#1
Oy vey the $hit is hitting the fan really fast!

Ok here's the deal gang.

As you may already know, I am the Lead vocalist, Lead Guitarist, Main Songwriter, Main marketer, Promoter, Web-master, Designer, (and Jew )
The drummer has the PA and the Practice Space, and the Bassist writes all the basslines (duh!) but otherwise they don't do any non-music work pertaining to the band.


I set out on a quest about a month ago for my band to learn 20 original tunes to put in the studio and rock out the tunes, put half of em on the album, and save the rest for Eps down the line.
Right now we've reached 11 tunes.

Now crisis has erupted.
My bandmates, as you could imagine, are not the most upfront people. My bassist is shy as ****, and my drummer is one of those down to earth doesnt give a shit guys.
My bassist may also recently have gotten Carpal Tunnel (he's due to see the doc about it soon) which is deepely saddening. But! they believe I have been overworking them by learning 2 new original tunes at every practice, which is 2 times a week. I quite literally have 80 sets of lyrics to choose from, so I have just been adding guitar riffs and rocking them out. Both of them are complaining that they cannot remember the songs (I'm rectifiying that with a tape recorder)
however, they seem to be angry that I'm forcing this band cutting into their lives.

Keep in mind, we are still in highschool...

This band has existed for some on 8 months at this point and yet I care about this band, more than anything, this is my hope, my dream, my seed, my legacy, and my love. This is my pride, my anguish, my expression, and my bandmates are my family. If it were up to me i would want to play with them for eternity.

I've decided to cut the shit to 14 tracks fill in a few with covers and live cuts on some of the EPs.


What the HELL do I do?
am I suffering from LSS? (lead singer syndrome)
am I overworking them?
are they just lazy?
What the hell is the deal?
#2
You're certainly overworking them. Work load is subjective - evidently, they are not two people who can deal with as much work as you're giving them, hence overwork. I do think two new songs per session, twice a week is a little extreme by any standards. Consider switching to two songs a week, rather than four. You said you're in highschool, so it's not like you're middle aged and running out of time to get a record deal. If they're having trouble remembering the songs, it's probably because you're not giving them enough time to learn them properly. I'd suggest not moving on to a new song until they're both comfortable that they can remember the one you're currently practising. It may seem slow and boring, but like with anything in music, it's better to go slow and get everything done right, rather than trying to speed through, getting on stage in front of 20000 people, and then realising you can't play shit...

It's great that you're keen, but being over-keen and too much work has caused even some established, successful bands to break up...
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#3
They all contribute a bit

LSS sound quite true

But it dosen't make you a bad person

Just make sure that you take on board what they said about it all and try to fit it accordginaly with the way you want the band to go
#4
Simple answer, cut the work rate to a half. Just practice once a week instead.
As MrFlibble said 'Work load is subjective.' and if the majority of the band cannot keep up, then it's gonna cause problems.
You'll still get there, it'll just take a little longer and as MrFlibble also said 'it's better to go slow and get everything done right, rather than trying to speed through' which I couldn't agree with more.

Remember when we were talking in another thread about running a band as a democracy? How we said that everyone will not get their own way all the time and things will happen that maybe one person won't like but will have to put up with because it's a 'band' decision?
It just happened to you.

If your bassist really does have carpal tunnel, then he is going to struggle and it's only going to get worse.
It can be rectified somewhat by an operation, but he'll never have the same dexterity on a bass again.
I really feel for you (and even more for your bassist of course) because this situation (if he's diagnosed with it) is a nightmare that is completely out of your hands.

But, it might just be because he is trying to keep up with your schedule and struggling.
This is something that used to happen to me when I was a regular bass player. If I was slightly out of practice and attempted to play anything intricate and fast, I would get cramp in my inner forearm and hand, which tends to cause the fingers to draw inwards or 'claw' which looks just like a symptom of carpal tunnel.
Intense bass playing eventualy builds up the inner forearm muscles and with plenty of short practices, this problem should stop. The cramping effect could even be due to something as simple as dehydration.
When it does happen, if he stops playing and bends his hand and fingers right back as far as he can, stretching all the tendons along his inner forearm, that usualy sorts it out, but he must not attempt to play again until the clawing effect stops. And if one of you can give his forearm a vigorous rub (and I do mean VIGOROUS!!!) for about 5 minutes, that should also help immensely.

