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Bringing in New Members

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by frsbdg, May 2, 2015.

  1. frsbdg


    Jan 4, 2015
    Anchorage, AK
    I had been doing some weekly jams with 3-4 other guys (drummer, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, keys). Recently, the lead guitar and keys decided to walk as it wasn't much fun for them anymore. That left drums, rhythm guitar, and me on bass. And I'll say right up front that I am fairly novice on bass, having only switched over from guitar six months ago. The guitarist has been actively recruiting another guitar player and a vocalist, as the rest of us don't sing (well, he tries, but it's not so good).

    The problem is that the three of us just aren't tight, musically. We have a short "set list" of about a dozen songs, and there isn't a single one of them that I would want to perform in front of an audience. We typically don't even know how/when to end a song, as the drummer just bashes away and doesn't make eye contact with anyone else half the time. We play a song once per night, and no matter how many mistakes, the drummer does not want to play it again to tighten it up. There really is zero work ethic with these guys, and it seems like their real goal is to get out of the house for a night, drink some beer, smoke some weed, and make some noise. I've been going because it's a chance to play with other musicians, but it's becoming less fun as the weeks pass by.

    I think it's premature to try and recruit new players until we get our poopie together. If it were me coming into this situation, I wouldn't be impressed and wouldn't stick around as it's clear we are not even close to "gig ready" and on our trajectory, never will be. The guitarist feels like we can't work on our songs without another guitar and vocalist, so we're in a "chicken and egg" situation: improve and add new members, or add new members and improve. I suggested we plug an iPod in and play along with the original tracks until we have our parts down, and then we look for new people to fill the other parts. But again, that sounds like too much work to them.

    Any other suggestions about how the three of us can practice together to get better? Or does this sound like a hopeless situation and I should either go along or go away?
    Shimmi likes this.
  2. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    Unless you're still getting something out of it:
    frsbdg and DreadyDiggs like this.
  3. Playing along to an Ipod won't work. You can do it in your own time and so can the others, but yall playing together will not work. All it will do is throw everyone's timing off.

    If you can hear both sets of drums you'll probably notice your drummer's tempo bouncing around till he feels comfortable.

    Practice makes perfect. You and drummer need to be tight before you bring anyone in. If you guys can't just DO that, then yea you need to work at it. And if one doesn't want to work at it, find someone else.

    Work ethic is crucial, and if the guys you're playing with don't have it, don't waste your time man. They don't have the same drive as you, and you probably aren't the one that's gonna put that in them.

    I've joined a working band that plays every weekend. I have no live experience other than one time for one song almost 10 years ago. I got the gig cause the drummer knows I got good timing (having practiced with me ONE TIME), and my WORK ETHIC. First show's tonight. Here's one of the early practices. No visual really, just sound.

    Misfit Wookiee and frsbdg like this.
  4. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    i would try and bring in the other players now. be honest in your ad, so you can end up with people who know what they're getting into, and then you can all grow into the songs together. if you don't find anyone, that's fine - you'll keep practicing.
    frsbdg likes this.
  5. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    And your big draw to get other people to want to join you is.....?

    I would be looking for another band if I wanted to do anything other than drink beer and smoke weed.
    Runnerman and frsbdg like this.
  6. frsbdg


    Jan 4, 2015
    Anchorage, AK
    That's my point exactly. Don't know why anyone with ability would stick around for long. We already lost one good guitarist.
  7. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Sounds like you should start fresh. If music takes a back seat to getting high, you likely aren't going to get what you want from this group. The other two who left already figured this out.

    Rather than waste time with these clowns, spend time finding more serious musicians.
    Krystal Childs and frsbdg like this.
  8. frsbdg


    Jan 4, 2015
    Anchorage, AK
    So, how did it go?
  9. It actually went great. Very small crowd (because of the fight I assume) but they danced or rocked and swayed the entire time. I wasn't really worried about the crowd's reaction though, the singer said I definitely passed the test. He tried to throw me a curve ball. Instead of doing all of his originals, he threw in the cover songs too. He had assured me that all I needed to know was his songs lol. He couldn't shake me though, and the 4 of us had a great time, the vibes were strong. I even ran a bassline from an old song of his and we closed the set with that. Guitar man had to figure out the chords on the fly. We're gonna incorporate that song now.

