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Threading the thin line of band democracy


EddiePlaysBass

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I just sent the band a mail re: some rehearsal recordings, and in that same mail I asked if

 

- we are going to work on more covers;

- focus on recording a demo; or

- work on the material we currently have, as some of it is not 100% right (tempo being the main issue)

 

The reason why I am asking is we decided to drop a song we'd been working on during the last 3 rehearsals and decided it just wasn't working.

 

I realized after I hit send, that this might come across as me trying to take control of things. Now, this band -like most- started out as a democracy but pretty soon afterwards the singer has asserted his role as band leader. As far as I can tell, we all feel comfortable with this, and I am in no way trying to claim that title (been there, tried that).

 

Guess I'm just being overly sensitive, but still: where is the line in such instances?

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

 

The Ross Brown Shirt World Tour

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Phone call to singer or chat over a coffee/beer.

 

If you're worried give him a call now.

 

I've backed right off using email with my current band after exactly the same issues you were having in my old band. Which eventually led me to leave in exasperation because one member saw me as a threat. If grown people are going to behave like children they can do it on their own.

 

Now I only use email to let people know if I can/cannot make rehearsal. Everything else is done face to face.

Feel the groove internally within your own creativity. - fingertalkin

 

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Band democracy if a pretty tough thing to acheive and maintain. There's always one the "goes along to get along" until one minor issue, then they want to assert veto athourity.

 

Email is pretty tough, especially in a band with technophobic old farts. Not everyone is proficient at technology and some people have and interface with varying levels of technology, so email isn't always the best answer. Sometimes you got to ring them up or ride over there and get into their grills. I, for one, don't do personal emails at work. Others may not get about reading their email for days at a time.

 

One thing I've done is send the email, but send it to one bandmate at a time. Yeah, it's a pain in the glutes and you have to send the same mail out three or four times, but it looks more "personal" if you send it to one person. Then is't just a conversation with a bandmate, not a committee meeting passing judgement.

 

Personnaly, we had a BL in an old project who went about contacting the band like a 12 year old girl. Everything was email and text from the Blackberry, and "OMG" this, and "LOL", and "UR" and "U" the other thing that until the fateful "ESAD" response.

 

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

 

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and in that same mail I asked if

 

 

Nothing wrong with asking questions via e-mail. If someone gets their panties in a bunch over questions, then you've got the kind of volatile person that you'd be better off without.

 

But also keep in mind: it's e-mail. So don't expect anyone to respond to it, or even read it.

Things are just the way they are, and they're only going to get worse.

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Yeah, throwing ideas in is cool. Besides if no-one has agreed that the singer is the band leader then the singer isn't the band leader!

 

I must admit. I prefer it when there is a band leader.

 

Davo

"We will make you bob your head whether you want to or not". - David Sisk
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Sorry, but I haven't a clue of what ESAD is??

 

(Could it possibly be Eat Stuff And Die?)

 

BTW, our experience is the youngest guy doesn't respond promptly (if at all) to email. The old guys all are good with it.

 

 

Steve Hanson

 

Building from the bottom up

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I also prefer when there is a band leader, and like I said I am not trying to fill that role. Someone needs to make the ultimate decisions and our singer does that well.

 

Also, this is just my usual paranoia at work here. I have not gotten feedback on my mail yet, and possibly will not get any. I am so used to confirming stuff via mail (desk job) that I tend to carry that into my personal life.

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

 

The Ross Brown Shirt World Tour

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Know what you mean, I'm waiting for a response from a drummer that will probably join our band, email is funny, as I'm sure you all know -- you never know if a recipient can insert or perceive an attitude or intent that isn't there. Since some of us sit in front of a computer or laptop most of their waking minutes, when prompt responses do not appear, we get paranoid. I know I am a little unsettled over the 24 hours that have gone by.

 

Politics and pecking order in band can be a funky thing, and I can understand your concern that the alpha dog might perceive a spot of pee in your email. A quick "just in case, to avoid a misunderstanding, my email was just to clarify some issues, not intending to take the lead." or something similar might be good to lessen your paranoia and avoid negative reactions.

1000 Upright Bass Links, Luthier Directory, Teacher Directory - http://www.gollihurmusic.com/links.cfm

 

[highlight] - Life is too short for bad tone - [/highlight]

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This weekend I was wprried I had pissed off the band leader of a new band I am in... he did not respond to something I wrote. I figured I was a gonner. Turns out his computer and wireless network crashed, then he forgot his passwords... No isue with what I had sent to him...

