IS It All About Me or About the Band. Or Whats behind door number 3?


Gray Dude
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Gray Dude
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04/05/2023 9:26 pm

I have a conflict in my band and I’m looking for some words of advice please.


I the band we let in person suggest a song they would like to play. Then we vote if we want to play it majority wins.


So we voted on a song and it was picked. However my bass player decided differently. Came up with the following comment: “Bass line downright sucks and is booooring. Wayyyy too repetative.”


One of the other’s mention that he could spice it up a bit. Which he likes to do to many of the songs. I’m OK with it to a point as long as it doesn’t deter to far from the song. We are mostly a cover band.


My comment: I don’t mind changing things a bit. As long as we keep in mind that when the singer is singing we do everything to support and make that sound the best the same for the solos we make that person shine.


He does not agree and feels he has the right to veto. I think he feels he has to rewrite it just because its simple, which he does not, its good just as it is in its simple form.


This type of response is new to me and I feel it’s quite selfish. Normally for me I’m happy to play whatever song someone suggests and we give it a try. There are many songs that are repetitive but that doesn’t mean that its a bad song. Many songs with just two chords and simple rhythm.


Anyway I meet with him Friday to help him learn his parts for the new songs and also talk to him about this.  Any suggestions on the best way to handle? I honestly feel like kicking him out of the band but don’t want to be too rash.


Thanks!


 


# 1
ChristopherSchlegel
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ChristopherSchlegel
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04/06/2023 3:19 pm

Just about everything in a band situation is negotiable.


You have to go in knowing what your standards are.  Get crystal clear with yourself about your goals & expectations.  Then communicate that clearly & precisely to the others in band.  Ask them to do the same.  Figure out what they want from being in the band.  What they are willing to do or not.


Sometimes you have to figure out these things on the fly as a situation develops.  But it helps if everyone already has a clear understanding of what they want, what others want, so everyone knows what to expect. 


For this particular situation I can see it going either way.  It just depends on what it's worth to each person.


Which one has more value for you?


A.  A working band to play tunes, but the bass player will play whatever he wants & not necessarily the existing bass line.


B.  A band looking for a bass player that will play the simple existing bass line.


Either one could be acceptable to any one band member or group of bandmates.  Each of you has to make that call based on your individual standards.


When I've been in situations like this it is usually a negotation.  I'd ask the other member (bass player in your case) exactly what they intend to play & then assess it.  Is it in key?  Rhythmically & melodically musical?  Are they aware of the overall dynamics & story arc of the song?  Will they play more actively during the instrumental section & simplify when it might interfere with the vocals?


In other words:  is what they are going to play integrated with the song?  If it's not, then explain why & work with them on how to fix it.  If they refuse, then it's time to part ways.  No hard feelings.  Just a matter of goals & expectations that don't align.


Best of success with your bass player!


edited
Christopher Schlegel
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# 2
Rumble Walrus
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Rumble Walrus
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04/06/2023 6:43 pm

Good words from Christopher, as usual.


My first thought was that this is more than a "one song" kind of thing.  Something may be bothering him totally unrelated to the music and for some unknown reason he's sublimating it through this song.


Possibility one is to follow Christopher's sage advice and approach it from a logical point of view.  In truth probably how I'd do it - unless the bass player is a close friend.  If he's a really, really close friend, value the friendship and drop the song.  There are a million others.


Possibility two is to table (but not drop!) the song and come back to it later.  Unless there are underlying issues (with bands, always a possibility), you may be able to put the song aside, maybe pick up a couple of tunes from bass dude, then come back later with this song.


Possibility three is that the guy is a pain in the a%& to deal with and you may be better off without him.


Of course, if he's a hired gun, pitch his butt out the door and find another.  Immediately.  He's being paid to do a job and he "ain't doin' it".


I've played all of these scenarios.  None of them are fun but of course it's part of being in a band.


Best luck and really cool that you're gigging!


Rumble


# 3
Gray Dude
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Gray Dude
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04/07/2023 1:03 pm

Thank you both of you and taking the time to reply!!  I meet with him tonight to reherse some material. 


Chris


"But it helps if everyone already has a clear understanding of what they want, what others want, so everyone knows what to expect. "


Excellent suggestion! 


 


Rumble


"My first thought was that this is more than a "one song" kind of thing.  Something may be bothering him totally unrelated to the music and for some unknown reason he's sublimating it through this song."


Also very good point!  I did not mention he does have a lot going on in his life right now and he has also is feeling quite exhausted. 


----------


So I will talk with him tonight but mostly I will listen and make sure I understand where he is coming from.  Interesting how important listening is not only in music but also in life!  I'll let you know how it goes.


With gratitude


Mike


 


# 4
Gray Dude
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Gray Dude
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04/09/2023 1:00 pm

The meeting went well and we are both on the same page now.  As Rumble had said, it had much to do with some of the stress he is going through now.  Thanks again to both Chris and Rumble, its nice to have some place to go and and ask these kind of questions that not all people might understand!


 


# 5
Rumble Walrus
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Rumble Walrus
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04/10/2023 2:22 am

Glad to hear Grey Dude.  Sometimes just sounding it out helps.


All the best.


Rumble


# 6
ChristopherSchlegel
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ChristopherSchlegel
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04/10/2023 11:04 am

Glad you were able to deal with it successfully!


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# 7
emmanbrownusa1
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emmanbrownusa1
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12/11/2023 2:22 am

The first step to resolving conflict is to identify its cause. It could be due to disagreements about music style, work style, or personal issues between members. Once you understand the cause of the conflict, you will be able to find a suitable solution. mapquest directions


# 8
timothyferrissy
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timothyferrissy
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12/18/2023 6:36 am

Start the conversation by expressing your appreciation for his input and dedication to the band. Emphasize that everyone's opinions matter and that you value his perspective 


 


 


 


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# 9
liamsmith9x
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liamsmith9x
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02/05/2024 3:52 am

Ask him to elaborate on why he finds the bass line boring and repetitive. Understanding his concerns can help you find common ground or come up with a compromise. mapquest driving directions


# 10

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