Best way to end relationship with band

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by dogwillhunt80, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. dogwillhunt80


    Apr 13, 2012

    To clarify, I'm not in a "band" but I have been jamming with the same individuals for almost 2 years now. It's been weekly and we just jam in drummer's basement. There have been slight ambitions to perhaps to open-mike stuff but nothing has come of that thus far. Before I started jamming there, I have never met the drummer or rhythm guitarist before and only know them from jamming there. The lead guitarist, however, is my best friend for almost 20 years.

    For a while now, I have been pretty bored of jamming with them because the majority of them want to jam on stuff that I really have no interest in at all. Most of the time, it's usually either AC/DC or blues-based stuff, which I am getting really sick of. In a band, majority normally rules and they all seem to have the same tastes in music but mine are pretty different for the most part. The other thing too is that with covers, they tend to be lazy as far as playing a whole song and it's different parts. The rhythm guitarist tends to just play a riff from a verse or chorus and that's it. Over and over again. The drummer doesn't care since he just wants to play and can do all kinds of things with that riff. The lead guitarist just solos all over the place on it. I can change up bass lines once in a while but still, it gets boring and unfulfilling at times. We don't have a proper vocalist or anything, which is why we can get away with this. Also, the drummer's house is in a town 45 minutes from where I live and highway driving in the winter can be s***tty. All three of them live in that town.

    I actually put up an ad on a classifieds site looking for people to jam with in my own local area and have gotten some really interesting responses. Some who have much more in common with my own musical tastes and styles and are also a little more professional too. If I hit it off with any of these people, I am looking to no longer jam with the current people I jam with, at least not on a weekly basis like I have been.

    I can't help but be concerned about upsetting my best friend though, since I know he might take it personally and possibly resent me for it, at least a little, since he's always excited to jam and always wants to ensure that I make it to our jam sessions. I don't want this to cause a strain on our friendship.

    I guess if I was a bachelor, I could and would swing jamming with both groups but honestly, I'd rather not. At least not on a full-time basis.

    For anyone who knows what I'm talking about, what's the best/nicest/tactful way I can break it off with my current jammates and minimize any hard feelings/resentment?

    I know, it feels like I'm asking how do I break up with my girlfriend in the best way. LOL

    Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks.
  2. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    Talk to your friend. And then just tell the rest of the folks it's been real but you're moving on.

    Make sure you have something lined up first.
  3. Hmm. I'd just tell them the truth - that you're just not into it anymore and want to do something else instead.

    +1 ^^^
  4. dogwillhunt80


    Apr 13, 2012
    Oh yeah, I definitely won't end things without meeting with the other parties and jamming at least once or twice with them first.
  5. edpal

    edpal Banned

    Oct 3, 2007
    I think you need to clarify for yourself exactly why you get together with people (this is not an attack). Myself, I don't go "jam" with people, every musical encounter has a goal of either learning covers tight/tight or to work on original songs. I'll jam to try to find creative ideas for either situation. So my suggestion would be to think about where/what you'd like to be doing musically and is simply jamming it.

    As other have said, talk to your friend. But he's sure to ask "why isn't jamming sufficient for you man, it seemed it was for last 2 years". the answer will give you clarity. I wish you luck man, it is hard to tell folks you need to move on. Makes them feel left behind or like maybe you think they're slackers. But you certainly have a right to expand your horizons, especially if the music really isn't your thing. I'm that way about classic rock - I love it, just don't want to play it again on a regular basis.
  6. It doesn't sound like leaving the rhythm guitarist and drummer will be any issue. You should talk to your best friend/lead guitarist and let him know you're working towards joining/forming a band with a singer to do this with more formality and towards playing out. If he come back to you with that's what this band is all about you can point out it doesn't look that way as the rhythm gtrst doesn't learn complete songs. A singer 'joining' that band wouldn't feel the whole band is on the same page, musically, and would likely leave shortly.
  7. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    I always start with, "it's not you -- it's me." That way, they know you're really not interested in any type of honesty at all. Takes a lot of the pressure off. If they get mad, I would accuse them of cheating. That way, THEY'RE the bad guy. If all else fails, tell 'em you got a sports injury that caused you to become disinterested in sex.
  8. GlennW


    Sep 6, 2006
    Best way to end relationship with band


  9. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.

