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who is in the right here?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by JWC, Dec 9, 2000.

  1. JWC

    JWC Banned

    Oct 4, 2000
    At the local hard rock bar last night the band cancelled at the last minute. They called a singer to round up some guys to do about 3 cover sets. He brought a guitar player from his old band and the club owner sat in on drums. They did find another bassist who was only willing to play for an hour or so. Then the guy asked if I would sit in the rest of the set and if our old drummer would also sit in so the owner could sing. I actually went home (around the corner) to get my bass. I get there and am telling the guys the songs I know and the owner comes over and says "you aren't calling shots here, I am". I say, "fine. but I don't know the songs you want to do, but I can do these". HE then says, "well, I'm calling the shots." They play with no bassist the rest of the night. I go home. They sound crappy.
  2. the Qintar

    the Qintar

    Jul 24, 2000
    im just sorry a compromise couldnt be reached someway or other, it seemed the owner wanted control and that was that
  3. Deynn

    Deynn Moderator Emeritus

    Aug 9, 2000
    That's the downside of being a "hired gun". The owner was well within his rights to "call the shots". Although, it would have been much better to work TOGETHER.
    What surprises me though...is that you did not go ahead and play. I am one of those players that take a bit of pride, in being able to play anything well enough to at least get by. After all, you were not there to shine...you were there to help. And even a few root notes and bassic patterns...would have been better than NO bass at all.
    Also...walking out could not have helped your reputation as a bass player very much. You will either be known as incompetent, or as a prima donna...neither of which will do you much good.
  4. furtim


    Dec 12, 1999
    Boston, MA, USA
    I'm with Deynn. Although, I personally would have prefaced my acceptance with something along the lines of "Don't blame me if it sucks, though." Maybe it's just me, but I don't believe in denying a chance to play. Of course, if that guy decided to give me crap over not being able to play a song, that would be the right time to walk out. After all, you DID warn him.
  5. JWC

    JWC Banned

    Oct 4, 2000
    how can i play songs ive never heard or never played. i CANNOT play by ear at all!!!!!
  6. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    JWC, how can you play at all without playing by ear. Even with a score in front of you, you still have to play by ear.

    How long have you been playing bass? Since your profile is a blank, we don't know if you've been playing for years or just starting to learn. A few days spent understanding the circle of fifths should allow you to play, at least passably, a very high percentage of songs that you've never played before. You don't have to know a song cold to know what chords are likely to be used. If nothing else, just play root or root five over the chord changes till you know the song well enough to start polishing it.

  7. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    If JWC is fairly new to bass playing and didn't know some of the songs, he could have asked in what key the songs were being played and how many chords, but that might still leave him in a quandary as to song structure. He could have evn asked for some guidelines on how to play the basslines simply just to support the music. The owner MIGHT have graciously helped him, but he sounds like kind of a jerk, so maybe he would have been rude and unaccommodating, too.

    If these songs were in simple twelve bar blues format, JWC might have muddled through, but if they were more complex, had key changes, tempo changes, verse and chorus differences, intros and outros, and any number of other more complex musical arrangements, JWC might have really sounded inept attempting to "tag along" with the music. Actually, I don't blame him for feeling too intimidated to try out unfamiliar music in a public setting.

    On the other hand, the owner's "bassless" music may not have sounded very enjoyable either. Actually the evening sounds like a real no win situation to me. But, to JCW, such awkward situations do arise in the life of almost all musicians sooner or later. I bet even Vic Wooten or Jaco Pastorius had times in their career when the odds were against them.

    Jason Oldsted
  8. even if you can't play by ear you have to be able to at least play by sight, i have had tons of times i didn't know the songs but knew enough about chords to know what the guitar player was playing, it sometimes doesn't sound great but sometimes seeing what the guitar player is doing and using my ear brings our some of the best bass lines i will never remember:D
  9. JWC,sorry that happened.You have more guts than I. It could have been worse,you might have had to endure Buddy Rich as a band leader.I have read enough about his temperment and what not.No doubt this won't be your last jerk encounter.
  10. Deynn

    Deynn Moderator Emeritus

    Aug 9, 2000
    THAT much is for certain!...:D
  11. p.s. push comes to shove its the owners club and the owners rules
  12. To JWC,Deynn,and Gruffpuppy:Remember that thread on club owners? Seems like a never ending thread.
  13. furtim


    Dec 12, 1999
    Boston, MA, USA
    I have to stick with my original opinion, Jason: sit in with a warning and if the owner gives you ****, deliver a "Well, I told you I didn't know the song." Still, it does sound alot like a no-win. Of course, you never know... he may have seen the light. And, like Deynn said, this incident could potentially hurt your reputation if it gets around.

    And you don't need to be able to hear the changes and pick them up... just ask.
  14. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    A little ear training might help. If you want to sit in, you have to play by ear. The owner may be a jerk, but it IS his call.
  15. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Yup, it is the owner's call. After more thought on this, I decided that maybe what happened was that as JWC started to announce the playlist, the owner realized he didn't know any of the songs JWC wanted to play, so he got grumpy and defensive and nmaed his own playlist. As he was the owner, it was his right. He might have been more gracious, though. Maybe the phrase "gracious club owner" is an oxymoron, however.

    Jason Oldsted
  16. JWC

    JWC Banned

    Oct 4, 2000
    its ok, the clubowner sucked on drums
    he was a never-will-be back in the early 90s, late 80s
  17. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    I thought about this for 18 years, and decided it's you.
    Bassbeater and MattZilla like this.
  18. Badwater


    Jan 12, 2017
    Who ever pays and hires calls the shots. They are in their rights unless you have a written agreement that says otherwise.
  19. ThudThudThud


    Jun 4, 2010
    Reading the OP, and reading between the lines, I would go so far as to suggest the club owner wasn't going to pay anyone.
  20. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    my god, Mel, I lol'd.

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