#1
Okay, here's the situation. Saturday my band is playing a show at my sister's graduation party. I think we're doing 7 originals and 4 covers, including the obligatory "Time of Your Life" by Green Day and "Graduation" by Vitamin C. The other covers are "Santeria" by Sublime and "Roxanne" by the Police. We're a jam band, kinda reggae-influenced if you couldn't tell by the cover choices.

Anyway, I texted the drummer in class today to see if he could practice today. He texted me back saying he couldn't practice between now and then. I get kinda mad, you know, no one's schedule should be so packed that they can't spare two hours for band practice over a three day period.

I ask my friend if she knows any drummers that can fill in for him, and she names a few, and then she adds, "But I'd watch out, Ethan. The rest of the band is kinda mad at you, they think you act like it's your band."

And that kinda made me made. Out of the 7 originals we'd be playing, I've written all the lyrics for 5, then out of the other two, I wrote half the lyrics and the bassist wrote half, and the last one is an instrumental (which I wrote.) Musically, I've done all the arrangements collaboratively with the bassist or the drummer, except for the one which the bassist wrote half of, which he arranged himself.

The problem is, no one besides me contributes any music. Like I said, we're a jam band in the vein of Phish or Umphrey's McGee, so if anyone brings forward a riff or chord progression, I'm cool with playing it and just improvising over it.

Also, most of our shows thusfar have been at a local church's youth group, covering Christian-Rock songs. I'm not a huge fan of that kinda music, but I agreed to it solely because I love performing.

Sorry for the huge wall of text, but I needed to get that off my chest. I'm not asking for anyone to take my side, I'm asking, how can I show the other members that they have an equal say in everything we do? Because I love all the members in my band and I can be kind of a prick at band practice if anyone messes up.
#3
how old are you? same stuff used to happen to me in my junior high/highschool bands, but once you find people who care about it like you do it all works out
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#4
If anyone ever tried to make me play christian rock I'd gouge their eyes out.

Go solo.
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#5
u don't sound bossy to me at all. you sound as if you're the only ones that organized and like you're really committed, you're the front man. nothing wrong with some one being in charge but if you do want to explain to you're friends you're in this together and you want whats best for the band. thats really all it is.
#6
Let me guess, you're the singer? You are bossy dude. You're acting like you own the band and the band would be nothing out you. I'm sure they help write stuff, or you wouldn't be playing with them, you would do a solo thing.

About the drummer being busy, if your in a band and your drummer can't play cause he is busy, tough ****. You will cause a lot of tension to get somebody to fill in rather than wait till hes free. I have been busy for more than 3 days in a row before, so I understand how he might not have any free time.

Try not to being so harsh at practice. It's called practice for a reason dude, there are gonna be mess ups, but thats why you're PRACTICING!

I would say, to really show your band mates you care about em and they have just as much input as you is, just next practice sit down and ask them "What do you guys wanna do, what do you wanna write, or cover" Then they will feel included.
#7
Well for some people it kinda falls naturally. In my band it's generally the lead guitarist and my decsions that go, as I write the majority of the music and he takes it to where it goes. The bassist and drummer are perfectly welcome to forward an idea, but as they generally don't, we find the decisions naturally being made by me and the lead guitarist


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#8
To answer everyone's questions about the situation:

szekelymihai - I have, as everyone else has. The problem is he's busy with church stuff and lacrosse, and it doesn't help that his mom is super-crazy and we practice at his place.

impeachpedro10 - I'm 15, everyone in the band is either 15 or 16, we're all sophomores except for the drummer, who's a freshman.

Notoriousdoc - I don't mind it so much, I was doing it mainly as a favor for the youth ministry guy, who's one of the nicest guys I know. I was in a situation where I could just do noodly parts with delay and harmonics over everything, which is what I like.

Les Paul57 - Nothing to say to you except thanks.

Guitarfreak777 - Let me guess, you're a crappy rhythm guitarist? I don't sing, and I really resent that assumption. Our singer, ironically, is the most chill guy in the band and plays keyboards, which pretty much ties him with me for the most musical member. As for the drummer being busy, I've gotten used to it by now, but we have an important show Saturday as my sister's graduating high school and a lot of my family is coming down to be there for it, and they haven't seen my band before. So I want to be tight.

