Insulting a member on the bandstand

alparrott

Platinum Member
Since I tend to think that I make too many mistakes playing live, I would never think of calling someone out for a mistake of their own in front of an audience. Having said that, even if someone on the stage is making terrible, terrible mistakes, pointing it out on stage, trading insults, or making comments about it to the audience is never a good move. Bite your tongue, get through the set, and then have a talk. If the problem is so egregious, get through the night and then let the offender go. Life's too short and even if it's a job, music should be fun and enjoyable... right?
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
It's alot easier to be fun enjoyable when the rest of the guys are pulling their weight, I know that.

Great point Al. I said something to a singer once, about forgetting the vocals and his inability to lead us out of Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On". It went on and on and on, OMG.

Lol I remember saying, "If I did my job as good as you do yours, I wouldn't have this gig". He asked me if I want to take it outside. I said, no I just want you to remember the lyrics FCS. He was a cokehead hammer. I have a history of telling off hammers.

Afterwards, my then horror of GF took his side and told me, you guys are supposed to be having fun up there.

Yea...but....

Lol.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
It's alot easier to be fun enjoyable when the rest of the guys are pulling their weight, I know that.

Great point Al. I said something to a singer once, about forgetting the vocals and his inability to lead us out of Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On". It went on and on and on, OMG.

Lol I remember saying, "If I did my job as good as you do yours, I wouldn't have this gig". He asked me if I want to take it outside. I said, no I just want you to remember the lyrics FCS. He was a cokehead hammer. I have a history of telling off hammers.

Afterwards, my then horror of GF took his side and told me, you guys are supposed to be having fun up there.

Yea...but....

Lol.
I think it's very telling that musicians themselves have bought into the stereotype of musicians as drug-addled flakes and egotists and we get into bands pretty much expecting to get into a scrape with a bandmember at some point.

I have only once ever joined a band out of any modicum of financial necessity, and to be sure the takehome wasn't great, but it beat not eating. Having said that, it was not a fun work environment. The musicianship level was high and so were the bandleader's expectations. To be honest, I still had a lot of rough spots in my playing (and still do, but man I can tell the difference to those days when I play now). My departure was unheralded and kind of just happened when gigs were being booked that I wasn't getting told to show up to (the classic passive-aggressive firing, right?)

Contrast that with the best band I've ever been in, which was four guys committed to having fun and creating good music first, and everything else could be worked out from there. A much lower level of musicianship, but we weren't trying to be anything but ourselves. Never was an unkind word spoken between us in the years we were together. At one point very early on in our career we were asked to play a gay pride event. While none of us are or were in any way anti-gay, I was at the time in a leadership position at a church which would have made my appearance at the event a potential issue. Despite the fact that it would have been an incredible opportunity for a very new band, the other guys heard me out, and all agreed to pass on the event. I "made it up to them" by booking us two very lucrative shows elsewhere later that year. Later, after I had left the band (on good terms, relocated due to my job), they were able to book another go-round of that event, so all's well.

Conflict in bands draws a different flavor of audience than normal -- see the Kinks, Oasis, etc. for example -- and it's a flavor I don't care for. I tend to think that a band of friends makes better music and creates a better experience than a loose association of musicians who don't care for each other.

Sorry to ramble off the OP's original intent.
 

petey

Member
What the OP did doesn't seem super mean or hurtful but I do think it's UNprofessional when a band member gestures wildly or is obnoxious to another band member about their playing when on stage in front of people. It's rude when they have to really make it known that you're not playing the way they want you to play.

You talk to the person between sets and work it out...you don't do it in front of the crowd.

A singer I was in a band with ALWAYS did this to me, she'd roll her finger around with a scowl and say "come on, speed it up!" and it just looked so tacky. Same band, the guitar player would yell it to me, 'Come on, Tempo man, Tempo!". Never happened to me ever before except in that one band. They were brother and sister and they ran the band. I didn't last in that one, ended up quitting.

But it's so much better to have subtle cues or a wink or signal to use when something needs to slow down or a change needs to happen or you want to convey a message to a player, you don't want the crowd seeing that obnoxious crap... Makes the band look unprofessional.
 

STXBob

Gold Member
So if that guy couldn't take the criticism or the advice he's not a very professional musician
This.

And "ruins the vibe"?

Really?

All I have to say to "buzzkill," or "ruins the vibe," or whatever, is screw that! Sloppy playing ruins MY buzz, and if you want to talk about "ruins the vibe," when the band is pulling against itself, there is no vibe to ruin! It's a mess. It needs to be corrected. He doesn't deserve to have his "vibe" or "buzz" any more than anyone else on the bandstand. Martin, neither you nor anyone else was playing so this jerk could have his "vibe." You were playing for everyone's enjoyment, not just his. If he can't handle being corrected, screw him.

Can you tell people like that push my buttons?

Al mentioned that he thinks he makes lots of mistakes and that prevents him from pointing out others' errors. I find that counterproductive. I hope, if I make a mistake, I am corrected. I solicit such correction. You don't have to be perfect to point out errors in others. Just ask my wife. ;-D
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Communication with words onstage can be problematic. Sometimes I will get corrected, either the song was started too slow, or he feels I am dragging. Anyway, he would say something to me like "Don't slow down". But all I would hear is "slow down". So I would end up doing the opposite of what he wanted. On a break I asked him to speak to me only in positive language up there because I miss stuff, can't hear speaking that well back there. Slow down is slow down, speed up is speed up. He does it subtle, the way it's supposed to be done. I also told him he can point up if he wants to speed up a little, or point down to slow it down a bit. He hasn't used that yet.