But this is all just ''if'' at the moment, so wait until he gets his results from the doctors before deciding what to do about it.
If he does have carpal tunnel, sad though it is, it may even be best to replace him and if it ever gets to that point, just hope that he realises this and bows out gracefully.
But it needn't be the end for him, it mainly means that he won't have the same finger dexterity, (after the op) so maybe you could simplify the bass lines for him.
Last edited by SlackerBabbath at Oct 6, 2008,
#6
I can see the point of view that a lot of people are coming from, but if you're willing to work so hard for your success, why would you compromise your incredible work ethic for others?

If they're the only players you can play with right now, you may have to make a temporary comprmise, but I have a feeling that unless you live in Mongolia, you will be able to find people with the same passion as you.
#7
I was thinking that a bit, but you know we are truly just in high school...

Truthfully I always find its the guitarists who are the most dedicated and hard-working, at least where i'm from. Most bassists and drummers I know are very chill people.
#8
Quote by SlackerBabbath
Simple answer, cut the work rate to a half. Just practice once a week instead.
As MrFlibble said 'Work load is subjective.' and if the majority of the band cannot keep up, then it's gonna cause problems.
You'll still get there, it'll just take a little longer and as MrFlibble also said 'it's better to go slow and get everything done right, rather than trying to speed through' which I couldn't agree with more.

Remember when we were talking in another thread about running a band as a democracy? How we said that everyone will not get their own way all the time and things will happen that maybe one person won't like but will have to put up with because it's a 'band' decision?
It just happened to you.

If your bassist really does have carpal tunnel, then he is going to struggle and it's only going to get worse.
It can be rectified somewhat by an operation, but he'll never have the same dexterity on a bass again.
I really feel for you (and even more for your bassist of course) because this situation (if he's diagnosed with it) is a nightmare that is completely out of your hands.

But, it might just be because he is trying to keep up with your schedule and struggling.
This is something that used to happen to me when I was a regular bass player. If I was slightly out of practice and attempted to play anything intricate and fast, I would get cramp in my inner forearm and hand, which tends to cause the fingers to draw inwards or 'claw' which looks just like a symptom of carpal tunnel.
Intense bass playing eventualy builds up the inner forearm muscles and with plenty of short practices, this problem should stop. The cramping effect could even be due to something as simple as dehydration.
When it does happen, if he stops playing and bends his hand and fingers right back as far as he can, stretching all the tendons along his inner forearm, that usualy sorts it out, but he must not attempt to play again until the clawing effect stops. And if one of you can give his forearm a vigorous rub (and I do mean VIGOROUS!!!) for about 5 minutes, that should also help immensely.

But this is all just ''if'' at the moment, so wait until he gets his results from the doctors before deciding what to do about it.
If he does have carpal tunnel, sad though it is, it may even be best to replace him and if it ever gets to that point, just hope that he realises this and bows out gracefully.
But it needn't be the end for him, it mainly means that he won't have the same finger dexterity, (after the op) so maybe you could simplify the bass lines for him.


I agree with this. I used to push my bass player to learn bass lines I wrote, because when it came to recording and he wasn't around, I'd write them and record them myself. But I learned that once I was showing him and forcing him the bass lines I wrote, he forgot them. But 4 songs a week is alot. We rehearse once a week, and every other week we get down a new original. So during the rehearsal time your not learning new songs, rehearse them.
#9
I dont write any of the basslines, becuase I feel it takes the creative prowess out of the bass, (that and i'm a guitarist, I have an ear for GUITAR lines, not what the bass is doing)

He's due to see the doc tomorrow about it. I really hope that it all goes well for him
So basically I should just cut the workload down to 2 songs a week and call it a night?
#10
My advice, take them out and have a good time or something remember that your friends as well as band mates.

My band is so laid back, we all love the environment we've got and we crank out new tunes relatively frequently and we play about 1-2 shows every month. Over summer we were with each other constantly but we only actually practiced every couple days for about an hour. The more comfortable you are with them as friends the better and more cohesive the music will be.

