Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by KaBudokan, Mar 30, 2017.
If it's a band I've been in for awhile then everyone is always making suggestions, i.e. "that sounds cool, but what if we try it this way...."
However, it sounds like you're still in audition phase so at that point I really don't think it is a good idea. Everyone is trying to figure everyone out. Of course, if one guy is doing the hiring (paying the $) then he's the boss and can suggest whatever he wants and if someone wants the gig they'll listen.
I do when it hurts the arrangement of parts for a song
Tone is completely subjective! What sounds good to one person might not sound good to another. I have played in lots of bands in the past and can honestly say I have never really cared for the tone most of the other guitar players choose to use. Many of these guys had been playing a long time so it wasn't an inexperience thing for them. I also have found the gear freaks are probably the worst for having a good tone and think they know the most about it. It is like they never learn how to dial in what they already have, because they are always searching for the next big thing that will do it for them. The only time I will make a suggestion to someone else on tone is if they ask me to which has happened a fair amount in the past. My suggestions usually start with turn down the treble and gain.
Tread lightly. Making suggestions to another guitarist about his tone is like making suggestions to your significant other about her weight.
....or you could go the César Díaz telling SRV about his tone route: "You sound like s***!"
The OP is describing what a lot of musicians do. Play too much, and ignore how it sounds. It's understandable in your first band, practicing in a garage at the age of 14, but at some point the idea of not overplaying, listening, paying attention to how you sound with others, is a skill that should be a basic expectation.
Some people are tonally clueless and have no idea about how those knobs and switches on their guitars, pedals and amps work to affect the tone and volume and what that means in a band context.
They quite literally set it all randomly and leave it.
Total mud or ear bleed treble or clueless gobs of gain on a song that needs cleaner sounds.
Yes, sometimes I do intervene.
Depends on how much patience you have, but based on what you described, if it were me, I'd keep looking.
The last thing I'd do is try to get him interested in this site if he isn't already. There's a lot of bad advice peddled by non-musicians who think they are because they spend X amount on gear, thinking you can just buy your way to good tone/musicianship. The guy's ear is the problem, not what he's playing through. He needs to spend more time learning how to play with other people, both sonically and musically. No amount of white-collar blooze "experts" telling him what pedals to buy is going to fix any of that. A P-90 guitar into an HRD is more than fine if you know how to use it.
"I played with a few guys the other day, and the guitar player has a decent amount of original material"
Don't underestimate the value of being able to play original stuff. I love playing covers but the option of adding your own element to some new material would be enough for me to stick at it, until you know where its going.
Only if I care enough to help someone improve.
3 ways to handle it; 1st is say nothing and hope it works out, 2nd is say something as diplomatically as possible, 3rd is seek greener pastures. i'd go w/ 2nd or 3rd.
Don't make it about him playing better; he will get defensive for sure.
Make it about trying to tweak the arrangement so his good original song will sound even better.
If he can't handle that, then I agree it's time to politely bow out.
Don't explain. Don't complain.
Comments on someones playing, tone, approach, etc. only work if the above doesn't end up happening.
Like I said - he was a decent player, so even my title was probably not accurate. As @tonyhay mentioned above, some people aren't experienced in playing in a band situation, and it's a very different skillset/approach. Tweaking the arrangement with multiple guitars is something every band has to do to find parts that mesh together. I tend to use the analogy of cogs in a gear meshing and working together.
This was the very first time we played together. I'll probably get together again and see if things progress and start to come together more. Part of that will be tweaking what we're doing and focusing a bit more on trying to polish a few songs, rather than doing a sampler of 10. Part of the tweaking will likely be figuring out some parts, and maybe the tone issue will come up.
If nothing else, this is pretty interesting to see all the reactions and varying opinions. Some people seem to assume I'm being arrogant or closed-minded because the tone he's using isn't what I want to hear. Others are stating that there are definitely people with ****** tone, tastes be damned. Some people say don't ever cross that line and bring it up. Some people are suggesting to address it diplomatically. Some people are suggesting to tell it like it is. Some people suggesting to walk away.
And the funny thing is, I understand all of those viewpoints. I think before I even posted, I was leaning toward bringing it up diplomatically, which is where I'm still leaning. My suspicion that he doesn't have much experience with bands was semi-confirmed by the drummer. I'll find out more definitively in the future.
If I didn't think some of his material was good, I wouldn't be considering it and debating what to do. (As @Talktomehudson said, good original stuff is rare, and some of his stuff has the potential to be good.) If I walked into your average cover band and someone sounded like that (playing and tone), I would probably walk away. The drummer, who was both talented and I think experienced, seems to feel the same way, and he also said the guy is almost definitely open to feedback.
I play in a couple of bands. Anybody can make a constructive suggestion. We try the idea and talk about how it worked. Wouldn't want to play with people not mature enough to try out an idea without ego getting in the way.
There is a big difference between floating a high level idea and micro-managing someone's parts.
Also need to be careful when you're the new guy in a band. Different once you have built a working relationship.
I pick something out about someone's playing or stage presence that's good and tell them about it. That's what I'd like to hear myself.
edited: @Fred Farkus has officially won avatars. DOn"t ChanG+E IT!!
We had a guy tryout with my band as Second guitarist he showed up with a Line 6 and an RG. He was a really good player but his tone was the worst. Horrible..... Distortion on 10 for every song.He didn't make the band because of it and he would have if his gear sounded decent enough. We said thanks for coming down. I didn't say anything about his tone , maybe I should have just to let him know.
I like the; "hey, I like what you're playing, but you're getting lost in the mix" approach. If he bites, followed by; "happens to me all the time. I try to sharpen my tone. Back off verb and delay, check my chord voicing".