Lead guitarist troubles

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by PennyroyalWe, Jan 1, 2019.

  1. PennyroyalWe


    Sep 2, 2018
    I’m the band leader, vocalist, rhythm guitar, and songwriter in an originals project I started up over the summer. It started out as a minor commitment, just for fun, hangout with friends kinda band. Recently we’ve been trying to get some decent recordings done and get out booking shows. It’s going well, the drummer is dedicated and knows the material, our bassist is new to the material but is making fast progress, the lead guitarist though...
    Of all the members, he’s the one I’ve known the longest and have been playing together with for about a year and a half. When we first started playing together it was just jamming around in the living room and I invited him on when I started up this project. Problem is, the band is getting more serious now but he seems to be stuck in this living room jam playing mindset. He’ll show up to practice and noodle around through the entirety of the songs, trying out a new technique or rhythm that found his fancy that week as if the songs are backing jam tracks. In the start it was fine as it was just for fun anyway, but it’s been months now and the dude has hardly any solid written lead lines. The few times there’s been a friend over for practice, the comment I always get is “it sounds good, but what is your guitarist doing?”, and now the other band members have started voicing their concerns about it too. To be honest, I have my concerns as to how well suited he is to lead playing, he’s always been a singer/songwriter acoustic player mostly, and sometimes I get the feeling he’d rather be leading the band than playing lead...and I wonder if this is why he hasn’t put the effort into his guitar. How should I approach this guy to get him to shape up his playing? We’re not friends so close that having a blunt conversation about it wouldn’t be awkward, but maybe just laying it out is what needs to happen, and let his ego be damned.
  2. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    Give him these...


    ... and then, fire him.
  3. You're the bandleader, set the expectations for everyone. Set specific expectations for the lead player. If he can't hang with that or comes to rehearsal unprepared, he's gone. I'd start looking for a replacement if I we're you.
    stuffedbread, Mr_Moo, mrcbass and 2 others like this.
  4. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Time for a band discussion - not at rehearsal, but over a pot of coffee or something. Everybody gets their say, but it sounds like different people have different expectations. You should talk first. If I were in your shoes, I would say something like you want the band to take a step to the next level, but it means everyone has to take that step. I am assuming the bassist and drummer are in agreement. See what the lead guitarist says. If he is unable and/or unwilling to do what is needed, wish him well, but since you have different musical visions for the band, tell him you are going to need a guitarist who can do what he won't.
  5. Meh. Lead guitarists are a dime a dozen. Go find someone willing to lock onto your vision and enhance it.
    saabfender likes this.
  6. saabfender

    saabfender Inactive

    Jan 10, 2018
    Auditions starting tomorrow.
    Seanto and PennyroyalWe like this.
  7. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Put some sheet music in front of him, you know the joke.
    saabfender and PennyroyalWe like this.
  8. PennyroyalWe


    Sep 2, 2018
    Well, I did it. Two days ago I invited him out for a beer and we caught up about the holidays etc, finally getting around to the band when he asked about the recordings. I told him that it just isn't really working out and that he seems too busy to really commit to the project, and he agreed. All in all it was pretty mutual, no hard feelings. Nice to get that over with, I'd been feeling anxious about it all week.