At least that's what I think makes it work for us, but who knows maybe it's just us.

It also might be our style of music as well, pretty simple execution stuff. But it's what we love!
Last edited by WhereArtEsteban at Oct 6, 2008,
#11
I think it's great how devoted you are....

But at the same time, you have to think of the quantity over quality argument when you practice too. It's better to have 10 songs that you have absolutely tight, and are great songs to boot, DOWN, rather than working up a ton to choose from, and only a few stand out because they haven't been polished and "lived in". Playing songs more builds an attachment to them, and then you look for the ways to make them sound the best, and give your best performance because you've worked on them and want to make sure that they get out and heard the best they are.

Also, you may want to consider consolidating your best ideas--the best bridge with the best verse and chorus may not be in the same song right now, because you're writing so many. I'm not saying you can't write, just consider that perspective too in all this. Then, put those best parts together and then teach the band that song and have them get it down. You spend more time on material, slow down on teaching songs, the band has more time to breathe.....everybody wins.

Also, the whole night on the town thing can really help too. You might want to consider taking a week off from practice, and using the time when you'd have practice to hang out and do something totally unrelated to the band. If you're playing as much as you say, it wouldn't kill your chops, more likely strengthen them, because everyone has a chance to breathe, re-energize, and get perspective.
#12
Well, Dave Mustaine, that's the problem with LSS. Your bandmates are guaranteed not to be as determined as you, probably because in the end you'd end up making more money than them and getting more noticed than them ( rightfully so, though ). That's also the problem with getting in a band with a friend. You have to be more compassionate to their abilities and inabilities, their wants and needs. If it gets bad, I'd suggest you just part ways with the band. Obviously you don't need them if you're writing most of the material. Take your material to some guys who can keep up and are willing ( there are people like that ) and take over the world.
#13
A bit off topic but:

What the hell is it with the "Countdown To Rock" shit you have in all the threads?
#14
I agree with the idea of skippin practices for a week and hanging out
it really helps to strengthen ur band and build relationships back up lol
#15
If only I weren't in high school

Its really tough to find people who respect the kind of music I play and write it around here. If it comes down to it, I might just have to wait till college to get something real off the ground.

I love working with these guys though, except i think the problem is that I have such a perception and a vision, but they are just thinking about having fun and rocking out as kids.

thanks for all the replies, suggestions are still welcome
#16
Quote by ESte
A bit off topic but:

What the hell is it with the "Countdown To Rock" shit you have in all the threads?


I like to have interesting thread titles so people will be like wtf is this about and than read them :
#17
I apologize for the triple post

But I have terrible news, My bassist has an early form of carpal tunnel in his right hand. My only hope is that he'll use his left to invent an easyr way to play.

I really do not want to fire him, but I'll only do so if it gets that bad.
#18
You're stuck, seeing as you could be part of the reason why he's screwed up. Leaving will make you look like a dick especially because he's your friend. If they're both your friends then you can guarantee that kicking the bassist will lead to you being without a drummer and two friends.

Just disband the band, keep writing songs, and then join up on another in a few months. Maybe keep the drummer if you can.
#19
so your telling to throw away all my work?
It's not as if my bassist can no longer play the bass, its kind of his life. He litterally has nothing else going for him right now (he's not an ace in school, and thats kind of his only hobby)


EDIT: Just talked to him for a while on the phone, he gave me the details. He has minor carpal tunnel in his right hand, and he really only gets the burning in spontaneous bursts. According to the Doc he'll be fine if he wears his brace and takes IP Profin before practices.
Last edited by Highwaytohell at Oct 7, 2008,
#20
Quote by Highwaytohell
so your telling to throw away all my work?
It's not as if my bassist can no longer play the bass, its kind of his life. He litterally has nothing else going for him right now (he's not an ace in school, and thats kind of his only hobby)


EDIT: Just talked to him for a while on the phone, he gave me the details. He has minor carpal tunnel in his right hand, and he really only gets the burning in spontaneous bursts. According to the Doc he'll be fine if he wears his brace and takes IP Profin before practices.

Wasn't tellin ya to throw away all your work. Metallica didn't and MUSTAINE wrote the stuff lol. It's good that all of that worked out.
#21
I think i'll just stick with it.

