Genre Shift - Grin and Bear It?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Remyd, Jan 3, 2015.

  1. Remyd


    Apr 2, 2014
    St. Louis, MO
    So, I started playing with this jazz combo a month ago. I was recruited through a friend of a friend to cover for this kid that went off to school. The recruiter and the BL both said that it was a little jazz combo. They led me to belive that it was a more urbane/soulful take on the standard improvisational jazz. I got in after a two hour sit-in.

    I started worrying in rehearsal #2, when I couldn't get the drummer to quit stopping the song to worry about arrangement bits that are on a recording that I'd never heard. They looked offended when I suggested that we play the thing through, with mistakes and simplifications, and fix the arrangements after. Then, the BL handed me a CD of songs to learn.

    I could probably play them, but Stevie Wonder and Prince covers with a sax section aren't what I think about when I think about a jazz combo. It's not my style at all, and those guys do these complicated arrangements sometimes that require flurries of notes and acrobatic slaptastics that are just not extant in my current chops. Not that I couldn't learn, but there's another problem as well.

    I kinda don't care for the music. Eeep!

    I'm a little bit of a traditionalist and am a converted DB player besides, so I didn't grow up with or listen to much of this smooth/soulful jazz before. I'm also outside my usual community with this project.

    I brought two more standard-ish tunes to rehearsal #3. One was rejected up-front, and the other was a "well, let's do the set list first, then we'll get to it". It was an OK rehearsal, but I had to cut it short when playing such complicated stuff for such a long time (3h) torqued my forearms so badly that my fingers stopped obeying my brain.

    I've taken 4 days off (from anything that can make any kind of music) already and it still feels like my arms are swollen like the Michelin man. I know that it's bad position and improper mechanics and overplaying and not drinking enough water and the position of sunspots and every other reason in the book, but the fact remains that these guys expect an awful lot, even though I was really clear about my would-rather-not-be-slaptastic chops. Rehearsal #4 is coming up in a couple hours, but I already called off 'cause of the arms.

    I'm not *against* this kind of music, but I don't have it down in any way, shape, or form. There are gigs in a month, so the issue is getting urgent. I'm a bass player, after all, so I can fake quite a lot, but that's not gonna fly for long. And I still don't really like the music very much.

    So, here's the real question: Do I keep going for the upcoming dough, or drop before we get any deeper?
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  2. I play for fun and not personally no, I won't play in a band where I don't like the material
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  3. What are the tunes? Nothing wrong with some funky R&B covers IMO.
  4. Remyd


    Apr 2, 2014
    St. Louis, MO
    Some, not all. And we're talking about "This Time Is Real" and "Ribbon in the Sky" type covers, not "All of Me" and "Scrapple from the Apple" which is more what I was led to believe
  5. Winfred


    Oct 21, 2011
    What is your goal with this band?

    If your plan was to play some tunes, make some dough, and just have fun, then it sounds to me like you're already tired of the tunes, and kinda tired of rehearsals. Maybe? I don't know. Is the aggravation worth the money? That's usually what I ask myself when I'm in this kind of situation.

    But if your goal was to network, and maybe use this band as a stepping stone to get in a better one, or one that you like more, then maybe you could tough it out?

    Again, I don't know. My gut feeling is if I'm tired of a band after 2 rehearsals, I'm probably not sticking around for long.
  6. INTP


    Nov 28, 2003
    Dallas, TX
    Sounds like "musical differences".
  7. DB jazz man here too, converted to electric and I ran into a similar situation. Answered a CL add for pianist looking to play "jazz." I get to his place and he's litterally reading out of a Beatles book and wants to play jazzy Beatles covers. He didn't even have a Real Book. :(

    Sounds like it's just not a lot of fun for you, just not your scene. If you can afford it, maybe see if you can't find a bass player to replace you. If you don't know any other bass cats around town that could hack it, you could sort of pre-audition some bassists for a seemless gig swap. I hate to leave people hanging, especially with up coming work, but don't feel obligated if the music dones't move you. If it's not exciting to you, hard to imagine putting out a very exciting performance.

