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Thread: Playing In Band & Unhappy!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    New Zealand

    Unhappy Playing In Band & Unhappy!

    Hi All, I need some support and your thoughts on this situation.

    Ive been playing Ukulele for about 3 years self taught. My family and friends think i play well. I have two Ukulele's.

    An Ashton Acoustic Soprano GCEA tuned, nylon strings with belcat pick. And a Fanner Pixelator Tenor GCEA tuned electric with metal strings and two hand wound pick-ups which sounds amazing.

    I can strum reasonably well and pick chords and progressions but prefer to not use a pick as like to using finger/thumb. I mostly strum patterns by ear to which suit the rythm and tempo and timing of the song and are usually pretty close to the recommended strum pattern for a particular song but not always exact. Or I strum what I like that sounds good.

    I have struggle with learning recommended patterns as written down for a given song you D U D D U U D stuff.

    I recently started a band with group fellow musicians, and this is when things have gone bad for me.

    The electric guitarist Mr X who is also self taught player, just doesn't like anything i play. He criticises everything: comments like:

    * no thats wrong pattern
    * no pick that section
    * copies my strum and says don't do that
    * no just use down strokes for this one
    * no you need to be playing scales.

    Its reached the point where I stop playing during rehearsal as lose all my confidence.

    Their is some significant generational issues too of about 30 years. Me being the older side.

    When this guitar player is absent from group, and I play well with rest band members and their are no complaints and all goes well. We all have a great time and enjoy the whole session.

    I have reached the point last rehearsal where I totally lost confidence and can't play when he's there. Yesterday I just wanted to leave the band I started.

    I am still learning and and I don't have the all the skills this guitarist thinks; or expect I should have. At my age it's takes longer to learn.

    I also feel he doesn't appreciate how different the Ukulele is too a standard Guitar in way it can be played and used.

    By the way we are a casual Church Garage Band.

    Need some advice on what next from here....
    Last edited by bazam2020; 07-29-2020 at 06:07 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    New England, USA


    He sounds like a know-it-all jerk. Hey, you started the band. Have a discussion with the others and take a vote...if they agree, he's out.

    I've been through this a few times in bands. Actually, one time, the guy who started the band got voted out!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Canada Prairies, brrr ....


    So who is in charge? If he wrote the songs then he can also have dibs on arrangement and if you are not able to follow his instructions it may be time to move on. If you started the band and picked songs he doesn't have business to tell you how to play. Guitar players are easily replaced so give him the boot and find someone who is a better fit.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2020


    Being in an amateur band should be all about fun and a source of stress relief. It sounds like it is not happening with you due to that 1 guy. Does he know how you feel? If not, maybe have a talk with him/entire band because he may not know that he's putting all this pressure on you.

    Do you guys had deadlines to meet? Maybe the guitarist wants to meet the deadline and is stressing people out. In that case, just agree on goals for each practice so you are meeting a pre-set goal rather than chasing somebody who wants everybody to go a some random speed.

    I used to belong to a little band about 5 years ago. Our age gap was 20 years. Sure, sometimes I was too embarrassed to show up (because I didn't put in any practice); but otherwise, it was a lot of fun. We didn't know each other before the band. Even after forming the band, we weren't really friends. We were like friends only during band practice; we don't see each other outside of the band (we'll text and email a little, very little).

    Even then, everybody was very supportive and genuinely want to help. We were there to have a good time and to improve.

    Which brings me to this weird episode. A few weeks ago, I got a text from one of the band member (now, remember, this band ended 5 years ago); I only know she's from the band because I recognized her name (she's no longer in my contacts list) and she referenced our band. It was out of the blue and creepy, so I showed my wife. Wife was more curious and wanted me to reply, but I deleted it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Blaine, Washington


    I'v been playing for 62 years and presently play lead guitar in a bluegrass group and lead baritone a uke group. We mostly play for senior centers, church groups and assisted living facilities. This is a church group? Seems a bit hypocritical for this guy to be dissing others and singing church songs. I've been in so many bands thru the years and always seems to be one who has to ruin it for others. Like the others mentioned, he sounds like a pompous jerk.

    You started the group and the others, more than likely, joined because of you. it's time to have a sit down and lay out your concerns. You started the group to have fun and play together to praise the Lord. With the groups I play with, the range of playing instruments is months to decades playing; a few of us professionally. We leave the egos at the door with the newer members learning by osmosis and positive reinforcement. it's playing from the heart and soul not certain strokes here or there. I suggest this guy has a low self esteem or an over exaggeration of his capabilities.

    It sounds like you really enjoy playing with the others. You started the group, take charge and clear the air. You may be surprised the others feel the same way when he talks that way. The group is for fun and relaxation. I hope you don't quit. Talk it out. If the guy says he's just trying to make you or the group better, tell him he's doing the opposite and suggest ways for him to turn it around. It may be he needs to find another group that has the same aspirations and skill level he thinks he has.
    Last edited by Patrick Madsen; 07-29-2020 at 09:10 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants border, UK.


    It's your band - show him the door!
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Ames, Iowa


    Quote Originally Posted by Croaky Keith View Post
    It's your band - show him the door!
    I don't shy from confrontation myself, and I would actually rise up to this one in a micro second. If I were in your shoes, I wouldn't draw the other members of the band into it and I wouldn't turn it into a democracy. It's time to establish who's band it is. I would take him aside and ask him when you put him in charge. Then tell him to worry about his own playing and to shut up and quit worrying about yours. If he doesn't like it, he can leave. But that's me. I have a lot of practice telling people to shut up.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    I just want everyone to understand that I am not a ukulele expert, even though it may look at times like I'm pretending to be.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Confluence of the Mississippi and Rum Rivers


    Sounds like time for the band to have a conversation with all members present. So long as you are playing in time with the correct cords/notes I wouldn't worry so much about specific strum/pick/pattern. Learning new material is not always easy but overall the band should be a fun expereince.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom


    I also agree, time for everyone to sit down and have a grown up conversation. Let everyone have their say (within reason) and then all agree how to proceed. Tell him how his comments make you feel (he might not realise and might be thinking he's being helpful, I don't know) and then draw a line under what has happened already and agree a new way of moving forward.

    I hope you work it out. I think it's possible to carry on without anyone being voted out <3
    ~ "Music washes away the dust of everyday life" ~

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    on a sunny FL beach


    This is a praise band. Do the Christian thing and speak privately to your band mate, from your heart. Assume he has the best intentions and is oblivious to the negative effect he is having on you. If you approach the topic in a non-confrontational manner, explaining (like you did in your post) that his comments/directions are making you feel very pressured and taking the joy out of the band experience for you, I’m thinking he will come around. If not, at least you two know where you stand and have cleared the air. If it then winds up that he is not a receptive to modifying his behavior and you have to “suggest” he find a better fit in another band, you won’t feel like you haven’t done the right thing and given a person a chance to change. Sometimes it only takes shining a little light for someone to see better. Pray for God to show you the way and help you approach your talk with an open heart. Best wishes.

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