How to "mold" a new band member?

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by dnauhei, Sep 12, 2015.

  1. Papanate

    Papanate Gold Supporting Member

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    I am amazed. If it's my band you play the way I want or you don't play in MY band.

    Bands are not democracy's they are a business with leadership hierarchy. Even the part time weekenders.
     
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  2. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Member

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    What you are really talking about is hired guns, and fwiw, I don't have a problem with this. If it's YOUR band and it's 100% YOUR way and I have to play the songs that YOU select and play the way that YOU want me to play......then, I will do it, but you will pay me for my time, including rehearsal, and I'm not carrying or helping to load any equipment other than mine.

    OTOH if I'm joining a band as a member of that band, then, as a full band "member" my input should be as important as anyone else's, and my way of playing my instrument should be primarily up to me......imo......
     
  3. BrewDrinkRepeat

    BrewDrinkRepeat Member

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    What you say is true some of the time, and wholly not true other times.

    I can say with no uncertainty that I would never play in a band with you, as I am not just a set of fingers showing up to play parts dictated by someone else. I am there to contribute and to be integral part of the creative force of the band. (Note: I do not play in cover bands, ever, so I am talking about an original situation.)

    If I'm not getting that out of a band then I have zero interest in being there; similarly, I would never want to be in a situation where I was entirely responsible for everything (songwriting, arranging, working out all the parts, booking, promoting, etc.). That's not my bag, either. The happiest situations I've been in are those where we work together and we all like what is created as a result. Granted this is not an easy situation to find, but when it works it's magic.

    What type of situation is the OP putting together? That really dictates the response. If everyone is playing stuff note-for-note and sticking to the "script" then the bass player can be told, "look, this is what we're doing. Can you do that, exactly?" If, however, they are looking to stretch then they need to determine if his style will fit with theirs. If not, then there's nothing wrong with cutting him loose (or not hiring him in the first place).
     
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  4. Seraphine

    Seraphine Member

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    Have the band Jam w/ him on Orange Blossom Special and see where it goes from there.

     
  5. Seraphine

    Seraphine Member

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    each band member is a majority of one
    I'm content with that... never satisfied, yet certainly content.
     
  6. tiktok

    tiktok Supporting Member

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    Every band has a set of stated and unstated conventions and assumptions. Sometimes, the unstated ones may need to be stated. A "genre" band has a form and tradition, and is likely to be more "restrictive" in a sense. Personally if I joined a "bluegrass" band, I'd expect to be playing in the bluegrass bag. There's freedom...within that bag, but there are limits.

    In my band, the other players are free to play anything I approve of, but when it comes down to it, I make the final call.
     
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  7. GMGM

    GMGM Supporting Member

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    Are we to understand that all of this was based on one initial rehearsal? Or has this been going on for a while?

    So I'd like to know if the bass player is any good, and if he can actually sing. If so, let him find his way. I'm betting his parts and his harmonies will fall right in line on their own.

    I've had a history of being tough on great bass players. The better a player is, the more you want to push them, ya know? I wouldn't call myself a dictator, they might. It only leads to burnout and frustration. So I've been keeping my opinions to myself lately. Unless I'm the bass player on a particular track, then I can be as bossy as I want.

    I guess what I'm thinking is that if the OP wants to "mold" someone, he should find someone who is eager to learn and improve - someone who basically WANTS to be molded. Maybe even someone at a lower skill level, but wants to add to their skillset.

    Or you could always pay the guy to be a sideman.
     
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  8. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Member

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    Interesting.....I guess I never knew that so many "bands" were dictatorships! Do you pay well? Do you pay for rehearsals, too?
     
