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Got dumped by my band.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Mike88T, May 30, 2004.

  1. Just need to vent in written form to see how whiney it sounds, maybe it will also help with my depression.

    So last Monday we had a horrible practice, the AC being broken in the warehouse we use only added to the misery. I couldn’t seem to remember any of the songs well and I had to refer to my cheat sheets, which threw me off tempo. Wed. practice got cancelled by the drummer saying that she had a sick kid and the before Fri. practice my Singer/guitar player called to cancel and to say he wanted to talk about the band. So I met him that night at the warehouse thinking he wanted to talk about switching locations for practice due to the AC possibly not getting fixed for a while.

    To give you some background; I started this band with the guitar player/singer about a year ago for fun, me being a total amateur with just a bare grasp of where notes are on the fret board and that’s about it. My guitar player was a friend who had been playing for 20 years or so, self taught and having been in a couple of garage bands who played out over the years but nothing really professional. The drummer came in about 6 months ago; she has been musically trained since ages 9(she is 47 now) started playing flute in school and also plays various other instruments.

    When we started it was just for fun and so I could learn how to play better and I really loved it as a stress reliever from the daily grind. Well we were progressing fairly well, I admit I wasn’t practicing enough, but I find it difficult to practice the bass lines without accompaniment and listening to the CD of the original bands we covered wasn’t all that much help as I find it difficult to pick out a bass line sometimes plus we tend to play them slightly different as I don’t have the chops to go much beyond root notes most times. Well after a few months of practice we had 20 or so songs down enough that the guitar player asked us if we wanted to play out at his wedding followed a few weeks latter by a couple of gigs at his local Moose lodge just for experience playing in front of other people. Well low and behold the lodge actually wanted us to come back next month and the one after to play for money. Great except that that meant we had to put another 20 songs or so into our sets over the next month or so, possibly more, yikes.

    So anyhow I get to the warehouse and my Guitar player starts off by telling me that “we have been friends for a long time and I hope this isn’t going to upset you too much..” yeah this is where alarm bells started going off. He basically said that he has always wanted to be in a playing band and now that we have gigs coming up he just doesn’t think I can cut it and we have reached a plateau and things seem to be degrading. So I am out and they are going to find somebody to replace me. I didn’t blow up, which is strange for me, as I don’t take rejection very well, but I figure he does have a point about my playing, I don’t practice more then a couple of hours on the days that we don’t meet and I don’t even know another bass player who can help me out. I have been learning our songs by wrote but so many similar songs confuses me when I practice by myself, I will start playing one song and find myself switching to another song right in the middle and have to refer to the cheat sheets, which by the way my guitarist has decided have to go if we play in front of people.

    What really ticks me off is the fact that we started to just play for fun and the pressure to play out has made it more like a job, which has sucked all the fun out of it for me. They knew coming in that I had only been trying to seriously play for a few months and never mentioned anything about my deficiencies holding them back, from what they really wanted to do. I was unaware that they had these goals until the guitarist dumped me, I feel it is unfair of them to expect me to catch up to their level, they expect me to learn 2-4 songs at each practice and be able to play them by the next practice without looking at the cheat sheets. I thought of asking them for a second chance and that I would apply myself more to my home practice but after 6 hours of going over our old sets I realized that there was no point to it since as soon as we start adding more songs I am just going to be in the same position again.

    I am pretty depressed about the whole thing to the point where I just want to sell all my gear and tell my friend of 10 years or so to disappear out of my life.
  2. lbanks


    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
    That's screwed up, but that's the way these things go. You're not at fault in anyway, but bands that start for fun and jammin' tend to be pushed into gigging by one or more people in the group. Its not an indictment, its just evolution. You could woodshed(intense personal practice, 6 to 10 hours a day,for about a month), in which case you'll be able to handle anything anybody throws at you. Or accept it and allow your playing to develope slower. But, this isn't a quitting situation. This is just another step in the learning process and its suppose to be a motivating factor. Nothing like this should alter your relationship with your instrument or your friend. He is being straight with you. You should have seen some of the slimey tricks I've seen pulled on guys. I know this stuff stings, but you'll survive it. Maybe if they do get another bassist and you've not burned any bridges, you'll get to meet the guy, maybe learn some stuff from him. You could meet other musicians thru him, leading to more jammin' opportunities. Or he could be a total dick, I don't know. But, don't quit playing; its like lotto, you gotta play to win. IMO.
  3. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Honestly, I think your band mates did the right thing. The purpose of the band had changed for them; they no longer want to do it just for fun. If they're wanting to progress, and you aren't progressing at their speed, then it's best they let you go. I would have done the same thing in their shoes.