Stuarttt-1 - True, the thing that upsets me though is that everyone in the band plays more than one instrument and is at least fluent in composing music, just no one takes the initiative to do so.


If anyone wants to hear my band in action, there's a YouTube video of us I can link you to of us playing at the local town commons a while back. It's kinda sloppy because we hadn't practiced for about a week and a half prior, and with the exception of the bassist, we were all using borrowed gear.
#9
Quote by bananaboy
To answer everyone's questions about the situation:

szekelymihai - I have, as everyone else has. The problem is he's busy with church stuff and lacrosse, and it doesn't help that his mom is super-crazy and we practice at his place.

impeachpedro10 - I'm 15, everyone in the band is either 15 or 16, we're all sophomores except for the drummer, who's a freshman.

Notoriousdoc - I don't mind it so much, I was doing it mainly as a favor for the youth ministry guy, who's one of the nicest guys I know. I was in a situation where I could just do noodly parts with delay and harmonics over everything, which is what I like.

Les Paul57 - Nothing to say to you except thanks.

Guitarfreak777 - Let me guess, you're a crappy rhythm guitarist? I don't sing, and I really resent that assumption. Our singer, ironically, is the most chill guy in the band and plays keyboards, which pretty much ties him with me for the most musical member. As for the drummer being busy, I've gotten used to it by now, but we have an important show Saturday as my sister's graduating high school and a lot of my family is coming down to be there for it, and they haven't seen my band before. So I want to be tight.

Stuarttt-1 - True, the thing that upsets me though is that everyone in the band plays more than one instrument and is at least fluent in composing music, just no one takes the initiative to do so.


If anyone wants to hear my band in action, there's a YouTube video of us I can link you to of us playing at the local town commons a while back. It's kinda sloppy because we hadn't practiced for about a week and a half prior, and with the exception of the bassist, we were all using borrowed gear.



No need to get hostile. I don't see how you say im a crappy rhythme guitarist but whatever lol. I was trying to help you but looks like you won't fix the prob with a bad attitude like that.
#10
Quote by Guitarfreak777
No need to get hostile. I don't see how you say im a crappy rhythme guitarist but whatever lol. I was trying to help you but looks like you won't fix the prob with a bad attitude like that.

Notice how I responded politely and gratefully to everyone but you? I really resent you judging me. I do appreciate your post, but you were kinda rude with it, and I shouldn't have snapped back, but I don't see how you thought I was a singer based off of my post.

I'm talking to the singer right now about the situation.

Here's our least crappy song on YouTube for those interested: http://youtube.com/watch?v=bwqTG5QllDU (the first two or three minutes of the first song are cut off)
#11
Quote by bananaboy
Notice how I responded politely and gratefully to everyone but you? I really resent you judging me. I do appreciate your post, but you were kinda rude with it, and I shouldn't have snapped back, but I don't see how you thought I was a singer based off of my post.

I'm talking to the singer right now about the situation.

Here's our least crappy song on YouTube for those interested: http://youtube.com/watch?v=bwqTG5QllDU (the first two or three minutes of the first song are cut off)


Because, singers generally think they run the show and they ARE the band. Like with Van Halen and Audioslave.

Anyhow, music was pretty good, nice chillin tune.
#12
It doesn't sound to me like you're bossy at all. You just seem to be the only one who cares about progressing the band at all. The drummer doesn't seem too enthusiastic about it really. I agree with you, I don't see how you can be absolutely busy for 3 straight days. If this band was something that your drummer really cared about he'd make time to practice.

