Problems with band

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Ely, Nov 1, 2001.

  1. Ely


    Jun 8, 2001
    Huntsville, AL
    Ok, last week I went to my first band practice. We practiced at the drummer's house. (He shall henceforth be referred to as "Will") He is the founder and leader of the band pretty much. There was a Keyboard player (who tried to sing, but sounds a bit girly when he does...), my best friend on lead guitar, a 2nd guitarist who has a crappy crate amp and an Austin strat, and a 3rd guitarist who had a Squire strat and one of those DI/Effects things (kinda like a Line 6 POD, only not), he sucks, really bad. (we aren't even gonna tell him when the band is gonna practice, we won't tell him he's out though, we don't like confrontations)

    Here's the problems I had

    * When I went, I only knew one of the 2 cover songs they were playing, and then we took like 30 minutes to figure out a bass part for one of their intrumentals

    * I was having an "off day" that day, I didn't pay much attention to what I was playing, and I kept slipping up or losing time

    * My tone was really bad, it was either TOO clanky or just a muddy fart type sound

    * I could hardly hear myself but everyone else said I was too loud when I tried to set myself up so I could hear

    * I didn't know anyone in the band except the lead guitar and the drummer, so I was feeling a bit wierd, besides being "off:

    And so, the drummer is making me audition again, and this time if I don't make it he won't let me try again. If this happens I'll be without a band for a long long time (he's one of the only good drummers in our school) The lead guitarist is gonna help me learn some of the songs, but he says that Will said I was a bit too "wierd" for the band anyway (Me and the guitarist think he just doesn't want another person in the band, although I admit I am wierd as hell)

    Sorry for writing such an incredibly long message, just felt like getting it off my chest.
  2. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    and I'll just say, I am listening, and I know how you feel man. That situation sucks.

    I am kinda in a band, and we did the same to remove our crappy guitarist, we just kinda stopped telling him when we are jamming.

    Don't you hate it when you don't know what you are supposed to be playing?
  3. Newsted


    Jun 24, 2001
    i dont have any prob with anyone if we decide that he have to go we say sorry you have to go its easy try it you maybe sound dificult but if you do it 2-3 times you get used to it:D
  4. Ely


    Jun 8, 2001
    Huntsville, AL
    Another problem was I specifically requested to set up next to the lead guitarist, so I could talk with him and figure out lines for me to play, but I get put next to the other guitarists and keyboards instead. I also was the only one not plugged into this big power strip they had, I had this little wall outlet, and every once and a whil my volume would drop tremendously because I think it was too small of a power source for my big amp. The other thing that pissed me off was, since I had to go talk to the lead guitar on the other side of the room, as soon as I finished talking to him the keyboardist or drummer would call a song and I'd have to run across the room, grab my bass, and turn my amp back on (I turn it off when I'm not playing because my bass hums and stuff) and then I'd lose my place and wouldn't be able to play the song at all.
  5. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Remember Ely... this is way early in your bass playing career. Many variations on this same scenario will probably happen again and again. Don't get discouraged... I learned all of these things the same way you're going to, by going through them. In his Bass Player interview, Tony Levin talks about getting fired from a band. It happens at every level. Just stick with it and give it your best shot. If this ain't the gig for you, maybe the next one will be... :cool:

  6. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Portland, OR
    Ever have one of those days, where you've been playing bass (or a specific line) and are feeling really cool. Then you speak up "hey, check this out!" and promptly mess up horribly, and continue to do so, and are then forced to mumble excuses...?

    Just a general question about off days/moments...
  7. Ely


    Jun 8, 2001
    Huntsville, AL
    Well the bassline took a long time to think up not because I was trying to be flashy, but because first I had to get in tune with the guitarist (down tuning sucks, must get 5-Stringer...) and then I had to figure out by ear what notes he was playing (he was playing high on the neck on the higher strings) and somehow figure out how to play them in a lower register. (I could normally do this ok, but I wasn't used to the downtuning and so it confused me) The hardest part about figuring out the basslines was that it was hard to hear the bass unplugged (we unplugged and went outside to figure it out because the other bandmates were being noisy)

    I am kinda angry because it's supposed to be a band of friends, not like their looking for a professional who knows everything (although I can see why the 3rd guitarist has to go, all he plays are whole notes on open strings) and I guess they probably don't want a bassist if they don't want me, cuz after all I'm the only game in town unless they want someone more than 10 years older than them.

