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A sax player is stealing my solos.

squeally dan

Member
Messages
5,745
I play in a wedding/party band. The drummer (who is also seings lead on 90% of the tunes) and I are best friends and we started the band together 13 years ago. We have been playing together for 20. He is a great dude and he also does all are booking.

Anyway, we usually play as 4 piece: drummer/lead singer, keyboardist, me on guitar, and a bass player who also sings lead on a few songs. These guys are all awesome players.

A couple years ago I started playing guitar at my church and met some new musiscians there. I got to be friends with a sax player. We eventually invited him to come play in our band. He's a good player but not awesome, but people really seem to respond when he plays. He does the whole cheesy walk out in the crowd thing and people love it.

We play 2-3 gigs/week but he probably only plays with us once/week or less. We could get him more but we usually don't want to pay the extra to have him there. When he started playing I had to adjust to the fact that I wouldn't get as many solos, and that was fine. It was harder to split the lead between me, the keyboardist, and a sax. I still got to take leads on the standard stuff-play that funky music, boogie shoes, and the songs that typically have a guitar solo.

I also have to mention that we don't typically plan stuff out. The drummer who sings usually just points to whoever he is wanting to take the solo. Well, a few weeks back I get ready to play my solo on Play that Funky Music, but the drummer points to the sax player instead of me. Huh? At the end of the night, he said something like "sorry dude, I feel like I didn't call on you much tonight". I told him I didn't care, but I would love to at least play solos on the songs that typically have guitar solos. He said "ok" and said he really just doesn't think about stuff like that when he's in the moment.

After that he would always call on me to play the solos in the standard guitar songs. And when our sax player doesn't play a gig, I get called on much more. Our keyboardist always gets more solos than me, but I don't care because he is better than me. He has a bigger vocabulary than me, and I love listening to him play. However, that isn't how I feel about the sax player. Anyway, everything was good and then we played a weeding this past weekend. It was a blast. The bride and groom were dancing and so was a huge crowd of family and friends. We go in to Play that Funky Music, but when my solo comes around, the singer points to the sax player. THe sax player proceeds to walk out in the crowd and solo for what seemed like a week. Then the drummer pointed to the keyboard player and he took a solo. I get none. Whats up with that? After the gig, our singer didn't say anything about it.

Having said all that, it brings up some questions for me. I left that gig with a weird feeling and I can't get it off of my mind. I guess it makes me feel less important to the band. I'm already faced with the fact that a good portion of our music is more R&B and keyboard based. Now I feel even less important.

My first inclination is that I need to go practice. I need to get better and I need to be so good that he will want to call on me more often. I know our singer loves the sound of keyboard. When we started we were a blues trio with only guitar, bass, and drums. I really think he got a bit burnt on that same old format and now prefers some different sounds. I now find myself hating saxaphone. I want to tell him to try playing some chords. I am starting to see him as a glorified harmonica player. I am a bit bitter.

What do you guys think? Ever run in to anything like this? Am I just being a baby? I know its a bit of an ego thing and a bit of an esteem thing. I pride myself in having much less ego in comparisson to other people in the band. I'm probably not a typical guitar player. I don't feel I need the limelight. I actually feel a bit embarrased, when the singer calls out my name and gets the crowd fired up about a guitar solo. However, I feel like I have a smaller role to start with and don't want to loose what little I am doing. I love the music. I get to play with my best bud and with some awesome musicians that I am constantly learnig from. Is it just a matter of me needing to step my game up?

Sorry for this way too long post. I think writing this was therapy because I already feel better. Just wanted to see what other musicians have run in too. Tell me if I'm being awuss. I can take it.
 

rwe333

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
16,388
Communication... Chat w/ your band members...
Could simply be that they're changing it up, but would be good to confirm...
 

bloo

Member
Messages
297
I know less solo's to a guitar player usually seems like your getting screwed (i'm a guitar player i know how you feel) but one thing MANY guitar players forget that first and foremost i.m.o. it's a rhythmical instrument and I think rather than confronting people about the lack of solo's you should really just enjoy playing music for people and really be creative with your rhythmic ideas. However there not being a guitar solo in play that funky music is just not going over well with me. Haha. Maybe what you need is a perspective change not a I need to practice to be the best mentality however...you should practice!

