How to approach my band teacher about volume...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Mike Money, Feb 22, 2004.

  1. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    I play bass in the percussion ensemble... Me and the timpani have the same parts... I always get yelled at for being to loud... So, yesterday at the competition,we are rehearsing. He goes up to the PA, turns everyone ALL THE WAY UP, and turns me down half way. This results in me not being able to be heard.

    I can be heard at one part in the beginning, and one part at the end... but that is because I have a glisk when everyone else has a 2 count rest.

    He says it is because the judges don't like the electronics. I'm thinking "So why did you let me in in the first place?"

    I feel screwed over. I have to do the same amount of work that everyone else has to do... I had to pay $400 just like everyone else. And what happens? I get screwed. I'm not even going to play anymore... just finger the songs. Why should I waste my pre-batteries if no one can hear me anyways?

    And the stupidest part is that the timpani's are out of tune. So, you have him being loud... out of tune. I used to mask his sound problems, but now he is really loud, and sounding crappy.

    The first allegro section of the song is a funk section. Funk is loud bass, last time I checked. In jazz band, we are doing "Mattitude" and he was like "Mike, turn up. Funk is loud bass... We always have to tell you to turn down in drumline..."

    So next time we play mattitude, I'm gonna be nice and quiet. Then when he pulls that same line, I'm going to say "You have no problems with me being quiet in drumline during sections that need bass presence. Don't tell me to turn up in here."

    Gah... I'm just a little agitated, if you haven't noticed...

    How should I approach him on the issue?
  2. Gia


    Feb 28, 2001

    shouldn't they be paying you ?
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Record it and confront him with the recording.
  4. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Quit whining?

    What you may consider "loud" and what the audience consideres "loud" are completely different, since you're not sitting where they are. It's possible that while you "can't hear yourself," you might be overpowering 10+ feet back.
  5. Ben Jammin'

    Ben Jammin' Guest

    Jul 13, 2003
    Falmouth, Cornwall, UK
    christ for someone whos a moderator that sounded an awful lot like a lead guitarist's comment. I reckon u stop playing for a song and if he wants u there at all he'll take notice then u can talk it over. Otherwise walk out.
  6. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    He's already forked over a good deal of money to be in said position, and to walk out would be frivolous. How many bands out there voluntarily all but mix out the bass on recordings or live? Mike's already coughed up (actually, Mike, didn't you mother?) the money, so walking out might prove an esoteric "point," but it'll accomplish less than still playing and "not being heard." Both financially and musically.

    I've played (electric) bass in a band setting like Mike is describing, and I know for a fact that while I could vaugely feel the rumble of the amp, the conductor was hearing me loud and clear (the cab was a 2x10+1x18, so that might have been part of it). I had the same conversation Mike had about not hearing myself in the pit. Lo and behold, I was wrong.

    And being a Moderator means what?
  7. AltIII


    Sep 3, 2002
    The problem is general acoustics. Chances are you stand in front of of the amps so you can hear it better and you face away from it so you can see the conductor. So a bass amp may be louder but it's sound is projected in one direction, to the back of your head. You ears are designed to hear what's in front and to the sides of you (standard for the top of the food chain). So you're not hearing the your own bass as optimally as you want. The timpani's and most other percussion instruments' sound radiates in all directions. So you hear direct sound from the timpani, but mostly reflected sound from the amp.
    I would recommend turning it down like your comductor suggested, and talk to him about getting a pair of head phones so you can hear your self better.
  8. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Um, Brendan isn't a moderator in this forum, so why bring that up before taking your shot? I am a mod of this forum, and I was about to tell Mikey to stop whining myself. Brendan has an exellent point, read it.
  9. Stephen S

    Stephen S Member

    Apr 10, 2002
    San Bernardino, CA
    I dont believe it was a "you're not in charge around here" comment. I think he meant it sounded like something a guitarist would say, and since he is the moderator of a bassist forum...

    I'm nuetral, just pointing out what I saw as a misunderstanding.
  10. icks


    Jul 12, 2001
    Charleroi, Belgium
    grab him by the nuts and say:

    heavy voice on/

    Heavy voice off/

    Half volume half 400 bucks?
  11. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan

    I asked around to the audience... No one said they could hear me except for my glisks.