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Going Nowhere Fast

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by bluewine, Jan 23, 2013.

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  1. bluewine

    bluewine

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    The purpose of this thread is to hear from those of you that are stuck in musically undesirable situations. And get advice and suggestions on ways to move forward.

    1. Can't get out of the bedroom.

    2. My band can't seem to get gigs.

    3. My band does not have a clear mission.

    4. My location is bad for opportunities to play in a band.

    5. My band has ran it's course and we're out of gas.

    6. I'm ready to move to a higher caliber band.

    7. Can't decide if the whole band thing is for me or not.


    Blue
  2. Factor88

    Factor88

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  3. Disaster Area

    Disaster Area I can't think of anything to put here. Supporting Member

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    Although I'm not in one anymore, until recently I was in a three-piece that was pretty much doomed from the get-go. My bandmates were incredibly skilled at what they did, and when we actually had practices they were great. But getting our drummer to actually practice before a band practice was like pulling teeth, and our guitarist/singer would cancel practices at the drop of a hat. It was wildly frustrating dealing with them because they had no self-discipline. I stayed in that group far longer than I should've; I kept telling myself that we sound so good that all we have to do is work through this one speed bump and then we'll be set. Nope. Didn't happen.

    I've started working with a new group now and they seem so much more involved and motivated. It's a bit early to tell but I'm sure hoping these guys work out better than before.
  4. smogg

    smogg

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    I'll be happy to offer my two cents. ;)

    1. Can't get out of the bedroom. Use the door, it works much better than a window. :D Check out your local jam nights. Networking helps so much and you get to have some fun.

    2. My band can't seem to get gigs. Do your home work!
    Covers: book in person with the right person at the venues. Book places your bands music will work. It's an art of salesmanship. Be honest; have references if you can, respect what the bar owner needs from you/your band.
    Originals: network with other local bands. Be visible oh "the scene." Position yourselves for the opportunity to be used an an opener.

    3. My band does not have a clear mission. Write out a mission statement. Literally, write it out. use short term goal setting as steps to the greater goal.

    4. My location is bad for opportunities to play in a band. Only two realistic options here. (A) work with what is available or (B) move.

    5. My band has ran it's course and we're out of gas. maybe take a break for a while and/or look at other options.

    6. I'm ready to move to a higher caliber band. Study yourself worthy & start networking that next level.

    7. Can't decide if the whole band thing is for me or not. Only you can decide that. But you won't know for sure until you try it a time er ten.

    Hope this helps,
    smogg
  5. bluewine

    bluewine

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    Been there, I also stayed with a band because we sounded great and the material rocked.

    But after a while it was clear that with a great sounding band if you don't have leadership your doomed.

    Key lesson, all bands need leadership.

    Blue
  6. alembicguy

    alembicguy Lone Wolf Miner Supporting Member

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    Find a new band and move, other than that it doesn't sound like there is much motivation involved on all that are participating, if there was I imagine this thread wouldn't exist.
  7. Disaster Area

    Disaster Area I can't think of anything to put here. Supporting Member

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    Absolutely. I tried to be a leader myself, but I felt like a pilot in a plane with no power. It was pretty grueling.
  8. bluewine

    bluewine

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    Getting out of the bedroom is probably the hardest thing to do.

    It takes courage and you have to shelve all your fears.

    Blue
  9. Nashrakh

    Nashrakh

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    Don't confuse direction with leadership mkay.

    Bands without leaders but direction fare better then with leaders without direction, case closed as far as I am involved... If you have only been in bands that only worked to your desire because someone fancied himself a BL, the joke's on you imo. maybe try to get out of cover bands for a change?

    That's not to say bands don't have a core group of people, or just one guy really, that make stuff happen. But again, leadership and direction are not the same. I find the notion of band leaders to be patently absurd in a way, but hey.
  10. Marko5657

    Marko5657 Supporting Member

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    I would think that anyone with a problem would start their own thread, no?
  11. bluewine

    bluewine

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    For some of us, that's not am option. In Milwaukee with few exception it's only the cover bands that are working and getting paid.

    Blue
  12. bluewine

    bluewine

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    No, not necessarily. These are issues we all have had to deal with at one time or another.

    Blue
  13. TinIndian

    TinIndian Supporting Member

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    I've been in my current project for the last 2 years, but differences have been coming up in it for awhile. The drummer is the BL and though he is a guy I like quite a bit, he is more dictatorial than he needs to be. Without going into all the grievences here, the long and short is that the guitarist and I have put together a new group and will be exiting our current situation as soon as we have things ready. We will give our current band plenty of time to bring in replacements for us but we won't be sticking around too much longer.

    He's a lousy drummer anyway. :scowl:
  14. bluewine

    bluewine

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    Nice plan, that's better than sitting around thinking he's going to change. I know the type.

