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How can I take the reins here?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Bassist4Eris, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Non Serviam Supporting Member

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    First, some quick background info so you know why this is such a conundrum for me. I am not a professional musician, but a self-taught rocker, and my scene is the local original music scene, also mainly populated by self-taught rockers. But just because I don't do this for a living doesn't mean I don't take it seriously. It is much, much more than a hobby to me. Up until 2004 or so, I felt creatively stymied by the limitations of the other musicians that I had access to. This is because, when allowed to create music according to my own natural impulses, I tend to use sophisticated chord progressions influenced more by jazz than rock, and I often stray outside of the 4/4 doldrums. So my music is somewhat challenging to play, and requires certain specific skills that, while probably common amongst the pros, are rather hard to come by at my level of the game.

    In 2004, I was the member of a fairly popular original rock band, but the other guys in the band really had no idea about the real nuts and bolts of music making. In one new tune we were working on, the guitarist was putting the chord change on the "and" of 4, anticipating the downbeat, but the drummer was accenting on the downbeat. I pointed this out and tried to get them to come together, but neither one of them was capable of counting out even something that simple. 45 minutes later, they were still no closer, and I was getting impatient. "Take it easy dude" said the guitarist, "it's hard". So I quit. Not on the spot, but soon after. It was just too frustrating to deal with. And I swore that even if it meant never playing in another band again, I was done with "musicians" like that.

    By 2006, I thought I was done for good, but I happened across an ad in the local paper looking for a bass player for "King Crimson meets MMW". Now that's the kind of thing that can get my attention. There's been a lot of water under that bridge since then, but by a slow war of attrition, that band morphed into my current band, and I eventually found myself the sole writer, and (while the band is democratically run) the closest thing to a BL that we have. The other guys have both kind of referred to me as such on various occasions too. I've been called "the backbone," "the man who writes the songs", "the man behind it all", etc. But never exactly "the band leader". And while I have no desire to be the autocratic dictator of it all, the band is floundering in a couple of ways for lack of leadership, and while I feel responsibility to take the reins, I am scared of coming off as trying to be too controlling or egotistical. I have been reminded by one past member in particular that there is very little money in this band, and I'm not paying anyone to be in it. So my "authority" is very limited, and people have very little to lose by quitting, as they've proven to me many, many times.

    So why is this such a fear? Well, remember when I said that my previous band slowly morphed into this one? At a certain point, it was down to just the drummer and I. We had the hardest time finding a guitarist, and as for a keyboardist, horn player, or anything else we would have liked to have, forget it. The only replies we ever got were from guitarists, and the guitar chair was a revolving door. Some guys thought we were too jazz. Others, not jazz enough. But most people who were interested in auditioning simply didn't have the necessary skill set. And so there was a down time of two years between bands, when it was just me and my insanely loyal drummer, spinning our wheels together and trying to keep the faith.

    When we got our current guitarist, all seemed really good at first. He was very excited about the project, and put a lot of work into coming up to speed. Before much time had passed, we finally made our debut gig last summer, about a year and a half ago. In that time, I would say we've become more respected than popular. Other musicians really like us. Regular folks too, but not so much the younger set. Clubs keep wanting to book us, even though we don't draw that well. I don't know what's up with that, but there it is, and I'm not making it up.

    But our guitarist has become a real PITA. He cancels more rehearsals than he comes to, and often the ones he comes to are rescheduled at the last minute for his benefit (sometimes he cancels THOSE too). He's not good about returning phone calls. At rehearsal, he noodles constantly between songs, shows off his Pink Floyd riffs, etc. And (this will come as a shock) he's DEAFENINGLY loud, and he's not happy unless he's the loudest guy in the room. He's also 10 years younger than the second-youngest member (me) and I think he's just green. But I talk to him about this stuff. Sometimes I yell at him. I'm not an easygoing dude. He gets the message for a short while, but is soon back to his old habits.

    The truth is, I like the guy a lot. He's a good hang, and a good guitar player. He's also very well-connected on the scene, having produced many local albums and done sound at just about every club. But he has some annoying habits that are getting worse, and I think he knows he can get away with it because he knows what hell it was to find him. And so I feel like an ugly dude with a hot girlfriend who walks all over him, because she knows she's out of his league. And that feeling frankly pisses me off. And if it wasn't for that two years of down time, he'd have been out on his butt about 6 months ago.

