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How much notice to quit a band is reasonable?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by wallypip, Apr 17, 2015.


  1. wallypip

    wallypip

    Apr 9, 2010
    Let me start by saying everyone in this situation has been completely cool. I have been in a cover band for about a year and it has been my main band, but I also play in an original band that is much less structured. In the last month, the cover band has taken a few turns that I don't like and suddenly the original band is getting its act together and getting some decent breaks. Last week, I went ahead and told my cover band that I would like to be replaced. I said I would play until they found a replacement. Tonight will be our first gig since I told them.

    Here's the problem. We have a gig next week which is fine, but then the one we have in two weeks is a big deal for the cover band; however, my original band now has a great opportunity on the same night. The originals are prepared to get a fill-in because that was our deal, but I really want to play that gig. I fear that the cover band is not going to try replace me before one of their big shows.

    Would it be fair for me to tell the cover band that tonight is my official two weeks notice? They've technically had three weeks. I would like to leave on good terms because they are all cool guys.
     
  2. AlembicPlayer

    AlembicPlayer Im not wearing shorts

    Aug 15, 2004
    Pacific Northwet, USA
    I've had the best luck with finding a replacement for myself. If the cover gig is a good gig it shouldn't be too hard to find a player that wants to work. Is there a player you know who can do the cover gig?
    Head hunting is another option.
     
  3. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Brand Identity & Development, GHS Strings, Innovation Double Bass Strings, Rocktron
    In terms of when you originally told the cover band you were leaving, you should've been a bit clearer to eliminate any confusion (like right now). I would've said "I will fulfill any obligations currently on the calendar until *add reasonable time* at which point I'm done." That gives them a definite drop-dead date. Saying something like "I'll play until you find a replacement" while sounding like a nice guy, is an invitation for you to be taken advantage of.

    Now, in regard to this gig with the originals band; who booked the gig first? If it WAS the originals group, I'd do what @AlembicPlayer said and find someone quickly (for the cover band) so you can play it. If it was the cover band that booked first, keep it where it is, and tell the covers band it's your last gig with them.
     
  4. wallypip

    wallypip

    Apr 9, 2010
    Jon: The cover band booked first. The opportunity with the originals came about last weekend. It didn't prompt me to quit because I had already made my decision. If I had known about the second gig, I would have given the drop dead date last week (which is what I want to do tonight). I will add that I came back from vacation early to play last week and had to take a day off of work to play a TV spot. I have been going out of my way to fulfill my obligations.

    I'm also walking the delicate line of insulting the guys in the cover band by showing up and being miserable if I keep the scheduled gig. It's not something I would ever do on purpose or show the audience, but it will be pretty obvious to the band that I don't want to be there.
     
  5. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Brand Identity & Development, GHS Strings, Innovation Double Bass Strings, Rocktron
    It is a delicate line, for sure. However, because you DID ask, I'd do the cover band gig and tell them that's the last night with them, due to the originals really getting noticed. The originals gig is a short notice thing, with another gig booked (that you already verbally committed to). At that point, having a bad attitude comes across more as throwing a fit than anything else.

    Again, it's tough. But it sounds like to me that you're trying to justify getting out of the cover band early.
     
  6. Joebarnes

    Joebarnes

    Oct 4, 2011
    Surrey, BC
    Its a moral dilemma that you're asking about here, and my morals may differ from your own. For me, knowing I committed to the cover band until they found a replacement (the current terms of your agreement with them), I would have to decline the originals band gig.

    Someone with a different moral code would say I've already committed to my originals band and was only assisting the cover band until they found a replacement. That person would decline the cover band opportunity.

    A possible third person would say I'm really interested in playing the original band's gig but I have a commitment to the cover band. Finding a "hired gun" for the cover band will probably be easier than a fill in for the originals band, so I will hire and pay for a sub for the cover band and advise them I'm out, or pay the difference between your cut and what the sub charges, or let them pay for the sub (all viable options)

    Looking at all 3 options you have; I'd suggest option 3, and me being who I am, I would pay the difference if the gig pay doesn't cover the sub costs.
     
