band problems

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Tillerbass, Jan 5, 2003.

  1. Tillerbass

    Tillerbass Guest

    Jan 5, 2003
    a few weeks ago some of my friends asked me to play in a band with them, but after a getting together a few times, we're having a lot of trouble. our two guitarists just argue the whole time and we can't ever seem to find that "groove" to just play. they both want to be soloists(whether they admit it or not) and we can't get anything done.the drummer and i don't really know what to do, so we just watch and let them argue. can anyone help?
  2. Sounds like a major clash of egos. Anyway, there's no reason why you and the drummer should give up your free time to watch them cry. If I was in your position I'd get together with the drummer and either threaten to leave if they don't stop fighting (new guitarists are always easy to find), or chuck one of them out (3-piece bands are more fun anyway for bassists, IMO). Obviously, if you're friends with these guys, that complicates things slightly. But, in the end, if you're not enjoying it, there's no point in doing it at all. There's plenty of bands around.

    Anyway, thats just my take on the situation.
  3. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Have you asked the guitarists 'don't you guys want to play together'?

    What was the history of the band before you joined? At a guess, they've either not got much clue about music and just asked you because you were their friend (don't expect the whole thing to go far) or they realised they had a problem and thought having a bassist would magically sort it all out. Of course, it won't sort everything out, but the second scenario gives you a bit more clout for making suggestions to move things forward (like 'what songs are we learning for next week?' and 'who's taking the solo and who's going to get the funky rhythm part down on the next song?').

  4. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    I'd say get out while the getting's good. Eventually, whether you want to or not, you will probably be dragged into the argument. If the band splits into factions, you will likely split up anyway, and less amicably.

    I've been in situations like this more than once, and they all ended the same way - with the band splitting up less than a year later.
  5. yoshi


    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    Buy a bigger and louder amp than theirs combined, they dont like that ;)

    Have you tried actualy stating a lead and rythem position to each guitarist? Or is it a case where both play the same throughout - if so maybe losing one's a possibility?
  6. TxBass


    Jul 3, 2002
    Frisco, Texas
    I've been in this situation a few times...I somehow always get myself in bands with 2 guitarists. IMO, it only works if either they both agree which position they play (lead or rhythm) on each song or on a permanant basis.
    Thankfully my current gig has an incredible lead guitarist, but he's not a rhythm guy at all---and the other guitarist is the exact opposite. It's easy when this happens.
    Ain't it great to be the Bassist! No competition..and they sound like crap without you.

    good luck. Sounds like they need to decide their specific roles and how to get along with each other--like dropping the EGO.
    -as a last resort, do like Yoshi suggested and get a BIG HUGE RIG so you're the only one being heard!;)
  7. Tillerbass

    Tillerbass Guest

    Jan 5, 2003
    thanks for all of the suggestions you guys.

    we do have lead and rythm parts assigned, but i think the source of the problem is the different influences. our rythm guitarist wants to write songs like john lenon and play guitar like carlos santana, while the lead wants to be like jimmy paige.i understood when i joined that we would play mostly older stuff, but i didn't quite realize that we were going to try to mix the beatles with led zeppelin. that doesn't work very well. last practice they had an argument that went something like:
    rythm:a lot of music is mostly chord progressions
    lead:jordan, there's more to music than just chord progressions
    rythm:i didn't say there wasn't, i just said that that's what most music is
    lead:no, dude, you've got it all wrong
    i know that this will never work out, and i never thought it would, but i really like to play with them, even if i am just trying to block them out half the time. im really good friends with both of them, so i don't have the heart to try to get one of them to leave, esp. since it was their idea and i was the last one to join up.
  8. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    This is one reason why it's a good idea to wear earplugs even at rehearsals.
  9. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
  10. They have to figure it out between themsels. A good solution would be that the both are rhythem and solo, when one guy solo's, the other "rhythems".
    Sort of the "cut the pie in two" solution, but it's often the best.