Now, I'd just like to comment on your sound especially since you said you want to go into the jam band realm, listing Phish as a primary influence. And Phish being my forte, I figured I could help a little bit. My main issue with your sound is that its waaaaaaaaaaaaay too cluttered. I really can't distinguish any instruments from one another. Id suggest cleaning up the sound a bit (especially the drum tone). The drummer, first and foremost, HAS to keep a steady beat. Fills are nice and cool sounding, but if the drummer gets off time everybody notices and it sounds really awful and inturn throws the rest of the band off time and now you just have a huge mess. For the bass, its not bad, but keep it interesting. The only time I really find myself going "hmmm the bass is pretty cool" is during like breakdowns and shit, keep it interesting throughout the whole song. If you listen to Mike Gordon, he's ALWAYS doing something really interesting. Lead guitar (which I'm assuming is you, correct me if I'm wrong) I'd suggest getting your chops up, don't worry though nobody is that great in 10th grade, I wasn't. I find that its really helpful to just jam along to songs in your room, especially if you're into Phish. It will really help with your improvising and confidence. If you're able to keep up with Mike Page and Fish, you can really shine with your band. Keyboard sounds pretty decent, my only comment is just switch up effects, play piano sometimes, synth sometimes, organ sometimes, and switch it up. Thats it really, hope it helps.
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#13
Thanks for that long post. That wasn't our drummer's kit, his usual kit sounds a lot better, the snare's tuned a lot higher, the bass drum lower, the toms are quieter, and the cymbals are smaller, so it sounds a lot more clean usually. He's been playing for around 9 months, so he's quite good for that. I don't know if you could see in the video, but he was wearing a cast and had a fractured radius, so that explains that.

You couldn't hear what was going on in the first song, but the bassist and I are doing a counterpoint riff which sounds quite cool if you ask me. You can't really hear it because he's using a 65 watt amp not running through the PA, and I'm using a borrowed Marshall MG, solely for volume purposes, but that's why it sounds muddy. Normally I use a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe, which cleans up the sound immensely.

I do need to get my chops up. To put it in Phish perspective, I can play, a little faster than the band plays it, the end of "Bouncing Around The Room" where Trey is doing the two-note per string arpeggios , but that's about the hardest thing I can play.

I'll mention the sound thing to the keyboardist, but that keyboard was borrowed and he didn't really know his way around it too well so he'd just find one sound per song and stick with it.

Thanks though, I appreciate you taking the time to write all that.

EDIT: Our bassist is sick nasty though, check out this video for an example: http://youtube.com/watch?v=F2tB38hSKUM&feature=related
Last edited by bananaboy at Jun 4, 2008,
#14
Hey,

Sit down with the drummer and ask him if he is really up for doing your band (which is sounding pretty good), and really put across how much it means to you and the other guys.

My band was in a very similar predicament, our drummer would cancel practices right before gigs because he wanted to go shopping with his girlfriend. Now I didn't think that was on, if the guy is busy with important stuff fair enough, but to cancel an important practice with very little warning for (in my opinion) unjust reasons was not on.

I talked to everyone else in the band and we basically sat down with him and told him it was wasn't good enough. He took it badly and kicked up a fuss, and basically quit before we could get rid of him. But because we did it early, we're all still on good terms and the band's going strionger than ever with our new drummer in tow.

This may seem like a harsh approach, however that's way we got around it (that said, I'm a bit of a bastard sometimes when people aren't doing what I want).

Hope that may help.

Keep up the good music!

Jon.
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#15
Thanks for the compliments and comments regarding to the drummer situation, but that wasn't really what I was aiming for with this thread.

What can I do to show the other members of the band that they have equal input with everything?
#16
Well, I understand your drummer is relatively new to his instrument, but if thats the case, don't expect to be playing You Enjoy Myself or Divided Sky anytime soon. I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest you guys find a better drummer than, I mean, if he's having trouble committing and hes not even that experienced, I'd say check around school for a better one. Thats just me though, its up to you.

And for you, some really good Phish songs which I'd suggest jamming to would be:

Julius (A Blues)
YEM (G Minor)
Reba (Bb Major/Eb Lydian)
Antelope (E minor although sometimes it gets really weird... the Clifford Ball is a really good one that stays mainly in E minor)
Divided Sky (D major)
Limb By Limb (F Major)

If you're into Phish I'm sure you've heard all these songs, and they all have really long soloing/jamming slots so it will really help you build up your chops to constantly play along to these. Also, go to www.nugs.net and click on free stash on the top right and tada 50 something Phish shows at your disposal, not to mention like 40 something Dead shows and a buttload of other bands.

Edit: If you usually lead the practices, let the other guys lead and ask them what they all want to practice. Thats pretty much all I can say regarding your situation with your band members.
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Last edited by trey-col89 at Jun 4, 2008,
#17
The problem is, A, the drummer and I are pretty much best friends and he's also extremely tight with everyone else in the band, and they'd probably take his side in the event of an argument. And B, I live in a town dominated by ****ty hardcore bands (I have nothing against the genre, and quite in fact really enjoy it, but the bands really are ****ty) and all the other drummers will only play that kind of music or are wrapped up by other bands or are even worse.

