My bands don't like/don't want to play any of my songs

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by The Big, May 11, 2021.


  1. The Big

    The Big

    Jun 24, 2020
    Sorry for the rant. I'm at a loss. I really do my best to write quality material that fits the style of my bands, but no matter what I come up with, it never seems to be good enough. Whether a riff or a full instrumental track recorded at home, it all goes unnoticed.

    I'm in 3 bands. A 70's/80's classic/hard rock band with a few guys about my age (20ish), an alt/indie band and a plain hard rock band. I'm interested in a wide variety of genres. I've played/play anything from Chet Baker to Black Sabbath to Muse, so my work draws from a lot of different sources. I usually try to keep stuff interesting by genre-blending a little. That never got any approval. Now I write strictly in the bands' styles, and it's still not enough.

    It's frustrating because frankly, I don't think my stuff is any worse/more generic than the songs we play (in fact a couple of our songs are downright laughable). But clearly it is. Today I presented a new, unfinished song, asking if they'd like to play it and bring it to completion. I was proud of it. Yeah, it's simple and basic, it sounds like every other biker rock song ever written, but so does every other song we play. All I got was silence and a comparison to AC/DC... Thanks, I guess. Every musician's dying wish.

    Is this a bass player thing? Do bands just, I dunno, not respect bassists as songwriters? Or am I genuinely writing bin material? It's scary because I used to know when I wrote a bad song and critiqued myself accurately. Now I think I'm writing decent songs, and obviously they're not. So either my taste and ear have suffered, or I'm just a tripe musician. Pick your poison I guess.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2021
  2. WillyWonka

    WillyWonka My roadworn is in mint condition Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2019
    Start your own band, with you as the creative element.
     
  3. The Big

    The Big

    Jun 24, 2020
    But is that really the answer if my songs are trash? First and foremost, I want to play good music. Ego aside, I'd be fine with not writing at all. But when every one of my ideas is dismissed within seconds, it makes me wonder where I'm going wrong.
     
    WillyWonka likes this.
  4. WillyWonka

    WillyWonka My roadworn is in mint condition Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2019
    I have seen some very talented musicians playing in bands with a crappy creative element. You won't be the first or last. Some of them bands make a lot of money.
     
  5. J_Bass

    J_Bass Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2008
    Porto, Portugal
    No way of giving an opinion without listening to a couple of songs of yours and theirs.

    But always dismissing everything you bring is not cool, at all. At least work with what you bring and go from there.
     
  6. The Big

    The Big

    Jun 24, 2020
    I guess I'll just stick to bass then. I'd rather not become the thing I denounce most.
     
    bigdaddybass12 likes this.
  7. The Big

    The Big

    Jun 24, 2020
    Before today, I'd have been fine with posting a soundcloud link. Now I'm extremely self-conscious about it. I've convinced myself that the song is trash.
     
  8. Oddly

    Oddly

    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    Sounds like you do need to start your own band.
    Are you just being dismissed completely, or is any feedback at all being given?
    It'd certainly help here if you could give some examples of your work... I'm sure you'll get honest evaluation.
     
  9. The Big

    The Big

    Jun 24, 2020
    Pretty much complete dismissal. Just went through my projects folder and to be fair, I think they're right. It's all s**t, I hate all of it. But hey, live and learn I guess. Maybe once day, I'll write a song that isn't a complete embarrassment to music. I just wish I had never shown them to anybody.

    Suppose I just answered my own question... Haha.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2021
    Oddly, J_Bass and yodedude2 like this.
  10. wilberthenry

    wilberthenry

    May 12, 2009
    If you want to play your own material you really need to be a bandleader or play with like minded people who are committed to playing originals. It is VERY difficult to get honest feedback from most people. Were the lyrics too cliche? Were the riffs too simple? Not catchy enough? If you want to write music, don't stop just because your bands aren't into them. Get an acoustic guitar and hit an open mic if you have to.
     
  11. Texaspandj

    Texaspandj

    Feb 13, 2021
    Heart Of Texas
    Above All, music is subjective.
     
