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TheGreek

Sax player writing my basslines for me...

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I think it's worth listening to what he wants from the bassline, but then explaining that the detail is down to you, plus you reserve the right to try things that are completely different. 

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1 hour ago, TheGreek said:

This is essentially it...his songs played by the band.

I've always felt that everybody has a contribution to make so let them make it. They know their instrument and how it fits the bigger picture. I don't tell the others how/what to play so let me find what I think works.

 

So you’re his backing band essentially? Bit like a pit band, you turn up and play whatever is presented to you. 
Now that’s fine, if that’s everyone’s expectation.

I play in a band that is led by an amazing bass player who has gigged and recorded with high profile artists. However, he chooses to let me create my own parts, but occasionally gives direction, particularly in the studio. But that’s our expectation.

So, essentially, laying out expectations from the start makes for clarity and helps minimise disappointment and resentment.

I’d have a chat with him Mick, sooner rather than later, or walk. 

 

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Maybe he wants all the composition to be 100% him, so when the band makes it big he's not going to have any awkward bassplayers claiming songwriting royalties.

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I’ve walked away from a few bands over the years where a whiff of this has started to creep in.

If you want me to play bass in your band you get my bass lines. If you don’t like them then find someone else who’s bass lines you prefer / will play what you tell them to.

*Have to add that I’m playing originals for fun (playing a bass line someone else has written holds zero interest for me). Of course if I was playing for a living, I’d play whatever the person paying me wanted me to play 😐

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7 minutes ago, CamdenRob said:

*Have to add that I’m playing originals for fun (playing a bass line someone else has written holds zero interest for me). Of course if I was playing for a living, I’d play whatever the person paying me wanted me to play 😐

👍

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I would listen, take the bass lines that he sends, say 'oh that is interesting' and play whatever I was going to play anyway. We had a keyboard player like that in my other band, he just whizzed everyone off. 

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5 minutes ago, Woodinblack said:

I would listen, take the bass lines that he sends, say 'oh that is interesting' and play whatever I was going to play anyway. We had a keyboard player like that in my other band, he just whizzed everyone off. 

Good advice. I'd add to that a little. If he suggests something good, incorporate it into what you play (even plonkers can have good ideas). Just say "Thanks. I like that bit. I'll use it. The rest I'll sort out myself". The important thing is to be upfront and not let things fester. Control freaks often take advantage of others' politeness - they don't want to give offence or start an argument. Once he knows he's getting no change out of you, he'll either accept it or clear off. Either way is a win for you.

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We had a chat...I didn't feel that he took on board what I had to say.

His general attitude was "this is how I wrote the song and what the song requires" - I wasn't in agreement and didn't feel I was being listened to. Not a good sign.

I've walked.

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44 minutes ago, TheGreek said:

We had a chat...I didn't feel that he took on board what I had to say.

His general attitude was "this is how I wrote the song and what the song requires" - I wasn't in agreement and didn't feel I was being listened to. Not a good sign.

I've walked.

Fair play to you Mick, you're a decent and reasonable guy and if you didn't sign up to be in this chap's backing band then you're right to walk if it was sold as an originals project. 

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1 hour ago, TheGreek said:

We had a chat...I didn't feel that he took on board what I had to say.

His general attitude was "this is how I wrote the song and what the song requires" - I wasn't in agreement and didn't feel I was being listened to. Not a good sign.

I've walked.

Don't blame you. I've walked from a couple of bands for the same reason.  It would help if people like him put their cards on the table right from the outset. 'Hired gun required' is a lot different to 'Anyone want to write some tunes?'  I've spent a lot of time in the past learning someone's stuff on the understanding that there would be some jamming and collaboration in the future, only to find that they wanted a hired band. 

Onwards and upwards!

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1 hour ago, TheGreek said:

His general attitude was "this is how I wrote the song and what the song requires" - I wasn't in agreement and didn't feel I was being listened to. Not a good sign.

