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Are you In A Band That's Falling Apart or Going Nowhere?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by bluewine, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    I'm sure there must be a few of you in this boat.

    Share your situation or thoughts and ideas on how to move on to better band opportunities.

  2. Kind of in this boat. My band have just gone on a hiatus for the next year as our guitarist has to move away for 12 months. As a result i've finally got time to get an idea i had with a friend of mine (Phenomenal vocalist and songwriter) started and make it reality, as well as looking more at the other side of music, working with live video/audio streams and that kind of stuff.

  3. Yes I am too. The drummer and vocalist are cousins and they think they control the whole band.
  4. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    To paraphrase Dan Savage "All bands are a failure until you find the one that isn't"

    Look at it as a cycle of building an ever-expanding network of competent musicians.

    Start/Join band
    PlayGig for a time
    lose steam
    keep in touch your preferred musicians
    until they Start/Join a band
  5. JEBassman

    JEBassman Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    IMO the best way to move on to other bands and playing situations is to invest practice time, developing your skills. For example, sight reading in different styles; reviewing music theory; applying theory to your playing, etc. The more developed we each become as bassists and musicians, the easier it will be for us to be accepted into new groups.

    As far as the social part of how to handle breaking away from a project that's going nowhere, one way is to stay in the group while you develop other leads, audition for groups, and find jam session opportunities. Alternatively, if you really just want out of your current band, perhaps an honest conversation is best. Try not to burn any bridges, though, as gigs often come by word of mouth, and you don't want your bandmates spreading vicious comments about you in the music community.

    The bottom line is have confidence in yourself and your abilities, and allow yourself to leave groups if they're not the right fit for you.
  6. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    For those who take the option of looking for an established band to join.

    Take a look and see where some of the area bands that you like are gigging. As much as a pain it might be, go out to some their shows. Introduce yourself to one of the guitarists and get your name around that your looking. A lot of bands don't advertise for members their looking to replace.

    You never know when a band is looking to make a change or a bass player has given notice.

    That's just one idea there are many other options.
  7. ChrisB2

    ChrisB2 Bass... in your fass

    Feb 27, 2008
    TalkBass > Off Topic
    My situation is neither "going nowhere" nor "falling apart." My description would be "close but not quite." It's getting better by small degrees but I'm not sure if the improvements are happening fast enough... :meh:

    I live 30-60 minutes away from my metro area, though, so good opportunities close to home are non-existent. My current band is based about 30 minutes away and plays mostly on my side of the city so that's good. Better cover situations are just not out there right now, so for the time being I'm hanging in there and trying to keep moving things my way.

    I really like the guys so leaving this band would be hard. But the music and gigs are not really where I want to be... :( Upside is we're busy and having fun so... :D
  8. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    My current band is hitting on all cylinders but the topic perfectly describes my previous band, which I left a year ago last March. It was a cover band I had formed and we had a decent run for about 4 years but we got into a rut of playing the same handful of places for a lot of the same people, never adding/deleting songs to our show, not advancing up the pay scale, etc. Got to a point where our drummer (who was also one of my best friends) decided he'd had enough and the band got a replacement but it wasn't the same. Then I left (to join my current band who had been recruiting me for about a year), and soon after that the lead guitarist left and at that point I figured the two remaining members of the band were gonna just pull the plug. But somehow they've managed to keep a lineup together and in fact the last two summers they actually landed some gigs of a quality we were never able to get when our original lineup was together. I still sub for those guys when my current band has an open date and in fact I'm gonna be doing that with them this weekend.
  9. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Well my band is slowing down but not dead. We did decide on a drummer and have a few more gigs this year before we take a little time off. I was getting uneasy about it but now will use that time to work on me and my music and maybe sit in with another band here and there.
  10. I have been playing with the same guitarist for for more years than I can count on one hand. We have a drummer problem (who doesn't). We currently have an awesome drummer so we are not falling apart like the numerous other times in the past when drummers flaked on us.

    As far as going nowhere is concerned I guess it matters on your perspective. Are we ever gonna make it? Frankly..... No. We are however making it when it comes to song crafting/writing (original bad). We also play 1 to 3 gigs a month. We are currently working on 3 new songs and recording 3 others. To us we are making it.