    Here's some crappy video. (Good sound though).

    Let me know if you can't watch it. (The second one might be an issue).
  10. frsbdg


    Jan 4, 2015
    Anchorage, AK
    Congrats! That must be you in the white hat next to the keyboard player.
  11. Yep that's me. I moved a lot more than that throughout the set lol. Now we're on to the next phase of this project which is adding backing vocals.
    Gaolee likes this.
  12. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

    Does that guitarist have a bass player he or she is working with? Maybe that's your option.
    frsbdg likes this.
  13. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.

    Are any of you serious about music? Are you taking private lessons? Taking music, performance or theory, classes in school? I know some people get a little snooty and say "I just play by ear" but it really helps to know the theory behind what your are hearing. It helps develop your ear. It makes you a more versatile musician. I play by ear. I can read music. I can even write out parts, chord charts, lead sheets, etc, when necessary to help the others I work with learn their parts quickly. Sometimes we get ONE rehearsal before a show playing in front of 3000 people. It absolutely helps to know your stuff.

    Get some instruction. Learn some theory. There are even classes for ear training. It's called "solfege" or "sight-singing". You learn to sing the written music by sight, without hearing it played. It's pretty intense, great for ear training. I know you might not be able to get the rest of your crew to take up this regimen, but if YOU do you will be a much better musician because of it. I wish you all the best of luck. Practice makes perfect.

    Thank you for your indulgence,

    vmabus, frsbdg and DreadyDiggs like this.
  14. tycobb73


    Jul 23, 2006
    Grand Rapids MI
    I'd grab the 2 that left and start your own thing.
    Session1969 and frsbdg like this.
  15. Piggy8692


    Oct 2, 2010
    Northern Utah
    This is a great idea. Not wanting to play a song more than once to tighten up? How exactly does this give you a way to improve. I would have jumped ship too.
    Session1969 and frsbdg like this.
  16. frsbdg


    Jan 4, 2015
    Anchorage, AK
    I actually started up with private lessons just yesterday. I know a bit of music theory from guitar lessons a long time ago, but bass is a whole different animal. I'm really excited to start getting feedback and instruction.

    The drummer is studying with someone, but not the remaining guitar player. I think their feeling is that they work all week, so the jam session is just for fun to them. Guess I'll stick around as long as I'm getting something out of it, but the suggestions to find musicians with similar interests as mine.

    BassCliff likes this.
  17. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.

    Terrific! Instruction will make you a better musician and a better player. Sure, jam with whoever, whenever you want to. Just keep in mind that as you improve you may not enjoy playing with others who don't want to improve. But you can still use most situations as a learning experience. Best of luck to you.

    Thank you for your indulgence,

    frsbdg likes this.
  18. lfmn16

    lfmn16 SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    If you were playing for any amount of time and didn't even have 12 songs down, I think you'll have a problem recruiting other people. If you are happy just jamming away, keep at it. If you want to get other people in the band and play out, you need to get to work.
    Session1969 and frsbdg like this.
  19. Session1969


    Dec 2, 2010
    Hopeless situation. Move on and don't look back. If the drummer doesn't want to tighten things up, forget it.
    frsbdg likes this.
  20. frsbdg


    Jan 4, 2015
    Anchorage, AK
    Took your advice and got in touch with the guitarist who left. Turns out he and the keyboard player have stuck together. He sent me their set list with an invite to sit in with them next time the two of them get together to practice. I can work on some of those songs and see where it goes. I don't think they have a drummer lined up yet, but it would still be better than staying in the other dead-end situation.
    RoadRanger and delta7fred like this.

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