    The Combo 115 has a graphic EQ, I have 15db of + and - at 40, 100, 250, 500, 1k, 2k, and 4k. I have 40 @ +6, 100 @ +12, 250 and 500 @ +15, 1k and 2k @ -15, and 4k @ +12, but at the jam I had it set flat and used the Low and High knobs instead. Unfortunately the Combo 115's Graphic EQ is centered in wierd places where no cut/boost is usually needed (I hear 350 and 800 as the most common things I'm told to boost for better presence and midrange, but I just can't do it!)

    Edit, changed something in 2nd paragraph, and added a 3rd
  8. schmidtt


    Jan 9, 2001
    When you say first practice, do you mean first time playing bass in a band environment? If so, welcome. It will be like that frequently. The reward will be the cosmic alignment of bass, drums, guitar and vocals that is 'the pocket'. It won't happen nearly as much as you would like. But when it does, there's nothing like it. Don't let it get you down and don't be afraid to speak up.
  9. Ely


    Jun 8, 2001
    Huntsville, AL
    It's my first real time playing with other people. I've jammed with my guitarist a couple times, but we never really went anywhere with it.
  10. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    There are two clues here 1 they ignored your specific request to be near the guitarist 2 they wouldnt shut up to let you learn a part. Considering that it was your first time thats pretty insensitive.

    Work out how much you need this gig because it sounds like they are less than good being charitable in dealing with potential/actual band memebers.

    All of us started out being unable to play. You dont magically become ******* (insert bassplayers name pref not Fieldy).

    You could keep your options open by persevering and be on the look out for a new drummer from another location (same street/scouts/football/church youth group-I dont know your hobbies) then when you find him/her poach the good guitarist (no I didnt say that).

    All is fair in love and business
  11. A most excellent point. Constant noodling is more than just annoying. If you stay in a situation like you, it's likely to turn into something that you really hate, and it will remain difficult for you to learn your parts.
  12. rhythmrod


    Oct 27, 2001
    Austin, Texas
    If you are having these kind of problems with the band, then, think about moving on. A good band (and I don't only mean talent with the instrument) should be tight. If you guys are having personality conflicts, then you are not a band but just a few guys wasting time. First, you have to be able to communicate with each other. Don't play games. If you don't want a member to play with you, then you have to have the balls to let them know. After all, you never know who will be next! And don't be a prisoner to the fear of not finding another band to play with. There are opportunities out there. Just concentrate on playing.
  13. BWB


    Aug 30, 2000
    Knoxville TN
    Now might be a good time to point out that bass
    players (regardless of talent level) are always
    in short supply, while guitarists with attitude
    problems are less than a dime a dozen. There
    are other people you can play with !

  14. Robert B

    Robert B Somewhere under the rainbow Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2000
    Rittman, OH, USA
    Well, let's remember folks, we're talking about beginners, and I assume young teenagers to boot. If these musicians were older, I would read more into their actions, but as young as I'm assuming they are I wouldn't expect them to act like a bunch of pros.

    Them ignoring his request to setup where he wanted to setup may be nothing more than them being too preoccupied with setting up themselves to pay him any mind. As someone else suggested maybe a bit of perserverence would have solved that problem. Also, sometimes there's a kind of a territorial thing going on when someone new joins a band, but in my experience, that generally will pass with time.

    As to them playing while he was trying to learning his part, doesn't anyone remember what it was like to be this young? This is probably nothing more than an overabundance of energy and exhuberance. When I was playing at 16, it took an act of congress to shut me up! My first band, you couldn't hardly talk because everyone was noodling. Even more experienced musicians sometimes need to be reminded to shut up when there's work to be done.

    Ely -- My advice to you is to stick with it for a while. Give it a chance before you decide to bail out. Things may smooth over a bit given time. If not, you can always move on as an opportunity presents itself. Remember, you will learn more playing with other people than you will playing by yourself, so at worst you will emerge from all this a better player.
  15. This man speaks the truth....
  16. joel the bass player

    joel the bass player Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2000
    Omaha, NE
    I can feel your pain. I agree that guitar players can sometimes get on your nerves. Sometimes, when we start to play too loud and can't hear ourselves sing we turn it down. Then, in the middle of the song he will turn back up, and then turn the pa down because he says he is getting feedback! I can't even hear myself. I don't know, but they are from a different planet. Just get a big rig and turn it up, so you can hear yourself from anywhere. First practices are always a pain, but hopefully it will get better.