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How should I approach this

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Walpurgis, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. Walpurgis


    Oct 16, 2010
    Baltimore, MD
    Well basically my band has been working without a drummer for a while and my guitarist mentions that our mutual friend plays drums. So I'm thinking "Great, we can start playing out again and I don't need to meet anyone new! (I dislike meeting new people)." Well somehow a day or two before practice it comes up that the reason I never new that this friend played the drums is because HE HAS ONLY BEEN PLAYING FOR A MONTH. My guitarist, having heard said drummer, insists that he is very good despite his lack of experience. Long story short, he isn't. I was too busy cringing at the way he was hitting my cymbals to count what time signature he was playing in, but it sure as hell wasn't the same as the one we play in. After practice, my guitarist proceeds to tell him that he is in the band. This kid is my friend, and I don't want to tell him how bad he is, and I don't want to tell the guitarist how bad of judgement he has. I have a feeling the rest of the band is with me, but they don't want to tell me the truth because they know I am friends with the drummer. Of course, assumptions never got anyone anywhere.
  2. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    Talk w/ the rest of the band (including the insane guitarist), but w/o the drummer. Keep things non-emotional. Say you're concerned that the drummer can't play, and find out where the rest of the band stands.
  3. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Don't beat around the bush. Tell the drummer he isn't in the band and tell the guitar player that he not only does not have the authority to unilaterally hire band members, but that his judgment concerns you greatly.

    That's what I'd do anyway. The last drummer I fired was a good friend of mine AND he was a good drummer. He just wasn't as good as the guy I replaced him with.
  4. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Your guitarist is a dipstick. He should have never told the drummer he was in before the band got a chance to talk about it. I'm guessing you guys are pretty young. If that had happened in a room full of 30+ year olds, they (we) would have told the drummer to leave and the guitarist to shut up...... and then leave.

    It seems you are surrounded by a bunch of really REALLY sensitive (more like fragile) people. It won't be the last time. It's a learning experience for everyone involved. The best practice is to just "tear the band-aid off". What I mean is, just be honest with everybody. Tell the guitarist he shouldn't have offered the job to the drummer because he (the guitarist) is, after all, a member of a BAND, and not the ruler of the band. There should have been a discussion WITHOUT the drummer present to hash things out. Tell the drummer that maybe after some practice (just like YOU had to do) he will be ready for a band, but he's not right now. Tell the rest of the guys in the band to SPEAK UP if they have something to say regarding the daily workings of the band. Keep looking for a new drummer and press on. If anyone involved decides not to be your friend any more, he was never a true friend to begin with.

    Honesty is the ONLY path out of this. Anything else will involve tricks, lying, and really complicated scenarios that will eventually come tumbling down anyway, all in the name of saving people from getting hurt. But when it comes tumbling down, they will get hurt anyway. So why bother with the long way around. Just be up front.
  5. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    +1 great advice
  6. Walpurgis


    Oct 16, 2010
    Baltimore, MD
    Yeah this probably sounds like some schoolyard nonsense to you guys (which it is) but I guess I'll just have to be honest at some point.
  7. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Nah. It's not nonsense. If you're having to deal with it, it's very real to you. But best you learn how to deal with such things as a grownup would early on. You will be a better person for it. As far as "at some point", the earlier the better. Just letting it drag on will eat you up and postpone the band going anywhere even longer.
  8. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    If the kid has any natural talent and potential, you could tell him he's really not up to the level you require yet, and he needs to take lessons.
  9. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    This kid is SO not your drummer.

    Good luck!
  10. rust_preacher


    Dec 17, 2009
    beat me to it... +1
  11. Skygonzo


    Jul 8, 2012
    Hitting a tom with a stick doesn't make you a drummer. I see this a lot in my other field, photography. People go out and get a camera...next thing you know?..."I'm a photographer!" NO. There's dues to pay and wood to shed. Talk to me when you've done copious amounts of both. This kid might be a great guy....but he's just not there.
  12. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    If you don't have the balls to voice your opinion, you might as well not have any or you will feel miserable, in this case or others.
    You don't think the guy is fit for the band, say it. There is no good or bad way to stand your case, just say it and move the burden onto others.
    If they keep him and have to fire him months later or the band goes to hell, it won't be your fault.
  13. Actually the guitar player that's making unilateral decisions is the biggest problem. An exception would be if he owns and finances the band. If you're all in it together then you gotta make decisions together or there's no future for your band. Honest communication can solve a lot of problems. Good luck.
  14. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
    Tell the guitarist that the guy isn't good enough and that you need to start searching for a "real" drummer. If he doesn't want to find someone else, consider leaving the band. You will be miserable otherwise.

    By the way, if you don't like to meet new people, you probably shouldn't be in a band. Part of developing a following is the willingness to meet and speak with people at your shows. This is why most well known bands do a "meet and greet" before or after a show.
  15. klokker


    Jan 7, 2009
    Steele City, NE
    Here's your problem. Everyone is staying within a small, limited comfort zone, you included.

    How can you be in a band, "play out", or make anything of yourself if you dislike meeting new people?

    At this point, lack of musicianship seems to be the least of your problems. It's more like a lack of basic life skills.
  16. There is the answer. Go figure.
  17. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Let me go off on a little tangent with you here. I asked a friend for a recommendation of a photographer to take pictures of my family at the beach for our Christmas cards (I know, cliche). So the photographer shows up with a $5,000 Nikon D3S and a $1,200 17-55mm f2.8 lens (the same one I have) and her two little grandkids. No flash, no reflectors, no tripod, no nothing.

    So she takes a bunch of snapshots and when the proofs come in, they are all overexposed by at least two stops. There was excessive glare off the ocean, easily correctable with a polarizing filter, which she didn't have. My wife called and asked her what she thought about them and she said they were all overexposed and we needed to do a re-shoot. We blew her off (but paid her anyway), I salvaged a couple pictures and photoshopped a background from a photo I had taken near the same location.

    The previous year, I took the pictures using a tripod and time delay, and they were 1,000 percent better than hers - I just didn't want to mess with it last year.

    So you're exactly right. Now back to your regularly-scheduled programming.