    In the meantime, we've actually attracted a keyboardist! My first! And he's amazing. He heard us play at a local bar and really wanted to be in the band. He was the long-time keyboardist for one of the top wedding/corporate bands in the area, and does jazz gigs. The dude is the real deal. So he joined just before the faux-firing. So far, I have been able to keep him shielded from the drama. What I'd really like to do is fire the guitar player and just go keys, bass, and drums. But the drummer feels it wouldn't have enough energy. I have no stomach for auditioning more guitarists, so I'm basically stuck with this guy, and sooner or later this really talented, really pro keyboardist, who doesn't even mind that we don't make much money, is going to realize what a big bunch of stupid drama he's walked into. He's also only willing to commit to every other rehearsal, and has already rescheduled several of those himself, so he may be the same problem anyway.

    So, in short, musically I've finally got the band of my dreams. It's artistically exactly what I've worked towards, in a way my whole life, and certainly the past eight years. And it's a frustrating mess, and my main emotion is fear: fear that someone's going to quit and take it all away from me again, fear that I'm going to have to fire someone and not be able to replace them, fear that it will all fall apart and I'll be back to garage bands that can't count to four. I've wrapped a whole lot of my identity and a whole lot of my self-esteem in this band, which is probably stupid, but there it is.

    So I guess if I actually have any questions here, and this isn't just a vent thread or a bunch of pathetic whining, my questions would be: how do I take control of this band and establish myself as BL without alienating people who aren't making very much money at it? And how do I handle the situation with the guitarist without scaring off the keyboardist with band drama?

    Oh, and how many posts do we need to get to until someone is firing someone? Can't break with TB tradition. ;)
  2. sm49341

    sm49341

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    Big post, I'll take a shot at this. You're not alone in the fear thing, I think a lot of bands have that. Maybe not a fear, but in the back of our minds we all know we're one pissed off guy away from breaking up and losing all of our hard work and even some identity.
    Me personally, having to put up for years with a crappy guitarist whos an alcoholic, I am now willing to put up with a lot of off stage crap, as long as on stage is quality. I put a lot of weight on music and performance.
    I know these other things like rescheduling are a pain, but you have that product that you want. It sounds to me like you need to relax and appreciate what you have, and yes, cater to these dream musicians that surround you. Your over intensity may well drive them away.
  3. rust_preacher

    rust_preacher Supporting Member

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    Get someone to do a live demo of your rehearsal. Have the "sound engineer" balance the sound. Maybe the guitarist will see the light? If the recording has his guitar bleeding to every other mic?

    That said, how about micing his cab and putting some of it into monitors in rehearsal? The guy does sound you say - he shouldn't be so tone deaf as not to appreciate a good full-band sound?

    I am just trying to find a positive angle here. I hope all ends well, as musically you seem to have a good thing going.
  4. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom Supporting Member

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    Perhaps the keyboardist has some connections and knows a guitarist or two that you could try out?
  5. Basshappi

    Basshappi

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    You need to master your fear. Right now it is controlling you and that is hampering your ability to take good decisions and effective action. You recognize this which is a good first step but how do you take the next step and turn it around? Here are a few things to think about;

    First of all, you hold the strongest hand of cards, the songs are yours, No matter how collabrative the effort of the others have been, they can't leave and take the music with them. The guitarist and keyboardist are attracted to and excited by the music and don't want to lose the opprotunity to be a part of it or they would have already left.

    Dispite the fact that the tribulations of finding other suitable musicians was frustrating and awful, you've been there, you survived it and probably learned some valuable lessons. The fear is causing you to think that if you find youself in the situation again that it will be just as bad or even worse, but that isn't necessarily the case. It will be different and you have more experience now and if you really think about it, probably more resources than before.

    No one is irrreplaceable. What if (God forbid) your guiarist died tomorrow. Not left due to creative or personal differences, i.e. something that could be worked through or patched up, egos involved etc, just boom, gone, act of fate? You wouldn't be second guessing yourself, you'd buckle down and start looking for another player or exploring the "piano trio" idea like you mentioned. In other words the action of replacing a player is made difficult more by the interpersonal drama rather than the action itself. If you are going to be the leader then you simply have to accept this and do what is best for the band.