    It's important for you to not take it so personally. Keep playing, find another band, practice more, and don't ditch your friend. You wouldn't be much a friend to him it you are willing to throw away a 10 year friendship over something small like this.
  4. Charr


    May 14, 2004
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    it allways sucks getting thrown out of a band man!! But dont let it get to you - play harder than ever before! learn hov to play all your favorite tunes, and start looking for a new band when you're back on your feet!!
    giving up is too easy and you WILL regret it!!
    I got thrown out of a band 5 or 6 years ago....after that i didnt feel like playing, and i all but quit. 4 years after i got a chance to make a new band with some good friends, and i started playing again :)
    BUT!! dearest me - i had forgotten SO much, and the agony i my fingers :bawl:
    I've been playing for a year and a half now....just think - if i had only played on back when they threw me out, i would be a pretty good bass player by now - if only........
  5. From a friend I would have expected, “Hey you suck and if you don’t bear down over the next couple of weeks we are going to have to find someone else cause we don’t want to look like idiots”
    But instead I got “ Hey, you suck, your out”

    Can you tell I am still a little bitter?

    I know no other musicians, can’t afford lessons at the moment, oh and did I mention that the guitar player told me that I might be tone deaf. I am assuming I am not tone deaf as I can run the scales by singing into my tuner, pretty sad that I even thought to do that. At the moment I am just going to put a little distance on the event and do some practicing, read more lesson stuff on here and other websites. They are coming by the warehouse to pick up their gear in a few hours and I’ll probably just avoid talking about it for the moment so I am not tempted to drop something.
  6. lesson being, always make your own band. this way, you can never get legally kicked out. don't take it to the heart, make your own band. and ask your old band for shows and if they get famous.
  7. levijames


    May 29, 2004
    This is my first post here,so it probably carries little weight!If it was me,ya,I would be emberrassed,but maybe it'll work out.as someone said before,maybe the new band will still let you practice with them,you can watch the bass player,and do as he does.Pick his brain,ask for tips,etc.Who knows,maybe he wont work out or you can sub for him because you will know they songs they play by then.Use this as a motivating thing to hit it hard.I was that way on guitar-I would get put into a an impromptu jam session that had an audience and was over my head,got totally emberrassed,and wanted to quit.
  8. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    Being able to sing the bass part of a song or a scale and converting that to what is being palyed on your bass are two separate things unforutnately. I say don't give it all up... Start looking at some tabs of the songs you like and after you memorize them for playing, try to figure out how they go together and why ceratin parts fit better than others. With time and more experience your ears and technique will develop. Also, I lost two good friendships over bad blood related to difference of opinions amongst band-members. Its not worth throwing away a good friendship in the end. If they start playing out as they plan to, be a sport and go see them. If you remain on good enough terms, maybe you could even sit in on some songs and get a feel for playing in front of an audience which in itself is an addiction. Just don't turn into a psycho stalker former bassist...

