A Conundrum: Suggestions?

don carney

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,336
Use two bassists. Make a deal with someone to turn the poor player down quite a bit once the song starts for balance. This is what sound guys are for.
 

andybaylor

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,626
Leave it. Sorry!
Music can be such a drag.

Use the universal breakup script; "It's not you, it's me. He can't play the parts, and I can't roll with that."

(VERY IMPORTANT-USE THE HIP LINGO)

If you work with anyone else, she's gonna hear about it. From him.
 

8len8

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
13,475
The older I get, the less time I have to waste on people who can't play.
Harsh but true.
Don't have to be mean about it, just be honest and deal with what happens.
Ted Nugent once said he wouldn’t play with musicians that weren’t as good as himself. I used to hate him for that quote, but now I understand it more.
 

Flyin' Brian

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
30,113
If you are playing standards with her, are you playing bass lines within your comping? If so, I’d use that as a valid reason to discourage an unwanted bass player. I already do this.

If not, get started on it.
Yes when they don't clash with him. I just want him to not play.
 

strumnhum

Member
Messages
1,318
I'm one who prefers a direct, honest approach. I would not leave it to the wife (or anyone else) to solve this. Approach him, and let him know that he is welcome to gig with you once he improves some, but for now, you (and others if applicable) feel he needs some improvement before playing along. Perhaps suggest some internet sites for bass instruction, or if your bassist is willing, he could offer assistance away from the band. He'll either appreciate the offer, or if too offended, then it wasn't going to work anyway.
 

Flyin' Brian

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
30,113
You know. This is not your first rodeo.
You're absolutely right I know what I'm going to do, but I wanted to toss it out there just to see if there might be another little jewel of insight that I may have missed because I've blinded myself with pure frustration. Information is power.
 

DGDGBD

Member
Messages
6,912
Private conversation with the singer - ask her if she is willing to tell her husband the hard truth and continue on with the group; if not, ask if she is willing to continue if someone else (you, I guess) breaks the news to the husband and he is OK with it; and even then, ask her if she thinks she should be present when you break the news.

I've seen marriages break up over band drama and its not worth it, IMO, if that ends up happening, no matter how talented of a singer she is, or how its handled.
 

TB72

Member
Messages
1,451
I suppose I'm one of very few on here who can say with certainty that "I feel your pain". (Seeing as I know all the parties involved.)

I know a ton of songs, but jazz in general has been mostly alien to me. So when this singer comes up, I'm extremely comforted having you beside me on the bandstand. I just try and have big ears, learn some lessons on the spot, and compliment what the singer is doing where I can. (It's to the point where I seem to be called on as "the guy" to back her when you aren't at the jam...a bit scary, but I haven't completely fallen on my face yet.)

I'm not sure the bassist appreciates your cues as much as I do. (Maybe that's not the right term. Perhaps he's just oblivious to these cues.)

Either way, the husband/wife dynamic is the sticky part. If it's just the open jam, I'd say just grin and bear it (since it's only a few tunes at a time). But if it's a project where you'd be doing a whole show's worth of material, then yeah, you'll want a more solid "keeper of the low end".
 

bluejazzoid

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,365
Ted Nugent once said he wouldn’t play with musicians that weren’t as good as himself.
Even more important: avoid playing with musicians who don't listen (you know the type) or have no intention of practicing enough to really improve. To some people —those to be avoided in these situations— playing music is just a cool hobby (certainly it is that), but they are not passionate about becoming the best they can be at playing their instrument, or playing a certain style of music, or even playing to simply make the band sound the best.

My bet is bass-hubby just wants to live the fantasy of being in a band, playing on stage in front of people, basking in the glory and lights... all the while making sure nobody's hitting on his wife! ;)
 

jpervin

Member
Messages
7,485
I guess I'm the opinion of...If I knew I was that bad of a player (and not in a good way), I wouldn't even think of sitting in, regardless of whether my wife was part of the band or not. But I'm guessing that this guy either doesn't know he's that bad, or knows it but is in denial.

Either/or, he's got to go.
 

Flyin' Brian

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
30,113
..........Either way, the husband/wife dynamic is the sticky part. If it's just the open jam, I'd say just grin and bear it (since it's only a few tunes at a time). But if it's a project where you'd be doing a whole show's worth of material, then yeah, you'll want a more solid "keeper of the low end".
She and I are in another project together and fortunately that bass player is an incumbent so the husband isn't involved. It's like night and day.
 

chrisr777

Member
Messages
24,242
Be straight forward with it. If he knows he isn't good enough, and wants his wife to progress in better projects, he should accept his limitations. He can play open mics and entertain himself while she moves on to bigger and better things. You can always put the nugget out there that if he applies himself and really wants to improve, things may change. But otherwise he can't hang with pro level and is not going to be involved.
 




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