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We lost ANOTHER Guitarist!


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Well, it happened again. I've been with Puddlestone for a little over a year and we found out last night the fifth guitarist in that time is going to have to quit. Phil joined us about nine months ago and at age 46 had never been in a band before. But his personality was great and his prep work for the audition blew us away, we gave him a chance and he worked out great. He bought a nice multi-effects unit and a PRS McCarty guitar, but because he put so many hours in so short a time learning everything he badly injured his hand (tendenitis) and braces, rest and several drugs have not helped (he declined the cortisone shots, which I think was a good idea). We were all excited about our gig this Saturday at the Saltaire Palace here in Salt Lake City, but its going to be Phil's final performance (he has one Vioxx pill left for the gig) and it really put a damper on everything. Now we have the joy of listening to a bunch of ill-prepared guitar players, playing the same three songs over and over, I'm getting SO tired of this. It seems to always be the same instrument in a particular band; in Albuquerque we went through 3 bass players, my previous band went through FIVE drummers before it all imploded, now we can't seem to keep a guitarist. I'm really getting too old for this anymore and think maybe its time to hang it all up. Damn I'm bummed.... :(

Botch

"Eccentric language often is symptomatic of peculiar thinking" - George Will

www.puddlestone.net

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I feel for ya. We'er on our third guitarist in 6 months. He has his moments, and they cause me to waver somwhere between breaking his arms and thinking he is the best thing sence sliced bread. Maybe DNA testing will prove that we can alter genes to make good guitarists actually work well in a group and not drive the rest of the band crazy Ois
Yes, I do know everything.... I just can't remember it all at one time.
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Our group has been playing since '91 with the original 8 members. How is this possible? [b]SUB's as in substitutes.[/b] Early on I formed the band with the concept of a team in mind, specifically the Bulls because they were headed for their first championship at the time, if we were going to exist for any length of time I was going to need some extra players on the bench. We have subs for every player. In the case of drummers there are five or six guys we can call. Symphony orchestras and, other large bands do this as a matter of routine. As we get a little older, get families, homes and other responsibilities, you need more flexibility as an individual, having sub’s gives you that. When we were younger it was easy to form a band and say, “All for one and one for all”, or, “We’re in this all the way to the end, no matter the cost!”, “It’s us against the world!”, but at 46 your motto is usually a little different. One thing we used to say was that, “We (the band) never fires anybody, the only way you leave is if you quit.” Of course there are rules but, this gave guys an out if they needed time for something else. If he/she bought in a sub, we would then welcome their return. You also end up with an expanded musical family of people you can call, or will call you, for other projects. Got any questions about how we made it work, I'll do my best to help. I have a couple of nightmares to reinforce using this system too. Sly :cool:
Whasineva ehaiz, ehissgot ta be Funky!
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If your current (and soon to be ex) guitarist is really such a good fit for the band, I would try to keep the door open for him to recover in the future. Audition a new quitarist with the understanding that it is a temporary gig with potential to become permanent. If the new guitarist really blows you away, and you end up not really missing your current guy, your can exercize the option to keep him permanently. If the new guy is not working out (regardless of "Phil's" condition) you can easily cut him loose if the understanding is this is a temporary gig. With tendonitis and other RSIs, often rest and stress reduction can do wonders. As a keyboard player and a person who essentially types for a living (originally a software developer, but now I write proposals for a living) I have suffered with on-again off-again carpul tunnel syndrome. Almost invariably for me, a worsening of my condition is brought on by stress. My first really bad flare up was when a relationship was failing, it happened again shortly after I got married (to a different woman), after I had my first child, when a company I was a director of filed for chapter 11 etc. For me, rest and stress reduction combined with support (wrist brace), anti-inflamatories and muscle relaxors did the trick. I have also make sure that I work/play with good posture and ergonomics. When I feel tension in my wrists, I stretch and make sure my posture is good. For a guitarist, your guy might want to look at his playing ergonomics as well. If he is the type that likes to sling his guitar quite low, it might help to shorten up the strap and wear it a little higher.
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[quote]Originally posted by Groovepusher Sly Tone: [b]Our group has been playing since '91 with the original 8 members. How is this possible? [b]SUB's as in substitutes.[/b]...Got any questions about how we made it work, I'll do my best to help. I have a couple of nightmares to reinforce using this system too. Sly :cool: [/b][/quote]I've been fortunate, and my band has set their expectations low enough that we've been OK for a while. Sly - I hit my forehead (actually a fivehead) with my palm when I read your post. Of course t makes perfect sense to have subs, and you have correctly observed that other music styles do this. My question is about rehearsals. Does everybody come? Do you sub into rehearsals only prior to when you need the sub? Are you doing mostly covers, or mostly originals (which I figure would be harder to sub into)? Tom I want to come to one of your practices when all 6 drummers play at the same time !!! I'm not kidding - that could be a cool thing to try (if you have a big enough room).

