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Oblivious or just Egotistical?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Stinsok, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    My old band asked me to play a corporate gig next month. I haven't seen them in about 6 months and we practiced last night. In the practice space, it's very difficult to get volume before feedback in the monitors. I brought in my head and a floor monitor in an attempt to leave some sonic space for the vocals. It's practice, not a gig at Red Rocks. Whatever space I left was taken up. The singer is working himself to death trying to hear over a Marshall half stack.

    The singer asked if he (the guitarist) would point his amp another way and repeatedly complained he was having problems hearing. The guitarist never changed a thing. It's just plain rude to think you have to be that loud in a small room (or you are that much more important that hearing the lyrics to a song.)

    I'm not subjecting myself to that anymore. I know what needs to be done, but thanks for listening.
  2. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Guitar player needs to be gut punched.
  3. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    I played in an acoustic rock band and we can play without a PA (no amplified guitar or vocals) if we have to (we don't currently own our own and usually have to borrow). So it can be done, the guitarist just doesn't want to do it and you should probably look elsewhere if he's going to act like that.
  4. Winfred


    Oct 21, 2011
    It always come down to the same three choices:

    1. Change his behavior
    2. Replace him
    3. Quit and find another band

    Which one of those three is the easiest?
  5. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    I have seen threads like thus before and I usually don't comment because it's a behavior I have no experience with.

    Am I just lucky? A band is suppose to work together and respect each other. I have never played with anyone with that kind of unacceptable behavior.

    The OP has stated he knows what to do.

    For me it would be simple;

    I stop playing and ask the other players if they agree the guitarist should turn down. If they are in agreement then you tell him, I don't play another note until you turn down to an acceptable volume level and become part of the team.

  6. Yeah marshall stacks are just a nightmare. For some reason they aren't working properly unless they're turned up to 11. At least according to the guitarists that own them.
  7. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    Well, I have already "quit."
  8. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Typical (of a certain species) guitarist behavior.
  9. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Have the guitarist practice separately, record his parts, and then pipe them back into the room at appropriate levels during rehearsal. Cardboard cutouts may help to limit the amount of absence felt.
  10. carvinbassplyr

    carvinbassplyr Supporting Member

    Aug 10, 2007
    Waterford, MI
    Well, if your rehearsal space uses a PA then the only person who needs to hear what is coming out of the Marshall is the guitar player. If he sets up in a way so that the amp is in his face and shooting away from everyone else (either directly in front of him facing back or side washed far behind the singers) he can get away with a higher volume without causing to much trouble. I've gotten myself into trouble with other people's attitudes taking this approach, but I'll just stop playing if someone is too loud. It's usually pretty noticeable if/when the bottom end just drops out of a song and will cause people to take notice and stop. I understand that you need to practice how you want to perform, but that doesn't mean you cram into a 10x10 and crank it like your playing the super bowl. Be reasonable...
  11. I'd quit too. I have in the past. Still on good terms but I just cant take that sort of behaviour seriously.
  12. carvinbassplyr

    carvinbassplyr Supporting Member

    Aug 10, 2007
    Waterford, MI
    ^ LOL, I almost choked on my pizza when I read this!
  13. I never had this trouble either. Just lucky too, I guess. Been a while since I was in a full band setting, but we generally balanced our volumes pretty well, and never stepped on each other, or anything else.

    I suppose if you can't resolve it, do whatever it is you have to do.
  14. Flyingfrets


    Dec 25, 2011
    "Oblivious or just egotistical?"

    Didn't realize they were mutually exclusive. This jack-off sounds like he's cornered the market on both.
  15. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    Love it!
  16. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    One of my jam/protobands has three guitarists with Marshall half stacks. I have no problem going without earplugs and I always carry them. It ain't the amps that are the problem :rollno:.
  17. I have to agree. In my band, I actually have the opposite problem. We use in-ears and the guitarist mics his cabinet, but the level is always too low in the headsets for me. Whenever I ask him to turn it up, he always thinks it's already too loud. I guess I should count my blessings.:smug:
  18. I have dealt with the "volume wars" a lot with every group I've played with.

    It makes me crazy, to say the least. It's almost always a guitarist, in my experience. And you mostly find it with people who aren't really true professionals, they're more of the weekend warrior brigade that I would be in the category of.

    In all honesty, I've determined it's due to any, or all, of these factors;

    1. Ego. The player simply wants to be heard above everyone else.

    2. Inexperience. Some people don't realize that their volume knobs actually work, and they can play quieter when they need to and then boost up a little for their solo or a particular part where they need to be louder than the others. They just play loud all the time so that when their part comes....they're already there.

    3. Weak musicianship. Some players have no ability to know if what they are playing sounds okay unless they are the loudest one. They just can't seem to pick out their own sound in the mix, and honestly they aren't good enough to trust what their hands are doing or have confidence in what they are playing unless they can hear it above everyone else.

    I never buy into the "oblivious" thing. You can't tell me that they don't know they're loud as heck when everyone else in the room has bleeding ears.

    The only way I could ever control it in practice was to set the sound levels at the start and tell everyone not to turn up. If the offender did we all agreed that the rest would stop playing immediately and just put our instruments down until the offending party dialed it back to where it was supposed to be.

    It's never fun and a good practice can go south quick when the volume wars start. It escalates quickly.
  19. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Don't forget

    4. Hearing loss. Marshall-stack guitarists often have serious mid-range hearing loss and don't realize how loud they're playing. It's kind of sad, actually. :(
  20. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    I have said this many times. You always want to put your guitar player in his own sweet spot. It's very, VERY important you do so. I have cured a lot of too-loud guitar players this way. Make sure the loudest point in the room is where his EARS are.

    If it's a Marshall half-stack, or any combo amp, you have to get the amp elevated.

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