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Common Red Flags #2998688 07/15/19 07:17 PM
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J. Dan Offline OP
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THIS had many of the common recognizable red flags that would make me not just walk, but run away. Many of these red flags have been discussed within the context of specific experiences, but I thought it might be fun to compile a list of common red flags that occur across many situations. I'll start:

1) Singing Unison parts where harmonies should be
2) Leaving out harmonies when 4 members of the band have vocal mics
3) Over-Use of effects (on anything, whether vocals or instruments)
4) Not prepared for practice/doing "your own version" of it when it's obvious that you just didn't take the time to learn it
5) Timing issues. In my experience, those usually don't work themselves out. You can improve slightly, but it's kind of like Herpes, it's always going to be there
6) Obvious inability to comprehend which song selections will go over and be successful (if it's a cover band)
7) Obvious tensions between band members
8) Lack of basic understanding/knowledge of common tools of the trade (i.e. mixer, EQ, DI, avoiding feedback with mics, common language used, etc).

Some of these individually on their face might not be a big deal, but usually they point to other issues that probably won't go away. When you start seeing more than one, or even more than a few, usually it's time to go.

Last edited by J. Dan; 07/15/19 07:19 PM.

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Re: Common Red Flags [Re: J. Dan] #2998689 07/15/19 07:28 PM
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Your singer has 3 or 4 kids. Doesnt mean it cant work but its harder
People not learning parts
Singers calling audibles live because they arent sure of a verse of song on the set list.
Bad judgement in calling songs, reading the audience wrong
Guitar players and their insistence on having certain things their way
Musicians and just plain lack of knowledge of music
Musicians overplaying, no awareness of other people on stage
Bad musical maturity or immature musicality
Tuning constantly on stage
Previewing the next song because they arent sure of it so they play a few notes. Sounds amateurish.
No awareness at a venue, carrying themselves bad in front of staff
Passive-aggressiveness towards other band members just to avoid confrontation. Also trying to draw sides between band members


"Danny, ci manchi a tutti. La E-Street Band non e' la stessa senza di te. Riposa in pace, fratello"


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Re: Common Red Flags [Re: J. Dan] #2998699 07/15/19 08:31 PM
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Showing up late consistently during rehearsals
"Noodling" during rehearsals
Unequitable share of setup/teardown effort at gigs
Obvious: no sense of what's an appropriate volume.

Personal one for me: the guy/girl responsible for starting the song is perfectly happy to allow 30 seconds of silence to check everyone's ready before: setting their amp to the new sound/switching guitars/retuning/whatever. If you start the song, get on with it.

Then there's the compatibility issue of your own vs the band's musical standard. (I've had to explain what a minor seventh is to a guitar player on more than one occasion. And how to play F on the A string on the bass. The second chord in the bridge to Superstition is a good litmus test, as is the transition from the second to third line of "Easy Like Sunday Morning" for drummers). That's more of a subjective/circumstance thing.

Cheers, Mike.


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Re: Common Red Flags [Re: J. Dan] #2998709 07/15/19 09:19 PM
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I sat in with a blues band (3 piece plus singer) at a casino gig. The lead singer diva (wife of the guitar player/leader) was against it from the get-go but the BL wanted the gig to be "extra special" and must have talked her into it. Before we even started she told me to just play chords, lay out if I couldn't perceive the changes, don't get in the way, and if I didn't know the song, don't play at all. Remember, this is blues, folks. Oh, and they gave me this 2" ring binder with the charts all in set order. Most organized bunch of 3-chord tune players I've ever seen.

End of the first set, the band guys dug everything, but she tells me I'm over-playing. Solution? I got the sound guy to take me out of her monitor mix. End of Set 2, she says "hey, that sounded great - thanks for being so cooperative!"

Now, which red flag should I have seen again?


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Re: Common Red Flags [Re: drawback] #2998711 07/15/19 09:23 PM
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J. Dan Offline OP
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Originally Posted by drawback
Now, which red flag should I have seen again?



Quote
The lead singer diva (wife of the guitar player/leader) was against it from the get-go

Last edited by J. Dan; 07/15/19 09:23 PM.