 

 

"When I take a stroll down Jackass Lane it is usually to see someone that is already there" Mrs. Brown
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I won't be in a band that would have members who would get wound up and threatened by an e-mail like that.

 

When it comes to "band drama" I have a very low BS tolerence factor.

Nothing is as it seems but everything is exactly what it is - B. Banzai

 

Life is what happens while you are busy playing in bands.

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Before I update this thread, some background: we use Dropbox and each have a folder with songs we suggest as possible candidates. Every now and then we listen to each other's suggestions and pick songs from said folders.

 

Alright, so the conclusion to my paranoid story: singer replied stating that maybe it is indeed a good idea to replace the song we dropped with another one, and went on to suggest one of the songs that are on my "wanted" list :) He also suggested that one of the guitarists suggests some more songs, since he just got into learning slide guitar and we want to work this into our set.

 

Like I said: I am paranoid.

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

 

The Ross Brown Shirt World Tour

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Even paranoid people have enemies.

 

I don't think that a band democracy ever works.

Someone has to be in charge, the question is, are they a benevolent monarch or a tyrant?

 

Meanwhile, study this chart to decide what to do:

http://www.guitarsquid.com/images/stories/Top_Stories/Jan12/GS_FlowChart_QuitBand.jpg

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...

 

Alright, so the conclusion to my paranoid story: singer replied stating that maybe it is indeed a good idea to replace the song we dropped with another one, and went on to suggest one of the songs that are on my "wanted" list :) He also suggested that one of the guitarists suggests some more songs, since he just got into learning slide guitar and we want to work this into our set.

 

Like I said: I am paranoid.

 

He's just playing along. Has he chosen the one with the trickiest bass lane? Once you've learned it he'll suggest it sounds better in Eb..... That'll learn you.

Feel the groove internally within your own creativity. - fingertalkin

 

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He's just playing along. Has he chosen the one with the trickiest bass lane? Once you've learned it he'll suggest it sounds better in Eb..... That'll learn you.

 

You insidious man, you :evil:

 

Funny addition to my anecdote: after our singer suggested what he suggested, one of the guitarists proceeds to suggest we hold off learning new material until we cut our demo (hopefully end of this month). I guess the band is a democracy of sorts, after all.

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

 

The Ross Brown Shirt World Tour

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I don't mind if there is a band leader, if he/she is not on a power trip and doesn't take suggestions as a threat to his/her authority.

Luckily, I've really only worked with nice people over the years. And since I'm not particularly argumentative, they listened when I DID have something to say!

Me as a band leader? Only once, and that was just me and a girl singer; and she CERTAINLY had a mind of her own! But we never had any real fights.

 

Re: e-mail - I like to chat by e-mail, but serious issues should be discussed in person most of the time, I think. Especially since some people really don't express themselves that well in writing.

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So you don't want to be the band leader (or be the benevolent dictator). Fine. Every band member has the right to ask about the band's direction. If you have a leader, you'll get that person's opinion. If they are benevolent, you'll get other people's opinion as well and find your way.

 

If you can't ask what the band should be focusing on, you can't do your job!

 

However - if your questions were really hiding your feelings - that you dropped a song that you all worked hard on and you thought it was working and what the hell is wrong with you guys - then you need to grow up and learn to express yourself better.

 

I don't * think * you are doing that passive-aggressive stuff, but my current singer does it all the time. Usually it goes more like this:

 

Band meeting -

Us: Could you sing Counting Crows "Mr. Jones"

Him: I can try anything

 

At Rehearsal -

Us: Let's try "Mr. Jones" (that we all learned)

Him (starts singing as we play, then stops): There's too many words - I don't think this is a good song for us.

Me: You needed to listen to the songs and tell us before we all learned it.

More unpleasantness (though not verbal nastiness) ensued.

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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However - if your questions were really hiding your feelings //snip// then you need to grow up and learn to express yourself better.

 

In my case, it really was a matter of general direction. My spare time these days is limited (whose isn't?) and I am not the best at picking up new songs, so I want to be told up front (meaning a week up front, not a day) whether or not we will be doing new songs.

 

As to your singer's attitude, the singer in my previous band did this all the time. I think we tried about 10 - 20 songs that way and I know that at least 10 of those were ready to be played live. It would have been the extra bit of time we needed to fill out a decent set and get better (paid) gigs. But he always vetoed them in the most passive-aggressive of ways.

 

And I really hated that.

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

 

The Ross Brown Shirt World Tour

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