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The importance of "rolls" within a band?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by podiumboy, Jan 15, 2012.


  1. I think one of the reasons my band fell apart is because people tried to overstep their rolls within the dynamics of the band. We started as a 3 piece with a singer/lyricist, and those were the good ol' days. The 3 of us could practically read each others minds, we got pretty tight. We'd come up with a jam or a riff and eventually make it into a song, then the singer would first try to find a melody and then write lyrics. He'd occasionally ask us for help with a line or something, but for the most part we all had a hand in writing our own parts for the songs, and it was great.

    Then we brought in a rhythm guitarist (mainly cause he was a friend whose band just broke up, and our singer wanted to not be confined to rhythm guitar while performing). For me, that's when it all went downhill. The "jammy" nature of our songwriting stopped, because this guy couldn't follow. Then he starts writing his own songs, simple 1,2,3,4 chord progression stuff, (and insisting that he sing his originals) and so you have he and the singer at odds with one another. Then the lead guitarist starts writing songs, and suddenly we have 3 songwriters in the band. Loyalties and alliances and preferences for one person's songs more than another's started forming, and before you know it... poof... the band implodes upon itself, just like the Beatles did (not comparing ourselves to them talent-wise, of course).

    How do you all feel about the importance of maintaining rolls within a band?
     
  2. skychief

    skychief

    Apr 27, 2011
    South Bay
    you mean ROLES?
     
  3. I think it is more important to ensure that anyone who joins the group knows the rules (as opposed to roles/rolls). From my perspective, that rhythm guitar player would be out of there on the first hint that he would change the band's "rhythm"
     
  4. Will Kelly

    Will Kelly

    Mar 3, 2010
    TX
    lol between this one and the 'vass' player thread, I'm starting to get worried
     
  5. skychief

    skychief

    Apr 27, 2011
    South Bay
    Anyway, in response to to question, ROLES are important in some bands, but not all.

    Bands are like people. The dynamics of each band is different. One of the bands I play in is the most unstructured assembly of musicians you could imagine. When playing covers, the arrangements are fairly predictable, but on the originals, well,,, anything goes. One day the drummer will sing a particular original and play it in a 6/8 meter on Tuesday, and the guitarist might sing it on Saturday...and change it to a 4/4 meter!!!

    Never get bored with these guys. As far as roles go, in this band there really arent any. But i will concede this is likely not the norm.
     
  6. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    There are a number of husky fellows in this forum who believe rolls are very important! What else will you use to sop up the gravy?
     
  7. kevinmoore73

    kevinmoore73 Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    My band uses a Rolls headphone mixer/amplifier when we record. It's nice. Since each user has their own volume control, it's impossible for someone to overstep their role. Rolls Corporation - Real Sound Rolls.

    As for maintaining the Rolls, I haven't had to deal with that yet other than dusting it off now and then. It works as well as the day I bought it.
     
  8. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    To hold the cold cuts at lunch time?
     
  9. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    My roll is vass player and cat herder. :confused:
     
  10. I like to let the drummers have all the rolls. Unless we're talking about dinner.
     
  11. I've always thought that drum rolls sound pretty tasty when used in moderation.
     
  12. I actually thought this was about drum rolls in a band's music...
     
  13. ROLES, not ROLLS! Oh no, I feel like such a moron! Just had some good rolls from Texas Roadhouse, actually!
     
  14. fenderphil

    fenderphil

    Sep 1, 2006
    Houston, TX
    the Rock says: Know your Roll, and shut your mouth! LOL

    but about the band, i would have said something to guitarist 2 before that all went downhill..

    something along the lines of his his presence was changing the dynamic, and it isnt a good fit...
     
  15. I voiced my concerns, but the drummer and guitarist 2 really formed quite a pact, to the point where you couldn't have one without the other.

    Need to just start completely over with a new group of people.
     
  16. I think roles are necessary. I think rolls are delicious.
     
  17. Marko 1

    Marko 1

    Mar 9, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
    Define your writing team, and make it clear that anyone else who gets involved, either to lay tracks or play the material out live, is not part of that team.

    Even on a small scale I've experienced this. Ran into a girl with a great voice, conversation led to her laying some vocal tracks, and the first thing she starts doing is talking about all the great songs she wrote…

    Try to add another instrument to the band so the material can be played out, and he wants in on the writing sessions.

    Too many chefs in the kitchen is not good.
     
  18. mc_muench

    mc_muench

    Sep 28, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    Ive actually been in this situation before...my first band was like when you added your rhythm guitarist, we had 3 large egos wanting to be front man and all of them wrote songs and they all wanted their songs sang more. Blah blah blah, band broke up. My most recent band was like how your's started, everyone had their ROLE and everyone did what they need to, we kept it fun but very business like. In the 4 months we were a band we wrote probably close to 30 songs, recorded an EP and played a hell of a lot of shows. My first band? Together for over a year, 6 songs to date, nothing recorded, played a few shows. I would love to be back in my last band, too bad the singer/lead guitarist got deported.
     
  19. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    Minneapolis
    My band has cut way back on rolls. We are doing a lot less carbs these days, and we are lighter, leaner, and more muscular for it.

    First, you have to cut back on the butter. Then you can cut back on the rolls.

    So I would say, overall, rolls have very little importance in this band.

    However, as for our roles, they are always changing. If you want to step up and book, or provide resources for recording sound and/or video; if you want to sing more songs; if you want to do some LEADING, I say, "DO IT." I only do it because you don't, and somebody has to.

    Roles change.

    Rolls don't.

    Remember that.
     
  20. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    We don't serve bread at rehearsal, too many carbs with all the beer being drunk...
     

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