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Band Management [BG] Examining issues with band membership, interaction, politics, and management.


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  #1  
Old 01-26-2013, 06:55 PM
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How should I approach this

Well basically my band has been working without a drummer for a while and my guitarist mentions that our mutual friend plays drums. So I'm thinking "Great, we can start playing out again and I don't need to meet anyone new! (I dislike meeting new people)." Well somehow a day or two before practice it comes up that the reason I never new that this friend played the drums is because HE HAS ONLY BEEN PLAYING FOR A MONTH. My guitarist, having heard said drummer, insists that he is very good despite his lack of experience. Long story short, he isn't. I was too busy cringing at the way he was hitting my cymbals to count what time signature he was playing in, but it sure as hell wasn't the same as the one we play in. After practice, my guitarist proceeds to tell him that he is in the band. This kid is my friend, and I don't want to tell him how bad he is, and I don't want to tell the guitarist how bad of judgement he has. I have a feeling the rest of the band is with me, but they don't want to tell me the truth because they know I am friends with the drummer. Of course, assumptions never got anyone anywhere.
  #2  
Old 01-26-2013, 07:01 PM
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Talk w/ the rest of the band (including the insane guitarist), but w/o the drummer. Keep things non-emotional. Say you're concerned that the drummer can't play, and find out where the rest of the band stands.
  #3  
Old 01-26-2013, 07:04 PM
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Don't beat around the bush. Tell the drummer he isn't in the band and tell the guitar player that he not only does not have the authority to unilaterally hire band members, but that his judgment concerns you greatly.

That's what I'd do anyway. The last drummer I fired was a good friend of mine AND he was a good drummer. He just wasn't as good as the guy I replaced him with.
  #4  
Old 01-26-2013, 07:08 PM
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Your guitarist is a dipstick. He should have never told the drummer he was in before the band got a chance to talk about it. I'm guessing you guys are pretty young. If that had happened in a room full of 30+ year olds, they (we) would have told the drummer to leave and the guitarist to shut up...... and then leave.

It seems you are surrounded by a bunch of really REALLY sensitive (more like fragile) people. It won't be the last time. It's a learning experience for everyone involved. The best practice is to just "tear the band-aid off". What I mean is, just be honest with everybody. Tell the guitarist he shouldn't have offered the job to the drummer because he (the guitarist) is, after all, a member of a BAND, and not the ruler of the band. There should have been a discussion WITHOUT the drummer present to hash things out. Tell the drummer that maybe after some practice (just like YOU had to do) he will be ready for a band, but he's not right now. Tell the rest of the guys in the band to SPEAK UP if they have something to say regarding the daily workings of the band. Keep looking for a new drummer and press on. If anyone involved decides not to be your friend any more, he was never a true friend to begin with.

Honesty is the ONLY path out of this. Anything else will involve tricks, lying, and really complicated scenarios that will eventually come tumbling down anyway, all in the name of saving people from getting hurt. But when it comes tumbling down, they will get hurt anyway. So why bother with the long way around. Just be up front.
  #5  
Old 01-26-2013, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by derrico1 View Post
Talk w/ the rest of the band (including the insane guitarist), but w/o the drummer. Keep things non-emotional. Say you're concerned that the drummer can't play, and find out where the rest of the band stands.
+1 great advice
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  #6  
Old 01-26-2013, 07:12 PM
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Yeah this probably sounds like some schoolyard nonsense to you guys (which it is) but I guess I'll just have to be honest at some point.
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:27 PM
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Nah. It's not nonsense. If you're having to deal with it, it's very real to you. But best you learn how to deal with such things as a grownup would early on. You will be a better person for it. As far as "at some point", the earlier the better. Just letting it drag on will eat you up and postpone the band going anywhere even longer.
  #8  
Old 01-26-2013, 09:09 PM
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If the kid has any natural talent and potential, you could tell him he's really not up to the level you require yet, and he needs to take lessons.
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  #9  
Old 01-26-2013, 11:14 PM
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This kid is SO not your drummer.

Good luck!
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  #10  
Old 01-27-2013, 02:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Munjibunga View Post
If the kid has any natural talent and potential, you could tell him he's really not up to the level you require yet, and he needs to take lessons.
beat me to it... +1
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  #11  
Old 01-27-2013, 02:21 AM
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Hitting a tom with a stick doesn't make you a drummer. I see this a lot in my other field, photography. People go out and get a camera...next thing you know?..."I'm a photographer!" NO. There's dues to pay and wood to shed. Talk to me when you've done copious amounts of both. This kid might be a great guy....but he's just not there.
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  #12  
Old 01-27-2013, 02:24 AM
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If you don't have the balls to voice your opinion, you might as well not have any or you will feel miserable, in this case or others.
You don't think the guy is fit for the band, say it. There is no good or bad way to stand your case, just say it and move the burden onto others.
If they keep him and have to fire him months later or the band goes to hell, it won't be your fault.
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  #13  
Old 01-27-2013, 05:40 AM
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Actually the guitar player that's making unilateral decisions is the biggest problem. An exception would be if he owns and finances the band. If you're all in it together then you gotta make decisions together or there's no future for your band. Honest communication can solve a lot of problems. Good luck.
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  #14  
Old 01-27-2013, 05:55 AM
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Tell the guitarist that the guy isn't good enough and that you need to start searching for a "real" drummer. If he doesn't want to find someone else, consider leaving the band. You will be miserable otherwise.

By the way, if you don't like to meet new people, you probably shouldn't be in a band. Part of developing a following is the willingness to meet and speak with people at your shows. This is why most well known bands do a "meet and greet" before or after a show.
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  #15  
Old 01-27-2013, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Walpurgis View Post
So I'm thinking "Great, we can start playing out again and I don't need to meet anyone new! (I dislike meeting new people)."
Here's your problem. Everyone is staying within a small, limited comfort zone, you included.

How can you be in a band, "play out", or make anything of yourself if you dislike meeting new people?

At this point, lack of musicianship seems to be the least of your problems. It's more like a lack of basic life skills.
  #16  
Old 01-27-2013, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by two fingers View Post
Your guitarist is a dipstick.
There is the answer. Go figure.
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  #17  
Old 01-28-2013, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skygonzo View Post
Hitting a tom with a stick doesn't make you a drummer. I see this a lot in my other field, photography. People go out and get a camera...next thing you know?..."I'm a photographer!" NO. There's dues to pay and wood to shed. Talk to me when you've done copious amounts of both. This kid might be a great guy....but he's just not there.
Let me go off on a little tangent with you here. I asked a friend for a recommendation of a photographer to take pictures of my family at the beach for our Christmas cards (I know, cliche). So the photographer shows up with a $5,000 Nikon D3S and a $1,200 17-55mm f2.8 lens (the same one I have) and her two little grandkids. No flash, no reflectors, no tripod, no nothing.

So she takes a bunch of snapshots and when the proofs come in, they are all overexposed by at least two stops. There was excessive glare off the ocean, easily correctable with a polarizing filter, which she didn't have. My wife called and asked her what she thought about them and she said they were all overexposed and we needed to do a re-shoot. We blew her off (but paid her anyway), I salvaged a couple pictures and photoshopped a background from a photo I had taken near the same location.

The previous year, I took the pictures using a tripod and time delay, and they were 1,000 percent better than hers - I just didn't want to mess with it last year.

So you're exactly right. Now back to your regularly-scheduled programming.
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