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Why are band dynamics so delicate?

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by stoggin, Dec 2, 2020.

  1. stoggin


    Oct 16, 2018
    Hey all. Want to get your thoughts. Not sure if it’s the right place in the forums but here goes. So for a few years I’ve been writing and recording songs at home with a guitarist, me supplying the bass lines....

    cue last year: finally get a drummer. Guitarist is singing which is great. Then over time rather than collaborating, which is the main reason I play, the songs are coming in basically structured, chords etc. Any ideas generally get ignored or if changes are made the song is casually dropped. Last thing that happened was that we continued to write via digital channels. All good until a song came back and my bass was erased:) is it wrong for me to feel slighted? The guitarist is a really good friend but he’s never been in a band before and I guess doesn’t get how important band dynamics can be. Or do I just have my head up my ass?
    TerribleTim68 likes this.
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Sigh, aren't egos fun? So frail, so dangerous...
  3. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    A band without collaboration is a band I'm not interested in joining. Also, communication is key even before the first notes are played.
    DTRN, LowActionHero, retslock and 6 others like this.
  4. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I decided I won't be part of any band with a "leader" and "side men". Full equal collaboration or bye-bye.
    BLDavis, DTRN, Hypocrite and 14 others like this.
  5. Winslow


    Sep 25, 2011
    Group "W" Bench
    You know your mates and software batter than I, but before one jumps to recriminations and fisticuffs, it's worth asking:

    Is it possible the bass erasure could have just been a technical / accidental screw-up, rather than a deliberate slight? :unsure:
    Polfuste, Iristone, farmertom and 3 others like this.
  6. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Most bands have a "bandleader" who calls the shots. If you're not sure who the leader of your band is... it probably isn't you.

    From the guitarist's perspective, he is the leader and songwriter, and you were supplying bass lines for his songs. Legally, the person who writes the lyrics and melody usually wins the songwriting credit, if it comes to a court battle.
    Amano, Atshen, Dynacord and 5 others like this.
  7. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    I have no problem w/ a band leader. In fact, that can be better than no leader at all. But the BL should realize it's a team effort.
    Frankie Fender and Dynacord like this.
  8. stoggin


    Oct 16, 2018
    To be fair we both wrote the music. I’m a decent guitarist already so we bounced ideas off each other. What I signed up for was that continuation
    Sorado71 and Mushroo like this.
  9. stoggin


    Oct 16, 2018
    No.... that I’m sure of
  10. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Because some bands are populated by what are essentially overgrown children.
  11. stoggin


    Oct 16, 2018
    Yeah maybe I have my head up my ass:)
    bobba66 and Ricky Rioli like this.
  12. Winslow


    Sep 25, 2011
    Group "W" Bench
    Recriminations and fisticuffs it is then!* :thumbsup:


    *(Disclaimer: I often give terrible advice.)
  13. Ricky Rioli

    Ricky Rioli

    Sep 29, 2020
    Is this the point at which Michael Dempsey left The Cure and joined .... *desperately Googles info* .... hang on, give me a moment
    farmertom, flannel cat and Winslow like this.
  14. Oddly


    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    I have to ask...have you actually talked to the other guy about this?

    Almost all posts I read about band dynamics seem to boil down to a lack of communication... sometimes that's on one person, sometimes it's on everyone.
    Too often, assumptions get made, and that leads to trouble.
  15. Sounds like you want to be in a fully collaborative situation, but the guitarist views you as a sideman who will just play what he wants played. It's fine for an artist to want to fully realize a creative vision, but it's not fine to mislead someone into thinking there's a place at the table when there isn't one. I'd probably just walk. Trying to talk it over won't have much impact if he doesn't value your contributions.
  16. How can you actually be in a band if your parts were erased and sent back to you?

    What if you went to the movies (whenever that happens again) & your significant other ditched you at the snack bar, sat with someone else & afterwards met you at your car for a ride home and asked how you enjoyed the movie?

    Bands are relationships, They only succeed when everyone feels like they are achieving whatever goal they set for themselves.
    LowActionHero, Amano, gebass6 and 5 others like this.
  17. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    what's the possibility of you asking him directly: "what gives?"
  18. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    You are dealing with a guitarist/singer. You are not his equal (in his eyes). You need to talk this out and come to an understanding. Be prepared to move on to something that fills your needs better.
    Mr Cheese likes this.
  19. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    no one calls anyone & they generally 'communicate' by short text messages
    it's the downfall of society as we know it
  20. I think in most cases this is a reasonable thing to do, but in this situation it sounds like a conversation that should have happened long ago. Erasing the bass parts? Really? That's a pretty clear signal that the OPs contribution has no value to the guitarist, and I can't see him deciding to change that based on a phone call.

    Sometimes collaborators just don't mesh creatively, for whatever reason. You can't push things together when they don't fit.

    But if the OP wants to make a call just to be sure he covered that base, it's fine. I just wouldn't expect much to change, no matter what is said.
    Amano and pcake like this.
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    Primary TB Assistant

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