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Jerk Guitarist Cuts Off Bass Solo:

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Aaron Saunders, Dec 5, 2004.

  1. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    I'm in this program at school where bands from the surrounding area all come to learn recording, live performance, and music theory skills. It puts on this thing called the Voice Festival every year -- all original music with political elements here and there. For the last few weeks, every Thursday we've been doing a full sound and lights setup and then had people perform all day as a kind of rehearsal.

    Well, my band was performing, and one of the songs is this really groovy ascending progression up in V7 chords that resolves really nicely back to the root -- we usually groove on it until the vocalist gives us a cue to go into another section (this is bass, drums, vocals, and 2 guitars). We do this normally two times, and then a small interlude and that's the end. Well, for this particular Voice Festival, the vocalist and rhythm guitarist were talking and said we should do it a third time, with the entire last one being a really cool, mellow bass solo (even though I can do the chops thing, I'm not really a fan of it). The drummer and lead guitarist are told and are totally cool with it. We get on stage, do the first two runs, the interlude, and I'm all ready to go into my solo (improvised, but I spent about half an hour working out key points that I could go back to if I was in over my head) when the guitarist just ends the damn song. The rhythm one. The one that discussed it with the vocalist and OFFERED ME THE SOLO. The vocalist and I exchanged glances, and I shot a dirty look at the guitarist, but there was nothing I could do. Now, keep in mind, I've never asked for a bass solo, and have turned them down several times on occasion for whatever reasons. So when I finally get a song I know I can really stretch out and go somewhere with, and I'm offered a solo, and I actually TAKE it, it really, really cheesed me off when this wanker decided to just cut it short. Also, even as the rhythm guitarist, he expects and just takes solos whenever he wants them. Doesn't ask. Doesn't wait to be offered. Just takes 'em. I can't count how many times he's said "Ok, play this progression, and I'll solo over it" for an in-class assignment for writing a song. Just soloing is not writing a song, no matter how you cut it. He doesn't bother with melody, or even what CHORDS are being played -- just asks me what the key is and goes to town. Doesn't pay attention to the chords, and as a result, half of the notes are completely wrong, and his chops need some serious work.


    And he was surprised and angry when he found out I'm leaving the band at the end of the program. There are a lot of other problems with being in a band with this guy, but this particular event really pushed me over the edge.

    Anyone ever had something similar happen to them?
  2. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Jacob Moore Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick Basses, Mesa Engineering, Joyo Technology, Dr. J Pedals, and Levy's Leathers
    I always turn down bass solos, so I've never had this problem. :)

    However, I've been in PLENTY of situations where someone ended a song pre-maturely, or disregarded a change that we had all agreed upon. Sometimes it's cuz you're dealing with a jerk, but probably 99% of the time, it's an honest mistake.

    Sounds like you've had issues with this guy for a while now. If he's such a jerk, why are YOU leaving the band? Surely if he's as big a jerk as you say he is, the rest of the band knows it too, right? Why not have a meeting with them and ditch the lame guitar player?

    It's no fun kicking someone out of a band, but when it needs done, it needs done. I've been a part of asking vocalists and drummers to leave more than any other position. (Is it just a fluke, or is it pretty universal that 99% of drummers are extremely unreliable and irresponsible?)
  3. Mixmasta J

    Mixmasta J

    Dec 4, 2004
    That's odd because my guitarist always pushes me to play my bass solos, because he thinks they flow together.

    :crying: what can I say.....I'm touched
  4. Blunk


    Aug 14, 2002
    yeah i've had a kinda similar problem with a bass solo and guitarists getting in the way.

    a band i was in awhile ago used to do loads of rock songs - guitar solos a plenty - and in the few seconds i had for the aeroplane (RHCP song) bass solo, the guitar player kept trying to add in these little fills that distracted me (the first time it happened) but really got up my nose from then on.

    i've no problem with not having a solo, i actually don't really like them that much, i'm much more into getting a cool groove with the drummer than actually soloing.

    it just bugged me, that he couldn't leave things alone and had to get in there at every opportunity.

    yeah fair enough, i did enjoy having a little bit of a spotlight for a few seconds cos i'd have to endure a lot of mind-numbing rock songs for...but a little bit of common courtesy.

    i'll stop whinging now! :p
  5. LittleJaco


    Nov 4, 2004
    the sad thing is that i'm a better soloer than my guitarist, at least theorywise.
  6. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Been there too. Even though it seems like all our songs have guitar solos, the guy seems to to think he needs to help me out on my mine. I think guitar players seem to think they need to accompany your solo the way you do theirs. Can't blame em too much because they just don't know better.

