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Being Judged

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Youngspanion, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. Youngspanion

    Youngspanion Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2003
    Staten Island, NY
    How many of you have felt like your being judged by others in a band your in? I've got a drummer who is constantly passing judgment on my playing style and my tone. Different things. I started this blues band a few months ago and I'm starting to think that I picked the wrong guy. He's got about 30 years of playing experience over me but I think that he has been getting a little too expressive. Anyone else deal with a moron like this?
  2. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I always try to keep an open mind and ear to anyone's criticisms. I'm willing to bend and shape myself to a degree, in order to work as best I can with whoever it is I'm working with. Especially if they've got more experience than me. Which is happening less and less these days. I did however have some guys that didn't like my tone in a funk band I was playing in not that long ago, and it got tired after a while. We weren't a fit for each other, and we all moved on to other things, happily.

    I think it's important to take what everyone and anyone says, put ego on the shelf, and see what might apply. If in the end something doesn't, and people keep annoying us relentlessly, then it might be time to move along. Everyone winds up happier that way.

    HA... just saw where you're from and I'm wondering if I know your drummer. There's a drummer on SI I've played with a bunch of times that fits your description quite nicely. :) If yer feelin it, check the list of bands on my almost finished facebook page and see if we might know some of the same drummers. http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Joe-Nerve/133172750046899 . Playing the Beer Garden this Saturday with a guy Peter Baron who used to play for Leslie West. If you're close by and have nothing to do, feel free to drop in and say hi. I'm filling in for his regular bass player, so not sure what to expect.
  3. Youngspanion

    Youngspanion Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2003
    Staten Island, NY
    Joe. Its like my pride being hurt by this guy. Last night we got together to practice for a gig this Saturday on Bay St. And I'm taking the criticism and I'm trying to do like you said. Learn from it. But in the end, I just left there thinking, "After Saturday night this is the end."

    The worst part is that he is getting under the guitar/vocalist's skin too. Which can become a pissy thing and I want to avoid that. I know the drummer a long enough time to realize 2 things. One. He's not trying to be a dick but I do think that he is one. Two, I owe it to him to be up front and let him know what and why.
  4. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    If he is otherwise a good drummer, I'd recommend growing some thicker skin and seeing if you can't adopt his criticism as an inside joke within the band.

    Next time it comes up, just grin and say.. there's that criticism again. ---He will probably apologize and say he is only trying to help, then you say its ok, just having fun with ya.

    Some people have judgmental personalities and that doesn't really make them dicks because they probably grew up around people where it was quite normal to express their opinions.

    I sometimes play with a drummer who I believe has ADD and very often doesn't/can't listen to others. He annoys pretty much everyone including me sometimes, but I tolerate it much better than everyone else. He's just that way and I truly believe he can't help it.

    OTOH some people *are* in fact just being jerks on purpose. So watch out for that too. But don't give up on people without trying a few techniques in learning to adjust to one another. Face it, good drummers are hard to find and a lot of them come with worse baggage than this.
  5. Youngspanion

    Youngspanion Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2003
    Staten Island, NY
    Thanks for the 'encouragement' fellas. Its helpful. I need to get a thicker skin for sure. Joe. I'd love to come see you but I'm playing at a bar called the Bay St. Saloon on Sat. night. If you've never played the Beer Garden, at Kilmeyers I presume, that's a really nice venue.
  6. ohskigod


    May 5, 2008
    I've learned that blues players, while they can be really cool, can also be some of the most arrogant musicians that walk the earth.

    Your drummer sounds like drummers I have played with. Some get off on knocking other musicians, believe it or not it's sometimes not a constructive criticism thing, it's a self esteem thing. Bagging on others skills (particularly less experienced) makes them feel better about themselves.

    Wether dealing with this is worth it is your call. Thicker skin always helps of course
  7. bassnj


    Sep 16, 2011
    Why wouldn't we be judged by the people we play with? The first few times I jam with someone, I'm making a judgment call as to whether or not I want to continue to play with them. Likewise, they're making the same judgment about me.

    If someone I'm in a band or project with is offering me judgments about my playing, the first thing I need to do is figure out whether or not these judgments are merited. If I'm offended at their judgments, it's probably because, A) I know they're right and I don't want to admit it, or B) They're judgments are innacurate.

    I had a band situation where the drummer stepped all over everyone and had absolutely no sense of control. He would double-bass till the cows came home, drown everyone out, beat the crap out of his kit, etc. I assumed that this was because he was very young, and had yet to develop a sense of dynamics. I politely mentioned that perhaps he should lighten up in certain parts, because he was drowning people out. he wouldn't listen, so I finally decided that I could no longer be in the band if he was in it. I left.

    After playing with other young players (I'm 42) I started to get the feeling that MOST OF THEM lacked judgment. They had technical ability, but aesthetic judgment seemed to be completely absent. More than probably, this is due to being raised in a relativist culture and a school-system that gives gold stars to everyone for just showing up. Such a culture naturally erodes the ability to take constructive criticism.

