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Other band mates recording your parts?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by GBBSbassist, Apr 12, 2019.

  1. I'm 100% fine with it.

    17 vote(s)
  2. I'm fine with it only if there's something preventing me from doing it myself.

    63 vote(s)
  3. I'm not alright with it. I want to record my own parts.

    158 vote(s)
  4. Pretend this is the carrot option.

    6 vote(s)
  1. GBBSbassist

    GBBSbassist I actually play more guitar... Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2010
    I'm curious as to what other TB'ers feel about this subject. I have a feeling that I know where most will stand, but I'm just a bit curious.

    As of right now, one of the bands that I'm in is trying to book some time with a local studio to record a few songs to have some new stuff for some Summer promo material. Unfortunately (for us) the engineer has an extremely busy schedule.

    One of the first available dates we can book, our singer/bassist is going to be out of town. Not a huge problem, we have to do drums and guitar first anyway. However, we're only planning on doing 3 songs, and we have to book a full day. So I floated the idea of either me or our drummer recording the bass parts ONLY if we ended up finishing drums and guitar quickly and have plenty of time to do bass.

    Some relevant information... The drummer and I are both better bass players than our bassist. Not a humble brag or anything. Our bassist is in the band because he's a great singer/frontman. His bass skills are secondary, but more than adequate for what we do. We play poppy punk/rock with the occasional odd time signature here and there. Similar to Biffy Clyro I'd say, but a bit more rooted in punk. The bass parts are all pretty much written to be simple to be acommodating to the vocals.

    When I floated the idea of booking the day he wasn't available with the intent of focusing on guitars and drums, I brought up the possibility of being finished with time to spare, and should we start on bass without him. He said he'd prefer to know he played on it, but gave us the go-ahead, though it seemed like a reluctant go ahead.

    Personally, I'm in the camp of not caring if someone else recorded my guitar parts if I'm unable to make it there to do them myself as long as the parts aren't being modified or changed. If it was a matter of simply not being able to play them, that's something that needs to be addressed separately.

    At the end of the day, it might not matter much, as we'd have to book another day for vocals and could likely just cram bass and vocals into that day, but I'm just curious.
  2. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    If you expect him to hang around and have the same commitment to the band as the rest of you guys, you best let him play.

    How would you feel promoting your band's music if you knew you didn't play your instrument on it. Another guy did, because well... he was better?

    I could list a dozen other reasons, but that alone should be enough.
  3. Jakeman

    Jakeman Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2006
    New Orleans, LA
    Other people recording my parts would be a sign to leave the project. Don't do it.
  4. 4 Strings Good

    4 Strings Good

    Mar 6, 2014
    On the record my band just made the producer replaced my bass parts on 2 songs without telling me. As soon as I heard them I knew it wasn't me. I asked him about it and he said, "Oh, yeah, sorry. I was trying to duplicate your lines but I couldn't get the sound I wanted so I just did it myself with a Bass VI." I was mildly unhappy about it. His new parts were perfectly played, mind you, and sound great on the album. It might well be that my lines sounded like crap and he just wanted to improve the recording. But if that was the case he should have said so. I don't mind criticism, especially from an experienced producer who's also a first rate musician. I might have agreed to the changes without much fuss had he asked. But, I don't like people making decisions like that without consulting me first.

    The moral: speak to the person before you record his or her part, and let them know why you think that needs to happen. They might not care, they might feel strongly about it, but at least give them the information in advance.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
  5. ArtechnikA

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

    Feb 24, 2013
    The reality is, that's life in the big city...
    There are many bands with parts recorded by studio musicians who are different from the touring band.
    Patrick Pfeiffer built his teaching career on teaching touring band members how to play the recorded parts.
    If you're recording parts that he _could_ play, and does play live, it's neither a competence issue that reflects badly nor a cheat on the listener.

    Personally, I don't like the idea, and I wouldn't expect bass-guy to have to pay for the studio day.
    I get that he wants to play - I would too. But I also don't think I'd hold the band back.
    Maybe it will be moot, because if it's your first time, you'll probably burn the day getting the drum and guitar tracks down.
    Try for another day when everyone is available...
    And didn't we establish that there will be another day, since bass player also needs to track vocals?
  6. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    young: i would have been offended (insecure!)...not doing my own parts. :)

    older: i would look at the situation and consider a resolution which satisfies the goals. ;)

    now: anyone who can do my parts --- or any other mo-better part! = have at it! :D

    ...and i'm referring to original works. for cover stuff? = big whup.
  7. GBBSbassist

    GBBSbassist I actually play more guitar... Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2010
    I see your point. I did mention that the drummer and I are both better bass players, but that was probably not worth sharing as that's not the reason for the inquiry. The only reason would be if we finish early that day, and get stuff with a few hours of time that are essentially paid for and nothing left to do. The parts would be recording exactly as he plays them, but as a musician and a bass player, I do 100% understand that even if two people play the same part, they each may have their own small nuances that make it slightly more unique from person to person. Whether that would be discernible in a mix? I'm not sure.

    I personally wouldn't mind if it was a situation of me just not being able to make it there.

    However, it does bring into question credits on the recording. We're not really serious enough to worry about that, but it's a valid thing for many musicians and I respect that.

    Either way, I see your point.

    I also see your point, but it's not really the same thing. What he did was definitely deceptive, and I'm with you on that one. I don't like the deception there and you were absolutely just in being bothered by that.

    I don't necessarily like the idea simply because of the unease I know this can cause others. This is definitely not a situation where the parts are going to be superior if played by someone else. Well...maybe a bit, but not in a noticeable way. We're talking bass lines of 8th notes over typical rock beats but played a bit faster around 180 bpm.

    You're correct that it will likely be a moot point. We probably won't get to bass that day any way and we certainly need to book another day. The situation just got me thinking because I've definitely been present in recording situations where a guy wasn't able to nail his part, and a frustrated engineer/producer stepped in and had someone else do it. It rarely went over without someone having their feelings hurt. I've never personally been the victim of that, but I typically over-prepare before hitting the studio.

    At the end of the day, this band is not overly serious. We're buddies who write songs together. None of us our out to do things that are going to make anyone feel really bad about being in this band. I appreciate all the insight my dudes.
  8. lokikallas

    lokikallas Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2010
    los angeles
    I’m production minded, so it would bother me. I get the logistics, but it seems like the lack of skill is the real reason you want to.
    admh1972 likes this.
  9. GBBSbassist

    GBBSbassist I actually play more guitar... Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2010
    It's not. I can assure you. The only reason for entertaining the thought is because our singer/bass player can't be there the day we have booked, and I also play bass, as does the drummer. That's really the only reason.

    If the lack of skill was a worry, I'd have told the drummer and singer that we absolutely need to add a bass player from day one and the singer/bass player only sings.
  10. Esteban Garcia

    Esteban Garcia living la vida loca Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2018
    Portland, OR
    There were a lot of cats in the 60s who got mad when Terry Melcher had studio pros play their parts. But they didn't complain when their records shot up the charts.

    Any studio recording is a compendium of lies, basically. Use it to your advantage. If you're a better bassist, play that part.
  11. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    If my playing wasn’t adequate to the task and the finished piece was improved by someone else playing “my” bass part?

    Go for it.

    Recording in a studio and performing live in front of an audience are two different things that need to be approached differently. Most musicians have far more experience playing live than playing for a track. And what works for the stage doesn’t necessarily cross over to what’s going to work in the studio.

  12. InhumanResource


    Dec 28, 2012
    He already told you what guys what his preference is.

    Also, how do you even measure who is better at pop punk bass? Just let the guy do it.
  13. THAT...would have been the end of that producer! He would have ceased to be, would have been no more, an ex-producer! :rage: :rage:

    After he refunded the money I spent recording my part, of course.
  14. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    While I am sure it wasn't sure meant that way, you kind of sound like EVH (I'm a better bassist anyhow, I might as well record the bass lines). Do you have any other tunes? If so, start on those if you have extra time. He is in the band - he should be the one to play the bass lines.
    Pinball and InhumanResource like this.
  15. Turbo Sparky

    Turbo Sparky Supporting Member

    May 14, 2018
    South Eastern U.S.
    Does bass have say in mix down/final?
    Can't record via ProTools and drop in?
    Vocals day?
    3 PopPunk songs "all day"? (What is "all day"?
    Over dub day for guitars?
    I know Matlock recorded for Sid, and that's self-explanatory, and I know "s it" happens in life and all...
    My band has had to reschedule upcoming sessions because our drummer has been shooting film in Chicago, off and on over the past several weeks...we're a BAND.
    Bass already knows the deal, and is probably being polite, and probably not old school a la Harley Flanagan...POW!
    ...and you come on here internationally dissing him?...
    Batman does not have enough onamotapeias for this...and I don't care if I didn't spell it correctly.
    Uncool. Totally.
    dang man, at least take him/her out for steak or other meal of their choice. sheesh.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019
  16. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    I get the feeling you don’t understand what the producer’s role is during a professional recording session.

    The producer (assuming we’re talking about a real producer as opposed to some idiot who basically does nothing more than own a small “studio” and a DAW) is your fixer for the recording session. If there’s a line your lead guitarist, or keyboard player, or drummer can’t get a successful take on, the producer plays that line or gets someone who can. If the lyrics suck, your producer rewrites them. If something doesn’t work somewhere in the song, the producer rescores or rearranges that part. If egos flare and a fight breaks out between band members, your producer separates the combatants and soothes their butthurt so everybody’s being nice again and the session can continue. His or her main job is to do whatever it takes to make sure that when your time in the studio is up, you have something to show for the money and effort you invested.

    A good producer can be a lifesaver during a recording session. And a good one doesn’t come cheap. So if you’re having issues with your producer, odds are you haven’t hired (or couldn’t afford to hire) a good one.
  17. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I want to add... if I were a hired gun for a band, I couldn't care less who plays bass. If its MY band, or any original band where costs and responsibilities are shared, it would be unacceptable for me NOT to be on our recordings.

    I've learned this also, after many years of hiring and firing drummers - they rarely if ever have the commitment to the band that the others do, and a big part of that I've learned is because the music isn't theirs at all. They play at gigs. That's it. They have no desire to promote the music, to share it with friends, to have the faith or excitement that the other members have in the recordings. Why would you want to take that away from a band member? To save a little time and money?

    So much better, IMO, to have everyone in the band take pride in what you do and be able to say - "LOOK WHAT WE DID!!!" Sucks bad to have to tell people, "Well... I didn't really play on that."

    Billy Wyman hates the rest of the Stones and won't play with them anymore. They did that to him often. He didn't like it a single bit.
  18. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I agree with Joe Nerve.
    EatS1stBassist, JKos, dan1952 and 2 others like this.
  19. Planespotter


    Oct 11, 2015
  20. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Me too.

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