Getting Rid of Original member

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by brewer9, Jun 3, 2001.

  1. brewer9


    Jul 5, 2000
    Very Sad. My band has had the original members since 1992 (its a bit more complex, but we've been friends even without the band).

    The guitar player has lost his motivation to learn new songs, try different ideas, and to improve his stage performance. This has caused the drummer to want to either leave or kick him out.

    Should I stick with the guitar player out of friendship or should we sack the guy because he's holding us back? (I'm also worried that finding a replacement will be very very tough).
  2. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    If the band is laying out money on gear and promo to get somewhere, the person has got to go. It's not about friendship. It's about getting somewhere musically and in the business.

    If the band is only in it to get together and lay out some tunes for enjoyment, the friendship factor becomes more important, IMO.

    Always, CYA. Don't let the person go without a replacement you know you can count on. Sounds like you can at least depend on the present person.

    A real friend won't stand in the way of your aspirations.
  3. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Before anything else, I want to give one piece of simple advice:

    Talk to him.

    Tell him about the entire situation. Tell him you need a much more motivated guitar player, and that if he wants to continue playing with you, that he needs to get more focused, or you'll replace him. Tell him about the drummer. If you give him a clue into what's going on, he'll either 1) get more focused, or 2) quit the band, resolving the situation much more amicably.

    However, if he says he'll get more focused and he doesn't...then it's time to replace him. But, at least you know he was warned ahead of time.
  4. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    I second the talk option. You nned to know why. Also I suggest that you resolve this amicably so you the drummer and the guitarist still talk.

    Yes the band is important but you need friends. My original band has long gone but I still see the drummer and he's actually good now.

    I joined a band and it didnt work cos all but the leaders were treated like hired help.

    My bassplayer (Iplay guitar too) has been my best mate for 18 yrs and the band for 3 months. Guess which is more important?
  5. 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
    Angus' approach is the most appropriate. It's similar to any work situation. You've got to give a person the opportunity to improve. If they don't improve, then they've got to go.

    As an alternative, you could just dissolve the whole band. Then arrange for a rehearsal the next week, but don't tell him you're getting back together. That works just as well.
  6. Hmmm. Very difficult. I guess we've all been down that road at some time.

    We're in a similar position. The drummer really isn't very good and that puts it mildly. Everything gets played @ 4/4 irrespective of the actual time, and that timing varies during a song according to the drummer's whim / skill / etc. As bass player, it makes my job all but impossible.

    In our case, though, the band is just a hobby: it's strictly for fun. We might do the occasional gig but then again we might not. So it's not like we're a working outfit or anything like that, in the way Rickbass1 was saying.

    For sure, friendships will suffer as the guitarist and drummer are quite good friends. And the latter has just been out and spent the best part of £1000 on a Yamaha kit.

    I've not added much, have I? Let us know how you go on, Munjibunga.

    Rockin John
  7. brewer9


    Jul 5, 2000
    Very good comments. I think we'll discuss it with him first and see what happens.
  8. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Well, I think I'd be a little pissed if a "friend" did that to me. I think Angus is right too, BTW.
  9. mikemulcahy


    Jun 13, 2000
    The Abyss
    Its a tough place to be Brew, I was there a few months ago. The player was my closest friend in the world. We were getting complaints about his playing (we also noticed a steady decline), we were moving in a different direction than he was prepared for. He and I talked for a couple hours in which he reaffirmed his commitment. But the result was SOS. The band was ready to pounce on him at the next practice. But I took it upon myself to be the one to break the news, man to man. I felt it would be better comming from me, rather than embarrass him in front of the whole band.

    It was not pleasant to say the least. He was very hurt as I was having to do it. Probably the hardest thing I have ever done in my musical career. He did speak to me for a couple months, I did press him so to give him time for the "wounds" to heal.

    We are talking now and getting back to our friendship, but it wasnt easy. The point is, if you have to let him go, expect for him to be bitter for awhile and give him space to do it. In the end you may save yourself some hard feelings if you let it linger to the point of hostility.

  10. yawnsie


    Apr 11, 2000
    I know how you feel, Brewer - my band had to do exactly the same thing about three months ago, only the guitarist in question was also my cousin, just to make it that little bit more awkward. We gave him plenty of warning and told him to improve, but it got to the point where he couldn't actually play new songs, so he eventually had to go.

    I remember the day we told him. I turned up at the practise room and he was already there, so I had to wait for the rest of the band, as we'd decided. I couldn't even face being in the same room as him, so I had to go outside and wait. The rest of the band turned up, and the singer was the poor sod who had to tell him. I felt sick watching as he broke the news - as soon as he'd finished, our ex-guitarist silently threw the keys of the flat on the floor and left. Thankfully, he was alright about it, and we remain friends.

    Brewer, I'd go with Angus - tell him you're not happy. Maybe it'll be the kick up the arse he needs. And, if not, he's only got himself to blame.
  11. Hmmmm...

    Now I'm starting to feel bad about what we did to our original singer(s)...

    and considering it was one of the singers' ideas to start up the band in the first place...

    I dunno. He just didn't quite seem to fit with the rest of us, or more accurately, his voice didn't quite fit the kinds of songs the rest of us instrumentalist people wanted to start playing.

    Then again, being a high school student & all, it was just kidna like...schedule practices, and don't tell the 'unwanted' about it.

    The singer seems to be doing pretty well, though. He formed another band, but his bassist is a year above us, meaning she just graduated, and I've been asked to take over bass duty. I've also been offered to join another band as second guitarist, since they only have one guitarist and he's much more of a lead kinda guy. You know, your typical wanker solo guitarist...:D:p Not as bad as that damn teacher who was appointed musical director of The Whereabouts of Wally Dudes, though.
    Our guitarist was always telling people to listen to his riffs & stuff, though. That was kinda funny. I kept telling him "Yeah, it sounds great, but you didn't write it yourself! Now listen to THIS..." and I'd accompany him with the bass line I wrote myself, and then the 'ooh's and 'aah's started to pour in...:D:D
  12. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Why are you guys in a band? Answer my question and you'll know the answer to your own question.

    If his friendship is more important to you than your musical progress, then stick with him. Otherwise, he has to go.

    Somehow I doubt this. There are guitar players EVERYWHERE. Unless his last name is Clapton, Van Halen or Beck :) or you guys live in Antarctica I suspect it won't be too hard.

    My own experience is that it's too easy to turn a band into a soap opera.
  13. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    I think your drummer has the right idea. I wouldn't bother with talking with him. You can't change people, accept the fact that is the way he is. If you are serious about your music, find like minded people that willingly do their share without being coerced.
  14. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    I was in a similar position myself about 6-8 months ago, our guitar player was in another band, and didnt want to put anymore effort into our band, we found this out by talking to him one night at rehearsal, and the next day he was let go. Wasnt an easy thing to do, because me, him, and the drummer have all known each other for at least 15 years. But definatly talk to him 1st, or just ask probing questions or statements as to whether or not he's serious about the band. Then if he's not, tell him that youd like to seek a replacement. We opted to let go our guitar player b4 finding a replacement, and ironically the whole thing fell apart after that.
  15. lump


    Jan 17, 2000
    St. Neots, UK
    I have nothing constructive to add, other than as suggested, being up front and talking to the guy is your best bet, painful though it may be.

    We've been having major drummer problems lately. We've got this HS kid who plays with us, pretty much whenever the mood strikes him. When he's paying attention, he's a pretty good player, and is in a local cover band. But he never shows up for rehearsal, so we have no idea WHAT he's going to do on the weekend, although we can pretty much count on him RUSHING :mad:. The last straw was a coupla weeks ago when he kinda got in "the zone" during our closing tune - he had his head down and was rushing like crazy, and no one could get his attention. He didn't even know that we ended the song - the guitar player had to reach over and smack him (in church, mind you). It was made clear to him that unless he comes to rehearsal, he doesn't play. He hasn't come to rehearsal yet.

    Then we get a new guy that wants to play, and he's all over the place. He has only played in rock bands, and can't play in three to save his life. Somehow, I always end up being the rhythm section "liaison" since I have some training (and used to be a drummer), so I try to make some recommendations. Don't get me wrong - I f*** up too, but at least I'm aware of it when I do. No use though; so far, the guy can't hold a beat. He hasn't played with us live yet, but it's looking like he's gonna politely get the axe before he even gets started.

    It's brutal world out there, I tell ya. Even in church. :)
  16. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    I face a similar situation. Our guitarist has been "warned" repeatedly, yet he never seems to get any better. I dread replacing him, but I have a goal I am trying to reach and he is hindering, not helping. Talk to your guitarist -- if he improves, great. If he doesn't -- say goodbye and don't blame yourself.