#1
a little background: Me and my bud have been playing guitar for about 5 years now, we started learning at about the same time, and have been playing together ever since the beggining sharing songs and teaching each other things that we learned or better ways to play things. It was going great until now.

I've been noticing a lot more lately that he really isn't that good and i've been getting a lot better, he is a very sloppy player, and by no means is a lead guitarist, which he thinks he is, when he trys to solo its all scratchy and you can barely here the notes for what they're expose to be. Lately we've been starting to play with a drummer and bassist and they want to start a band. I really don't think its going to work though with his domonant personality and his for the better word lack of skill as a lead guitarist. And i really want to play with these guys, b/c i really want to play in a band, but really don't want to play with my friend and i really think he would hold us back.

Im not the only one whos noticed this either, a lot of people who have heard us play together said it was like between night and day of which one was better and sounded cleaner.

I really just want to know how i should tell him i don't really want to play with him anymore, its been getting very annoying like today he told me to play a chord progression and he solo over it. It was like a nails on a chalk board.

I mean theres always a guitar battle lol, but i don't want to piss him off enough to where he never talks to me again over something stupid like this, which he will do.
#2
To not be direct, you could have him record himself. When I listen to myself, I know whether or not I'm a screwup. Or when the band starts, have a vote on who should be lead.

More indirect, say that the band would go in a different direction than his style.

To be direct, tell him you don't want to play with him.
#3
yea the only problem is we're very good friends, friends for years, and he has been known not to talk to people before over stupid stuff, and i don't want that.

and the other thing is don't want to just be like you suck and him never pick up a guitar again either. Because that is also something that he would probally do.

I mean he's a great rhythm guitarist, like 20x better than me, he just can't except that every person in the band has a role, and he thinks its all about he lead, i mean i would be fine with doing an Iron Maiden thing or Metallica thing where both guitarist have a solo once we clean him up a bit. But its like out of the question in his mind, he's very stubborn and thinks he's better at everything.

the only way im seeing to get pass this is straight up tell him he needs to get better or he's not playing, which i really don't want to do.
#4
Be direct with him. You won't have a good band if you don't have good communication. If he gets all pissed off and doesn't talk to you again, he has problems.
#5
Have him be the rhythm guitarist and you be the lead, and not to have hard feelings, let him solo once in awhile, so he can get some spotlight. But, don't vote on it, it leads to more problems and if you, the drummer, and bassist agree to having him be rhythm, and he wanting to solo, he'll feel as thought your turning on him, and it could harm your friendship. Let him solo once in awhile.
#6
i mean im fine with letting him solo, he is just (how do i say it) not good, he's so sloppy and doesn't think he's bad at all, so he doesn't really try to get better and cleaner.

i think i might just record both of us and point out the difference.
#7
Give him a scripted solo to learn, and Tell him if he cant play it right then hes not doing it at all. If he takes the time to learn it, then wonderfull. If he doesnt, well then hes not going to have very many solo's is he?
#8
honestly d00d, you guys should be able to go back and fourth. He plays rhythm one song, you the next. You guys should be able to play eachother's stuff.


Like that chord progression you mentioned. He already knows the progression, he's been playing that by himself just wishing he could play some lead over it. You should play it, listen to him play over it, and then vice versa.
#9
Just try and get him to not be so stubborn, you don't have to directly tell him he's not good, but suggest to him some things that he should practice, and maybe just play with him more, if he's playing guitar more then he will naturally get better at the stuff he is playing.

Or have either the drummer or bassist tell him (assuming they agree with you) if one of them keeps telling him that he doesn't sound good, then it just makes them look like the bad guy (which doesn't matter as much as you) and the guitarist will either listen to him (maybe because he's not a friend) and practice more, or get pissed and hopefully leave.

Good Luck
#10
Quote by TNA
Just try and get him to not be so stubborn, you don't have to directly tell him he's not good, but suggest to him some things that he should practice, and maybe just play with him more, if he's playing guitar more then he will naturally get better at the stuff he is playing.

Or have either the drummer or bassist tell him (assuming they agree with you) if one of them keeps telling him that he doesn't sound good, then it just makes them look like the bad guy (which doesn't matter as much as you) and the guitarist will either listen to him (maybe because he's not a friend) and practice more, or get pissed and hopefully leave.