    Do not allow the other members passive aggression to continue to direct your actions. Have a clear talk with the other members about what the expectations are and stick to it no matter what. If the guitarist cancels that is a perfect time to work with the keyboardist (perhaps doing so will convince the drummer that the trio idea is viable. As the newest member he probaly need more one=on-one time anyway, so it will be productive.) If the other players see that their obstuctionist behavior is not going to allow them to control/effect the situation they may start toeing the mark.

    Get gigs lined up. Even if they don't pay/pay well having gigs on the caledar will keep people focused. When things start going a bit sideways you can point to the calendar and get things back on track. Don't cancel without a very good reason. If you can play a gig without the guitarist or the keyboardist, they will come to realize that the train can leave without them and that they'd really rather be on it.

    Gigging also gets you into the local scene so that you can start networking. You need to make sure that you are not dependent on anyone else in the band to line up gigs, or sound equipment or whatever. If you are going to be the leader these things are your responsibility anyway. If everyone else sees that you are out there pounding the pavement and making all the business parts ticking that will go along way to keeping them motivated.

    I hope this helps. This is Management 101 stuff but it's vital to remember that Show Business is two words of equal importance.

    Good Luck.
  6. EddiePlaysBass

    EddiePlaysBass

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    I agree with Basshappi on this. Also, stop canceling rehearsals now that there's at least three of you. What your guitarist is doing, is passive-aggressively taking control himself. I've been there, I recognize the symptoms :( You schedule a rehearsal, he reschedules it. You (and the drummer) agree to the reschedule, he does not show up / cancels at the last minute. He is effectively playing a power game and he is winning.

    Two bands ago, my singer was like that. I would pull and pull and pull and make arrangements for EVERYTHING (and that included picking him up for rehearsals). Every time we as a band agreed on a song to learn, he would "have trouble singing it" or "did not have time to learn it" or whatever. He did however always have another, non-agreed on song ready and could we try it just once?

    I would not fire him - immediately - but yes, work with the keys player and the drummer. Do not cancel rehearsals on the guitarist's whim but let him know that you will be rehearsing without him. Take the power back, all that stuff.
  7. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Supporting Member

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    Hmmm... one thing that catches my attention is that the PITA guitarist is also the guy who is well-connected at venues, and you guys are getting gigs even though you're not drawing much. Coincidence? Or is also the secret weapon of your booking success? If so, then you have a real dilemma. In general, I'd say guitarists are a dime a dozen and I wouldn't put up with this unreliability, just fire him. But if he's the key to getting your gigs, then doing that may mean accepting that you'll be gigging less for a while.

    I agree with Eddieplaysbass, don't cancel a rehearsal on his account. The rest of you storm forward and get used to playing without him. Don't let him think he's got you in a sling and you can't move without him. And yes, record some gigs and play it back so he can hear how loud he is in the mix. If you know a girl who's got a brassy personality, have her ask point blank why the **** he's so loud (somehow I just imagine it will have more impact coming from outside the band, so it's not you guys whining about not being heard). And make friends with the bar management yourself at gigs, so he's not your only pipeline.
  8. JakeF

    JakeF

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    Okay. Creative solution time.

    Have keyboard player come in, rewrite for keys many of the guitar players parts/sections etc. If guitar player cancels, practice anyway without him. Then, when guitard finally comes to practice, he will see he is being replaced/pushed out. When he complains about losing his place/parts/solos etc. inform him that his behavior has been detrimental to the band by stressing everyone out and unless he shapes up he will lose more ground. Or he might just not complain at all, realize what is happening and straighten up.

    Other than "fire him", this is the only other solution I see so prepare for the conflict, you are the leader.

    I also like hrodbert's recommendation regarding having someone outside ask why he is so loud.
  9. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Non Serviam Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the replies everybody. Some great advice here.

    The bolded part is something I've been working on about myself, so your post is very interesting to me, because it makes me think there might be a karmic lesson going on here.

    I have been called "over-intense" before, but other people close to me, such as my GF, have described me as "mellow" or "laid-back". I think what it is is that I don't suffer fools gladly, and so different people see different sides of my personality. Which, of course, doesn't negate your comment one bit.

    You would think. ;)

    I think what's going on is the typical "playing at his knees" syndrome. I'm going to ask him to experiment with amp placement at our next rehearsal.

    One odd thing about our relationship is I used to play in his band. And he was constantly asking me to turn up. :confused:

    Rehearsal rooms are weird acoustic environments for sure. My main issue here is that I don't think a bunch of middle-aged jazz-funkers should need to wear ear protection at rehearsal. And when we've rehearsed without him, it's been so much quieter.

    And one more thought on this, for fairness' sake. I was pretty mad when I posted last night. While I stand by my complaints, I think "deafening" is a bit of an exaggeration of the problem. "A bit too loud" would be more accurate. But this is an opinion that is also held by the other members, especially the drummer. It's not just me.

    The thought has occurred to me, but for now, I'm trying to shield him from any drama. We're still in the "best behavior" phase of our relationship, and I'm being careful not to scare him off.

    First of all, GREAT post overall; thanks for taking the time to say all that. The bit quoted above hits the nail on the head. For various reasons that I won't go into here, it's also another post that makes me think there might be some valuable karmic lessons going on here. Time for the student to sit up straight in his seat and pay attention, I guess.

    Good point. I often forget that I do have something valuable to offer: a creative, interesting, challenging band. One thing the keyboardist said at his audition was "where have you guys been all my life?" :smug:

    This is something I needed to hear too. I'm not the leader just because I write the songs, nor am I the leader just because I call some idiotic band meeting and tell everybody, "OK, now I'm officially the leader". If I want to "take the reins" as I put it, then I guess I need to, uh, actually take the reins.

    I've been thinking about that too. I had decided not to book any more until we got the keyboardist up to speed. But I think that was a mistake. I think I need to light a fire under some butts.

    I happen to think that we could play a gig with just the drummer and I. We've rehearsed that way many times, and it's pretty musical. Remember, we build the tunes from the bass parts up. I can't very well go to rehearsal and say "hey guys, I've got a new one:" dun, dun-dun... dun, dun-dun... You've got to have something interesting going on just in the bass part alone. And so I think it works as a duo, but the drummer is unconvinced. But yeah, there's no doubt in my mind it would work with keys but no guitar. As for guitar but no keys, that's how it's always been. It's actually gigging with keys that's the untested scenario here. He hasn't gigged with us yet; he's still coming up to speed. Remember, it's an originals band with no previous keyboardist, so there's more than simply learning tunes going on here; he needs to write parts. But he's moving very swiftly.

    Another good point. I've been resistant to Facebook and all that crap, but I think I'm going to have to get un-resistant, because at this point, it's my bandmates who have all the connections. I mean, people know who I am, and I can come to their gigs to talk to them. But as for phone numbers, e-mail addresses, etc, I don't have that stuff, and I'm at the mercy of those who do. This is stupid and it needs to change. I'm very introverted and socially inept (I think I'm probably at the milder end of the autism spectrum, but I've never been diagnosed) so I find it very difficult to do these things, but I believe I can do them if I really want to. It's time for me to step up.

    I've never lead a band before, and as described, this kind of dropped in my lap in a way. So BM 101 is exactly what I need. Thanks. :)

    And I'm terrible about business. I'm one of those guys who just wants to be creative and doesn't want to deal with the paperwork or whatever. Obviously, if I want to achieve my goals here, I'm going to need to put on the ol' big boy pants and step up to this one too.

    We actually often rehearse even if it's just two of us (me and the drummer, the dedicated ones). There's actually a lot of value in it. I find that if I show him new stuff first, we can get a good groove established before the other guys start layering their parts onto it. Your description of his behavior as "passive-aggressive" is interesting to me because I hadn't considered his rescheduling in that light, but I was definitely thinking that way in regards to his constant noodling, playing songs that the band doesn't do and are outside of our genre, etc.

    Good point, and I think you're right. All the more reason for me to step it up.

    This relates to what Basshappi said about not being dependent on others, and of course you guys are right: I need to start taking responsibility for my own connections and my own place in the local music scene. I've been in happy composer land, going about my artistic way, while I place myself at everyone else's mercy. Stupid, stupid, stupid. :scowl:

    I kind of like this, but I think if it comes to that I am going to take Basshappi's advice and go so far as to book gigs that the guitar player cannot make, so that he can see that he's not as crucial as he seems to think he is.

    Thanks for the great replies, everybody. And thanks for being so kind. I really expected to take a lot of crap in this thread. (Of course, the thread may yet be young.)

