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Band member 'agreement -policies - contract' ...

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by bassman blue, Sep 14, 2008.


  1. bassman blue

    bassman blue

    Aug 22, 2002
    Bellingham
    Did the search function but really didn't come up with anything, soooo

    Tonight we have the 'band meeting.' This comes after a couple members missing gigs (due to choosing an unplanned weekend away with the girlfriend, etc.) Everyone gets along well, but there seems to be differing thoughts on where the band/gigs sit on our 'priority list.' We thought it would be prudent to put together an agreement or band policy document so we are all on the same page.

    Has anyone found a reasonable 'starting point' to get or keep members of a band on track? I appreciate the dynamics created by the individuals of each band will require different approaches. If anyone has a general list or thoughts on this it would be appreciated... If not, we may just 'brainstorm' at the beginning of the meeting to get some ideas. Thanks.
     
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    One thing I'd suggest is following a set of rules for meeting procedure. Too often band meetings devolve into people talking over each other, making rude noises and rolling eyes and talking on their cell phones, making power plays or passive aggressive plays, etc. The way to avoid that is first to get the band to agree to some civilized rules for how they're going to discuss this stuff, as that levels the playing field in terms of individuals requiring different approaches.

    Mostly the meeting rules boil down to: be polite and listen when other people are talking, and raise you hand when you want to talk. It helps if one person keeps track of whose turn it is to talk.
     
  3. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    Hillsdale, Portland
    Individual/Group Basics:
    1. Play in tune.
    2. Play in rhythm.
    3. Play together.

    Group dynamics:
    1. show up on time
    2. Be prepared
    3. Respect each other on/off stage
    4. Listen to one another (develop the groove)

    Band Issues:
    1. Off the Top payment on PA, group equipment
    2. Survivor rights (you leave, you lose on community property)
    3. Forgiveness/Strikes - How many, what happens
    4. How much time/committment is required.
     
  4. RonChase

    RonChase

    Aug 15, 2008
    What ever happened to the show must go on,this is so engrained in me that to hear anything else smacks of total absolute green-ness, immaturity,lack of respect.If I hired a band and they did not show they would get black listed.You tell your un professional friends shape up or ship out and start a stupid baby band which is where they are headed so hah!!
     
  5. This is incredibly dorky and academic, but it is one of the most proper ways to maintain respect and order when meeting with a group. Do a quick read through and pick out what's most relevant to you to help your discussion from dissolving into chaos and animosity.

    Roberts Rules of Parlimentary Procedures
     
  6. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I like this but would add (above in Bold & Red). Currently issues we're dealing with. Cats not knowing songs we've been working on since Spring/Early Summer!!
     
  7. bassman blue

    bassman blue

    Aug 22, 2002
    Bellingham
    thanks for the input...

    Here is the list so far…


    ***Keep Control of the Meeting – ‘Robert’s Rules.’

    Individual/Group Basics:
    1. Play in tune.
    2. Play in rhythm.
    3. Play together.
    4. Learn songs in a reasonable amount of time.

    Group dynamics:
    1. Show up on time
    2. Be prepared
    3. Respect each other on/off stage
    4. Listen to one another (develop the groove)
    5. Don’t expect the band to carry you - carry your own weight.

    Band Issues:
    1. Off the top payment towards rented PA, lights, etc.
    2. Survivor rights (you leave, you lose on community property)
    3. Forgiveness/Strikes - How many, what happens
    4. How much time/commitment is required.
    5. Does/can/should the band play with less than all of the members?
    6. How far are we willing to drive to a gig?
    7. What is the minimum amount we will play for?
    8. How many freebies per year – if any?
    9. What is everyone’s agreed upon ‘ideal gig?’
     
  8. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    I think this is a very smart idea. But it's so obvious, I remain baffled as to why so few bands ever think to go there at all.

    Flying by the seat of the pants, making things up as you go along, will get you only so far. Success requires a certain amount of group cohesion...which in turn requires a reasonable amount of collective discipline.

    It's not rocket science. Just Management 101...

