How to apprach a potentially awkward subject with other guitarist?

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  • I'd tell him, but don't be a dick about it. I'd want my other guitarist (if I was in a 2 guitar band) to tell me if it was the other round. If you leave it can you live with it for a prolonged period?
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  • Or to play devils advocate (and I should stress this is exaggerated to give some perspective) ....in an originals band no one in the audience gives a flying fuck about the guitar tone anyway so what does it matter?

    I say that as someone in an originals band btw :)


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  • BarneyBarney Frets: 361
    Tape a rehearsal and listen back ..he will probably realise himself that way 
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  • gusman2xgusman2x Frets: 616
    If all was equal, then being diplomatic would be fine. However, you're the new guy, so if it was me I'd let it lie for a bit. If it's an atrocious problem, then it will present itself fully at some point then it will be dealt with.

    I have a similar situation at the moment where there's this new guitarist that's joined our band, and he's a great player, but his tone is like an ice pick, cuts though everything. Oh wait....
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  • FuengiFuengi Frets: 782
    Never been in a band, is it considered I'll manners to adjust his amp and tone controls while he's playing? 

    A simple "there we go, that's better" would surely go down really well?  :open_mouth: 


    I work alone. 
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  • Maybe it says more about me than anything else, but...  If an original music band doesn't talk to each other and discuss how things are put together, then it will probably never achieve anything that makes them all happy as 3/4/5 egos with their own, unshared, thoughts play in splendid isolation doing their own thing and wishing the others would be more sympathetic to their own ideas and playing.

    That's why some bands only improve after getting a producer (old school, not someone with a deck and a laptop) in to help them. It's a counselling job, sometimes - pointing out the obvious to people so everyone else can keep their hands clean.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 34855
    I wouldn’t do anything - just use a sound which complements and contrasts with his. Unless he’s loud enough to make the whole mix muddy, I would take it as an opportunity to use his sound as a canvas on which to project your clearer, more defined parts. Two-guitar bands work best when the guitar sounds are very different from each other, unless you’re specifically going for a Thin Lizzy-type twin-lead thing.
    "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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  • ICBM said:
    I wouldn’t do anything - just use a sound which complements and contrasts with his. Unless he’s loud enough to make the whole mix muddy, I would take it as an opportunity to use his sound as a canvas on which to project your clearer, more defined parts. Two-guitar bands work best when the guitar sounds are very different from each other, unless you’re specifically going for a Thin Lizzy-type twin-lead thing.
    This might work if you (the OP) can accept it. The risk I can see is the other guitarist decides to change his parts as a result, because he prefers something else in his head. Then you're back where you started - sounding like a band that never talks about how to complement (and compliment!) each other! 

    It's enough to make you become a solo performer...   ;)
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  • Don't ignore it, it will not go away.
    maybe have a chat with other members about the sound/tones... they may all be thinking you are too bright and the two of you need to meet in the middle.
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  • John_AJohn_A Frets: 1943
    I certainly wouldn't be adverse to some advice that would make me sound better, just put a positive spin on it:

    "great riff!  I think it would be better with less gain so it comes through clearer, that way everyone would be better able to hear how great it is"

    Also be open to the idea that you may be wrong too, it may sound better as it is so when you go though the process have the rest of the band there too for comment
    Do me a favour and like this:

    https://www.facebook.com/MarkedCoversBand
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  • It's got to be addressed. I'd tread carefully without bullshitting him. As has been said bands that don't talk about HOW to improve...don't improve. It means everyone has to open their ears and keep their egos in check. Difficult eh? 
    I've been on both ends of this conversation but only realised how important it is to be able to give feedback AND take it on the chin when I started playing with pros. A real eye-opener, but you don't half improve fast. 
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  • horsehorse Frets: 644
    I think you've sometimes got to get to know people a bit before you can know how best to try and influence. It may be that he won't want to listen, and if he is lead vocals then you might have to decide if you'd rather bite your tongue or risk no longer being in the band - All depends if that would bother you or not.

    Usually I can tell if somebody is going to be able to cope with constructive criticism or not once I know them. If they can't then I'll find it difficult to be involved if there's something that bugs me, and would only carry on if I was really really keen.
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  • prowlaprowla Frets: 1222
    A long lead or wireless lets you take a stroll out onto the floor and hear the sound...
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  • GulliverGulliver Frets: 475
    Help him set up his gear, then turn down the bass when he's not looking
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  • SporkySporky Frets: 15028
    Hattigol said:
    Have sex with his girlfriend. He'll soon be gone.
    Actually his wife is gorgeous so...........
    So shag her too. 

    And him, if necessary. 

    No point being squeamish. 
    Every year, I grow half as pretty, and twice as drunk. 
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  • Start using an even more extreme version of his sound - and when he mentions it, say ‘You started it’.
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  • Emp_FabEmp_Fab Frets: 14112
    edited November 2018
    ESBlonde said:
    Record the live sound and get everyone to critique thier own sound and suggest ways to improve it for the sake of the band.
    Puts everyone on an even footing and gets the subject broached and out in the open. Don't be the one to say 'that sounds shit', rather what can we do to improve our live sound chaps.