    I'm a pretty decent soloist, but don't get to do it much unless it is sound check or something like that. But when I do, I love making the guitarist poses and playing guitar licks out of mockery.
  7. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    This is really simple, when he starts soloing... how about you stop playing. :D See what happens. :D

    ... I don't solo, I'm not a fan.
  8. fatbassjazzer


    Feb 27, 2004
    I think its pretty universal somehow or another. In my experience they never want to practice or are too busy doing something else.
  9. eric atkinson

    eric atkinson "Is our children learning "Is our teachers teachin

    Feb 4, 2001
    Well if i had a guitar player that thought he could just remove a part of the song because of a solo or cool fill then i tell ya what to do! Take off the g string and rap it around the neck of the guitar player! Start pulling on the string till you start to see little purple viens in the eyeballs of the guitar player! Then lst go and start kicking him! LOL :hyper:
  10. Yah, I've experienced playing with a guitarist like that too... whenever a song had a bass break (not solos, just breaks or where the guitar would drop out on the recording) he'd always either bypass the section completely forcing the rhythm section to follow him or decide to solo over it. Our drummer absolutely hated him for it, I just gave it a laugh and a 'meh' as I was only with them for the paying gigs.
  11. Playing a 5 piece alt country/rock kinda thing (Ness meets Cash, then catches up to the Supersuckers) And the lead guitar player couldn't leave well enough alone. Bridge that should be just drums and my bass doing a nice little fill for a few bars, suddenly has this crappy guitar coming over it...throwing me, and the song way off. If he could play what I was, or least something to compliment my playing would be cool...but noooo, he has to go off to solo heaven. I told him to stop playing, but it didn't help...Why do guitar players have to be such idiots? And I tried to stop playing, and he didn't clue in at all....hahaha I would hate to see a guitar board, they would all be too busy talking (soloing) over other people...nobody would get a chance to say anything

    I had enough and quit.
  12. yup, i think we've all had affairs with guitarists like that, or if anyone hasnt, they probably will.
    i admit ive played and recorded with one.
    whatever you do, do not let him mix a demo....

    .....nothing but guitar solos and awful feedback over all your nice perfected basslines :scowl:
  13. dave_bass5


    May 28, 2004
    London, UK.
    Yep been there as well. we were rehearsing a song one night and me and the drummer started a groove of at the begining of a song. the guitarist and singer were impressed enough to change the intro of the song so we could keep it going for a bit. just funky bass and drums. come the gig the guitarist starts the song with MY riff, drummer looks at me then starts and i just stood there with my arms crossed till the verse started. had a talk to guitarist after gig and sorted it out. next gig same song me and drummer starts our groove and guess what? a bloody rock guitar solo over the top.
    We never played that song again.

  14. DaveDeVille

    DaveDeVille ... you talkin' to me ?? Supporting Member

    is there any possibility he just spaced out and forgot about the arrangement ?
    if not , i agree with Paurija , that HE { guitarist } is the one who should be replaced , not you .

    i'll admit , i've forgotten new arrangements the night of a gig ,
    but if he did it on purpose , drop him like a bad habit ... :eyebrow:
  15. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Don't EVEN get me started......!

  16. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    About the forgetting thing -- to be honest, I dunno. This guy's memory is beyond selective -- it edits itself. I've seen him flat-out deny things that happened less than 2 minutes ago, and make up stuff that could never have possibly happened. AND, he does that stuff all the time. The absolute strangest one was at the last practice. It was at his house, since he bought the drummer's old kit (drummer got Stage Custom Advantages in November) and people were getting food, because...well, band practices are generally pretty long. He told me that his mom was "sick of you stealing food"! :eek: This absolutely baffled me! I only had two small pieces of cookie dough the entire time I was there (several hours, and we started before lunch time).

    I've talked to my drummer about this a lot lately (he was going to split too), but we decided that one person shouldn't break up a whole band. There are two other drummers of comparable skill around, but they're both VERY different in style, and there isn't another bass player for 20 miles that can cover my parts. Not to be arrogant (in Kingston, there are a lot of bassists that are much better than me), but I know I'm good, and there's no one else at my school that is -- they're either really bad punk, or just beginning now. Also, I'm the sole reason that more than half of our songs even fit into a key. Without us, this guy cannot keep the band together. However, we can if he's gone, so we decided that he's got two chances -- singer talks to him about his attitude, and then the drummer and I "talk" (read: chew him out and tear him to his knees) to him. Then, he's out. Personally, I really don't want him out, because he is a pretty good rhythm player, and knows his theory (kinda).
    My theory about all of this? His girlfriend. She started putting out, and now we've got the whole Yoko Effect going on. He seriously was never like this when they weren't dating...hmm...maybe we should stage a breakup.
  17. I almost got into a fist fight with my guitarist over him making fun of theory. He can make fun of bass, he can make fun of my short hair, he can call me fat, but when he said theory was over rated I took a swing at him... oh that made me so angry... He had the nerve to tell me, "Just let it flow." So I proceeded to flow for the next 2 songs. I played out of key, off time, and very very loud(all on purpose). I felt like a guitar player, it was awful.
  18. _Unregistered_


    Nov 3, 2004
    Just think about it for a minute; Drummer. Someone who by definition at one time apparently decided "Hey, I wanna beat on $hit with sticks!".

    Could there be a certain personality trait there?

    (Disclaimer: I also play drums)
  19. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Gah...I hate people like that. I mean, it's one thing to not know theory, but it's another thing entirely to discount it as worthless. However, I probably would've quit when he seriously made fun of bass, and taken a swung at him on the first "fat" comment.
  20. He's a monkey with a gun. Theory is the means to teach him to use it, but he'd rather just go off and take wild shots in the dark. Sure he might hit a bullseye, but he's far more likely to shoot himself in the head.

    On those other notes though, I'm not actually fat, I was when I was in 6th grade though. I played football for a while and got into shape so it doesn't bother me to much. And when he makes fun of bass I just point out that I write all of our songs/lyrics and we can afford to look for a new guitarist, but I AM the band. It's kind of fun to see how far you have to chop down a guitarist's ego to get him to keep his mouth shut.