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How would you guys handle this?


area51recording

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I started playing in a local band a few months ago. It's "kind" of a jazz band, all instrumental stuff (Caravan, Blue Bossa, All Blues) also some original stuff. The leader is a local wunderkind who simply WAILS on alto, soprano, as well as EWI. Dude is AMAZING technically, we're talking sheets of sound for days. He's brilliant and the crowd responds in kind. I play keys and tenor, and we're joined by my sons, who play drums and guitar and both do a GREAT job. I'm definitely a proud dad! Now the crux is this...when we joined the band one of the guys who was there before us is a trumpet player. This guy is a band director by trade, and as far as his physical playing he's pretty good. HOWEVER, when it comes to his soloing (and the guy takes a 3 minute solo in every song it seems) the cat is CLUELESS. It's like he has no concept of the changes he's playing over, it's like his attitude is "oh....it's JAZZ, I can play whatever I want" I mean really, just whatever. It's atonal as HELL. It's not like he's playing "out" intentionally, because he's never "in", not even on something that might vamp for one chord forever, it's like he has no idea what he's doing whatsoever. The leader is his buddy, and I look at him and think "surely you hear how much this sucks, don't you?" and honestly I catch him wincing every now and then, mostly because on top of being completely out of it, the guy insists on doing it as loud as he can. He's a GREAT guy and no one wants to hurt his feelings but MAN is it ever hard to listen to when everyone else in the band sounds like they are playing a different tune then this guy! the thing that freaks me out the most is this guy is a high school band director, and has no grasp whatsoever about music theory in any way shape or form. No one wants to bag this guy, besides I don't think that's an option as he was sort of "grandfathered in" but we'd like to find a way to help him find HIS way a bit......any ideas? Sorry for the long post BTW....
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honesty IS the best policy, fer sure, but I'd sure like to find a nice way to bring it up, especially since this guy's been playing in this band for YEARS and no one's made a peep.....

When I was a kid starting out in NJ, problems like this were addressed quite, ahem, more directly. You know, "hey kid, your solo SUCKS on that tune! Get your sh*t together or let someone else play it!" Sure it was harsh and it hurt my feelings to hear that kind of criticism, but looking back I'm grateful and it wound up making me a better player.

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I just gave my notice to a guy I've been playing with for twenty years over something similar. I told him 3/9 would be my last gig with him unless he picked up his game as a band leader in a big way in a hurry. He's needed a more appropriate drummer for a very long time.

 

Don't think it. Say it. Surely you hear how much this sucks, don't you?

 

Record it, make them listen to it, and ask out loud. Does this suck or not?

 

If I can't fix it I walk. If it's my band I fix or replace the problem.

--wmp
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HOWEVER, when it comes to his soloing (and the guy takes a 3 minute solo in every song it seems) the cat is CLUELESS. It's like he has no concept of the changes he's playing over, it's like his attitude is "oh....it's JAZZ, I can play whatever I want"

Turn him on to the The Dead and then find a Dead band for him to play in. You can generally play whatever you want, except he'd have to increase his solo time to about 7 minutes .. :laugh:

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I fired my long time buddy engineer four months late in December, only because he was my buddy. I should have canned him in August. It's been a big struggle to remain friends, but it's been worth the effort. He's not the same lazy SOB I fired two month ago. He's not getting his job back, but I may use him again for FOH. He seems to understand now that the boss is the guy who writes the checks.

 

The other band leader is a long time friend and so is the drummer who absolutely must go. It's ain't easy, but it has to be done. Quickly. If you wait for a "good time" it'll probably never happen.

 

 

--wmp
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You said you recorded him before and he heard how bad he sounded. Belabor the point. Just record the gigs as a matter of course, and share the tracks with the band.

 

The trick is, if he realizes there is a problem, how can he solve it? Maybe next time he realizes and mentions, you can give him some guidelines. You may end up giving him some theory lessons as far as improvisation (or composition!) goes, but a few might be enough. I bet he knows a lot more, but hasn't put two and two together.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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yeah Joe....I find myself wondering how in the heck do you get a music degree, which I'm assuming means several semesters of music theory, and not have the slightest grip at all on any of it. I was thinking of maybe sketching out the changes for a few of the tunes with some scales written out that actually fit the changes, ala some of the Aebersold books I've seen. From there he could start with those tones and use them to make his own melodies. First though I'm going to have a convo with the band leader at the first opportunity.....
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Record rehearsals and/or gigs.

