Firing A Band Member

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by bizzaro, Feb 23, 2002.

  1. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    Any recommendations as how to gracefully and diplomatically remove a band member. The concensus is to get rid of him. The rest of us are contributing musically to the band. He can't play. Any suggestions?
  2. "can't play" as in he is a beginner and can't keep up or as in he has been playing just as long and just sucks?
  3. yeah, If the guy is just a beginner cut him some slack. Help him and mold him into what you want musically out of the band. Only if hes willing to work at it and practice heavily though.

    If he just sucks and hes been playin for a while, or even if he just isnt right for what you and your band want to create musically tell him straight up that things arent gonna work out and that unfortunatley you and the band cannot continue with him.
  4. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Woodland Hills, CA
    I don't think there is an easy way. I would just tell him up front that things are not working out with him, as you all had hoped. Be nice and professional, but most importantly be honest.

    If he has anything left over at his house (like amps or instruments) that belong to the other band members, you guys should probably pick those up first.
  5. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    He is not new and was actually in the band a little before me. We have been practicing since August. He is supposed to be the rhythm guitarist. It is about his timing and rhythm. He doesn't have any!!! He has had plenty of time to come around and He really can't play. He isn't ahead or behind the beat, but is all over the place. I was hoping for some enlightining wisdom in how best to handle this?
  6. There isn’t any good way to tell somebody that they suck.
    Just be honest with him and tell him straight out. Don’t be mean about it but if you have been trying to get him to work it out for that long and he just can’t do it you don’t have much choice.
  7. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    Yea, ok, so how do you tell someone they suck in a nice way. I don't want to be that honest cause I don't like hurting people. I knew there would be no easy way out of this. I was just hoping that maybe I had overlooked a simple and logical way to give him the boot. But really I knew better.
  8. Well you could lie to him and say that your going without a rhythm guitarist and your sorry but blah blah blah thanks and stuff. And then latter when he finds you playing with the New guy he can be pissed about being kicked out AND you lying to him.

    Or you can just tell him the truth that you all feel his playing is the weak spot in the band and your sorry but your replacing him.

    I’m predicating this advice on the fact that your trying to improve the band so you can play better gigs, which is more then just a personal thing against the guy.
    Is he aware that he plays badly? Maybe it would be doing him a favor telling him.
  9. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    Based on my own experience, I can tell you what not to do:

    Don't keep him around until you find someone better. Tell him what you need from him and give him a deadline. If you tell him that if he can't get his **** together in three weeks, you intend to fire him, make sure you mean it!

    Don't let him hear that he's fired from anyone other than you (or your bandmates). When I found out that I was being replaced, it didn't piss me off so much that I was fired, but that a rival band knew about it long before I did.

    If you owe him money, or he has things at your house, be cool enough to pay him what you owe him, or let him get his stuff (especially if that was already agreed to when you started your band). On the other hand, if you have stuff at his house, try to get it back before you let him go (as was already stated).

    If and when you decide to let this guy go, tell him to his face, or at least over the telephone. It is not cool to fire someone via an e-mail, or to have an "outsider" let him know he's out.

    Lastly, be cool about the whole sitch. Wish him luck and then leave him alone. Don't go bad-mouthing him all over town. If he chooses to be an ass about it, then let him, but try not to be a part of it.
  10. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    How to fire a band member? let him leave, after taking his girlfriend....... this is no joke. it works. Thats why our band is no more. drummers are so TOUCHY. Geez. well, i would let him know that "The band" is looking for something diffrent, and that it was fun playing with him, but to grow as a band, you need to let him go. or, as i said prevously, take his girlfriend.
  11. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    Thanks Mike. You are makeing sense, it is just sucks all around. He is in a roundabout way related to the other guitarist, so there is no way he won't know about the truth. No I don't think he gets it. I think he thinks he actually is doing alright. He has fun, but he really sucks and we all know it. I just talked to the drummer about it the other day for the first time. I wanted it to be unanimus, and thought he might be the only hold out. They get along really well. The drummer said he knew it was going to be a problem from the beginning, and he supported replacing him. This kind of surprised me. Our drummer is one of the nicest guys you would ever meet.
  12. Try saying something like, "It's not you, it's us." Or "I think we should just be friends"
  13. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    Great Advice HG. Thanks. And Polly, his girlfriend is nothing I want anything to do with. Yikes:eek:She is scary looking!!!And not remotley attractive!!:eek:
  14. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Two points: One...I'm not clear from what you say that the person in question KNOWS he is deficient. Have you had an open and frank, brotherly talk with him to show him where he has failings and have you tried to help him?