Cheers
 

KRosser

Member
Messages
14,081
If it's bothering you ask the leader about it.

I wouldn't take it personally, but soloing isn't that important to me and I play in lots of different bands. Some I get to solo a lot. Some I never solo in. No big thing.
 

Luke

Senior Member
Messages
11,895
Who designated the drummer Emperor? Is it assumed because he books the gigs he makes all the decisions as well?

Perhaps you should have set solos instead of on the fly decisions?
 

GAD

Wubbalubbadubdub
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
14,682
In my experience, most if not all interpersonal problems are a direct result of poor communications. Talk to him without accusing him of anything and you'll get your answer.

GAD
 

Goo Fighters

Member
Messages
6,093
Who designated the drummer Emperor? Is it assumed because he books the gigs he makes all the decisions as well?

Perhaps you should have set solos instead of on the fly decisions?
+1. The drummer, of all the band members, should have the least say.
 

RGB

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,205
After playing in trios for many years, I sometimes wish for other players to solo on tunes. I get a bit tired of always having to cover everything and would welcome a good keyboardist and/or sax player to help with the chores...plus I really like rhythm stuff...I guess it's all in the perspective, but I'd be very grateful to have those good players and wouldn't worry much about losing solos to them. It's about the big picture for me, I guess...plus, with less solos, you could maybe make the ones you do get even more memorable instead of having to worry about being too repetitious, which is something I struggle with regularly.

Hopefully this helps give you another view...Best of luck, regardless.
 

davetcan

Member
Messages
1,850
A pox on all horn and harmonica players. :AOK



As others have said talk to the band and get it straightened out. Who's doing what should be decided before you play, not during play, unless it's an open jam.
 

willhutch

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,907
One thing: The band could well sound better when you are comping beneath another soloist. The percussive nature of rhythm guitar keeps things chugging. Maybe the drummer misses you when you stop comping and play solos.

His choices about who gets the solos are probably determined by what he thinks sounds best. He probably has no idea that you are having any issues at all.

As an aside, I think a drummer would be perfectly qualified to determine who gets solos. They have no horse in the race and have the better sense of the state of the groove when a rhythm instrument starts soloing.
 

kldonegan

Member
Messages
731
Sounds like you're not happy with losing/sharing the solo spotlight to the saxophone player when he's there. I'd have a chat with the bandleader, but not before a little soul searching. Making music is a group effort, and it works best when everybody's cool with their role.

Since the sax player is only there part time you could let it all hang out on the nights that he isn't there, and work on being a kick a$$ rhythm player when he is there. There's a lot more to guitar playing than solos...




Side note: Drummers can be bandleaders, too; I work with some EXTREMELY musical drummers. Sure, bad drummers are hard to deal with, but so are bad guitar players. There are just as many wankers out there noodling all over everything giving guitar a bad name.
 

stevieboy

Clouds yell at me
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
37,840
He does the whole cheesy walk out in the crowd thing and people love it....





... I actually feel a bit embarrased, when the singer calls out my name and gets the crowd fired up about a guitar solo. .
Of course I've never seen you and I'm just reading into what you've told us, but maybe your answer is in there somewhere, if you're projecting that feeling of embarrassment. Which guy would you rather listen to in a party band situation? Perhaps a bit of showmanship is all you need.
 

Festus

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,551
Stepping up your game is always a good thing, regardless of the situation. It will make you a more valuable player in the long term.

On another level, if that's the only band that you play in, it's hard not to take things personally. Sit down with the leader and talk things out, especially since you have so much invested in the band.

That said, there are very few horn players that I would choose to work with.
 

Pedro58

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,900
The drummer is the singer and your best friend? Complicated.

This depends more on the nature of your friendship than on anything else, I think. Can you talk with him openly and honestly? Or are you guys friends that don't have "deep" conversations? I have plenty of friends like that, and only a few close ones.
 

JimmyD

Member
Messages
1,239
I wouldn't care one iota if I never had to solo over "white boy" again in my life.

I did the corporate band thing for 6 years. It was a nice gig, and eventually left it to pursue other interests and woodshed a bit.

Jim
 




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