EGO's

2bsticks

Platinum Member
You would think at 60 years of age dealing with egotistical personalities would be a thing of the past. Not so. A member of our group who I won't name...wow. He is a great player, very talented and a music educator at a very high level for over 30 years. Years ago I would have told him off, now I can shrug comments off because there are many more important things in life that I focus on.

One other thing with all his talent he needs me to get the gigs, not good at the business part.
 

eclipseownzu

Gold Member
The guitarist in my band is a great musician and songwriter, but he is pretty much a huge prick. Its not necessarily an ego thing but its just who he is. I think some people are just wired that way. Sometimes you need to take the high road and just shrug it off for the sake of the band.
 

Kcore

Junior Member
Al lot of the time the ego, especially in the creative fields, is a defence mechanism. A reaction to others not believing in the person or acting negatively or apathetically towards their skill or creations. Some people can't control it and it swells and makes them hard to be around for some. Then if they do find some success the ego continues to rise because that proves they were "right all along".

I personally don't mind egos as long as long as they can control it.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I give a lot of leeway to people with big egos if they are great players. If they are not great players and still have a big ego, then I just find them amusing.

I don't care how someone acts offstage (within reason) if I LOVE playing with them onstage. Sometimes a person's great playing is a result of their big ego. It kind of goes with the territory sometimes.
 

BillRayDrums

Gold Member
We all have ego. It's a mechanism that defines us and who we are. That being said, it's never OK to subjugate or belittle someone using that ego.

My ego is pretty inflated but it's in check (most of the time). For instance, it is the proverbial "bar" for me. I won't normally do gigs with beginner blues bands. I don't have the inclination to spoon-feed people rhythms that are not in keeping with my musical personality or adjust my playing (e.g. "dumb down") to cater to their inability to understand what I'm trying to say. Rhythm is a language to me and I "speak like I speak" and my vocabulary is pretty deep. So I gravitate towards players who are experienced and can relate.

And that's not to say I can't play simple... of course I can! But the quality of player with whom I'm sharing a stage with has to be up to a certain standard for me to feel good about the affair.

My ego ensures that I get paid for my work as well. I'm not going to go along with the "well the check doesn't come in for another two weeks so I can't pay you til then"... Um... yeah, you can. That's where my ego steps in. It's self-protection in a way. :D

And I've been called all the usual names..."Jerk...prick...asshole" and for me that's a "pressure check" that lets me know that perhaps I've gone a bit too far and let the ego slip more than a little! Hey, at least I realize that.

What I see from those who are supreme egomaniacs is lack of empathy. I'm not one of those cats.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
Billy, I think your attitude is quite reasonable. No 'ego' there. You're a working drummer that makes his living through music and you need to draw the line somewhere. You have a reputation to uphold and bills that need paying. If you don't want to walk somebody less experienced through a gig - that's fine. Some would but if that's not for you, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

In my experience, the biggest egos are usually reserved for people that have no idea what they're doing or value their ideas too highly. One time I was playing in a band and the guitarist's Dad was kicking around the rehearsal studio. I suggested a few improvements to the arrangements (using my experience of composition) that were backed up by the guitarist's Dad - who was a working producer. Did the guitarist listen? No. The guitarist's Dad actually told his son that I was worth listening to and that my playing was spot on. Two months later, I was kicked out of the band with no explanation.

I found that one pretty funny.
 

rogue_drummer

Gold Member
The large ego that imploded a band I was in recently is pretty much known as a real prick around town. I joined this band before I knew this about this individual. On the surface, yes he is a pretty good bass player, nothing fancy, not much improv skills or creativity, but steady, but doesn't really contribute anything. Just sorta there as "the bass player". We were getting gigs and getting better rooms to play all the time, so we were getting successful. It was only after the band split up that I started running into several musicans around town who were sorta wondering why we would even associate with this person. Then all the bad stories about him started to surface. Months later I was in a blues bar and ran into this guy. Just to be friendly I went up to him and stuck out my hand to shake his. He just sorta looked at me and nodded and walked away without shaking hands.
 

