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  #41  
Old 08-10-2010, 02:27 PM
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Default Re: Tactful corrections of band members

How about an anonyomous note laid on his doorstep, inside a horses severed head?
You could chop 2 fingers off each hand...
How about a band vote?
You could write a song, about a keyboardist who played too many notes and ended up in a bad situation, think he'd get the hint?

I have a similar situation, maybe not as severe, and I'm not sure how to approach it either, very fragile personality and all. Wimps, sheesh.

Maybe start a new thing, band critique night. Everyone gathers around and verbalizes any issues.
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  #42  
Old 08-10-2010, 02:52 PM
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Default Re: Tactful corrections of band members

Hey Barney, put the pipe away, you've had enough - lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barney Gottlieb View Post
Maybe start a new thing, band critique night. Everyone gathers around and verbalizes any issues.
Good idea, Barney. Love to do that but it would be threatening for people if the others are wanting them to do things they can't do. People go best when they can be themselves on their instruments- but they are in the zone ... their good selves.Our lad has his moments, just that it would be good to tease the static out of the in between moments.
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  #43  
Old 08-10-2010, 03:10 PM
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Default Re: Tactful corrections of band members

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Originally Posted by aydee View Post
Thats when you dart him. A mild tranquilizer should do the trick. That or rubber bullets..
Speaking of that, both a harpsichord and an alto sax patch would work nicely on this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dTnvhGHDGA

;-)
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  #44  
Old 08-10-2010, 03:26 PM
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Default Re: Tactful corrections of band members

Ah--duh! I didn't even realize you were talking about a keyboardist and not a guitarist until this morning. I don't know why I thought you were talking about a guitarist. I just listened to the samples with a crappy pair of computer speakers yesterday and didn't even know what you were talking about with the harpsichord comment--I couldn't hear that with my computer speakers at the volume I listened to it yesterday, I'm not sure why, it just seems that the harpsichord part was missing (maybe something weird about the frequency response of the speakers). I thought you were just saying that the other guitar part sounded like a harpsichord to you, lol. That's also why that one section sounded like dead space to me--the harpsichord was gone, so there was just nothing in that space.

So I just listened with a good pair of headphones now. Yeah, the harpsichord part definitely doesn't work for me, and he's having lots of problems trying to play the lines he was attempting. Aside from the timing problems, the worst part, imo, was when he stopped doing the arpeggiated eighth-note based stuff and just played chords on " 2+ 4 | 2+ 4" . . . that was super-cheesy and not in a good way.

Another idea--I don't know the keyboard player's tastes, but how about when he starts doing something like that, everybody changes modes and almost mockingly cacks along with him?--play similar lines, lots of timing gaffes, etc. Is that something he'd think sounds bad? If so, that might be a way to get him to try something else instead. Say, "Hey, I just thought it went with what you were playing". Of course, that might just piss him off and make him not want to participate any longer, too . . . which might not be a band thing, but he probably wouldn't still be friendly in a situation like that. Also, a more "risky" possibility there, depending on one's outlook, is that he'd dig it and it would turn the song into something very different--but that can be a good thing, too.

Last edited by BrewBillfold; 08-10-2010 at 04:20 PM.
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  #45  
Old 08-10-2010, 03:48 PM
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Default Re: Tactful corrections of band members

Something else I just thought of that might be a tactful way of handling this comment (although be prepared for the consequences) is that when you suggest that he try something else, he gets annoyed, and says, "I don't tell you how to play", say something like, "I understand and basically agree with that approach. However, when one of us is playing something that you strongly feel does not work, I want you to say something about it, so at the very least, we can talk about it, explore what we each feel does and doesn't work about it, why we each feel it's either important to play that or try something else, etc. We need everyone to share their opinions about what everyone else is playing--both praise and constructive criticism, in order to make the band that much stronger".

I mentioned that I also have a lot of the "let's not tell each other how to play" approach in a situation like your band, but I think I'd respond well to what I just suggested.
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  #46  
Old 08-10-2010, 04:09 PM
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Default Re: Tactful corrections of band members

[quote=BrewBillfold;732008]Speaking of that, both a harpsichord and an alto sax patch would work nicely on this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dTnvhGHDGA

squeakiness would sound good on that!

