How should I play this sucka?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Blackbird, Jul 6, 2002.

  1. Put up with the guy for a while to network and get his contacts, then split.

    17 vote(s)
  2. The chance to gain some contacts is not worth the aggravation.

    5 vote(s)
  1. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Ok, so I got called me to sit in with this group from a music school in town. The guy who seems to be the catalyst for this group is, let's say, a trombonist (instrument possibly changed to protect the guilty) who, er, blows chunks.

    The thing is, despite his considerable unskill, this blowhard who has the delusion of being good actually gets good gigs and gets decent people to play with him (two previous teachers, of mine have played with this guy). I am sorta torn. I wouldn't want to say I can't stand the guy, I just have a very low tolerance for him. I have an opportunity to get some paying gigs playing with this guy.

    Also, this individual is extremely persumptious and virtually invites himself to other people's jams, taking acceptance by others for granted. In fact, that's the trait that makes him such a bitter pill to take.

    I am leaning radically toward not playing with the guy, if only for the two-facedness I'd be forced to undertake if I did gig with him. Still, I'd like to know what the general wisom of the board would do if they were in my position.

    What would you do? Please answer the poll and feel free to elaborate.
  2. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Well, you never know what kind of contacts your going to make or experience you're going to have. At the very least it's an opportunity to play with others which is always good even if all of the players aren't better than you.
  3. 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
    Well, he can't be any more dufus than James Pankow.

  4. im in a similar situation. my girlfriend's ex wants me to be in a band with him, and im pretty sure he could get some awesome gigs and stuff, but yet i cant stand him (to the point where i want to kill him, well not really, well ok, maybe a little bit...). it would expand my musical creative-ness, give me new experiences and meet new people... yadda yadda. ahh! my head hurts... i gotta lay down...
  5. put up with him.. get into the scene.. get to know other musicians / bar-owners / blah...then get lost :) who knows.. you might even get to like him after a while..
  6. I've had lots of cases like yours, and never said no.. As I haven't completely set a main band or taken a time to build my own project, I have always thought about it this way when it comes to proposals from people i don't feel very interested in playing with by heart..

    "If I can't handle this, how many things will I not be able to handle in the future?"

    I've accepted to play with guys I don't consider to be at my level, people who I just don't stand, people who are complete idiots, but have learned to be flexible, openminded and have gotten huge satisfaction. I've also been playing in the worst bands to perform in school festivals and band competitions, but in those unlucky cases, when I've walked off the stage, other people, inc. bassplayers have congratulated me or asked me to play with them.

    But well.. Anyway.. If you don't see such benefit in working with these guys, and they all suck as well as the one you mentioned plus you have better things to do, .. don't waist your time and dump'em..

  7. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    JIG REEL -

    Sho mee da munny. ;)

    Look at it like a job - do the gig, get the cash, meet the other good musicians, hand out your card. Networking is essential if you're a freelancer, or even if you just want to pick up some occassional side gigs. It sounds like while he's a hack, he's able to surround himself with good players, so take the chance to become known to them and get to know them.

    At best, this could be an excellent opportunity; at worst it could suck, and you can just bail after a gig or two - don't book anything past the first few offered, and if you decide you don't want to do it anymore, be "booked" elsewhere when the topic comes up. Never burn a bridge though, be polite and kind about it.

    A good resource is Ed Friedland's article in Bass Player mag a few years back on freelancing, do a bit of digging and you should be able to find it. I'm certain it's on their website under "In The Trenches".
  8. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA

    I just went through the same situation. (PM me if you want to know the name of the band. You'll probably know them). I went to an audition, and loathed one of the band members. I asked some people I knew, (namely my instructor and his roommate), and they assured me that I wasn't the only one who felt this way. In the end, I turned down the gig.

    Now, I'm actually suggesting, in this case, that you do the opposite. See, for me, I had other opportunities, (although they weren't in music), that were great as well. I went with the other opportunities. In your situation, it almost sounds like biting the bullet, and prospering for yourself from there, isn't a bad idea.
  9. hujo


    Apr 18, 2001
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Money is money! ;) I say do it.
  10. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I would consider sucking it up & doing it- long as the 'unskilled' ain't the drummer.
    That said, there are definitely people around here I will not play with(anymore).

    I dig Pankow.
    (What's wrong with him, Munji?)
  11. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    If you want to make a living by playing the bass, you should do the gig. If you play in bands or by yourself for the sake of the art, don't take the gig.
  12. First, I need more info - does he play lead or rhythm trombone?;)

    Seriously - if the only bonus to playing with him is for contacts, there is no guarantee you will be better off. (It might even be his cocky arrogant attitude that GETS these gigs - what a pain in the a** that would be!!)

    I'd turn the tables and tell him that I was myself forming a band, and looking for a booking agent and a "trombonist"; then ask if he was interested in the booking agent role - and, oh by the way, did he know anyone who knew how to play "trombone"!
  13. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    I'm with blisshead...

    If you are progressing towards earning a living at music, take the gig, smile falsely all the time and never mention his downside(s) to anyone.

    If its a hobby don't do it.
  14. put up with him. A gig's a gig.