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Behind the screens band leaders ?


EddiePlaysBass

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I seem to have found a way to get my ideas across to the other members without making them feel as if I am assuming the band leader role: personal emails instead of group emails.

 

I just addressed each member individually about adding "Good Golly Miss Molly" to the end of "Great Balls Of Fire". Starting with the singer, I summed up 8 arguments why I wanted it done, ensured that at least one of them flattered his ego one way or another and then elaborated a bit on the musical reasons. Then I tweaked that same mail and sent it to the drummer and the guitarist, emphasising the argument which is beneficial to their particular instrument.

 

So far both the singer and the drummer have told me it's a good idea and they want to work on it. The guitarist does not have a desk job so he's not near a computer right now but I'm sure he'll go along, because for him I added that we'd definitely do two songs he wants to play, plus he gets to sing lead on a third one :)

 

I am interested to see what will come of this approach, but I think I'm on to something .... Anyone else use this approach ?

"I'm a work in progress." Micky Barnes

 

The Ross Brown Shirt World Tour

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Be more practical rather than rubbing their ego. Sometimes it works better in the long run. Also if you are ever disatisfied with anything you don't need to fight a battle to make your point across their egos

 

www.myspace.com/davidbassportugal

 

"And then the magical unicorn will come prancing down the rainbow and we'll all join hands for a rousing chorus of Kumbaya." - by davio

 

 

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I find that most people like to be led. The ones that don't will tell you.

 

If you ask a question people feel obligated to give an answer. Don't ask. If you approach things like "this is what we are going to do" they will usually go along. If not they should offer addtional suggestions.

 

One on one e mail of a group allows folks to work their own agendas. It will cut in every direction. Keep it all in the open. If that does not work, it is a different problem.

 

Just my 2 cents

 

 

"When I take a stroll down Jackass Lane it is usually to see someone that is already there" Mrs. Brown
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Well, to clarify, my arguments were mainly musical / for the good of the band. I just threw in an extra incentive for each: vocal delivery for the singer, extra solo's for the guitarist and going Animal during the verses of Good Golly for the drummer. As for the one on one vs group mail, the main "complaint" I've had so far is: I send a group email, one person replies with questions and I reply again, but everyone is still in cc. Hence, they get a load of mails that they don't want to go through. So this way, I figured I'd ask each person individually, then send a group mail with the decision made by all individuals. I don't see it as passive agressive. My main argument was the difference in arrangement and chord sequence which would prevent the two songs sounding like one long song. This was the case with an Elvis medley we attempted where we were doing A - D - E the whole duration, with no variation in arrangement.

"I'm a work in progress." Micky Barnes

 

The Ross Brown Shirt World Tour

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If you come to the group with a clear vision and a complete setlist, and you get them paid gigs, they won't question your leadership.

 

This is my existing group. We started out together and never determined who would be the leader. We agreed on set lists before, but when the time came to rehearse the songs we agreed upon, no one but me had actually learnt it. I'm curious to see whether it was because I asked / told them to learn this and this song. The way I did it now, I opened a discussion for the song I wanted, and they didn't argue but were convinced.

 

Perhaps I could try the same approach in a group mail, though ...

"I'm a work in progress." Micky Barnes

 

The Ross Brown Shirt World Tour

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I just addressed each member individually about adding "Good Golly Miss Molly" to the end of "Great Balls Of Fire". Starting with the singer, I summed up 8 arguments why I wanted it done...

 

 

You need eight reasons for that?

 

I would think "Because it will rock hugely" would be sufficient.

"Tours widely in the southwestern tip of Kentucky"
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I've had a similar experience with personalities.

 

You shouldn't need to deal with all of them in the same way if you have a problem with just one.

 

I would always speak to the difficult person on the phone and suggest songs. Especially if he is very negative to any suggestions that aren't his when in a group situation, often people need a few days to think and aren't good at thinking quickly and imaginitavely in a group situation. Some people feel the need to reply to emails straight away without reading and thinking about them properly.

Feel the groove internally within your own creativity. - fingertalkin

 

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Eventually I think you will have to sit them all down and tell them you're concerned that the band is lacking in direction and needs a leader. Propose that you take on the role. Tell them what you will do and assure them that they will have full say in what needs to be done, but that it is your responsibilty to make sure they get done properly.

Feel the groove internally within your own creativity. - fingertalkin

 

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I generally try to handle most communication through group emails and if they require feedback, they can reply-all so everyone's in the loop. This is the most EFFICIENT way to communicate. However, we don't have the same potential issues surrounding things like song selection that you do.

 

When it comes to potential issues with a band mate, those are best handled personally. For instance, I won't make a comment to somebody that is potentially a hot-button in front of the group, because then they feel challenged and get defensive. If you handle those things one-on-one, then it's just a non-threatening conversation between 2 people.

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.

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When it comes to potential issues with a band mate, those are best handled personally. For instance, I won't make a comment to somebody that is potentially a hot-button in front of the group, because then they feel challenged and get defensive. If you handle those things one-on-one, then it's just a non-threatening conversation between 2 people.

Not exactly the same problem Dave is having, but you've come to the same solution as he: one-on-one communication.

 

1) Nobody (except Dave) even realizes there can be more to a band than jamming.

2) Nobody (except Dave) is self-motivated; they wouldn't even learn the initial setlist (less than 10 songs) on their own!

3) Nobody (except Dave) is a hard worker.

4) Nobody (except Dave) has goals for the band outside of "let's get together and see what happens".

5) Nobody (except Dave) is taking care of the non-musical tasks: taking care of business.

