Lazy Guitarists...

Galadrm

Senior Member
Well, I do love playing in my band, but there are a couple of things I just can't stand.

Both the guitarists in the band refuse to buy a proper tuner pedal. We gig relatively often, often enough to own one in my opinion. One guitarist has one of those dodgy clip on tuners that doesn't work half the time, the lead guitarist doesn't even own a tuner, thinks he can tune by ear just fine. Maybe he can 90% of the time, but it also requires that the whole audience to hear you tune down from standard to drop D with your 3rd, highest gain channel engaged while the lead singer is trying to do a bit of stage talk.

The other thing that I cannot stand is when they fail (normally forget) to hit their pedal for a dynamic change in the song, and then compensate by hitting it halfway through the first bar of the chorus. Their excuse is that the pedal was not near them at the time, hence couldn't press it. I quietly think 'well get in the right ****** position before a section change so that you can press your pedal right on time.'

The last straw on my temper came today when teaching a new guitarist (good friend) our originals for our EP launch, as our current guitarist has a broken wrist. Mid way through jam he kept insisting he was in tune, while I was telling him he wasn't, this debate ended with me using a tuner (god knows how I found one) to prove he was wrong. He then blamed it on the fact that his absolute tuning was out, but not his relative tuning. All the guitarists I know do not seem to care whatsoever about absolute pitch, just so that their strings are in tune with each other.

I just cant stand these habits, I am always spot on with my parts and well prepared for gigs. A bit of a rant but am also looking for a solution/discussion. I'm guessing these are just the guitarists I know and not all of them. I think if I played guitar in a band there is no way I would adopt these habits. What is the best way teach them to use their pedals properly and to convince them that the use of a tuner pedal is not an 'opinion' but a requirement.
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
I don't actually know what he's doing but a guy I play with flicks through all his different channels and settings at full volume while kneeling near his amp, on stage in front of an audience. I'm not really in a position to call him out on it but if it the crowd find it half as annoying as I do - it's not a good look.

Started playing with a new guy and unfortunately noticing some annoying common traits.

Guitarists :(
 
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Anon La Ply

Renegade
I could criticise all the guitarists I've played with and I expect they'd have reasonable criticisms of me. I guess we were at similar levels.
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
P.s

Enough of the guitar solos! 1 a night is fine.. One on every song makes the crowd switch off. As does smoke on the water. Smoke on the water = instant crowd boner killer, they all get up and walk out.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Honestly, I think clip on tuners are the best invention ever. I have one on every guitar. I can tune anywhere plugged in or not. Simpler pedalboard too, with no tone loss.

Not being prepared and not keeeping unwanted noise out is just unprofessional though, regardless of what instrument one plays.

Drummers and guitar players both tend to be way worse statistically than the rest of the band with inappropriate shredding.
 

Galadrm

Senior Member
P.s

Enough of the guitar solos! 1 a night is fine.. One on every song makes the crowd switch off. As does smoke on the water. Smoke on the water = instant crowd boner killer, they all get up and walk out.
Hahaha more like one every song! From what I gather lead guitarists know very little about groove. People love dancing to a solid grooving band, with vocals over the top. As soon as you chuck in any type of solo, or odd feeling part the crowd immediately responds accordingly. Unfortunately some will never learn.

Honestly, I think clip on tuners are the best invention ever. I have one on every guitar. I can tune anywhere plugged in or not. Simpler pedalboard too, with no tone loss.

Not being prepared and not keeeping unwanted noise out is just unprofessional though, regardless of what instrument one plays.

Drummers and guitar players both tend to be way worse statistically than the rest of the band with inappropriate shredding.
You are probably right, I probably didn't mean to dig at clip on tuners. Its just that when our one guitarist uses it, he doesn't bother turning down his guitar, plus his must be a very cheap one because it is not always accurate/very slow to respond.

Has anyone ever played with people with shocking stage etiquette, but have found them to improve over time? Another peeve of mine being an engineer/producer is when sound checking and the engineer asks for one drum at a time, then both guitarists start randomly shredding? I always tell them to be quiet and the engineer always appreciates the help. I just hope my bandmates learn!!! I think it is so important to be known as a respectful easy band to work with, for the sake of callbacks and people spreading the word.
 

Tommy_D

Platinum Member
Wait a second... Your guitarist tunes down his guitar for different songs while on stage? Why doesnt he have a second guitar tuned down and ready to go off on the side of the stage that he can swap out? Seriously, guitars are dirt cheap and not all that difficult to transport. If you play songs that are drop D or down a half step or whatever, the guy should have different guitars. No one wants to listen or take the time waiting while the guitarist re-tunes their guitar between songs.

Not only that, but instruments that are designed to play notes need to be in tune with actual notes. Not "relative" to other out of tune notes on the instrument, but dead on with the actual frequency that note plays.

