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Conflicts about steps to follow

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Nadie, Oct 20, 2017.

  1. Nadie


    Oct 20, 2017
    Hello, been lurking here for some time looking for advice on how to manage my band and this is the first time I decide to post.

    To give some background, we are an original band with 2000's indie rock influence, initially formed by four friends (me on bass, two guitar players and singer) and been playing as a full band with a drummer since February. We faced some problems that made us lose some time, we had to change drummer and rythm guitar and we are actually starting to sound pretty solid again, in fact the new guitar player is better than the one we had.
    So this two new guys act like hired musicians, even though they give input during practice about things to use in our songs. That leaves all the creative process mainly to me, with the singer and lead guitar helping and even writing some things.
    As I said, we've been playing since January, played our first gig in June with only one song completed just to help out a friend of ours and his band, and then we continued writing and practicing. At this point we have 4 songs completed, and another two that need some more work.

    Now onto the problem... every time we rehearse, the lead guitar improvises a solo on each song stating that he will write a good one once we have everything ready to record and put out an EP for people to hear. In my opinion, he should write something at least as a placeholder for the final solo that will end up in the EP, because in my mind we should be starting to book gigs to get some money to record it since it is not cheap at all (I live in south america). So basically he is setting us back because he doesn't want to write at least a decent solo to play live, until we are ready to record it, also I don't think people will hear that EP if we don't play a few gigs before to create some hype (we already have some hype going on social networks, little but still it is something, people is waiting for us to give them music to hear apart from little snippets of rehearsals) and he won't change his mind. He also says that he needs to have the order of the songs of that eventual EP sorted out to be able to deliver better solos all in the same vibe, which I think it's pretty stupid.
    Ended up doing a long post, but I want to know how we should approach this issue, since even knowing we sound pretty solid, we only gave one show and he wants us to release an EP and spend a good amount of money on it before playing more gigs, just because he doesn't want to write a placeholder solo to end up writing something else afterwards
  2. Seanto


    Dec 29, 2005
    In my world, all solos are improvised to an extent. Are his improvised solo's any good? I guess that is the question. If they are bad, then i don't know how is going to write a good one.

    For me, i actually prefer solos be improvised, but i come from a jazz background. Although even in my favorite rock music the solos are still improvised mostly, and are different every time. If you asked me to write a solo and play it the same way every time, i'd refuse too.

    Sorry this doesn't help much to actually solve your problem. Welcome to the world of guitar solos.
  3. viper4000


    Aug 17, 2010
    I record with a guitarist like that. He wants the full song and to sit at the computer by himself making hundreds of takes until he gets the one he wants. But once he finds it, he plays pretty much the same solo, or at least pulls main melodies or hooks then embellishes them each time played. It is frustrating for sure. Once song took 2 months to finish, where the rest of the tracks were done in two takes. (We're DIY at home).

    We both come from the old jam band days, so I know why he does it. However, to reign him in, I always force the issue of the solo should be based on XYZ (hook or melody). Do what you want from there. When I do this, he finds his solo much faster. When it is just a free form solo, it takes him forever.

    Not much help, but hope that helps.
  4. Nadie


    Oct 20, 2017
    His solos aren't bad, but they aren't the greatest thing I think he could deliver. He always improvises some heavy wah solos and we all agreed that he shouldn't use that pedal so much since it changes the vibe of the song completely. The problem here isn't his ability to write or improvise a good one, the problem is that he isn't happy with the solos he plays right now (no one is completely happy with them, but we all know he can deliver something better if he sits down and brainstorms them) and he stops us from playing gigs and start getting our name out there because he wants to record the EP and finish his parts once we do it
  5. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    google OCD, perfectionism, chronic tardiness, yada yada. share the results with your guitarist. good luck! :thumbsup:
  6. Seanto


    Dec 29, 2005
    He sounds inexperienced. Sorry man(or wo-man), all you can do is talk to him and help him write a solo. Whatever happens after that happens.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2017
  7. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    So when you are rehearsing, you're not playing it as if it will be recorded? I'm not a soloist, but frankly I think attitude is weak. Unless you guys are still working out what he will be soloing over, he should be able to wok out what he's gonna do, whether it be a standard solo, the same every time, or mostly improvised, he should be able to dial something in. What is he possibly going to do differently "when you have everything ready to record"?

    From a band leader perspective, this is about priorities and the BL needs to tell the guitarist to make figuring this out a priority if it is holding you back from your goals. If the rest of the band is ready for X, but he's not, then you all need to decide if you want to wait around for him to get his stuff together or find someone who will.
    Lvjoebass and mikewalker like this.
  8. ThudThudThud


    Jun 4, 2010
    I do 'one man band' recording - meaning I play everything, and sing everything, and program drums, and act as engineer, and producer. It's just for me, and possibly to start something with others one day, but I'm quite happy with the quality. I'm NOT a guitar player, and certainly not a lead guitar player, but I can play enough to not embarrass myself.