    I agree with Mr. edpal. There should be a purpose, a goal.

    For some guys their purpose is to just get together and jam for fun, have a few beers, some conversation, get away from the wife and kids, etc. Their goal is to find some like-minded guys to associate with and carry out this plan. It's a substitute for "poker night" with the guys.

    If you've outgrown this situation and are ready to move on to the next step, like get with a band that will play an actual gig, then just explain it to everyone and tell them, "Thanks for all of the good times. Maybe we can do it again sometime." But you need to explore other options and venues.

    It shouldn't be hard. After two years you should have a good rapport with everyone. Ask your old friend if he's interested in joining you.

    Times change, people change, situations change, and there's no need to stress about it. Just let them know what your plans are. If you like, tell them that you may be able to get together again just for fun, as your schedule allows, but it won't be a regular thing. There are a lot of other musicians out there. Most of them are fun to play with. So get out there and pay your dues. ;)

    Thank you for your indulgence,

  10. If they can't play a full song, never had a vocalist, and mostly just jam around with the signature riff and solo a lot, they probably wouldn't miss the bass anyway. So don't feel bad. They will probably be just as happy noodling around without you.
  11. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    All the advice rendered above is good (except RAGE QUIT, which made me laugh).
    Above all else: Don't burn any bridges. keep it cool. Keep friendships intact. They don't seem to want to do more than just jam, so moving on and up is the next logical thing for to do.
  12. Space Pickle

    Space Pickle

    Apr 15, 2013
    also make sure you sign off by saying "thank you for your indulgence"
  13. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.

    I have a patent pending. :p

    Thank you for your indulgence,

  14. cableguy


    Jun 4, 2009
    North Bend, WA
    Whatever you do, do it face to face, without anger, and truthfully. If the rest of the guys can't handle this, it's on them. Times change, taste change, people change, lots of reasons for moving on that shouldn't be the cause of conflict. The may be some hurt feelings, but that's life. Put on the big boy pants and move on.
  15. K2000


    Nov 16, 2005
    There's no requirement to "be honest" and tell them that you're bored, you want to play with more serious people, etc. Just tell them it's too far to drive. Telling them they are slackers won't accomplish anything but create ill will. If they protest and raise a fuss, tell them you have nearby options you wanna explore. So if your other options don't pan out, you can go back to making the long drive. Never tell people they suck… don't burn any bridges, or go out of your way to alienate people.
  16. Up front and honest, Always ALWAYS the best policy, IMHO
  17. Gaolee

    Gaolee It's all about the polyester

    Become psycho and start questioning their committment to the relationship. Start demanding answers, and be offended that they don't know the questions. Then be really, really quiet for the rest of the night. When they ask what's up, just look baleful and say, "you know."

    That ought to do it.
  18. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass

    May 10, 2006
    Talk to your friend and explain you're not into it anymore. Send the others a text.

    As to waiting 'till something is lined up, I question the wisdom of that strategy. If you're not into it now, why prolong the agony? Somethings getting space from an unpleasant commitment gives you a chance to think about what you really want from music in a clear headed way. Take a few months off to woodshed, learn some theory you've been putting off. Whatever. Once your new music goals become clear, go for it with gusto.

    Life is short. Don't keep wasting time with these people just because you're afraid they'll be upset with your action. It's your life, not theirs.

    P.S. It's not even a band with gig commitments. Don't waste any more time on this one.!
  19. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I was in that exact same situation once. It's the reason I now never play with people who want to "jam." After a few months of having the guitarist noodle the same tired phrases without learning a single song all the way through (probably because of the number of six-packs he consumed), I just told them, "This isn't how I want to be spending my time. Sorry."
  20. dogwillhunt80


    Apr 13, 2012
    I should clarify that I'm not looking for serious gigs or anything like that. Basically no more than open-mic stuff but I'm definitely looking for playing whole songs and more of the kind of music that I am into.

    Thanks everyone for your replies. Even the smartass ones. They were amusing too.