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Botch, Man I feel your pain!! I had that happen alot as well. We don't actually have subs, we just have guys we can call in a pinch. So far we've been fortunate. It's tough being a gigging group where you have so many different and diverse personalities and agendas. Just hang in there!! By the way, I really enjoyed your web site!!! Rick
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I think I have gone through four drummers in the past year. I started with a guy named Roland XP80 but his cousin Roland XV5080 took his place. He agreed to move aside when GigaStudio 160 offered to join. Now Battery has taken his place. The nice thing is they all come in knowing their parts. Right now we are looking for a better guitarist. Robert Edit: Another dead typo but they grow like weeds.
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Guys, thanks for the advice and the support! [b]Sly[/b], the substitute idea would work great except for two things: we try not to do the standard "OldTimeR&R-Gimme3Steps-JonnyBGoode" bar standards, and subs can't just jump in on Collective Soul/Extreme/Barenaked/Floyd stuff that we like to do. The second problem is that we can barely find ONE guy to hire, much less more than one (northern Utah isn't exactly bursting at the seams with musicians). I admire the fact that you have subs for all 8! You must employ horns, do the subs then read charts or something? [b]SFOracle,[/b], we definitely want to leave the door open for Phil, our problem is telling a replacement that it may be a temporary gig; as stated before we try a little more demanding music and it isn't really fair to another guitarist to come it, learn all that material, then be shown the door in three months. It's a pickle situation, that's for sure... Again, thanks to all who responded.

Botch

"Eccentric language often is symptomatic of peculiar thinking" - George Will

www.puddlestone.net

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Subbing into cover bands is easy - there's an entire industry based on it (wedding/clubdate orchestras). There, most players are familiar with hundreds or thousands of standards & modern hits. Three other factors come into play: they READ MUSIC, they are musically savvy enough to transpose, and they know how to follow a leader. If you are looking to sub into an original band, these same criteria apply. So you ought have solid, accurate charts for all your material, and be willing to pay a pro to come play when your 'regular' bandmate cannot make the gig. Sometimes you might have to pay him what seems an extraordinary amount of $$ compared to what you're making that night, and consider not playing the show. The key is to put it in context of a band's career - will you get a rep as a band that cancels? You could lose a number of well-paying gigs because you were unwilling to pay a pro to play once. [quote]Originally posted by Tom Capasso: [b] [quote]Originally posted by Groovepusher Sly Tone: [b]Our group has been playing since '91 with the original 8 members. How is this possible? [b]SUB's as in substitutes.[/b]...Got any questions about how we made it work, I'll do my best to help. I have a couple of nightmares to reinforce using this system too. Sly :cool: [/b][/quote]I've been fortunate, and my band has set their expectations low enough that we've been OK for a while. Sly - I hit my forehead (actually a fivehead) with my palm when I read your post. Of course t makes perfect sense to have subs, and you have correctly observed that other music styles do this. My question is about rehearsals. Does everybody come? Do you sub into rehearsals only prior to when you need the sub? Are you doing mostly covers, or mostly originals (which I figure would be harder to sub into)? Tom I want to come to one of your practices when all 6 drummers play at the same time !!! I'm not kidding - that could be a cool thing to try (if you have a big enough room).[/b][/quote]