  9. cadduc

    cadduc Member

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    well, I would tell him what you want, and ask if he will do what you want, if he agrees and doesn't do it, or he says no, then c ya,
    while I believe motivation cannot be taught, I think it is a good idea to let people know what it is you expect from them, specifically
    tell him don't sing, tell him to play like this, if he doesn't then he walks, but a lot of people think they are doing what you expect them to do, and are shocked to learn they are in left field when they should be playing first base or bass
     
  10. tiktok

    tiktok Supporting Member

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    No, I don't pay for rehearsals. I pay for everything else though--the backline, the recordings, all costs associated with the band. I split the gig money equally among the sideman. That's how I sold the band to them from the beginning, so they're free to leave, but it's been going for almost five years now.

    There's the sort of dictatorship where the guy in charge says "Play exactly this" and there's the one where he says "Eh, try something different..." until he gives thumbs up. The latter is how I run my band.

    In all the sideman positions I've held over the year, the songwriter operated the same way: they had veto power on everyone else's parts, so I've been on the other side of that process plenty.

    I've also been in bands where no-one technically had the final say (where the tunes were pretty much written by the band collectively), and that can be good too, although it can take longer to reach a decision.
     
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  11. Ferret

    Ferret Supporting Member

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    No. This isn't one musician's (possibly eccentric) private project. This is a bluegrass band. There are thousands of bluegrass bands doing the rounds. There's an accepted language you must speak. There is newgrass of course, but this is a carefully contrived departure from bluegrass, not the result of bluegrass musicians accommodating someone who doesn't speak the language. Bluegrass purists know what they like. This suggestion is a recipe for losing your audience.
     
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  12. CRBMoA

    CRBMoA Member

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    When you write me a check, you can tell me what to play.
     
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  13. Pablomago

    Pablomago Member

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    Edgar Meyer can play amazing improvisational music and classical stuff. When he plays bluegrass, he plays like a bluegrass bass player. A really good bluegrass bass player, for sure, but it's still bluegrass.

    If the OP's guy isn't willing to play bluegrass, he needs to go play with someone else. He needs to be covering the requirements before venturing into uncharted waters, and only then with the band leader's approval.
     
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  14. greggorypeccary

    greggorypeccary Member

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    This is it right here. It's not about telling someone exactly what to play, it's expecting them to be able to play in the style of the band.

    I wouldn't join a metal band and expect them to tolerate my hippie noodling any more than I would want a shredder in my Americana band.
     
  15. S1Player

    S1Player Member

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    I don't understand the attitude "If I am not being paid, I should be able to play whatever I want." Isn't there a baseline expectation that everyone will conform to the basic style and expectations of the band?
     
  16. Flyin' Brian

    Flyin' Brian Member

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    I can't understand why the subject is touchy. Or what the issue is. If you have a band that plays in a certain style, the everybody in the band should be expected to play in that style right from the beginning. I've been babysitting bass players in a couple of different groups for about 3 years now.

    The band I used to play in did a lot of standards in the older style of Count Basie, Nat Cole etc,. some blues going back to Ethel Waters, some New Orleans second line stuff, r&b from Louis Jordan to Delbert. It requires a knowledge of many styles.

    The band I'm in now has a lot of songs with written bass parts. The player can't just fake it, he/she needs to be able to play the parts. Some get it most don't. The ones who don't get it don't get the gig. There's no harm in saying "I'm sorry but we're going with another player".
     
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  17. amstrtatnut

    amstrtatnut Member

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    I disagree. If any dude wants to be in a bluegrass band, and wont play bluegrass...well thats just dumb. If you join a bluegrass band and start suggesting original punk songs.....it aint gonna work.
     
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  18. amstrtatnut

    amstrtatnut Member

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    Dont audition to join a bluegrass band and expect to play hendrix or fusion or whatever.

    Your post is fine for hired guns, but totally uncooperative in a band setting.

    I picture you being the nightmare craigslist audition.
     
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  19. amstrtatnut

    amstrtatnut Member

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    Its bluegrass! BLUE GRASS! THEY PLAY BLUE GRASS!
     
  20. s2y

    s2y Member

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    Pushing people really hard for zero pay isn't a good way to win friends. Would the be wrong calling you a dictator if they had zero input in anything? You're in a tough spot since you require high level musicians and most available high level musicians need a band that pays.
     

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