Guitarist is getting on my nerves

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Hysteresis, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. Hysteresis

    Hysteresis Guest

    Feb 2, 2017
    Cluj-Napoca, Romania
    I joined my first originals band last year and things are going fine. We're not professionals, but I'd say we're more than just hobbyists. We had a gig, we recorded songs, we're slowly building an album...

    My problem is with one of the 2 guitarists, who thinks he's the alpha male - very bossy attitude, overuse of distortion, "Hey, let me play something over [other guitarist]'s riff!" (on EVERY song), etc...

    And the cherry on top is that he's been delaying the release of our first song on YouTube because "his tone is too 'broken' and he wants to re-record his part" - AFTER we paid money to record in a studio AND paid for mix and master!! Trust me, his tone is fine. But the others won't fire him. They are non-combative, though they are great friends and musicians so I don't know how to approach this.

    Rant over. I don't know what I want actually. Maybe some suggestions on how to tell the others "I'm out or he's out" without cutting ties so abruptly.

    P.S. He's not the BL. We don't have a BL, but we can find gigs and stick to the schedule quite well, so I don't see the guitarist's behavior justified.
    Pbassmanca and Mr.Ace like this.
  2. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    Are you really ready to make that ultimatum, that if they don't axe him you are leaving? That is your first issue. You said they were friends with the guy (I assume you are not to the same degree), so they aren't taking the band as seriously as you are. If so, sit down with those other members, tell them your issues, and throw down the gauntlet.

    More diplomatically, call for a band meeting (not during a rehearsal). Tell them you have concerns about people listening to each other, and that all band members need to act as a group. Give some specifics:

    1. "We had a song finished (and paid for), and then had to re-record it for one part, after we agreed that it was good".
    2. "Each person has a part, but we are stepping over each other's parts, like when xxx".

    If you are smart, don't make it an attack on the one person. Good luck.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
    gln1955, gebass6, JRA and 1 other person like this.
  3. sean_on_bass


    Dec 29, 2005
    Sounds like you have a guitarist in your band! As said above, if they are friends and you are the outsider, tread lightly. Friends will generally tolerate a whole lot more from each other than from new acquaintances. They may be annoyed by some of it too, but it apparently isn't a deal breaker from them.

    Rather than try to get anyone fired, i would probably be more so thinking of whether i just need to leave the group if it's really that intolerable. Or start to offer more direct feedback in the moment to fix the issue. If he is really overstepping his bossiness, you need to show him right then and there.
  4. Hysteresis

    Hysteresis Guest

    Feb 2, 2017
    Cluj-Napoca, Romania
    I think I messed up my grammar. I was there since the beginning of the band, we all met for the first time. These issues only started to appear when we got comfortable with each other.
  5. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    comfortable? if i was really "comfortable" with you: i would/could speak honestly and freely with you = you would know what my issues are.

    good luck! :thumbsup:
    Aqualung60 and buldog5151bass like this.
  6. MordBass


    Nov 1, 2017
    Id bring it up to him in a group conversation... either in person, text, messenger... whatever.
    Just say that you totally get tone concerns because you're a gearhead too but this is the last thing holding up the release.
  7. Not sure I follow. One particular individual is the problem, but make it about everyone?
  8. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    1. OP says it is just person. Other members may feel otherwise.
    2. OP has already said the band isn't doing anything about it. They apparently don't feel it is worth acting on it. Add in the fact that the other members are friends. If he isn't diplomatic about, OP is going to be the odd man out. Present it as the band has issues - not OP v. Guitarist

    Unless, per my first sentence, op is really willing to issue an ultimatum - I think we have a pretty good idea who will be picked...
    Lee Moses and jamro217 like this.
  9. roller

    roller Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2014
    Like sands through the hourglass...

  10. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg , Conquest Sound
    I don't have the time nor the desire to put up with band drama. He has to realize that the band is the most important thing, not him. How do the other band members feel about the recording and his tone? Maybe a meeting is in order.
    gebass6 likes this.
  11. darwin-bass


    Mar 29, 2013
    Salem OR
    Group dynamics. Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing. Welcome to stage 2. Look it up and learn.
  12. Not this again. I swear the first blues song was written over this crap. They changed the title character to a woman in order to market it to the general public. Just because you're in a circus doesn't mean you have to be a clown. Band meeting. Are we all going in the same direction? Let's try to work together better. Is the whole greater than the sum of its parts? Always be courteous and take the high road.
    J_Bass likes this.
  13. theduke1


    Dec 22, 2010
    Sussex WI
    You know the old saying
    It only takes one (1) lead guitarist to install a new light bulb cause they all think the world revolves around them.
    I’d leave life is to short for drama
    But that’s just me
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  14. Mr.Ace

    Mr.Ace Bass players rule!

