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  #1  
Old 09-26-2008, 02:23 AM
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Default Band members that slow progress in Band development.

I play in three bands of three different genres. In each band there are one or two members that do not hold up their end of the log so to speak. I struggle to learn and make progress constantly. I work on our songs and I get better at them each week. My fellow musicians compliment me all the time. I struggle to set and example for the band by improving. I make it a point to explain when I have corrected one of my weak spots in a song so that others will realize that progress has been made and follow my lead. I show up at practices only to find that these band members that I speak of have done nothing to improve. It's the same old, same old, every time that we meet. I never show them that I'm disappointed or angry, I bite my tongue. I just continually point out the issues with their performance and move on with the hope that they will get the message. I even try joking about it so as not to offend anyone. I use the catch more fly's with honey theory. I like the people that I play with and I see no benefit in belittling them. I am seeking advice on motivating people. I have never been a natural leader and the insight from such people will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-26-2008, 04:36 AM
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Default Re: Band members that slow progress in Band development.

I suggest recording a rehearsal or at least a few of the songs with the most problems and having your bandmates listen to them. I think a lot of players find their mistakes or weaknesses more glaring when they aren't playing and are just listening to themselves. Maybe that will motivate them to improve.
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Old 09-26-2008, 08:42 AM
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Default Re: Band members that slow progress in Band development.

I think what you should do depends on how much you have invested in each of these bands. Is this just something you do for fun? Are you guys trying to make money or achieve greater success?
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Old 09-26-2008, 09:57 AM
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Default Re: Band members that slow progress in Band development.

im in a band with my brother. hes the ONLY one in the band i completely trust on his instrument (guitar.)

my bass player thinks hes jaco and is always creeping up, leaving me to fill up the lows with my one low note.

our singer is simply not a musician. he does the band thing for the spotlight.
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Old 09-26-2008, 01:39 PM
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Default Re: Band members that slow progress in Band development.

As you know I am in more or less the same situation. It's hard to give proper advice, but see what the others in the band think about it. If possible, try to get the one(s) who are in charge to agree with you. If you're not the only one who's irritated about it you (and not just you but a few other band members as well) might be able to put some pressure on the ones that slow the overall progress. If that doesn't work, you'll have to either bail out or live with it.
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  #6  
Old 09-26-2008, 04:16 PM
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Default Re: Band members that slow progress in Band development.

I have been where you are at many times.

If everybody does not carry their own weight the band will fail or at the very best never progress.

The question really is how much do you want to be in these bands and why are you in these bands.

If it is to get out and gig or even to try and do something with it, I would have a serious talk as a group. The stress it puts you under is not worth it. If it is just to jam then let it go and have some fun.

I am fortunate enough to be in two bands where everybody is pulling their own weight and it is great. It is not perfect, we are all human but in the grand scheme of things I can not complain. The reason I am telling you this is to make the point that there are people out there on the same page as you. You just have to find them.
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  #7  
Old 09-26-2008, 05:52 PM
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Default Re: Band members that slow progress in Band development.

Hey Bob,

You know as a superintendent and leader of people one thing I have found over the years is that you cannot motivate the unmotivated. There are just some in this life whether it be a musician or worker that just wants to get by with the least amount of input as possible and those folks are difficult to get through to if not impossible. I have had to let some of those types go as they cut heavily into my bottom line of production...either change or you will be moving on are my words of encouragement and to my surprise/chagrin they do not change and I help them move along!

With band members you are a collective group that came together for a common purpose and if one is not willing to work to improve I tend to see them as one of my employees who does not want to put in a full 8, or 10, or 12! What ever it calls for "get er dun!" So, the choice is not theirs but YOURS...what do you want to do? Bottom line you are only responsible for YOU and if you can relax and settle for their complacency then cool have fun with it and RELAX, otherwise do not let the stress eat you up...move along. I am certain you can find others to play with in the long run of things. No sense fretting over someone elses lack of desire.

Just thoughts.
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  #8  
Old 09-26-2008, 06:29 PM
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Default Re: Band members that slow progress in Band development.

