#1
ok. finally my dreams have come true and im in my first band at the age of 22. seeing as this is my first band, maybe im griping over nothing and don't know what i'm talking about

btw, i'm the lead vocalist/bass player... yes... weird....ain't it?

right now we're only working on covers until about mid summer. anywho, my drummer plays loud as balls and insists that since the drums are an acoustic instrument, that it's hard to play soft. also, it seems that he only likes to play covers where the drum beats are pretty straight forward and repetitive. this also means that he doesn't memorize the exact drum part to the covers we play, so he misses out on some drum fills/crucial transitions. he plays on our guitarist's drum set (we play in our guitarist's garage) so he just shows up to practice with drum sticks. i understand drums are a pain to lug around, but he has balls to gripe about tuning guitar strings and other random stuff when he only just "shows up to practice" and doesn't practice at home. i'm not exactly hating on my drummer. he's one of my college buddies, but its mainly the LOUD PLAYING that gets to me.

my guitarist on the other hand just bought a 100w marshall half-stack and a 99 dollar distortion petal. he cranks the crap up WAY LOUD and refuses to turn down. he also doesnt have the preamp settings optimized either. at least my drummer can't literally deafen me! lol. however, when we play acoustic songs my guitarist is fine. i swear, the kid is an acoustic guitarist and not an electric one. our best played covers tend to be the ones where the guitar is played acoustic. he also doesn't know how to play the guitar in order to suit the vocals well. its just always the same volume whether it be an instrumental part in the song or a vocal part in the song.

my keyboard player is cool. its a pain trying to find how to fit him into certain covers though.

me......hmm. well i'm only playing bass out of a 60w hartke combo. it can kinda keep up with my drummer and guitarist, but i have to have it turned almost all the way up. the main reason why the loud playing chaps me is because i'm singing out a 40w guitar amp, so the vocals are drowned out big time. the main reason why our friends/girlfriends/fans are impressed with our band is because they say i can actually sing. they all say right away that the voice cannot be heard amongst everything else. it seems to me that we need to accompany to the fact that we dont have a PA at the moment, but my guitarist and drummer, either consciously or subconsciously, dont want to turn down because their respective instruments need to be on top of everything else.

sometimes we start playing at decent volumes, but once it comes to a cruicial part in the song where the vox picks up, my guitarist reaches for the knob on his amp and my drummer begins to play loud. this is why when we do actually get a PA i might be worried that my guitarist and drummer are going to compete with the volume of the PA. also, the cops are prolly going to come.

there....i got most of it out.. am i whining about nothing or do i need to whoop some arses?
#2
dude....never give up....if any problems occur....you need to set rules and discuss them if you want to make it work....it wont happen overnight
#5
damn man, your drummer isn't that he doesnt like to play soft hes just to f*cking incompetent to do so, your guitarist is probably the same thing, and no a bass playing singer isn't weird. theres actually quite a lot of them(slayer?) the keyborad player and you are cool so im not gonna say crap about him but your not yet in a serious problem but are very close... be warned
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#6
Tom Araya from Slayer is lead vocalist/bassist.
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#7
Same with bands like The Automatic and Doves.

Anyways - just ask them to keep the volume down a bit - if they don't then leave.
#8
Tell them to turn the volume down.

Get some vinyl circles for the drums, or tell your drummer he doesn't have to turn up to any more practices for a week or two, because he can practice at home.

Talk to your guitarist about the volume knobs on his guitar.

And if you get a PA, hook the microphone right to it :p nothing else. That way, you'll more likely be heard.
#9
The human race would be wonderful if it weren't for all the people.

Here's a suggestion from an old-timer: Insist on at least one all-acoustic rehearsal. This probably sounds like an absolutely ridiculous idea, but it has worked for me and bands I've been in many times. It will re-set everybody's idea of balance and you'll actually be able to hear the vocals. It will also train everybody to reduce volume while the lead guitarist is playing his or her solos. This is important, because once someone raises their individual volume, they very rarely reduce their volume back to the original level. As you no doubt know, bands almost always get progressively louder as the rehearsal or gig progress.

Once you experience one of these low-volume rehearsals you may find you want to make it a regular thing, maybe every third or fourth practice. As the bass player, you'll probably need to use an amp unless you just happen to have an acoustic bass, but as long as you discipline yourself to match everybody else's acoustic instruments' volume your bandmates should be OK with it. An added benefit is that those girls will actually be able to hear you sing in an all-acoustic rehearsal.

I think your band owes it to itself to try this at least once. Like I say, I've experienced success in getting my bandmates to actually listen to the band using this technique. Good luck. - gpb
All things are difficult before they are easy.
- Dr. Thomas Fuller (British physician, 1654-1734)
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#10
thanks everyone for your comments.

stagg, i've thought about vinyl circles for the drums...lol.

gpb, i am going to mention this to my band as it sounds like a great idea! like you said, hopefully it will get them to listen to the entire band and not just themselves. maybe this will give me a reason to buy an acoustic bass too
#11
Well, if the vocals are drowned out, you won't sound good, the vox are pretty important, explain this to them, don't be worried about looking like you just want to be the main guy in the band, if they can't understand why the vocals need to be heard, **** em, although if they're you're friends that can be hard.
So many possibilities, so little ability.

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#13
Sounds like your drummer is pretty crap. He can't control his volume and he can't do any fills. Does he actually own his own kit? If he does then he should be able to practice the fills, even if he can't play a certain fill a competent drummer would be able to improvise a similar one.

As for the loud guitarist you should try reasoning with him if that doesn't work then record some of your practice so they can see that it's not balanced.
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