    Peace.
  10. Slough Feg Bass

    Slough Feg Bass

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    I agree with having practice without him, and having they keys do some of his parts.

    And also with having the hot chick telling him he is too loud and that she wants to hear what the rest of the band is doing.

    the BL usually books the shows and collects the $$, pays the studio rent, makes sure things are smooth. If these duties are shared, then there should be a CLEAR discussion about who does what and all the band members should agree, even if all they do is play triangle.
  11. JohnMCA72

    JohnMCA72

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    Having the keyboard player could reduce the need for such a "good" guitar player (I'm quoting "good" because several of the attributes you use to describe him are anything but good). You could make due with a technically lesser player, because there's less stuff that he'd have to do.

    At the same time, having the keyboard player could help you attract a better guitar player.

    There are a heck of a lot more guitar players in the world than keyboard players. Just on that basis alone, a keyboard player is much more valuable. I'd let the guitar player fire himself if he doesn't want to up his game.
  12. EddiePlaysBass

    EddiePlaysBass

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    Are those cover songs? I take it your band is strictly about originals?

    One band I know does an evening's worth of entertainment where you can book them under two names: one is a cover band of (popular) rock tunes and the other is the originals band. So basically they open for themselves - I do believe the cover band lineup has an additional guitarist but I don't recall for sure.

    Maybe this guy really wants to play a different type of music to what you are doing right now, despite his so-called enthusiasm for the band's direction? One of the guitarists in my current pop/soul cover band is that way too. He picks a lot of 80's wave music which does not fit our style at all, and then wonders why his choices never get picked :rolleyes:
  13. scottavius

    scottavius

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    I was reading your post and flashed back to something that happened to me a few years back. I helped lead worship for my sunday school at church. This would mean I was the one who picked out the songs, set up rehersal times and space, etc...........There were plenty of volunters because as the saying goes in most churches you can throw a rock in the air and hit someone who "plays" guitar. The issue came when we had a set group of people finally, that the guitarist (maybe its something in there dna) would show up late if at all for both rehersals and on sunday mornings, and would just "wing it". This lead to me having to learn both the guitar part and the bass part ( which is good if your leading to atleast know something about the other parts) but it would be really frustrating spend time during the week on the guitar, when I would much rather play the bass. It got to the point for my own sanity that we instituted a policy that basically said that if you dont show up for rehersals on time, ready to go you wouldnt play on Sunday mornings. Eventually, the guitarist who thought he could walk in and just" wing it", decided he didnt want to play with us anymore. The good thing about this is that we eventually found another guitarist who wanted to participate. Being a band leader is alot of hard work. I think you have gotten some really great advice in the previous posts as well. Most of all remember to have fun, because once it starts not being fun why bother. And to me if you are having issues with an individual and they make it less fun (playing too loud etc) then it maybe time for them to go. Good luck:ninja:
  14. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Non Serviam Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the good thoughts, but I don't think that's what's going on here. We do mostly-original instrumental fusion. At one point, I suggested we make ourselves more accessible by either doing covers of pop tunes instrumentally, and/or adding some vocal tunes to our originals. Everybody in the band was resistant to both ideas, and the guitarist specifically said that that was not the band he signed up for.

    What's going on here seems more like some serious ADD. The last time this happened, he was showing off his new delay pedal, all proud because it was the same one the guy from The Dead Kennedys used on "Police Truck". He geeks out for this kind of crap and can't sense that the rest of us are bored out of our minds listening to him go on about his gear. So then he pulls "Police Truck" up on his phone (remember, we're an instrumental funk-fusion band) and starts dialing in the delay.

    We needed to make a set list for our upcoming gig anyway, and I was losing the guy, so I suggested we all take a break and work on making a set list.

    Guitarist kept figuring out Dead Kennedys.

    "Can you please stop that?" I asked. "I'm trying to hear Uneven Steven songs in my head and all I can hear is DKs."

    Guitarist kept figuring out Dead Kennedys.

    "Carl, please! We'd like your input."

    Guitarist kept figuring out Dead Kennedys.

