#1
Hey guys.

I've been in my current band for nearly a year now, and we've done some cool shows and stuff but I have an issue with the lead guitarist.

I play rhythm which I like and enjoy and have definitely gotten better at since I've been in the band, but I also want to be able to play some lead here and there too, but everytime I suggest it (I don't want to say it to him but I think he knows and the rest of the band knows that I am a better player then him) he says "you came into the band to be a rhythm guitarist, I'm the lead guitarist." and usually takes the lead parts and solos for himself. I do get ONE solo (well two, both in the same song) because he can't play them, but that's it.

Do you guys think I'm in the wrong and that rhythm players should strictly stick to rhythm? Or should I be allowed to have some more solos and lead breaks, and if so, how can I get him to not be such a solo-hog, as it were, and let me play some more fancy stuff?
#2
I mean if you can play all the stuff he can play and more than tell the rest of the band it would be better for the overall band if you play some lead stuff because you can play things he cant
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#3
^^ya... you two can switch lead n rythm guitar too,some song u play rythm n other song u play lead. That what i do with me n my 2nd guitarist.
and if u good enough.. juz go ahead with double solo,harmonizing...
#4
It bad practise to stick to either rhythm or lead because generally each has its own skills and needs and for a guitarist to neglect either one is to neglect a huge part of your playing. He should move over and be happy, and able, to play a few rhythm parts and let you take lead. Aside from breaking his hands, discussing the issue with the rest of the band seems like a good way to go. They should recgonise your talents and want you to stay in the band, if not move on and go somewhere your talents are given room to grow.

OOOOOOHHHHH DOUBLE SOLOING.......HMMMMMMMMMMMMM
#5
you should just tell him to stop being so proud of his poisition as "lead guitarist" and chill out. Exchange lead parts like most bands
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#6
i completley agree i think its cooler when the two switch between rhythmm and lead

ala the strokes it gives a better tiered effect

also if you are better than him tell him so!

if you have the chops to proove it tell him to share or you will ****ing shred him to death and shove his **** guitar playing up his arse!!!!

sorry i just hate big headed guitarists!!!
#7
Even when I so much as mention me playing a solo in a song (even if he also has one in that song) or any riffs or anything, I can see a look of disapproval on his face and will usually try to find a way of me not being able to do it.

I think I know why he's like this. He started the band maybe 3 years ago and has been in it since it started, and now that I've joined, he sees me as a threat who wants to steal his limelight, but I don't. I'm quite happy with rhythm most of the time, but noone should have to stick to rhythm and never be allowed to do anything else.

As much as I want to, I can't just say "look mate I'm better than you so I'm playing the solo".

I've written some cool harmonised riffs and things but I doubt he could play them. It's kind of limiting for me because I can only write something he'll be able to play.

I want to say something to the others (our singer usually makes the big decisions, and he's probably the most mature so I'm happy with that) but that might make them think I'm a big-head. I'm also friends with these guys, it's not just like I see them once a week for practice and ours is a strictly musical friendship, so I wouldn't want to say something to make any of them think badly of me, but I can't really see any other way of getting what I want, that is to be able to play lead sometimes too.

But thanks for your help so far guys, it's giving me things to think about.
Last edited by Captain Planet at Jun 16, 2006,
#8
Dude, most bands trade off. Tell your other guitarist to get the **** over his ego and if you come up with it, then you play it. That's my bands general rule. Next time you guys come to a point where there is a solo or lead break make sure you and the other guitarist have something worked out. Flip a coin for who goes first, and the other person plays rhythm under the winner's lead and then vise versa. Let the band decide which part fit the song better.
#9
that guy shouldnt be so stuck in lead vs rhythm, my band there isnt a defined lead guitar me and my singer trade off the lead parts and solos, do dual solos, and all that, by sticking to that your cutting your musical possiblities down, atleast thats what i thinik.
#10
Quote by OrderedChaos
that guy shouldnt be so stuck in lead vs rhythm, my band there isnt a defined lead guitar me and my singer trade off the lead parts and solos, do dual solos, and all that, by sticking to that your cutting your musical possiblities down, atleast thats what i thinik.


Hey man I looked at your myspace and saw that you guys are from Ventnor..I'm from EHT..
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#11
This is my number one pet peeve about bands. Theres this idea that if you have two guitars one is the rythm, the other is the lead, even if the band is playing punk/pop-punk stuff where theres no lead in the song to begin with. I disagree with it, and I've gotten rid of guitarist sstrictly because of this reason. I think that it should be a matter of having two parts, and what works best.
#12
Just tell him how you feel and if you want talk to the rest of the band first to see what they think as well...
#13
Quote by Captain Planet
Even when I so much as mention me playing a solo in a song (even if he also has one in that song) or any riffs or anything, I can see a look of disapproval on his face and will usually try to find a way of me not being able to do it.

