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  #1  
Old 09-13-2017, 12:01 AM
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Erberderber Erberderber is offline
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Default When will the sloppiness end?

I've been in an originals band for over a year now and while I feel I know the songs pretty well and play them relatively comfortably, the other two guys in the band are still making tons of mistakes that should have been ironed out months ago. Granted we have had time off for summer holidays, but I just feel that we can't shed the sloppiness.

I'm not talking about little things either. The singer (also guitarist) forgets the words, plays the wrong chords and scuffs single notes. The bass player plays bum notes, sometimes even basslines in completely the wrong key. They're saying that they've forgotten the tunes while we've been away, but surely after a year those tunes would have been engrained into them by now.

When I go to gigs I just don't see this sort of thing happening. You might say, "oh you only notice it because it's you" and "other bands screw up, but you don't notice it", but when I see other bands, chord changes are smooth, notes are bang on and everything seems so effortless.

I really like this band and I think our songs have have an appeal, at least to a certain niche, but we're just not doing them justice and have so much work to do in order to do so. It's just so frustrating when I'm trying to be a solid reliable force in the band and there are train wrecks going on in front of me that I can't do anything about. I'm not saying I'm perfect, I would like to get tighter myself, but at least I'm able to get to the end of a song without going into meltdown. When will it end? And have any of you on here experienced this?

Last edited by Erberderber; 09-13-2017 at 12:18 AM.
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  #2  
Old 09-13-2017, 12:28 AM
DrumWild DrumWild is offline
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Default Re: When will the sloppiness end?

It has happened to me as well, in both directions.

I've been in bands with people I like, doing songs I like. But one of the others doesn't seem to be into it. They're not rehearsing. They're not progressing.

That's when you have a talk with them about what they really want to do. Do they really want to be in this band? Do they really want to play their instrument? Are they really happy?

As for the other direction, I've been the one who seems to be slipping. It's happened more than once. I remember one time where I was actually conscious and self-aware enough to have caught it. I knew that I wasn't happy, so I told the band that I had to leave, before they decided to let me go.

Some people may not really be happy in a particular band. Maybe they don't like the songs. Maybe playing their instrument has lots its appeal for them.

Maybe they have other plans. Had a guitarist up and quit abruptly, because he wanted to be a teacher in Japan. 幸運、お尻。

You might like them. They might be best friends. That makes it all the more difficult to have those conversations.

If it's not working, then maybe let them know that you notice it's not working, and that you're wondering if something is wrong. Chances are good and they'll tell you if something is wrong.

All of it depends on your goals as well. Maybe you want to take your music further, and they're happy with jerking around in a half-assed fashion, with no expectation of even leaving the room with their music.

Whatever it might be, it's disappointing. I've had the talk with others, and have let them go, and I've received the talk as well. I don't mind admitting it. I think that maybe I just wasn't as much into that band as I thought.

Regardless of the reason, it was time to move on. If you are young, then know that this is the fist of MANY movings on.

Sometimes the sloppiness ends when they realize they're slipping, and straighten up. Other times, the sloppiness ends when the band ends. Good luck.
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Old 09-13-2017, 12:47 AM
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Default Re: When will the sloppiness end?

Just my honest observation. You've posted a number of threads about 'band woes'. This person slacking, another person not into it, etc.
I get the sense you stick it out with people who are below your expectations. You stick it out for a long time, perhaps way too long, hoping it gets better.

You ask 'when will it end'? Honestly, I don't think it will stop at all.... until you change bands, or change out the slacking members in your own band.
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Old 09-13-2017, 12:50 AM
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Default Re: When will the sloppiness end?

YES !

This is happening to me right now. I'm in a band that does all original material.
And to make it more difficult, the lead guitarist and song writer keeps making little changes in the songs.

Here is what is helping us. Record the songs (ignore the mistakes just get them recorded) and have each band member put all of the songs on their iPod or cell phone.
Listen to them often during the course of the day. Listen to them over and over until you can sing them like Beatle songs.


.
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Old 09-13-2017, 02:00 AM
DrumWild DrumWild is offline
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Default Re: When will the sloppiness end?

Frank Zappa speaks of business and discipline.
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Old 09-13-2017, 02:06 AM
New Tricks New Tricks is offline
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Default Re: When will the sloppiness end?

It's called a "work ethic".

A large number of musicians don't have it and many of them never will.
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Old 09-13-2017, 03:04 AM
DrumWild DrumWild is offline
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Default Re: When will the sloppiness end?

Quote:
Originally Posted by New Tricks View Post
It's called a "work ethic".
That's very true.

THE BAD SEEDS
You can meet a musician who has the best of talent, and yet has the worst work ethic. With them, they'd rather be doing anything other than rehearsal. I was in a band with a guitarist who could play like Al DiMeola. He would say that, "Every day we don't rehearse is a day that the other bands get ahead of us."

That sounds great, except that talk is cheap. When it came down to it, I'd mention rehearsal, and it was always met with resistance. The game is on. We're going drinkin' tonight.