    There is no human existence without judgment. The feel-good, judgment-free world of psychologists is an illusion. A lot of times, we need to grow up and give a listen to the people around us so that we can develop our OWN sense of judgment and see whether or not their criticisms have any merit.

    Most of the time, when I hear someone complain about being judged and I talk to them about it, it turns out that the person is just whining.
  8. CrashCarlisle


    Sep 13, 2011
    People need to learn to give their opinions about what you're doing and then shut up about it. The problem isn't with receiving criticism - it's receiving the same comments over and over and over everytime you play. If I've made up my mind that I'm *NOT* going to take the suggestion, then drop it.

    Otherwise, comments from my bandmates that would make the group sound better are always welcome.
  9. thumpbass1


    Jul 4, 2004
    Constructive criticism I can handle. Destructive criticism is simply jack assing that helps no one. One band I was in, had to fire a rather talented drummer, simply because he loved to criticize everything and everyone he worked with in a non-constructive fashion. It got to the point that he'd developed a reputation in our local community of musicians that he was a pain to work with, and hence he kept on getting fewer and fewer gigs as a result.

    I don't think it's a problem exclusive to drummers, but ' PITA ' personality types end up paying for it down the road.
  10. bassnj


    Sep 16, 2011
    Yes, there is a difference between offering criticism in a helpful way and offering it in a way that's personality disordered. I will give you that.
  11. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Is the criticism about playing a certain passage in a song? Or, is it about a commonly recurring way you play something in a few songs? Or, is this drummer just slaggin' on everything you play?

    At 51, I still experience the joy of being schooled by my elders but, it is usually about some part of my playing in a particular area of a song.

    If this drummer's just piling on, it's probably time to bail.
  12. TRichardsbass

    TRichardsbass Banned Commercial User

    Jun 3, 2009
    Between Muscle Shoals and Nashville
    Bassgearu, Music Industry Consulting and Sales. Tech 21, NBE Corp, Sonosphere.
    The next time he gives you his input reply with this:

    "thanks. Hey would you mind hitting the high hat in a different spot? There is something about when you ride it that doesn't seem to mesh with the sound."

    I know tons of amazing drummers, none of which are penises. If the guy keeps impeccable time and has Bernie Purdie feel, then I would take in everything he says. If not, and he keeps it up, time to give him constructive criticism. I have found when you do that they get defensive. Then you can explain to him that exactly how he feels is exactly how you guys feel when he constantly adds his two cents. You should be able to hash it out from there.
  13. Youngspanion

    Youngspanion Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2003
    Staten Island, NY
    Thanks for all the input. I think the bottom line is that being who its coming from and the revere that I've had for him up until now makes his criticism hurt more. And it has made me feel very incompetent as a bassist. Like I don't fit. Its a very uncomfortable feeling. Insecure.

    Then I think to myself, "Take it. I'll be better for it". Maybe I should see a teacher and have them judge me and my playing. Maybe then I'll be happy when I'm told, "OH, your not so bad. In fact your pretty good. Just do this and then do this and you'll be as good as you should be". Crazy. I know. Then I can really know when I tell him off that Im right and he is wrong. Crazy for sure.
  14. staindbass


    Jun 9, 2008
    fire him for being annoying. i could stop by rehearsal and point out his faults, but each member should govern his own instrument, not the other members. if he is not happy with your style he is too advanced for your band and obviously over qualified and better suited to being a musical director rather than a percussionist. next time he makes a comment say well we were looking for a drummer rather than a music director because we each decide on our own how we play- if i use all your suggestions i won't have my own style anymore :)
  15. Youngspanion

    Youngspanion Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2003
    Staten Island, NY
  16. klejst


    Oct 5, 2010
    It could be constructive criticism or perhaps he is just giving advice or pointers based on his level of experience. You said he was the drummer but I take it he also does or has played bass for a good amount of those years of experience? Take it as you will. I am in a band and sometimes I get criticism on how I play my bass or play parts, sometimes I take it into consideration and then sometimes I just need to remember that guitarists (who are also the singers) will be guitarists if you know what I mean. :smug:
  17. Rocker949


    Apr 20, 2005
    Great post.
  18. Rocker949


    Apr 20, 2005
  19. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    In my experience, throwing stuff back in people's faces never has desirable results. Just adds fuel to the fire. Being clear, direct, and expressing how you feel goes a lot further. Sounds like you also feel some of what he's saying might be valid. If so, then it might actually work best to agree and say you're working on it.

    What, specifically, are his criticisms? It might help us to tell whether its somwwhat legit stuff or if hes just simply (which he might very well be) an annoying asshat.
  20. While I agree with this,

    I would LOVE to see this..

    Everyone needs to remember that while they may feel they are the superior being, there is always someone out there who can lay them to waste.

    Constructive criticism is always welcome, but reasonable people can see when their comments are having a negative effect.

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