with a bit of s**t. Instead start pushing for gigs, if he's as experienced as he says and has adopted the bandleading role then it should be his job to go out and get the gigs.

Making the move from rehearsal to a gigging band will transform everything. Your practices will become more focussed. You will move on dramatically as a musician. As a gigging musician you will be in a much better position to find the next band. It will bind you together as a team. It's so much fun, what you put up with all the nonsense and hours of practice for.

I'd say there's no harm in suggesting the practices are unfocused if you are making the positive point that it is time for you to all move on and start performing live.

This is the worst time to force the issue or to quit the band IMO. It is still early days, you've put in a few months work to reach a gigging level. Bite your tongue, get half a dozen gigs behind you and then decide.

Hope it works out
#4
BTW I play bass, it is a kind of service industry, do a good job and the band is tight but no-one gives you any credit. If the band is rubbish then no-one blames you. Being in the limelight is a mixed blessing but you want a frontman to take responsibility for a band to work, at least on stage. If someone isn't blessed with total self confidence then they can over compensate and come across as a bit of a d***head to cover up their insecurities so don't be too hard on him until you are sure he's a lost cause. Guitarists eh (rolls eyes)