  7. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    Portland
    Tricky, however your interests and the cover band's are perhaps best served with you playing the "big deal" show.

    Think you said it in the intro where you said you'd stay till replaced.

    No reason to get all technical about 2-3 weeks, just tell them you want to stay on for that important gig.
     
  8. There will be other cool gigs in the future for the original band. You were the one who set the terms of your departure from the cover band, they acted based upon that information, and now you've got to fulfill those, or else everyone probably won't be so cool anymore. To me, either you play that gig with the cover band, or you find a replacement (that being on you). Also, if you do play that gig, then make sure you do so with a smile on your face - you being a grump at that gig makes no one look bad other than you and you alone. I totally get where you are coming from, I've been in a similar situation before, but you really can't blame anyone here but yourself, and I know when I was in that situation it frustrated me to no end. So tell the cover guys you'll do it and its your last gig with them, and tell the original guys to start looking for another awesome opportunity *after* you've left the cover band. Don't forget to smile! ;)
     
  9. danosix

    danosix

    May 30, 2012
    I'd go that route - yes tell them a specific gig or date you are don by, but since you sort of got yourself into this by being nice (it gets you every time), if the cover gig was booked first, the cover gig was booked first.
    But you need to amend you notice to be specific so it is then on them.
     
  10. wallypip

    wallypip

    Apr 9, 2010
    A possible third person would say I'm really interested in playing the original band's gig but I have a commitment to the cover band. Finding a "hired gun" for the cover band will probably be easier than a fill in for the originals band, so I will hire and pay for a sub for the cover band and advise them I'm out, or pay the difference between your cut and what the sub charges, or let them pay for the sub (all viable options)

    I've considered this option. I have a friend who is very good and does fill-in work. Assuming I make sure that he is taken care of on the money side, are we all good? I am thinking about using that as an option if we discuss it tonight.
     
    Kitsapbass likes this.
  11. RustyAxe

    RustyAxe

    Jul 8, 2008
    Connecticut
    Unless you think your word has no worth, you are obligated to the cover band. At this point you should not leave them in the lurch. Give them a "drop dead date" after which you will play no more gigs. The golden rule applies here, as it does in most human relationships.
     
    IJBurns, DavC and cchorney like this.
  12. RustyAxe

    RustyAxe

    Jul 8, 2008
    Connecticut
    You're just trying to rationalize your decision ... which I think you've already made. Why should you be miserable? Play the gig, and give it all you got ... it's a big gig for the other guys, be the bigger man. If you are serious about your career (even if it's just a sideline) you need to think and act professionally.
     
    DavC, cchorney and ReneB like this.
  13. wallypip

    wallypip

    Apr 9, 2010
    I know what I have to do. (Why won't anyone tell me what i want to hear? Ha-ha) I will see how far they are along with the replacement tonight. If they are nowhere, I'll plan on doing the show but give the termination date. If they have someone, I will request that they try to get him up to speed but still keep my offer open.
     
    EddiePlaysBass likes this.
  14. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    If you have any gigs on the books, it is your responsibility to play them or find a capable sub. Minimum. So no, giving two weeks does not cut it.
     
  15. Dogbertday

    Dogbertday Commercial User

    Jul 10, 2007
    SE Wisconsin
    Blaine Music LLC
    This. Tell them you won't play any new bookings and you aren't going to rehearse any more. But, do everything you've agreed to in the past. Don't worry they'll replace you.

    That said. Anything you can find a sub for, go for it.
     
  16. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    This. I would feel obligated to stick it out for any gigs that were booked prior to you telling them you wanted to bail.
     
  17. bolophonic

    bolophonic

    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Help them find a suitable sub in the cover band and you are gold.
     
  18. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    Anywhere from until a replacement is found to the time it takes for you to give them the finger and leave the room.
    Your mileage may vary.
     
    bftbassman likes this.
  19. At least an hour or so.
     
    Munjibunga and bftbassman like this.
  20. Why start a thread when this was an option? Should have been on the phone to him already already!
     

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