Band members playing the wrong chords..

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Emp_FabEmp_Fab Frets: 11084
I've just joined a new covers band.  They've been gigging their set for a few years.  I come on board and sort out my own transcriptions of the set only to discover during rehearsals that the keyboard player is playing the wrong chord now and again.  He's 99% spot on, but is clearly (to my ears) playing the wrong chords in certain parts of certain songs.  They're not mistakes - it's how he's transcribed them himself and the way he's been gigging them for years.

Now, they're not hideously out, like a semitone or anything, and I'm not sure many in the audience would even notice, but I noticed during rehearsals.  I sent him my transcriptions and asked him to note any differences down in the way they've always played them (mainly for format differences etc) and he's "corrected" a few by changing what I know are the correct chords (from the notation / audio analysis etc) into his incorrect versions.

Now - I don't want to piss him off - I'm the new boy, but it does grate my ears when hits the wrong chord.

I've tried to be as diplomatic as possible in my exchanges with him, pointing out that, for example, "Sorry mate, but the second chord in verse 3 is definitely a Bb major" and included a short clip of the original, slowed down, with the vocals stripped out, so he can hear for himself that what I'm saying is correct.  The response I've had is basically along the lines of 'you play what you want mate, I'm going to carry on the way we've always done it'.  I'll be surprised if he's even listened to the clips I sent.

Yes, I'm a bit anal about these things, but I'm surprised his musical ear can't hear the error - or - more importantly, that the original chords sound better than what he's playing.

So....  what would you do; play the correct chords loudly so it drowns out his wrong ones or just kiss ass and play the wrong chords along with him ? :-)
Question everything - with the exception of the Earth being a spheroid and the moon landings.
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  • equalsqlequalsql Frets: 2723
    He's not related to Les Dawson by any chance is he?
    (pronounced: equal-sequel)   "I suffered for my art.. now it's your turn"
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  • not_the_djnot_the_dj Frets: 5069
    What's the bass player doing?

    If everyone else in the band is playing their version I'd personally go with that. Is changing that chord doing to get you any more gigs or get anyone else up and dancing, I doubt it. 

    Also when discussing it use "different" not "wrong", might be a bit more diplomatic being the new boy and all.
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  • MegiiMegii Frets: 817
    It's the sort of thing that can drag your playing in the wrong direction over time. Is the money any good? and if not, can you still enjoy working with the band, despite the wrong chords? If not, then...
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 1300
    Learn tolerance. My band play the wrong chords to Superstition. It grates on my ear, but they were playing it that way long before I joined, and I just treat it as a different arrangement.
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  • Ooh, it's like Dave the ska Nazi - we had to play his chords because, well, we were frightened.

    I also wondered what the bassist was doing. 
    I feel the warm, healing, liquid presence of God’s genuine cold-filtered grace. 
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  • Wot I'd do...

    If his chords are musically wrong and don't go with whatever the rest of the band is doing, I'd try and have a chat about it with the whole band. I'd be prepared to walk away or that they might fire me for making waves, too. 

    If it sounds OK, just not what the original recording was, and the rest of the band plays in tune with it, I'd accept it as the band arrangement. 

    I wonder what the previous guitarist did? 
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  • not_the_djnot_the_dj Frets: 5069


    I wonder what the previous guitarist did? 
    Left the band ;-)
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  • RockerRocker Frets: 2154
    For me it wouldn't be a deal breaker. If it grates the OP so much, then either put up with it or get out. Everyone hears music slightly differently, always keep that in mind. 
    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. [Albert Einstein]

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  • fields5069fields5069 Frets: 1087
    I'd play a third chord, equally if not more wrong.
    Some folks like water, some folks like wine.
    My feedback thread is here.
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  • I guess it's down to what the ethos of the band is: accurate covers or 'working' covers or reinterpretations. 
    I feel the warm, healing, liquid presence of God’s genuine cold-filtered grace. 
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  • This sounds like my lot missing out a bar in each line of the middle8 of Here Comes the Sun. Took me a while to get used to it, but wasn’t worth the argument and punters never noticed
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  • JalapenoJalapeno Frets: 3048
    "Let's get these different inversions we're playing in synch"
    Imagine something sharp and witty here ......

    Feedback
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  • blobbblobb Frets: 458

    I'm playing all the right notes, not necessarily in the right order........


