Too Many Cooks in The Kitchen?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by skychief, Apr 3, 2014.

  1. skychief


    Apr 27, 2011
    South Bay
    I'll make this quick;

    Last Saturday played a gig with the same ol' power trio ive been playing with for 2.5 years now.

    The anomaly was, we had a 'guest' guitar plyr sit in. (invited by the drummer) Which made us a 4-piece.

    Hes not a really strong player, per se, but knows his stuff. The band sounded fuller and no longer had those uncomfortable voids that trio-bands are sometimes proned to.

    During the load-out, the BL (guitarist/vocalist) says to me "I really don't think we need &*$# next week".

    Im so on the fence with this; I totally understand BL's concern with sharing the stage with an understudy. On the other hand, i think drummer sees the potential and wants to keep him onboard; Even if we have to divvy up the proceeds.

    Need a reality check here....
  2. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    One of two things will happen taking on another guitar into a long time trio.

    If the new guy can carry their own water and the two guitarists can gee and haw without too much bloodletting, it could quickly become an epic step up in the power of your music, or it could devolve into a little head bumping contest of epic proportions which leads to the permanent dissolution of your long time power trio when certain ego(s) sustain damage they cannot absorb from onstage meltdowns as each guitarist vies for the "mine's bigger than yours" award.
  3. Tomorrow


    Jun 7, 2013
    You say you've been together as a trio for 2.5 years. Have the three of you been happy with that arrangement prior to having this guy sit in for a gig?

    Unless you've found yourself over the years wishing for a second guitarist or a fuller sound, I'd say don't fix what isn't broken.
  4. I don't know, how big is payroll... I think the 2nd gtr player needs to bring more to the table so I'd be more prone to fixing the uncomfortable voids before taking a pay cut. Now, if the 2nd gtr player is a "star" so they can bring in more $ for the band - that's another story. But you regular guitarist already said he isn't liking it - so I wouldn't even go there.
  5. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.

    Without knowing your band's organizational dynamic I can offer only general suggestions.

    If your extra member doesn't add that much then you could be making less money for no good reason. If your drummer is trying to muscle his guitar friend into your band then that could lead to some animosity. If your band leader/guitar/vocalist is just being selfish or petty then that could definitely be a source of friction.

    I've been in several bands whose membership would grow and shrink depending on the gig's budget. We hire extra musicians as we need them and don't hire them if the gig's budget is small or we don't need them for a particular gig. If the client wants horns and is willing to pay for them, we'll call our horn playing friends for the gig. I'm doing an acoustic gig next week for a private party in Disneyland and only half my band is on the gig, me on acoustic bass, acoustic guitar, and chick singer. That's all that's necessary for this acoustic trio.

    Adding a permanent member to the band is mostly up to the band leader, providing he can pay everyone enough to keep the band together. But it's something the rest of the band should agree upon too.

    Sometimes when the budget will pay a decent wage for only a 4 or 5 piece band, my band as a whole will agree to do that gig for a little less money per member so that we can also work with our normal 6th member. We love each other that much. ;)

    So there are some things to think about. Good luck to you.

    Thank you for your indulgence,

  6. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    IME_ I like playing in a power trio- it allows me to play WAY more on the bass and actually be more than just blended with the 2 guitars.
    With 2 guitars the 2nd guitar is always cutting into my bass frequency and part.
  7. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.

    You are playing with the wrong guitar players. Just because they play an instrument doesn't mean they are a musician. ;)

    Thank you for your indulgence,

  8. dtsamples

    dtsamples Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2010
    Wilmington, DE
    Don't let yourself be triangulated. iMO, you should give your opinion, only if you'd be willing to give it to everyone, and then you should recommend that the singer talk to the drummer about it.

    Forming alliances is a good way to end a band.
  9. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    If everyone isn't on board, it's a terrible idea.

    The beginning of the end for me was when they sprung another guitar player on me. We didn't need him, and I didn't want him.
  10. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    1 band organization - Is this a democracy, or does the BL call the shots? If second, you might be on the way out if you make waves. Assuming first, you should sit down, not on a practice or gig day, and talk over the pros and cons and come to a group decision if you want to explore it further.

    Getting less $$$ is a consideration, but the three of you can decide if #2
  11. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass

    May 10, 2006
    Go for unanimity or there will be animosity for sure. Two lead guitarists (egos) are a disaster in waiting. It takes a lot of skill to add the useful virtuosity of a rhythm guitarist that can make you better as four than you are at three. Can this guy fill that role? Will he?
  12. Lee Moses

    Lee Moses

    Apr 2, 2013
    It sounds like things need to be backed up a bit, rather than backing in a 2nd guitarist who is "not a really strong player."

    First of all, assuming there is some level of democracy within the band structure, the 3 members need to get together and decide, "Do we really want a 2nd guitarist?"

    Second, there needs to be an audition process. If you all really do want a 2nd guitarist, you shouldn't settle. If this other fella beats out others who audition, great. Then everyone can be satisfied.

    Just my 2 cents.
  13. skychief


    Apr 27, 2011
    South Bay
    Im getting this vibe, also.

    Keeping my head down; flying under the radar for now...
  14. skychief


    Apr 27, 2011
    South Bay
    for anyone interested:

    Played last Saturday nite. (with 2nd guitar plyr)

    we came up with a conciliatory solution: drummer agreed to split his pay ($123) 50/50 with sit-in guitar plyr,.

    but only for this particular venue.

    any gigs wrangled from GIGMASTERS will have the orig trio.(because thats what they heard from the demo clips). No sit-ins. Im okay with that and so is BL. And so is drummer. For the record, Sit-in guitar plyr has protested.

    Thnx everyone for your input! Which I used in in my argument for dismisssal.
  15. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
    Sounds like your BL either feels threatened or is an ego maniac who doesn't want to share the spotlight. I would record the band as a three piece and then ask the other guitarist to come back and record with him. Then play both recordings for the BL so he can hear how much fuller the band sounds as a 4 piece. Then you and the drummer should insist on adding the guy.
  16. Lee Moses

    Lee Moses

    Apr 2, 2013
    I wouldn't necessarily go that far. A trio simply allows more freedom than a 4-piece, and if the 4th piece is another guitar, it will especially hinder him from doing some of the things he is free to do in a trio.

    And it didn't sound to me like the O.P. was gung-ho on a 4th piece either, or on this particular player...just observing that there were positives to go with the negatives.
  17. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I, for one, am not comfortable with being told my pay is going down due to adding a extra member without discussing it with me! If you add a member, the band fee must go up to compensate.
  18. jonnybass1


    Dec 9, 2011
    Brampton, On
    Sometimes the pay is whatever the venue is gonna pay no matter how many are in the band. Sadly...
  19. Lobomov


    Aug 2, 2013
    Being mainly a gui**** myself I second this with my whole heart. There is a joy playing in a trio, that you loose the moment you add someone else.
  20. mikegug


    Oct 31, 2011
    I wouldn't add him. Just for the sake of not having another personality in the band, we didn't add one to our band.

    The existing guitar player used a looper to have a rhythm track playing during bridge-solos. Worked out great. COULD it be more full? Sure. Worth the additional effort? We voted "no, it's not".