gui**** help needed.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Dubista, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. In my short time of bass playing, of about 5 years, I reckon I've picked up the instrument fairly averagely. I can learn most songs by ear. I know most of the fret board pretty well and most importantly and while my note reading is weak... I can lay down a groove.

    Most of the guitarists I play with are just you average power chord, palm mute, straight 8 strummers with little to no theory knowledge. My problem is that most of the songs we play just end up sounding the same , especially with the whole 8th note strumming power chord thing going on... and it irks me ever so much. The thing is, we aren't just playing your 4 chord Blink-182 esque songs... although they just LOOOVE them, we play also play blues and a bit of funk here and there, not to mention the odd praise and worship.

    My dilemma is that the songs just get so DAMN boring. I really don't know what to do about them. I've tried grilling them with working on their technique or even just changing the rhythm of their strumming to get something else going on. Moreover, I tend to get the feeling that the sonic spectrum gets crowded when these straight 8ths are happening, especially with distortion or any other effects they have going on and that this takes away from the songs we play.

    What do I do? I don't want to leave these guys because they're my mates, first and foremost. I just feel like they could expand their musical horizons a little and maybe become better musicians.

    Do I keep grilling them? Do I take a video and show them? or Do I just hang my head, stay in the shadows and play 8th notes too?

    Has anybody else here have a similar experience? Any advice will help.
  2. trayner1


    Jul 1, 2010
    La Jolla,CA
    At the beginning of a practice, show them recordings of yourselves and state your issue. Suggest to them, like you said, changing strumming patterns. Maybe go clean and throw in some flanger, or go slightly distorted + reverb. Maybe encourage soloing, too? Just tell them how you feel but try not to be a pill about it. (Usually, guitarists don't like taking advice from bassists.)
    Just tell them to try it out with some of your songs, and, if it doesn't work, then hang your head, stay in the shadows and play 8th notes, too. ;)
  3. the yeti

    the yeti

    Nov 6, 2007
    raleigh, nc
    ime, unless you can actually pick up the guitar and show them something the guys you're talking about won't get it... assuming you can do that expect about half or less to accept it.
  4. same experience here, talking about it might not be enough, either you play something for them or you choose a song that has the specific rythm pattern you want, mail them the youtube link, force them to watch it.

    is there a drummer in this story, how does he/she feel about it?
  5. Skitch it!

    Skitch it!

    Sep 6, 2010
    Try a few projects outside for variation, their your mates, it's not a personal issue, they should (hopefully) understand that you want to get ahead on your instrument, playing with various different mindsets is an education in itself, IMO spread out and get some diversity, just my thought on it ; )

    IME I've always tried to put myself in with better musicians beyond my standard, I like playing catchup it's a great incentive for hard shedding.
  6. Write songs yourself and show them how to play your riffs.
  7. thumpbass1


    Jul 4, 2004
    Welcome to the world of being in your average young band. The best quick remedy I can think of is to start the band on learning some cover tunes you all like, but outside of your usual comfort zone; yet within the band's abilities with an extra bit of hard work. It's basically about having common goal and challenging everyone towards achieving that goal, pretty much what every head coach of any sort of sports team tries do if they are doing their job. We all need to be pushed and prodded a bit to keep going beyond what we know and our comfortable with time to time. Also work at developing your own original ideas and having a good go at that.

    As for boredom with the material that one plays, every musician, including the best of the best go through the same experience time to time. It's tough to get out of of a rut, but it's doable.
  8. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    You know what they say about old habits.............:rolleyes:
  9. thunesBARROW


    Apr 12, 2010
    New York
    While it can be fun to jam with friends, it sounds like this group is holding you back. Unless you are getting paid decently, I would never play with inferior musicians (sometimes its not even worth the money, although I'm certainly in no position to pick and choose my gigs... I take what comes my way). Always play the music you love with the best musicians around. If you really want to improve as a musician, be humble and hang with the best players in town. If you are always the best player at the session, you will never feel challenged/inspired and you will not grow. Don't hang your head in the shadows!

    And I think chokeslam512's suggestion of writing your own songs and showing your friends how to play them is an excellent idea, it will show them what you are feeling musically. Best of luck!
  10. plangentmusic

    plangentmusic Inactive

    Jun 30, 2010
    The first thing you have to do is lose immature expressions like "gui****."
  11. PaulStone


    Aug 27, 2010
    Get a drummer. Team up and play a rhythm that the guitarists' normal patterns do not mesh with.

    Force adaptation.
  12. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA

    Also, unless you're absolutely tied to these guitarists, I'd consider finding people that more match your background and style, or barring that, guitarists that have better chops.

    The old motto, "if you can't find people that play what you like, at least find people that you can learn from" seems appropriate here.
  13. trkelley


    Nov 18, 2009
    Oregon USA
    nice steady monochromatic guitar-chugging is a perfect backdrop for melodic bass. :)
  14. Thanks for all the advice, I'll take it all in.

    I have been playing with other musicians that are far better than myself and I do enjoy it. We do have a drummer in our group and he is a person I look up to, he may not be well versed in every genre, but he is adapts very easily and can keep a solid groove going.

    Regarding the comment about the immaturity of calling them gui****s, I didn't mean any offence toward them. I guess I just wanted to jump on the TB band wagon... After all, guitarists have feelings too... Right? ;)

    Cheers guys.
  15. pandaman37

    pandaman37 Inactive

    Sep 17, 2009
    Clovis, CA
    im actually in the exact same boat, every time i go to play with someone its the same strum pattern, simple chords yadda yadda you know the drill.
    i can sympathize, i mean guitar can be more musically complex than bass, improvising chords can be more difficult (at least imo so dont kill me here lol) but at the same time its like.... 'alright man, i liked it but could you switch up the rhythm a bit?' *blank stare*..
    i liked the idea of forcing adaptation, sounds a bit mean but hey, its tough love i suppose, theyll thank us later ;D
    hang in there for the while i suppose.
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