Dan

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Re: Common Red Flags [Re: J. Dan] #2998740 07/16/19 01:25 AM
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cocaine

Re: Common Red Flags [Re: J. Dan] #2998741 07/16/19 01:33 AM
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Rehearsal time is very revealing. Does the band just meander through without purpose or do they turn up with an agenda?

Re: Common Red Flags [Re: J. Dan] #2998742 07/16/19 03:57 AM
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"
Re: Common Red Flags [Re: J. Dan] #2998747 07/16/19 04:35 AM
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Yeah I felt like there was another one but was maybe lazy in my search.


Dan

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Re: Common Red Flags [Re: hurricane hugo] #2998748 07/16/19 04:37 AM
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J. Dan Offline OP
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Originally Posted by hurricane hugo
cocaine



Depends, LOL. Actually, in all seriousness, for sure chemical addictions are a red flag but it can be literally anything - alcohol, Coke, weed, meth, heroin.....even things like sex or gambling. Addiction is a whole other topic, and can manifest in many ways, but yes....is a red flag.


Dan

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.
Re: Common Red Flags [Re: drawback] #2998752 07/16/19 04:48 AM
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Originally Posted by drawback
I sat in with a blues band (3 piece plus singer) at a casino gig.


made the gig special, for sure cool


A reason why I collect old keyboards is that I feel partly responsible for doing it, responsible for preserving history and being a custodian for these things
Plus, old gear has a story. I like that.
Re: Common Red Flags [Re: J. Dan] #2998785 07/16/19 01:02 PM
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Drummer can't play an in-time triplet. (pet peave - at which point I will usually start comping non-stop in 6/8 over his 4/4).


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Re: Common Red Flags [Re: J. Dan] #2998800 07/16/19 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by J. Dan
Originally Posted by hurricane hugo
cocaine



Depends, LOL. Actually, in all seriousness, for sure chemical addictions are a red flag but it can be literally anything - alcohol, Coke, weed, meth, heroin.....even things like sex or gambling. Addiction is a whole other topic, and can manifest in many ways, but yes....is a red flag.



It is when it affects the project. I really don't care what people do but if you make your business my business watch out as you will be confronted.


"Danny, ci manchi a tutti. La E-Street Band non e' la stessa senza di te. Riposa in pace, fratello"


noblevibes.com

Re: Common Red Flags [Re: drawback] #2998803 07/16/19 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by drawback
Solution? I got the sound guy to take me out of her monitor mix. End of Set 2, she says "hey, that sounded great - thanks for being so cooperative!"


I've got to know: how did you manage to get the sound guy to do that? Folded up bill/small sack of weed/whatever passed in "secret handshake" fashion?

Or maybe he just figured out the "issue" with the diva by observation and was on board (so to speak) with your suggestion from the get-go.

////////

my own red flag is when people (could be any instrumentalist or singer, but usually guitar) INSIST that the way they're spelling out the chords is the one true path, and any other discussion is unnecessary.

I've never deliberately corrected people IRL (sure, I speak jive singer/songwriter as good as anybody), just so long as it sounds good, but if me and the bassist are discussing something, butting in and saying "look, it's simple, it's just <insert some twaddle>." Fine, I get it, but the adults are talking, so just shut up for a second.

//////

about the drugs/booze/video poker/whatever: it doesn't bother me, except when the first forty-five minutes (or longer!) of rehearsing are spent communally in a cloud of weed smoke. In fact, any amount of time is too much. Having a can of beer on the floor in a rehearsal is cool, just don't expect me to be waiting for you to chug six of them Animal House-style and then head out for a smoke break before playing note one of tune one.

Re: Common Red Flags [Re: Outkaster] #2998804 07/16/19 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Outkaster
Originally Posted by J. Dan
Originally Posted by hurricane hugo
cocaine



Depends, LOL. Actually, in all seriousness, for sure chemical addictions are a red flag but it can be literally anything - alcohol, Coke, weed, meth, heroin.....even things like sex or gambling. Addiction is a whole other topic, and can manifest in many ways, but yes....is a red flag.



