Issues with stage volume

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by crucislancer, May 15, 2021.

  1. crucislancer

    crucislancer Supporting Member

    Dec 25, 2009
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    So, I didn't talk to the guitarist about his message, mainly because he refused to talk to me. He said two words to me all night, and ignored me on stage. I talked to the rest of the guys, and once they heard my side of the story, they all agreed that I was in the right and the guitarist was being a dick.

    So, the drama continues. Maybe he'll behave next time, maybe not. Once the calendar frees up, I'll evaluate the situation and maybe quit if the BS continues.
    Omega Monkey, dkelley and Wasnex like this.
  2. RattleSnack


    Sep 22, 2011
    I've had similar situation and my relationship with collegue spiraled and went so sour, that I wish I did things different way. Namely:
    1. Talked first with him alone, and not in front of the rest of the band. Having other members around hurt his ego, and he acted like a child.
    2. Talked with other members one on one, asked for oppinions, and then went to him with collective stand. Instead, the rest didn't know what was comming, got intimidated, and kept silent. This made the issue, to him, personal.
    Don't make my mistakes, think twice before you act. Telling someone to lower volume can feel like being told to shut up, and is very touchy.
    Last edited: May 16, 2021
    Sascha Erni, BucketOfFish and Wasnex like this.
  3. jdh3000


    May 16, 2016

    I second this...

    To the OP, it doesn't really seem like this is someone you can talk to from what you describe, however you have some choices, leaving the group is of couse one, but you could end up with something else as difficult to deal with.

    You could just let it go but nothing will be resolved.

    If you want to keep playing with them, call the guy and be diplomatic; tell him you were only thinking about the quality of the sound, that if everyone can't hear each other well, it can affect the music.

    In situation like this I always lead with respect for the person I'm speaking with. Many musicians, guitarist top of the list, carry their ego on their sleeve. Any remark about volume is usually met with either doing nothing or turning up.

    If he some thinks that his performance is going to suffer because of the volume, he'll consider tuning down.

    Just let him know that your only concern is that the band sounds the best it can.

    You may wait a couple of days to let tensions cool on both sides. If you call him immediately he'll get defense as soon as he answers because he feels you are retaliating.

    I've been in this situation, it's not easy but a cool head can keep a band together.
    I've aksi been a young guitarist who had volume battles with other guitar players.
    What pains we were for the rest of the band, but I learned to keep my volume in check regardless of others.

    I hope it works out for you...
    Sascha Erni likes this.
  4. bigswifty1


    Dec 8, 2011
    Some guitarists just can't be told, and by trying you are wasting your breath and possibly risking your professional reputation as well. There are guys who just think bands must have a bass player and don't much care what he does as long as he doesn't get in the way aurally or physically. That's fine by me and as long as my invoice gets paid I'm happy to oblige, with ear plugs at the ready. In some cases old pros are the worst because their ears are completely shot. If you find a good pro-level guitarist with sympathetic volume discipline and good tone at comfortable volume, then you're gold and that's the guy you want to call you.

    But with Mr Out-of-Control Volume, if it's a professional situation I don't care too much - I don't get paid by the note, and I am pretty good at "smiling and nodding", and the right ear plugs can deal with the physical discomfort.

    Playing *only* for fun or the joy of it, (which I think I can almost remember) would be a different situation altogether. Playing for fun, I have musical things to say, and I want them to be heard. If I (at least) can't hear them, then I have better things to do (that grass isn't going to watch itself grow) and I'm out of there and I ain't coming back.
    Sascha Erni, Wasnex and dkelley like this.
  5. If you can’t hear the bass drum you’re too loud.
    Omega Monkey, Shalto and FerK like this.
  6. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) mmm Woody! DHDIK? Supporting Member

    I run sound for my band, and solved the stage volume issue .
    E-drums, guit and bass direct.
    newwavefrank and EdO. like this.
  7. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) mmm Woody! DHDIK? Supporting Member

    Alcohol, and ear fatigue. (See links)
    Not to mention attitude and memory of events.

    I started wearing earplugs once I get out of the car, and until teardown .
    Various Aspects of Auditory Fatigue Caused by Listening to Loud Music
    How Alcohol Affects Your Hearing | Ascent Audiology & Hearing in VA, MD and DC
    Drinking and hearing loss: Know the risks
    Omega Monkey, Wasnex and dkelley like this.
  8. FerK


    Dec 11, 2011
    Too many good reasons to choose IEMs. It’s the end-all of stage volume (even if the rest of the band doesn’t, it’s their problem, not yours), it provides protection for your precious ears, and it dramatically improves WHAT you hear during the show, as you and only you control your mix.