PS- ...talking of sqeaky, the 1 in the 10 looks like a sex-toy, btw.
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  #47  
Old 08-10-2010, 04:21 PM
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Default Re: Tactful corrections of band members

Cheers Brew, I wasn't sure what you meant beforehand and couldn't work out why you seemed to be defending the flamenco guitar style in v2, which I was happy about.

While you might have thought I was mistaking a harpsi patch for guitar, when you talked about the timing being ok I was wondering if you had cloth ears - lol. Guess we should have more faith in each other's aural acuity :) Not always easy over the net, eh?

I know our "harsichordist" is groping for lines that might work, but his conception is off this time IMO. He seems to be going for a fragile "blown about" feel to go with the wind theme of the song, whereas something washier would "talk" the the ride cymbal swells and be forgiving with timing.

But if I satirised him with my playing he'd pick it up straight away and I doubt he'd be thrilled. Also the bass & guitar guys are far too nice to do that. We're a nice band, which is good in many ways way but a bit more rough 'n' tumble a la Barney's [sic] comment about wimpiness wouldn't go astray. Great for clearing the air at times. Too much nice and stuff builds up ...

This is a solid suggestion ... "when one of us is playing something that you strongly feel does not work, I want you to say something about it, so at the very least, we can talk about it, explore what we each feel does and doesn't work about it, why we each feel it's either important to play that or try something else, etc" because it's true.

I'd be more than happy if everyone in the group put their ears to my cause.

Edit:

Quote:
Originally Posted by aydee View Post
PS- ...talking of sqeaky, the 1 in the 10 looks like a sex-toy, btw.
No sh**, Sherlock? *grin*

... and Brew, I see no place for plastic harpsichord or alto sax in that track!
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  #48  
Old 08-10-2010, 05:51 PM
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Default Re: Tactful corrections of band members

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PS- ...talking of sqeaky, the 1 in the 10 looks like a sex-toy, btw.
That also has a patch on it. Could account for the slightly flacid "business end".

Pol, buy your bassist a fretless. That'll cut down on his notefest libido!
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  #49  
Old 08-10-2010, 10:50 PM
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Default Re: Tactful corrections of band members

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That also has a patch on it. Could account for the slightly flacid "business end".

Pol, buy your bassist a fretless. That'll cut down on his notefest libido!
Not the bassist, Andy lol

Hmmm, a fretless keyboard ... it would have to be grey. Actually, our bass player recently bought an acoustic bass guitar - a beautiful thing! He has an upright but his shoulder has been too tender ...
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  #50  
Old 08-10-2010, 11:35 PM
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Default Re: Tactful corrections of band members

I'm in a similar situation w/ a vocalist in an original side project (not the main money band) . I have tried to be subtle but that really hasn't worked so far. I think I am just going to be honest without being rude & it he has a problem then its time I move on. So, thats my advice be completley honest yet civil.
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  #51  
Old 08-11-2010, 03:26 AM
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Default Re: Tactful corrections of band members

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I'm in a similar situation w/ a vocalist in an original side project (not the main money band) . I have tried to be subtle but that really hasn't worked so far. I think I am just going to be honest without being rude & it he has a problem then its time I move on. So, thats my advice be completley honest yet civil.
Indian, when you have that talk could you pass on the results here, by any chance? I think it would be useful to more members than just me (nice band bio BTW haha).

Thing is, he's a lovely guy and a good friend so I don't want any of us to leave (unless he leaves without upset) .... so I don't want to create a situation that brings things to a head, although the honest and upfront approach has its appeal - but it's risky. I'm hoping for a back door method that subtly leads him to being more of a team player, preferably with him feeling it's his own idea. Not easy to fool someone who works as a scientist.

We've been working on a quiet version of the group because the majority of the non-rock gigs around here these days are eateries. I used the word "unplugged" as shorthand and suddenly this week he sounds excited, asking if we're going to be truly unplugged and, if so, suggesting that he "would play only piano, harpsichord etc on the keyboard or even ditch that and play acoustic guitar, whistles, mouth harp or washboard".