It is when it affects the project. I really don't care what people do but if you make your business my business watch out as you will be confronted.


Same here. I am not shy about confronting an addiction problem when it impacts the group.

Re: Common Red Flags [Re: J. Dan] #2998808 07/16/19 03:35 PM
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How about this...

The guy who started the band can't read music, doesn't know how measures are structured so was often lost or coming in at the wrong time, had trouble staying in pitch when singing, and had the idea that we were mostly instrumental to his vocals. The reason he got as far with us as he did was his lyrics to original songs, which were great. But for me the kicker was his explanation that various famous people who've made it really big in music had little to no music training.....! Yeah, so that means he has a shot- He didn't want to hear that those people had a ton of natural talent-


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Re: Common Red Flags [Re: J. Dan] #2998810 07/16/19 03:57 PM
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Applies to cover bands:

  • addition to alcohol and/or narcotics
  • guitar hero attention whore disposition, insists on playing songs that are fun to play on guitar
  • guitar player who insists on using an overly loud guitar amp in a small club
  • guitar player who insists on a rhythm tone and/or playing style that overwhelms the sonic spectrum which crowds out other instruments
  • guitar player running sound from stage
  • soundman who is either incompetent, or focuses more on his buddy in the band and not the group
  • songlist is heavy on songs that has no appeal to audience or that audience doesn't know
  • songlist is heavy on songs with a tempo that audience can't dance to
  • drummer is incapable of playing a slow song
  • drummer is incapable of keeping a steady tempo
  • musicians who open a song at a tempo that is too slow/fast
  • musicians who play louder than rest of band and won't turn down
  • musicians whose instrument tone doesn't fit the band mix and they won't change
  • musicians who refuse to accept constructive advice
  • spends three minutes between every song deciding what to play next
  • has no concept of seguing short songs together to keep audience on the dance floor
  • nepotism - weak/incompetent musician is in the band because of relation to someone else

Re: Common Red Flags [Re: J_tour] #2998811 07/16/19 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by J_tour
Originally Posted by drawback
Solution? I got the sound guy to take me out of her monitor mix. End of Set 2, she says "hey, that sounded great - thanks for being so cooperative!"


I've got to know: how did you manage to get the sound guy to do that? Folded up bill/small sack of weed/whatever passed in "secret handshake" fashion?

Or maybe he just figured out the "issue" with the diva by observation and was on board (so to speak) with your suggestion from the get-go.


He knew me from a couple of other bands playing at that casino. The first friend you make is the sound guy.


Rod
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Re: Common Red Flags [Re: drawback] #2998815 07/16/19 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by drawback
The first friend you make is the sound guy.


This, every time. A band I was with laughed when I was introduced to the resident sound engineer. "Hi I'm Mike, nice to meet you. Can I buy you a drink?" He ended up unplugging a wedge and digging out a cable to give me an aux mix from the console into my headphone amp.

Cheers, Mike.


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Re: Common Red Flags [Re: drawback] #2998820 07/16/19 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by drawback
The first friend you make is the sound guy.


Honestly, for younger folks scrolling through this forum, this is probably the most important piece of advice you can get.


"
Re: Common Red Flags [Re: Randelph] #2998828 07/16/19 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Randelph
...The guy who started the band can't read music, doesn't know how measures are structured so was often lost or coming in at the wrong time, had trouble staying in pitch when singing, and had the idea that we were mostly instrumental to his vocals. The reason he got as far with us as he did was his lyrics to original songs, which were great. But for me the kicker was his explanation that various famous people who've made it really big in music had little to no music training.....! Yeah, so that means he has a shot- He didn't want to hear that those people had a ton of natural talent-

It can happen, but they'll need a little help. Doors drummer John Densmore talks about Jim Morrison's talent (48sec):


Re: Common Red Flags [Re: MathOfInsects] #2998832 07/16/19 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by MathOfInsects
Honestly, for younger folks scrolling through this forum, this is probably the most important piece of advice you can get.


I doubt a younger folk made it three posts into this Statler and Waldorf thread.

Re: Common Red Flags [Re: J. Dan] #2998834 07/16/19 05:49 PM
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This was not exactly a red flag at the beginning of the band relationship, but along with some new tinnitus certainly helped in making the decision to bail out.