BillRayDrums

Gold Member
Billy, I think your attitude is quite reasonable. No 'ego' there. You're a working drummer that makes his living through music and you need to draw the line somewhere. You have a reputation to uphold and bills that need paying. If you don't want to walk somebody less experienced through a gig - that's fine. Some would but if that's not for you, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

In my experience, the biggest egos are usually reserved for people that have no idea what they're doing or value their ideas too highly. One time I was playing in a band and the guitarist's Dad was kicking around the rehearsal studio. I suggested a few improvements to the arrangements (using my experience of composition) that were backed up by the guitarist's Dad - who was a working producer. Did the guitarist listen? No. The guitarist's Dad actually told his son that I was worth listening to and that my playing was spot on. Two months later, I was kicked out of the band with no explanation.

I found that one pretty funny.
Oftentimes ego is another word for "overcompensation" or "inability".
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I must be lucky. Working where I work, I'm surprised there aren't any egotistical blowups considering you have all these artist-types in one place. Although I hear alot of grumbling in our worker's paradise here, most people are happy to do what they do, because we all realize that if we didn't do it, somebody else will.

I guess making a living at it is a great equalizer? Once your talent is linked to making the rent and putting food on the table then you just become professional?

Wouldn't that be weird ;)
 

2bsticks

Platinum Member
Thanks for the great replies, Don't get me wrong, I like this guy and he has been a great asset to the band and to my playing. I have never been able to lock in with a bass player like this guy. I also golf with him. I think in some way it's just how he communicates to others.

I appreciate all the comments.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Here is a simplified view point.

With musicians and artists, you can always tell if they have a badly inflated ego.
If you try and give them any friendly constructive criticism they will get upset and/or angry with you.
If they have a normal size ego they will be willing to discuss your ideas.

.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
I had an 'anti-ego' incident the other day, just to add some more spice to this.

I went to see a mate's band down in a dive bar. Their drummer is a guy I've known for a while and is a decent player - he's a great fit for the band and I've jammed with him in the past (playing guitar, etc). He came up to me and was asking if I wanted to get together some time because he thought he could learn a lot and I could teach him about music and drumming.

Now, I'm not a great player by any stretch. This guy is a peer as far as I'm concerned so I was a bit taken aback when later (after a few pints) he really started the praise wagon. I have no idea what his impression is of me as a player! He was being incredibly humble... it was as though he had no ego whatsoever. Quite odd but a pleasant experience.
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
It's funny that an over inflated ego can stay so strong in a "old" guy.

I know a guy who had a huge ego in his musical youth and it worked well for his onstage persona. Now, decades later, he is about as destitute as you can get with every problem you can imagine, but his ego remains at times out of control.

I accept it because I can't change it.

I could simply avoid him, but he is a dear friend and it doesn't really affect me.....except for the fact that one of these days my eyes are going to roll back into my head and stay there.

People are funny :)
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
Sometimes the small ego's create problems too.

The most problematic band member I've encountered was a bass player who couldn't play that great, hit wrong notes, forgot parts, wouldn't practice and he was a massively outspoken control freak. He was very insecure in his playing and himself and I was his biggest enemy for some reason. I quit after about a year.

Actually there were 2 problematic bass players, the 2nd one was a good player, but an arsehole. I don't know if his ego was big or small but he was a strange guy and that was a shame because we were a pretty talented lineup overall.

I wonder what I'm like as a band member.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Here is a simplified view point.

With musicians and artists, you can always tell if they have a badly inflated ego.
If you try and give them any friendly constructive criticism they will get upset and/or angry with you.
If they have a normal size ego they will be willing to discuss your ideas.

.
Maybe I do have a big ego then. Most people who give me constructive criticism are idiots ;)
 

lsits

Gold Member
I used to have a problem with compliments. If someone would compliment my drumming and I knew that I had made some mistakes (usually most of the time) I would be quick to point them out. I've since learned that most people who compliment you sincerely think you did a good job. I now reply "Thanks, we always have blast playing here" or words to that effect. I keep my self criticisms to myself.
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
I feel it for these old musicians. I've played with two musicians that are undergoing chemotherapy, guys with kidney stones, people having cataract surgery right before a gig, it's amazing what happens. Lots of times I just shut up and let stuff happen because I know they have big problems.
 
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