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Getting the band back together. What ground rules would you fellows lay downo

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by GOX42, Oct 15, 2013.

  1. GOX42


    Sep 28, 2000
    rising sun indiana
    Well it's happening. After a bitter shutdown after last new years we are doing our first gig again on new years. We got rid of the two guys who were causing friction. They were also two good friends and still are.
    The singer and myself are bring back the old and original drummer ( got kicked out for drugs and not remembering the songs due to them) he is clean now. And a new guitarist is at times a PITA at times but he and I work well together in other projects and at least can communicate when we have issues.
    Singer is laid back and cool and wants to have fun but vetoes tunes during the shows.
    Drummer is very bombastic but fun to play with. However he is very hard headed and I am worried about reliability.

    gui**** is cool but wants To be different . But a cool dude and I can handle his personality and is the least of my worries.

    I myself am doing all the leg work, booking,PA set list,Practice scheduling and such. I am hard headed but feel with all the work I can be.

    Anyhow shoot away
  2. Hmm. I'm not sure what you want to hear - maybe don't wait so long to fire trouble/problem children this time around. anyway, good luck and have fun.
  3. skwee


    Apr 2, 2010
    Ok, here's my 2¢:

    All sets agreed upon in rehearsal, prior to arrival on site. There is no vetoing during a show. That's asinine. Letting everyone weigh in on what songs make it to a show and having buy-in, however, is not.

    Start calling it rehearsal rather than practice. Practice is what you do at home.
  4. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    If it makes sense for your band's genre, chart your tunes so you can bring in subs if needed. Charts are band insurance.

    In my view being prepared for rehearsal means you're ready to perform the tune, but want to hear how it sounds with the full band.
  5. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY

    Thank you. It's incredibly refreshing to finally see someone else make this point as well.

  6. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Shoot away about what? What is it exactly that you want out of this? And how about your bandmates? What do they want? And are you, or are you not, all on the same page?

    Shouldn't the answers to these questions be the primary factors driving decisions about ground rules? :eyebrow:

    You've already identified a number of red flags, things apparently not related to musicianship or lack thereof, but to personality issues & behavior, i.e. a drummer with previous drug habit (completely in the past?) plus some stubbornness, a guitarist who is frequently difficult, a singer who shows evidence of being a bit of a control freak, and you yourself can also be stubborn.

    How comfortable are you with this assortment of quirks & eccentricities? I'm guessing the answer is "not so much", else you wouldn't have raised it. :meh:

    IMO, a set of well-conceived ground rules, thoroughly communicated and agreed-upon by everybody is essential to the success of every band. So you're definitely on the right track. But if you don't have the right combination of people in the band, i.e. people who are emotionally mature, responsible & self-directed, etc. then it doesn't matter how good your ground rules are. Because they'll never even be followed. :meh:

  7. Surely you jest. You've been on TB longer than I have and I've lost count how many threads have made reference to practice vs rehearsal. :D

    Anyway, OP, keep in the back of your mind what mistakes were made that led to the breakup. Decide what YOU want to get out of it and what the band does. Then steer it that way. Decide on your break point, and be prepared to walk when you hit it.

    Best of luck.
  8. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    Imagine opening any other type of business with people like you described?

    Btw, what do these guys do for their day job? Just curious.

    Or the way I put it: Do the opposite of what you did when the old band broke up!:)

    And study this: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f67/if-only-i-knew-then-what-i-know-now-429034/
  9. glocke1


    Apr 30, 2002
    For me it would be the following:

    1) Rehearsals need to be fairly regular (twice month minimum) and need to start and end on time.

    2) A schedule for rehearsal is sent out a week before the scheduled practice. Nothing complicated, just what tunes people are expected to know.

    3) No pulling songs (applies to covers) out of thin air at rehearsal...Nothing more annoying than someone trying to get everyone to play a song theyve never heard of before and saying "its easy, its just 3 chords".

    4) If in a cover band, if you are playing a tune and it is not working, stop and listen to a recording of the song.

