Would you let a close friends band know theyre playin stuff wrong?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by cassanova, Aug 3, 2003.

  1. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    If you went to a very close friends band rehearsal and you heard them doing a song that didnt sound right. Would you tell them?

    I went to a friends rehearsal last night and they did Wild Cherries Play That Funky Music White Boy. And it lost the groove. I told the bassist and guitar player (who happens to be my brother) that Funky White Boy sounded just that, white. Then I explained why.

    My closest friend who is the drummer came out and made a very snippy remark "youre the in house funkologist right?"

    I told him not to take it personally, but that song is supposed to groove and IMO it didnt do that. Something just didnt sound right. It sounded a bit rushed on the drums, like somethin was off a bit there.

    I shouldve just kept my mouth shut, cause he's all bent outta shape and mad at me now. I kinda dont care because in this business being told stuff like that is part of the territory and if you take it personally and cant handle it then you shouldnt be playing.

    I put this in this forum because its about critiquing a bands performance. If it belongs in Misc, I do apologize
  2. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    That's a tough one, I guess it depends on the band, what kind of acquaintences they are, and what kind of band they are going for. It's kinda hard to give unsolicited advice without offending someone. If they are happy playing it wrong, and feel they reach the sound they strive for, I say let them be happy with their poor sound, it will only make my projects sound better.
  3. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    Depends, could they be trying to play it in a different way on purpose? Anyway you put it, it is a form of criticism though, so you need to present it in a diplomatic way. In this case I'd perhaps not put it to the whole band, just to your friend. Suggest to him they go back to the original song and listen again.
  4. Record it....play it back to them!
  5. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i'd tell them only if they asked. criticism is one of the few services that only is really effective when asked for by name, imo. if they didn't ask for your opinion then you just come off sounding like a know it all. that's a great way to make friends. ;)
  6. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    What was the purpose of going to the rehearsal? If the band had asked you along to give your views, then you've got a duty to say what you think. If it was just your friend who asked you along, hold back until you talk about it with them afterwards. And, if it was just to hang out, then keep quiet about what you think about the music.

    However, as soon as someone says 'So, what did you think of that?', that's open season to express your views. Of course, there are different ways of saying the same thing. "That sucked" is not nearly as diplomatic (or helpful) as "It sounded a bit rushed and cluttered to me - I think you need to lay back and maybe take it a little slower"...

  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I think you have to be positive and not negative or you will almost certainly annoy.

    So - if you can say - great, but I think it would sound even better if the drums did this - then you might well get thanked if it works! ;)

    But if you just say it's wrong without any way to correct it, then I think you're are just going to start bad feeling - better to just keep quiet!!
  8. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    Depends how "wrong" its being played. If its close enough for government work (read: if I dont think the majority of the crowd would notice), I wouldnt say anything, but if its an obvious train wreck (that theyre oblivious to) then I will say something.
  9. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    The hardest thing to do is to watch someone do something wrong that you know how to do right without saying anything.

    That said, criticism is a part of the business. Getting it and giving it is normal. Allowing the criticized opporunity to save face makes it more acceptable.
  10. fastplant


    Sep 26, 2002
    I tend not to criticize too much. If a band asks me how they sound, I'll think of something positive to say about them, like if the drummer did something cool, I'll mention it. It seems that's all they want to hear, something positive. Most bands don't ask for constructive criticism, they just want to hear something nice. It seems to me that everytime I've ever given bad criticism it turns into the band hating me, even if it is obvious criticism. Now I just say nice things or nothing at all. I'm no record exec here so who am I to say something sucked.
  11. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    You make a very good point here JT. My critisizm wasnt asked for. But I did also give them props one all the ones they did really well too. They didnt seem to mind that.

    I figured since one of the people was my brother, I should be able to point it out to him. He's a perfectionist like that, so I know he wouldnt mind. The bassist nailed his part as well, and he's more ofthen than not ok with constructive critisism.

    The only problem came from Steve. He's & his brother are quick to point flaws out to others, but cant handle when someone points out one of theirs. Luckaly Al, George, and Duane didnt take offense.

    As for it being a good way to make friends, well Ive known my brother his whole life, 2 other for 22 years and one for at lest 17 years.

    The drummer who is my closest friend is just an uptight ass. Like I said, hes been quick to point out to everyone else when they goof, and even said some of my previous bands did this that or the other thing without being asked, so I figured, he should be able to hear what he does wrong as well. Hell its all for the good of the band. Even ask asked al and duane if I was a moody uptight jerk as steve said i was and all denied it. So Im pretty sure this time the problems not me.

    Brad, if you reread you'll see where I said I felt the drums were rushed. I did offer ways for them (him to improve it) Heck I even told AL (rhythm guitar/singer) that he shouldnt do a certain part on guitar and was leaving out certain vocals, parts where he said, lil one line things like "no never" etc. He was totally ok with my critisizm.

    On a side note, I really should take Gards advice and just find new friends
  12. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    I agree that most bands only wanna hear something nice. But thats really not the way to help them, especially if they wanna get out there and obtain paying gigs. They gotta be ablet to take the good with the bad. Im always cool and tell them what I thought sounded good too. I dont just sit there and harp on the bad and only point that out, that would be quite anal.
  13. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    IMO an awful lot of people, especially musicians on the bar circuit, have a terrible time dealing with criticism and their natural reaction is to get defensive and snippety. They need to grow up a bit and realize that they could learn and improve from it if they realized that, some of the time, it isn't meant as a jab.

    Giving criticism is an art too - you have to make it get the point across without having it sound like an attack.

    If someone asks me what I think about something I didn't dig, I'd say so, but I'd say something positive first, so they didn't think I was a total ass.

    Personally, I'd almost rather hear constructive criticism than compliments - that way you know the person is being honest, and it gives you things to work on!

    'Course, if it's just some dumb **** who says "Duuuuude, j00 have 2 many 5tring5", then... :rolleyes:
  14. DB5

    DB5 Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2001
    Austin Texas
    The tape don't lie.
  15. Ibanezfreak


    May 26, 2002
    :bawl: I said this to someone a few weeks ago, and I will repeat it..I could be wrong, but I doubt it..LOL....If people would be more honest with each other there would be alot less confusion in the world. Instead to sugar coating the truth of try and keep from offending someones delicate nature we should try being honest not only with others but ourselves...Telling someone they arent doing something the way you know they want to do it is being honest, them getting offended is them being dishonest to themselves...Thats just my opinion...In the words of the Great Jedi, Obi wan Ken-Obi" Youll find that a great many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our points of view.":spit: