1. Welcome to TalkBass, the Premier Bass Player Community and Information Source. We've been uniting the Low End Since 1998!

    We're glad you've found us. Register a 100% Free Account to post and unlock tons of features.

Vocalist's writing sucks

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by BassPlummet, Mar 18, 2014.


  1. BassPlummet

    BassPlummet

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    Location:
    Witbank, South Africa
    My band leader and I are having a bit of a problem and I thought I would ask the TB hive mind for a bit of advice.

    So we are a Post-Hardcore/Electronicore band and normally our band leader (Rhythm/Clean Vocals) does all the writing. I am still very fresh to playing bass so I don't exactly have the skill to start writing basslines, but I do what I can to help and I contribute in other ways too. Like graphic design for example.

    So the BL was getting a bit fed up with the harsh vocalist/frontman doing barely anything and he asked him to write some lyrics to one of our songs that are in development and put some vocals to it as well. The problem is that.. Well frankly his lyrics suck and the vocals he came up with are not really the best either.

    If he follows what the BL writes he actually sounds pretty good (if he actually practices). The problem is we don't know how to tell him that his writing sucks. He is one of those people who truly believe he has made something amazing, and I can understand that, but how do you tell someone like that, that they suck and how do you do it in a gentle way?
     
  2. rust_preacher

    rust_preacher Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Location:
    Finland
    "There's nothing like a friend who can tell you you're just pissing in the wind" - Neil Young
     
  3. vin*tone

    vin*tone

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    Location:
    Ballaarat, Ostraya
    Hang on.... you guys pushed him into writing but think his stuff sucks?
     
  4. BassPlummet

    BassPlummet

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    Location:
    Witbank, South Africa
    Good point, that's what we trying to do. We just don't want to be too blunt about it.

    Well that's the thing, he said he could write. We pushed him into writing because he wasn't doing anything else. The band leader is the main writer and composer.
     
  5. Register to disable this ad
  6. chungweishan

    chungweishan

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2014
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    You tell him to keep writing. Definitely have him write with the Band Leader, so they can trade off ideas. It'll give direction to the singer, so he can get better.
     
  7. Feral Feline

    Feral Feline Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2007
    Location:
    Honky Kong, ShangriLamma
    Help him out. Edit his stuff, rework it into the style you're looking for. "We were looking for something more in this vein; your stuff is good, but not quite right for, or going in the direction of, where the band is headed. Maybe try this angle, here's a couple other ways to tackle it." Give examples and several options.

    Professional writers get edited all the time, for example: movie screen-writers get "notes" from producers, directors and studio execs (mind, often they're poor suggestions that only water down the script). Good writers appreciate good editors.

    Be clear about the collaboration – decide/agree upon where the collaboration departs from "editing" and becomes "co-writing", or there will be more grief/misunderstandings down the road.
     
  8. BassPlummet

    BassPlummet

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    Location:
    Witbank, South Africa
    Thanks guys. The Band Leader is going to get together with him one evening and they going to write together.
     
  9. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    Location:
    charles town, wv
    Disclosures:
    I'm a Fuzzrocious-aholic. It's been one week since I bought my last Fuzzrocious pedal.
    Diplomacy is a lost art.

    Find one nice thing to say about what he has done and then say, but you might want to consider .... Followed with suggestions for improvement.

    It's not rocket science. Just forget everything you've ever seen on reality TV where every interaction is an argument and screaming match.
     
  10. mellowinman

    mellowinman Guaranteed to break the Ice at Naughty Parties Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Media:
    28
    Albums:
    1
    Location:
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Just because you don't like it doesn't mean it isn't any good.

    Quality in art is subjective.
     
  11. BassPlummet

    BassPlummet

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    Location:
    Witbank, South Africa
    All right, seeing as we going to be all PC about this. It's not right for the direction the band wants to go.
     
  12. lancimouspitt

    lancimouspitt

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    dayton Ohio
    Plummet,I feel your pain.
    I was once in a band and our singer at the time put some lyrics to an original.
    We where all horrified at the appalling words he scribbled down on that piece of notebook paper as he read the text aloud one afternoon at practice.

    "we are the untouchable band."........................................
    Lead Guitar players eyes went wild and he responded with-"How about we are untouchable like sand? Dude if you sing we are the untouchable band people are gonna think we got an ego problem."
     
  13. mellowinman

    mellowinman Guaranteed to break the Ice at Naughty Parties Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Media:
    28
    Albums:
    1
    Location:
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Nothing PC about my statement.

    Got sound clips?
     
  14. BassPlummet

    BassPlummet

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    Location:
    Witbank, South Africa
    We still VERY early in the whole Band process. So "officially" we not really a band yet, but you can be sure that I will post sound clips/songs when we are ready to go public.
     
  15. Lobomov

    Lobomov

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2013
    I'm with mellowinman. We have no way of knowing whether your singer suck or you just have poor taste.
     
  16. Joe Louvar

    Joe Louvar

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA USA

    FWIW: If someone likes what they do, there is no way of telling them that they suck without hurting their feeling - period!!!
     
  17. geddeeee

    geddeeee

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2006
    Songwriting takes practice. Most first song efforts will be rubbish... Over time, songwriting needs to be developed. You learn from your mistakes, and you will get better.
    Most of all, take the best ideas and help develop them, instead of saying 'that sucks!!!'

    I bet most of your first efforts 'sucked' too.....
     
  18. sm49341

    sm49341

    Joined:
    May 12, 2013
    Location:
    Michigan
    No advice, just my condolences. I had this with our last crappy guitarist. Ugly baby syndrome is what I call it. I was ususally the jerk who said something. Sucked for me.
     
  19. BassPlummet

    BassPlummet

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    Location:
    Witbank, South Africa
    We haven't told him that it sucks. We decided to just guide him instead.
     
  20. rust_preacher

    rust_preacher Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Location:
    Finland
    A very prominent Finnish singer-songwriter once estimated he had written 250 rubbish lines for one gem.
     
  21. cnltb

    cnltb

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Write music yourself and bring it to rehearsal.
    Nothing like offering alternative material if the present stuff is not to your liking.
     

Share This Page