After two weeks of no rehearsal, I just left. Done. I gave him four weeks, which was probably about five weeks too long.

There was one other, where this band sounded pretty damned good. I passed their audition and got ready for the first Thursday night rehearsal. I was working a day job, so my time was valuable. We had a 7:00pm scheduled rehearsal.

I get there at 6:00 because I want to warm up for 15 minutes, run my parts, work on trouble spots, and be ready to impress.

People start rolling in at around 7:30pm. By close to 8:00, they decide that a run to CVS for beer is in order. I wait behind. They get back around 8:20 or so. But then a few of them need to do their drugs, so there's THAT fiasco. Then, the singer saunters in by almost 9:00pm. By about 9:10, they are supposedly ready to rehearse.

By this point, I'm exhausted and ready to go home. Needless to say, but I did not stick around for another "rehearsal."

EARLY WORK ETHIC
When I was a teenager, I wanted to skip a drum lesson to go see Ozzy. My drum teacher, "King Richard," says, "Hey, you know what? Fine. If you want to be in the audience instead of on the stage, that's okay by me. In fact, you can stop showing up for lessons, and just keep mailing me checks if that's your attitude."

He was an ass, but he was right. I went to my lesson, because I knew what I wanted to do.

WANT A HARD WORKING BAND?
If you have a band, and you want to get really good, do shows, write and record, then you have to ask yourself some serious questions:

* What are my goals?
* What are my expectations?
* Am I wasting time or money here?

TAKING CHARGE
There was a time when I got sick of joining bands, and decided to form my own. We had goals and expectations. Don't waste time at rehearsal. Practice your parts on your own. NO figuring things out when the room is costing.

Rehearsal was broken out:

* Self-rehearsal at home.
* Band rehearsal once per week in a 3-hour RENTED room.
* First hour is running the show. Songs go back-to-back until there is a spot where the singer talks to the audience for about 30 seconds. No rambling. Planned dialogue.
* Second hour is rehearsing new songs. Stop for issues, or if clarification is needed.
* Third hour is for new material. This involves weeding out the songs that just aren't working out, discussing any issues in current songs that are on track, and the introduction of new material, including the distribution of audio files to all members.

Rehearsal never had a "hey man," discussions, or a therapy session where someone talks about what happened the night before.

If your goal is to try to get the band and the music somewhere, then you put sincere work into it.

There were a few members in the early line-up who were starting to slack. Back then, I was the owner of the project, investing my money into the rehearsal space. When they'd slack, they'd be told to not come back. Sure, it's scary because you wonder what the hell you're gonna do, or wonder how quickly you'll be able to replace them. But the alternative is to waste time, money, and energy.

Eventually, we got the line-up that wanted to work. They all wanted ownership, so we split rehearsal costs, recording costs, promo cost, and other expenses.

When everyone works, it feels great, and you just know it's going to sound good. I looked forward to rehearsal.

SELF-REHEARSAL
My self-rehearsal involved sticks, a practice pad, and pen and paper. I would listen to tapes, write out my parts, make notes, prepare questions, and get my folder ready for the next rehearsal.

I did not use my drum set for my self-rehearsal, as I was working days and had little time for dragging the drums out, unless there was a gig. I would make an exception, on occasion, and rent a room for two hours and use the back line kit, if I felt that I really needed it. Sometimes I did, and I paid for it.

Personal time was rare. Vacations were rare. There was no taking my girlfriend out for dinner or romantic ventures. She wanted to spend time with me, so she learned how to setup and tear down drums, as well as how to tune, and how to troubleshoot things like bass drum pedals.

She got so good that a handful of drummers asked if they could hire her. And NO Yoko crap. Work only. She knew where to help and where to stand back. Very professional.

QUESTIONS THAT YOU SHOULD ASK YOURSELF
It really comes down to what you want.

Do you want to be with these other band members six months from now, wondering when they will straighten up?

Do you want to invest more into them, only to later be told that they're quitting because they want to have more time with their significant other?

OR

Do you want to build a solid band?

Do you want some recordings and memories of which you are proud?

Are YOU willing to make that sacrifice? Do YOU have that work ethic?

These are the hard questions, and they require some hard decisions. I made some hard decisions when I was young, left the safety of my hometown and traveled 2,000 miles to go to LA to give my dreams a shot, with nothing more than a change of clothes, a big bag of M&M's, and ten bucks. I borrowed drums, sometimes slept on the streets, sometimes relied on the kindness of complete strangers. That didn't always work out well. Things got dark, cold, and scary.

Sometimes I got tangled up with some questionable people. In LA, there are lots of people who like to call themselves "musicians," because they play an instrument. They're probably the most scary. A crocodile is easier to deal with, in that you know it wants to kill you. But these people? They want to be your friend first, and they'll even be nice to you at first. Be careful and stay on your toes.

I went there, worked hard, and gave it my best. I didn't get where I wanted to go. There are no guarantees that hard work will pay off. But I have some music and memories that are awesome. I had some great adventures. Best of all, I have no old man regrets. What if I had tried? I might cry of someone rips my ears clean off my skull, but I won't be crying over things that I did not do, or that things didn't work out.