    Anyway... When I record a guitar solo for a song it's usually a melody I've heard in my head while I was tracking other parts. The theme will come from some point of reference in the song, and I'll play something that works for that song. Am I going to win any shred competitions? No. But I feel that what I do captures the essence of the song being recorded. What I'm saying is that the solo is already in the song and just needs to be captured. It should tell the story. My recordings are rarely the same genre, or style more than once, and the solos are never repeated. One well placed note beats forty eight 'placeholders.'
    Try having your guitar player sing the solo for you before tracking it.
    Lvjoebass and mikewalker like this.
  9. Beej


    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    I'll be a dissenting voice. :) Who cares if he's finished his solos right now? You guys are really only just scratching the surface with four songs. His excuse of wanting them in order before the EP is just an excuse, but does it really matter right now? With only a handful of songs complete, you're not going to be playing out on them yet. In addition, he's the one that's going to sound bad if you guys get 8-10 songs together and he still doesn't know what he's playing, and at that point things will be much more obvious. If, at that time, all four of you are in agreement that he needs to step up and get them finished, then you won't even need to be the guy telling him to get them in line... :)
    Seanto likes this.
  10. Nadie


    Oct 20, 2017
    We are, just with an improvised solo that will probably be different to what ends up being in the EP, he says that for him to write the perfect solo he needs to have the EP sorted out and he needs to know "how we are supposed to sound" which I find kind of stupid.
  11. Seanto


    Dec 29, 2005
    This makes it sound like you all haven't even nailed down a cohesive style yet. So every song is written and completed, note for note, except for the guitar solos? Ya know he might actually have a point. Original bands generally take time to find their style when writing songs as a group. I wouldn't be surprised if you ended up tossing half of them in the future when you realize they don't fit. Been there, believe me.
  12. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    So what is he waiting for? Sounds like he needs a swift kick.

    (Or you can always fire the drummer to get his attention. Sorry just trying to fit in...:whistle: )
    mikewalker likes this.
  13. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    IMO, he should be doing his part to get the song ready to play. How will you know which songs to record and release?

    Band meeting time. Everyone has parts to do, and they either do them or they find another band.

    If he refuses, then you either have to live with it or find another replacement...
    squidtastic likes this.
  14. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    THIS. +1000

    Anybody can run their fingers rhythmically up and down the fingerboard following the usual socially-accepted scale patterns and produce amusing rhythmic noises. But personally, what I look for in a "Lead Guitarist®" is MUSICIANSHIP.

    If your guitar player cannot make his guitar "sing" in some fashion, I would not put him firmly in the "musician" camp.

    Ask him to sing/whistle/hum his musical improvisation into a microphone over the rest of the group playing. Sure, maybe he hasn't worked out how to play it on the fretboard yet, but if he cannot hear it in his head to begin with - then he's just wasting your time....
  15. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    Creative people are weird. Give him a chance to do it his way before you get in his face about it.

    Part of being in a band is learning to be flexible and adapt to other people's quirks.
    HolmeBass and theretheyare like this.
  16. somebrains

    somebrains Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2017
    Let it go and scream "you suck" at him if he bombs the solo at a gig.
    Worked for Primus.
    HolmeBass and Nashrakh like this.
  17. tradernick


    Mar 19, 2008
    Your first post says you think he should 'write a decent solo to play live'.

    I guarantee you there are 10 things more important to your live gigging success than his solos. More importantly, if you have the majority of those things together, his solos cannot negatively affect your shows to any appreciable extent (given that he has a base level of skill, which seems to be the case).

    If he's a good guy and on time and willing to work and a decent player, give him a chance to do his thing. These things can be hard to come by. If he's using the wah pedal constantly, and everyone else agrees it's not working, then talk to him about that, but just get out there and gig, don't worry about his solos.

    Focus on your songwriting and show people that you mean it when you perform live. Get the band tight. That's what's going to read. Plus you're in a place where vibe is valued maybe even more than in NA.
    HolmeBass likes this.
  18. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    My take on this: the perfect is the enemy of the good. Also, with only four songs written, as @Beej said, you've barely even begun to create. Whatever you go and record right now is just going to be demos to get the ball rolling. You're going to go on to write lots more songs and if the band ever goes to the next level, you will be going back into the studio to rerecord everything anyway. If you wait for him to dream up four genius solos before you record, you will never move forward. Go ahead and record a demo EP and let him solo with whatever his best ideas are now. Go out and play the songs at as many gigs as you can and let him experiment with different things. A year from now they will evolve into the best solos for the songs. Keep moving forward with other ideas in the meantime.
    cronker, HolmeBass and Beej like this.
  19. A lot of Guitar players like to improvise solos and then once the song is recorded they’ll focus more on playing the same solo. It’s nothing out of the ordinary from my experience. Shouldn’t keep you from playing gigs unless his solos are just terrible.
    HolmeBass likes this.
  20. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Welcome to TalkBass!!!!

    1) You don't write songs in rehearsal. If you and two others are the writers, get together with them and have WRITING sessions. Write whole songs and then present them to the rest when you are all together. Sure, they can have input then. But the framework for the entire song needs to be done. Writing 4 songs since January is WAY too slow. Part of the guitarist's problem might be that he is starting to lose interest because everything in your band takes too long.

    2) Try to look at this from the viewpoint of your AUDIENCE. Exactly NONE of them will care at all if you play a gig in November and the album comes out in February with different guitar solos than they heard in November. None. Zero. Nobody will care. Zero humans will care. Not even your mother's will care. Nobody. (Did I make my point? :D ) STOP worrying over something your AUDIENCE doesn't care about and START working on more songs.

    3) Book gigs!!!! Nothing forces a band to get ready better than a gig on the books! Book a date opening for another act for 6 weeks out. Agree to play 6 or 7 songs. By then you will get 6 or 7 songs nailed down. You won't have any choice. ;)

    You started a band. You have rehearsed a bunch. You have a few songs written. You played out in public. And the biggest problem you have is guitar solos???? Man, your band is going better than you think. Many here would LOVE to have guitar solos not matching a recording as there biggest problem.
    Stumbo, mikew31, Conkal and 3 others like this.

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