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a first time unique situation for me

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by d_money, Jun 28, 2004.


  1. d_money

    d_money

    Jun 13, 2004
    Hello everybody. I live in Fayetteville, NC and I've been playing bass going on two years. Most of the bands here are pretty much set around this town. It's almost that you have to go to Raleigh or some other bigger city around here to get a gig. I had almost given up hope. I had answered ads before and either they already had a bass player or the particular band wasn't doing anything at the time. So this past Saturday I decided to go to the music store like I normally do and decided to check out some more ads. To make a long story short, three of the four ads that I checked up on got in contact with me. One was a waste of time because when I asked him what the group goals were he said they just wanted to hang out and jam. Now this second one that I called got in touch with me later Saturday night and said they were having practice that night and asked would I come and I packed up my gear and went. It's basically me, a drummer, two guitarists and a singer. The practice went great. They had been looking for a bass player for a over a year. Anyway they are playing rock and some blues, originals and covers. Everybody is very good at what they do. It's a unique situation because I just got a call tonight from another rock group to come to their practice on Friday night. They had bass players before but they weren't dedicated. These guys also have originals and covers but I'll find out more when I go on Friday. I'm sorry that this is so long but my question is for those that have been in this situation, what factors do you use to determine which band to choose. I know that I won't be able to do both because they would be performing at probably the same times. Also the the group that I got the call from tonight already has their foot in the door as far as the local radio station and are ready to go into to the studio. Any help would be appreciative
     
  2. RicPlaya

    RicPlaya

    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    The guys with the best attitudes and work ethic. Alos make sure you have something in common on a personal level. Beware of ego's.
     
  3. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Have you given the Saturday night guys a firm decision yet? If you're still at the stage of "I'll get back to you" (or even "you'll get back to me, right?") then no worries; you'll have to be a bit more cautious if they've started turning down other inquiries because they think they've got the bass chair filled. With music, it's very hard to predict where things are going to go or who you're going to meet again in a year or two.

    Since the beginning of this year, I've been casting around for new playing opportunities as the 'jones have been a bit slack on gigs and rehearsals and and I wanted to take on some new musical challenges. As always seems to be the case, I went for ages without turning up much and then several things came along at once.

    I ended up joining another band and also getting a place for a two week event in September (plus the 'jones saw a bit more activity). I ended up having to pull out of another audition as I realised that, assuming I came out on top, I would be too busy to keep all the plates spinning. Therefore, I called them up (with a few days notice), explained the situation and offered to audition if they understood that I probably wouldn't be able to take up the position but might be available for pickup work in the future.

    They decided to decline that offer and concentrate on the better prospects for them but it was all amicable - no bridges burnt either with the band I might have joined or the people I had already committed to.

    Also, consider the option that you might be able to do both as long as they get their gig and rehearsal bookings in early.

    The previous time when I was looking to do more music, I spent about three months searching and then two leads came to fruition at the same time. One was filling a hole in an established rock covers band and they were the first to get a gig in. However, not long after that it drifted apart - we were all busy and the lead singer / guitarist was finding the demands of a new baby and new job too much. After the gig we had a couple of incomplete rehearsals, a couple of socials and that was it. The other group was Lovesjones. Building from scratch, it took six months to gig and longer before our first decent gig but it's been a great foundation and I'm still a committed member even if it's not as intensive as it has been in the past.

    I remember feeling torn over the first month or two about whether I could keep up with both bands and I was quite tempted to go with the rock band (familiar stuff which I'd done before) rather than the melting pot of the 'jones. I reckon the rock band would still have wound down and my musical history would have taken a very different path; therefore, don't be too swayed by suggestions of future potential when considering present commitment.

    Wulf
     
  4. d_money

    d_money

    Jun 13, 2004
    Ric Playa and wulf thank you for the comments and advice. The band that I rehearsed with Saturday night is pretty much waiting for me to get up to speed on their songs and also they want to see a commitment from me. They had a bass player a while ago come to three straight practices and then all of a sudden quit. The band that got in contact with me on Monday night had bass players and they were already gigging and when they lost their bass player they kept gigging because the venues they were gigging at still wanted them to play. They have people wanting them to play right now but they're waiting on a bass player. I feel the pressure a little to learn these songs fast so we can step out there and doing something. Anymore advice would be helpful
     
  5. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Do your homework. Whether you go with one band or two, you want to be able to turn up to rehearsals having learnt at least some of the stuff you worked on last time. I record a lot of stuff on minidisc. It's like being able to time travel back to the rehearsal and eavesdrop on the proceedings. It helps confirm what I remember and turns my scribbles into a useful starting point!

    Meanwhile, you probably need to hold off making a firm decision until after Friday's try out. Perhaps the second group won't think your playing is up to scratch or maybe you just won't feel as comfortable with them as the first group. Don't make a decision in the heat of the moment but mull it over until Saturday evening.

    You should then be able to make a good decision about whether to join one, both or neither. To help with the decision, it might be worth asking about the size of their repetoire (10 songs is an easy number to pick up but if they've got 100+ your work will be cut out for months), how many songs you'd need to know to be effective (if they always build their set around the same songs it's easier than if they aim to do at least 75% new material on each successive gig) and the time they'd require for rehearsals and likely gigs (it's not going to work if they both rehearse on Tuesday nights at opposite ends of town).

    Wulf
     
  6. d_money

    d_money

    Jun 13, 2004
    Thanks again wulf for replying. I had been considering already what you were saying. Even if I feel comfortable in both I'm only going to choose one because of the fact that they play the same styles of music and would probably be gigging on the same nights. Thank you for your advice. Anyone else?
     
  7. d_money

    d_money

    Jun 13, 2004
    Update!!!!!!!!! Well I went to practice with the second group on Friday night and we practiced for about three hours. It was a good practice. Their style of rock was harder than the first group that I went to go practice with. Next time I'll remember to wear ear plugs. To be honest I believe that the musicians in the first band are a tad bit better. The one person that makes me wonder is of course the drummer. He has all the chops needed but he has a timing issue which like threw me off a little a couple of times. The singer is real good and the guitarist. The thing about this band that has the other band beat is that they have connections with the radio station and others. They also already have a following because we performed to half of them last night at rehearsal. This band has a big edge on the business side of things which is important to me. I picked up the songs pretty well. Right now I'm thinking that I need to go to a couple of more rehearsals with both bands to see which one suits me the best. Also the band that I practiced with on last night wants to book a gig about three weeks from now. They were happy with me and what I showed them. Anymore advice would be helpful