Too many people are into the glamorous surface that comes with the prospect of being a musician. Although I never "got to the top," I got a good depth below the surface. You'll see things that will make you wish that you'd gotten an accounting degree, much like those freaky blind fish you can find at the bottom of the sea with a blinky light coming out of their skull.

But I digress. It really comes down to what you want to achieve and how far you are willing to go.

And no guarantees. None.
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  #8  
Old 09-13-2017, 03:14 AM
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Default Re: When will the sloppiness end?

Excellent points made by Drumwild!!

If you're serious, a band needs to run like a business.
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Last edited by Steady Freddy; 09-13-2017 at 06:46 PM.
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  #9  
Old 09-13-2017, 03:22 AM
SmoothOperator SmoothOperator is offline
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Default Re: When will the sloppiness en

Quote:
Originally Posted by opentune View Post
Just my honest observation. You've posted a number of threads about 'band woes'. This person slacking, another person not into it, etc.
I get the sense you stick it out with people who are below your expectations. You stick it out for a long time, perhaps way too long, hoping it gets better.

You ask 'when will it end'? Honestly, I don't think it will stop at all.... until you change bands, or change out the slacking members in your own band.
Yeah it seems this is the case, but he's not the only one this happens to. That happened to me often, I wasn't really able to attract the more interested musicians, or able to pay the beer tab for the less interested. Of course I was really in the wrong place( an engineering school ) to meet performers, and had only been playing for a couple of years. Time to start thinking about being a DJ. I should have been working on a startup, Oh well, it was fun for the circumstances jamming out occasionally.
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  #10  
Old 09-13-2017, 11:24 AM
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Erberderber Erberderber is offline
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Default Re: When will the sloppiness end?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrumWild View Post
That's very true.

THE BAD SEEDS
You can meet a musician who has the best of talent, and yet has the worst work ethic. With them, they'd rather be doing anything other than rehearsal. I was in a band with a guitarist who could play like Al DiMeola. He would say that, "Every day we don't rehearse is a day that the other bands get ahead of us."

That sounds great, except that talk is cheap. When it came down to it, I'd mention rehearsal, and it was always met with resistance. The game is on. We're going drinkin' tonight.

After two weeks of no rehearsal, I just left. Done. I gave him four weeks, which was probably about five weeks too long.

There was one other, where this band sounded pretty damned good. I passed their audition and got ready for the first Thursday night rehearsal. I was working a day job, so my time was valuable. We had a 7:00pm scheduled rehearsal.

I get there at 6:00 because I want to warm up for 15 minutes, run my parts, work on trouble spots, and be ready to impress.

People start rolling in at around 7:30pm. By close to 8:00, they decide that a run to CVS for beer is in order. I wait behind. They get back around 8:20 or so. But then a few of them need to do their drugs, so there's THAT fiasco. Then, the singer saunters in by almost 9:00pm. By about 9:10, they are supposedly ready to rehearse.

By this point, I'm exhausted and ready to go home. Needless to say, but I did not stick around for another "rehearsal."

EARLY WORK ETHIC
When I was a teenager, I wanted to skip a drum lesson to go see Ozzy. My drum teacher, "King Richard," says, "Hey, you know what? Fine. If you want to be in the audience instead of on the stage, that's okay by me. In fact, you can stop showing up for lessons, and just keep mailing me checks if that's your attitude."

He was an ass, but he was right. I went to my lesson, because I knew what I wanted to do.

WANT A HARD WORKING BAND?
If you have a band, and you want to get really good, do shows, write and record, then you have to ask yourself some serious questions:

* What are my goals?
* What are my expectations?
* Am I wasting time or money here?

TAKING CHARGE
There was a time when I got sick of joining bands, and decided to form my own. We had goals and expectations. Don't waste time at rehearsal. Practice your parts on your own. NO figuring things out when the room is costing.

Rehearsal was broken out:

* Self-rehearsal at home.
* Band rehearsal once per week in a 3-hour RENTED room.
* First hour is running the show. Songs go back-to-back until there is a spot where the singer talks to the audience for about 30 seconds. No rambling. Planned dialogue.
* Second hour is rehearsing new songs. Stop for issues, or if clarification is needed.
* Third hour is for new material. This involves weeding out the songs that just aren't working out, discussing any issues in current songs that are on track, and the introduction of new material, including the distribution of audio files to all members.

Rehearsal never had a "hey man," discussions, or a therapy session where someone talks about what happened the night before.

If your goal is to try to get the band and the music somewhere, then you put sincere work into it.

There were a few members in the early line-up who were starting to slack. Back then, I was the owner of the project, investing my money into the rehearsal space. When they'd slack, they'd be told to not come back. Sure, it's scary because you wonder what the hell you're gonna do, or wonder how quickly you'll be able to replace them. But the alternative is to waste time, money, and energy.

Eventually, we got the line-up that wanted to work. They all wanted ownership, so we split rehearsal costs, recording costs, promo cost, and other expenses.

When everyone works, it feels great, and you just know it's going to sound good. I looked forward to rehearsal.

SELF-REHEARSAL
My self-rehearsal involved sticks, a practice pad, and pen and paper. I would listen to tapes, write out my parts, make notes, prepare questions, and get my folder ready for the next rehearsal.

I did not use my drum set for my self-rehearsal, as I was working days and had little time for dragging the drums out, unless there was a gig. I would make an exception, on occasion, and rent a room for two hours and use the back line kit, if I felt that I really needed it. Sometimes I did, and I paid for it.

Personal time was rare. Vacations were rare. There was no taking my girlfriend out for dinner or romantic ventures. She wanted to spend time with me, so she learned how to setup and tear down drums, as well as how to tune, and how to troubleshoot things like bass drum pedals.

She got so good that a handful of drummers asked if they could hire her. And NO Yoko crap. Work only. She knew where to help and where to stand back. Very professional.

QUESTIONS THAT YOU SHOULD ASK YOURSELF
It really comes down to what you want.

Do you want to be with these other band members six months from now, wondering when they will straighten up?

Do you want to invest more into them, only to later be told that they're quitting because they want to have more time with their significant other?

OR

Do you want to build a solid band?

Do you want some recordings and memories of which you are proud?

Are YOU willing to make that sacrifice? Do YOU have that work ethic?

These are the hard questions, and they require some hard decisions. I made some hard decisions when I was young, left the safety of my hometown and traveled 2,000 miles to go to LA to give my dreams a shot, with nothing more than a change of clothes, a big bag of M&M's, and ten bucks. I borrowed drums, sometimes slept on the streets, sometimes relied on the kindness of complete strangers. That didn't always work out well. Things got dark, cold, and scary.

Sometimes I got tangled up with some questionable people. In LA, there are lots of people who like to call themselves "musicians," because they play an instrument. They're probably the most scary. A crocodile is easier to deal with, in that you know it wants to kill you. But these people? They want to be your friend first, and they'll even be nice to you at first. Be careful and stay on your toes.

I went there, worked hard, and gave it my best. I didn't get where I wanted to go. There are no guarantees that hard work will pay off. But I have some music and memories that are awesome. I had some great adventures. Best of all, I have no old man regrets. What if I had tried? I might cry of someone rips my ears clean off my skull, but I won't be crying over things that I did not do, or that things didn't work out.

Too many people are into the glamorous surface that comes with the prospect of being a musician. Although I never "got to the top," I got a good depth below the surface. You'll see things that will make you wish that you'd gotten an accounting degree, much like those freaky blind fish you can find at the bottom of the sea with a blinky light coming out of their skull.

But I digress. It really comes down to what you want to achieve and how far you are willing to go.

And no guarantees. None.
Thanks for the lengthy replies Drumwild, really appreciate it. It's not really the overall commitment of the band I'm questioning. The other guys are reliable, don't miss practices and show up on time. The band means a lot to the singer as all our tracks were written by him. We have a shared view of where we want the band to go, we even sacked our lead guitarist a couple of months ago, commitment being one of the reasons, and are currently looking for a replacement. As of this week we are increasing practices from once to twice a week and the motivation is clear to see. The one problem for me is the sloppiness when we play. We'll see if the extra rehearsal helps us anyway. As for the new guitarist, we're not looking for a genius, just someone reliable who can add depth to the sound. What worries me is that we'll be trying out new people next week and it's the existing members who can't get the songs right!

And Opentune, I see you've noticed this isn't the first time I've commented on this sort of thing! My previous posts may make me seem like a whiner (or whinger if you're British like me) who is never satisfied and throws his toys out of the pram at rehearsals. I really don't think I'm like that and feel that I have been patient enough to stay with it and keep quiet. I'm not the greatest of players either. I just feel like there needs to be a minimum standard that needs to be met at rehearsals and gigs (come on guys, play the right chord!) and wanted to share my experiences to see if any of you guys have to go through this too.
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  #11  
Old 09-13-2017, 12:10 PM
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jonescrusher jonescrusher is offline
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Default Re: When will the sloppiness end?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrumWild View Post

EARLY WORK ETHIC
When I was a teenager, I wanted to skip a drum lesson to go see Ozzy. My drum teacher, "King Richard," says, "Hey, you know what? Fine. If you want to be in the audience instead of on the stage, that's okay by me. In fact, you can stop showing up for lessons, and just keep mailing me checks if that's your attitude."

He was an ass, but he was right. I went to my lesson, because I knew what I wanted to do.

.

An excellent post Drumwild, but I have to disagree with the drum teacher's stance; seeing live music can be just as valuable as rehearsal and study. When else do you get to see how it's done?
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Old 09-13-2017, 01:29 PM
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SquadLeader SquadLeader is offline
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Default Re: When will the sloppiness end?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erberderber View Post
I've been in an originals band for over a year now and while I feel I know the songs pretty well and play them relatively comfortably, the other two guys in the band are still making tons of mistakes that should have been ironed out months ago. Granted we have had time off for summer holidays, but I just feel that we can't shed the sloppiness.

I'm not talking about little things either. The singer (also guitarist) forgets the words, plays the wrong chords and scuffs single notes. The bass player plays bum notes, sometimes even basslines in completely the wrong key. They're saying that they've forgotten the tunes while we've been away, but surely after a year those tunes would have been engrained into them by now.

When I go to gigs I just don't see this sort of thing happening. You might say, "oh you only notice it because it's you" and "other bands screw up, but you don't notice it", but when I see other bands, chord changes are smooth, notes are bang on and everything seems so effortless.

I really like this band and I think our songs have have an appeal, at least to a certain niche, but we're just not doing them justice and have so much work to do in order to do so. It's just so frustrating when I'm trying to be a solid reliable force in the band and there are train wrecks going on in front of me that I can't do anything about. I'm not saying I'm perfect, I would like to get tighter myself, but at least I'm able to get to the end of a song without going into meltdown. When will it end? And have any of you on here experienced this?
From personal experience. The guys who are holding your band back (by, basically, not practicing !) need to be got rid of sharpish. Else what will happen is that your band will stagnate, everyone will get frustrated, you'll get a bad rep, and the whole thing will end in tears.

I had to sack my best friend, and founding member, of my own originals band for something similar. Basically we couldn't move forward due to his incapability of learning new material at home. We became more and more frustrated. Warned him a couple of times. Then had to hit the button on him.

It's harsh, but honestly believe it's the only solution.

Problem with hobbyists such as us (and you I presume), we have jobs to go to so rehearsals are a place to hone up. To decide on the format of songs, gig set lists, to play through sets to make ourselves gig ready etc.

But the actual LEARNING and PRACTICING has to happen at home. And if the guys aren't willing to do that, then for the good of your band, and for your sanity, get rid of them.

I've developed an interesting approach at rehearsals these days. If someone keeps screwing up a song, I refuse to play it at the rehearsal any further. I just say "learn it for next week PROPERLY" then we'll do it again. I refuse to pay good money to listen to a guitarist fumble their way incoherently around a song. Get it learnt properly at home on your own dime, not mine, is my attitude.
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Last edited by SquadLeader; 09-13-2017 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 09-13-2017, 01:37 PM
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Default Re: When will the sloppiness end?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollywood Jim View Post
YES !

This is happening to me right now. I'm in a band that does all original material.
And to make it more difficult, the lead guitarist and song writer keeps making little changes in the songs.

Here is what is helping us. Record the songs (ignore the mistakes just get them recorded) and have each band member put all of the songs on their iPod or cell phone.
Listen to them often during the course of the day. Listen to them over and over until you can sing them like Beatle songs.


.
The guys who are fucking up will ALWAYS find a reason/an excuse to explain why they couldn't listen to the songs this week.

You're quite right of course.
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  #14  
Old 09-13-2017, 01:45 PM
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Default Re: When will the sloppiness end?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrumWild View Post
That's very true.

THE BAD SEEDS
You can meet a musician who has the best of talent, and yet has the worst work ethic. With them, they'd rather be doing anything other than rehearsal. I was in a band with a guitarist who could play like Al DiMeola. He would say that, "Every day we don't rehearse is a day that the other bands get ahead of us."

That sounds great, except that talk is cheap. When it came down to it, I'd mention rehearsal, and it was always met with resistance. The game is on. We're going drinkin' tonight.

After two weeks of no rehearsal, I just left. Done. I gave him four weeks, which was probably about five weeks too long.

There was one other, where this band sounded pretty damned good. I passed their audition and got ready for the first Thursday night rehearsal. I was working a day job, so my time was valuable. We had a 7:00pm scheduled rehearsal.

I get there at 6:00 because I want to warm up for 15 minutes, run my parts, work on trouble spots, and be ready to impress.

People start rolling in at around 7:30pm. By close to 8:00, they decide that a run to CVS for beer is in order. I wait behind. They get back around 8:20 or so. But then a few of them need to do their drugs, so there's THAT fiasco. Then, the singer saunters in by almost 9:00pm. By about 9:10, they are supposedly ready to rehearse.

By this point, I'm exhausted and ready to go home. Needless to say, but I did not stick around for another "rehearsal."

EARLY WORK ETHIC
When I was a teenager, I wanted to skip a drum lesson to go see Ozzy. My drum teacher, "King Richard," says, "Hey, you know what? Fine. If you want to be in the audience instead of on the stage, that's okay by me. In fact, you can stop showing up for lessons, and just keep mailing me checks if that's your attitude."

He was an ass, but he was right. I went to my lesson, because I knew what I wanted to do.

WANT A HARD WORKING BAND?
If you have a band, and you want to get really good, do shows, write and record, then you have to ask yourself some serious questions:

* What are my goals?
* What are my expectations?
* Am I wasting time or money here?

TAKING CHARGE
There was a time when I got sick of joining bands, and decided to form my own. We had goals and expectations. Don't waste time at rehearsal. Practice your parts on your own. NO figuring things out when the room is costing.

Rehearsal was broken out:

* Self-rehearsal at home.
* Band rehearsal once per week in a 3-hour RENTED room.
* First hour is running the show. Songs go back-to-back until there is a spot where the singer talks to the audience for about 30 seconds. No rambling. Planned dialogue.
* Second hour is rehearsing new songs. Stop for issues, or if clarification is needed.
* Third hour is for new material. This involves weeding out the songs that just aren't working out, discussing any issues in current songs that are on track, and the introduction of new material, including the distribution of audio files to all members.

Rehearsal never had a "hey man," discussions, or a therapy session where someone talks about what happened the night before.

If your goal is to try to get the band and the music somewhere, then you put sincere work into it.

There were a few members in the early line-up who were starting to slack. Back then, I was the owner of the project, investing my money into the rehearsal space. When they'd slack, they'd be told to not come back. Sure, it's scary because you wonder what the hell you're gonna do, or wonder how quickly you'll be able to replace them. But the alternative is to waste time, money, and energy.

Eventually, we got the line-up that wanted to work. They all wanted ownership, so we split rehearsal costs, recording costs, promo cost, and other expenses.

When everyone works, it feels great, and you just know it's going to sound good. I looked forward to rehearsal.

SELF-REHEARSAL
My self-rehearsal involved sticks, a practice pad, and pen and paper. I would listen to tapes, write out my parts, make notes, prepare questions, and get my folder ready for the next rehearsal.

I did not use my drum set for my self-rehearsal, as I was working days and had little time for dragging the drums out, unless there was a gig. I would make an exception, on occasion, and rent a room for two hours and use the back line kit, if I felt that I really needed it. Sometimes I did, and I paid for it.

Personal time was rare. Vacations were rare. There was no taking my girlfriend out for dinner or romantic ventures. She wanted to spend time with me, so she learned how to setup and tear down drums, as well as how to tune, and how to troubleshoot things like bass drum pedals.

She got so good that a handful of drummers asked if they could hire her. And NO Yoko crap. Work only. She knew where to help and where to stand back. Very professional.

QUESTIONS THAT YOU SHOULD ASK YOURSELF
It really comes down to what you want.

Do you want to be with these other band members six months from now, wondering when they will straighten up?

Do you want to invest more into them, only to later be told that they're quitting because they want to have more time with their significant other?

OR

Do you want to build a solid band?

Do you want some recordings and memories of which you are proud?

Are YOU willing to make that sacrifice? Do YOU have that work ethic?

These are the hard questions, and they require some hard decisions. I made some hard decisions when I was young, left the safety of my hometown and traveled 2,000 miles to go to LA to give my dreams a shot, with nothing more than a change of clothes, a big bag of M&M's, and ten bucks. I borrowed drums, sometimes slept on the streets, sometimes relied on the kindness of complete strangers. That didn't always work out well. Things got dark, cold, and scary.

Sometimes I got tangled up with some questionable people. In LA, there are lots of people who like to call themselves "musicians," because they play an instrument. They're probably the most scary. A crocodile is easier to deal with, in that you know it wants to kill you. But these people? They want to be your friend first, and they'll even be nice to you at first. Be careful and stay on your toes.

I went there, worked hard, and gave it my best. I didn't get where I wanted to go. There are no guarantees that hard work will pay off. But I have some music and memories that are awesome. I had some great adventures. Best of all, I have no old man regrets. What if I had tried? I might cry of someone rips my ears clean off my skull, but I won't be crying over things that I did not do, or that things didn't work out.

Too many people are into the glamorous surface that comes with the prospect of being a musician. Although I never "got to the top," I got a good depth below the surface. You'll see things that will make you wish that you'd gotten an accounting degree, much like those freaky blind fish you can find at the bottom of the sea with a blinky light coming out of their skull.

But I digress. It really comes down to what you want to achieve and how far you are willing to go.

And no guarantees. None.
Great post this. Really enjoyed reading it.

I don't think a band needs to be half as disciplined/strict as you're stating here to be an excellent band. But every single point you make is still 100% valid.
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Old 09-13-2017, 01:46 PM
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Default Re: When will the sloppiness end?

Basically you have to get a gig. They will either buckle down and practice or fold like a card table. There is a slight chance that they may be motivated by some goal, but probably not. If not you can save face on letting them go.
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Old 09-13-2017, 02:55 PM
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Default Re: When will the sloppiness end?

What's stopping you from keeping your current situation, and trying to find something more suitable with different people in the meantime?

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Old 09-13-2017, 03:02 PM
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Default Re: When will the sloppiness end?

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
What's stopping you from keeping your current situation, and trying to find something more suitable with different people in the meantime?

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I'll bet you 100....

Friendship
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Old 09-13-2017, 03:53 PM
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Default Re: When will the sloppiness end?

Jim, we have been recording ourselves since the beginning and it has been a great help and we have improved. It's just that the mistakes keep coming. There are some mistakes that I'd thought we'd dealt with ages ago that have crept back in recently. It seems like since we've been back after the summer, we've lost momentum.

Squadleader, we've already sacked someone, the guys making the mistakes now are the surviving members!

Smoothoperator, we've already done a couple of gigs. On both occasions the singer/guitarist suffered a meltdown half way through the set. We had to stop songs and start them again because He was totally out of key or half a bar off time. I just hope that in the next few weeks things are going to click.

And Larry, believe it or not, I joined this band in order to get away from a band I was in 2 years ago, which was much worse! I have made a solo album on my home recording facility, but it's nowhere near as fun as creating something from scratch with 2 or 3 other guys.
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Old 09-13-2017, 04:04 PM
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Default Re: When will the sloppiness end?

Jim, we have been recording ourselves since the beginning and it has been a great help and we have improved. It's just that the mistakes keep coming. There are some mistakes that I'd thought we'd dealt with ages ago that have crept back in recently. It seems like since we've been back after the summer, we've lost momentum.

Squadleader, we've already sacked someone, the guys making the mistakes now are the surviving members!

Smoothoperator, we've already done a couple of gigs. On both occasions the singer/guitarist suffered a meltdown half way through the set. We had to stop songs and start them again because He was totally out of key or half a bar off time. I just hope that in the next few weeks things are going to click.

And Larry, believe it or not, I joined this band in order to get away from a band I was in 2 years ago, which was much worse! I have made a solo album on my home recording facility, but it's nowhere near as fun as creating something from scratch with 2 or 3 other guys.
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Old 09-13-2017, 04:07 PM
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Default Re: When will the sloppiness end?

A couple of thoughts:

1. Do the other people really know how bad they sound?

You should record your practices, listen to them as a band, and don't give your opinion until they say what they think.

If they think it sounds good, I'd look for another gig outside of what you're doing with these guys.

If they think it sounds as bad as you do, then you have a very good jumping-off point.


2. I'm curious as to how you guys practice. Like, when you finish a song and it sounds bad, do y'all just kind of say, "Wow, that sounded bad. What's the next song?" or do you all say, "Wow, that sounded bad. Let's play that again a couple of times to get it better."
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Old 09-13-2017, 04:34 PM
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Default Re: When will the sloppiness end?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erberderber View Post
Jim, we have been recording ourselves since the beginning and it has been a great help and we have improved. It's just that the mistakes keep coming. There are some mistakes that I'd thought we'd dealt with ages ago that have crept back in recently. It seems like since we've been back after the summer, we've lost momentum.

Squadleader, we've already sacked someone, the guys making the mistakes now are the surviving members!

Smoothoperator, we've already done a couple of gigs. On both occasions the singer/guitarist suffered a meltdown half way through the set. We had to stop songs and start them again because He was totally out of key or half a bar off time. I just hope that in the next few weeks things are going to click.

And Larry, believe it or not, I joined this band in order to get away from a band I was in 2 years ago, which was much worse! I have made a solo album on my home recording facility, but it's nowhere near as fun as creating something from scratch with 2 or 3 other guys.
Sorry to hear all this mate. It sounds like a car crash.

Sounds like you need to meet some new guys. But easier said than done I know.
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Old 09-13-2017, 04:59 PM
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Default Re: When will the sloppiness end?

I had rehearsal yesterday for a metal project that was a near disaster. The bassist was just back from a tour with a different band and visibly exhausted. The guitarist had just spent 10 days in mexico and had neglected to bring his guitar with him. 1st time we had played the material in 2 and a half weeks and it was horrendous. Solution was to play each song more times than usual. The sloppiness will never end. mistakes are inevitable and all we can do is practice our butts off to try and make as few mistakes as possible. In most of the bands i've been in an effective way to get tighter and lessen the sloppiness is for the first couple of rehearsals run each song a minimum of 3 times in a row. Then the next couple of rehearsals we run the set list 3 times in a row always allowing time for a free jam at some point in the process to really get to know each other as musicians and not just executants.
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Old 09-13-2017, 05:14 PM
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TripleStroke TripleStroke is offline
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Default Re: When will the sloppiness end?

Quote:
Originally Posted by opentune View Post
Just my honest observation. You've posted a number of threads about 'band woes'. This person slacking, another person not into it, etc.
I get the sense you stick it out with people who are below your expectations. You stick it out for a long time, perhaps way too long, hoping it gets better.

You ask 'when will it end'? Honestly, I don't think it will stop at all.... until you change bands, or change out the slacking members in your own band.
This in so many words...
Aside from the fact that humans arent robots and that they will be perfect (which you know im sure), the effort you speak of thats missing from contributing members to be students of their own game, thats a professional mentality ur asking for. The better you are at taking time to hone the obvious rough edges and make it sound as clean and diffused into the song, the better pro you are (even if ur not making platninum records)

A lotta times i give us, the amateur bands the status and level of success deserved because of this. They are what they are because of this limitation put on themselves (due to work/personal life what have u). To me, being a pro doesnt mean you have to make a TON of money to do what u do. It to me, means paying attention to details, make music be ur primary focus (even that moment u practice or gig....aside from your own full time job u possess) and actually improve and present sound music to self and the crowd to hear. So these little mistakes they make? Do you not make them either? Maybe youre more conscious of it (drummers sitting at the back do usually notice more singing/guitar errors) but you guys are in a way, ONE. Ive heard from people at gigs as an amateur band, that i was the best part of the band/music before as well. Maybe i paid the most attention that night? Maybe i was able to make the least amount of mistakes? It happens.

In other words, if your current band doesnt take it as seriously as you do, and if ur NOT ok with that, then u need to ideally find a new band, where member are more "serious" and "pro" minded. They will challenge each other and push one another to play better as a collective. However most case of amateur bands they dont care as a collective - as they love doing what theyre doing with the people they formed the band with and it trumps having to force professional mentality over each other because it doesnt work anyway.
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Old 09-13-2017, 06:19 PM
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Default Re: When will the sloppiness end?

September 8, 1977: A young Edward Van Halen is messing around on his guitar in the studio, when producer Ted Templeman asks him what he's playing. "It's nothing, just some solo thing I do at shows." Templeman says that we need to record that "right now." This interaction results in a track on their first record, titled, "Eruption." 40 years later, it's one of the most iconic tracks in recorded history.

But he made a mistake early in the solo. Nobody heard it, and he left it. To this day, he listens and thinks about how he could have done so much better. The rest of the world doesn't give a sh*t.

Was there a mistake? I trust his opinion. Was it sloppy? If it was, then I cannot tell.

The points to this is that you probably won't reach perfection, and that perfection really may not be all that important.

Escaping "slopping" is infinitely more important, and I think that's true, whether you're trying to be a professional, or just hanging out and jamming with friends.

On the other side of the coin that was my story about my pursuits to be a pro musician, I have some friends and we get together once a month to jam. There are mistakes, there are laughs, and there are beers stacking up over time. But it's still fun, and fun is the ONLY goal.

Part of what makes it fun is that everyone wants to be there. I'll sit and jam on the songs, in a relatively loose effort to be prepared for that day. I know that I won't enjoy it if I'm sloppy or don't know what I'm doing. We swap instruments and funny things can happen. That's the loose nature of it.

My desire to be a better musician, and my personal practice on my instrument is what I trust to keep my parts from getting sloppy.

Sloppiness can make it all feel bad.

Feel good, not bad.
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Old 09-13-2017, 06:25 PM
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larryace larryace is offline
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Default Re: When will the sloppiness end?

You joined your current band to get away from you last band, and it was an improvement. Maybe the same thing will happen again. But you don't have to quit your current band while you try to find others to work with. Your response to my suggestion wasn't really a response to the suggestion, you gave me history. Which is fine, but you didn't say why or even if you would or wouldn't look for others.
If you keep doing what you're doing, you'll keep getting what you're getting.

You have no control over others. It sounds like you are playing with people who aren't real big on improving themselves. When things start going backwards...I can't deal with going backwards. I'd be out of there. There's too many hard working fish in the sea to waste your time with clownfishes :)

Sounds like you're wasting your time on people who aren't worth your time.
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:56 PM
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Default Re: When will the sloppiness end?

Like what most other people said, it's about practice on YOUR OWN TIME.

Sounds to me like these guys don't ever sit down and practice at home. If the singer forgets the words, he should have them written down or printed out and in front of him at rehearsal.

Full band rehearsal is for just that, rehearsal. Not learning (or re-learning parts). Do the homework and show up prepared.
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Old 09-13-2017, 09:26 PM
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Default Re: When will the sloppiness end?

Often it doesn't go over well, but throwing a click on the practice room PA can really help iron out things that aren't working. Not even limited to just time issues. When confronted with keeping up with "perfect" time, many string players will actually hold back a bit more and play more within their abilities so they don't sacrifice time, the end result being cleaner but less flashy playing(a good thing). Drummers too for that matter. Even I am often much more reserved when I know I gotta hit that accent click perfectly.
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Old 09-13-2017, 10:42 PM
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Default Re: When will the sloppiness end?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SquadLeader View Post
The guys..... will ALWAYS find a reason/an excuse to explain why they couldn't listen to the songs this week..
I used to have a bass player that would say, "I listened to it a bunch of times!" but he would never take his bass home and practice it lol.



Quote:
The points to this is that you probably won't reach perfection, and that perfection really may not be all that important.
In all aspects of life, if you aim for perfection, you will end up in a better position than if you aim for "close enough". Don't drive yourself insane but set your sights high.

Last edited by New Tricks; 09-13-2017 at 10:53 PM.
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Old 09-19-2017, 04:10 PM
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Default Re: When will the sloppiness end?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erberderber View Post
The singer (also guitarist) forgets the words, plays the wrong chords and scuffs single notes. The bass player plays bum notes, sometimes even basslines in completely the wrong key. They're saying that they've forgotten the tunes while we've been away, but surely after a year those tunes would have been engrained into them by now.
Im curious, do they listen to their own music? is there some unwritten law that says a band is not able to listen to their own music like a fan would listen?
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