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Group Monogomy

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Joe Nerve, Dec 17, 2004.

  1. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I've noticed there's a lot of threads written about playing in "this" band or "that" band. Should I stay or should I go? I've never had that issue, and I'm happy to say I've had a very happy and loving polyamourous relationship with The Nerve! for over 8 years now.

    I think that playing with other bands has helped me to grow in leaps and bounds in so many different ways - from learning different styles, playing with different drummers, playing with people better than me, stage experience - I could go on and on. The Nerve! is my #1 band and all other groups I've ever played with know it. That's only been a problem once or twice and I left the groups that didn't like it. Other than that I've never experienced any problems. When gigs come up it's first come first serve and I stick to it. I've been in up to 4 other bands - currently playing with 3 outside my baby.

    Do you play with one band or many and what are yer thoughts about it all?
  2. I play currently in 3 bands. I don't belive in monogamy when it comes to music. But i like the idea that my drummers previous band did. there was 7 of them. Two drummers, others playing basses and guitars. They had their own studio, and they played every day. Whoever came to rehersal was the one that is going to play songs that were created on that day. So these 7 guys had like 6 different bands and they always performed together. Their gigs were 4 hours non-stop fun. And whiat is best they were really really really good. buit then they moved to different cities and thing fell apart
  3. craigb

    craigb G&L churnmeister Supporting Member

    I play in one band only, but only because I don't have enough time to play in more. Family, work and family-related activities don't allow me enough time to play with more than one group at a time (all the groups I've been in wanted regular rehearsals). Given the opportunity I'd sub or do one-off gigs without question (given enough time).

    So I'm pro-polamoury [in this context] but practicing serial monogamy.
  4. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    I'm a musical whore and I love it. I'd get bored to death playing only one style of music with only one band for the rest of my life. Diversity is a good thing.
  5. I currently play and gig with 3 bands. There definitely is an order of priority with each band, and all the members of each band know and understand it. Communicating that stuff up front at the beginning is key.
  6. I play in 3 bands, and i have already played in 4+ bands at the same time.

    I don't care for monogamy :smug:
  7. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    I'm playing and gigging in two bands as a bassist and just starting out with a third playing guitar.

    I find that bands are pretty organic and are either in a state of robust growth (when everyone is enthusiastic and excited about playing, lots of motivation) or are languishing (when everyone is in it due to habit, little motivation) or just out-and-out decaying (just a matter of time before things die, motivation is absent). Keeping that in mind, commitment to any one band can vary over time.

    As far as monogamy is concerned, very few people I play with expects it and I do not expect it in return. As well, we all adhere to the black and white notion that you're either "IN" or "OUT" - no waffling.

    Also, once a band commits to a gig, a player can't back out if "something better" happens to come along. That punishable by being strung up by the balls.

    My "problems" are more a function of balancing the competing demands of multiple bands as well as family and home, work and school and physical recreation - all of which are important to me. In the case of conflict, it's usually a band that is the first thing to be sacrificed. In that case, I would consider myself "OUT" and bow out of the band gracefully.

  8. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    I'm working on trying to form a side project. It's not going so well. Do I smell funny or something?
  9. if not for any other reason, but playing with different people is the best way to beat familularity.
  10. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    I'm not just polygroupal, I'm polyinstrumental. :)

    Everyone around me benefits from me being in multiple groups for reasons I've gone into in other threads. I've run into the band monogamy thing more than once with bands and as a result I've quit more than once.

    I play in as many bands and open jams as I have time for. Having a family means that I don't have a lot of time, but it does mean that I try to make every minute of it count. That means not only giving it my personal best but not accepting it when I think people aren't doing the same.
  11. Mixmasta J

    Mixmasta J

    Dec 4, 2004
    Me too, I play Bass in one band and drums in another. I hav been in a few minor bands in my day, and I have learned that switching or having another is not a bad thing. As a matter of fact the things you learn from one band can influence your playing styles that can affect music in other bands. I think its good to be in many different bands because it helps you become the best player thhat you can be.
  12. Yup I'm a musical mormon derived sect located in Vancouver that has since been disowned from the official Morman religon, and who's actions do not reflect those of the mormon majority, to be politically correct.
  13. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    I whore myself out on a regular basis, and have a lot of fun doing it. I have my main band that takes precedence over the others, but if we have the night free on our schedule, I am more than willing to fill in with another band.
  14. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Jacob Moore Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick Basses, Mesa Engineering, Joyo Technology, Dr. J Pedals, and Levy's Leathers
    I've played in as many bands as 3 at once, but all were different styles of music. I'm only into writing music, not playing covers, and playing several styles provides several outlets for my creativity. If I was playing in more than one band of the same genre and I wrote something great, I wouldn't want to have to pick which band to use it in. With different genres of music, you can write parts for each genre that wouldn't work in the others. Listen to my 3 bands and you'll see what I mean about the styles. :)
  15. i think that it's just good to realize what band is going to be a priority and what's just going to be screwing around. that way you'll have a good career. what also helps is if your group is on the same page at all times.. one of the reasons my band is falling apart is because people don't recognize what each other wants.

    one way or another i thihnk everyone has an idea of exactly what band they think is going to make them the happiest.
  16. DDXdesign

    DDXdesign formerly 'jammadave' Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    In a slightly different direction, I'm potentially joining a group of guys that are going to be kind of a fluid group, rather than a set "band" - nearest I can compare is something like King Crimson... For instance, if guitar guy #1 and guitar guy #2 show up, but guitar guy #3 doesn't and the keyboard guy does, then whatever gets written/recorded will be like that - and from what I gather, practices and gigs will be just as fluid. For the first time ever, I find that idea very very cool - I used to be stuck in the "band" mindset but I think I'd love this type of thing.
  17. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    This subject has been sort of fascinating to me. I just don't get how things can work out so smoothly if a bandleader or booking agent or whatever can't know if he even HAS a band for a certain night or not! How does that work?

    How do the logistics work out on something like that? How do you do promo pictures and the like? What if three of four musicians in a band are these free-as-the-wind types? -then you're more like getting a band for a gig, instead of getting a gig for a band!

    I'm thinking like - if you don't know if your bass player is going to be available from day to day, then you have to have a backup bassist; but if the 'backup' knows that he's just the backup, then he's probably not just 'sitting by the phone' waiting for your call...

    Know what I mean? I'm not good enough yet to be able to do this myself - I still have to pretty much work out and practice any song I do, plus I'm no good at taking cues for on-the-fly verse/chorus/bridge/refrain/etc arrangements - but as I develop, I'd love to be on-call for different bands and styles. I just don't get how that can work out smoothly - unless, I guess, you're in a major city where there are just scads of musicians; like where you'd call the union hall or something and say 'just send someone over' (?).

  18. Good thread Joe... i have been in up to 3 bands at once myself. i have my baby, Devices, but i know the feeling and i love it. one of the bands actually printed "BANDWHORE" shirts for me.. they are great!!!
  19. vegaas


    Nov 6, 2001
    I have been in 3 bands at once, I am now down to 2. I really like the different styles it allows me to play.
    That being said, being in 2 bands that play the same style may be a bit more problamatic. Then you may have to deal with more jealousy issues.
  20. sidekick35


    Dec 23, 2004
    I play in one band right now and wouldn't have time to join another. But I've had bandmates who seem to only be comfortable playing in several bands. As a singer and sort of the founder of my band, I do get territorial and get very concerned when members play with other bands. I feel I need to know our band is #1 for everyone. Atleast as far as booking goes.