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Appropriate timeframe to "get it together"

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by RichardCranium, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. RichardCranium

    RichardCranium Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    Boynton Bch FL
    So say you join a band and for whatever reason one of the member's skill level is not at the same level as the rest of the band. I know "talent" is subjective but when someone simply can't perform at certain skill level it's pretty cut and dry. What would be an acceptable length of time for them to get it together before you have the "Sorry it's not gonna work out" speech.

    Also consider the person has been given ample chance to improve their skills but are either uninterested or incapable of getting better. This is also a full time working band and not a hobby or weekend band.

    Slightly related how far does loyalty go when it's holding the band back? Do you keep with what you have and let the band suffer or realize that it's a business too and find the best candidates for the position.
  2. In my opinion, if you're already thinking about it, your mind is made up and sooner is better than later. It's nothing personal, it's for the good of the band.
  3. RichardCranium

    RichardCranium Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    Boynton Bch FL
    Unfortunately I'm not in charge of personnel decisions but it's frustrating to have a band mate that doesn't carry their weight (in more ways than one).
  4. Are any of the other members in the same frame of mind as you? Maybe now is the time to voice your opinion. I've been in a similar situation and it affected me to the point that my playing and enthusiasm suffered.
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  6. There are no answers or guidelines to use to answer the questions posed. There is only what you choose to do about it.
  7. NeverIsNow


    Jun 25, 2013
    To me, if a member's skill isn't increasing, there isn't any reason to keep them if they aren't good enough for the band.
  8. NeverIsNow


    Jun 25, 2013
    Have you talked to the guy who is in charge about it?
  9. Hmm. Well then, either keep quiet and wait until whoever is in charge ask for your opinion, or quit.
  10. BawanaRik

    BawanaRik Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    If you're the only one that feels that way it might be time for you to look for other opportunities.
  11. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    Not everyone in the band needs to be at the same level, as long as all the players can deliver what the gig needs. Also, competent-but-not-amazing players can be a great asset, if they book gigs, or write great songs, or just consistently make the hang fun. You just can't have them on featured instruments (or lead vocals), and you need some other players in the band who can bring fire.
  12. RustyAxe

    RustyAxe Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2008
    When I was still a workin' stiff my continued employment was ALWAYS based on my ability to perform my job to the level expected by my employer. I don't see your conundrum. To be fair, the player should be informed of your concerns and your dissatisfaction. I'd give the player specific goals ... "have <insert song name(s)> ready for next rehearsal" ... and document whether the goal was achieved. If not, you can prove (to the player and the band) that the player isn't performing up to expectations and take appropriate actions.

    BUT ... if the other members of the band (or band leader if you have one) are happy with the status quo it becomes a question of what will you do ... live with it, or move on.
  13. Dmwphoto

    Dmwphoto what does this light/\ do?

    Nov 27, 2013
    Richmond va
  14. pfox14


    Dec 22, 2013
    I once played in a band that had a rhythm guitar player that couldn't play a note. He looked exactly like Steven Tyler which was the only reason he was in the band. I quit soon after joining. Not a good situation.
  15. GlennW


    Sep 6, 2006
    If it works, don't fix it.

    I assume there's a BL, not you, who's calling the shots.

    It's a "full time working band." I assume that means you gig a lot, and get paid.

    It's working, and it isn't your place to boot someone.

    Accept it for wat it is, and hang or leave.
  16. RichardCranium

    RichardCranium Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    Boynton Bch FL

    That's the viewpoint I'm coming from. It's been a year and the player (drummer specifically) simply isn't up to the task. To be able to play in time, play with some feel, not have to have someone else tune your instrument and and not have to be constantly coached on dynamics and tempo is not too much to ask of a working pro. And yes he's been asked/told numerous times about his deficiencies.

    Problem is full time gigs like this are hard to come by so I'm not sure what to do. It's not fair to the rest of the organization to have someone that isn't up to speed (there's other issues at play here like a handicap too). TPTB are well aware of the issue BTW.
  17. Ouch. If the drummer isn't good, the band is going to fail. You can get away with a mediocre bass player (yup, I said it) or a mediocre guitarist (sometimes), but the drummer has to be at least competent.

    I would talk with the other band members and just lay out what you told us. Some people can overcome handicaps (not sure specifically what you're alluding to), but sometimes it just makes them not capable of doing a job. You can find another drummer if you need to. I would not suffer with a bad drummer in any band I was in.
  18. metlman72


    Jun 29, 2011
    Long Island NY
    I have had the same issue with a drummer. He actually regressed as time went on. We eventually had to let him go. If the dude is that bad how are you guys getting gigs? Good ones anyway......I know for me it was really difficult as the bass player.
  19. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    I could live with someone else tuning the drummer's kit (if I were in the group, I'd find it weird, but not my problem).

    But the struggles with keeping time, tempo, dynamics, and feel sounds like the difference between "not great" and "not even marginally competent."
  20. RustyAxe

    RustyAxe Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2008
    Well, as I said at the end of my post ... it seems the question is what will YOU do ... stay or move on. I play in a working country band, all good seasoned players, but we NEVER play a perfect gig. Even a perfect set. We don't rehearse and all of us know we'd sound better if we did, but we keep getting gigs, and everyone in the band seems OK with the situation (including me). It just gives all of us more time to pursue other musical interests that may or may not be as lucrative, so I stay and live with it.
  21. RichardCranium

    RichardCranium Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    Boynton Bch FL

    If I couldn't tune my bass or get a decent sound from my rig I doubt I would get hired for a working band it's part of being a "pro" and at a certain level it shouldn't be someone else's job to teach you about your gear.

    A lot is too I just feel that a lot of musicians just don't realize how hard it is for a bass player to play with a weak drummer. Bad time, stiff feel, no passion just boom chick boom chick every song.

    Referring the handicap the drummer is blind which adds a whole other other dimension to life on the road. I appreciate the comments I'm just ranting mostly I'm been frustrated lately.

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