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loud guitarists

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by lojo, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. lojo


    Mar 8, 2009
    I am playing in 2 covers bands, the 1st and less serious is great fun, love the songs and everyone supports each other musically

    the other (only been with a short time) is fronted by 2 very loud guitar players (to be fair they play very well) but have no sense of supporting a song only leading it, with no regard for space

    how do you tackle this, i can see i cant put up with it forever, it does go down well, but sometimes i feel the bass and singer may as well have stayed at home
  2. profile???
  3. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Ha! Most likely, you can't change them. If you can, you need to be a salesman or a politician. Good luck to you! This question is as old as electric guitars!
    lancimouspitt likes this.
  4. Stumbo

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

    Feb 11, 2008
    Cali Intergalactic Mind Space - always on the edge
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo

    Maybe do some recording at rehearsal/gigs and get everyone to give a listen. If it's as bad as you say, it should be obvious what needs to be done. Or, maybe they'll say "it sounds great" and you'll have to decide whether to move on or not.

    Take care of your hearing whatever you do.
  5. Good luck. You might get some improvement by angling their amps at their heads.

    + 1 on recording things. +999 on hearing protection.
  6. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Around here at least, bands with overly loud guitars tend not to get a lot of gigs. Bars don't appreciate when their customers complain about the volume, or their wait staff can't hear the orders. What I'm saying is, if you can stick it out with the loud band, the problem may solve itself over time as they will simply run out of business.

    I've sat in / subbed with a couple of bands like you describe and I can relate to your frustration. My band has 3 electric guitarists and we don't have half the stage volume as a lot of bands do with only two -- but we have only gotten to that point after several years of everybody being super sensitive to that issue and team players enough to turn down. If you're going to stick it out with these guys you need to look after your hearing... don't know what you can do about being buried in the mix, though unless you're willing to buy a bigger amp and/or more cabinets which will probably just up the ante with the guitarists even more.
  7. Rob Lewis

    Rob Lewis

    Feb 23, 2006
    We did this with a band of mine and the lead player thought it sounded good. He was oblivious to the fact that the drums were barely audible over him & his feedback. He wasn't a musician in the proper sense: he listens to the guitar part and nothing else. He was/is not capable of changing this, just has a different set of ears to the rest of us. I've moved on.
  8. Low Tone

    Low Tone

    Feb 7, 2004
    St. Joseph, MO
    Shoot them.
    Nev375 likes this.
  9. wildhorse


    Mar 15, 2009
    Better yet, shoot out their amplifiers.
  10. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    This is a contradiction. Lack of ensemble skills doesn't sound like "playing very well." It sounds like guitarists who haven't quite learned to play.

    Problem solved.

    Let the guitarists know that knowing how to play at an appropriate volume level for a given situation, and equipping themselves to do so, are simply basic musical skills.
    Febs likes this.
  11. Low Tone

    Low Tone

    Feb 7, 2004
    St. Joseph, MO
    Good point.
    Less time behind bars for willful destruction of property than for murder. ;)
  12. cowsgomoo

    cowsgomoo gone to Longstanton Spice Museum

    Feb 8, 2003
    I used to be in a band where the guitarist owned and operated the PA.... he used it as his personal 'guitar amplifier extension'... he didn't allow the bass to go through the PA...

    I solved the problem of not being heard by upgrading my rig slightly... from 300 watts to 1200 watts... problem solved
  13. TheBear

    TheBear Bergantino Artist, Vibe9 IEM Artist Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2008
    Austin, TX
    I've been on both sides of this issue; as a bassist that can't hear the bass, drums, guitars, keys and vocals because of deafening guitar amps, and as a guitarist who has to deal with the fact that when mixed properly, bass and drums will always be louder than guitars ONSTAGE.

    You could try explaining to them the actual physics of lower vs higher frequencies, or you could try fitting the band with IEMs (cash permitting) but I agree that the best thing to do is to record a rehearsal and let them hear it.

    Best case scenario: they will hear their oppressively high levels and turn down to match the band.

    Worst case scenario: they will continue on with their sonic tyranny, and you'll have to decide if it's worth your hearing to stick around in a band with oblivious and/or self-centered guitarists.

    Just remember that you only get one set of ears!
  14. ahh! so you're the bassist for dragon force.
    phayes1007 likes this.
  15. Knifedge


    Jan 24, 2009
    We actually have to tell our new guitar player to turn up... figure that one out? But what a guitar player.. first and only guitar player I ever worked with that wants to fit in with the unit, and not try to have a volume war with everyone.
  16. dhomer

    dhomer Commercial User

    Apr 9, 2009
    Hickory Corners, MI
    Owner, Gigmaster Soundworks, Auth. greenboy designs builder, MI
    I have my own way of addressing the volume issue.. I have told guys if it becomes a battle between you and me, I have this monster speaker rig I can bring in, and 600 watts to drive it.. guaranteed I'd win... Personally I don't like playing too loud, and folks are complaining all they hear is you.. Worked this past weekend...
  17. bearfoot


    Jan 27, 2005
    schenectady, ny
    What he said. Playing masturbatory scales extremely loud, and not listening to the other musicians, is not a good player at all, in fact is not even a functional musician.
    I say life is too short - I'd either insist they learn to listen real quickly (not likely), or just not play with them.
    There are a lot of people out there that can play an instrument, but are not musicians.
  18. Easy to figure that out; they are a band member who uses guitar in that role instead of being a guitarist who has to put up with 'those annoying gaps between guitar solos'. Congrats; you've found a keeper!!!

    I don't think anyone wants to HAVE a volume war, I think they want to WIN a volume war.
  19. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    There are plenty of bands you can play in where the guitarist(s) are not too loud. Confront them and if they don't change quit. I won't even join a band if somebody is too loud.
  20. Crockettnj


    Sep 2, 2005
    North NJ
    Turn down.


    I have done this numerous times, especially in sound checks when a "cousin" or "friend" jsut sits in do "do sound". (as if its a cake walk).

    I turn WAy down, and if they guy running sound, or eveyone else doesnt notice a problem, then you know its a fundamental issue.

    Alternately, you could bring in a kilowatt stack and go to war.

    I turn down now. If people dont follow, I stop playing. Literally.

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