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Complaining too much?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by cosmodrome, Jul 21, 2004.


  1. cosmodrome

    cosmodrome Registered User

    Apr 30, 2004
    ****town, Netherlands
    hi everybody,

    I'm in a band with people who have never been in bands before. We've been practicing for little over a year now and have played a few gigs. Because I've been in a couple of bands already I have a tendency to complain about the progeression we're making. I'm also not very happy with the level of playing of the gp's (I'm not good, but they are worse). I try to be as understanding as I can but sometimes I can't help myself.

    I was standing in front of the band this week to listen to the sound of the whole band and I noticed the gp's were waayy too loud again (singer amp was cutting out all the time).
    I think I got a little too angry about it because now they're all mad at me. I think they just might kick me out.

    Do any of you guys have experiences with this sort of thing?
     
  2. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Complaining is generally a waste of breath. If you feel held back by your present bandmates, why not look around for a playing situation that will stretch you? Of course, sometimes a look on the other side of the fence will be enough to convince you that the grass is already green enough where you are! :D

    Wulf
     
  3. BertBert

    BertBert

    Nov 9, 2002
    Indianapolis
    The old saying is that you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. If your goal is to make the band better, then instead of complaining, build upon existing strengths and be honest in a constructive way about what you'd like to change. If the gp's are too loud then tell them so, phrased something like "I'm noticing that when I'm standing out in front, the guitars are coming through too strong... can we try a different volume level so we can get a better mix?" The idea being that the ultimate goal is to make really good music, and that's why issues get brought up.

    If you're being professional about it and they act like jerks, then consider leaving. But don't start looking around for other bands until you've tried to work things out in an honest and humble way.
     
  4. This is great advice. You may get some cooperation with some positive constructive insight. If the other guys believe in you it will be possible to lead them to better pastures.
    (Sorry for being so corny but it is true.)
     
  5. cosmodrome

    cosmodrome Registered User

    Apr 30, 2004
    ****town, Netherlands
    thnx all,

    i'm practising tomorrow so i guess we'll have an interesting conversation. i've already said these things a 100 times and i'm pretty sure they r sick of it. maybe i'm a bit too ambitious but i don't plan on backing down or taking back anything i've said. i'd rather not leave the band but if that's the best thing to do, i will.

    thanks again
     
  6. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I never understood why telling someone they are too loud is taken as an insult. "You're too loud" doesn't mean "You Suck", or "You have no talent". You're too loud means you are affecting the mix, and please bring it down a little. But, for those with large and fragile egos (i.e. guitarists), I guess any comment on their playing other than "You really rock!" seems like an insult.
     
  7. Jeb

    Jeb

    Jul 22, 2001
    USA
    If it were me, I'd move on. The challenge that comes with being the weakest link is so satisfying and provides such a huge opportunity for improvement. It has been in the many situations where I've said to myself, "this is beyond my ability, what am I doing here, I'll never be ready by next week..." that have had the biggest influence on my improvement, creativity and overall satisfaction in playing.

    In a band situation, I'd rather take direction from players and leaders who are more accomplished than myself. Thats just me and my preference though, I don't mean to infer that you should think that way. I like to contribute my abilities (not showcase them) and learn from people with more experience than myself.
     
  8. cosmodrome

    cosmodrome Registered User

    Apr 30, 2004
    ****town, Netherlands
    well, it certainly was an interesting conversation.
    we talked it over and we agreed to communicate a little better and a bit more civilized than i had done (throwing a fit).

    still looking around a bit for some greener grass :)
     
  9. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Shouldn't be too difficult in the Netherlands. We'd get arrested in the US for that. :D
     
  10. mikarre

    mikarre Guest

    Every pack needs a lead dog, so don't feel guilty about that. It would be nice if everyone in the band was motivated and ambitious but not all people are made up like that. Some people need to be pushed...er, I mean, "guided". Maybe it's not that they don't want to succeed, maybe they even want the same things as you, but they don't have the same inner drive as you do.

    I'm like you, I'm a pusher. Sometimes in the past I was a dragger, a shouter, a threatener, and occasionally a guitar thrower. I have had my share of freak out moments at rehersals. Unfortunately, it's driven me out of bands in the past out of frustration, and I do have some regrets. I do think it's good to be a lead dog, if that is your personality, but over the years I've learned that diplomacy and understanding can go a long way. Sometimes you can yell at people until you're blue and they just aren't going to change. So, sometimes it's you that has to change. Not your goals or determination, just your approach. Better people skills, better management. Become a fan of your bandmates and motivate them to be better rather than berating them.

    All that said, you still could just be in a situation where the people you are with are not right. Maybe you need more advanced people around you. So, I guess my advice to you is that if you are going to stay, make up your mind to keep your cool, better understand your bandmates, but still maintain your leadership skills. Sounds like the discussion you had about communication is a good start. But, if you take a long hard look at things and decide to leave, then so be it. It may be better for everyone in the long run. Good luck!
     
  11. Try to stay cool when you can, but sometimes a little bit of negativeness is good. If a drummer seems to be struggling with one part or something, tell him straight that he needs to work on it. Our singer slacks off all the time because he thinks he can just get by. I think in his case it's worse to compliment him, because it tends to inflate his ego. Someone has to be reasonable and accept other members' styles and skills, but he should also be ready to tell them when they need to work on something.
     
  12. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Don't forget that greener grass is often just better fertilised. Next time you walk past a field of cows, go and poke a green bit to understand what I mean...

    Wulf