Good Luck


yea they agree with me, mostly everyone does, even his older brother lol, I just don't have it in me to tell him he needs to get better, b/c he honestly takes the smallest things and turns them into a montrosity. "he'll be like wtf are you talking about dude, if anything you need to get better"

And to Free Time, i honestly have no problem letting him play over the progression or anything, or switching off im fine with that (thats probally the ideal thing to do) its literally the fact that i got like way better and he stayed about the same, and he's trying to play songs that are to advanced for him and won't accept the fact that he's not as good, im going to get a recording of it just so you guys can hear, b/c honestly it sounds like finger nails scratching on a chalk board, theres no other way i can describe it. He's good at rhythm and doing small licks, not full solos, i just wish he would see that.

and i figured out how to describe it, give a five year old a guitar for the first time and tell him to solo, its that bad. You know hitting every string and trying to hit as many notes as he can.
#11
Quote by scguitarking927
yea they agree with me, mostly everyone does, even his older brother lol, I just don't have it in me to tell him he needs to get better, b/c he honestly takes the smallest things and turns them into a montrosity. "he'll be like wtf are you talking about dude, if anything you need to get better"

Some people are just like that I'm afraid, and quite often you have no other other option than to just tell him and put up with the nurotic martardom that's going to come from him.
Still, if you want to avoid all this, you have to fool his ego.
Have a quiet word with the rest of the band, then get them all to compliment him on his rhythm playing. Get them to tell him that they think that you are a slightly better lead player than him but his rhythm playing is awsome, the absolute backbone of the band. Even mention a couple of famous rhythm players, like Malcolm Young for instance, and say that he reminds you of them.
Try it the other way around with him playing lead and you playing rhythm, maybe you could make a couple of deliberate mistakes but don't overdo it, then have the other guys suddenly stop playing and say stuff like 'Wait a minute, wait a minute... this just ain't working!' then, (as rehearsed) they should tell you that you are, frankly, crap at rhythm, then get them to beg him to play the rhythm parts.
This will make him feel that he is the only person who should be playing rhythm in this band. It will be his position and he'll probably guard it with his life.
He'll be so proud and full of himself about being the best at playing rhythm, he'll probably insist on doing it from then on.
Don't do this all at once, or it will seem obvious, but if you do it gradualy over a few weeks, it should work.
#12
Quote by SlackerBabbath
Some people are just like that I'm afraid, and quite often you have no other other option than to just tell him and put up with the nurotic martardom that's going to come from him.
Still, if you want to avoid all this, you have to fool his ego.
Have a quiet word with the rest of the band, then get them all to compliment him on his rhythm playing. Get them to tell him that they think that you are a slightly better lead player than him but his rhythm playing is awsome, the absolute backbone of the band. Even mention a couple of famous rhythm players, like Malcolm Young for instance, and say that he reminds you of them.
Try it the other way around with him playing lead and you playing rhythm, maybe you could make a couple of deliberate mistakes but don't overdo it, then have the other guys suddenly stop playing and say stuff like 'Wait a minute, wait a minute... this just ain't working!' then, (as rehearsed) they should tell you that you are, frankly, crap at rhythm, then get them to beg him to play the rhythm parts.
This will make him feel that he is the only person who should be playing rhythm in this band. It will be his position and he'll probably guard it with his life.
He'll be so proud and full of himself about being the best at playing rhythm, he'll probably insist on doing it from then on.
Don't do this all at once, or it will seem obvious, but if you do it gradualy over a few weeks, it should work.

A bit manipulative... could damage things in the longrun. but im sure it would work very well to solve the immediate problem.
Quote by Gabel
You are EXTREMELY WRONG! I have played it. I own an 18W and it would be an awful stereo amp, it's way too bright, breaks up too easily and so on. Secondly, why would a guitar store sell an hifi amp.
#13
Quote by ripple07
A bit manipulative...

Yeah, I know. That's why I suggested just telling him straight to start with. But at least this way it encourages him to look at rhythm in a more serious way.
In my opinion, rhythm guitar is an art form all to itself and not enough guitarists concentrate on it enough.
Bands like AC/DC have a really good full sound because they have a dedicated, pure, rhythm guitarist.
#14
In my opinion, rhythm guitar is an art form all to itself and not enough guitarists concentrate on it enough. Bands like AC/DC have a really good full sound because they have a dedicated, pure, rhythm guitarist.


