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High standards

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Thumpy McGroove, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. Thumpy McGroove

    Thumpy McGroove

    Jul 11, 2012
    Where I live in Maine there isn't much of a music scene, a problem I'm sure some of you also have. But when I find somebody to potentially start something with they aren't that great technique wise or that good with the theory side of things (some say they don't care to know either:eyebrow:). Also, I don't claim to be a pro.

    So I'm kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place. The big thing to me is timing, I like precision; musicians that all arive at the downbeat at the same time. Then again, I want to get out and be part of creating something and collaborating.

    So should I make some sacrifices on my standards or wait for the right people.
  2. Corbeau


    Dec 14, 2011
    I think you should wait for the right people, because it sounds like if you played with musicians that don't meet your standards, then you're not going to be happy. You have to be happy with the band, because if you're not, it's going to be miserable and that's not the point of playing music.

    I think it's a good idea to keep jamming with people. Sometimes it can take a while to find the right people, but once you've found them, things can move pretty quickly because you're all on the same page.
  3. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    No band is going to meet all your standards. Somethings you might have to learn to live with.

    I have issues with our drummers tempo, however he has to many other redeeming qualities for me to obsess on it.

  4. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    Sacrifice, no, that's permanent. Compromise, yes, because it seems to be necessary. But if your standards are high and unmet by your bandmates you'll find yourself dissatisfied and always looking to move up a notch ... not a bad thing.
  5. I'm playing with a bass player and guitar player, both can't tell you the names of the notes on the fingerboard. The guitar player doesn't know the names of basic chords.

    But they play and sound great. So I'll do the old "string # fret #" game a lot when we need to communicate, or demonstrate on my guitar what I'm talking about.

    This is classic and contemporary rock, so it's not brain surgery, and I forgive my mates. We sound good, that's the bottom line.

    Food for thought, YMMV.
  6. baileyboy


    Aug 12, 2010

    I once played with a guitarist who didn't know a C major chord from any other. Although he was able to work tunes out by ear, problems arose when we tried to transpose chords or play songs in other key signatures and such. In my experience, it's much more rewarding to play with musicians that have taken lessons.
  7. craig.p


    Sep 28, 2008
    New Hampshire
    I think everyone's different, so one person's answer may not work for another. Each of us has his own tolerance levels. It might help to sum all the strengths and weaknesses of the outfit you're in, and see whether the NET value is positive or negative for YOU.

    On the other hand, oftentimes you can hear a little voice inside yourself pestering you with the answer. Don't ignore it, even if it appears to go against the net-value exercise you did with your brain and its logic. Give it an equal vote. Sometimes that little voice is trying to alert you to a true deal-breaker -- a weakness whose value (or weight) needs to be goosed up in a +/- analysis in order for the analysis to be valid.

    If you find the band you're in is playing at a level that's so far beneath yours that it's 24/7 bugging the crap out of you, causing you to lose sleep, causing you to regret having made a commitment to the band, etc., despite a rational analysis telling you things shouldn't be bugging you that much, then it's not the band for you.

    But if you find yourself looking forward to upcoming rehearsals, despite the band's weak points, then that's a positive sign.

    Also try to take into account whether the other people are improving or at least trying to. Because in a situation like that, six months from now the problems with bad chops or bad habits may no longer exist, and you'll regret having left. So, learn to recognize how each player is "trending," and at what rate.

    Hope this helps.
  8. GypsyMan


    Jun 30, 2011
    There are going to be a lot of bands that aren't up to your technical level. As long as there isn't drama, play with the people you like. Technique can be trained. It's better to play with people that aren't perfect, rather than sitting at home alone with perfect.

    Compromise until you find perfect.
  9. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    High standards are great, but after a point you get diminishing returns. For example, I worked with this phenomenal guitarist who was a perfectionist. We were going to put a cover band together, and this guy was nailing lots of great, classic leads, note for note. I was really looking forward to the potential of this band, because the vocalist and guitarist were very talented. Because of the guitarist's high standards and ability, we made him the music director. At our initial jam, we ran through about a dozen tunes. But at the next rehearsal where he was directing it, we went through 2 in 3 hours. The songs were "Every Rose Has It's Thorn" and "You Really Got Me'. Songs I have done hundreds of times before. The first time through, we were 80-90% good on it. We could have worked through about a dozen tunes that day, but instead worked on 2 really simple tunes that I thought were gig ready on the first run through. It totally killed people's motivation, and in a short time, a band with lots of potetntial folded.

    IME, perfectionists don't get nearly as much done as folks who are willing to go balls-out and give it a try. IME, getting from 80% to 100% is best done on stage, not the rehearsal room. To me, folks who can play their instruments isn't a high standard. It's a minimum. Anything after that is a matter of taste and preference.
  10. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    +1 on the perfectionists. I played with some people who would stop the song if one person made a mistake. It would take hours to get through one song and suck the life out of it when we did it for real.

    There's another no-no for me and that's people who can operate an instrument to the highest standard, but stare at charts and have no soul in their playing.

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