    Make a feature of it. "I really like that thing you do, show me what you are doing so I can make sure I'm being sympathetic to it". Then either match it (i.e bring out how bad it sounds, make it obvious so he can see it's not right) or make it sound deliberate and good, like you know what you are doing as a group. Nothing worse than one right / one wrong situation. There's nothing to say you can't add some artistic interpretation to covers. So long as you are all playing to the same score.  
    Feelin' Reelin' & Squeelin'
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 2955
    If your certain your right and he's wrong then I would pull him up on it, just say Bob your playing the wrong chord there, it's meant to be Bb or whatever
    Assuming he is out and out wrong and not just playing a different inversion .... a keys player will often play an F major over a D bass to imply Dm7 for instance or Bm over G bass to imply Gmaj7 etc
    The key to being a good earning covers band is to play it a bit half right so I wouldn't let things like this go

    @Roland ;  ..... I don't think anyone plays Superstition correctly, least of all me but generally the arrangement guitar  bands do is in E rather than Eb and simplified for the chorus as we don't have all the brass. Out of interest what chords would you use for the 
    When you believe in things that you don't understand
    Then you suffer
    Superstition ain't the way 

    bit, thats generally where I see people differ
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • You went wrong joining a band with a keyboard player. 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 26303
    Unless he's playing a really wrong chord that doesn't fit at all, I would either follow what he's doing - since that will make the band sound better than two clashing chords - or if, you can, play the *note* which changes the chord he's playing to the correct one, if that's possible…

    Remember it's a covers band and you're playing the band's *interpretation* of the songs, which includes his. And he was in the band first ;). You don't have to play covers note-for-note. In fact in my opinion you shouldn't… that's what the jukebox is for. You're a band, you play the songs in your own way.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • stratman3142stratman3142 Frets: 572
    edited September 27
    Danny1969 said:

    ...I don't think anyone plays Superstition correctly, least of all me but generally the arrangement guitar  bands do is in E rather than Eb and simplified for the chorus as we don't have all the brass. Out of interest what chords would you use for the 
    When you believe in things that you don't understand
    Then you suffer
    Superstition ain't the way 

    bit, thats generally where I see people differ
    If it's in E, I'd play the following but I know that there are a number of different takes on this:
    B7  C7b5  B7  Bb7b5  A7 followed by a B7#5
    It's not a competition
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  • Emp_FabEmp_Fab Frets: 11084
    I can't play it wrong.  I just can't!  He won't budge, so I'll play it right - and LOUD  =)

    To be honest, I really doubt he will even spot that I'm doing it.  I raised the issue when I could hear we were doing slightly different things.  Like I said, it's pretty trivial and I am definitely a stickler for detail.  e.g. in one song one of the passing chords (i.e. it's two words of the chorus lasting perhaps 1 second), it should be a C major and he's playing G, and a bit after that he's still on G and it should be G7.

    So, truth be told, nobody in the audience will tell, unless they're musos, but I think overall it will sound better if one of us is playing it right and the other slightly less so, than both of us playing it wrong.
    Question everything - with the exception of the Earth being a spheroid and the moon landings.
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  • I would be the same if playing parts in bands, esp with rhythms. But obviously if chords don't sound right its more noticeable than if there's an extra eighth note in a bar or something. If the audience know the song well they might notice, if its an originals then they probably won't.

    His refusal to accept you have noticed and have suggested him play correctly would irritate me as well. Maybe isolate both your parts together and let him listen how it sounds.
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  • AvalonAndyAvalonAndy Frets: 227
    edited September 27
    You're the one in the wrong here mate.  He's playing the right notes, just not necessarily in the right order.

    Edit: @blobb beat me to it.  Apologies.  I'll be more WISE in future and read all comments.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 26303
    Emp_Fab said:

    e.g. in one song one of the passing chords (i.e. it's two words of the chorus lasting perhaps 1 second), it should be a C major and he's playing G, and a bit after that he's still on G and it should be G7.
    So all you need to do is play a passing low C note under his G, and a highish F along with his G, and (at least the G7) will sound right.

    Quite a lot of classic songs have stuff like this in them - the best example is the Hard Day's Night chord, which wasn't played how it sounds on a guitar at all, it's a guitar chord with a different bass note and a piano chord under it.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • bbill335bbill335 Frets: 500
    Ooh, it's like Dave the ska Nazi - we had to play his chords because, well, we were frightened.

