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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm working with a quartet that plays original music primarily written by the Bass player and Guitar player. They've been together for over 20 years in various configurations of this group - 7 CD's and various awards. So these guys know what their doing - sort of. So now we're putting together a new project and the guitar guys shows up with a couple tunes - rough. So we beginning rehearsal adding this and that as each member puts a little something into the composition.

Two months later, the guitar guys shows up - "I changed a few thing." So the hip stuff we had put into the music is now gone and we're back to square one trying to make an awkward transition sound like something. I was a little 'put off' since 1) I had commented on how the tune was really working, 2) we had already spent a couple hours of rehearsals already working out the tune.

My questions: When does the original composer give up control to the group evolution?

I'd rather now make suggestions if they're simply dismissed. I'd also rather not spend time rehearsing sections that will ultimately be edited out of the tune.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
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Interesting situation. First off, I would just flat out state it: "in my eyes, you removed the stuff which the group had added to make the tune hip; so I think this has actually regressed and now we are back to square one".

See if anyone else chimes in and agrees. If someone else feels similarly, then I think there'd be momentum along the lines of what you were hoping for.

If your view ends up being stand-alone, then it's just one of those situations were it's "I don't agree with this tune, but since everyone else is OK with it, I'll play it".

A question - is this the first time the git player has done this (come into a rehearsal wanting to excise elements or reverse decisions which had been worked on/made in previous rehearsals) ?
 

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Is this new group a collective or is it just the guitarists group? If it's a collective I would definitely say you need to make edits for the good of the group and everyone should talk about what's best. If it's just the guitarists group and he's hiring the rest of the band, I would only make suggestions if I was friends with the leader but ultimately it'd be his final decision.
 

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SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
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I think Dave has it exactly right in his post above. So yeah, it would be good to clarify whether or not your band is a group project or the guitarist's project. That would make a difference.

Having said that, I much prefer playing in a band that makes group decisions. To some extent it is helpful, maybe necessary, to have a "leader" who is in charge of certain practical matters (like booking gigs, dealing with the money, etc), but when it comes to the music it's a group effort in any case and so it makes sense to have input from everyone and then some agreement on how tunes are arranged, etc. Even when playing covers it's often necessary to come up with an ending or add in some space for solos, maybe do some rearranging, etc. Once something is agreed on, it should stay, unless or until for some reason it doesn't seem to be working out on the gig.

I'm the "leader" of my band, but I see that in the loosest interpretation of the word. I don't really want to be totally in charge of everything (guess I'm not a big fan of responsibility), but more importantly I like to have input, and hopefully agreement, from all band members and to share ideas all around. Maybe it's a different matter when someone composes a tune of their own; perhaps they should have the final say. But I still think it's useful to get input from anyone who wants to give it.

Anyway, it would probably be a good idea to have a group meeting and sort out just how things like this will be handled.
 
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