    I guess now that we're on stalkers, one way you can look at it is a new relationship. The first few months the thrill is strong and its easy to compromise and everything is perfect and new and fun. Then after a while, in the immortal words of the esteemed B.B. King, the thrill is gone! The little things that were cute start to grate on your nerves and all the flaws that were either over-looked or not as present start to make themselves known in a bigger way. You both want to start seeing more of your friends again and it hurts a little when you realize that its not what you both thought it would be... Seeing the similarities? Put out a flyer saying that you are a beginner bassist looking to learn afew songs and jam a little. Stick to your plan when getting in touch with other musicians... Good luck and don't give up playing . At the very least even if you really do suck at bass for the rest of your life (which I doubt will be the case if you practice) you'll learn more about music and appreciate it more.
  9. there are a few ways to look at it. I was kicked out of a band of friends a much lower way lost all of them as friends as well. about a year and a half later we are back on speaking terms and it was about a year after that till I touched a bass again. I really regret puting the bass away for that time. Even when I picked the bass back up it hurt emotionally to play. but I played and I picked up the guitar and bought a recorder. then I started recording a guitar riff then writting bass parts or vice versa and got to make music at my own pace with no stress of hanging with others. wich really helped me progress on both instruments. Last night I got to Jam with my old band playing the songs we played when I was in and my parts were tighter now then they were a year and a half ago when I played the parts all the time cause I had no pressure. It was great.
  10. Um I am not really that bad. I do come up with most of the baselines on the songs we play and more or less wrote the baseline of our theme song(was just noodeling around after prractice on the pentatonic scale and my guitar player decided to use it as the base of the song) also came up with the baseline of another of his originals. Problem is I just don't have enough experience to understand the relationship of notes from the gut and not any theory to explain it intelectualy. At this point I am thinking I would just like the opinion of somebody who knows bass just to tell me that I'm not just wasting my time with this whole thing. Either way I'll probably keep noodling since it relaxes me, I have lost hours doing that.
  11. well it depends on your goals if your wasteing your time. If your looking to make it rich and famous playing bass yeah your probably wasteing your time. If your doing it to relieve stress( wich it sounds like you are) because you love making music. Because your passionate about it would maybe want to be able to play in local bars and things like that someday your not wasteing your time. I play because Music has been the major part of my life for the last 18 years. My goals are to be in a band where we can play in bars a couple times a month and recording music to have as a way to remeber in the future.

  12. Well, what I meant was for somebody to hear me in person and give me their opinion on whether I should practice more or take up bowling instead.

    “ My goals are to be in a band where we can play in bars a couple times a month and recording music to have as a way to remember in the future”

    That’s pretty much where I though we were going and about what I expected.
  13. Keep practicing, form a new band. Try finding players more in your experience range and watch yourselves grow together as musicians. It'll be great.
  14. I was just saying if you practice you will be able to be good enough to be in a band that plays local bars... Maybe you are now i dont know that is where having someone listen to you will help. but there are 2 types of musicians ones who have alot of natural ability and those who work there asses off to get there. Either way I firmly believe anyone who puts in the practice time can be good enough to play in a cover band or even some originals.
  15. I would just like to say thanks to everybody who responded to this thread, getting different opinions helps put things in perspective.

    I really can’t blame anybody but myself for this, as I just didn’t practice enough knowing what the objective was. I could probably “woodshed” as was suggested but honestly I may just be biting off more then I can chew. If doing this starts making music so much of a chore that I am not enjoying it then really what’s the point anyway.
  16. atldeadhead


    Jun 17, 2002
    Bands come and go. That's just the way it is. You'll always be on one of two sides. Either the dumper, or in this case, the dumpee. Don't worry about it. It happens. It's the nature of the business. Play bass for the love of the instrument, knowing full well that another opportunity and a another band is just around the corner. The changes are good for you as a player. Trust me on this one.

    Bands are great but I've always progressed the most as a player by wood shedding, alone, in the basement. I would look at what happened as a wake up call and use it as a motivator for those times when you'd rather watch TV instead of practicing.

    On the down low.

  17. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I have to say that both parties are at fault.

    First Mike, I don't want to sound callous, but I have to agree with Benjamin Strange. This is the music business, and you are expected to know your parts, and always be professional. I never realized how frustrating this could be, until I played 4 shows with a drummer who didn't know his parts, ran songs long, missed breaks, played out of time, ect.