EDIT: I'll check that site out, I mostly stick to the Live Music Archive at the moment, that's a fantastic site if you don't know it. No Phish though.
Last edited by bananaboy at Jun 4, 2008,
#18
You can gently guide the drummer. Ask him to stay in the pocket more, and to remember he's the time keeper and that while filling is awesome, he can't shirk his responsibility as the time keeper for the sake of a fill.

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#19
Then I guess you'll just have to stick it out. Introduce your drummer to some Phish (if hes not familiar already), lord knows how amazing Fish is at drums. Have him listen to some of their more impressive drum songs, hopefully that would inspire him to practise?

If you're talking about www.archive.org, I am very familiar haha, I've been around the block a few times.
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#20
Quote by bananaboy
I ask my friend if she knows any drummers that can fill in for him, and she names a few, and then she adds, "But I'd watch out, Ethan. The rest of the band is kinda mad at you, they think you act like it's your band."

The woman is the one to blame. Clearly she's scheming against your band by telling all of you lies.
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#21
A. Speak to the other members on their own, if they agree with you, they'll take your side in the arguement, if they don't, maybe you need to find like-minded people. I would generally say put friendship before bands, particularily at a young age, but if you really believe in the music and care about it more than anything, then you need the right people to drive you forward. The right person is not always the best friend.

B) We had a bit of trouble finding a new drummer, but when we did, the differences were astounding. Nothing great can be acheived in a band without a tight as hell rhythm section, so just keep looking!


In terms of bossiness, I think as long as you make it clear that the other guys have a say, for example, ask "Have you guys got any new material you would like to work on?", or, "Where do you guys think we should go with this?". If they don't have any ideas of their own, then tou taking control is no problem at all, at least you're getting somewhere.

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#22
If there's one thing I hate it's when band members can't practice before a gig.

I would say, to really show your band mates you care about em and they have just as much input as you is, just next practice sit down and ask them "What do you guys wanna do, what do you wanna write, or cover" Then they will feel included.

+1 to that. Also ask them if they have any new song ideas, and if they do, jam along with it and see if you can structure it and such. If they don't feel included after that then they just aren't being assertive enough.
#23
trey-col: he practices a lot, just not with us. and yes, i was referring to www.archive.org, i found the most amazing moe. concert there the other day.

FLNagle: as crazy as this sounds, I talked to the singer, and he said it's not something he's noticed, so I think the lady is blowing things out of proportion. I'll get up with the bassist later.
#24
Quote by bananaboy
FLNagle: as crazy as this sounds, I talked to the singer, and he said it's not something he's noticed, so I think the lady is blowing things out of proportion. I'll get up with the bassist later.

Yeah. Its happened before.

Good luck with your situation though.
Quote by lespaul#1
Indie stands for Industrial I think, like Marilyn Manson.

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#25
i've got the same problem man. just keep doing what you're doing, and if they want to bitch about it then you'd be better off with different people.
#26
If the entire band think you are too bossy, (and that really is something you should be asking the entire band about before reacting to gossip) then the only thing you can really do is apologise for coming across that way and ask them exactly how they would like you to act.
In the meantime, remind them that this gig that you have coming up is your sister's graduation party and it's really important to you personaly and you really don't want to let your sister down in any way.
A possible solution would be to see if you can arrange for the band to set up very early at wherever your sister's party will be and then just run through any songs that you feel may be a problem if they are unrehearsed before anyone else turns up.
#27
I have talked to the other members. Apparently it's a non-issue with the singer, when I asked him, "Do I come off as bossy or controlling or arrogant?" he replied, "Dude, you write all the music, it's cool." It's really just the drummer who I'm having a problem with.

But yeah, we all talked and agreed to go on hiatus for a while, until we all get our ducks in a line. I'm gonna ask the bassist if he wants to start another band with a drummer friend of ours, because he's seriously the sickest bassist around and he's a really good bandmate. And one of my chick friends and I are starting an acoustic group, that should take up a lot of my musical time.