    You SHOULD play Sir Duke by Stevie Wonder though, my only caveat. ;)
  8. Based on what you've written, this is becoming a chore more than anything else, so I would simply do what I think is the right thing: talk to the band about your concerns and the misunderstanding regarding the repertoire.
    If there is no compromise, just quit. Possibly stay until they find and ramp up another player, so they're not left in the s**t with the upcoming gigs, and then shake hands and amicably say goodbye.
  9. sean_on_bass


    Dec 29, 2005
    Sounds a bit on the smooth jazzy side..which i am not very much down with either. I say drop it if it ain't working out.

    I went to jam with a guy(kid?) that wanted to start a jazz group. I didnt know what to expect, but he said he wanted to play Aint Misbehavin' to start off, so it sounded up my alley. I get there, and its probably a 20 year old, playing a Gibson SG though a starter practice amp. Tone was overdriven, and he was fiddling with a wah pedal. Sounded like he had never played a note of jazz in his life, just totally misguided.

    Some people just totally fail when it comes to describing their music in the right context.
  10. Remyd


    Apr 2, 2014
    St. Louis, MO
    Well, I actually have a couple pretty good excuses, but they're just that and I feel guilty using them (although that won't stop me).

    1 - My country project is kicking into high gear and have 2 probables in Feb (party and bar). That should be OK, since everyone's had the hit list for a month. I'm also afraid of schedule conflicts, in which case these guys will get screwed, 'cause the band with your wife is the band that you play in.

    2 - New day job schedule is 12-9 and it's 25 miles away from the rehearsal studio. The folks are older 60's-70's and want to practice in the 6:00 range or earlier in the day.

    3 - My arms fuggin' hurt. I have a PT appointment on Monday, but I suspect she'll tell me to lay off the 3 hour rehearsals, in which case these guys will get screwed (as above) when I drop them for the country project.
  11. Remyd


    Apr 2, 2014
    St. Louis, MO
    Jazz guitar is stupid hard, so I don't blame him for not knowing. I just wish people would say what kind of music they're playing before I end up in a situation like this where I start out thinking it's going to be one thing, and 8 practice hours later it's something else.
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  12. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Yeah if you don't need the money, part ways before you get too far in. But tell them why. Not in an ugly way. Just give them the information you used to move on. It may serve them well with the next guy.
  13. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    I'd bail just because of the physical overexertion regardless of your other points. No sense messing yourself up :wacky: .
  14. IncX


    Jul 23, 2007
    i have left bands for less. the only way i'd stay is if the guys were my good friends. it does not seem to be your case. another reason is, if the pay is good. you also did not mention that.

    i think you already know what to do
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  15. devnulljp

    devnulljp Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2009
    BC, Canada
    Admin on the D*A*M Forum
    Sounds like you now what to do already

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  16. EddiePlaysBass


    Feb 26, 2009
    Remyd, keep this in mind: you do not owe them anything.

    I spent 18 months of my life playing in a genre I do not like, convincing myself I was having fun and getting guilt-tripped into a 3 month exit period. Never again.

    - You do not like the music.
    - You do not have the required chops.
    - You do not seem to get along with these people all TOO well either*

    You do not owe them anything. I'm tired of reading all that "don't leave them hanging" crap - from what I read, it does not sound like they are very considerate of your wants, needs or abilities so why would you be considerate of theirs?

    But you're Space Pickle and the OP is Remyd. YMMV and all that jazz (no pun intended).

    *From what I read in your OP
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  17. squidtastic

    squidtastic Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2013

    Seems obvious that you don't wanna play what they wanna play, so the real real question is, "Do you need the money?"
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  18. delta7fred


    Jul 3, 2007
    2 huge areas of concern, apart from your forearm problem that would warrant dropping out anyway.

    1. They are going to be months (and possibly years) before they consider themselves good enough to start gigging so hanging in for the upcoming dough is rather optimistic.

    2. If they reject or defer your suggestions without even giving them a try I would bail immediately (been there, done that). It just shows that they don't view your opinions as valid.
  19. Snaxster


    Nov 29, 2008
    You already got all the right advice here from others. I just wanted thank you for "slaptastics". :laugh:
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  20. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    The medical issues alone should be a reason to consider bailing. Unless:

    1 you are doing this purely for the $$$ and
    2 there are no otherjazz gigs out there

    Bail now, but explain to them why (never burn a bridge).

    Every minute spent on this project could be spent looking for a better one.