Band members too loud?

last time i practiced with my band, we had the cops called on us because we were playing too loud. i definitly agreed with him, since my band mates' amps were turned to 9.5 with their guitars turned up to max.
practice didnt start out like that though. our first song, it sounded fine, but as soon as we practiced crazy train, the lead guitarist turned his amp up. that made the bassist turn his amp up because he couldnt hear himself. i then had to play louder because i couldnt even hear my own drums aside from my hi-hats. this couldve all been avoided if our guitarist wouldve just left his amp alone.

i honestly could bearly hear my own snare drum, and that usually cuts through very well. is this my fault, my drums fault(for being a low-grade drum set made of practically plywood and some basswood) or my guitarists fault?
 

drum.lad

Senior Member
Not to be biased but drummers are always right and guitar players wrong its just makes sense.Anyway he really should not be playing at that level.Did the cops say anything funny to you they always say something funny(or try to).
 

donv

Silver Member
Can barely hear your own snare? Wow!

This is just an opinion, but it seems like neither you nor the music is getting much respect from you fellow musicians. What is the point of playing the music so unbalanced in volume? It can't sound good. Just a thought, but it sounds like the guitarists are more into hearing themselves then the music. Unfortunately that's not unusual.
 

eddiehimself

Platinum Member
Not to be biased but drummers are always right and guitar players wrong its just makes sense.Anyway he really should not be playing at that level.Did the cops say anything funny to you they always say something funny(or try to).
+1. The drummer should always set the volume at band practise. How loud everyones' amps are should depend entirely on the volume you make as a drummer, as a rule. If your guitar player is too loud then they always have the option to turn down. You don't have the option to turn up. That's why your opinion on the volume should always be the most important. Also, if you can afford it try looking at soundproofing.
 

Morbid Koala

Senior Member
I'm posting this probably the most biased forum possible but yeah...

My band has shattered bar mirrors with the frequencies we emit. Not bragging, mind you. It's the sole reason I play with acrylic drums. Not every joint has a PA for the drums and that's the only way to compete with 300 watt Bassman's and 150 watt Ampeg V4's.

The band moans and complains if I'm using a maple kit, even with a 26" kick. They want the acrylic.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Pull their volume knob off the stem, rotate it through about 45 degrees clockwise then put it back on. That means they think 6 is 10. Hehehe. Usually works for 5 minutes and delivers the message when they discover what you've done. Only works on the knobs with splines though.
 

rogue_drummer

Gold Member
LOL. I'm sure it wasn't funny when it happened, but all bands go through this at one point or another. To be serious though...

I play in band now that has two guitars, a bass, and me. We started off practicing at the lead's house and started at 8 pm-ish and ended at 10 pm. Before I joined the band, they did have the cops called for the very reason you wrote about. The cops were cool about it from what I understand, and the band complied to turn down. The cops suggested look into the city ordinance and find out when loud noises aren't permitted. The cops said 10 pm, but wanted the band to look it up also. The lead did and the ordinances said 10 pm, so that is when we 1) either stop rehearsals, or 2) go purely accustic using no amps and I play with brushes. And it seems to work well since nobody has complained of the volumn since switching to this rehearsal schedule.

Now we rehearse in a good sized bar with a 200 seat room in the back, so we can be as loud as we want. Usually we keep it average and normal.

I would say based on your post, it's not your fault, it's the guitarist turning up past a normal volume that caused everyone to play louder. Don't sweat it, it's a normal growing process for bands. If it continues and the guitarist can't back off and turn down, I'd have a serious discussion with him. Why should the rest of the band suffer because of his ego?
 
M

Mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
Change the power supply in his amp down to a 5W. That'll sort it out.
 

dum6sh1t

Junior Member
Our singer has a real problem with being too loud. The strings department has a good sense of volume however. We rearranged the PA speakers to aim right at him to prove a point one day and it flew right over his head lol. Some people just love to hear themselves I guess.
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
To deal with this, you have to talk to your band mates about it. Play with lighter sticks. Get some way to record yourselves to see who is too loud and by how much. If you can't control something this basic, people will not want to listen to you, and instead will try to shut you down.
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
The drummer should always set the volume at band practise. How loud everyones' amps are should depend entirely on the volume you make as a drummer, as a rule.
Agreed!

If your guitar player is too loud then they always have the option to turn down. You don't have the option to turn up.
Yeah you do. That is, unless you always play at 100% volume, which is just foolish. Even if you "bash away" at the drums rather than play them with finesse and dynamic control, it's always wise to give yourself some headroom so you can "kick it up a notch", if you need to.

Also, if you can afford it try looking at soundproofing.
Absolutely! This was going to be my suggestion.

One time, my band needed to practice *right before* heading out on the road, so we met at my house. Nobody liked the idea of carrying their stuff up the stairs in my house to my practice room, so we set up in my driveway and had practice out there. We had tons of neighbors gather around and totally dig what we were doing. As we finished and were tearing down, several cop cars come screeching up. We got issued a warning as long as we swore never to do it again. Rock and ROLL!!!! \m/
 
A

audiotech

Guest
If your guitar player is too loud then they always have the option to turn down. You don't have the option to turn up.
If taught correctly, there is an incredible amount of dynamic range that is capable from a drum kit. Your volume control is your hands and the ability to fit the style of music without going over the top. Some of the best advice my dad taught me many years ago.

Dennis
 

yesdog

Silver Member
I was told by a fellow drummer we are the buss driver the rest are the kids in the back of the bus. somtimes you have to pull over and say were not going anyware until you behave.
I thaught that was a funny philosophy. since guitar players don't consider drummers as musicians. you no what I mean Im sure we have heard all of the drummer jokes.
giutar players can be ego maniacs and somtimes you have to put them in there place and tell them to STFU or impail a drumstick in one of there speakers or there head LOL.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
as we practiced crazy train, the lead guitarist turned his amp up. that made the bassist turn his amp up because he couldnt hear himself. i then had to play louder
In the 70s we referred to guitarists like that as power-heads. It's a funny thing in hindsight - everyone going all out for maximum power. Reminds me of Parliament House.

Unless you have a powerful PA and the drums are unmic'd, I don't think the drummer should set the volume. Ideally the volume should be set around the singer. In most styles each band member should be able to make out the lyrics (apart from hard rock, where the vocals are often just a hum over the wall of sound).

When a guitarist turns up so loud that others can't hear themselves, then the guitarist is igoring everyone else's enjoyment. There is a word for people who pleasure themselves.
 

Stoney

Senior Member
Firstly either practice in a proper rehearsal space or properly soundproof yours. Cops will never disturb you then.

It's about having a balance. If the guitarist gets off on playing loud then ask him to turn his amp around. If that fails, plead with him to turn down.
 

rogue_drummer

Gold Member
...giutar players can be ego maniacs....

Boy, that is so true! Guiatr players!! It's always guitar players!!

However to be honest, the 3 cats I now play in a band with are the most layed-back, enjoyable, funny musicians I've been around in quite a while. And these guys can play! Not an ego among them, so the volume is pretty much on target. Music is good, comaradarie is good, rehearsals are always productive...we have momentum!
 

mrchattr

Gold Member
A practice is also called a rehearsal. That's because you are rehearsing what you are going to do at a show. One important part of this is rehearsing like you are going to perform. I constantly see bands make the mistake of not doing this...either by not playing at the volumes they will need to live, or facing each other, and then when they get on stage and can't see each other, they miss visual cues, etc. Most bands that are still practicing in a place where the cops can be called (as opposed to a sound-proof place, studio, etc...in other words, bands that are not professional enough to have a true rehearsal space), are never, and I mean NEVER, going to be playing in a place that wants amps turned up that loud. You would be amazed at how many venues won't rebook bands because of the volume they play at. My main cover band, Pulse, has often played places once, and then not only gotten re-booked there, but gotten other bands dates, because we don't make ears bleed, and because we make sure that you can always hear all four vocals above everything else. In a band with four very good musicians, if I may say so myself, the thing we are most complimented on is our sound. It's a good habbit to get into.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
...giutar players can be ego maniacs....

Boy, that is so true! Guiatr players!! It's always guitar players!!
You've probably heard the line about how you need to to crank up to get that overdriven Marshall stack sound. No distortion box thanks so the music can be played at a tolerable volume - it doesn't sound the same! A "tolerable volume"? Hell no - this is rawk'n'roll! That's why Spinal Tap's amps went all the way to 11 :)

So, in order for the purist rockin' guitarist to get his rocks off everyone is expected to struggle with his wall of sound.

Agree with mrchattr's comments about hearing the vocals above all else (and I'll add being able to make out the lyrics) and also that being too loud has not only lost bands their jobs but also caused venues to replace live music with poker machines. They make more money, create less chaos and don't cause noise complaints.

Loud enough to be exciting = good. Loud enough to hurt everyone's ears = bad.
 

Morbid Koala

Senior Member
In defense of guitar players and volume, if your guitarist is running a vintage Marshall, Orange, Laney or any kind of vintage tube amp, they're going to tell you it needs to be run at a certain level in order to achieve the awesome tone that is derived from pushing the tubes.

If they're running modern amps like Mesa or Krank, it's probably just going to be gain crazy garbage, just louder.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
But if the guitarist achieves a wonderful overdrive sound sound that drowns everyone else out and you can't hear the vocalist properly ...
 
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