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PLEASE HELP ME WITH ADVICE! Don't Know if I Am Wrong Here

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Twofingeraction, Dec 15, 2019.

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  1. Twofingeraction

    Twofingeraction Banned

    Dec 15, 2019
    2nd time typing this out so unfortunately since I couldn't retrieve my other thread text I must explain again...I am 18 and still in High school. I have been playing bass since 9 and have really excelled. I have been told I high a lot of skill. I do play a lot I guess, from Jazz ensemble, regular band, pep band, and the show choir band I play bass in all. I have also been in several small groups which didn't last very long. A few small shows here and there and the talent show at my school each year.

    I recently joined an alternative Rock/Metal group with a deftones/rage/nirvana stoner rock clutch type sound. The guitarist is 32 and has wrote all the originals we play. We also do a few 90's covers.

    This weekend I told him to turn his gain down and another time I said to turn his mids down. Both times he got upset and said this is my "Sound" and this is the way I have my amp set up. (HE has a Mesa boogie combo) He almost seemed mad and he said I was rude to tell him how to set up his amp. Is he Right? Am I wrong?

    I am used to being the most experienced in my groups but this is my first like Rock group planning to gig at small venues and bars on the local scene. I play a 1x12 bugera combo, and he also said I will need a lil bit bigger and louder amp to play shows with.

    I have always run my bass mainly through the PA. But my school does have very high end equipment. He said most venues will need you to run a decent amp on stage and the PA will just fill it out.

    I don't know if I should quit, or if I really am that green at being in a band with more experienced musicians than me.

    Is it true most bassists use a mid or decent size amp on stage and not mainly ran through the PA?

    And am I wrong to tell him how to adjust his amp? He has played in a lot of bands and helped run sound for even more. But I have been told I can really play, but maybe thats not all thats needed?

    Please Help I feel this is a good fit and feels good when were clicking.
    EatS1stBassist and mikewalker like this.
  2. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    First of all, especially since you are younger, you shouldn't be telling him. How would you feel if a freshman flute player in the school band came up to you and told you what to do with your EQ? You may be right, but that's not how to approach it. If you are talking tone, try "have you tried x?".

    As to amps, it depends, but not many small places have PAs that will cover everything. It's likely one 12" won't cut it. Unless you have a super cab, like a Bareface, I would want to have 4 10s, 2 12s or 2 15s, and probably 300 watts.

    Relax, keep playing. The fact that they are willing to play with a high schooler means they respect your ability.
  3. redstrand

    redstrand Supporting Member

    May 18, 2007
    Saint Louis, MO
    Fool For Four Strings
    Upgrade and find out how exist within the bands structure, if he wrote it play his music and have fun. Otherwise move on and have fun somewhere else, life’s too short for drama
  4. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    Is find a situation more suitable for you if there is friction and dissatisfaction on both sides
    EatS1stBassist and SteveC like this.
  5. This is going to end well...

  6. RhynoRock


    Dec 19, 2012
    Fredonia, NY
    I agree with buldog, telling an experienced musician what to do is not a good idea. I'd say an honest apology would be appreciated.

    As far as the amp situation goes, again I agree with buldog. Whatever the gig calls for, you need to be prepared. Having a very small rig is fine for situations where you have a full PA to run through, but if the only thing getting miced at the gig is the vocals, you're gonna need something with some oomph to be heard in a rock band. You can still use a big rig when running through a full PA system, you need to remember to keep your stage volume down and let the PA do the work, because the sound guy will drop you right out of the mix and there won't be a thing you can do about it.
  7. Tazziedevil


    Apr 2, 2019
    If you plan on playing live, You will need something bigger even if you run it straight through the PA.

    Probably not cool to demand the guitarist adjust his EQ to suit you...
  8. I’ll join the echo chamber here but with a twist. You might be right. Maybe his tone is over saturated. Maybe it’s too scooped and needs some mids added. For SURE your 1x12 combo is probably out gunned in the stage volume war (that’s a completely different thread)

    Here is the bottom line. You ‘joined a band’. Then you started telling people who are significantly older, and presumptively have much more experience than you, what to do. In this scenario, you could be 100% correct, 100% incorrect, or somewhere in between. That doesn’t matter. You joined HIS band. You may need to check your ego a bit.
  9. Shalto


    Aug 23, 2019
    People in their 30s are unlikely to react well to being told what to do by teenagers. In my own experience (including being that age myself) 18 is almost the peak age of difficult for older guys to handle as at this age, people have enough confidence to speak up but not enough humbling experiences to speak sensitively.

    The good news is you are self aware enough to have asked if you could do better. You will probably move onto being a better diplomat faster than most. Don't let one setback make you quit.

    The fact you are playing with older people probably does mean you really can play. This is the main skill of being in band but not the only one. Watch how the best interact (fun, helpful, polite etc) listen more than you speak, and try to think of how your actions impact on others and you will move from being a great player to a great bandmate as time goes on.
  10. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    He's right, you are wrong.
  11. vvvmmm


    Dec 6, 2016
    Patience, grasshopper. Being the newest and the youngest member, wait until his sound is the subject of his conversation, and he is seeking feedback about it. It's inevitable, someday.

    In the meantime, next practice, you should bring a 6 pack of his fave beer.

    Oh, wait ... :smug:
  12. 2Fingers, there is a part of being a musician that you will NEVER learn in school, whether your HS projects or even if you work up and go on to Berklee or any of the handful of other great music colleges.

