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Have any of you played in multiple bands at the same time?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by LoricMusician, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. LoricMusician


    Mar 14, 2012
    Hey guys !
    I'm currently in 2 bands. One is Alt-rock and the other is folk fusion.
    Two other bands are asking me to play for them. Alt rock and funk..Should I do it?

    What was your experience if you played for more than one band?
  2. iammr2


    Jun 10, 2002
    If they've got the money, you've got the time.

    As long as they aren't practicing more than the time is worth, why not?
  3. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Only you can really answer that. Personally, I top out at 3 active bands. Any more than that and schedule conflicts begin to pop up too frequently.
  4. Chef FourString

    Chef FourString

    Feb 4, 2011
    +1 Schedule issues.
  5. I'm currently in 2 cover bands. One is more of a loose jam band and the other is top 40 dance rock. For the most part the material is different. Both bands like to practice once a week and play 1 to 2 shows a month. So far I've not had any scheduling conflicts but I am upfront with both bands.......which ever band books the gig first gets my commitment. If a conflict arises ...the other band has to re-schedule. 2 is enough.....3 would be out of the question.....I have just enough time to learn and practice songs for 2 bands.
  6. jacoman


    Sep 7, 2007
    i'm in 5 bands right now. all play covers, with one intending to work on originals {lead singer writing and recording a cd], and one other with 3 cds out who does some originals on certain gigs. there is about 30 % overlap on songs among these bands, which helps on learning and remembering material.
  7. Sounds like a dream. Does this work well financially? I am asking essentially if all these are "side job" or "full time job".
  8. LoricMusician


    Mar 14, 2012
    Even with these 2 bands I have LOADS of free time. And none of the bands are gigging so I think I can manage the schedule stuff pretty well.

    ^^ I also would like to know that.
  9. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Yep, only you can answer that one. If you've got free time and want to do it, why not?

    I did 2 bands at one time, but band #1 wasn't doing a friggin' thing so they quickly became band #2, until I finally felt like I was wasting my time even bothering to jam with them so I quit.
  10. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    If you can make the schedule work for you then go for it.

    I play in two bands and occasionally play for a 3rd that isn't as busy
    so far no scheduling conflicts have gotten in the way.
  11. I'm technically in 3 right now. All originals. Modern rock(Main Group), DeathMetal, and Outlaw Country.

    I also do solo classical piano which takes just as much time as the others.

    It takes not having a life sometimes, but I enjoy it much more then having free time where I don't have plans.
  12. I'm in two cover bands now, practice 1x week with each, gig about 1x month with each. This obviously isn't my source of income, so the balance seems right for me.

    It's all about how much time you have, and how much time the bands need. At some point there will be conflicts, so you have to work out the priorities ahead of time as much as possible.
  13. The way I see it you can play in as many bands as you can manage without major conflicts. The only "rule" I have for myself and other bandmates is: If you're in an original band, don't join another original band that's similar in style. Basically don't be in two bands that are "competing" for the same gigs\awards etc. That also leads to Band A not being able to set shows up with Band B because they share a member. I played a gig once in two bands on the bill and it was weird.
  14. Ajak


    Mar 31, 2012
    Bern, Switzerland
    The most I had was 5 at a time. 1 original metal band, a pop/folk cover band, a funk/jazz/jam cover band, a one-gig-jazz band and our school big band (not counting school choir).

    Now I'm still in the original metal band and in a jazz-band (for which I also write arrangements). For after my exams I have offers from an original pop band (on keyboards) and from 3 big bands. And maybe we'll do a reunion of the jazz/funk/jam band again.

    If you got the time, do it.
  15. Ajak


    Mar 31, 2012
    Bern, Switzerland
    By the way, I only go to one rehearsal of the metal band per week since I had to travel a little more than two hours just to play for an hour and a half. The others agreed on that because they don't have to go that far. :bag:
    We're still rockin 4-5 hours every saturday so we're not really short on time. :bassist:
    I guess you can always make arrangements like that as long as they're reasonable.
  16. sloppy_phil


    Aug 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    Not actually named Phil
    I'm strictly speaking in 5 now, but possibly joining a 6th. The truth is that two of the bands only get together sporadically, so I'm basically juggling 3 band schedules. However, two of those bands have the exact same personnel, we just treat one like a side project. Basically, as long as the schedules don't get too messy, anything is good to go as far as i'm concerned!
  17. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA
    Sometimes it works. Sometimes it don't.

    When it works, it's often because one or more of the bands has lots of gigs lined up, so you always know your availability well into the future. When it doesn't work, it's because the projects have catch-as-catch-can gigging schedules that make it hard to coordinate your availability to each band and help gain some momentum.

    It is a classic example of being careful what you wish for. Conflicts are inevitable.
  18. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    It's all up to your schedule. I had two projects I was juggling for months but neither was really gigging; then joined a third, not sure if it would amount to anything, and THAT one zoomed to gig-ready very fast (within a couple of weeks). I quit the other two and now have just the one band. On my schedule, with work and a wife and kids at home, I can't juggle multiple working bands. There's another guy in the area here who is playing in nine different bands, though - it can be done.
  19. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Inactive

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    5 is the most I have been in at one time.
  20. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Maybe a question of semantics, but as a rule I have only been "committed" to 1 band at a time.

    That doesn't mean I haven't supplemented my main band with sub gigs or one-off "pickup band" gigs -- and I also try to stay in a pretty regular rotation with the worship band at my church -- but it does mean that my "main band" of the moment gets priority. So the past few years, when I look back at my date book it shows I played gigs with 5 or 6 different bands but in any given year at least 80% of the year's gigs were with my one "main" band.

    I would be very cautious about committing to more than 1 band as "full-time" member... but unless your BL has some kind of weird exclusivity expectation that doesn't mean you have to only limit your musical activities to that band. Most of the really good players in this area have at least a couple of side projects going at any given time and/or are "first call" subs cause there are more bands than there are good available players.

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