    5) No partying at rehearsal or gigs to the point you can no longer play well.

    6) For gigs where you run your own sound, everyone needs to help with the load in/load out of the PA system...no standing around chatting until all that **** is taken care of.

    Theres probably more, but those are my top six beefs...
  10. Runnerman

    Runnerman Registered Bass Player Supporting Member

    Mar 14, 2011
  11. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    Sounds like a nightmare. On the other hand it's a great opportunity to act out this scene a bunch of times...
  12. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Yep. There are some potential problems here. However a (dare I say it) conversation about each should nip them early.

    You say to singer - "There is no such thing as a veto on stage unless you have a medical issue that physically prevents you from singing a song. Anything you think you MIGHT not be able to pull off come show time needs to be canned BEFORE we go live. In fact, if there is a song you think that sometimes might not make the list because you can't pull it off, let's can it NOW and not even worry about it."

    You say to guitar player - "Use you OTHER projects to be different. This is a cover band and as such we do covers. If you want to be the only guy in town to play James Gang B sides (or whatever weird different stuff you wanna do) then start your own side project."

    You say to drummer - "Man, I think it is amazing you have cleaned up. I'm glad to have you back. We're not going to have any communication or reliability issues are we? If we need to have a plan B at the ready, just let me know."

    You say to everyone - "Any potential issues about me we need to clear the air on before we proceed?"

    As for ground rules.......
    1) COMMUNICATE! Call somebody, email everybody, text everybody when an issue pops up. If there is something bothering you, bring it up BEFORE it really pisses you off so we can help.

    2) You don't get to play only your favorites songs in your favorite way. We all have to give a little bit to make a set list that will please each of us sometimes and the crowd ALL the time.

    3) COMMUNICATE! If you have a flat tire an hour before the gig, CALL somebody.... right THEN. If your drums get stolen, CALL somebody RIGHT THEN. If your pants get left in your neighbors bedroom and you are running for your life, CALL somebody. We can fix the tire, borrow some drums and shoot the neighbor. But CALL somebody.

    4) Be grown.

    5) Communicate.

    That about covers it for me.
  13. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Yikes! Good luck!!!
  14. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    I jest not, DC. I can't tell you how many times I've seen references to "band practice" (which to me suggests a session in which people are collectively learning their parts), rather than "rehearsal" (in which people are collectively arranging & coordinating the parts they've already learned on their own).

    In actual application, most people probably are learning their parts for the first time at "band practice". But that's a separate, entirely amateurish & annoying, issue.

  15. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    IME, people don't change.

    If just telling/ordering someone to be somebody else (act differently) worked, there would be no addicts, criminals, mental illness, divorce, etc. in the world.

    If you expect people to suppress their essential nature/behavior for the good of the group, sure, telling them "you need to change" may get you a honeymoon period but, IME, they'll revert back to what's "normal" to them soon enough.

    Also, if you're not the BL, then you can only quit, especially if you're not the one getting gigs and can't replace anyone on just your say so.

    Good luck.
  16. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Those are/were just conversation STARTERS. I never expected that the response to any of them would be simply "OK. Sure thing." The point is (as always) that these issues are NOT going to simply go away. As such they need to be addressed BEFORE the band goes down the same road as last time.

    Something about a really smart guy, same thing, different results, insanity, yada yada yada.
  17. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Good luck. I don't see this reunion lasting very long.
  18. Me too, it happens alot. I was more referencing the "finally someone said it" part of your comment. The difference between the two has been argued and debated and stated multiple times.

    As long as people realise they are getting ready to put on a show and not learning parts they didn't learn at home, I don't care what they call it. :bag:
  19. Runnerman

    Runnerman Registered Bass Player Supporting Member

    Mar 14, 2011
    Semantics. You are reading between the lines.

    Practice is a shorter word than rehearsal....maybe that's why people use it.
  20. nojj

    nojj Guest

    May 20, 2013
    Practice is easier to spell than [DEL]rehursal[/DEL] rehearsal

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