    You could call it paying your dues, learning the rules of the road, the hang, there's any number of ways to put it. And if you're a great player, you're not inclined to suffer fools gladly . . . . . . but in a lot of cases, that's exactly what you're going to have to do.

    Despite what you've accomplished so far, there's a lot to learn, and your interaction with other musicians (who often may not be 'all that'), and thriving on the bandstand with them is a big part of learning your trade.

    Otherwise, you can get pegged so fast you won't believe it as that 'smart-ass kid who was trying to tell ME how to set up my Mesa'. Musicians gossip worse than old ladies. Word of mouth in any local scene is everything, and it's way too easy to screw yourself out of it. I've been there. Maybe you are the new hot bass player, but keep running that mouth and they'll be more than happy to find a guy with lesser chops, but is a great guy to be around. Music business isn't like the Olympics, there's more to it than just being the best player, and it sure isn't fair.

    DON'T be that guy.

    Keep your eyes and ears open, get your radar and intuition going, and IF you got to pipe up, be supportive and sympatico . . . . . and respect your elders. IF someone's going to offer you a gig, make damn sure you got the playing covered, and leave them thinking how easy it was to work with you. That's how you make your bones and get more calls.

    This guy has paying gigs, writes his own music, and is smart enough to play a Boogie, and offered you a job and pays you to do it. Remember that. And yes, you are that green, but we ALL were in our time.

    As time and budget allows, you're gonna need more than a 112 combo. If you start playing lots of clubs, it will run the gamut from a few spots with great FOH, to places that barely have enough to call a bingo game. So you're going to have to cover yourself for all those 'other' places with a rig big enough to carry the room(s).

    I'm not getting on you: I'm trying to tell you the things I wish someone would have told me.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2019
  13. You might be correct about his chosen settings, but you don't have his insight into his tonal "vision" either, and that's where problems can happen. I think its a bit precious of him to call that rude, depending how you went about it of course. Your post makes it sounds like you were quite direct. I'm erring on the side of "pragmatic efficient discussion", but anyone on the receiving might feel it rude at the time ;)

    As a hired gun in cover bands, unless I'm asked for input/advice, am discussing tone to understand how I can shape mine to suit the band, or I'm helping referee a volume war, I don't get into it.
  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Wow dude, you have balls. You don't ever join someone else's band then start barking out orders to the leader.
  15. What Jimmy said. You may IN FACT be correct but this isn't your sandbox. Deal with it, make it work or move along. You will have plenty of other opportunities with other musicians. Don't get too wrapped up in this one if you're not feeling it.
  16. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    Gotta say, this FEELS like a troll thread, but I was pretty naive at 18 too, so you might just be being honest.

    If you are in a band with more experienced players than you then you are extremely lucky to have the opportunity to learn from that experience. You must be pretty good too for them to take you on. But don't let that go to your head, because anyone can be replaced. And people usually get replaced because of their attitude and how they communicate, NOT their skill level.

    You could quit and find a band of folks where you are the best player, but you'd learn and develop a lot less. If I were you, I'd stay where you are and try to stay humble. Keep your eyes and ears open and your mouth shut unless it has something complimentary to say.

    Good luck to you.
  17. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    big fish, small pond. ;)

    - no one has such great chops that they do not have to bother with 'getting along'.
    - if you want to always have your way/say: you must abandon the bass instrument in favor of solo piano.
    - "right or wrong" has nothing to do with your situation....
    - ....and it's a simplistic binary: what if 'real life' turns out to be way more complicated than high school?!
    - unless you are a savant = you probably understand what the previous posters are telling you. :D

    i'm guessing these older cats aren't good enough to get a decent, adult, bass player...which is an opportunity for you.

    summary: more finger action, less mouth action. good luck with your playing! :thumbsup:
  18. dan1952

    dan1952 Commercial User

    Jun 27, 2012
    Anderson IN
    Artist Endorsement with Supro Huntington Basses / Owner, Dan's Music, Inc..
    I'm 67 years old, and played my first paying gig when I was 15. Like you, I was a BIG STAR when I was in high school, but I don't think I have EVER told another musician how to set his tone, or what to play, unless I was asked. You seem like a bright, together kind of guy, so please take this advice as it's intended - be the kind of person you would like to be around, lose some of the ego, and apologize for your earlier behavior, "Hey, sorry about the other day. I am an idiot, and sometimes I get carried away with myself. I'm just so happy to be asked to play, that I get a little over excited. If I do it again, you have my permission to slap me across the face."
    And MEAN IT!
    I'm not kidding.
    JRA, Mike Whitfield, McG and 5 others like this.
  19. MotorCityMinion


    Jun 15, 2017
    Looks like a reality check has been stated enough here. Nothing a stint in an Army band couldn't correct.
    Picton, JRA, RoketRdr and 5 others like this.
  20. 3Liter


    Feb 26, 2015
    I will go against the common grain here. I have seen this theme a dozen times. "Keys player is stepping all over the bass....". "guitar is too loud, too bassy/shrill, etc". Some folks quit and come here to complain some just deal depending on their options.

    I do see an un artfully worded post. Maybe you were kind in "turn down the bass...we can then both hear what I'm contributing.." and worded it poorly here. Or maybe you were a duck and that surely would not go over well.

    An apology/explanation goes a long way. See how that works and report back.

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