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Opinon -- Poor Taste to Show Up to Watch Your Fill In?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by MNAirHead, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. Howdy - thanks for the replies.

    Situation - Band with Alternate
    I'm a paid session player for a Chruch.. it's a high quality bunch of guys (Berklee grads, SxSW players etc). We've been battling a horrid Octactagonal Brick room.

    The leader is VERY cool at using everyone's natural talents. Most of my value there is in production (reworking tunes etc). I am the primary player (3/4 weeks).

    We are not allowed to join the Church as employees (avoids PR issues).

    I've heard rumor the alternate is a space filler - not really passionate about playing.

    Potential Issue
    I've never met my alternate. I have zero issues with him - many times have left gear behind that he would need for the next week (6 sting, fretless etc). I've asked my boss if it's OK for me to show up to practice and sit in the back of the room with the sound guys.

    I'm concerned that they'll do as always and ask my opinion of the practice.

    I plan on keeping shut up and writing down notes to privately forward to the boss.

    Why show up? We're working on a plan to get everyone off amps and onto direct to headphone monitors (Rolls PM351)

    Is it in poor taste to show up?
    Any hindsight advice?
    Do you show up in support of your band when not playing?
  2. WayneS


    Apr 9, 2007
    IMO its poor taste to show up to watch your alternate play and take notes about him to give to your boss.

    I'm not saying thats what you are doing, but thats what it will look like.
  3. It's actually to take notes of how the entire room sounds... if I show, this may be good to not physically write notes.

    We're getting hate mail from the parishoners about sound pressure levels.. unfortunately as with most places stage sound is not the same as audience.

    I totally understand what you're saying.
  4. D Rokk

    D Rokk Banned

    Feb 19, 2009
    Delta Quadrant
    the op says he leaves gear behind for his fill in to use. i'd say if my gear was being used i'm more than entitled to watch the guy use it.. (tho that my be as painful as watching my ex wife cheat on me)

    as far as taking notes on the guy.. bad taste
  5. Ugh, that sounds familiar. I played in a church band for a couple of years, and despite our drummer using his lightest sticks (with the tips completely worn off), and our guitarist turning his amp as low as it would go and still work, people still complained that it was too loud.

    As to your question, I don't see anything wrong with what you're planning to do. Just be open about it. Introduce yourself to anyone you haven't met, explain the plan to move to in-ear monitors, and say you're there to check out the sound from the congregation's perspective. If anyone asks for your opinion, give it to them politely, otherwise take your notes and keep quiet. Shouldn't be anything threatening about that.
  6. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I think that you have every right to be there. You are trying to help.

    I'm really confused about the situation though. Are you a religious person? Not being able to join the church is strange. Sounds like the church is more concerned with "putting on the right kinda show" than doing the bidding of the church. I apologize if that offends. I have just never heard of such a thing. It just sounds so "business" for a church.
  7. HogieWan


    Feb 4, 2008
    Lafayette, LA

    explain why you are there and no one will have an issue

  8. The in Ear direct thing is what I'm most concerned with.

    I took out some $$$ from my pocket to do a test (about $180). He's not been around since installing the "no bass amp" change.

    I want to ensure this goes succesfully and is an improvement - not just a change.

    I have zero ill will for having an alternate.
  9. Yes the setup is a different one. It works VERY well.

    Adding a contemporary service was a very well planned and executed plan.

    The not joining is to keep a buffer between the band manager and the congregation. It is kind of different - it is very nice to direct input to one single decision maker.

    My wife attends when I play - we normally spend a few minutes after at the coffee social. Beyond this, we are not expected (or asked) to do show up for additional things.

    Being viewed as friendly employees helps with the organization.. we receive material 24-72 hours before a 45 minute practice.. we then go live. Substandard players are not asked back (not fired - just not called back).

    Yes it is run kind of business like - this is in an upper-class river town. About 1/2 the people are executives.

    It is a bonus that we don't have to hear "my daughter is just got the first chair piccolo seat.. I think she should play with you" junk.

  10. Greyvagabond


    Aug 17, 2007
    Los Angeles
    Not to totally derail this convo (I don't think its poor form to be there when your replacement is there. Maybe buy him some coffee and say hi!), but how much did your inear system cost? My band would love to switch to them, but there is a pretty big range of prices on them, so....what're your expiriences with them?
  11. Grey.. I'll PM you about In Ear.

    Good advice - I do try to be my best at PR and supportive of folks.
  12. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Show up and watch. If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything. There's nothing wrong with holding onto any constructive criticism you may have until such a time as you can discuss it privately.
  13. Delta_Petra


    Feb 26, 2008
    Portland, OR

    I hated the plan to take amps off stage for a long time at my home church. Mostly because I could never hear myself and the sound guys did not know how to mix bass into the house. Now we all have personal headphone monitors and so I can just mix as much bass as I want into my ears. It may not sound awesome out there, but at least I can hear myself.

    I say go for headphone monitors, as long as you have good sound people.
  14. Delta..

    Funny thing is that I couldn't hear myself with an amp --- unless I was blowing gramma's wig off.

    Cool room.. it's tuned to a B.. if doing a ballad I could crank it and make the walls shake... cool for me that is.

    I'm now digging not lugging around a rack and cabinets.. OR a practice amp and not hearing myself.
  15. ChrisB2

    ChrisB2 Bass... in your fass

    Feb 27, 2008
    TalkBass > Off Topic
    IMO, this answers your question.

    You are there as an employee, in a working capacity. That about covers it.
  16. DrChris


    Apr 8, 2009
    I agree with those saying go on and show up. You have a specific purpose for being there and should probably explain that purpose to alleviate any fears the other guy may have.

    We're moving to in-ears in our church. Budget didn't allow for the whole band to go there yet, but we started with the drummer and WL. We're already noticing a huge difference in how the sound guys can mix us better with fewer monitors on stage. Hope to go the rest of the way soon for the rest of us.
  17. BillyRay

    BillyRay Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    Go in incognito: fake moustache and a thick German accent.

    This plan cannot fail.

    PS: Just go and if asked questions, tell them your motives. Nothing to worry about.
  18. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    I showed up to practice when my stand in came to prepare for a gig I had to miss because I was going to be out of town. He's a better musician than me, but didn't mean that he didn't want me opinion on our original tunes.

    Just be open about stuff - don't take notes, that's weak.
  19. greenbass5


    Sep 16, 2007
    Oklahoma City
    You never said if you are being paid to be there. Like a consultant. Are you? If you are asked about the bassist, by the leader ONLY I hope, do you think that what you say could factor in on a decision to keep or drop them? If so, do you think that would translate into you getting that weekend's gig too? I'm not slamming you, :)I just need a little more information.
  20. No boss man hinted that I show up to listen to what the room hears.

    This in no way is about judging the alternate - every position has a backup.

    Paid - no.. basically to fine tune the in ear monitor setup and direct boxes. The sound guys are battling a horrid room.

    This more about the horrid sound the room has.

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