- Your Guitar is Too Loud
It is a truth universally acknowledged by every other member of a band that guitarists want to be the center of attention. And we all know the type of guitarists will want to include a solo in every song and for that solo to be as long as possible. So, it hurts a guitarist’s pride when the rest of the band, or the sound guy, tells them they need to turn down the volume. How will the crowd be able to appreciate the crunchy riffs and rocking solos if the guitar isn’t louder than everything else? Sure, we could correctly EQ so we stand out tonally, but where’s the fun in that.
- You’re Out of Tune
With all the tuning gadgets now at a guitarist’s disposal there is really nothing more embarrassing than being out of tune and not realizing it. Having played a song perfectly, hitting every note in that difficult solo, there is nothing worse than to look up and see a pained look on the faces of your audience and hear, “dude, you’re completely out of tune”. Besides, how the hell can the drummer tell anyway? He’s meant to be tone deaf.
- Stop Using So Many Effects
After spending hours and hours perfecting your sound at home it can be seriously disheartening to hear a sound guy demand you tone down the effects. You had your guitar sounding just the way you like it and in the practice room everyone thought you sounded great, but now you have to change it all because of some techie! It’s not like that’s what the sound guy is paid to do, you can never trust him, he just wants to make your sound bad. But, in all seriousness, sometimes in the venue it’s going to sound trash, but it’s still annoying as hell.
- Being Told Your ‘Original’ Composition is a Well-Known Song
You worked late into the night, filling several scraps of paper with notes. You played so long the tips of your fingers are sore, but finally you have it: a brilliant new composition you are sure everyone will love. Having perfected the new song you bring it to the rest of the band expecting much applause and back patting only to have a fellow band member say, “I know that song, it’s by such and such a band”. In an instant all your hard work has been rendered worthless! And then, in a state of hopelessness, you wonder, “has every song already been played?”. And more importantly, how did those guys steal my song before I was even born.
- You Always Sound the Same
When you put a lot of effort into something it’s always disappointing when people don’t notice. For a guitarist who has spent hours putting together a variety of sound banks to create variation between songs, having someone tell you, “your guitar always sounds the same in these songs”, can be a slap in the face. Your first response is to deflect the criticism by claiming the drum and bass also always sound the same and then to point out that every guitarist has a certain style of playing which could be why the critic doesn’t notice the subtle differences. Ultimately, you will always notice the nuances in your sound more than anyone else and shouldn’t worry too much if they can’t always hear it.
- You’re Not Playing the Cover Song Quite Right
Covering other band’s songs note for note can be boring and feel like repetition rather than a creative activity. For this reason many guitarists like to embellish the original with their own creative additions. After putting in the hard work to come up with new sections or alterations that you believe sound really cool, it can really take the wind out of your wings when your fellow band mates tell you to go away and learn the song properly because, “you’re not playing it quite right”.
- Being Told to Offer Something Different
Normally, when you expect someone to offer you something it is because they are serving you, like a waiter in a restaurant. So, when a guitarist is asked to “offer something different”, a phrase that is heard more often than would be expected in a professional setting, it has a tendency to get a guitarist’s hackles up. No musician wants to see themselves as a servant, we prefer to view ourselves as creative geniuses, or, even better, as brooding, misunderstood creative geniuses. It’s also so horrendously nebulous that it’s not helpful in the slightest, sure I’ll just reach into your brain and pluck the sound you had in mind straight out of there.
- Can I Have A Go?
In general, I no issues with this assuming it’s one of my lower end spare guitars, but we all know the careless guy in the group who is going to drop your baby, so if it’s my pride and joy the answer is quite simply no.
So, obviously a lot of this was meant in humor, and we’re not all narcissistic maniacs, but that said, did we miss any phrases that make your skin crawl?