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Anybody else got a revolving door on their band?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Flyingfrets, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. Flyingfrets


    Dec 25, 2011
    3 years together and we're going on our third guitar player.

    First was one of our founding members. Left in August of 2012 because of band's down time (drummer injured & a medical issue on my part). Travel issues weren't helping the guy either.

    Guitar player number 2 came in in November last year. Didn't get to know him that well as I was sidelined the majority of 2013 (sub covering me).

    We mentioned that we had a reasonably high profile gig lined up for Thanksgiving weekend at the end of October (don't usually play between Labor day & Memorial day). Said he wasn't available & had decided he wanted to focus on his original music.

    No problem, called our super-sub and got it covered (actually offered him the spot permanently, which he's considering as we speak).

    As I said, not a catastrophe, but just can't figure out what the problem keeping that spot filled is. Second guitar, vocals a plus but not mandatory, gigs just about every weekend May - September & good money. No flakes or drama, everybody's pretty laid back. What's the issue & anybody else having trouble with one particular spot in the band staying filled?

    Just curious since I can't figure it out...
  2. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    "Well, there's your problem right there..." In my neighborhood, Thanksgiving usually falls at the end of November. Apparently, you have neither a guitar player nor a calendar.

    Be patient: you'll find a jewel in time. May not be perfect but if you all share the same chemistry, the project will sustain itself and grow over time.

  3. Flyingfrets


    Dec 25, 2011
    Uh...what I meant was that at the end of October, we told him there was a gig lined up for Thanksgiving weekend...;)

    That was kind of the point of this band. We all travel a considerable distance to make this work. Not enough like-minded folks in our respective areas. And it worked for the first 2 years. Just don't know why it's become an issue to keep the second guitar spot.
  4. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    So you guys basically only gig during the summer? I can't speak for all, but I know I would need more than that. I'd consider taking a gig like that as a 2nd band type thing.
  5. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom

    Feb 17, 2013
    Queens, NY
    I'm in the process of forming a new band, have been so since last September, we haven't even gigged yet, and already I'm on my second drummer (you can read about it here

    I think it just goes with the territory, sometimes. It takes a while to meet the right group of people and have everyone be on the same page.
  6. nojj

    nojj Guest

    May 20, 2013
    Got that issue with one of my bands, they don't have a steady gtr player.
    Been rotating fill-ins for years.

    IMO it looks unprofessional having a constant stream of musicians traipsing through your core group,
    and it's rather hard to work on new covers, much less actually write anything.

    Been bugging them to get a steady guy on board,
    but my brow is getting bruised by the brick wall.
    I just show up, do my job, get paid,
    and go work with my other bands with a more staid lineup.
  7. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA
    If you book solid gigs, the players will come. If you spend too much time not playing out—whether it's rehearsing or not playing at all—the players will leave. This is one of the core constants of the live music universe. Competent players do not desert steady gigs.
  8. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    And sometimes no matter how hard you try you will not meet the right people. Don't mean you should give up. Just know that sometimes it don't work out in a particular situation. When that happens, just find a different situation.

    I played in a band for the better part of a year and we rarely played with the same drummer twice in a row. We spent most of our time breaking in new drummers or auditioning new ones. Killing part was, we had a killer drummer who only wanted to play guitar and sing instead of playing drums. I think our troubles were fate's way of telling us we were being selfish by looking for a drummer when we had one at hand.
  9. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    Easy one ... you didn't then and now don't have enough work to satisfy your band mates. One gig between Labor Day and Memorial Day? Really? I'd have quit the day after Labor Day.
  10. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    Unless they get a much better offer ... ;)
  11. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA
    I have been in two bands with an imploding drum kit. That was relatively early in my experience. These days I don't hang around for that. Not interested in personnel turmoil. If a band doesn't smell professional and ready to make it happen right away with whoever is onboard, there are more suitable opportunities to be had. Looking for gamers, not games.
  12. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA
    Of course. We're all prostitutes at heart. ;)
  13. The guitar player that I've been playing with on and off for years and I seem to have that problem with drummers. We're into our third year with our current band, and now on our third drummer. First guy relocated for a job promotion, second drummer is leaving to focus on his two other bands. It happens.

    I think a personnel change once per year isn't that unusual. If you're changing out people every few months, it means something is fundamentally wrong with the band (bad concept, not gigging out enough, not getting people that are really committed, etc).
  14. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    I played in a 4-piece classic rock cover band for about 9 years. We were a working band and played 40 to 50 gigs per year, no winter break or anything like that. The only turnover we had during that period was drummers. We went through 8 drummers in that 9-year period, including two who unfortunately died. We were the real-life Spinal Tap in that regard. But we were never big in Japan.
  15. IncX


    Jul 23, 2007
    we are chewing through drummers so much, we just stopped listing "drummer" on our band profile, and we also do not include the current drummer in any of our photos or merch.

    after going through a fourth drummer, we just made a conclusion that they dont last.
  16. PWRL


    Sep 15, 2006
    Oh yeah. We go through lots of rhythm guitar players.
  17. Flyingfrets


    Dec 25, 2011
    Thanks for all the input guys...

    The thing about our gigging schedule is that we play theaters, casinos, theme parks and such during their peak seasons. Generally speaking, we're very well compensated for our efforts. Can't speak to 2013 since I was sidelined much of the spring & early summer with cancer treatments, but I do know in 2012, I made an extra $28k above and beyond what I make at my day job (thinking about it though, we did work February to mid-September that year).

    Not gonna lie & say it's easy money...we're demanding with respect to the work ethic & getting the music right, but I've worked tougher year-round jobs for quite a bit less.

    Yeah, I get that musicians wanna play. Fair enough. I could understand gigging in our "off season" and I seriously doubt any of us would have a problem with it. But leaving to focus on his original music (in fairness, he did have one minor regional hit, but that was almost 30 years ago). If that were a viable avenue of income, wouldn't it have started to show some dividends before he joined ranks with us?

    I don't know. Maybe I'm not supposed to understand, and as I said earlier, it's not the end of the world. He's already been replaced (at least for the Thanksgiving & Christmas/New Years gigs). Just can't figure some people out...
  18. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
    Kind of a harsh comment considering the fact that at the time, the OP hadn't clarified that he meant that he booked the gig at the end of October. What if the OP had been from Canada? They celebrate Thanksgiving in October not November.
  19. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Okay, I'd totally do that. I'll play guitar for you guys. I'm pretty good :)
  20. Flyingfrets


    Dec 25, 2011
    I'll keep that in mind if our sub declines the offer!