Guns N' Roses, as well. Slash goes on about Izzy Stradlin a lot-playing rhythm guitar the way he did really helped build the sound, and he was really hard to replace as a result.
#15
I actually see a larger problem here...he's been your friend for that long, yet can't take constructive criticism from you? That's not much of a friend. Maybe you should approach him in that vein...tell him you aren't trying to be an ass to him, you want to help him get better, and it's not cool that he outright rejects you because you wouldn't even bother trying to help if you weren't friends. Something like that. If you record his playing and let him hear it back after the fact, that could also help too.

I mean, I shudder to think about my playing around 18-19 years old...in hindsight I know it was sloppy with piss poor technique (power chords using my pinky a lot...I still sometimes do it, but only when it makes sense in transition, tough habit to completely break), and my absolute ignorance on tone (I definitely had a harsh sterile distortion that didn't fit in with the music I was playing)...but nobody told me any better. I wish they had.

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#16
Let me put it this way. If you tell him how to improve using constructive criticism and he dosn't take it, I question his dedication to the instrument and his dedication to the music craft. Any guitarist should always always always be willing to learn and improve on anything.

Example: The other day I was doing a guitar seminar on loops and effects and this 11 year old kid sat down with his electric. I taught a little about the loop pedals and stuff then he proceded to do something amazing on the guitar. Ive been playing longer than he has been alive, but I put down my pride and asked him to show me how he did what he did. And I believe I got better because of it.

If your boy dosn't want to get better, its his loss, and kicking him out is your gain.
#17
Quote by Roxor_Mc0wnage
Let me put it this way. If you tell him how to improve using constructive criticism and he dosn't take it, I question his dedication to the instrument and his dedication to the music craft. Any guitarist should always always always be willing to learn and improve on anything.

Example: The other day I was doing a guitar seminar on loops and effects and this 11 year old kid sat down with his electric. I taught a little about the loop pedals and stuff then he proceded to do something amazing on the guitar. Ive been playing longer than he has been alive, but I put down my pride and asked him to show me how he did what he did. And I believe I got better because of it.

If your boy dosn't want to get better, its his loss, and kicking him out is your gain.



believe me i try too, was a lot easier when we first started, but now...He has no problem picking up something to play, it just sounds horrible, even stuff he's been playing for years...just doesn't sound good. And its just been getting more and more apparent that he really isn't good and is doing nothing to try to get better.

like yesterday he wanted to learn Fade To Black by Metallica, and wanted to learn the verse part first (the nice clean part) I told him the chords that it was and showed him the tabs, b/c its not just playing the chords its some finger picking too. But he just started playing the chords and not picking out any of the notes in the chords like the song. I was honestly shuddering, and when i was like "no no no, its like this" he tried it for about two seconds and was like "Nah man, this sounds better" I keep on saying ill give it another shot and keep playing with him, but every time it seems to get worse and worse.
#18
You might need to deliver some tough love then if he acts like that. "Naw, this sounds better?" when he's not playing it right? Not a good sign.

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#19
Either help him get better or man up and tell him he needs to practice more. If he gets pissed off, who cares. Walk away and in a week or two he'll figure it out. I always found playing with friends to be easier when you can just sit down and say "dude that was awful", then drink and laugh over it later.

Also, you really can't be passive about how you confront him. He'll probably be to oblivious to realize something is wrong. You really just have to be direct about it and stand your ground. If something sounds bad, say it sounds bad and you don't like it. Who knows, he might just get motivated to practice.
#20
A guitarist (or anyone) who can't take constructive criticism has already failed

he says "naw, this sounds better"

you say, "naw, it really doesn't" or "I hate that" or "play it the way it was written" or "next song"
#23
I think the time has come to let him go, i mean if he is as stubbon as you say he is (of which i have no doubt) then maybe he needs the frankest possible way to get the message across and that unfortunatly that is only recording on. Maybe post a video of Youtube of both of you playing the same song with the same tabbed out or written out part and then show it to him and see i there are any youtube comments that back this talent gap up