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how about when people refuse to learn a song properly?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by BagsBass, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. BagsBass


    Mar 7, 2009
    how does everyone feel when, say, the guitarist keeps screwing up a part by playing the wrong timing, chord, or notes and even after you point it out to them, they insist they are either playing it right or just downright refuse to budge? i've been here a few times before and it's never ended well, because as soon as that song gets played in rehearsal well here comes the eye rolling.

    EDIT: this is related only to playing COVERS
  2. audioglenn


    Jul 14, 2012
    Yeah...I know exactly what you mean. It's like watching yourself drive into the same car accident every time! The last time I had that problem with somebody, the rest of us learned to just get really loud at the "trip up" point and drown out the mistake. It made playing the song just a little easier.
  3. avvie


    Oct 12, 2010
    Maui, HI
    That is an ego-based problem, and defensive jackholes are difficult to work with. I offer suggestions, show them the correct way, and if they still act like jackholes, I turn the tables and belligerently refuse to play the song and insist that THEY are embarrassing ME when they play badly and I am seen onstage with them.

    My current band has the same problem, and it's the BL. After a while of this he admitted that his defensiveness was based in being angry at himself for being the weakest musical link. He was forced to work harder, try to grow some ears (still budding ;) ) and the result is that the band is getting lots of praise and requests to be weekly and bi-weekly regular gigs because we make the cash register ring. He is now still defensive (character defect) but more open to listening to others and as a result we are more patient with his questionable musicality.

    One other thing: based on both this thread and the other you started, one of two things needs to happen:
    1-find another band....keep moving forward. There is ALWAYS someone better.
    2- Check the mirror and make sure that the problem isn't you. Musicians are not known for their stellar social skills and Christ-like personalities; to them, everyone else is a creative drain and the world just doesn't understand their genius.
  4. Hmm, how many of these threads are you going to start before you except the answer? :meh:

  5. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    That is an ego-based problem if ya ask me.

    I was in a cover band a while back where the guys played a lot of stuff wrong, didn't care, and wouldn't change it after I pointed out what it was that they were clearly doing wrong. I learned the stuff their way, and all was fine. Never heard anyone in the audience complain, and I made craploads of money with that band.

    It's taken me a long time to start actually living the idea that it's much better to be happy, than right. And to leave my ego on the shelf. Most things aren't nearly as important as I like to think they are.
  6. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    We play covers and it's never a note for note copy of the original ... someone puts their own spin on a part of the song, because he can't play it exactly like the original or because he has another lick that fits the song ... sometimes we play slightly different chords or harmonies, be it by design, accident or lack of necessary skill. As a bass player I tend to have an easier task than the guitarist or keyboard player, and I've learned to listen to what they play and adjust to that rather than demanding everyone play what's on the record. I don't need to play note for note, but I do need to be in sync with what the other guys are playing.

    There are no absolutes in terms of right and wrong, only what works and makes the audience happy.
  7. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    Ru ro Reorge, actual wisdom? On TB? Thankyouthankyouthankyou.

    Before I found TB I always wondered which came first, the ego or the guitar. Now I just ask which came first the ego or the electric stringed instrument.
  8. Lobomov


    Aug 2, 2013
  9. edpal

    edpal Banned

    Oct 3, 2007
    It's actually a different issue and question. So deserving of a separate thread.

    ..back to thread..
    Sometimes the one screwing up is too defensive, sometime they really think they have it right, sometimes it is how the bad news is presented. I think the first and last are the 2 most common....some people will pick out a fellow musician's mistakes at every opportunity. Our drummer will foolishly blurt out, "you screwed up that part" to someone/anyone who has been playing that part perfectly for months. I keep my mouth shut about someone blowing a part in rehearsal or gig if they have been playing it correctly the very majority of times - we all can make a mistake at an inopportune time. A consistent "fail" is a whole nuther thing. I like how a choir director I worked with would do it - instead of fingering one person she would say,"the tenors don't sound right on that part, lets go through it so you guys can straighten that out". Classy lady, set a good example.
  10. edpal

    edpal Banned

    Oct 3, 2007
    From a strictly "tone" standpoint the underlined part doesn't sound calculated for cooperation. Many people will "freeze" if you start throwing a list of suggestions at them, ditto on "do as I do" - you may as well publically crush them completely and have a temper tantrum, swear at them and tell them they suck and should just give up. A little soft-sell work better for those folks, "hey, can we try to tighten this part up, doesn't feel like we are approaching it the same". If they are hopeless then the group should replace them.

    Belligerently refusing to play :scowl: - you'd be fired immediately from most groups. Or decked. Or both. Justifiably.
  11. edpal

    edpal Banned

    Oct 3, 2007
    Dude, that is the best answer, to a point. Bend a little where it isn't mission critical. Thanks!:bassist:
  12. nojj

    nojj Guest

    May 20, 2013
    I'm not big on note-for-note (in covers)
    but draw the line when a song is played that is unrecognizable as what it's supposed to be.
    IMO one should at least give a passing nod to the hooks.

    On guitar, I'm guilty of that, not for the refusal to play it,
    but because I don't have the lead chops (yet) to hang.
  13. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Tampa, FL.
    I wouldn't say that. Anyone paying attention last thread may have noticed this nugget in it:

    Given everything that has been said I'm kinda thinking this is the OP's roundabout way of addressing his problem of getting others to play his originals note for note since it's no different than learning covers (according to him). My answer to that is similar to the one in the last thread. What it comes down to is the ability to pay people, book gigs, and network with the right guys and gals.
  14. +100%. Yep.
  15. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    When did it become important to play all of the parts to a cover tune note-for-note? Was it something that the band members agreed to up-front? Did they know that it was expected? Did you audition players with that skill in mind? Is your band leadership skill up to the challenge of herding the cats who you've hired? I hate to say it, but maybe there's something in how you lead the band that says "ignore me."
  16. avvie


    Oct 12, 2010
    Maui, HI
    Of course I'm diplomatic. Can't get tone from a forum soundbite. However, to the second point, I disagree. When someone tries to play "Gimme One Reason" and it's not just sloppy but downright UNRECOGNIZABLE then being fired or docked isn't much of a threat because it wouldn't be much of a band. Yes I'll give suggestions and show how t's done because I play guitar also and I have a grasp of technique and soind that he doesn't have. There is no room fpr defensiveness in performing arts.
  17. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    I have a recent case of that. We were to do SRV's "Empty Arms." In this version, the drums "hit" along with the guitar. Without that it falls flat. The guitarist and I both mentioned this over and over. I don't know why but I don't think the drummer ever bothered to listen to it.
  18. dvdtlsn


    Apr 6, 2009
    Similar situation with cover band....if the bandleader is good and plays things "wrong" what you have is in effect the bandleader's arrangement...

    we do a lot of "arrangements" that I like and some I don't, but overall things work well. If I didn't like it, I could find another band and probably make less money.
  19. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    I will hound you until you either play it right, or get me onboard that what you are playing works. If that doesn't work, you will leave the band because I'm an overly obsessed controlling jerk, or because I fired you. (the two are not mutually exclusive)

    You can change parts if you are doing something worth doing, and your bandmates are the judge.

    That's just the cold reality of playing with other musicians.