    At 47, I just flat-out refuse to play without IEMs. I have mild tinninuts (unrelated to music, it’s hereditary), and I want to preserve my hearing the best I can.
    31HZ, BlueTalon and Bass Man Dan like this.
  9. dangevans


    Mar 26, 2014
    Being kind or not, you need to get the right mix. If I was in this situation, this is the point where I would no longer be nice. Yes, you don't want to play too quiet, but no one likes it when a band/parts of a band are too loud. "No one" meaning "the customers". I would flat out tell that guitar player, "Look- you are playing too loud, it is nothing personal when asked to come down in volume- I just want us to sound good, and we don't when you play too loud. FIX IT."
    Omega Monkey, EdO. and BlueTalon like this.
  10. Here is what I would say to him, and I don't give a damn whether he responds or not.
    "Hey dude, you can't send me texts like that, period. I am not a little kid and I ain't your b****. Your volume is too loud, and this isn't YOUR band. Turn it down, or we take a band poll and I am out or you are." Period. My guess is he already has some friend he is trying to bring in on bass behind your back... as well. I've seen this MANY times...
  11. Ostie


    Aug 1, 2018
    Mid MI
    He wants you to be kind, but if you don’t like it, go play at a nursing home. And don’t even think about critiquing his effects or volume. Typical LG BS. Unless he’s the BL and you are a hired gun, I wouldn't put up with that BS. Maybe the problem is you have one too many guitar players.....
  12. 9Thumbs


    Jul 3, 2013
    Near Boston
    If you're lucky, he has that "friend" who can take over right now, saving you the aggravation of playing out the remaining gigs you signed up for
    BlueTalon likes this.
  13. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Booooo! What an idiot. I’ve played with douches like that before. Pure narcissism. Never again.
    EdO. and dkelley like this.
  14. lfmn16


    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    What would bother me more than the volume is the guitarist's pissy passive aggressive email. I'd hold my tongue to get through the gig, but he'd get it with both barrels at the next rehearsal. If there is one thing I absolutely won't tolerate it's being disrespected.

    It takes everyone working together to sound good, but only one jerk to make the whole band sound bad.
    Omega Monkey, Artman, EdO. and 2 others like this.
  15. chazolson

    chazolson Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2013
    Reston, VA
    Two things:

    1. Mr. High Volume Guitar is a jerk. If anybody in my band said, hey, you’re too loud, or too soft (that has happened a number of times), I would adjust accordingly. What, he thinks the rest of the band has no say in what the band sounds like? In what he’s playing, or how loud he’s playing it? Baloney. I would be out the door damn fast. Any issues with the sound coming off the stage WILL be addressed before we play live again.

    2. In my experience this only happens when you have > 1 guitar. The volume wars are almost guaranteed.
    Omega Monkey, lfmn16 and dkelley like this.
  16. JohnnyBottom

    JohnnyBottom Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2002
    New Jersey
    This " It's possible that the lead guitarist turned down the guitars in the PA"
    This is an oxyMORON.
    Guitar player is a clueless unprofessional hack.
    Fire the guitar player. problem solved. or get a real soundman and I guarantee you the guitar will not be in the PA for long and be told to turn down.
    Omega Monkey and dkelley like this.
  17. Acoop


    Feb 21, 2012
    It annoys me when a musician asks or wants me to turn up on stage. ... Volume shouldn't rule or control a band, the music should. ... You're there to make an impression and an indentation on the back wall because people are trying to get away from you. ... Many musicians think loud is a talent. ... It's an insecurity. ... I have tinnitus today because of other peoples insecurities and I wish I would have realized that before I got it. ... Today I use a TH350 and Augi 1x12" cab and if that ain't loud enough I'm in the wrong room, playing with the wrong band and I leave.
    Omega Monkey, Artman and lfmn16 like this.
  18. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    All excellent points, especially #4.
    dkelley likes this.
  19. Gougedeye

    Gougedeye Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2008
    Central Washington
    It sounds like your guitar player needs to grow up! Do you have PA support? If so, stage volume shouldn't be an issue. Let the PA do the heavy lifting. you guys might be surprised at how much better your whole band sounds with a reasonable stage volume.

    It seems pretty obvious to me your band doesn't do any jobs at the Casino....they would never allow that to fly!
  20. Ross W. Lovell

    Ross W. Lovell

    Oct 31, 2015

    The band s good with his behavior?

    Say Bye-bye, sooner the better!
    obimark and dkelley like this.
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