    Sep 8, 2015
    Pompano Beach FL
    Endorsed by Fusion ( maker of killer gig bags)
    Sounds like a douche
  15. gazzatriumph

    gazzatriumph Guest

    Sep 27, 2012
    Take the guitarist to one side and kick the crap out of him, he will either leave or they will fire you either way you will feel good.
    theduke1 and MordBass like this.
  16. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    People can change and may try, but IMHO alphas rarely do unless forced. It sounds like you have explored your concerns with the other band members and they are okay with the alpha's behavior. If this is true, you probably have three courses of action: 1. (confront) continually fight with the alpha, 2. (ignore) learn to accept/cope with the alpha's idiosyncrasies, 3. (avoid) leave the band.

    Before you begin, carefully consider the pros and cons of each path. Path 2. does not involve the other groups member so a band meeting is not required. You will have to adjust the way you think and respond. If you are weighing the cost/benefits of 1. and 3., meet privately with the alpha to see if you can work things out. If an agreement cannot be made and you cannot commit yourself to path 2., ask for a group meeting and candidly discuss your concerns and the actions you are considering. Be prepared for the worst.

    IMHO if you decide to leave the group, it's generally best to try and do it on good terms. Maintain your cool at all times and give the group a reasonable time to replace you. In the interim, continue to fulfill existing commitments and do whatever you can to ease the transition.

    I would have no problem with the alpha redoing parts providing he is willing to pay for the extra studio/mastering time. I would be very surprised if the other group members want to spend more money. IMHO, The group should discuss this and make a decision. Maybe the guitarist will throw a fit and leave.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
  17. MordBass


    Nov 1, 2017
    This is full of good info.... I agree about alphas not wanting to change ever and I feel like the only real hope for the OP is that his gui**** is more of a "bigfish/lil pond" type of alpha that will back down at the first sign of opposition.
  18. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    IMO/IME, He's an obstructionist, control freak, lacks confidence and is anxiety prone. What you see and hear are the result.

    Anything you say will be construed by him as a threat. You can try logic on the guy and the situation but his actions aren't necessarily logical so his conclusions won't be either.

    Unless you can get the other guys to see it your way, you may have to give an ultimatum: Him or me?
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
    Downunderwonder likes this.
  19. Pbassmanca

    Pbassmanca In the pocket n' thumpy. So woody, so greasy...

    This could be a numbered club...
    delta7fred and Killed_by_Death like this.
  20. delta7fred


    Jul 3, 2007
    I need a number if it can be joined for guitarists past :laugh: (not really, I don't do clubs).

    I joined a blues band (that rapidly morphed into a blues rock bar band (third rate)).

    It soon became apparent that the guitarist was a control freak, not only that but he could not play without speeding up, and what was worse the drummer would follow him.

    The rhythm guitarist might as well have not been there because if he could hear himself he thought he was too loud and would turn down.

    The lead guitarist's wife was our self appointed manager, artistic director and sound person. If she didn't like a song the guitarist refused to play it. She dictated what we wore (or tried to in my case), and the sound balance (ditto in my case). If she could hear me I was too loud while her husband used a mic'ed up Fender Twin.

    I would walk out FOH at sound check and establish my level and stick to it despite her protests. I considered that with 40 years experience mixing from the stage I had a better idea of sound balance than she did when all she cared about was hearing her 'wonderful husband's fabulous guitar playing'.

    I lasted about 4 gigs before I quit! I did honour the gigs we had booked and am still friends with the band (but 7 years on and she still blanks me whenever I see her).

    The band did have some good points though :-
    The lead guitarist was a really tasteful player (even if he couldn't keep time doing it).
    His wife was a pretty good booking agent.
    The rhythm guitarist was young, had a van, and was happy to schlep the PA and lights.
    Pbassmanca likes this.