    Second, if the band was suppose to be an informal jam thing, the others should have approached it that way. If the guitarist has played 20 years, and really hasn't ever been in a professional situation, I have to question just how good of a player he is. If he really wanted to perform out, he could have joined a working band, while he still jammed with you guys.
  18. I had an Epiphany in the shower (what an excellent name for a song) but really I am getting ready to go open the warehouse so they can pick up there gear and it just struck me where all this started to go downhill for me. I wanted to write it down before I forget.
    A few weeks ago I was at practice and was trying to get a handle around a walk in this fairly easy song while trying to connect it to the stuff I had read on Talkbase. Well I am screwing up the song a bit so my guitarist stops, I try to explain what I am doing to him but he just says “Don’t try to learn MUSIC just learn the SONG” or words to that effect. At the time this pissed me off a little but I brushed it off and just kept going.
    Well the Epiphany part is where I just realized that that is the whole problem with the band. He mainly is trying to learn songs to play out cause he enjoys performing and I want to learn what makes Music tic. Maybe this is a good thing and even if it doesn’t work out I might as well think of it as optimistic as it takes the same energy if not more to be pessimistic.

    Well gotta go, if I don’t post the rest of the day more then likely the whole optimistic thing didn’t work out. :D
  19. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Hi Mike, two things, a comment and an idea. The comment is, that in general life/emotional terms, try not to take this too seriously. Especially if this is your first band experience. There are gazillions of musicians out there, and it'll surely be possible to hook up with a group of people that are appropriate for your musical desires/direction and your level of experience. Instead of getting pissed off and depressed, try to focus that energy in a positive and productive way, by learning and practicing more and becoming a better bass player. Who knows, someday you may be on the other side of that equation, you may have to let go a guitar player or a singer, and based on this experience you'll know how it feels and how best to handle it. I've parted ways with many bands in my career, sometimes they didn't want me anymore, and sometimes I didn't want them anymore. And sometimes it was some dumb personality conflict or something. My experience over forty years has been, that it's incredibly difficult to get a group of four or five (or however many) people to stay together on the same wavelength for long enough to make a band work. If you find that, consider yourself extremely fortunate. And, jump on it when it occurs, take advantage of it and use it to move forward as quickly as possible.

    Okay, so here's the idea. I picked up on your use of the term "tone deaf" in one of your posts above. That's a pretty serious thing for a musician. Honestly, how's your ear? Can you find notes by ear when you need to? The reason I ask is, that one's ear is super-important for a musician, especially a bass player, and there are ways of developing one's ear. As harley_ou812 suggested, some people are blessed to be born with a great ear, and other people have to work their butts off to develop their ear. How I did it, is that I played along with the radio for many years. I'd turn to the nearest classic rock station (or whatever style you like), and play along BY EAR with whatever tune they happened to be playing at the time. It's almost like a pick-up gig or a jam session, except that you can do it in the comfort of your own home, and not be embarrassed when you make a mistake. For me, it took two or three years to get my ear good enough to where I could find notes when I needed to. I don't have "perfect pitch" by any means, but I can find a note. And along the same lines, when you feel you're ready, try hitting some jam sessions if there are any around town. That'll give you the flip side of the coin, which is, that you'll have to use your ear in the context of a live band (ie rather than with a radio, which you pretty much know is going to play a song the same way every time). And, you'll get used to working with a wide variety of musicians, of all different styles and experience levels. For instance, I've gotten "pretty good" over forty years, but when I'm playing with relative newbies, I try to keep my lines simple and just support the band in whatever they're trying to do. That kind of thing really helps, that experience is invaluable.

    Anyway, I'm sorry to hear about the way your friend handled the situation, IMO it wasn't necessarily the best way to do it. I don't blame you at all for being pissed, if it were me I'd have been pissed too. I would have expected at least a heads-up prior to being let go. On the other hand, it's possible that your ex-bandmates may have felt that the learning curve was too steep for where they wanted to go (and how quickly they thought they were going to get there). Whatever. The bottom line is that now they're going to need to find a new bass player and start all over again, and that's not such an easy thing to to. They've taken a big hit by letting you go. On the other hand, you're now free to pursue whatever musical avenues you choose. Who knows, this might be a blessing in disguise.
  20. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i think it's really good that you realized this. there's no good guy or bad guy, it's just a different set of priorities. it wouldn't be fair for him to hold himself back while you tried to catch up when you really weren't interested in the same things that he was, and it wouldn't be fair to you to work so hard to try and satisfy him when that's not what you want anyway.

    there's no reason you guys can't be friends through this, imo :)