I think I know why he's like this. He started the band maybe 3 years ago and has been in it since it started, and now that I've joined, he sees me as a threat who wants to steal his limelight, but I don't. I'm quite happy with rhythm most of the time, but noone should have to stick to rhythm and never be allowed to do anything else.

As much as I want to, I can't just say "look mate I'm better than you so I'm playing the solo".

I've written some cool harmonised riffs and things but I doubt he could play them. It's kind of limiting for me because I can only write something he'll be able to play.

I want to say something to the others (our singer usually makes the big decisions, and he's probably the most mature so I'm happy with that) but that might make them think I'm a big-head. I'm also friends with these guys, it's not just like I see them once a week for practice and ours is a strictly musical friendship, so I wouldn't want to say something to make any of them think badly of me, but I can't really see any other way of getting what I want, that is to be able to play lead sometimes too.

But thanks for your help so far guys, it's giving me things to think about.


is your name chris??

cuz i swear to god you're in the EXACT same position as our rythmn guitarist :P

except he's the singer too (but he wants to be backup, and wants someone to take lead vocals)

ask him if

A) he'd be ok with 2 lead guitars
B) he'd do a solo with you
C) let you write more complicated rythmn riffs (Think "iron maiden- trooper" verse, if you have those kinds of things during most of your songs, shouldnt be too boring)

but at the same time, you do have to realize you agreed in joining the band as a rythmn guitarist.

same with our guy, we told him up front when he joined "we want you, but we want you as a singer/rythmn guitarist" and after my guitarist was out of the convo, i said "yeah i know ur better than him at guitar, but that dosnt change anything"
#14
ok first of all, he thinks "hey, i was with this band from the beginning, and i dont want this new guy to start taking over and getting in better with my friends than me just cuz he plays better... i was their friend first!" so he doesnt want to start letting you play lead, because you yourself probably know that one solo is gonna lead to another, and your skills will keep showing and you will be the dominant player. he probably thinks hes barely holding on to his position as it is right now.. and what you see as letting you play a couple solos, he sees as you wanting to show off more. so, the solution? just ask for the smallest part possible. like even just a couple "dew dew dew deeewww!s really quick during like one of his solos or something.then, when your part comes up, SLAUGHTER HIS PART WITH A WICKED PICK SLIDE INTO A MASSIVE TAPPING SOLO IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SONG! SLING FACE MELTERS AT HIM WITH THE FULL FORCE OF YOUR ABILITY, AND CONTINUE TO BASH IN HIS MUSICAL FUTILITY WITH KILLINGIMPOSSIBLEMAZINGCOOL IMPROV! THEN, WHEN EVERYONE HAS STOPPED PLAYING DUE TO YOUR OUT OF PLACE SHREDDING, SIMPLY LOOK AT EVERYONE STUPIDLY AND SAY .. 'what?'

or, you could write a song... you give yourself a lead part, and give him a lead part so he is still playing lead, and if he is skeptical, show the song to the band first, so they will be psyched about a new song, not the solo. then if he is skeptical, tell him "hey, its a song I WROTE, and everyone is psyched about it, i just wanna have a solo part." if he is still skeptical, you have the leverage of the band wanting to play a new song, and he looks bad throwing away a perfectly good song just cuz he thinks you are moving in on his style..