I agree, your guitarists are lazy and more than likely your band is suffering dearly because of it. Crowds are probably less excited to see you guys play, which leads to them leaving earlier, which means less drink sales and an unhappy bar owner who wont hire you again.

Who knew tuning was such an important part of being in a sucessful band.
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
Electric Guitarists often times don't seem in control of their instruments. Especially when it comes to pickups, amps and pedals. This is a specifically guitar phenomena. Take synth players as a contrast, synth players seem to be more aware of how their effects alter dynamics and tuning... intonation.

My hypothesis is that it has to do with the way their equipment is sold and cobbled together, and the fact that your average guitarist doesn't really understand what the effects do, so can't effectively use them in an effects chain, in a reproducible manner, or for on the spot improvisations.
 

Bull

Gold Member
I can't believe your vocalist hasn't put an end to that tuning issue. Nothing like singing a tune in a different tuning everyday.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Some of the things that I'm reading here make me go, really? Tuning so the whole place can hear? Really?

They need to be embarrassed into not doing that. Or something. It's unacceptable, period.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Professional guitarists use a bypass tuner on stage, either on the floor or on the rack. This is so that you can tune without making a ruckus. The bypass also makes it so the tuner does not attenuate the signal when it is not in use.

I've found it strange that bass players tend to forego the bypass because they like the "Night Rider" look when they play. They also tend to have line-level outputs available which solves the attenuation issue that guitarists face.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
We have a rule at rehearsals......No noodling between songs, and that means everybody. Tuning must be done silently.

On stage...Anyone playing anything between numbers gets dragged home behind the van after the show. Its not only un profesional, its downright ignorant when you have an audience to entertain. Tuners cost next to nothing, compared to a Fender or a Gibson guitar.
 

Icetech

Gold Member
I really doubt the guys tuner is bad.. i am willing to be hes lazy and says close enough.. i have a $15 tuner that has been beat to death for the last 25 years and is still dead on..

Just curious.. i will never play in a band and thus don't know the struggles.. is it that hard to find a new guitarist to replace ones that make you nuts...

P.S. tuning at full volume at a gig.. have never seen that in my life unless it was like 1 string was a touch out..
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
is it that hard to find a new guitarist to replace ones that make you nuts...
As with any instrument, the answer is yes. Finding a dozen guitar players is easy. Finding a professional guitarist is really really difficult.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Some of the things that I'm reading here make me go, really? Tuning so the whole place can hear? Really?

They need to be embarrassed into not doing that. Or something. It's unacceptable, period.
Just last night, the headline band who went on after us; the guitar player decided to change a broken string and fiddle with it, and tune it, all on-stage, all with the sounds audible. There was also another guitar right behind him, but he didn't switch to it I guess because it had too many strings?

Everyone in the place was dumb-struck. Weirder still is that the guy could play! He was a "super shredder" metal type guy, and definitely should have known better.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Apart from cables, which sometimes just die at the worst possible moments, it's the user not the gear.

Clip-ons are cheap in general. Think my Nano tuners are about $10. So small that they are practically invisible. I definetly turn the volume on my guitar off though, as that's the whole point of a tuner on stage. To tune silently. If I could make noise I wouldn't need a tuner. lol
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Just last night, the headline band who went on after us; the guitar player decided to change a broken string and fiddle with it, and tune it, all on-stage, all with the sounds audible. There was also another guitar right behind him, but he didn't switch to it I guess because it had too many strings?

Everyone in the place was dumb-struck. Weirder still is that the guy could play! He was a "super shredder" metal type guy, and definitely should have known better.
Very disturbing. I'm talking about the fact that you're weren't in the headlining band Dr. Fatso. Like, what's up with that? It must have been Motorhead or somebody like that after you guys, right?

Did the guy actually whip out a bow and literally fiddle with the string? I thought you needed 2 strings to fiddle. :p You're an ass. :p

What is needed is a sure fire method to correct the problem, for the greater good. Like maybe an electric shock sent through the strings when the volume is up and the tuner is on.

Guitar manufacturers could eliminate this problem altogether and incorporate a "tuner detector circuit" that automatically disables the volume when a tuner is detected. For the greater good. The needs of the many outweigh the ignorance of the few.

Thoughts Fatso?
 

hippy chip

Silver Member
Relative tuning, and tuning by ear are fine for practice---buy his dumb ass a clip-on tuner for his birthday---I have 4 of them, and anyone who wont use one is history---I played with a "guitatrist" for a few months last year who insisted he was "always in tune"---long story short the project tanked, and his replacement stays in tune because he CARES ABOUT THE MUSIC!
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
It wasn't so long ago that tuning on stage and being a bit out of tune was no great drama. Dropped sticks. Long shredding solos. Singer babbling between songs. Noodling between songs. It was sub-optimal but no one was too worried as long as the music got people partying.

If Dave Grohl was dead he'd be turning in his grave.

I guess this is one of those "You know you're a dinosaur when ..." moments.
 
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