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Limited Guitar players

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by BawanaRik, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    After playing with one guitarist for years I recently ditched him becuase he "could" only play his songs. By that I mean a couple of originals we wrote and his favs.

    I've been trying out for other bands and get the impression this happens a lot.
    Even if I have never heard a song I can put together a bassline that fits. Most of these guys can't do a Three Chord Monte to save their lives.

    Question, are they really that bad or is this a control thing. Kinda where the band is limited by the "Lead'" Guitar player?

    Leadership by riding the brakes. Is this common? It seems to be. How many loser does one need to go though to find a team player?
  2. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    ^ Yup, them kind of guitarists are a dime a dozen. But so are bassists who would rather kill themselves than play "Call Me Maybe" LOL .
  3. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Makes me feel better about my crappy guitar playing.

    Over the years, I figured out that some guys just aren't good at learning songs although they may be able to play the pretty guitar well. Being able to pick up a tune, or fake your way through it is a skill in and of itself.
  4. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    For me the only question is does it work?

    I've played for people who couldn't name the notes or chords but were very good at playing originals in one genre. I've played for people who had to read everything. I've played for someone who played guitar, bass, drums and keys to a rudimentry level for demos but never played live.

    All of the above worked within the intended application. If someone knows what music they want to produce and it's good, who cares if they use a capo or cannot play stairway to heaven?
  5. Depends on the goals of the band. If you want to play covers, I feel that the guitarist really should be able to pull his weight. If'n the band is playing a Van Halen (or Van Hagar?) tune, there are certain expectations.

    Music tends to be encouranging minimalism, which I'm NOT saying is good or bad, just calling it what it is. Much like bass, showboating is quickly labeled as shredding these days.
  6. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    Musicians of all stripes who can quickly pick up new music and execute it solidly
    are usually already gigging and connected enough to find bands they like ,
    and thus unlikely to wander in to an audition.

    Cover bands are usually where you find them. Join a cover band for a while
    develop a network of musicians who are capable and adaptive
    then recruit form those. If they aren't busy.
  7. recreate.me


    Apr 2, 2010
    I know some people like this, i believe its due to lack of 'real' music knowledge. I think a lot of guitar players/bass players (not knocking people, because this is how i started too) start learning tabs, and develop the physical portion of playing. This allows them to play a note, and transition between notes and strum/pluck and they jump right into a band where someone tells them what to play and just cant function without that person telling them. The issue is they have to be told what to play, like a tab or a cover. They haven't got to, or realized that they need to know theory behind it all.

    People just take the fast way to start playing right away without learning the 'why' behind the song.

    It takes a lot.
  8. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    "Years?" Why for years? Did it take you all that time to finally discover that the guy really couldn't play? Unless you'd addressed his limitations previously - on multiple occasions, and beginning a long time ago - the guy might be forgiven for having assumed that you actually approved of his playing.... :eyebrow:

    I really don't understand what this is supposed to mean. But I will say that the oversupply of mediocre guitarists makes them almost completely dispensable. There are SO many good to excellent guitarists around, players who really know what they're doing, that it simply makes no sense to invest time & energy in anyone who can't really play... :rolleyes:

  9. alaskaleftybass

    alaskaleftybass Will Hanbury, Jr. Supporting Member

    Mar 21, 2012
    Sitka, Alaska
    I think there are so many mediocre guitarists because most of them grew up with Guitar Hero lol... and have you noticed a trend the industry has forced on the public... the trend of the mediocre ballad acoustic guitar star with a backing band? I couldn't even count how many acoustic guitar songwriters I've seen on Youtube, all playing the three chords and droning the same whiney drivel. Thank you music industry for the foulness of this genre. And yet, I listen to teenagers on Youtube who can shred like Van Halen. Oddly, with bassists it's different, many of the contemporary bassists are very adept in their style... why is that ???

    Anyway, hope you find someone you like playing with...
  10. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    I can see it going either way. When I was younger I was able to pull off tunes like Classical Thumb, Teen Town, Tommy the Cat, etc... and despite that I still wasn't able to create a good, original bass part to save my life. Funny enough, I'm older now and can create my own basslines on the fly, but I can't play any of those songs nearly as well as I could then. Go figure, right? lol

    That said, I do think a lot of guitarist use the fact that they are the guitarist to their advantage. I can't even begin to count the number of times I'd suggest a song for a band of mine to learn only to have us never play it just because the guitarist decided he didn't want to learn it or he claimed he couldn't figure it out. Yeah, right. If you can pull off Paul Gilbert and John Patrucci stuff then I'm sure you can bust out some Stone Temple Pilots or Raconteurs no problem.
  11. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    This has been the case for a long, long time...although I agree that for some reason it lately seems to have become even worse. If that's possible... :atoz:

    Though I've never been a huge fan of the singer/songwriter genre in the first place, the model (cliche?) of the faux-profound, oh-so-earnest S/S with nothing special to say - and not even a clever, catchy or pleasing way of saying it - has become so ubiquitous that these days I routinely tune out nearly 95% of whatever comes my way. Sorry if I'm missing the occasional pearl in the oyster, but it's just not worth my while to sift through all that dreck & dross to get to it...

  12. ive seen bands do cover songs and have to dumb down guitar solos because the guitarist couldnt keep up. ive seen simple bands force guitar solos in because the guy felt the need to play too much. honestly, ive seen both scenarios with every instrument in the band, singers included.

    sometimes this works. playing to strengths to cover your weaknesses. in my last band, my co-guitarist and i would write and arrange parts by what we could pull off. same with the vocal duties. he often played simpler parts in places where it was dense with vocal. our bassist couldnt play much more than roots, so thats what he did. drummer was pretty simple as well, so we compensated by being a guitar and vocal heavy band.

    now, im with the same bassist who is playing significantly harder parts, im the only guitar player, and we are working with a drummer who is limitless. and we are playing significantly less busy music. mostly because ive intentionally crippled my writing by only being a 1 guitar band. no more guitar solos, i'll tell you that.

    so find what makes you happy and stick with it. sometimes compromises are made and weaknesses are covered up/strengths put up front.
  13. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    I think this is some solid advice. Thanks.

    To add to it I was thinking about taking a night course in music at one of the local community colleges.

  14. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    Sound a bit like Squeeze. I hope I don't get kicked off the board but I've always like them

  15. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    When people engage in this behavior it's, in my opinion a power play.

    And one of the pricipales of human interaction is the Principal of Least Interest. What this means in this context is that the person with the least interest in keeping the band afloat has the control, unless the rest of the band kicks them out.

  16. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    Why is becasue a bassist needs to have an understanding of music. A guitarist can learn a couple of grips and move them around and viola, he's a guitarist.

    It's easy to strum an Am F C G on guitar. without even knowing the names of the chords.

    Coming up with a line that fits requires a bit of thought and knowlege.

  17. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    You're absolutly right. His playing was addressed bit it the type of thing where we would get together every week and play.

    I am the one at fault because my goals had changed.

  18. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    I think the term using to their davantage is about right.

    BTW I went to Utube and listened to Tommy The Cat.

    I got one Primus album years ago. Sailing on a Sea of Cheese and didn't connect. Shoulda tried again. These guys can play. I am amazed that he can sing and play like that at the same time.

  19. rashbeep


    Jul 15, 2005
    Toronto, ON
    wait until you watch some level 42

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