- Mar 2, 2006
- San Benito County, California
7 years or so playing with the bass player. He’s a good guy. I consider him a friend.
Like anyone, when we practice at home we get better. When we gather for rehearsal I can only take so many sour bass notes. I try to be positive, encouraging him to fix his errors. I say “I hear something is off. Let’s work it out.” We do. He often gets grumpy, but we fix them. Next practice same wrong notes. Stop again. Work them out again.
Sometimes he aggressively says “Ya, ya. I got it. Let’s move on”. If I don’t say anything, more often than not he doesn’t hear the sour notes. He does not realize he’s one fret out. Or sharp or flat. His ear is not very developed. I let this go for a long time. Then I’m thinking to myself “this is wrong we need to fix this. He does not know he’s playing sour notes”.
When he does get annoyed at my neutral comments to address the mistakes, I smile and say, “I’m not trying to pick on you. We just need to fix this”. Other times I start to say something and then stop myself. So as not to get him on the defense.
One time just the two of us were practicing together. We rarely ever do this, just the two of us. Maybe once a year. I said let’s work out things. Make sure we are playing the right notes together. We did well. I said “This is good. We are getting better. I’m sorry if you feel like I am picking on you at band rehearsal. I’m not. I just want to fix things.” He said “this is the time and the place to do it. Not at rehearsal”. I was stumped. If I can’t say it at rehearsal how are we going to fix things? Foolish pride I guess.
He accepted my one-on-one coaching well and we fixed errors….Until next practise. Tonight at rehearsal I’m watching the fingers, seeing and hearing the same sour notes.
I guess I am not asking for advise. I’m just venting. I know what probably should be said if we are to fix things and keep them fixed. I’m not interested in a hen fight over grown adults practising at home. I’ll cut him some slack. It’s summer. Lots going on in his personal life. Less time to practice at home maybe.
Tonight he got pretty defensive about a song. I stopped and said we need to fix this. Wrong notes. He got pretty defensive claiming “I’ve always played it this way. Maybe you need to put your capo on for this song”. Nope I said. “We’ve played like this at least 20-30 times. You are out and very flat”. Bass player came back with more defence and push back. I’m like “Man, I don’t know what to say. It’s wrong. Your notes are wrong “. He eventually came around and agreed, he was mistaken.
I’m not perfect either. I too make errors. Yet I hear my errors immediately and strive to improve. I point out my own errors and say “I screwed that up. Can we go again from 4 bars before the bridge”. Or whatever.
I am struggling a bit with someone who does not hear their errors and is resistant to coaching to fix them. Band drama. That’s my rant. Good night. I’m over it. I’ll try hard to keep my mouth shut or this band will come apart.
you know who he is and how he plays. He is not changing, neither are you. Either get good with it, or change bands.
If the rest of the band is also going to be unhappy with him, then fire him.
We fired a couple of guys who we knew would never make us happy. no harm, no foul.
We were always on the verge with our keyboard player. After our band broke up (after 17 years) he joined 2 different bands, both had lots of gigs and a busy facebook page and all over it was crappy playing. Go figure.