 

`my last band was a cover band which did some 'originals'*. Me and the drummer were jamming around and we got a whole thing going so the guitarist  did 'oh I have some lyrics that would fit perfectly with this'. OK, so bring your lyrics in. So we start again and it was very much 'oh no, you can't do that chord there we need to go back to the riff', 'oh no, don't add that bit'. OK, so what you are saying is lets just play E, G and A as a 12 bar again?

* noone had written exactly those words to those chords before, not to be confused with actually original in any way

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So many of you lot seem such very lovely, patient, understanding people.... 

I’m not where band matters go though. For me it’s a tell him straight you’ve no interest in playing someone else’s lines and if that ain’t in agreement with his view, walk. This said, I am a self-diagnosed bolshy git! 🤣

Hope it works out for you, regardless of which approach you decide to take.

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My response other than "just say no," which has never worked for anyone under any circumstance would be to ask if he has dental insurance. When he inevitably says "no" make some sort of observation about that being a pity were his saxophone used to knock out most of his teeth then give him an experimental brass enema.

A friend of mine has a midi saxophone which he brought to a random jam we had a few years ago. Hateful thing. Sounded like a badger being castrated whilst trying to sing "Welcome to the jungle," by Guns & Roses.

I'd take suggestions. Dictated to? Good luck with that, pal.

 

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Sounds good that you got out now, best to do it quickly rather than let it build up.

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2 minutes ago, Wolverinebass said:

Sounded like a badger being castrated whilst trying to sing "Welcome to the jungle," by Guns & Roses.

 

That’s how G&R’s always sounds to me. 🦡 🔪🍒🤪

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32 minutes ago, oldslapper said:

That’s how G&R’s always sounds to me. 🦡 🔪🍒🤪

Excellent use of emojies. 

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Reverse psychology, tell him that although his bass lines are good you think they’re getting in the way of his sublime sax melodies, so it would be best to dumb said bass lines down in order to not do so - but do admit it will pain you to do this.

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Probably for the best. At least you gave it a shot and raised the issue with him. No point in getting worked up about it.

Dave

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11 hours ago, TheGreek said:

What do I do???

Tell him your bass lines are better and to keep his suggestions to himself.

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Hey Mick,

Not adding anything new to this really. Just wanted to state that for me it’s a simple distinction: full-on originals band where shared ownership is official vs being employed to perform for someone’s solo project.

Too many times I’ve seen (and at times been involved with) something which resembles both and neither and it’s never made very clear.

If it’s the former then yes, discussions and suggestions on parts is a part of the process but ultimately what your playing is YOUR contribution.

The latter situation should entail the owner paying the other guys, even if an arrangements in place for some free rehearsals but paid to gig even if at the artists loss. In this situation, unless the artists wants your take on their songs then towing the line on their parts is part of the gig.

Put simpler: A front man isn’t a solo artist and vice versa IMO.

Don’t know the particulars re the above in your case but for me, if I wasn’t being paid then I’d expect to have the ultimate say in crafting my contribution. Otherwise where’s the fun/point of an originals gig?

 

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23 hours ago, Lozz196 said:

Reverse psychology, tell him that although his bass lines are good you think they’re getting in the way of his sublime sax melodies, so it would be best to dumb said bass lines down in order to not do so - but do admit it will pain you to do this.

I prefer standard psychology- "f*** off, d***wad" might have been my considered, thoughtful riposte.

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On 26/01/2020 at 11:54, TheGreek said:

What do I do???

KILL HIM.

IMMEDIATELY.

O.o

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Hand him the bass. “Show me.”

Ask  him “can you not play more like Michael Brecker and not Boris Becker.?”

Set up gear. Plug in. “Oh I forgot...” place massive container of Durex Play on amp. “That’s to make it easier to stick your brass kazoo up your derrière mate.”

Diplomatic corps 1981

 

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6 minutes ago, Bassfinger said:

Smear laxative around the mouthpiece of his toy trumpet.

or the aftermath of laxative 

Now you've got me started. I'm too nice to say things like that. :D

Dave

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