View Full Version : Ok, I'm probably Psychopathic but

01-16-2007, 03:49 AM
I have some stuff to get off of my chest.

1. I play weekly with a couple of other guitarist, we play acoustic stuff, Folk, Country, Classic Rock, Country, Bluegrass. Occasionally we play at parties and small gatherings, it's a lot of fun. Personally, I like to keep things classy, I don't mind songs with witty humour like John Prine's "Illegal Smile" or Steve Goodman's "You never called me by my name". One of the other guys wants to do a song called "Daddy cut the big one", it's a country & western type song and I can't stand it, one problem, I'm singing 80% of the songs and it leans toward my voice. I'm sorry, but I'm not going to sing that song, I back it up, but I'm not taking the lead on it.

2. This goes along with introducing a new song to the group. When I bring a song, I have tabbed it, practiced it over and over many times before putting it on the table. One of the other guys will just send me the mp3 and say this is a new song I want to do. I say BS!!! Look, this is about having fun, but I like getting things right or at least as best as I can. Tabs are a tool that can help achieve that goal. We also have books that we keep our tabs in, one of the guys doesn't keep his organized, so when someone calls out a particular song, it takes him twice as long to get his act together. It takes away from the performance if we are using the books.

3. Know the song!!! There is nothing worse to me than to be playing/singing and someone starts a verse out of order or doesn't wait long enough on a rest. It's hard enough to play these songs.

4. Audience attention spans, I call it MADD, Music Attention Deficeit Disorder. Ok, I'm not James Taylor but I don't totally suck either. People ask you to bring your guitar to the party and play, but half of the people can't or won't sit still long enough to listen to a song. I have not figured this out yet, there are certain people who won't want to miss a note and others who just don't want anything to do with it, then there are those people who fall somewhere in between. What is their problem? Sometimes I think they just can't stand to be quiet, they have to be talking to someone or they aren't comfortable. I think it is one of the reasons why I like open mics so much, it's usually just musicans and they listen.

:mad: :) I'm definately crazy, I know it, thanks for reading, I love you all and keep on playing.

01-16-2007, 04:44 AM
well, I don't know what kind of parties you play, but the ones I attend are pretty damn casual. If someone wants to take a while to get organized, if it's not REALLY long where the people that want to listen lose interest, then why not? It's not like people are in a hurry to get out of there. Inappropriate songs? Those depend on your audience and I thought that those were kind of standard...to a certain degree of course. As for your audience, I've never been anywhere where it's free to listen and everyone is actually listening. It just doesn't happen, simple as that. There are a lot of people out there that just don't get the concept of music performance. That's okay, I certainly don't get the point of interpretive dance performance.

01-16-2007, 03:18 PM
Most of what you've talked about can be fixed by the leader of the band.

Don't have a leader, did not think so. Until one is appointed what will be played and the direction the band will go down is anyone's choice. After a leader is established he/she decides the schedule, and has the headache of getting the gigs, and then everyone else shows up and plays the schedule. Simple as that. Works in our band and with a few changes -- of those that could not live with that - like the guy that always wanted to sing Red Necks and Blue Ribbon Beer -- we've been together for 7 years now.

Some time that is hard to get started as most bands are made up of friends and you all started by just getting together and jamming with no thought to needing someone to take charge. Sounds like you would welcome a leader, perhaps it's time someone take charge.

As to the audiance, nature of the beast. You have to anticipate what will happen and work with and around the problems.

Good luck.

01-17-2007, 01:35 AM
#1 and #2... The two strike me as contradictory. In #1 you complain that you are being asked to sing songs you don't like, yet in #2 you demand a degree of professionalism from your bandmates which would require them to do unfun things themselves.

Bite the bullet. You want to be professional, commercial, and of a marketable stageworthiness? Sing the songs you don't like. They'll fall into line if they see you do it. "Dag... ekkg is singing that crap he don't like. This band is for real. I'll man up and work on it too."

Regardless of style, genre, or song selection, if one walks into a show wherein the band is performing well, it makes an impact. With live music, "good" music is simply music performed well. Well played <insert genre>, for instance on a CD can be unbearable to many people, but when facing it well-played and live, it becomes good. If the song works well for your voice, add it to your material.

There is beaucoup difference between guitar playing and performing for an audience.

#3 is a complaint on which none of us will disagree with you. It is pretty maddening when you're playing and the damned drummer is off on another planet.

#4 is the most interesting... If you get upset at your audience when they seem to ignore you, and if you blame them as if they are the ones with some sort of problem, you may want to buy a helmet.

01-17-2007, 06:28 AM
#4 is the most interesting... If you get upset at your audience when they seem to ignore you, and if you blame them as if they are the ones with some sort of problem, you may want to buy a helmet.