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[quote]Originally posted by iBotch: [b]subs can't just jump in on Collective Soul/Extreme/Barenaked/Floyd stuff that we like to do.[/b][/quote]Heh...in L.A., they can. Hell, I can...but sorry, I'm not driving to North Utah for gigs these days. Actually, I am the biggest gig pansy these days. I only play weekends, I need to get paid up front, and I need to have gear there when I arrive...I won't roadie my own shit. What a puss, huh? ;) I remember being 21 and driving to Monterey (about a six hour drive) from L.A. to play a party that didn't pay my gas money for the round trip. Those were fun days...they just don't go too well with being the daddy of a single-income family. :) Goods luck with your search, Botch. - Jeff
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[quote]Originally posted by Alndln@hotmail.com: [b]Also I've had better success with using and developing less experienced musicians who had the same hunger as me rather than dealing with a so called semipro who's schedule I had to work around. Know your Army, and be willing to sacrifice yourself a bit.[/b] This was a good point made on another thread about how hard it is to keep a band together. I just wanted to mention it. One thing we have is a core of cats, who have made 95% of the gigs, rehearsals, and booked and promoted the gigs. There have been times when they, and even I, have had to miss a gig but, we’re so used to shifting and adjusting, things usually work out.[/quote] [quote]Originally posted by Tom Capasso: [b]My question is about rehearsals. Does everybody come?[/b] No. Usually it’s the main squad, unless a sub is playing the next gig or next few gigs. Sometimes extra guys will be at rehearsal when the whole band is there. This way they can check out the way the show flows. [b]Do you sub into rehearsals only prior to when you need the sub?[/b] No. What we have always done since we started the band, is allow cats to sit in. This comes in handy in a couple of ways. It promotes goodwill between us and other bands when we let one of their guys come up. We’re “not holier than thou”. We can invite a guy to come to the gig to sit in. He gets to see an actual show, and then get an idea of the vibe on stage with the band. Sometimes it can help us go into a stretch mode. The person sitting in does a song or two. They get to showcase their talent a little and, we give the club owner or person booking us a little bonus show. We always do the bulk of our show or sets first. If you suck, we give you a little, then we ease back into the groove and give you a hand anyway. We always give the people who sit in a couple bucks (it varies), depending on who they are; someone we invited, someone who was just there, marginal player etc. I could go on and on but, I don’t want to ramble, so I’ll stop. [b]Are you doing mostly covers, or mostly originals (which I figure would be harder to sub into)?[/b] Both. We play P-Funk style music so, we have an all original show, all P-Funk set. cover funk set and, a gang of funk, rock, blues, and R & B tunes we mix in. Each guy brings his own experience and assortment of tunes to the mix. Plus, once we get the party going, sometimes we’ll play audience requests. You know, the funk version of “Roll Out The Barrel” . We’ve done off the cuff, audience sing-a-longs of “Irish Eyes Are Smiling”, “Oh Danny Boy”, “Take Me Out To The Ball game”, etc. etc. etc. [b]I want to come to one of your practices when all 6 drummers play at the same time !!! I'm not kidding - that could be a cool thing to try (if you have a big enough room).[/b] I’m working on that one. Actually more like an alumni gig or session, with cats rotating. We’ve used two drummers on stage though. (How that came about is another story)[/quote] [quote]Originally posted by rickkreuzer: [b]Botch, Man I feel your pain!! I had that happen a lot as well. We don't actually have subs, we just have guys we can call in a pinch. So far we've been fortunate. It's tough being a gigging group where you have so many different and diverse personalities and agendas. Just hang in there!! Rick[/b] Good point Rick. Rather than write a book or go to drama school, just let the cats have their time when they need it. That made me think of something else. The regulars have to give you notice if they can’t make a gig. If they don’t that’s when you call your, “in a pinch guys”. (Whew more stories!)