You seriously have no idea what it's like trying to find a group of tight dedicated musicians where i'm from.

It's like asking a tree how to masturbate.

On a higher note, we're due for practice friday, and studio time in november
#22
Quote by Highwaytohell
I apologize for the triple post

But I have terrible news, My bassist has an early form of carpal tunnel in his right hand. My only hope is that he'll use his left to invent an easyr way to play.

I really do not want to fire him, but I'll only do so if it gets that bad.


Easier way to play ehhh.....

Have him as a human capo and hire someone else to pick.
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#23
Somehow we came to a comprimise.

All I had to do was cut one of the days off practice and everybody was like... AAAiiight.
Besides, it gives us more to look forward to at the end of the week.
#24
Complications Complications...

OK, so i cut the amount of songs to 11 so we could have some more powerful tunes, and I made only one practice per week, but a longer one (dont know if this was the best idea)
I've considered replacing the bassist, but I don't think that would be a good idea at all, as it would be nigh impossible to find one who fit in as tightly as he can. (I dont know how the hell he is playing so well with this carpal thing, he's just annihilating the strings, no joke).

I in fact, share my drummer and bassist with my ex-guitarist and friend's band (un-named) and my friend (who is a very good guitarist yet very anal music-producing styled guy) suggested that we combine bands to form a sort of super band. We're going to jam to try it out. I for one think its a horrible idea, (he sayd it would be so much more convieniant, i say music is not about f---ing conveniance, its about how well it sounds). The other guitarist left becuase I was intolerant of his inability to keep up (he got cocky about his obsession with blues licks, despite the fact that he refused to play anything but powerchords and had the stage prescence of an emo kid)

Bad Idea?
Good Idea?
#25
Quote by Highwaytohell
Complications Complications...

OK, so i cut the amount of songs to 11 so we could have some more powerful tunes, and I made only one practice per week, but a longer one (dont know if this was the best idea)
I've considered replacing the bassist, but I don't think that would be a good idea at all, as it would be nigh impossible to find one who fit in as tightly as he can. (I dont know how the hell he is playing so well with this carpal thing, he's just annihilating the strings, no joke).

I in fact, share my drummer and bassist with my ex-guitarist and friend's band (un-named) and my friend (who is a very good guitarist yet very anal music-producing styled guy) suggested that we combine bands to form a sort of super band. We're going to jam to try it out. I for one think its a horrible idea, (he sayd it would be so much more convieniant, i say music is not about f---ing conveniance, its about how well it sounds). The other guitarist left becuase I was intolerant of his inability to keep up (he got cocky about his obsession with blues licks, despite the fact that he refused to play anything but powerchords and had the stage prescence of an emo kid)

Bad Idea?
Good Idea?


So that brings a total of how many would be in that super group?
#26
Quote by Highwaytohell
Complications Complications...

OK, so i cut the amount of songs to 11 so we could have some more powerful tunes, and I made only one practice per week, but a longer one (dont know if this was the best idea)
I've considered replacing the bassist, but I don't think that would be a good idea at all, as it would be nigh impossible to find one who fit in as tightly as he can. (I dont know how the hell he is playing so well with this carpal thing, he's just annihilating the strings, no joke).

I in fact, share my drummer and bassist with my ex-guitarist and friend's band (un-named) and my friend (who is a very good guitarist yet very anal music-producing styled guy) suggested that we combine bands to form a sort of super band. We're going to jam to try it out. I for one think its a horrible idea, (he sayd it would be so much more convieniant, i say music is not about f---ing conveniance, its about how well it sounds). The other guitarist left becuase I was intolerant of his inability to keep up (he got cocky about his obsession with blues licks, despite the fact that he refused to play anything but powerchords and had the stage prescence of an emo kid)

Bad Idea?
Good Idea?


It sounds like you're on the right track, dude. If you keep putting energy into the situation, stuff will happen. If you graduate HS and the band is going nowhere, just use your experience there as a springboard into something new and better.

Just keep doin' what you're doin', man.
#27
Quote by Guitarfreak777
So that brings a total of how many would be in that super group?


3 guitars, a bass and a drummer so 5