I totally agree. The original poster said that he liked open mikes better because most people are musicians and will actually listen. Well there are very few times in your life where you will be playing for mostly musicians. An uninformed, unmusical audience can be one of the most benefitial things you can encounter. They have no preconcieved notions of whether you are any good or not, all they have to go on is right here right now. I had a theory teacher that said he plays all of his compositions for his grandmother, who knows nothing about music. He said that if she doesn't like it chances are most people wont. Usually when this happens he's gotten a little too "heady" with it and needs to go back to the drawing board and fix it.

01-18-2007, 06:27 PM
I like to keep things classy, I don't mind songs with witty humour like John Prine's "Illegal Smile" or Steve Goodman's "You never called me by my name". One of the other guys wants to do a song called "Daddy cut the big one",

I have played with this big bear of a guy, a witty guy, with a big beard and a devilish smile. His roguish appearance itself is enough to entertain audiences and perhaps even shock them. He is notorious for his rendition of dozens of vulgar limericks, with the most graphically obscene images, sung to the tune of "Cielito Lindo." There might be two dozen versus. It's horrible yet hilarious.

When the wild notion to sing these limericks strikes him, we all leave the stage. We can't add anything to the music. Of course, he can do these limericks only at limited venues, mostly private parties, and never where anyone is under the age of 18. But 95 percent of the listeners love it. The other 5 percent, who would naturally object, must be shocked and speechless because no one has ever voiced a complaint. Strange but true stories from the stage.


01-18-2007, 08:53 PM
Stuff #1} Someone already mentioned your group needs a leader. As "Like minded" as a group may happen to be, tolorences will vary on suitiblity of the matterial.

Stuff #2 & 3} I'm with you on these. The leader in my last band was key to making damn sure we sounded good when we played in front of people and yes, we too had that one guy that had no place playing anywhere but a camp fire jam. He would say let's play this..... and then it was up to the rest of us to figure out the details and even then would never keep notes on the score. He often tried singing harmony over lead vocals {at random intervals depending on number of beers consumed!} Total choas! No thank you very much!

Stuff #3} [You probly ain't gonna like this!]
Get over it! If you're not head lining or at least warm up for a head liner then, your audience is really not YOUR AUDIENCE! When you're invited to play a party, a wedding or any group activity, even bar band you're just the entertainment. The crowd is there for the event or socializing, not for the music. Now we have our good nights when we're on our mark and captivate the crowd but, we're lucky to hit that 20% of the time. (maybe 60% at the bar because some of them do come to listen) I hope none of this sounded rash! If it does I don't mean it that way. Musicians like attention and want to showcase our talent. Often though, the fact that someone thought us good enough to be invited is all you're gonna git........That's why we charge them! :D

01-19-2007, 03:20 AM
Buy midi equipment and play by yourself, you'll make more money too!!!! :D.
im a casual musician now. I used to be really serious. The problem is, we are a rare breed! So that means we have to deal with the bass player playing too loud no matter what. the drummer doing coke all the time and quitting a year after starting any band, and the singer always showing up late for rehearsals. (Sound cliched? Thats the last band I was in and just about every one before that!) Hell, for the most part, 99.9% of guitar players dont even have a clue what it takes to create a cohesive band. You need to somehow find like-minded players to play with, or shell out some big bucks for the latest showmanizer gizmotron and play solo! Good luck either way.

01-19-2007, 12:55 PM
I've looked into the "One man Band" thing myself!

01-21-2007, 07:54 AM
After reading all of your posts, a couple of practices and last night a gig, I have changed my mind on a few things. See my original post.

1. I guess that song wasn't that important to my bandmate who requested that we play it, he never brought it up again. I got all worked up about nothing, I'm an idiot. The fact is, he has been very gracious with me and my learning curve, he has been nothing but supportive, and I'm acting like a fool. Classy?, again I'm an idiot.

2. I need to grow up and I'm in my forties. Geez, so what I have to wait on him a little, maybe it's me who is being anal (is that how it's spelled?). I would still prefer that everyone be prepared, but at the gig I had my fair share of mistakes and I thought I was prepared, it's a humbling thing.

3. I am humbling myself, everyone makes mistakes, and everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. I'm really going to just worry about myself, at the gig, the guy who I thought I had problems with was so supportive of me, helped me play better with the confidence he had in me. I think too much.

4. The audience is still something I don't understand, maybe I shouldn't even be using the word audience, maybe I shouldn't use the word gig. They are family and friends that we are playing for, it's not like they all even listen to the same types of music. So, again, I'm just being foolish, "Oh, look at me, I can play the G chord". So it's a big deal to me, so it's not to them, so what, right?

Someone much wiser than me told me "You're never as good as they say you are, but you’re never as bad as they say you are either".

Anyway, thanks so much for giving me feedback, I don't know if it's because I have only been playing for a few years or what, but sometimes I feel so immature when it comes to being a musician. I have to wonder if these things that are rising to the surface are actually the real me, putting yourself out there in front of people, it's like you have to open yourself without reservation, in my everyday life I'm not really doing that, but music is becoming everyday life for me now and I'm finding that I have a lot of growing up to do, ugghh, I thought I was through with that.