    I have never been happier in a band situation. :)
  11. gastric

    gastric Professional product tester for hire

    Jun 8, 2009
    Raleigh, NC
    Source Audio BETA tester
    Every band I've been in seems like its always on the verge of falling apart. Part of the fun of trying to shoehorn 3-5 personalities into the same artistic project. :)
  12. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    If you're happy, your not falling apart.

  13. My last band was this type of band; going nowhere, musicians didn't get along, lots of disharmony. Our very limited and infrequent performances (when we could agree to do them) were poor at best. Experiences were limited, musical taste was different, and it just got worse over time.

    I was typically the peacemaker of the group but got tired of it and considered leaving for weeks before the band actually disintegrated.

    We had a unique reason to call it quits. A band member died unexpectedly (our drummer). After that we quietly disbanded.

    When I did get the drive to find another band, I found that networking with other musicians was the key. Talk to people at your local music store. Post an ad up on the bulletin board. Go to open mic performances. Go see live bands at a club or show. Chat it up with others, because you just never know where or when the next opportunity will arise.

    And....um.....well.......there's Craigslist. I think my current band is one of the (maybe few) success stories. As a blues and rock player, I set out to find an established act that needed a bass player. On a whim, I answered an ad on CL looking for a Country/Western bass player because the band was local and the makeup of the band seemed to suit what I wanted (gig schedule, member's ages, no drugs, etc...). I talked to the BL, honestly gave him an assessment of my history and skills, and they decided to audition me to replace their old player who had recently left the band. They offered me the job, and I can say I've never been happier playing with anyone else. It's still early on, but all signs say "go".

    Sometimes opportunity knocks very softly and you have to take a chance.

    In the end, I guess it's true (like was previously mentioned); all bands fail until you find the one that doesn't. Know what you want and look for a group to do it with.
  14. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Big +1 to point boldfaced for emphasis.

    IME no matter the project, how long it lasts or how smooth (or ugly) its ultimate demise, there is usually at least one other member with whom I've formed enough of a personal and musical connection that it's worthwhile to keep in touch. I have been as busy as I want to be for the last 10 years and have not "auditioned" for a single band that whole time. It's all because of the network built up through bands previous and current.

    I don't have much experience with all-originals situations but on the cover scene, keeping busy is all about the 3 "Rs": Repertoire, Reputation, and Referrals. The first two Rs are pretty much up to you but the last one is all about relationships.
  15. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    If you audition for an established band, without being too obvious, keep an eye on the BL. If something doesn't seem right with him/ her, go with your gut.

    Remember playing with "good people " is crucial. I didn't say good musicians.

    I they're not good people it doesn't matter how good they are as musicians.
  16. bluewine

    bluewine Banned

    Sep 4, 2008
    If being in bands that seem to be on the verge of falling apart is fun for you, then your good to go.

  17. I am the one who pulls the plug on every band I have been in the last 6 years. I am the one looking for better and then finding it and giving my 1 months notice. We are bass players...we are in demand.
  18. Doser


    Jul 24, 2012
    Rochester, New York
    The band I recently joined seems to be split on whether or not they're "going anywhere". They're sick of playing local shows at the same venues all the time, but that's just because they're in demand, as I see it. The debate is whether touring is the criterion by which to judge success...opportunities to tour are there, but only if we foot the bill for it. Until we tour, half the band feels like we are goin nowhere. But before we try to tour, we want to do a new album...which is now what everybody is arguing about, which songs to keep/develop, which to scrap. It's always something. But once we have an album, people wanna put it out and distribute it, and will book us a tour...they just won't foot the bill for recording or touring.
  19. I'm in a band (4 piece) where the guitarist has got himself involved in an originals pop-rock project with some other dudes. Because of that, he begun to consider our practice time as pure leisure time. We normally would decide what songs to play beforehand and stick to that (well, at least 80% of that) during practice.
    Now he comes in and starts jamming, whatever he feels like! If anyone says something, he'll just say it's a "warm-up" routine...but if you don't say anything, he'll keep b*llpoopieting for the whole 2 hours.
    That situation has been bugging the drummer and the vocalist to the point that I think they'll fire him at any moment! We're long time friends and I'm sure the guitarrist won't take it lightly. Oh my! The suspense is too much!
  20. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    It is extremely difficult to get 4-5 people to think alike.
    Most of my gigs last 1-3 years at most.
    Always very frustrating.

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