OR,, you could recognize that you DID join the band as a rhythm guitarist, regardless of your skills.. you DO get two solos in one song, and since they are hard solos, that is to be respected.. for a rhythm guitarist, you are getting a bit of lead... so you should be happy that he is willing to at least compromize a little bit. and think about the reprocussions you could cause if you get too many lead parts... you are all the sudden the better lead guy... there is a power struggle.... tensions rise, he gets pissed about smaller things, a big argument breaks out, and you are on the road to disaster... havent you ever seen a vh1 special? you dont want to get started on that path... the best bands that have stuck together the longest are ones where all the players know their positions and are perfectly content with them.. do you really think the really famous bands' rhythm guitarists could only play rhythm? yet did they all get to play a bunch of lead? no! but they were really good at rhythm.. better to stick together longer than try to get a solo in... eventually when you are in the band longer and you all have become really good friends, like "man, i knew those guys my entire life" friends, even the lead guy, you can more openly make suggestions without any problems. an argument wont risk the band as much at that point. think of this as a chance to step away from always playing lead, getting way better at rhythm, (i mean solid, not just "okay i can play all the chords) maybe writing a couple songs, and fitting into the band better... just dont let the guy feel really bad about you stepping onto his turf... you can almost pity him from thinking about it.. he may give you an asshole look when you suggest lead, but hes really just thinking "aww man...*sniffle* i really hope this guy doesnt ruin everything for me... my friends, my part... i thought i finally got a good part in this band, because i was a friend, not just cuz i was the best guy they could find at the time... man..." SO.. whatever you do, dont end up on vh1, unless its for "rock honors" you will get lead parts, just never push too hard.. think about what you say before you say it, think of how people may take it, if you seem too greedy, dont do it.. just... chill......who cares, remember? not you, nothing matters, you can be in the worst position, and it wouldnt matter, you're part of the band...let it ride man...let it ride.
Last edited by Glen'sHeroicAct at Jun 17, 2006,
#15
This is a sticky situation because it's no secret that we all love to be the lead and the centre of attention once we get confident enough that we are able to do it... so it would be hard to convince him and it may personally hurt him if you point out that you are more talented than he is, why not compromise, negotiate and make a deal...?
And make some pointers about developing skills and maybe, if it would help, give examples of bands who have two guitarists that both plays the roles as lead and rhythm, like The Strokes, they occasionally swap.
Then hearing that other famous bands out there do it would encourage him to switch positions every once in a while.
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#16
if you find playing rhythm boring, your band oughta right more rhytmically interesting songs. if i were you, i'd be more chilled out about this whole thing. as you guys start writing better songs, your parts will become more interesting.

i know this probably won't make for a convincing argument to your lead guitarist, but you guys need to realize that most of the audience either can't tell or doesn't really care who plays the solo. Any audience will always be more impressed with two guitarists who really know their stuff, trading off riffs and licks and making it sound interesting.
#17
There is only one way to settle this.

A Crossroads-style Duel.


No, really, you should actually do a duel, not to prove that you're better but as part of the show, just because they're fun to watch.
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#19
Do what Spinal Tap did: say you're both on lead guitar. In my band, there's a similar conflict, I've never sat back and played rhythm while someone else solos, and I'm kind of scared to let the other guitarist do that. I feel I can make enough sound on my own, and so does the other guitarist, who is often playing keyboards anyway. I think that once I let him do that it'll get out of hand that he wants to solo on every song, but I'm also writing a great deal of the material and I feel as if I should be able to control if I play lead or not if I write the song. As long as he writes his own stuff or you guys collaborate, he can solo if he wants. This is what I think I'm gonna end up doing in fact.
#20
Wow guys you've given me a lot to think about (especially Glen'sHeroicAct...wall'o'text!)

Thanks for yor help.
#21
Hmm... I've actually never come across this.. in fact quite the opposite.

See the other guitarist in my band is also the singer, but whenever I suggest he solo's he will say "nah you do it" and I'm like wtf you're better than me!

But then again I don't mind. I've written some fun solo's lol.


But to the point, just try and talk to him and say you don't want to steal the spotlight, you just want to have a bit more fun playing your songs.
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#22
Even if he was better than you, I'd still say you should be able to play some lead in the band too.

1. It helps you improve
2. Keep the lead fresh
3. It would inspire new ideas
4. Generally benefit everyone in the band
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#23
Abiding by the roles of "rhythm" and "lead" is ridiculous. Each player has his own distinct touch and sound, as well as his own style of writing guitar solos. Whoever's style best suits the song is the one who should be playing the leads.

Tell the other guitarist he's being a dick. If he doesn't listen, challenge him to a duel on stage and show his ass up.
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Last edited by Archeo Avis at Jun 23, 2006,
#24
Quote by Archeo Avis
Abiding by the roles of "rhythm" and "lead" is ridiculous. Each player has his own distinct touch and sound, as well as his own style of writing guitar solos. Whoever's style best suits the song is the one who should be playing the leads.

Tell the other guitarist he's being a dick. If he doesn't listen, challenge him to a duel on stage and show his ass up.


Agreed. Back when my band had two guitarists (myself included) we would alternate solos when doing cover songs. When writing our own songs, we felt that whoever wrote the song kind of had the obligation to solo if he wanted too.

Doing harmonizing solos is also a really good idea! Think "Freebird" !
#25
^ 'Tombstone Shadow' by CCR has harmonizing solos too.

If I were in the position, I'd just ask for a couple more solos, not really long or even technical solos, just a few things here and there to perk up everyone's ears. Suggest a harmonizing solo like they did with 'FreeBird' or 'Tombstone Shadow.' You could jazz up your rythym or what-have-you. It's usually best to just let it roll with these big-headed guitarists. Eventually his ego will in the way and he'll wind up leaving the band.
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