HARPSI-EFFIN-CHORD?? Washboard? A percussion instrument - with his timing? It looks like his folky leanings are trying to come out. I replied that the aim is just to get our current songs tight ASAP so we can hunt for decent gigs.

It's very much looking like the only answer is for me to look around for a second band *sigh* ... pity, it's been such a treat to play with a top-notch vocalist after so many years dealing with ordinary singers ...
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  #52  
Old 08-11-2010, 06:12 AM
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Default Re: Tactful corrections of band members

I think it will be later this week when everyone gets together & we talk about everything. Im not looking forward to it but the rest of the group is in agreement that we can't let this go on any longer (for everyone's sake). I'll let ya know how it goes.
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  #53  
Old 08-11-2010, 06:26 AM
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Default Re: Tactful corrections of band members

True, it's not something to look forward to, although the best case of him taking the critiques as intended rather than personally would be great.

Good luck!
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  #54  
Old 08-12-2010, 03:25 AM
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Default Re: Tactful corrections of band members

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To me, this is a huge, HUGE issue that a lot of bands seem to overlook. It is a sensibility that comes with many hours of playing in bands, playing with other people, and being comfortable with your instrument.

To be able to mesh your voice into the music rather than simply overlay it, comes with a lot of experience IMO.

...
Agreed. Some people will never get it - it's not all about them, it's about the music.

Polyanna, if you think your guitarist won't listen to you because you are a "mere drummer," you need to re-evalute the friendship. Whether you're in a foxhole, band or sports team, if anyone's thoughts are considered less valid, then you really don't have a friendship. It's just a business relationship with some people exerting their will over others. Nothing wrong with that - some of the best music ever made has been under a composer telling everyone else exactly what to do - but I personally want others to tell me how I can improve the music and vice-versa. Is that what you want? I think so, because you feel the music suffers when one person runs free and unchecked. Music is a form of communication that, in many bands, requires speaking and free exchange of ideas.
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  #55  
Old 08-12-2010, 03:39 AM
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Default Re: Tactful corrections of band members

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Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
Late last year our singer and I tried to get him to tidy things up be he got all insecure and huffy and suggested that maybe we might like to find someone better (Why not just simplify FFS!). Since he doesn't tell us what to play I guess he thinks we should provide the same courtesy (we are much more tight than he is).

Occasionally a couple of us have tried dealing with specifics ... "How about trying this or that?" and he may or may not go for it.

Has anyone found a way of diplomatically dealing with this situation - or can think of something?

Any ideas? It's not end-of-the-world because we're in it for the fun, but it's an irritation because it limits our fun.
It sounds like the guitarist knows what you all are thinking and doesn't want to hear it. Any other attempts to get this across to him will go just as poorly. People won't change unless they really want to and it doesn't sound like he wants to.

Your choice is to accept him as-is, including the effect he brings to your music, or find someone else. No use putting him and the rest of the band through such difficult confrontations that will produce nothing. He will either ignore you, as he usually does, or get defensive, as he occasionally does. The ball remains in your court, as it always has.

Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior.
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  #56  
Old 08-12-2010, 07:12 AM
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Default Re: Tactful corrections of band members

DMC, re: the friendship. It seems to me that he and I got along best when we were just dealing with non-musical things. When it comes to music he's an old folky/acoustic blues guy and he only thinks of drums and rhythm in the most perfunctory manner. Most of the songs he waxes lyrical about have no drums at all or the drums are so subservient as to be besides the point. A lot of this music doesn't operate on strict time, and I have the impression that he sees strict time as "mechanical".

I think that's 90% of the problem. Rubbery time is great if 1) you don't have a full band to hold together or 2) the whole band is so brilliant they can play with the time effectively.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DeathMetalConga
It sounds like the guitarist knows what you all are thinking and doesn't want to hear it. Any other attempts to get this across to him will go just as poorly. People won't change unless they really want to and it doesn't sound like he wants to.
Apart from it being our keys player and not our (main) guitarist (who did the lovely flamenco-esque lines in the second version), what you say strikes me as pretty spot on. I think the logic goes like this ... this is a hobby band so everyone should be able to do what they like rather than have to play lines that aren't very exciting.