[/quote] [quote]Originally posted by iBotch: [b]Guys, thanks for the advice and the support! [b]Sly[/b], the substitute idea would work great except for two things: we try not to do the standard "OldTimeR&R-Gimme3Steps-JonnyBGoode" bar standards,[/b] See above. Most gigs, we do the all original show. When it’s just us for the night we mix it up, but it is still a funk show. Stuff [b]we[/b] like to play. [b]and subs can't just jump in on Collective Soul/Extreme/Barenaked/Floyd stuff that we like to do.[/b] When it’s got to be right, we give the player one of our CD’s and chord charts if they request them. Like I said, you can pretty much tell what cats can do when they sit in. Then you rehearse ‘em. [b]The second problem is that we can barely find ONE guy to hire, much less more than one (northern Utah isn't exactly bursting at the seams with musicians). I admire the fact that you have subs for all 8! You must employ horns, do the subs then read charts or something?[/b] Like Alndln@hotmail.com said above, you may have to use younger or less experienced musicians. One of my first gigs when I was 16 yrs. old, was with some old blues cats, in a nightclub till 2 a.m. No horns. 2 boards, 2 guitars, bass, drums, 2 vocals/dancin' mugs. [b][b]SFOracle,[/b], we definitely want to leave the door open for Phil, our problem is telling a replacement that it may be a temporary gig; as stated before we try a little more demanding music and it isn't really fair to another guitarist to come in, learn all that material, then be shown the door in three months. It's a pickle situation, that's for sure... Again, thanks to all who responded.[/b] There’s nothing wrong with doing exactly that. As long as you are straight with the guy. If he does good, let him know he’s first call if you need him and, that you’ll refer him to others in need of a guitarist.[/quote] [quote]Originally posted by coyote: [b]Subbing into cover bands is easy - there's an entire industry based on it (wedding/clubdate orchestras). There, most players are familiar with hundreds or thousands of standards & modern hits. Three other factors come into play: they READ MUSIC, they are musically savvy enough to transpose, and they know how to follow a leader. If you are looking to sub into an original band, these same criteria apply. So you ought to have solid, accurate charts for all your material, and be willing to pay a pro to come play when your 'regular' band mate cannot make the gig. Sometimes you might have to pay him what seems an extraordinary amount of $$ compared to what you're making that night, and consider not playing the show. The key is to put it in context of a band's career - will you get a rep as a band that cancels? You could lose a number of well-paying gigs because you were unwilling to pay a pro to play once.[/b] We have to pay some of our drummers a certain minimum and in some cases it may be more than each band member is getting. Sometimes each member chips in a bit to pay the sub.[/quote] [quote]Originally posted by Jeff, TASCAM Guy: [b] [quote]Originally posted by iBotch: [qb]subs can't just jump in on Collective Soul/Extreme/Barenaked/Floyd stuff that we like to do.[/b][/quote][b]Heh...in L.A., they can. Hell, I can...but sorry, I'm not driving to North Utah for gigs these days. Actually, I am the biggest gig pansy these days. I only play weekends, I need to get paid up front, and I need to have gear there when I arrive...I won't roadie my own shit. What a puss, huh? ;) [/b] See there iBotch? Jeff just stated his terms. So, assuming you’re not going to go get him, he’ll sit in anytime he’s in town as long as it’s a weekend, you have an amp there for him and, some bucks when he hits the door. (No offense Jeff, but I’d give ya half befo and half after) [b]I remember being 21 and driving to Monterey (about a six hour drive) from L.A. to play a party that didn't pay my gas money for the round trip. Those were fun days...they just don't go too well with being the daddy of a single-income family. :) Goods luck with your search, Botch. - Jeff[/b] Yeah, that’s when the love of it was the pay. You probably hauled a pile of gear too. We don’t do that anymore but, here in the city we’ll still play gas money gigs.....we just call ‘em [b]dress rehearsals![/b][/quote]Good questions, hope my answers helped. Sly :cool:
Whasineva ehaiz, ehissgot ta be Funky!
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[quote] [b]Heh...in L.A., they can. Hell, I can...but sorry, I'm not driving to North Utah for gigs these days. Actually, I am the biggest gig pansy these days. I only play weekends, I need to get paid up front, and I need to have gear there when I arrive...I won't roadie my own shit. What a puss, huh? [/b] [/quote]OK. Now how in the heck do you swing this?? Roadies, upfront $$$, only weekends....You are the man, Jeff!!! Rick Rick
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