    It was like the message wasn't even getting through.
  15. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Non Serviam Supporting Member

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    His actual playing is excellent, and I like what his style adds to the band. The first guitarist we had played everything like it was supposed to be smooth jazz. This guy plays everything like it's supposed to be jazz-metal. I like that brash, intense energy.
  16. Joe Louvar

    Joe Louvar

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    Hmm. Well then OP, I give up - so what are you going to do?
  17. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Non Serviam Supporting Member

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    Well, gee, if I knew that, I wouldn't have needed to start this thread. ;)

    But, I'm beginning to formulate a plan.

    1. Ally with the drummer. I'm in a bit over my head here, I think, and I need help. He's been with me since before this band, for years now, and he's extremely loyal, committed, and dependable. He's really an incredible find in a world mostly populated by flakes. He and I are going to get together and work on stepping up our game in terms of networking. We'll establish a Facebook page, and I'll take responsibility for keeping it up-to-date and responding to friend requests and whatever else you have to do on that crazy site (I've never been on it).

    2. Step up the booking. I gotta light some fires under some butts, and I've gotta keep people interested. I think I'm going to consider three a quorum for gigging purposes. If at least the guitarist or keyboardist can do it, along with the drummer and I, we do it.

    3. Call a band meeting, and discuss rehearsal etiquette. Then enforce, politely but firmly, what is agreed to in the meeting. Also to be discussed are scheduling issues, and who can do what to be flexible so we can get all four guys in one room together more often than we have been.

    4. Form alliances. One challenge we have in drawing crowds is that we're an instrumental band. There are two other instrumental bands we've played with that we liked, and liked us. My drummer has that contact info. I'd like to form an alliance of sorts with those two groups, to share gigs, attend each other's gigs, and basically be a support group, eventually to include other instrumental bands.

    5. Make some kind of recording ASAP. If things are about to go splitsville, I want some kind of document of what these songs sound like now. I've got proper demos of 4 tunes, but not so much as a rehearsal tape of the rest of it. Time to grab one of those Zoom handheld recorders and at least get some kind of rudimentary documentation of this music so I don't have to start from square one if I do have to replace someone.
  18. JohnMCA72

    JohnMCA72

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    The point I was trying to make was, there's a lot more to playing guitar than just playing guitar. Same for playing any other instrument, singing, or a lot of other things for that matter.

    Being a good <insert skill> is often more about attitude than technical chops.
  19. bwardmusic

    bwardmusic

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    My bands don't make a ton of money, but I am the de facto leader. I fired a guitarist recently which was a watershed for the band -- as I did it unilaterally. The remaining guys all followed me and it solidified my position as the guy who calls the shots even though the band had been a democracy for four years..

    The reasons they followed -- I book a lot of gigs. Gigs, gigs, gigs, gigs. Gigs on weeknights, weekends, gigs, gigs, gigs until the guys say "enough already!!!".

    Also, get them some decent pay somehow. I chose to fire our guitarist at a time when we had a lot of gigs on the horizon. The rest of the guys were a bit stymied by that, but I knew that was the way to attract a lot of good guitar players and keep the band going. If we were in a dead period the firing might have killed the band.

    I have found there has to be progress in the band for it to stay together. All my guys have stayed with me unless I've let them go. And its all about having gigs -- just the right amount, with sufficient pay.

    I had so many gigs in the last couple months I had to form a second band to pick up the overflow that Band #1 couldn't handle. And THAT band attracted top players in town.

    By the way, don't yell at the guys in the band, though. Bad practice -- that will nullify your role as leader.

    I think you are right about shielding the keyboard player from the guitar player drama. Get some good gigs booked on the horizon and then fire the guitar player if he's getting under your skin. Attract a good player and play those gigs -- that'll solidify the band -- and your position as leader.
  20. extreme

    extreme

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2000
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    If you want "pro" level players you gotta make things easy and efficient. Chart your tunes out in an easily understandable way and let people show up and play. You're not gonna get many pros that will want to deal with much rehearsal time, but if they can show up, contribute, and feel appreciated you might be surprised at the caliber of players you might attract.

    If you have specific parts, you better write 'em out and possibly throw together a demo for learning purposes. There's a guy in town that writes his own originals and he's got every tune down to a single sheet of staff paper...he's got two go-to people at each instrument and more behind that willing to fill in if/when needed. He books the gigs he wants and doesn't have to feel the pressure of keeping a full gig schedule for that project, but has quality musicians ready to go whenever the occasion arises.

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