1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

For cryin out LOUD

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by EddiePlaysBass, Mar 12, 2019.

  1. EddiePlaysBass


    Feb 26, 2009
    Rehearsal yesterday. 4-piece band, singer also strums a guitar and blows a harp. The guitars were deafeningly loud. Again. Both of them dialled in so much bass, I had trouble discerning what I was playing vs. what came from their amps. Makes me wonder why I bother playing fretless.

    I've had the discussion with both of them quite a few times now, and am getting tired of asking them to lower their volume. I could easily (and I mean EASILY) overpower them both in terms of volume, but I won't. Instead, I decided to start overplaying fills left and right - it's not like anyone hears them anyway, and I get to practice that aspect a bit. Pretty sure at one point all three of us were in a different section of the same song, and no one seemed to notice.

    This is a low-maintenance band, and we've started working on some original tunes as well, so it's fun. Usually. Last night it was not. Too fast, too loud, no nuance or subtlety whatsoever. Makes me want to play the ukulele more ....

    strat59, SuperUltra, kwdhsk and 2 others like this.
  2. filmtex

    filmtex Commercial User

    May 29, 2011
    Annsman Pro Audio Dealer
    1. The music
    2. The money
    3. The hang

    Seems like it might be time to consider moving on. Life's too short to fight band members. At least for me...YMMV.
  3. redwingxix

    redwingxix Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2015
    In my experience guitar players get louder so they can hear themselves. Typically raising their cabs or angling them does the trick. We got our guy to quiet down by having him wear his own ear monitors. Nothing crazy like his own personal mix, just a feed from his amp. It's worked great
    Tommy V, ObsessiveArcher, MCF and 2 others like this.
  4. EddiePlaysBass


    Feb 26, 2009
    Yup, suggested both ideas. He tilted back his cab once or twice, but is back to listening with his ankles.
    Ellery likes this.
  5. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    If things get too loud at rehearsal, I make a comment. If it happens again (ever), I just stop playing, mid song.

    Homie don't take that. I like my eardrums.
  6. craigie


    Nov 11, 2015
    The louder they get the more ear fatigue sets in, the louder they get.
    strat59, smogg, Mark 63 and 4 others like this.
  7. turf3


    Sep 26, 2011
    I am ready to just start putting the bass down and leaving the room. I did that the other night at a jam session and no one even noticed or commented. It remains to be seen what will happen at a rehearsal. I will probably say something like "when you're done showing how loud you can play and you're ready to work, let me know."
    bherman, interp and Ellery like this.
  8. Jehos

    Jehos Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    DFW, TX
    Life's too short to deal with that nonsense. Guitar players that play too loud and don't even notice what part of the song they're in are a dime a dozen.
  9. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    I'll just turn all the way down and see how long it takes anyone to notice. "You can't hear me anyway , so why bother adding to the volume level?" That usually works pretty well. A bit passive-aggressive I suppose, but point is made. Tis is assuming I care to even keep playing with these folks.

    I've actually auditioned with the opposite - they need too quiet of an environment. So quiet the sounds won't blend, they just kind of surround you. I don't need it so loud that era protection is required, but it needs to be loud enough for the sound waves to mingle a bit.....
    Beej likes this.
  10. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2015
    Thank you for reminding me why I'm so glad to be done with amps. Controlling your own mix is the only way to do it. It also helps to play with guitarists that are there to make money, not noise. Best of luck.
  11. redwingxix

    redwingxix Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2015
    Do they say why they need it so loud? Maybe it's a tone they are trying to get? Our guy is a great player but pretty clueless about gear and we had to show him how to dial in his amp to get the sound he wanted at lower volumes.

    You could switch places with them. Stand in front of their amps so they are blasting your ankles and their ear holes.
  12. Greyvagabond

    Greyvagabond Supporting Member

    Aug 17, 2007
    Los Angeles
    Try swapping where the guitar players play, but not their amps. That way, their own amps will be faced at them, not their knees.

    If that doesn't work, try swapping guitar players!
    ObsessiveArcher likes this.
  13. RichardW


    Feb 25, 2016
    near Philly
    You can cover up a lot of mistakes with volume.
  14. WardEarth

    WardEarth Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2010
    Anchormanville, CA
    Yeah the amps at the feet can be a problem. If you are in a small room, maybe you guys should switch sides. So you dial in his/her guitar volume, and they dial your bass.
    Also, just wondering what kind of rock band uses a harp and fretless.;)
  15. Joedog


    Jan 28, 2010
    Pensacola FL
    A WAY too common problem. I've turned down a half dozen or so bands for excessive volume and lack of dynamics. At one addition (in a living room) it was so loud I walked out into the hallway out of sight. So glad I was using a 20" cord, LOL. Funny thing is, at the end of the session when I told them why I was declining the invite, they were totally surprised!
  16. higain617


    Sep 12, 2013
    That's pretty common. I usually have to tech for the whole band (minus the drummer).
  17. Richie Se7en

    Richie Se7en Presently distractivated Supporting Member

    I thought this problem was isolated the first time I played with other people, but I've found it to be pretty common. I almost had to give our Lead guitar player a cold one time when he was so loud I had trouble hearing our drummer!

    I mean really, how bad is that!? :banghead:

  18. redwingxix

    redwingxix Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2015
    so true.
  19. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    Yes, all too common. My last band slowly progressed towards this. Not as much with the volume, but with the thickness of the two guitarists tone. Between that and the gain/distortion at 11, you couldnt hear the bass guitar at all. One gig I was so fed up (lead guitarist ran the mixer) I just went out front and kept turning up till it was where it should be. They complained all night how the bass was too loud. I said "youre welcome".
    EddiePlaysBass and redwood like this.
  20. LBS-bass

    LBS-bass Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2017
    I'm having a similar problem with one of the bands I've been rehearsing with recently. A bunch of seriously old-school players with decent chops but no concept of reasonable volume whatsoever. To make matters worse, they turn up the PA to just below feedback levels, and then when they still can't hear themselves sing they never think, oh, maybe the instruments are too loud, but instead try to turn the PA up even further. The lead singer insists on angling his mic 90 degrees to how it should be with the mains, and I have told him repeatedly this is causing more feedback but he does it every time. These guys have been doing this for decades, you'd think they'd have this figured out.

    I have a rehearsal space in my home and I will never invite this bunch over to use it, that's the quickest way I could think of to alienate my neighbors. Lucky for them they have a rented space.

    I'm at the three-month mark with them at this point and, though I was recruited with the promise of work, there are no gigs on the books. My unstated rule is six months of weekly rehearsals, tops, and if nothing's on the books by then I won't waste any more of my time. That's probably far too generous, but I'm still kind of in it right now for the networking. You never know what might come from something. I like keeping everyone smiling and being easy to work with, myself. But there comes a point...

Share This Page