We’re covering Linda Ronstadt’s version of “Back In The USA”. I’ve spent a considerable amount of time and effort to get at least an approximation of the fabulous piano fills. Guitar player is playing over EVERY ONE of them. I more or less politely ask what the f*ck he’s doing.

“Oh, I found this great live version with Chuck Berry and Keith Richards with Linda Ronstadt!”

That’s about the most guitar-asshole statement I’ve ever heard.


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Re: Common Red Flags [Re: CountFosco] #2998835 07/16/19 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by CountFosco
Originally Posted by MathOfInsects
Honestly, for younger folks scrolling through this forum, this is probably the most important piece of advice you can get.


I doubt a younger folk made it three posts into this Statler and Waldorf thread.

How young is "younger?" Don't answer that.

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Re: Common Red Flags [Re: J. Dan] #2998837 07/16/19 05:56 PM
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Big one for me: Drummer can't play a shuffle with a decent feel (WHY is that so hard?)
Also: If there's a girl in the band who is single, it's DEATH for anyone in the band to become romantically involved w/her....

Re: Common Red Flags [Re: area51recording] #2998842 07/16/19 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by area51recording
Big one for me: Drummer can't play a shuffle with a decent feel (WHY is that so hard?)
Also: If there's a girl in the band who is single, it's DEATH for anyone in the band to become romantically involved w/her....


Even worse if she’s NOT single and someone gets romantically involved with her!


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Re: Common Red Flags [Re: misterdregs] #2998844 07/16/19 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by misterdregs
Originally Posted by area51recording
Big one for me: Drummer can't play a shuffle with a decent feel (WHY is that so hard?)
Also: If there's a girl in the band who is single, it's DEATH for anyone in the band to become romantically involved w/her....


Even worse if she’s NOT single and someone gets romantically involved with her!



Too true!

Re: Common Red Flags [Re: J. Dan] #2998852 07/16/19 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by J. Dan
4) Not prepared for practice/doing "your own version" of it when it's obvious that you just didn't take the time to learn it
This is the one that causes acid to pour into my stomach. In just about any given week, I have a number of other things I could re-prioritize if I know someone won't be able to learn their parts, not to mention the additional time wasted at rehearsal floundering through songs. I get that life circumstances can intervene and take away from personal practice time, but I have low tolerance when this is not communicated to the rest of the band within a reasonable period before rehearsal. I mean, how long does it take to fire off a text to let everyone know? An alternate/contingency plan can then be developed. Otherwise, it smacks of "my time is more important than your time" and is just plain inconsiderate/disrespectful.

Last edited by Moonglow; 07/17/19 03:30 PM. Reason: typo

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Re: Common Red Flags [Re: area51recording] #2998859 07/16/19 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by area51recording
Originally Posted by misterdregs
Originally Posted by area51recording
Big one for me: Drummer can't play a shuffle with a decent feel (WHY is that so hard?)
Also: If there's a girl in the band who is single, it's DEATH for anyone in the band to become romantically involved w/her....


Even worse if she’s NOT single and someone gets romantically involved with her!



Too true!


Or, of the two of them, she’s the only one that swings.


Rod
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Re: Common Red Flags [Re: J. Dan] #2998867 07/16/19 08:37 PM
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Moonglow, man can I relate to that and have often said the same thing. I can honestly understand if other factors are gonna prevent a band member from learning the song we all agreed to by the scheduled rehearsal date, but just communicate that reality honestly with a few days' lead time, so we can (my preference if it's an established band and no new material is going to be worked) cancel/reschedule the rehearsal instead of coming down and wasting everybody's time.

Mr. Dregs, sorry your guitarist messed it up but anyway that's cool that you guys are covering that track, I LOVE Linda Ronstadt's version of Back in the USA, one of the all-time great r&r piano tracks. Linda had an amazing track record of covering songs that were already great to begin with and creating versions that were pretty undeniably even better than the original, including that one, "Ooh Baby Baby," "Poor Poor Pitiful Me," "That'll Be The Day," and more.


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