Alot of players plain don't like to take any instructions from drummers I've found. I almost never blatently correct anyone onstage. One exception is my bass player. After 2.5 years, he still hasn't internalized the keys of the songs we do, and will start off in the wrong key, and play the wrong key for too long, and in a knee jerk reaction, I will say the key for him. He can't hear that well, and sometimes he can't tell when he's playing in the wrong key. That happens far too much. like 10 times a night. I don't understand for the life of me how a guy can make the same mistakes on the same songs for over 2 years straight.

Friggin "Louie Louie" is in A, it's so stupid easy. Yet every night he tries about 2 different keys before he arrives at A. Stupid simple mistakes that really shouldn't happen.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
Martin, just wondering if you could have been affected by adrenaline when you perceived the bass to be dragging. When I'm hyped up there are times when everything seems like it's dragging.
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
I think there is a different standard for sit ins. It's your song, you can't have it drag(people will think you are dragging) you are responsible for the sound, of course some tom work or kick feathering might be just as effective, maybe he just didn't understand how you swing.
 

martinbr

Member
Martin, just wondering if you could have been affected by adrenaline when you perceived the bass to be dragging. When I'm hyped up there are times when everything seems like it's dragging.
Adrenaline might have played a little in it. But I don't think it had anything to do with the time. I don't know man, I play with other players and it doesn't feel like this, but I guess it could have been me not listening carefully at the start of the tune and the bass player was already committed to a tempo.

It just makes it hard because I can't free myself up to be able to get the ideas that I have in my head out on the kit. I am too busy fighting to keep the time up. And who is going to get the blame? The drummer of course, because it's his responsibility as the part of the rhythm section to maintain that time thruout the tune.

You know this is funny, that was last Wend, and it's still screwing with me. I hate when those kind of things happen.
martinbr
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
You know this is funny, that was last Wend, and it's still screwing with me. I hate when those kind of things happen.
Don't we all. Pity you didn't have a recording.

Some musical relationships, like any relationships, don't work out. Not everyone will like you, nor you them. You should feel better about all of it next time you have a session with compatible players.
 

Michaelocalypse

Senior Member
Unless there's more to the OP's story than we realize, the bass player sounds like he was there for his own self gratification. I'm assuming that when you signalled for him to speed up, it was a subtle as possible, and not noticeable to the people listening. If that's the case, and you counted off and held tempo, then you didn't insult him at all. He's just insecure.
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
.

1).....the bass player was already committed to a tempo. .......

2) ....I am too busy fighting to keep the time up.......

3)....who is going to get the blame? The drummer of course, because it's his responsibility as the part of the rhythm section to maintain that time thruout the tune.
1) he is committed.... roll with it.

2) don't fight, see #1 ^

3) Key words, the part. The responsibility is shared throughout the rhythm section.

It's a team sport. Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow.
 
G

gf2564

Guest
1) he is committed.... roll with it.

2) don't fight, see #1 ^

3) Key words, the part. The responsibility is shared throughout the rhythm section.

It's a team sport. Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow.
Agreed 100%! Every time this topic has come up on here, I have always felt this the best way to handle it on stage. As someone else said earlier, work on temp at rehearsals, hopefully this will carry over in live applications.
To take the stand that I (drummer) will dictate (and not deviate) the time regardless of what tempo others are playing, usually does not make for the tightest performance. It is a team sport, and more importantly, a team responsibility, as you point out!
 

bigiainw

Gold Member
I depped on a gig on Saturday night, a friend's soul band, playing a wedding. I knew the tunes but wasn't sure of their arrangements, so the bass player and singer counted off the tunes to give me an idea off the tempos. That was fine as it went, but the singer would count it off, we would start and then she would signal me to slow down or speed up depending on which way she had got it wrong.

I didn't actually mind. In the end it wasn't my gig (standing in for a very sick mate), the pay was good and it was their gig and their reputation on the line. Oh and did I mention she is gorgeous....

After the gig the singer complemented me on my responsiveness to her hand (fnarr), as my mate, the usual drummer generally ignores her. Oh well!
 
G

gf2564

Guest
I depped on a gig on Saturday night, a friend's soul band, playing a wedding. I knew the tunes but wasn't sure of their arrangements, so the bass player and singer counted off the tunes to give me an idea off the tempos. That was fine as it went, but the singer would count it off, we would start and then she would signal me to slow down or speed up depending on which way she had got it wrong.

I didn't actually mind. In the end it wasn't my gig (standing in for a very sick mate), the pay was good and it was their gig and their reputation on the line. Oh and did I mention she is gorgeous....

After the gig the singer complemented me on my responsiveness to her hand (fnarr), as my mate, the usual drummer generally ignores her. Oh well!
Well at least she attempted to count it off! :) When the question of tempo has come up in one of the bands I play in, I have ask the lead singer to count it off in the tempo he feels comfortable with (I know, a good argument for a metronome!). He says he can't and bases his "tempo" on his dance moves, which are not always consistent! What are you going to do.......grit your teeth, bite your tongue, and adjust on the fly (or ignore him, if the other band members do not adjust!).
 
Top