How do you know when it's time?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by SplinteredSkull, Dec 24, 2014.

  1. How do you know when it's time to kick out another member? The drummer, lead guitarist/vocalist/BL, and I have talked about problems with our rhythm guitarist for like the third time in the past month or two. He was in the band long before I joined, but it seems that now I'm on board the BL really wants to get things moving with new material and gigging.

    One of the main problems is that he's not really on board with moving on to new things. It seems like we're having practice so the RG can get the songs down that he should already have down. We (the trio) want to put most all of our time and effort now into writing new material. We've only written one new song since I've joined and it is leaps and bounds ahead of the band's previous material. The BL and I have like 5 song ideas each. However, the RG feels like we should "get down" the songs the rest of us have ingrained into our brains.

    This leads into the next problem which is that he 1. Isn't that great of a player and 2. Doesn't practice on his own. Those have their obvious repercussions.

    Now this isn't to diss him as a person. We're all friends and he's a good guy. He's contributed time, effort, and money to getting the band going along. But now it seems he's musically holding it back. The drawbacks to kicking him out is that the friendship he and the BL shared will pretty much be over, and I'd feel kind of bad because I don't know what he'd do afterwards. This band is mostly all he knows, he doesn't have any original material for himself, and he's not a good enough player to jump in another band. We are going to tell him throughout the next practices that we are moving on to new things and he's either on board or he's not, and if he messes up several times at our next gig then he's gone.

    What do you guys think? Are these legitimate reasons? Is there a time when you should push forward and leave someone behind?
  2. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    Simple question: Do you want to be on stage with a guy who doesn't know his stuff and comes to practice to learn the material?

    1. If your answer is no, then you know what to do.
    2. if yes, then keep on the path you're on.

    FWW - no self-respecting band should practice to "learn".. you should practice to put the song together. To be sure, life's a b*tch and sh*t gets in the way of playing time, but anyone serious/mature about it will find the time or tell you'' "sorry guys.. didn't get time this week"... If that becomes a regular thing.. see #1 above.

    Sounds like the RG is simply covering for not putting in the effort.
    bassbully likes this.
  3. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    One thing I learned recently as a band leader that had to fire someone: Do it sooner rather than later. It's better for everyone involved. Check out the "How Do You Kick A Band Member Out" Thread.
  4. rizzin


    Oct 31, 2014
    Seoul, South Korea
    >1. Isn't that great of a player and 2. Doesn't practice on his own.
    The first point is kinda okay if he puts in the work. Judging by the second point though, he clearly doesn't.

    I think that your approach is a good one. It's better to tell him first that you are moving on and he has to keep his pace up. At least it gives him an opportunity to show whether he takes the band seriously or not.
    Lobster11 likes this.
  5. Chuck King

    Chuck King Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2006
    When you feel the need to come on this forum and ask this question, it's time.
    AltGrendel and s0c9 like this.
  6. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    I like this quartet of "band member retention"...

    a) Counsel -- talk to him about it. Be frank, but kind, and create an atmosphere of safety when you do it.
    b) Warn -- if he doesn't step up, warn him he's potentially on the outs.
    c) Suspend or Fire. Make a judgement about whether to suspend him from the group or just fire him from the group if he doesn't respond after steps 1 and 2.

    To me, this is fair. I consider it a misuse of power to outright fire someone without warning when their behavior isn't clearly fire-worthy or he hasn't been warned and given a chance.
  7. This seems like sound advice. I'll see if we can give the counseling thing a shot
    PauFerro likes this.
  8. Spent


    May 15, 2011
    Upstate NY
    I could have written this very same post last year. I really didn't want to hurt the rhythm guitarist's feelings, he's a great guy, but he was holding us back. Fortunalty he could read the writing on the wall. Unfortunatly he drunk texted the keyboard player and it was ugly. That actually helped me deal with it better. Either way, if you want to move the band forward, you need to do what's right for the band. It's nothing personal. We are a much, much better band now and we're getting gigs we only dreamed of before. It was a tough decision, but it had to be done. If it were me, my feeelings would be hurt, but I wouldn't want to hold back the band. If it's going to happen sooner or later, get it over with now and move on.
  9. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    You learn your parts on your own tie l. Rehearsal (NOT called practice) is for putting the parts together. If he is unwilling to do that then he should be gone.
    gidbass likes this.
  10. Sounds good to me as well. This is a fair and balanced approach, and doesn't seem like a knee-jerk reaction. He may see the writing on the wall himself and bow out gracefully.

    I also agree that rehearsal is not the place to learn material. It's frustrating and counterproductive to the band moving forward. If the member has other priorities that are taking away from band time, then they should focus on them. It doesn't mean they are unwanted or unwelcome, but they need to focus on what is important and that isn't the band at this point in time.
    PauFerro likes this.
  11. BazzTard

    BazzTard Inactive

    I think you know the answer, time to ditch him.

    The hardest part is separating the person from the musician, it's never easy.

    He doesn't know the songs and he was there before you, that says it all.
  12. lowsideonacurve


    Feb 24, 2011
    I was in a similar situation not long ago, gui**** kept coming up with excuses not to practice, we were lucky to get together once a month. Ultimately the drummer moved on to another project, now the singer and I have to replace the slacker and a good drummer, basically start all over again.

    This guy acted like our friend, but friends don't hold you back.
  13. Sounds like he's just not that into your band. I would think the rhythm guitarist would be the easiest band member to replace. You could probably find one who contribute with vocals. Even if you didn't replace him, he's just wasting your rehearsal time, so you're probably better off without him.
    Or you could call your rehearsals his lessons and he could pay each of you $50 an hour.
  14. Hey, that's not a bad idea ;) And he actually does do backup vocals as well (though they are just average). If he goes then we were probably just going to do a power trio thing for awhile. The 3 of us play well together and my writing style helps fill in/make up for the lack of a rhythm guitarist.
  15. I just wouldn't want to be the one to tell him. New guy kicking out one of the original supporting members.. But when you do put it into the perspective that I wrote my own parts and learned all of their songs down pat but he still has trouble on some.. it doesn't look good.
  16. IncX


    Jul 23, 2007
    the cool thing about the new guy is that are exempted from firing anyone! at least thats how i think it works.

    RE your prob. i have had a singer (that i posted around here) who was better than your RG, and wrote a lot of our bands material. but since she sucks, we just decided to "quietly break up" ... we cant use the material anyway cause she had major contributions to a lot of them
  17. BazzTard

    BazzTard Inactive

    well, yeah, you could do what we did when we wanted to change drummers, who were both good friends of all of us. So we "broke up", then a month or so later just happenned to bump into the new drummer, and badabing badaboom we decided to give it another try.
  18. In the words of some dumb business dude: "YOU'RE FIRED!"
  19. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    You might not have to tell him anything if you do the "counseling" and "warning" steps well. You can tell him that the other three of you want to step it up and move forward, and that it's up to him to decide whether he has the time and motivation to put in the work that will be necessary to keep up. If you make it clear what you are planning to do and what you'll expect from him, he might decide to leave on his own.
  20. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Don't pull the "we're breaking us" line. That's cowardly bs, and when/if he finds out, you will feel more like [email protected] I think you have two choices - either he gets one more chance after the band telling him the condotions to stay, or he gets canned for his lack of effort. Either way, the whole band does it, in person.