    Blue
  15. kjpollo

    kjpollo Supporting Member

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    My old classic rock band was kind of caught by numbers 2 & 3.

    We had the opportunity for a couple of gigs last year but our former drummer shot them both down because he was a perfectionist. A very gifted, hard working and talented drummer but he wanted every song to be note-perfect. When the second one was scrubbed, that seemed to take a LOT of the wind out of our sails.

    Then the lack of direction was also an issue. People (myself included) were missing rehearsals and they were being called off more often than they were being held. Even when we switched over to a place we had to pay for, it didnt get better.
    Also, once our drummer and keyboardist left, we changed musical directions somewhat. Because we didnt have a keyboard player anymore we had to take about 6-7 songs minimum out of the repetoire. (out of about 30). There was always a difference of opinion on songs between our lead guitarist and the original drummer. The guitarist LOVES bluesy, swinging, swaying material and the drummer was more of a straight ahead kind of guy. The new drummer was way more relaxed and comfortable with the bluesy stuff.
    I like blues but I dont LOVE the blues and all of our new material was coming from SR Vaughn, Bad Co and other music that I like but didnt love. Then the singer wanted to pick up songs like Superstition and other kind of Motown-ish stuff. Again-like it, dont love it. We were totally moving away from straight ahead rock n roll which was where we started out.
    I was getting very frustrated because none of my song suggestions were being taken and I didnt really like a lot of what was being brought in.
    Due to the significant changes in material, there was no way we were going to be gig-ready anytime soon because there was so much new stuff to learn and it was stuff I really hadnt played much before.

    Around this same time, the singer and I had a MAJOR dust-up about me missing a rehearsal and I left. It was coming anyway, but that sealed the deal.

    Now I'm in a country band and after about 2 1/2 months together we've already played out first show.
    A fresh outlook with new people got me motivated again!
  16. SquierJazz72

    SquierJazz72

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    Glad you asked this blue. I am not really unsatisfied or feeling that I am going nowhere. But I have been away from it for a while and have only recently come back to it, so I had a lot of learning and relearning to do.

    The thing is, I love music like nothing else, and bass more than any other instrument, so I want to get back out there and do something. It won't be my main income, so I won't be fully supporting my family on it, but I can't(and past a certain point, would never) do it for free either. I have to find some profit in it.

    Now, even while working hard to get good again, I have been slowly networking some, getting my name out there, and getting to know people in the local music store, several of which play. There doesn't seem to be any open jam nights anymore, but I might be able to start one myself.

    For those of you who were at this point, somewhere along the way, how did you approach going from the bedroom to "out there"? I know many things that can be done, and that networking is a critical one, but I always appreciate extra advice or new perspectives, since I have been just on my own for some time.
  17. bluewine

    bluewine

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    I wasn't in the bedroom, but a little over a year ago I was in between bands.

    I would check Milwaukee Rocks for the bands that were out gigging a lot.

    I would go to their shows introduce myself , share email addresses and I would stay in touch. Eventually one of theses bands said "we should talk" found out they were moving in a new direction and they replacing their bass player.

    I auditioned a few timed for them and they offered me the spot . After discussing some of the fine details and negotiating a bit, I accepted their offer.

    I've been in the band a little over a year.

    So far, so good.

    Blue
  18. SquierJazz72

    SquierJazz72

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    Depending on what my research does reveal in my local market, Ihave a few possibilities, or combination of a couple.

    1. I was rusty on bass, but not on guitar,as I had kept up my musical knowledge and skill there. So teaching is something I can consider. I've done it before and have the resources and time to put decent lessons together.

    2. Being available as a sub player. More part time and random, perhaps, but good way to get back into it and build a reputation.

    3. Start or join a cover band. My preferred way, over subbing. I'll just have to see who's available and compatible in my area.

    So those are the things I'm thinking. Open jam nights are great for meeting and feeling other players out, but I might have to start that myself again. I believe there are some places around here open to it, I just have to approach them and see.
  19. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

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    Maybe it's one of those my friend can't get it up situations. :D
  20. mpace

    mpace

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    Here's a situation in the same spirit- wondering if you guys can offer some advice....
    My Band has been playing together for roughly three years, the first incarnation was a cover band and then we moved to a say 90% orig, 10% cover setlist. We practice on a regular basis keeping the music tight and the shows have an improv (setlist change up, jamming) element so someone seeing us will not see the same show twice- but that's the problem, we cannot seem to get any traction in the area. The people at shows always say they are blown away and that everything sounded great (including the bar staff), but we cannot seem to get consistant numbers at shows. I've tried flyers, facebook, etc but its just not helping- any thoughts? Thanks!
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