    MM
     
  9. bassman blue

    bassman blue

    Aug 22, 2002
    Bellingham
    haha, i agree. but then again i guess that's why 'management' is always looking for employees that are a good 'fit' ... even employees who were a good fit at one time can drift from the company vision..
     
  10. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    You're probably right. But what does it say about the degree of cognitive and social development of alleged adults when you have to insist upon a code of basic civility that they should have learned in junior high school? :rollno:

    Why even bother working with schmucks like these?

    MM
     
  11. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    I think that is really the key. Too many bands are slipshod and sloppy about the way they recruit members in the first place.

    Get the wrong mix of people together and there's virtually nothing you can do with them - no matter how excellent the creative vision, the quality of the material, or anything else. Get the right mix of people together (i.e. professionals), and most of these petty problems virtually take care of themselves... :eyebrow:

    MM
     
  12. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I'll offer a few:

    Watch volume and dynamics; when in doubt, turn down.

    Use collaborative/complimentary EQ; whenever possible, be mindful/considerate of the frequency-band each band member occupies, and work to achieve the best possible sound for the audience; an individual band member's personal tonal and volume preferences come second to the sound that's best for the band as a whole.

    Talk about loading in/out in advance. Is compensation proportional to participation?

    Talk about money in advance. Will each player receive an equal share, or are there justifications for unequal distribution?

    Reach agreement about booze/drugs in advance.

    Failure to return phone calls & emails, unexcused absences, and repeated tardiness are signs of disrespect/immaturity - in our band they're treated as a voluntary resignation.

    Decide as a group how songs will be added to, or deleted from, the band's set list, the sequence in which songs will be performed, and which band member will be decide what needs to be done to make the audience happy during gigs (honoring requests, song substitutions, etc.).

    Mixed messages and conflicting communication kill bands: decide in advance who will be the group's spokesperson from the stage, who accepts gigs, who will be the band's liaison with club managements, etc.
     
  13. My rule of thumb:

    If I feel I would need some form of written documentation or contract in order to deal with a person I do not deal with that person at all.
     
  14. bassman blue

    bassman blue

    Aug 22, 2002
    Bellingham
    thanks everyone. the meeting went well and we covered a lot of ground. regards,
     
  15. While I agree that people should treat each other with respect, the fact is that things like rules of parliamentary procedure exist to make sure that a group of people getting together doesn't turn into chaos. No matter how cognitively or socially developed, these kind of get-togethers, especially when they involve emotion and feeling, can devolve quickly.

    Even in a court of law, where there are arguably some of the most learned people, there are rules and standards that govern action, because without them there is no basis for control, order, recourse, or reprimand.

    On a larger scale, it's why societies have laws or codes of conduct or traditions that govern behavior and interaction. Simply hoping people are mature enough to act appropriately has not and will not ever work; in a band, in a courtroom, or outside of your front door.
     
  16. What's the problem? Musicians are some of the most disciplined people you'll meet. :D
     
  17. Especially in a band setting. Excluding the pros among our ranks aren't most of us doing this as a hobby for some fun?

    The basic rule our band has is that no one makes unilateral decisions. We discuss gigs, set lists etc. But it's not written down anywhere.
     
  18. tlwaps

    tlwaps

    Feb 13, 2006
    Ohio
    For me, if you miss a gig you're fired. Period. Unless of course they had some sort of family emergency, got into a wreck on the way, house/apartment was burglarized...etc. If it's something major I wont say anything. But if decide that you want to have a weekend get away with your woman or man or you simply didn't feel like showing up, that's not acceptable and I will push to have you replaced by somebody else.

    Might be something worth looking at. Obviously it seems like their commitment isn't to the band.
     
  19. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    I would add "Don't be an A-hole" to that list as well.
     
  20. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I have come to the conclusion that BM is not
    Management 101, it is Psych 101 Interpersonal Relationships.

    Ultimately, the group dynamics end up being much more fragile than the gear or the work.

    Over and over again I see that the problems addressed in
    this forum are people problems.

    Any astute business owner or manager will tell you, it's
    the people problems that get you every time. All the other
    problems are easier to deal with.

    Anything that you can take out of this thread or this forum
    that will help you in your interpersonal relationship skills is
    going to be of great value in making a group dynamic work.
     

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