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I just need to know what the general consensus is on this issue. I feel disrespected to the point i want to quit this band. I have asked the singer not to do this but she claims artistic expression. What about MY artistic expression?

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  • What happens when you solo all over the singer's singing? That's going to be your artistic expression! Just keep doing it, with the same reasoning. Or leave. – Tim May 16 at 11:09
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    If you can't work this out between you in a week, one of you is in the wrong band. – Tetsujin May 16 at 11:20
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    This forum isn't a discussion forum where we exchange opinions. – Brian Towers May 16 at 11:34
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    Worked for Led Zeppelin – Todd Wilcox May 16 at 17:10
  • @Todd Wilcox: you beat me to it. – Bennyboy1973 May 16 at 19:51
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I'm going to expand my comment into an answer.

If you can't work this out between you in a week, one of you is in the wrong band.

Considering your vocalist to be 'disrespectful' is not a good start in personnel management. Respect runs two ways, and contra to modern belief that it's a granted; it is not, it is earned.
Ego-clash is a considerable cause of a band's demise. If two or more members can't agree where arrangements should go musically & fight for dominance, then something has to give.
It doesn't actually matter - for a while - if you can't stand each other; but if you can't iron out simple arrangement structures without ego-clash, then the band doesn't have long.

You can either put this aside until you can no longer bear it, you can submit to a larger ego, or you can fight it out & see if the band survives it. It might; it might not.

There are many famous instances of band members not getting on well - even down to actual physical fighting. The reason these are well-known at all is that for long enough to record, release & tour some highly popular songs & arrangements, they all managed to get along just well enough to be a good band.
The ones that couldn't do this… we've never heard of.

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  • Thanks for the explanation. I say disrespect because she has been asked, repeatedly, not to step on the guitar solos and when asked, acts like it is the worst day in her life. – user78056 May 16 at 15:40
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    Then my opening line still applies. You either figure it out between you, or one of you leaves. – Tetsujin May 16 at 15:43
  • I understand why you fleshed out the comment, but realistically: The comment IS the answer. It's not even music or band related. It's teamwork related, and applies to any and all settings where teamwork is involved: You either find a common ground, or one of you leaves (or eventually will leave) the team. – Willem van Rumpt May 16 at 16:16
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crikey never heard of something like this in a band before. Many other areas, often trivial, that cause friction in a band but for the lead singer to 'sing' whilst a guitar solo is happening is just plain daft, disrespectful and unmusical.Does she sing another verse/chorus... it must sound awful? What do other band members think... are they supportive to you or her? Definitely something that will need to be sorted though. I played lead/rhythm in a band for years and never experienced this... plenty of other silly goings on of course!!! Regarding Artistic Expression that's a no go area... there is only one Artistic Expression and that's the sound of the band which you all have to agree on.

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Yes, the big problem in bands, is people not knowing when to lay out! As much a social problem as a musical one. Try praising some of the additions she makes to your playing. Try ASKING her to do more! Try stopping when she starts!

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Whilst there appears to be a consensus that this is a personal rather than musical problem, I'd beg to differ slightly.

The general rule of thumb is that songs are written and then orchestrated to keep things ordered.

Obviously you can, as a band, decide to rip up the rule-book any time you choose, but that should be a conscious choice.

A quick example would be that a bass guitar shouldn't be playing notes that conflict with the song's melody. If this means a great riff has to be pared back then so be it. You can play the full riff in the intro and elsewhere - just not over the melody.

Another example would be having a harmonica or saxaphone only playing when there are no vocals (in a call/response, perhaps).

The former is to prevent dissonance and the latter to have only one voicing in a particular range at any given time (there are probably technical phrases for these concepts).

Your particular situation would appear to be the latter. You think there's space for a guitar solo and the singer is filling in with something other than 'the song' and competing with you for that bit of space in that particular range.

If the singer is actually singing a written part then you're definitely in the wrong.

If the singer is ooh-ing and ahh-ing (however harmoniously) you need to have a discussion within the band as to what's required.

At the end of the day, this is a song arrangement, not a jam session where everyone gets 32 bars of solo.

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I recommend suggesting that songs have two types of solos: interactive ones (because apparently your singer doesn't know what "solo" means in English), and ones that are just for you. Explain that as an artist, having your own space at least some of the time is important to you.

If she can't accept it, and it bothers you, you need to end the relationship now.

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In many band situations, there will be friction between members. Often the professional attitude comes into play, and compromises are made, usually for the good (and longevity) of the band. Sometimes, though, there is no such professionalism - as in your case, so on the assumption the singer has little or no respect for fellow band members, there are two options.

Option 1, simply leave. Other band members may decide to follow you in preference, if not, they were happy in their situation.

Option 2, sack the singer. This may or may not be possible, with reference to whose band it is, etc.

Obviously you're unhappy with the situation, so a discussion (unheated) at the next rehearsal ought to be on the cards. If you are the only one unhappy, then it's option 1. Only other solution is to shut up and put up! But explain that in 99% of cases like this, the singer is at fault, and probably would feel the same as you do when you widdle all over her singing - which really does need to be done!