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I finally have a band mgmt rant ... about a bassist.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Phlipper, Mar 18, 2013.


  1. Phlipper

    Phlipper

    Feb 5, 2013
    Fayetteville, NC
    Endorsing Artist: Old SS Peavey Lead Sleds and Peavey tube amps
    In addition to my bass fill-in work, I still lead and play guitar in a start-up country act with a female singer, and we've been looking at bassists since I haven't found anyone dependable/sane who can pickup the lead guitar duties. But after two practices he's gotta go ...

    (Me in 1st conversation) We play it note for note like the studio version of every song, so we're all on the same sheet of music when we come to practice each week.

    (Him) No problem. I do that too.

    (Me during song at second practice) Ummm ... what was that? :eyebrow:

    (Him after @#$%ing us all up on a song) I thought this might sound better than the studio track. I like to mix it up.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (Me during initial phone call) We like to play at a sane volume. We don't play loud in practice.

    (Him) Me too. I like that.

    (Me for the third time at secpnd practice) Ummmm ... dude, I'm standing in front of my amp and I can't tell what I'm playing. I thought it was broken. :eyebrow:

    (Him) Yeah ... I like to really thump on that song so I turned up.

    (Me thinking) I really gotta find a guitar player so I can move over there. :rollno:
     
  2. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA
    We ain't ALL perfect. ;)
     
  3. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Obviously he's a hack who doesn't need to be in a band if he cannot conform to the parameters specified!
     
  4. Phlipper

    Phlipper

    Feb 5, 2013
    Fayetteville, NC
    Endorsing Artist: Old SS Peavey Lead Sleds and Peavey tube amps
    In over 30 years of gigging it seemed bass players always came with less drama. In fact I can't remember firing a bass player, ever. Or of having to suffer thru a hack bassist. It's usually Lead Singer and Drummer drama or Lead Guitarist ego issues. So this was a first. :D

    We all practice at home then bring it in to polish up. So we have to stay on the studio version. We'll be chasing our asses otherwise.
     
  5. ncapone

    ncapone

    Nov 17, 2010
    Let me guess, the first guy is an "artist" and feels that he can play the song his way because it's all about the feel, right? Heard that one before.
     
  6. Phlipper

    Phlipper

    Feb 5, 2013
    Fayetteville, NC
    Endorsing Artist: Old SS Peavey Lead Sleds and Peavey tube amps
    I just realized he is probably here on TB. LOL. I don't want to make him sound like a bad guy or a bad player. If you're reading this ...

    You're a good guy, and a good player. But dude, we talked about all this on the phone and at first practice. If our guidelines are all going out the window by the second practice then it's it's just not a good fit. We'll all be better off. Best of luck.
     
  7. bassbully

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

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    I have heard and seen this before. One thing that I have heard thru the years of me playing from others is that I hold to the music and dont add or overplay on it.
    This has made me respected bass player and even one that is sought after and I am just an average player at best. Bass players and drummers can be known to add to much or take off on songs that they should not be doing it on or should know better. As for volume..heard that before also. I start off each gig lower than i prefer and adjust. If you start out hot its hard to adjust but coming up in volume will serve you better.

    Here is a perfect example. My first gig back with my Country band last week as I am setting up and a guy comes up and asked how I like my Markbass setup. We talked as I kept setting up and he said he plays this and that and checked out all my gear.
    So we start the show do a full set and take a break. He calls me over and say's Hey you're sounding pretty good up there..I say thanks that it is new band and I'm only a month in and it will get better.
    I go on to tell him the BL likes the bass simple and for me to play the songs his way. I play little on some songs but get busy on the roots/fiths and fills on the heavier bassier songs.

    He responds...Oh Yea well I play a 5 string bass and I play what is called 'lead bass" and it is just how I play no matter what they want in a band or song. I said...uummm...Ok :rolleyes:
     
  8. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA
    In all seriousness, you have to earn the right to change the rules by demonstrating that you can follow the rules AND by demonstrating sound musicality. This guy evidently hasn't done either and expects to dictate the terms of engagement, to which you should say 'Not here you won't'.

    Players get some strange notions about the value of their musical ideas, instead of playing the part as it has been laid out. I hear guys like that all the time out in the world, and I wonder if anyone else can hear the part that isn't being played that ought to be getting played the way I can hear it.

    Sometimes one note is the right amount. Once in awhile one note is one too many.
     