 

They seem to like playing shows but they don't realize how hard it is to book a band that only knows something like 6 songs (less than 45 minutes of music) and those songs could use some serious polish. Adding material has been problematic because at least one guy won't take song suggestions by others and he won't come up with his own.

 

Normally we'd say it's time to clean house and get new guys in who are on the same page as Dave but there seems to be a serious lack of those sort of people nearby.

 

So, Dave, if you can find some way to cajole those guys into learning a proper setlist, all the more power to you!

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If you come to the group with a clear vision and a complete setlist, and you get them paid gigs, they won't question your leadership.

 

This is my existing group. We started out together and never determined who would be the leader. We agreed on set lists before, but when the time came to rehearse the songs we agreed upon, no one but me had actually learnt it. I'm curious to see whether it was because I asked / told them to learn this and this song. The way I did it now, I opened a discussion for the song I wanted, and they didn't argue but were convinced.

 

Perhaps I could try the same approach in a group mail, though ...

A band does not usually function well as a democracy. In most situations it's the singer that leads the band, especially if they play an instrument too. Sounds to me like you're the only one who is either willing, or able, to take on the role of leader.

I'd be frustrated too if my band had agreed on learning songs and then nobody actually did their homework. It needs to be established up front that homework will be done by everyone.

Are you still networking?

Good luck David.

Visit my band's new web site.

 

www.themojoroots.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Normally we'd say it's time to clean house and get new guys in who are on the same page as Dave but there seems to be a serious lack of those sort of people nearby.

Indeed!!

 

Visit my band's new web site.

 

www.themojoroots.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Not exactly the same problem Dave is having, but you've come to the same solution as he: one-on-one communication.

 

To be clear, I'm not really suggesting that this is a solution in this case. I was kind of speaking more generally, mainly because I know he's pursuing putting together another band and will likely be the the Band Leader. So I thought it may be helpful to discuss both scenarios in case such a situation may arise.

 

I, like you, am skeptical as to whether this particular group of guys could be salvaged in the long term as they stand now. You can try to cater to each individual member and manage to squeeze out some more songs, but the problems run deeper than that, IMO.

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.

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Motivation is a major issue here, for sure.

 

I had that problem back in the 90's with a group of guys that were really, really talented, but seemed content to just muddle along and learn stuff as they felt inspired.

 

I fixed that problem by going out and landing four bookings starting five weeks later.

 

We learned 45 songs in 5 weeks, and played a flawless first show.

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If the onE on one approach works, go with it. Either all the members will talk to each other and find out it was your idea, and a good one, or they won't, won't care, and will still dod what you are suggesting.

 

Leadership is usually not something givin to you, it's something you take on.

YOu've got a band, a set list, and hopefully some gigs, because you made the effort to get your boysd out of the garage and into the clubs. It may turn out that the rest follow, or not, but you did what needed to be done, good on ya!

"Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, yet you cannot play upon me.'-Hamlet

 

Guitar solos last 30 seconds, the bass line lasts for the whole song.

 

 

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Are you still networking?

 

Nope. At this point it's no use: our lead guitarist will be out for a few months - paternity leave :grin: After he's back, our singer will most likely be out for a few months of paternity leave as well. And we have insufficient material - after 2+ years - to do anything more than shared gigs ...

 

To be clear, I did tell everyone that I am discussing this particular song request / idea individually instead of via group mail. If they don't like it, they can shove it because they always complain about the number of group mails. I know send 3 individual mails, discuss with whom feels like discussing and then send a consensus to the group, via a group mail.

 

I've hinted at the possibility of doing a show later in the year where we'll play a 45 minute set of new material, a 45 set of "classic" material and then a few encores, to see what gives. I have hinted at the fact that with this amount of material, we could potentially get into different types of gigs and make us some money. With two of them getting kids, this will be an argument for their spouses ...

 

As for the other band, I will definitely do things differently there, especially since it'll be time-consuming to run two bands. I'll need a certain level of efficiency from at least one of them :grin:

"I'm a work in progress." Micky Barnes

 

The Ross Brown Shirt World Tour

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Hmmmm, I am beginning to think we simply need to sack our lead singer ... Last Thursday at rehearsal we all agreed (as a band) to learn "Rip It Up" in the version that Elvis recorded.

 

This morning I text him stating I'll pick him up for rehearsal and has he learnt "Rip It Up" and he states no ... All he has to do is listen to the melody line once or twice, it's not exactly unlike anything we do.

 

Aggravates me to no end, since I spent 2 hours coming up with a working bass line for this usual A - D - E progression, without repeating myself. Hey, at least I got a good upright workout from it, right ?

"I'm a work in progress." Micky Barnes

 

The Ross Brown Shirt World Tour

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I used to run into crap like this with the singer from my old band - except I'd spend a week writing synth patches and working on a sequence, and he'd show up to practice not having learned the words. (usually by then, I knew the words just from listening to it so many times working on the sequence). Ticked me off to no end.

 

At this point, you've got nothing to lose. Just tell him how much time you spent, and that by him not even making an effort, it shows how much utter disrespect he has for you and the value of your time. Make him understand that he is wasting your time and that your time is valuable. If he don't get it, can him!!!!

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.

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Part of me hopes he's not listened to it at all: our guitarist is starting to get real upset and I want to see if / how he'd react to this news.

 

Part of me really wants to put an end to this misery and move on to the next band ... But I cannot see my WAV getting much action in a classic rock coverband (like what I'm trying to get together yet again) and I don't want to leave it in my bedroom all the time.

"I'm a work in progress." Micky Barnes

 

The Ross Brown Shirt World Tour

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