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Is your band a democracy? or the opposite?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by JaneBass1, Oct 10, 2008.

  1. JaneBass1


    Jul 23, 2008
    I joined this band recently, and I have been playing their songs. Actually all of the songs are by the singer.

    After learning all of the songs and playing for a while, I said I would like to bring some of my songs.

    Now that all of the songs that I played with them, some I like, some I don't. But I don't say anything. I just want to play some music.

    From all the bands I have been this is the most responsible and organized.

    Now I brought in 2 songs, and I asked what they thought. They all (drummer and guitar), looked at the singer. And he say, naahh, i kind of don't like them.

    What about I change this and that and maybe the drummer can do this? (Now the drummer looks at me like he suggested ideas before, and they go nowhere).

    So I am getting the feeling my band does what the singer says and that's it.

    So for fun is ok for the moment, doing some gigs and that, but on the long run I will be just making my own band. Maybe in a year.

    Oh yeah and from now on if I don't like something I am just going to be blunt. The heck with it.

    Do you have a democracy in your band? or what do you have?
  2. standupright


    Jul 7, 2006
    Phoenix, AZ
    Brownchicken Browncow
    the group i play in is a democracy. we have our disagreements, but they get resolved through discussion and compromise. there have been tunes that everyone has brought to the table and if someone feels strongly enough about not wanting to play it, it gets nixed.
  3. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    If it's not a democracy (and not the US version of democracy) then I'm either being payed for my time or I walk.
  4. Bassenstien


    Jun 13, 2006
    We are all friends who just like beer and metal ha. I guess democracy.
  5. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    We are a 3 piece. The discussion came up last night actually.

    I said (since the drummer and I were in agreement)- In this instance, we are a democracy.

    I like to go with consensus on every decision we make, whether it's the writing, promoting a show, naming songs, etc.
  6. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    We're a bandocracy. We vote on everything, but the drummer ended up with veto power somehow.
  7. markkoelsch


    Sep 6, 2008
    If they are paying you to be a part of a backing band, then play your part and get your pay. If this is not being part of the singer's backing band, then either at least get your songs worked on, or walk. You may need to be flexable to accomodate the others in your band, but for the singer to completely nix it stinks. Maybe you shoudl deep six the singer?

  8. grovest


    Feb 26, 2002
    Small group, try to always reach consensus
    Medium group, vote (democracy)
    Large group, board of officers
  9. Toastfuzz


    Jul 20, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I'll play devils advocate, and say that from my experience, some bands are one person's "baby" and the others are along for the ride. Like if the singer writes all the other songs, is an active frontman, recruited all or most of the rest of the band, etc. I wouldnt push it too hard, if your songs were really good then the guitarist and drummer should go to your singer and say "hey man we really should use his songs". If they're not good enough to garner any support, then maybe they don't fit in with that band, and you can just go solo in your own band like you said.
  10. We are a democracy when it comes to money but, otherwise, it is the singer's baby. He writes the (words and has an idea of the melody usually) bulk of our original songs and we flesh them out musically. We'll be releasing an CD of all originals in the next month or so. ***HEY*** This would be a good time to get writing credit!
  11. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    "How the band is run" should have been asked/answered before your joined.

    You can always start a side project where everyone brings songs to the table.

    I suggest you take a look at the following TB thread:

    Here's a sample from that thread:
  12. acubass


    Oct 10, 2007
    Albuquerque, NM
    In my experience, every band has had a leader, whether it is spoken or not. I would rather be in a band where there is a clear leader and I know exectly what is expected of me. If you have a "democracy" then through all of the objections that each memebers gives, less gets done and progress is slower.

    I've found that if any one member can stop a certain song from being played you will eventually lose vast part of a setlist.
  13. Thankful birds

    Thankful birds

    Jun 17, 2008
    We have two rules in my band- anyone can veto anything anyone else is playing if they don't like it; and, everyone has to try any idea that is presented. We also have a general understanding that any such veto is a matter of personal taste and not a slam at the particular musician. Works like a charm. Somebody says they don't like something, they normally say why, and usually ideas are offered to tweak what's going on until we get songs that we like. It makes the song writing process go incredibly quickly, and prevents someone from being a total dictator because their ideas can get overruled so it pays to compromise and try things.
    Chriske22 likes this.
  14. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I grow organic carrots and they are not for sale
    the band that I am in is anarchy
  15. nsmar4211


    Nov 11, 2007
    I'm in a cover band so it's a different situation......singer gets total veto power cause if the singer doesn't like the song they aren't going to sing it well :)
    Everyone presents song ideas......sometimes many times before it's used :). So far, so good!
  16. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Most of my bands are temporary coalitions of mercenaries.
  17. DirkFunk


    Sep 23, 2008
    Minnesota, USA
    Every band I've ever played in started from scratch. We wrote all new material.

    In other words:

    I've never joined a band, I've always formed bands with people. Every one of those has been very democratic. The last band i was in worked like this.

    The singer did his own lyrics and ran them by us just so we knew what he was saying.

    The Guitarist and I would hammer out each others ideas and work off of each other.

    The drummer was the final part of the equation.

    It was fun working that way. Collaborative, but still very free.
  18. bassplayertom77


    Sep 24, 2008
    I played in a 13 piece band once. Whoever yelled the loudest got their way.

    Now I'm in a trio, we compromise.
  19. Not that this helps any, but I'm playing in a cover band and having the same problem. We all sing, and I probably sing 60% of the songs. But I joined them, replacing another singing bassist who had left for another gig. I have had conversations with the guitarist about how I am not happy with the material choice, and he has given lip service to my musical choices. But when I look back at the set lists from the last gig we played there are only Four songs from the five sets we played that I brought to the band. I have pretty much decided I am going to let them know that I want to leave, but am willing to help break in a new bass player, and play any gigs that are already scheduled. I play for fun, and this is no longer fun, but these are good people, and I wouldn't just drop them.
  20. we're all or nothing.

    but whoever disagrees has to explain why they disagree and come up with a resolution.

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