  9. Phlipper

    Phlipper

    Feb 5, 2013
    Fayetteville, NC
    Endorsing Artist: Old SS Peavey Lead Sleds and Peavey tube amps
    Agreed. I do some fill-in work, including original country tunes for one guy and I always stick to the recorded bass lines. If I'm told it's OK to deviate - as I was on the originals - I may punch it up a little towards the end or during the guitar solos. But I'm paid to hold down the fort along with the drummer and play it like it's written for the most part.

    Just like guitar solos, ya gotta know when to hold back and when you can howl a little.
     
  10. yodedude2

    yodedude2 Supporting Member

    i agree with y'all. but is it okay if i modify the line to 'satisfaction' a bit? cause that song has about the worst 'insipid bass line/cool song' ratio ever.
     
  11. bassbully

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

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    There you go. That is the way the BL is in my country band. When he is rippen solos's we can do what ever but when the song goes back to chorus or verse I am expected to play like the recording.
     
  12. ChrisB2

    ChrisB2 Bass... in your fass

    Feb 27, 2008
    TalkBass > Off Topic
    This can be true of any instrument including vocals. I've played with some guitarists who just didn't know when enough is enough...

    Hmm, I would've asked him how that was working out for him. Lots of popular music and bands have very busy bass parts. Sure, basic stuff rules, but if that guy is following his heart and getting work, more power to him, I say...
     
  13. DataDan

    DataDan

    Mar 18, 2013
    Reading,pa
    That is what I call "busy bass". This is OK for some songs, but to have your bassist playing busy all the time is no good. when I audition for bands I tell them I just "fill in the lows" and "sometimes less is more".
     
  14. bassbully

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

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA

    Well guitar is know as a solo instrument you know.
    Well it was a Saturday night and he was watching me so... I understand, the guy was playing country ,blues and oldies..no need for flash there.
     
  15. obimark

    obimark Supporting Member

    Sep 1, 2011
    I don't know how much you all are getting paid for these "great" fill in gigs with these unknown country superstars/alternative original band superstars but for me, there has to be a balance between playing something like the record and adding my own touches.
    IME/O it comes back to whether it is an iconic bass part or not, if it is not a recognizable iconic bass part like "dragon Attack", ANother one bites the dust, brick house, etc... then I will play the right form and rhythms but throw in my own fills where I find it appropriate.
    If I play with some New-country doofus and he said, well you threw in an extra walkup from the root to the fifth there that wasn't on the record, Hell no!! Done. UNless he is paying me $2000 a gig to play it JUST like the record.
    That being said I don't overplay over other players, I look for spaces to throw in fancy stuff.
     
  16. bassbully

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

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    It's cool to add your own touch if it is tasteful. But if the country doofus is paying me to play I keep peace and play em' straight up and simple like. After all we are bass players you know.
     
  17. brianerwin

    brianerwin

    Oct 21, 2012
    I would give the guy a firm but gentle warning about our phone conversation that he agreed to do things the way we discussed over the phone. That you believed that he was going to follow these rules. But give him a chance to make it right and if he fails again then you actually have a reason to fire him. You bring up the initial phone conversation, the warning and when you let him go, all he can do is leave. He has nothing to argue about.
    I think this is fair.
    It doesn't have to get messy, it can just be coordial. "Look man it just ain't going to work..."
     
  18. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    It all depends on what you are being HIRED to do. If that's what they want, and they are paying you, then do what they want. If I were you, I would be REALLY up front about "your way" of playing when you get calls for gigs. That way, they can make an informed decision about what they are looking for and whether or not you are a good fit. It's no good for them to assume you will be playing pretty much like the record, only to find out ON STAGE that you aren't. I'm not saying your way is wrong. It's just might not be what every band is looking for. Best to get it out of the way up front.
     
  19. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    Minneapolis
    Crap, I've been outed.
     
  20. bassbully

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

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    For me and in my experiences this issue has been with drummers. My originals band has the recordings of the old drummer and we want the meat of the song played like he did but not 100%. The drummer is free to add a few fills etc if they are tasteful and help the song.

    We tried out a few guys and even after giving them plenty of time to learn the songs they came in and added way to much and just messed up the songs and tempo's. When we asked them to stick to the format of the song they did some what and did ok but in a gig they went back to old habits. We had to contimue to look elsewhere for someone who was the right fit.
     

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