    One way is to record, even with a cheap $20 Radio Shack tape recorder one of your practice sessions and let him hear for himself where he departs from the tempo of the song. See if you or someone can help him, but if he doesn't improve in...oh...say a month, tell him the band needs someone who has better timing. Suggest he work with a metronome in that space of tiime. If he doesn't improve...then we move to point number two.

    Having had adequate warning and been given assistance, but having failed to live up to expectations, then he will be on alert that his days with the band are numbered. He wil have been forewarned that he has to improve in x amount of time and he knows that if he hasn't, the next step is good by, but he may not be so bitter as if he were just fired outright with no warning and no understanding as to why.

    Or he may be bitter and angry anyway, believing that he was a victim of some conspiracy based on personalities and chicanery. He will have a hard row to hoe if he loved being in your band, but your band will move on to whatever you dream.

    Remember this caveat, however. A new band member will bring new group dynamics. Even if he is a better musician, you may not like the new dynamics--or you may. You won't know until you

    As was mentioned by others, the worst thing you can do is sneak around, hire a "backdoor" player who rehearses with you on the down low or even plays with you at a gig without the other player's knowing until too late.

    I speak from personal experience. I was in a band that did that to our drummer. Six months later that same band did the exact same thing to me. The public humiliation is what hurts the most, even to this day. Furthermore, because we had already done that, when I began to suspect I was the next victim, it was very painful. One becomes paranoid and suspicious. It is extremely stressful.

    I can't tell you how that experience hurt. That's why I ask you to think twice if you are tempted to do that to the player in question.
  15. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    It has never been said to him, "You need to pick it up in some time frame or etc,etc". We have all given attention to his struggles at practice with encouragment and suggestions. He seems to shut down even though it is done in the context of trying to help. We all critique each other with respect at practice. Certainly not in a demeaning manner. He does improve, but he is still not very good. He doesn't acknowlegde his deficiency openly but I think deep down he knows it, and can't face it. He is in the band because of the other guitarist, we sort of left it to him to bring him up to speed and deal with him. He is not. I can't take it anymore and have taken matters into my own hands. I was going to get another guitarist to jam with us to to confirm our convictions. You have made me reconsider that idea. He should at least know about it. Sometimes it is hard to do the right thing.
  16. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    And we just did our demo at a Studio(a side note: It was my first time, what a blast,Love the studio) In the mix, alot of time was spent advancing or delaying his timing where possible. His volume was brought way down in the mix. Did he hear how poorly he played? Don't know. I didn't have the balls to point it out. If he could hear it, then he could probably correct it. I sensed he was dissapointed in something, but it could have been how his parts were barley audible.
  17. progplayer


    Nov 7, 2001
    there is no easy way but you should, "Tell it like it is". No holds bar. Don't be rude but just tell the truth. He'll get his feelings hurt but hey, that's life man....

    I have had to terminate band members before and yeah there is A LOT OF ANGER but its got to be done. But tell it like it is and don't make excuses. Also you should prepare yourself mentally for the reaction. I don't know.....
  18. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    I sort of agree and disagree. I am going to say something like. "You play ok by yourself, but in the context of band playing, you don't seem to be with us" and leave it at that. Unless he asks me to be specific, I am going to be vague and ambiguous. That way I don't have to degrade his playing on a personal level.