    Engle, BBassBassington, JoshS and 2 others like this.
  12. The Big

    The Big

    Jun 24, 2020
    I can't sing to save my life. Took lessons and everything. Utterly useless voice.

    I've considered that my work is too simple, but they complain when it's too complex. I thought maybe it's just cheesy, but it's far from the cheesiest material we play. I just don't get it. All I know is I'm gonna have to take a good long look at what kind of musician I am, and if maybe I'm just a poser. If everyone has a problem with me/my work, it's probably not them who's at fault.

    It's easy to just say, "I give up, I'm done," but I know too well I'll be back to writing woefully bad music the day after tomorrow.
     
    BBassBassington and fhm555 like this.
  13. basted

    basted

    Jul 22, 2017
    Hobart , Tasmania
    Stick with it. Are the other members contributing original material?
     
    BBassBassington likes this.
  14. The Big

    The Big

    Jun 24, 2020
    Yeah I suppose. To a degree. But there are objective measures of quality as well that I'd like to achieve.

    I'm not really sure which song belongs to whom. To be honest, they all kind of sound the same to me. That's okay, I guess. I just wanna be more than a root-note pounding thump-monkey, y'know. Anybody can do that, and there's room for more complexity. If at least they'd let me do my bass lines my way, but even that's a point of contention.

    More and more I'm finding that I'm a talentless, uninspired hackjob of a musician. I should have stuck to shoveling coal.
     
  15. Wesley R

    Wesley R Gold Supporting Member

    Yep
     
  16. Slough Feg Bass

    Slough Feg Bass Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2007
    San Francisco
    Do you sing ?
    If I am not singing the song, it is VERY difficult to get the other guys to learn it and do something with it.
    I might be able to get a riff or two incorporated into a new song, but when I bring in a whole song, ready to go, if I don't sing the words, it barely gets a notice.
    See if you can partner with the drummer. If he/she can learn your song, then the two of you can play it together until everyone else joins in.
    If not, then yes, start another band.
    Worked for me.
     
    BBassBassington and Atshen like this.
  17. pedroims

    pedroims

    Dec 19, 2007
    Michigan
    There are plenty of bands where the bass player is key. Rush, Motorhead, iron Maiden, Cliff in Metallica, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Duran Duran, Queen, etc.

    Time to start a side project.
     
    BBassBassington and smogg like this.
  18. The Big

    The Big

    Jun 24, 2020
    I don't really like the drummer in my main band. I mean, I do. But he can be controlling. It's his band, after all. You'd think I know how to EQ my amp when I'm the best (or rather only) mixer/producer/whatever in the band, but even that's often not up to me.
    "I wanna boost my low mids and take away some bass. We sound muddy. Maybe the guitars should cut mids and boost highs?"
    The response was, and I quote: "Maybe, but the bass is supposed to be on the low end."

    And no, I don't sing. I wish I did, but it's a pipe dream. Often times I've actually also thought that's the issue. A song without a singer isn't really a song, so maybe that's why every attempt falls flat.
     
  19. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    SEPA
    Songwriting is not easy, much less hits. I can't do it.
    I've heard it said that the best way to have a lot of good ideas is to have a lot of ideas.
    Keep doing it, do it a lot, sh!tcan the stuff that doesn't work and learn from what does.
    There are a *lot* pf good songwriting resources out there.
    Just off the top, I'd suggest watching every Rick Beato 'What makes this song great' video on YouTube.
    Without having heard anything you've done, since you mention that your influences are all over the map, that maybe focus is an issue, Maybe not...
    Do you have issues with lyrics, or melodies, or hooks?
    Identify your weaknesses and work on them (hint: practicing your strengths is way more fun, but much less productive long-term...)
    And probably you won't get much recognition from any band with an established songwriting team.
    How much do you need? Ringo gets paid every time some radio station plays 'Octopuss's Garden' or 'It Don't Come Easy.'
    You may need to build a solo project and be your own bandleader after all.
     
  20. ficelles

    ficelles

    Feb 28, 2010
    Devon, England
    No matter how bad you feel your music is, remember it's going to be a million times better than anything by The Smiths and that self-obsessed dullard Morrisey.
     
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