Is it lack of motivation? Different goals? Or lack of skill?

Just because they can't get a part, doesn't mean they aren't motivated. Can you tell us more?

For example, I'm regularly the weak link in my bands, but it has nothing to do with lack of motivation. Often, I'm the most motivated but least skilled.
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  #9  
Old 09-26-2008, 06:43 PM
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Default Re: Band members that slow progress in Band development.

I think we've all been there, and the only thing I can suggest is as point by point discussion of what's eating you about their playing. Pick the one problem that bugs you the most (just pick one per rehearsal) and as lighthearted as possible, tell the person that it's making a problem for YOU. (not in so many words though, diplomacy is an art.) Speak in terms of yourself, for instance, you could say "hey everytime we go into this section and the bass notes run up the neck, I feel kind of unsupported, could you do me a solid and stay down low, it would make me feel less exposed" It's important you offer them a suggestion about what you want them to do. Some people don't like direction, some people like the attention that their playing is getting and are more than happy to oblige. This will show what kind of person you're dealing with. If you have the kind of members that are happy to oblige, great. If not...?
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  #10  
Old 09-26-2008, 07:05 PM
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Default Re: Band members that slow progress in Band development.

I agree with recording. Sometimes it's not until we hear ourselves that we see (or hear) the need for improvement.
I've had the same problem and I've noticed that if we schedule a gig (even a small one) a few weeks in advance and set a definate song list, folks tend to get focused real quick. We can "settle" if we are just playing for one another for fun but the thought of getting onto a stage and playing for an audience can be a real motivator for progress.
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  #11  
Old 09-26-2008, 08:40 PM
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Default Re: Band members that slow progress in Band development.

i understand how he feels about not wanting to offend. my band is the same way, there are lots of times when there are things i want to say, but if i say it then people get offended which throws off the whole mood. sometimes its not that simple to just move on and find new people to jam with, because in my situation, these guys are my best friends, hands down, plus im in a small town. i dont know anyone who could replace any one of them. what i do is basically say "man, i gotta practice my parts more, i think from now on im gonna practice all of our songs on my own, daily". generally, the rest of the band will probably agree this is a good idea for everyone. even if you feel your the strongest player, pretend your not, and let them know that. hopefully it will motivate them to practice aswell.
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  #12  
Old 09-27-2008, 01:51 AM
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Default Re: Band members that slow progress in Band development.

Thank you all, The replies have been great so far. I will elaborate some more.
1) I play for fun and for personal satisfaction mostly. I'm not looking to be the next American Idle or anything like that. I'm not a perfectionist either, I like to do things within reason.
2) I don't get stressed over things. Its just that I see things that are wrong and I like to fix them.
3) I consider the people that I play and work with to be my friends and I see talent in each one of them. I don't like to discard people. I like to see them do their best.
4) I have always been self motivated. I'm the guy that the boss leaves alone because he knows that I will do the job without supervision and if there is a problem I will seek the help needed to solve it. I won't just sweep it under the rug.
5) I have been offered higher positions many times but I turned them down because it would kill me to have to be in charge of people and have to manage them so to speak. I also don't like dealing with customers even though I can because it makes me feel uncomfortable. I prefer to remain behind the scene and not be out front. I guess that It makes sense that I play the drums as my instrament of choice.
The problems that I see with some of my fellow musicians is that I can't understand why someone would show up every week and make the same mistakes without making any progress. There are two bass players and one singer that I play with that do this. I don't think that they touch their instruments or sing the songs once between practices or gigs. Of course if I say something to them they will look at me with the evil eye and continue to noodle through as if they know what they are doing when its obvious that they are just getting by.
The other thing that I'm sick to death of is when someone doesn't like a song or they find it hard for them they find a way to make the band not play it so they don't have to do any work beyond the call of duty so to speak. They say that it doesn't fit our band or it has to many chord changes, Its not my key etc. I learn songs all the time that I don't naturally fall into. I find it a welcome challenge to learn new things.
Based on your suggestions so far, I am going to take on a slightly more aggressive role in the bands that I play in. I am going to work on being more assertive at the risk of not being the "Good Fun Loving Easy Going Guy" all the time. I will become "The Boss" so to speak. I will politely insist that people work a bit harder when I feel that they need to.
I have been playing for 35 years and its time that I stood up and took a more active role in motivating people. It will probably make me a stronger person.
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Old 09-27-2008, 02:22 AM
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Default Re: Band members that slow progress in Band development.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
Based on your suggestions so far, I am going to take on a slightly more aggressive role in the bands that I play in. I am going to work on being more assertive at the risk of not being the "Good Fun Loving Easy Going Guy" all the time. I will become "The Boss" so to speak. I will politely insist that people work a bit harder when I feel that they need to. I have been playing for 35 years and its time that I stood up and took a more active role in motivating people. It will probably make me a stronger person.
I fully agree with this Bob, sounds to me like someone needs to step up...leadership is a wonderful thing...no need to be an assertive overbearing arse, but if need me yeah. You have plenty of time in the musicianship to bring others along. Good luck as you move forward.

