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Being the sole songwriter in a 6 piece band...

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by AlmightyPancake, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. I play multiple instruments, although bass is my instrument of choice. Recently, I've been writing and recording an album. I've got a full pro tools setup in my home, so the quality's been pretty decent sounding.

    I'd really like to play live. However, I write/play all the instruments except for the singer, a close friend of mine. We've talked about playing only acoustic shows, but I feel like half of my writing would be wasted if that were the case.

    For reference, the site is http://www.purevolume.com/mybffjill

    I've been in several bands before, and I know I could learn a lot from allowing other people to be part of the songwriting process, etc. etc. However, writing all of the different parts is by far the most enjoyable part of all of this for me, and the only reason I'm still doing it. How do I go about finding musicians who just want to learn songs I've written?
  2. I'm pretty much in the same boat as you. I've written most all the parts and lyrics for my band, except for a lot of the synth/keyboards. It's works well with me, the drummer, keyboardist and singer, but as far as guitar players go, it's tough.

    The last two we had have just played the songs I've written were lazy, uncreative players and just not very good. I like it when everyone else in the band takes the parts I've written and adds their own ideas to it, but these guys just had no creativity. We need to find the right balance of someone who's willing to play what's written but not someone who's to umimaginative to bring their own ideas to the table.
  3. DudeistMonk


    Apr 13, 2008
    Newark, NJ
    Maybe compromise? Play a few of your songs a few of someone else's, collaborate on some? Correct me if I'm wrong but most people who want to play in an originals band want to write their own parts, otherwise they would be in a cover band.
  4. If you were in minneapolis/St. Paul I'd love to join your band :D

    There are others, just look and be upfront with what you do and what you want from a bandmate
  5. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    In my case, I mostly play in originals bands, but I am rarely the chief songwriter. In my experience, occasionally the bass line is all me; but usually, it's 'as written' , or variations on that.

    Who decides how much i get to make up? the songwriter.

    I join bands whose songwriting impresses me, and approach membership with a sense of respect for the artistic vision of the songwriter. I do my best to get on the same page as them, and let them edit my ideas to their asthetic.

    One rewarding thing about this attitude is that it often breaks me of long held playing habits, especially noodley / busy playing.

    to the OP, there are musicians out there who are competent enough and willing to play originals 'as written' . I think if you are just very clear at the auditions what you expect from them you can weed out the players who would resent you for stepping on their art. You just need to open minded enough to allow a some interpretive wiggle room, as long as it serves the song.
  6. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    Be sure to copyright your songs before getting the band together.

    If you want the songs played as written, then that's what you tell each potential band member.

    You can also get each band member to sign off any interests or potential interests in your songs as a condition of band membership.

    If you allow a new guitar part to be added by a guitarist, then it becomes part of your song and the guitarist doesn't get part of your copyright, even if the song is recorded with the new guitar part.

    Big companies do this all the time with inventions that come about by employees. The company owns the invention by prearranged agreement with the employee.
  7. crow01


    Sep 1, 2008
    mmm...get people to just play the songs you wrote.

    I think is as good idea as it is worst.

    Good, cause in a way your in control of your music, you know what you want.

    Bad, cause you might have a mutiny if somebody says, it might sound better this way or that.

    In a band I was before, the guitar who had songs based on basic chords, I suggested it could sound better adding some things. He said he liked it like that. I suggested a couple of things during 2 months. He always said no. I soon quit after that, and also the drummer. He ended up by himself.

    Moral: A band is a team effort
  8. That's a wonderful thought, but I'm convinced it's not always true. There are plenty of bands in which musicians play originals written by other people--any pop band, for instance.
  9. I think that you find those bands are staffed by "hired guns" - in other words they're paid well for their time.

    If you are looking for a bunch of players who will join you in playing only what you tell them (not able to have creative input into their parts) and you are not paying them for their time, well... good luck!

    I've always said that if you are paying for my time, I am playing whatever you want me to play. If you are not paying me for my time, I better be getting some value out of my participation beyond regurgitating parts someone else wrote. Get a sampler/sequencer and trigger all the other parts.

    I've worked with a lot of song writers but they have all been single instrument players and counted on other players to help them create the rest of the song's parts. They always had opinions about the parts others created, but all in all everyone got to be a part of the creative process.

    Also - my opinion - the "jack of all trades, master of none" adage pops to mind. You say that you play many instrument but focus on bass. Is it the case that there may be a part or two where your skills are only adequate, therefore the parts you wrote for that instrument could actually be taken to a new level by a player who plays that instrument as their primary?
  10. IanStephenson

    IanStephenson UnRegistered User

    Apr 8, 2006
    You pay them.

    You want to treat them as employees, so... you need to treat them as employees.

    It shouldn't be that hard, IF you can find paying gigs. I'd be happy to play in that kind of situation, but if I have no rights, then I want fixed pay, agreed up front. If you're playing for the door, and three people turn up, then you take the hit. If 1000 turn up, then it's your music, so you take the cash (and get famous, then sack me), but don't expect me to work for free to promote your music.


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