    I also wondered what the bassist was doing. 
    I dep'd for a ska band that did a ska version of Caravan - Skaravan. Their regular guitar/keys played the main part as a Cmin and Fmaj, while the horns and bass did it more or less correctly.  I got the dep keys player to join me in playing the right chords underneath (C7b9 and Fmin6 I think), rest of the band didn't notice but it sounded much jazzier. 
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  • Jimbro66Jimbro66 Frets: 405
    According to one functions band that my excellent bassist pal briefly played with, Sinatra's 'My Way' only has three chords. Being a player who always gets things right he never quite recovered from that experience.
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  • equalsqlequalsql Frets: 2723
    You're the one in the wrong here mate.  He's playing the right notes, just not necessarily in the right order.

    Edit: @blobb beat me to it.  Apologies.  I'll be more WISE in future and read all comments.
    Bastard.. choked on my cuppa tea when I read that :lol: 
    (pronounced: equal-sequel)   "I suffered for my art.. now it's your turn"
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  • GrunfeldGrunfeld Frets: 2133
    @Emp_Fab ; -- Call it out.
    We've all done it:  played a song for donkey's years and you never listen to the original any more.  It's only when you have to listen to it again for some reason -- like a new member or a dep's coming and you want to check the arrangement -- that you suddenly notice that you've been playing it "wrong" for ages.
    I.e. if they're cool then you just sort out what arrangement you want:  do they change back to the original?  Or do you change to their arrangement?

    If you're going to call them on it as the noob then FFS make sure 100% that you are actually correct. 

    FOR SALE: Stephen Fry,  MYTHOSNEW EMG -mini-humbuckers;  :  Akai Headrush E2; Marhsall 1960a 4x12
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  • Emp_FabEmp_Fab Frets: 11084
    Oh I am 1000% correct!  I can't push the issue any more though.  I get the feeling I've already pushed my luck.  Basically, the keyboard player used to be in a previous band I was in, where I was the self-appointed 'musical director', trying to herd cats, transposing all the songs myself, handing out the resulting song sheets etc.  I suspect there may be a slight element of "fuck you, I'M in charge this time, biiatch".

    So, I'll yield to his format departures and nonstandard arrangements but he'll neverrrr tek mah Fdim !!!

    Yeah, shit Braveheart reference  =)
    Question everything - with the exception of the Earth being a spheroid and the moon landings.
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 1300
    Danny1969 said:

    @Roland ;  ..... I don't think anyone plays Superstition correctly, least of all me but generally the arrangement guitar  bands do is in E rather than Eb and simplified for the chorus as we don't have all the brass. Out of interest what chords would you use:
    We play in Eb, and the bass player plays Bb B Bb Bb Ab. The keys follow him using major chords. My ear really wants that last Bb to be an A, and it limits what inversions I can play over the top. Introducing #5 or b5 would just produce a mess. I keep it simple, and use Bb7 B7 Bb7 Bb7 Ab7, followed by another Bb7. 
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  • vizviz Frets: 4295
    Jimbro66 said:
    According to one functions band that my excellent bassist pal briefly played with, Sinatra's 'My Way' only has three chords. Being a player who always gets things right he never quite recovered from that experience.
    :D
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  • AlexCAlexC Frets: 538
    And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes
    I'll see you on the dark side of the moon
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  • richardhomerrichardhomer Frets: 15786
    edited September 27
    I used to play in a band where the other guitarist used various open tunings - which were almost always slightly ‘out’. The bass player - who had a great ear and was very assertive - would just stop the band (in rehearsals) say ‘Dave, your 4th string’s flat’.

    We used to cover Ry Cooder’s ‘The Very Thing That Made You Rich’. Dave used to play the opening guitar - which sounds ‘loose’ on the recording - but which can be counted through perfectly. His version was simply not in time. The drummer demonstrated this by playing the original and counting it through in front of everyone.

    These kind of behaviours ruthlessly expose someone's musical short-comings - and aren’t particularly ‘nice’. But what they do, is highlight the issue in a way that requires change.

    I don’t think ‘most of the audience’ not noticing is a reason to condone doing it wrong. I know being in a band is a ‘team’ thing - but with that camaraderie comes personal responsibility. I’d expect everyone to want it to be right. I’d rather not be in a band than compromise on stuff like this....
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