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Are Bands Only As Strong As Their Weakest Link?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by invisiman, Jun 19, 2005.

  1. Yes

    104 vote(s)
  2. No

    45 vote(s)
  1. invisiman


    Feb 22, 2004
    Thread title says it all. :)
  2. metalguy2


    Dec 26, 2004
    Really though.. if the poopiest member in the band doesn't practice then they won't be able to go any further.
  3. endorka


    Oct 15, 2004
    Glasgow, Scotland
    It depends. If the guy has a reasonable grasp of the rudiments, i.e. playing in time and in tune, and keeps a low profile during parts he is not confident of, then the answer is "no". However, if he does not have a grasp of the rudiments, and is not aware of his weak areas, and does not stay low profile when playing them (or lay out), then the answer approaches "yes".

  4. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Pasco, WA
    I was going to vote yes at first until I remembered the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Ozzy, Van Halen, Nirvana, Extreme, etc. Bands with a track record (time under their belt) are easier to examine.

    (Before anyone flies off the handle, I greatly respect all these bands.)

    Seems like you need luck more than links.


  5. Petary791


    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA

    My old drummer couldn't hold a beat for ****... so we all left.
  6. Mr.Phil


    Apr 9, 2005
    Upstate NY
    If one member sucks, they all do...
  7. Absolutely - 1000% positively. :meh: :meh:
  8. MazeMouse


    Jan 27, 2005
    A guitarist who is 'average' could be covered up by simply keeping him on Rythm only.
    Bad drummer will ALWAYS get noticed
    Bad bassist... depends. Bad bassist only doing roots on time will not really get noticed (same as the average guitarist doing only rythm)
    Bad bassist just being everywhere EXCEPT where he's supposed to be in timing WILL get noticed.
    Bad vocals.... well.... Red Hot Chili Peppers.. nuff said. (calling their singer a crow is an insult to all crows worldwide...)

    I did a gig once where I was 'emergency backup' called in a week prior to the gig. Band was beginning guitarists and a beginning drummer with a female singer who could really sing (and was the youngest member of the band) Had to learn 5 songs in that week. One rehearsal the night before the gig where I found out I was going to be the one who was directing the speeds and timings because the drummer was godafwull...
    I actually got comments from THEIR friends and family I made the entire band sound better.

    So bad members can kill a band but add a good (or in this case better than the average level of the band because I REFUSE to call myself good at anything) member and you can pick up the level...
    Although a band is always a sum of the member's abilities and if one can't keep up he's just going to be deadweight by the time you are going to get the big shows.
  9. Kael


    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    This wouldn't be an inadequate/bad guitarist/bassist. They are perfectly competent for what they are doing. Now what they are doing may not be all that impressive. I know of plenty of bands where I don't really care for WHAT they are doing yet respect their ability to do it. Not everyone needs to be Wooten.

    edit: while a band can be stronger than its weakest link, its much easier for a crummy musician to bring others down than for good musicians to carry subpar players
  10. bigbajo60


    Nov 7, 2003
    Laredo, Texas
    A few of my bandmates and I, having the rare luxury of a Friday night off, decided to go and scope out the "competition" around town. One band in particular is blessed with a drummer who's got time and chops... AND the taste to know how and when to best apply both.

    I decided that what he brought to the table within his band was, in essence, the main component of what people perceive to be terrific about that band.

    Unfortunately, applying the same principle to my own band, I also figured out that what our drummer brings (or doesn't bring) to our collective band table is what keeps us from clicking with our audiences in that same way. :meh:

    Your average, everyday audience member doesn't have the capability of figuring out what chord voicing the guitarist is playing, or what technique is making the bass feel so funky... but everyone has a pulse. And everyone can "feel" when the pulse of a song just ain't there. :(
  11. Kelly Coyle

    Kelly Coyle

    Nov 16, 2004
    Mankato, MN
    No, so long as everyone plays within their limits. (But what fun is that?) Otherwise, there would have been no Kansas. Bad time just sucks, though.

    My own experience is that a great player makes everyone around them (including me) better.

    In one of the bands I play in, I understand my job as doing whatever it takes to make the weird/awful things the front guy does make sense, or even seem like genius. It actually works more often than you'd think. Inside the band there's a certain amount of eye-rolling, but we have quite a bit of fun at it.
  12. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
  13. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Who do you think is the weak link in Extreme? I always thought that they were all very good musicians. Not trying to go on a witch hunt, just want to know your opinion. :)

    I think that a band is as strong as its vocalist (provided that it's a band with vocals, of course). Vocals are what people pay attention to and vocals are a big consideration on what's "Radio Friendly" or not. I'm not just talking about pitch and timing, but also timbre. If a band doesn't have a vocalist with a nice sounding or unique (note: unique doesn't always = good), then I feel as though that band's going to hit a ceiling.
  14. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I have heard some great bands with a lot of weak links. I have heard some crappy bands with no weak links. A band is as strong as the money they draw, regardless of who's in the band or how good they are.
  15. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Pasco, WA
    I was trying to show that weak links are irrelevant to a bands success. Some of the bands I mentioned had 1 or more weak links and some had none yet they were all successfull.

    Jimmy clarified that in his post.

    Personally Extreme will always be one of my all time favorite bands. Too bad their hang time was so small. Something gave but what it was I don't know.

    And I agree with you in general about the vocalists, especially for commercially successfull bands. But personally vocals are not a big deal. To me it's about the music. Yes, I am aware that I am in a very small majority ;) about this and I am o.k. with that.


  16. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I think Extreme was a victim of bad music industry timing. They got lumped in with the hair metal scene (in which I thought that they were miles ahead of their peers in terms of songwriting and musicianship) and when that scene got passe, so did Extreme.

    But I don't want to turn this thread into one about Extreme. :D
  17. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Pasco, WA
    I think you are right. It's a sad thing when you think about what could have been.


  18. Collin.A


    Jun 22, 2005
    I would have to agree with some above statements.

    You cannot have a good band with a bad drummer. You don't need an amazing solo/fill drummer, but you have to have someone who can hold a beat.

    Guitarist are the one who steal the crowds eye most often. With an average rythem player you can pass, but a good helps.

    The bassist only has to stick to the root, though if your dealing with a no vocal band a technical player is appreciated.
  19. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    A band is only as good as it's rhythm section and as popular as it's singer. :cool:
  20. Are you talking about civilians? The public is pretty much clueless. You can hide a pretty crappy guitar player as rhythm guitar.

    People dance to the drummer, good pulse, groove is essential. Flashy drummer not required, just solid.

    Bass, you can be a pretty basic bass player with 90% of the music out there, never notice. You don't even have to hit the right notes most of the time, nobody will know.

    All you really need are a good singer, and a good lead guitar, that's what people notice. The rest are window dressing.

    As far as I'm concerned, the only member of the band that matters is the drummer. If I enjoy playing with him, the other guys can be barely adequate and I don't care. And no matter how good the rest of the guys are, I can't stand a bad drummer.


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