  11. Tillerbass

    Tillerbass Guest

    Jan 5, 2003
    we played together again today and there wasn't a single argument about music theory or who's playing what, but....
    now the problem is in the music that we write, and apparently its my fault.
    at practice today they were taking turns with one saying "c'mon lets write stuff" while the other would play Boston or something of that nature. this isn't a new thing, but my biggest problem with this is when one will say "make something up for this, when i don't even realize that's what im supposed to be doing. because what they play is mostly 60/70's rock, which is ok, but when somebody plays Boston, Led Zeppelin, Free, etc., and then plays an original that sounds incredibly simmilar somewhere in that mix, i don't know what's what and i have no idea what im supposed to make basslines for. and the other problem is they always want to make me come up with these terrific basslines on the spot but if i do show them something, its not good enough. so its always either "show us something, you never have anything" or "what you do have sucks i hate it."

    why do i keep going?
  12. Walk away, Man, Walk away! You have now officially become the whipping boy for the whole Band. The next thing you know, you will be "playing against everything the Drummer does". It is inevitable that he will jump on the Bandwagon (no pun intended) and pick on the newest Member of the Band. I'm sorry if you have to split a couple of friendships in the process, but if you don't do it now, you will definitely lose their friendship, and also your place in the Band in the future. For what? A lot of arguments, stress, and hassle. In a situation like this, cut your losses and get out. THEY asked YOU to join, so chances are someone else will in the near future.
  13. I've jammed with a couple guitarist and their band before but I just had my first experience with a new guitars/starting a band and my advice/opinion try and get the guitarist to write something just some tabs and play it for you, and record it for you if they can, and then you come up with some stuff. Or come up with stuff of your own and have them make something up for it. That way you are forcing things to get done instead of seeing what gets done.

    Too bad I didn't think of this Saturday:(


    Oct 16, 2002
    New Orleans
    General advise, may not be that usefull for your situation, but here goes. It's been my 25 year experience that a band begins to argue and "in fight" when its not focused. If your all working towards something, then your all focused on that, and not the things that piss you off about each other. You guys need a big gig, or studio time, or demo recording, or something as a goal to work towards. That way your all moving forward towards a common goal. You don't have time to fight. But it's real important to have a deadline, not just a mission statement. Something like, on Jan. 31st we have to know these tunes for our Big Gig at the "insert important place here". As opposed to we're gonna get a gig soon, so we need to rehearse. Good Luck.
  15. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Ive been in a couple of situations like this myself.

    The first thing I used to do is talk to the other members of the band who are getting along and basically have you and them say hey, either cut the crap or you're both out. This way usually has resulted in failure. It kept the peace for a short while, but it would always flare back up again so we'd can both of them and the band would fall apart.

    So in short IMO you're best off taking Thrash Jazz's advice and running while you can. There are other bands to join that wont make you have to deal with the agrivation.
  16. Tillerbass, I understand your frustration.

    I believe that setting goals is imperative (Nolabass is right on the money).

    Also, decide if you want to play covers or originals, before becoming a bandmember. Yes, you can do both, but I sense there is severe disagreement in your current group.

    Last, but not least, find people who have the attitude and flexibility that screams "Lets make this BAND sound good!!!!"

    Rather than, "Let's make ME sound good!!!" They are worthless as bandmembers.



    Oct 16, 2002
    New Orleans
    Spoken like a true bass player, makes me proud. Its all about the song and the rhythm, YO!
  18. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Bingo. Couldn't agree more. When you've got objectives, even antagonistic bandmates will often knuckle down and turn their animosity into professionalism.

    I get calls sometimes from friends and old bandmates who haven't been playing out lately to 'drop in and jam' with them. Man, it's always like 30 minutes of discussion and BS-ing for each miserable little song. At a rehearsal for any decent working band, you'll find a good work ethic, with BSing and arguments saved for after quitting time.