    I tried that once with a guitarist who was just terrible.  I thought it might have been because he couldn't hear himself clearly over the din of the rest of us, so I multi-tracked a practice session and gave copies to everyone for them to listen to their parts.
    He listened to his and - to my horror - declared "I thought it was pretty good !".  He was frequently playing a semitone flat.
    He got the push shortly afterwards.

    Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.
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  • ESBlonde said:
    Record the live sound and get everyone to critique thier own sound and suggest ways to improve it for the sake of the band.
    Puts everyone on an even footing and gets the subject broached and out in the open. Don't be the one to say 'that sounds shit', rather what can we do to improve our live sound chaps.

    I played with a band a few years ago and the other guitarists sound was similar, dark and too much gain and we played a festival to which they recorded the sound. You couldn't hear his guitar at all and he was genuinely shocked at how muddy it sounded. The proof was in the recording and he pointed it out first. He sorted it out after hearing the recording. 
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  • ICBM said:
    I wouldn’t do anything - just use a sound which complements and contrasts with his. Unless he’s loud enough to make the whole mix muddy, I would take it as an opportunity to use his sound as a canvas on which to project your clearer, more defined parts. Two-guitar bands work best when the guitar sounds are very different from each other, unless you’re specifically going for a Thin Lizzy-type twin-lead thing.
    I've been in a similar situation twice. First time I think I might have said something but the other guitarist pretty much figured it out for himself, bought a parametric EQ and sorted his tone out.

    Other one was a guitarist I didn't feel I could say anything to, so I just continued to play with the least bass and gain I could get away with. Another guitarist who came to see us told me you could barely hear the other guitar out front because my tone cut through so much more. Not gonna lie, part of me didn't mind that.
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  • sw67sw67 Frets: 86
    I am very diplomatic in my covers band and try to take baby steps when talking another members sound. We try to be open and constructive now but it took a while. In my originals band we have all been best mates for 40 years so that sounds shit normally works
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  • timmysofttimmysoft Frets: 1883
    Punch him and tell him he’s ruining music.

    alternatively, turn up your gain and bass 
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  • bbill335bbill335 Frets: 671
    Create a situation where you're in control of a live mix (like a gig or live recording) and tell him if he's ruining the mix. 

    learning to drive a mixing desk is a double edged sword- a lot of responsibility will end up yours by default- but it means you can say and do something about sound issues instead of gritting your teeth 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 34855
    edited January 6
    That does work. My trade-off for being the only non-singing member of a previous - six-piece, so I really was the exception! - band was to do the mixing as well as playing guitar. And I can honestly say that I never abused my position, although not having another electric guitarist - it was an acoustic - did make things easier.
    "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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  • soma1975soma1975 Frets: 440
    Can't you find a youtube video on this very subject and send it to him going 'wow this is interesting eh? Shall we have a play and a tweak ahead of the next gig?' 
    My Trade Feedback Thread is here

    Been uploading old tracks I recorded ages ago and hopefully some new noodles here.
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  • simonksimonk Frets: 1230
    edited January 6
    Just playing devils advocate here, but is it only you who doesn’t think he sounds good? He might think he sounds epic and has attained the sound he’s always had in his head, and the rest of the band might agree with him... and for that reason I think it’s probably risky confronting him about it at this stage of the game (particularly if you like the gig and want to continue with it). I’d bide your time for now and see how things pan out. Maybe try and get a friendly to record some footage for review at your next gig. Record your next rehearsal too.

    FWIW I agree with you that too much bass and gain is a recipe for disappearing in the mix, especially in a multi guitar band.
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  • Turn the bass and gain down when he nips to the loo
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  • ClarkyClarky Frets: 3047
    offer to do an experiment at a rehearsal in the interests of getting the two guitar tones to blend better and be more complimentary
    tell him it's just to see if you can get yours and his tones to 'glue up' better so that the combined result is a bigger wall of sound..

    then shag his wife
    play every note as if it were your first
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  • slackerslacker Frets: 1040
    edited January 7
    Imho don't say anything, he's the singer, founder member and song writer. You're the new guy. The person who should have sorted this, is the bassist. Get out of my frequencies always works one way or another.

    Two guitar bands are always tricky and need an inverse amount of ego and trust. Bide your time and see what happens.
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  • tekbowtekbow Frets: 362
    I think some of the problem also is that he doesnt recognise the difference between how a guitar sounds on its own and how it sounds in a band. On its own his sound is massive but in a band it just gets swallowed up. Bit like a EHX big muff, sounds massive on its own but easily lost in a band mix.

    He also seems to set his eq with his eyes not his ears. I had a blast through his rig a while ago and adjusted the eq (with his permission). He came back in the room and looked at the dials and said ‘you cant set those there!’ Without even hearing/playing it!
    If he’s setting the amp by sight, can you just not pull the knobs off the bass and gain physically turn them down, and put the knobs back to where they look right for him ? 

    Work smart, not hard.
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