Guitarist Quit - Band Doesn't Want to Cancel Gig

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by DeivoxCarnal, Apr 5, 2017.

  1. I've been playing in a psych rock band for a couple of months.
    The gig in question is in 3 weeks.

    If we can find another drummer the current drummer could easily fill in on guitar.
    But finding another guitarist isn't going to happen.

    The guy who booked us still wants us to play and so does the rest of the band (keyboardist/vocalist and drummer)

    I just got familiar with the material and I'm not all that comfortable vamping on it or really elaborating the bass lines so the idea of "filling in" the missing space is daunting to say the least.

    I'm going to meet them for rehearsal tomorrow, but I sort of already have my mind made up that this formula doesn't work without a guitar.
    I think playing the gig is a bad idea, but the brief text message sort of sounds like they think it might work.

    I want to be polite, but I don't want to seem like I'm being difficult.

    Any advice?
  2. dtripoli


    Aug 15, 2010
    A drummer that plays guitar? Is that possible?
    I'm gonna have to rethink my whole, "fire the drummer" mantra.
  3. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I'm not hip to the term "psych rock". Is this a jam band or a band that does Jefferson Airplane covers or what?

    So what if you DON'T find another drummer? They wanna do the gig with just drums keys and bass??? That would be awful.

    Sounds like these guys are just desperate to play in front of people. But I admit there are lots of blanks not filled in so I could be wrong.
    spaz21387 and Lvjoebass like this.
  4. And I

    And I

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    It's risky and I think I'd side with you inside but suck it up and play if I was the new guy... What are the details of the gig?
  5. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    I'd do the gig. Let the keys fill in more since she knows the material.

    Since you're the new guy, it will be a good time to get all the material down. :thumbsup:
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017
  6. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Is it a showcase gig or something that you've sold hundreds of tickets for a $20 a pop?
  7. I agree, if anyone should be overplaying and filling in the spaces, it's the keys player. Since you're new to the material, play it safe.

    With that understanding, I'd definitely do this gig. The guy who booked you still wants you, and the show must go on. It's a test of fortitude for a band to go out and entertain when less than 100%. The results can be surprisingly good. You'll be glad you did.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017
  8. Joebarnes


    Oct 4, 2011
    Surrey, BC
    Forget the guitar. Just channel Emerson Lake and Palmer.
  9. The drummer is MUCH better at guitar than drums. He wrote the guitar parts to the songs and he's only playing drums because they couldn't find a drummer.

    YEAH, they actually suggested that we play the gig with just keys and bass and maybe their friend could play tambourine to add a little something else.... :bored:

    The only reason I think they're even considering it is pressure from the guy who booked us. We agreed to do the show about a week before the falling out with the guitarist. (the guitarist quit because he couldn't take criticism on his singing, which was god awful)

    It would have been a decent gig for us, we probably would get a cut of the bar sales (seems to be the standard around here) but no tickets or anything, it's a free show at a bar. They do showcases pretty often and I'm sure that cancelling now won't prevent us from getting shows in the future, but if we suck ass... there's no taking that back.
  10. Oh, I forgot to mention that I SERIOUSLY doubt the keyboardists ability to fill in the gaps. She's not bad, but I've seen her struggle to change her parts in songs, and I don't mean adding stuff, I mean she has trouble simplifying it too.

    At this point I'm even wondering if I want to drive out to rehearsal tomorrow. It's 40 minutes each way to find out, yep, this formula doesn't work without a guitarist!
  11. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    A lot of bands never even get out of the garage. I admire their "show must go on" attitude.

    We need more information about the gig.
  12. sheltjo6

    sheltjo6 Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2012
    Do your best Billy Sheehan impersonation and fill in the gaps with bass riffs.
  13. Yeah, I gotta hand it to them that they are dedicated
    It's just a Saturday night bar gig. There are 3 other bands playing that night.
    Was there something more specific you were asking?
    I was definitely looking forward to this one, but the guitar really carries these songs.
    Jimmy4string likes this.
  14. funkymonk13


    Aug 22, 2014
    On one hand I understand the feeing of fear that you may be walking into a train wreck.

    On the other hand, who cares? You're just a regular guy playing a gig on a random night in front of a few people. Trust me, even if you're not up to par no one will care except you.

    plus, no guitar! Here's your chance to shine.
  15. tom_305


    Jul 25, 2015
    If your drummer wrote the guitar parts, and can play - I don't see the problem with getting a ringer on drums and doing the gig. If it's worth $100 to save the gig, then do it. I once had a bassist run away in Tampa, hired a ringer for the next night in Orlando and it worked out great.
  16. There is no such thing as a throw away gig. If the booking entity wants and needs you at the show and you cancel, there might be negative repercussions. It could bite you in the ass down the road.

    Find a ringer for drums and let your drummer play guitar, or tell keyboard girl to put some delay on that thing and step it up. Play the gig.
  17. catcauphonic

    catcauphonic High Freak of the Low Frequencies Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2012
    Seattle WA
    Either your guitarist is that much of a baby that he can't take criticism (assuming it was constructive), or this wasn't the first dust up with him. Still, not cool on his part to commit to a gig and then bail if he's older than 16.

    Did you happen to record any rehearsals or gigs with his singing? Most folks sound differently out loud than they do in their head
  18. lowplaces

    lowplaces Got Punch ?

    Dec 20, 2015
    Louisville Kentucky
    If you're in the metro area the size of Dallas you should be able to find a drummer easily.
  19. pudgychef

    pudgychef In Memoriam

    Jan 22, 2005
    Chongqing, China
    +1 to making it work without the guitar or finding a sub on drums.

    I have had a similar thing happen in a couple bands - guitarist had a car accident, we played the next few shows as Drums, Piano and Bass - hard rock/blues type band...went over fine.

    Last weekend (different band) our keyboard player/frontman couldn't get back in time from Hong Kong...we have a weekly Friday gig at a bar/club...played it as guitar, bass and drums, gave the drummer a mic and we split up vocal duties on the songs - needed a couple lyric cheat sheets, but it came of fine most of the time...I had to sing a song that started vox only//launched into it as flat as could be - as soon as instruments came in, I corrected...but boy it sounds terrible on the recording...mind you, nobody else seemed to notice or remembers it...they were having fun drinking and dancing to a band..reminded why I try to stick to Back Up vocals and one song per set as a change of pace...

    Do it! Take the chance! Definitely do not skip practice as a non-confrontational way to cancel the gig...give it a whirl..some positive will come as a result.
    Sunset Shalom likes this.
  20. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    Record drum tracks and have the drummer play guitar. :thumbsup: