What would you do about this situation?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Winfred, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. Winfred


    Oct 21, 2011
    Our singer is sick, very sick, but the dude has sucked it up and played 3 gigs in the last week. We played our last one last night.

    He has a severe head cold, his voice is shot, and he can't hear unless he's right in front of a monitor and a guitar, or bass amp. He can't hear the key, especially when songs start. He sucked it up and played all 3 gigs though. Can't knock him... He did his best.

    Last night he got lost in the middle of a very simple 3 chord beach music tune. Just completely wandered off the reservation. I can hear him through my monitor, I know where he's at in the song, so I looked around and made the change to be on the same chord and in time with him.

    The drummer got it, the guitar player got it, but the keyboard player went bat poop crazy. He's right beside me, and he stops playing and starts yelling at me, "What the hell are you doing?!" And then he rambled on about me f'ing up the song.

    Normally I wouldn't change the arrangement because singers can hear when they're off-key, out of time, or whatever. But our guy couldn't hear.

    The second reason I changed is because it's a simple arrangement and chord progression. We're not playing Rush tunes...

    So was I right, wrong, whatever? It worked, the song got back on track, and no lives were lost.
  2. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Tell your band mates what you just told us and try to reach consensus as to what you'll do if there's a next time.

    I've played with lots of singers who had a bad sense of time. In most bands, we instrumentalists played the songs properly and let the singer pass or fail on their own; if they can't cut the mustard, it becomes very obvious.

    There have been times when we've had a singer sit in who can't cut the mustard; in those cases, we accommodate the singer, but limit their time on stage. We make an exception in recognition of an exceptional situation. Sounds to me as though that's exactly what you and most of your band mates tried to do for your singer.
  3. i respect when people give their best. even when they fail. espeically when they have a health condition.

    you did right helping him out the way you did. id fire any key player for yelling at me when doing something like that. just saying.

    take him aside for a serious talk and tell him taht yelling at band mates at gigs because they did something unexpected is the definition of unprofessionalism and bad manners.

    he should have kept his mouht shut, playing along and if he thought you f**** up the song bring that up the next time he sees you.

    i never critisize band mates at gigs. i make some notes or make them aware of somethings before we start playing. after the first note is played no yellign no critisizing until the next rehearsal. thats just emtional bull witih no sense destroying band chemistry
  4. The Diaper Geni

    The Diaper Geni Submissive. And loving it. Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2005
    Central Ohio
    I almost always follow the singer. You keboardist has to be aware of what's going on around him. He he had a clue, he would have followed you and the singer also.

    IMO, you did the right thing.
  5. craig.p


    Sep 28, 2008
    New Hampshire
    That singer needs to get into bed for a week and stay there. That "getting lost" event almost sounds like the onset of encephalitis or meningitis. Very serious business.
  6. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I think you did the right thing in this situation as well, especially since everyone but the keyboard player was on the same page.

    IMO, that's all that matters...everyone be on the same page.
  7. jazzbo58

    jazzbo58 Bassist for My Man Godbey Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2001
    New Orleans, LA USA
    You were right. It's easier to follow the singer then to try to reign him in on the fly. Tell the keyboardist to chill.

  8. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    the purpose of the intsruments (especially if you are a listener) is to support the vocal.
    You follow the vocal. ALWAYS. Right over the cliff if you have, you follow the vocal.

  9. funkingroovin

    funkingroovin Conquering A-D-D,and all the other notes as well!

    Apr 19, 2009
    Yep,sounds like a keys issue to me..
  10. Winfred


    Oct 21, 2011
    Yes, thanks for the advice folks. I really appreciate it.

    I did have a discussion with the keyboardist after the gig, when things had cooled tremendously. He's a very sensitive guy, but kind of a curmudgeon too. Usually a nice guy, but very sensitive when he's playing.

    Anyway, we came to an agreement. The rest of the band agreed with me, you follow the singer.

    Hopefully, when it comes up again, and it probably will, we can just adjust without all the histrionics on-stage.
  11. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Seems to me the only one who stopped playing was the keyboard player. Fire him.
  12. Get keys to sing and leave vocalist at home.
  13. Rowdy


    Jul 17, 2009
    tell the singer to sneeze on the keyboard player.

    it's all about perspective...
  14. Just as well you're not playing "Rush" - the audience would die of boredom.
  15. marmadaddy


    Oct 17, 2005
    Rochester, NY
    This is the way to handle it. Bands should always have a plan in place when things go off the rails. The easiest thing is to follow the singer for the reasons stated above. Another option is to designate someone to give directions.

    I've played with a couple guys that refuse to deviate from the arrangement no matter what else is going on. It's childish and unprofessional and always makes things worse.
  16. I've always found that if a singer gets lost, they can never seem to find there way back. I always give the drummer & guitar player a nod and come in with the singer. IMO, it's better to make adjustments on the fly and go with it than to suffer the train wreck.

    Everyone make mistakes. The trick is to just go with it. Don't panic, eye contact, find the 1, keep going. A band is a TEAM. It's up to each member to work together and save each others' behinds. It's not about being right, it's about sounding right.

    Your keyboard player needs to chill. HE was the one who couldn't adjust. HIS bad, not yours.
  17. NWB


    Apr 30, 2008
    Kirkland, WA
    That seems a bit uncalled for.:eyebrow:
  18. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    for our second show we had some you don't sing now glares on saturday, i think it was more of a i can't hear anything except myself sort of thing, i didn't want to omit parts, because i couldn't hear the guitarist at all and i could barely hear the singer, it was like the drummer and i were playing the songs and everybody else was on their own, pretty weird and not too easy going, i was glad that we stacked the last half of the set with the automatic autopilot songs
  19. Raymeous


    Jul 2, 2010
    San Diego
    Remind "keytard" that despite how we all feel about our individual instruments, nobody but other musicians give a rats petooty. They really don't. The average listener listens in this order: Vocals, Drums (a.k.a. the beat) and everything else is just there.

    Your singer tried to sing while sick which is not easy to do so big time props there. It's fairly obvious your keys player was not listening to the BAND, but his own playing, otherwise he would have noticed that everyone else seemed to get the memo. YOU did the RIGHT THING! Your band acted like pros (for the most part) by following the singer.

    I'd just chalk up this whole incident as just that, it happened, move on.
  20. He's obviously just trolling. :rolleyes:

    But your singer should probably see a doctor. That sounds pretty bad. Like...honestly...take him to a doctor, don't worry about the keyboardist...