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Getting the band into drive

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by jackmurray, Nov 10, 2005.

  1. My band is so lazy.

    When I try and run the show they tell me that I'm too controling, but when I don't do anything nothing gets done.

    We're not going anywhere. The drummer doesn't even practice anymore and the guitarist thinks that if there's ever a problem he can just play a guitar solo over the top of it and it will all work out.

    Our drummer has 5 performances booked (one being the year 10 graduation which I'm pissing myself about) but we suck and don't have anything ready or tight. Further more the band is progressing towards a style that none of us like but the rest of the band think that it's what the audience want.

    I think this is the crapest way to play music and they're never going to like it if they just do Led Zep and Deep Purple covers.

    How do I get them inspired to play and practice and get good or is it just not worth it?

    I just looked over this post and it's really long. Sucked in if you read the whole thing because it wasn't worth reading.

  2. Tingly


    Jul 16, 2005
    Yonkers, NY
    How do you get them inspired?

    You start, or join, another band.
  3. Done that, but they suck even more. I suppose I'm the common denominator. But seriously, how do I get this band moving. We would have potential if they weren't all so lazy.
  4. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    Doesn't matter, leave. I just left a project of 3 years because of this. If they don't know how to work, leave and find some guys who can not only keep up with you, but inspire you to further heights. No one ever got anywhere in the music business without drive and ambition, no matter how laid back they sound in interviews. If these guys are lazy, forget 'em and don't look back. Potential doesn't amount to spit if they don't use it.
  5. That's what I thought. Too bad, they're all good friends but I think the band is actually breaking our friendships up.

    And also, we were going to call our band "Jabberwocky" but there was already another one.

    Probably wasn't worth typing, but it's worth even less to delete.
  6. Tingly


    Jul 16, 2005
    Yonkers, NY
    I THINK, but am not sure, that the best thing would be to hold a serious meeting. I know, it sounds stupid and dull and very un-musician-like, but it is probably the only thing to save the situation. That's what PROFESSIONALS do.

    So, you meet like at someone's house or a diner. No musical instruments, girlfriends, mics or amps around.

    And YOU gotta run the meeting. Yes, it's gotta be you, unless you have at least one other level-headed person in the group you can get to help you, who won't crap out when the going gets rough.

    Then you pitch them. Talk about the potential, and the rewards, that await you guys because you WILL be so great.

    Then you talk about the obstacles, expecially the COMPETITION.

    (I'm always amazed at band members who say, to each other, "Wow, we are SO fantastic" but fail to notice some of the incredible talent that is out there, just down the street, actually getting the gigs they dream of playing.)

    And then, the worst part, you explain what you all need to do, together, to succeed. Only you know what would go here. In my band, it's about "listening sessions" where we listen very closely to the covers we'll do and discuss how we will all pitch in and duplicate the nuances.

    You need to talk about discipline, rehearsal time away from the band, commitment, being on time for rehearsal, not wasting valuable rehearsal time, putting in the time, maintaining the equipment, maybe pooling some cash, whatever, but the essence is everyone truly WORKING together.

    I would THINK you need to tell the drummer, politely but firmly, he has to practice more. Explain to the guitar man that soloing over mistakes doesn't make everything OK, and that other musicians, gig managers and the audience know it.

    Maybe you can say that you will be the leader of the band from now on, or that two of you will split the leadership or, that you guys will "rotate" the leadership. But you must make the point that one person, even if they are the leader, should not be doing 90% of the work!

    And they gotta be patient. If they do what you say, the band won't be great in a week, but there will be steady improvement. In 6 months, people who heard you before will think it's a different band.

  7. Some good advice and thanks for the long answer, but it won't work. As I said in my first post, I already get the "Jack, you're being to controling, you're not the boss."

    I'll stick with it. The guitarist reads these forums so I better not say anything mean. I'll leave that kind of stuff for behind his back.
  8. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    There's a lot of wisdom in this thread, especially this...

    The truth is that you're in high school. The pickings of good musicians who want to work hard in high school is very small. When you graduate and get out into the real world, then you're be dealing with professional-level players, not high school hacks.

    I don't know what the job-in-licensed-establishment laws are like in Australia, but if you're old enough to perform in a club, I say ditch these guys and find some older pro players.
  9. Yeh. Good advice.
  10. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    Leave the band and just keep practicing on your own. Stick it (music and bass playing) out for the long run. High school kids are the toughest people to deal with. My bands as an adult have been pure magic by comparisson.
  11. I know the feeling, the band is the least important thing, im fed up with mine and in another band aswell, my guitarist just found out today and had a go at me for not telling him, last time we had a practice was about 2 months ago at least, so i dont think its that thats putting it off . . .

