Playing covers, volume wars, jam etiquette

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by MusicMan01, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. MusicMan01


    Jun 27, 2008
    I have been playing (rehearsing) with my current band like 4times. These are people I met on craigslist. The drummer and guitar played before a couple of times already. And the singer play with them once before I came into the picture.

    The 1st time, we played 3 covers which I am not that proud to play, for the fact that these are songs that play on the radio a thousand times since forever.

    The 2nd time I guess it was decided we were going to play covers, and each of use has to come up with 2 songs. This time the guitar told me to turn it down. Cause I was too loud? When I did I could not hear myself anymore. So I turned it up without him noticing. Then I guess he turned it up again too, etc. This sure gave me a headache when I got home.

    The 3rd time I started to get bored, caused like that singer said "it dont mean a thing if you aint got the swing". I realized the guitar plays so mechanical, exactly like the tab. The drummer plays off tempo. And I think the singer is going to have a panic attack as I see she is too shy to critic the sound.

    I suggested the guitar to just put his own stuff into the covers, that he doesn't need to play it exactly how it sounds on the radio. He says "mmm.... I don't want to"

    The 4th time (after reading the forums and becoming less ignorant) I learn how to use better the equipment and tweak the EQ, tilting the speaker, ear plugs, etc. Even so the guitar keeps on playing loud, like a robot. The drummer always say, "i dont know, I play what you tell me". Still off-tempo. The singer still is like "i think forget it"

    It make it seems like everybody is just playing on their own and there is no team effort.

    Should I take over and lead the band? Or should I just find some other people who to play with.
  2. chroma601


    Feb 16, 2007
    Sylva, NC
    Doesn't sound like fun to me!
  3. What are your goals for music? What you do is a function of what you want.

    A. I want to be a rock & roll star! Well, this isn't the right band for you. You need guys in the band that will market the hell out of the band (the music doesn't matter that much- reference Kiss).

    B. I want to improve as a musician! Again, wrong band. They can't help you improve if they are worse than you.

    C. I want to make $$$ at local clubs! Even if these guys own the bar, you aren't going to make any money. The band needs to be good enough to attract an audience (unless you play somewhere that attracts its own audience like the rock bar/strip club near my house).

    D. I just love to jam!! Me too. That's what both my bands are primarily about (I have a good day job). If you are playing for fun and its not fun...

    E. There is no one else around for 1000 km! Move. Then see A-D.

    F. I really like arguing with people! OK-- I've known a lot of guys that just enjoy arguing. I think you are in the perfect band! Congratulations! :hyper:
  4. Can you? Will they follow? Do you want to?

    I (nor anyone here) can tell you what you should do. I can offer some "How to be a part of a band/team" advice, however.

    1) You cannot control other people. You can control how you react to and/or communicate with other people. Do what you can and don't worry about what you can't.

    2) Honest, agenda-less communication is the key to any group of people working well together. If you guys are not on the same page, get there. Once there it will be a lot easier to offer constructive comments about what you are doing.

    3) DON'T BE A DRAMA QUEEN! Musicians, like any other artist, are driven by passion. Try not to let your passionate drive pollute your practical activities - like talking about the set list, volumes, covers vs. originals vs. covers done like originals, etc...

    Talk to them the way you'd like to be talked to and avoid accusatory/judgmental tones. Only deal with facts - "My ears are ringing! Can we do something?" - "I can't hear the singer. Maybe we all need to drop the volume a bit."

    If you are going to try to lead, lead by example not by edict. If they agree that you are going to be the primary direction provider you'd damn well be prepared to provide clear and effective direction.
  5. E2daGGurl


    May 26, 2008
    Rehearse the rhythm section (you and the drummer) before each jam session. Reassure the drummer that tempo need not be his job - you can take that job while he finds his rhythm. Then, work to get him to play with you. It'll sound so much better right away that, even if you're not viewed as the "band leader," the guitarist and singer will appreciate it.

    I suggest they rehearse themselves as a duo, as well. Then 2 + 2 = 4.
  6. MusicMan01


    Jun 27, 2008
    My goal is to have fun but also learn to play with a band, play with pro equipment and eventually get gig experience. We all have day jobs, so I am not in a hurry to get gigs.

    Although I think the only conflict is between myself and the guitar. It is kind of difficult to deal with somebody that says "no" to everything you suggest. We are never on the same page.

    I heard the drummer said he was glad to have a bassist cause many times he could not follow the guitar. So maybe I need to play more with the drummer, as E2daggurl said.
  7. Kimpini


    May 14, 2008
    :mad:Never Play with an off beat drummer...NEVER!:mad:
  8. +1, at least one that isn't deliberately playing off meter (i.e. super technical prog rock\fusion\bebop\experimental\Zappa type drummer).

    But if he's off meter and has NO IDEA he's off. Then that's definitely a problem.
  9. Well, that's a start! He shouldn't be following the guitar anyway! :scowl:

    You guys should be working together to lock it all down and rehearsing just the two of you is a great idea!:bassist:

    It helps develop that 'connection' to create a strong rhythm section!:bassist:

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