 

Maybe if he HEARD HIMSELF, he'd take the steps necessary....assuming he's a musician.

I think this would be my first choice if I were in the OP's shoes....or the trumpet players shoes for that matter.

I probably tend to be too diplomatic, but I think I would present him with the evidence by recording a rehearsal or performance, and if he doesn't hear it and work on it himself, you then at least have something tangible to back up your criticism if you need to address things further.

Stage: Korg Krome 88.

Home: Korg Kross 61, Yamaha reface CS, Korg SP250, Korg mono/poly Kawai ep 608, Korg m1, Yamaha KX-5

 

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More cowbell during trumpet solo

And more trumpet in the monitors too, please. When you have a Leslie 3300, you're wearing foam earplugs and red tarmac headphones too, the trumpet still hurts and you still can't be heard out front, it's time to move on, no matter how much you love some of the band.

 

I was going to post a link to illustrate, but I'll have to do that after I reboot my Mac to wipe up all the memory it has leaked in the last few hours.

--wmp
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Open up an account in the band's name on Youtube and record some videos of you guys playing. Leave the comments section open.

 

At the very least, the band leader and his friends will be able to hear the group at home and off the stage, which makes a huge perceptual difference.

 

I don't think the guy's going to change. It sounds like he's an older dude just doin' his thing. But you might be able to minimize things somewhat by limiting his solos or *gasp* suggesting he play with a mute if he overpowers the band in the videos.

 

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Open up an account in the band's name on Youtube and record some videos of you guys playing. Leave the comments section open.

:laugh::thu::idea::love:

 

I thought I was a mean mofo. You inspire me, though not in exactly the same way as Brother Theo.

 

The mere suggestion should be enough to get a useful discussion going. If not, it'd probably be better to move on somehow than actually do it.

 

Over thirty years ago, a brash young trumpet player in another band blew rocks and dirt for three times around when he was told once. He took the third one just to prove how much he didn't suck. I waited until he was drunk and tripping his brains out to make my point. I lured him to the control room and made him listen to his solo over and over for about a half hour to prove how much it sucked. He moved to another city and became a big time band leader.

 

 

--wmp
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Back when I was a teenager I sang so poorly that the band would never put my vocals in the mains, only the monitors... This went on for a year until someone told me...

 

So I suggest you tell him ASAP... Just say "you need to simplify your soloing". Or "approach your solos as a long crescendo... Build them... Make them compositionally dynamic".

 

If all that does not work, just say "Sorry... You Suck!"

'55 and '59 B3's, Leslies 147, 122, 21H, Motif XS7, Mellotrons M300 and M400, Wurlitzer 200, Gibson G101, Vox Continental, Mojo
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You need to talk to the band leader and see what he really thinks, and tell him what you think. His response will tell you whether or not he situation can be resolved. If he agrees, then record some rehearsals and present them to the trumpet player.

"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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Back when I was a teenager I sang so poorly that the band would never put my vocals in the mains, only the monitors... This went on for a year until someone told me...

My siblings finally told me a few years ago that it wasn't the neighbors who called the police. My grandmother did it. :facepalm:

 

Tough love.

 

 

--wmp
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You need to talk to the band leader and see what he really thinks, and tell him what you think. His response will tell you whether or not he situation can be resolved. If he agrees, then record some rehearsals and present them to the trumpet player.
Excellent point.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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We had a gig last night that the trumpet player couldn't make, and it sounded GREAT! I was standing outside the club with one of my sons on break and the band leader came out and made the comment about how good it sounded, so I decided to go there. "Hey man, can I talk to you about something? It's kind of a delicate subject...." Well of course he hears it too! His comment was the guy is so busy with his teaching gig he just dosen't have the time to work on getting it together....I expressed that while I understand that, the guy's solos are killing the vibe of the band and we both agreed we should find a way to help him find it....he promised to talk with him.
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We had a gig last night that the trumpet player couldn't make, and it sounded GREAT! I was standing outside the club with one of my sons on break and the band leader came out and made the comment about how good it sounded, so I decided to go there. "Hey man, can I talk to you about something? It's kind of a delicate subject...." Well of course he hears it too! His comment was the guy is so busy with his teaching gig he just dosen't have the time to work on getting it together....I expressed that while I understand that, the guy's solos are killing the vibe of the band and we both agreed we should find a way to help him find it....he promised to talk with him.

 

Communication is good!

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