JIM
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Old 09-27-2008, 02:26 AM
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Default Re: Band members that slow progress in Band development.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Disco Stu View Post
I suggest recording a rehearsal or at least a few of the songs with the most problems and having your bandmates listen to them. I think a lot of players find their mistakes or weaknesses more glaring when they aren't playing and are just listening to themselves. Maybe that will motivate them to improve.
Yes, this is what helps out groups that I'm in, more than talking to them about it or trying to set an example.
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  #15  
Old 09-27-2008, 02:40 AM
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Default Re: Band members that slow progress in Band development.

I forgot to mention that I have done the recording thing. It helped me and some of the other members but the people that needed it weren't swayed by it. I also noticed that some other members of the band heard the recordings and they became angry at the members that I speak of who don't practice. This wasn't what I wanted. I then had more problems to deal with. Recordings are great but they have to be followed up by a managerial approach to the situation.
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Old 09-27-2008, 03:46 AM
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Default Re: Band members that slow progress in Band development.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drumhead61 View Post
Hey Bob,

You know as a superintendent and leader of people one thing I have found over the years is that you cannot motivate the unmotivated.
This is a good point. Following this thread and your perspective, it sounds like you are playing with some flakes that are hopeless.
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Old 09-27-2008, 07:28 AM
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Default Re: Band members that slow progress in Band development.

I only play with one guy, and he's been my best friend for years... we really don't even talk during sessions, we already know what sounds good and how to correct what sounds bad.

My advice? Talk to them about it, and if they get offended, f*** it... eventually someone will come along who has their sh*t together, or is at least willing to learn.
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  #18  
Old 09-28-2008, 09:04 PM
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Default Re: Band members that slow progress in Band development.

I played with one of the bands yesterday at an afternoon gig. Afterwards I began to assume my new role of being more assertive. I sat down with the bass player and I talked to him about his lack of practice. I explained how much I hated to say the things to him that I was about to say. I told him about how much Drummerworld has helped me to become a more competent drummer. I told him about how I use the tutorials to improve. I explained to him how his playing was holding us back and I suggested that he work on some technique just as I have. The bass player is living with our singer as boyfriend and girlfriend. I explained to him that they together choose me as the drummer because they knew that I would work on the songs and play them to the best of my ability. I pointed out to him some of the performance issues that we were having with his playing. He was a bit disappointed at first but he didn't deny that he should work harder to practice and improve. We were still speaking to each other when I finished. I take that as a good sign. I will see what happens.
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Old 09-28-2008, 11:19 PM
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Default Re: Band members that slow progress in Band development.

I haven't read all the replies above, but what always comes to mind when it's about motivating:

"You can't pull a dead horse over the finish line"

Something like that someone told me once, and it's true. Find yourself some real horses to work with, who will run in the same tempo and do not try to 'waste' energy on people who are not worth it.

I hope it works out for you, and that you find those people with the same vision.
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Old 10-03-2008, 02:28 AM
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Default Re: Band members that slow progress in Band development.

My bass player started taking lessons today! He admitted that he needs to work. So far things are working out. I'm enthused!
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