    Bands with really close friends can be good, but, at times being a band to be in that band is the best thing, if you know what i mean, i dont mean to get on with your bandmates or stuff, and i cant explain it really, nevermind
  12. I think basically I'm the only one who actually cares about the band.
  13. bass_drum


    Feb 13, 2005

    I jsut got let out of a 1 yr project because of this. My band had NO ambition or drive and as soon as I tryed to get things moving they all said i was to controlling. So i started a new band. The old band kicked me out, but now i have a better guitarist and drummer and the guitarist can sing better than my old singer to. Also we are getting alot of the gigs that the other band had to cancel. ;)
  14. When they say you're being too controlling say "OK, fine. I understand I'm not the band leader. But what do _you_ suggest we do to get this band going?"
  15. Good advice. I've tried that though, and it doesn't work. They either say "I don't know, shut-up" or suggest an idea that they know is stupid and unacheivable.

    No worries. I'm over it now. I'll just run with it untill it fades out.
  16. d8g3jdh

    d8g3jdh Guest

    Aug 9, 2005
    you say the guitarist reads these forums? hmmm...

    perhaps either get him to go to this thread without his knowing you were pulling the strings, and then with his help try to get the band going. You could even create a new thread he would be more likely to catch that says things like "i like these guys and there good, but they have no ambition and so im thinking of leaving" or something. If hes on your side, you can either work on the other members or just form a new band. Either way, two heads are better than one.

    I'll delete this post if you decide to do this

    although i guess its a bit sneaky...
  17. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark

    Jan 9, 2004
    London ON
    How about heading out to some open mics/blues jam and offering to play bass for whoever is there? I don't go as often as I used to but I have met plenty of great players that has slowly but surely led to better and better work.

    I recently did a 2 hour early jazz set with a guitarist I met through the jam scene. He and I were playing in the same room that would be used later that night by my other band which was playing an opening set for a duo from Winnipeg. I sat in with the duo for the second set. Now I will be playing bass for the Winnipeg group next time they come through this part of the world again. Who knows where it goes after that. Maybe the US, maybe Europe, maybe they get a record deal and I follow along.

    Get out there and start meeting other players. I realize you may be under age for some jams in some bars but if its a restaurant/bar and you can be accompanied by someone of age then it might be OK to play.
  18. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    This is a very wise post! Tell the guys that you want to have a meeting about the band. If you have to bribe them with food, invite them over for a dinner meeting if Mom will make a spagetti dinner for them. Or do a breakfast meeting on a Saturday morning or something. Make it simple for whom ever is preparing, but food will attract them. I'm 40, and my band has dinner meetings at a local Italian place we like about once a year. We should do it more often, because they are very productive meetings.

    You have to be prepared to leave the band if they don't want the same things you want. It's not being controlling, it's just reality. If you want one thing and they want another, then it's just a waste of time. When you get them to the meeting, thank them for coming and explain why you asked them there. Explain your vision of the band and what you think it will take to get there. While you explain your views, ask if this is what they want too. Don't say, "We have to do XYZ." You say, "I think we need to do XYZ. What do you guys think? Do you have any alternatives? Is this what you want for the band?" By including them into the discussion of the band, you are not being controlling. You are simply on a fact finding mission to see if you are all on the same page. It's not to say theat they are right or you are right, but that you may want two different things from your band. If you are, great. If not, then you have to decide to either leave or wait around until something else comes around.

    I was ready to leave my band three months ago. We had a meeting, and now we are much better than we've ever been. Everyone is enjoying the band more now than ever before. Check out my thread, "My Band Could Win a "Most Improved Award" thread. A meeting can make a huge difference.

    Good luck.
  19. I've joined a new band now. I'm playing upright.

    It's more of a jam band, and not really serious, but it's a good creative outlet and now I'm more laid-back in the band. After I stopped pressuring for practice and stuff, the band started to work for themselves.

    It's all worked out well, so thanks for everyones advice.
  20. I've recently concluded that in London there are 20000 people who want to be famous, 10000 who could play a bit, 500 people actually doing something about it.
    Some are already in bands,
    Some are going on holiday,
    some have to move away.
    Some only want "safe" projects.
    some are looking for better projects.
    Some only come for guaranteed money

    I left my last band when the singer decided that HE was the artist and everyone else was nothing. Before that I killed a band because getting them into rehersal was like hearding cats.

    My recent project was formed from sound musicians that I already knew (safe, right?). The drummer quit because of a personal crisis. My advert said that we had ALL the other musicians - 20 phone calls!! Before we got them to audition, the guitarist quit- ironically because he had so much session work that he couldn't spare the time.

    I don't know what the answer is. You can't make people be there. Perhaps you need to understand that most people don't have enough drive to pick up a phone. Perhaps you need to be ruthless and keep replacing people until you get good musicians who can turn up.

    Oh yeah! after I rang arround and put all those drummers off, one of them rang back. could we jam anyway please and he would look for a guitarist ( turns out he's a teacher). Guess who i'll be talking to!