I don't relate to this attitude because, no matter what the musical situation, I have a standard I want to attain and anything less bugs me. A great way to learn is to receive feedback from other band members IMO. Taking advice to change a part you are working on that is hitting a spot for you isn't easy. There is a letting-go process, where your ego and peccadillos are put aside for the greater good.

My mother was an author and when I was into writing she always advised me to "murder your darlings". (No, not an incitement to treacherous criminal activity). She meant that sometimes you come with with cool turns of phrase but you have to let them go if they are detrimental to the flow of the overall tale being told.

I'm getting close to letting go in another way - being more ho hum about the band and getting back to my recently-neglected cartooning ...
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  #57  
Old 08-14-2010, 09:35 PM
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Default Re: Tactful corrections of band members

We have a player in the band, who we have the same problem with, Mr EGO, W@*k%r.

I just tell him to shut the F%*k up, it works..

We orgnally started up as a four pieace, then went down to a 3 peiace band, and you all had to work a bit harder to make the wall of sound, then we went back to a four, and now to a 5 Peace band, were now we all have to back right of, if you dont, then sound sounds really mushy and does not sound good,

Keys players, arty farty fairy's.
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  #58  
Old 08-15-2010, 04:23 AM
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Default Re: Tactful corrections of band members

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We have a player in the band, who we have the same problem with, Mr EGO, W@*k%r.

I just tell him to shut the F%*k up, it works..

We orgnally started up as a four pieace, then went down to a 3 peiace band, and you all had to work a bit harder to make the wall of sound, then we went back to a four, and now to a 5 Peace band, were now we all have to back right of, if you dont, then sound sounds really mushy and does not sound good,

Keys players, arty farty fairy's.
Haha Woz, your band might be a tad blokier than my one. There's me, a gay designer, an editor and two scientists ... the keys player is the blokiest guy in the band and no one would ever think of him as being a fairy ... but we are ALL 100% dedicated arty farties :)

If I told anyone to STFU the whole band would either laugh, thinking I was clowning, or be thinking "OMG, she's gone completely mad" (they already know I'm somewhat mad).

Agree about the 4-to-5 piece change and even though we've always been 5-piece. When guitar or keys guys have been away, some songs are perfectly workable without them. The one I attached earlier sounds great as a four-piece and only has space for bits and pieces early on and a solo at the end but he plays almost nonstop from go to whoa.

Latest plan: I've just suggested a re-arrangement of a song that hasn't been working as well as we'd like - I'll play no drums in the first half of the song, which will be mostly guitar and vocs. We'd be playing the first half like an acoustic cover version of the song I found on YouTube, while the latter half would be more like the original.

Feedback for the idea so far is good (I've visualised it and I'm sure it will work well). I'm going to look for more places to get the drums dropping out and laying back ... that way, at least, there's be some more space in the music. So, when I talk about leaving space, then maybe the others will think more seriously about it.

If I lay back in a whole bunch of songs and he steps up and plays even more to fill those spaces, then I will tell him to STFU!
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  #59  
Old 08-15-2010, 12:52 PM
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Default Re: Tactful corrections of band members

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Keys players, arty farty fairy's.
Try saying that to our 6' 2", 230lb super fit key player! No way, he'd rip your head off & s*^t down your neck!
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  #60  
Old 08-15-2010, 05:06 PM
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Try saying that to our 6' 2", 230lb super fit key player! No way, he'd rip your head off & s*^t down your neck!
KIS.
I hear you, but just remeber, keys players are just wanabe drummers, as the piano, is in fact a pecussion instrument, and keys players, always wanted to play the drums, but were to scared to hit the real thing, in case the sound hurt their ears, (and rightly so, always wear protection), instead they go and hit little keys, instead, and becouse they are hitting something, they think they are cool, W@*K!#S, when instead they are just 6 foot someting 230 pounds of EGO !!!! oh yes and 6 foot + of fairy.

KIS, i am LOL ing at this.


Nice one Pollystripper, you gave me an isea for a new thread.
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