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How to quit a band...

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Acoustic356, Sep 27, 2016.

  1. Acoustic356


    Jul 3, 2014
    I joined a band about 2 years ago with the intent of gigging. The band was interesting to me because they have a built in audience in the city we live in. They are 1 of 3 Bengali bands. In the year that we've been together, we've only had 1 show and another that is planned for about a month from now.

    The set list is changing, the members aren't confident, they seem to lean on my a lot for direction.

    I'm ready to leave, indicated that I want to pursue other things and they are begging me to stay.

    "We'll do more English songs"
    "We'll get rid of the weakest link"

    I currently play at church and with 3 other bands..

    I offered to coach them if they hired a Bengali bassist.

    Any help?
  2. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Being someone who also struggles with quitting I'll say this. Just do it and accept whatever feelings go along with it. It might not feel great to walk, but if you give them sufficient notice and play out your commitments, you have every right to do what you need to do for yourself. They'll survive and get over it. And if you're firm and communicate honestly, you won't burn any bridges.
    waveman, Mr_Moo, SLO Surfer and 18 others like this.
  3. as Joe and Nike say "just do it"
  4. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    and Jimmy4string said: "just do it!"

    i agree with joe and jimmy, but with a little more emphasis on the 'thoughtful': as Joe Nerve joe said "communicate honestly." that's the most important thing. they don't need to know the details of your business, perhaps, but if you give it your best effort not to burn any bridges, you will feel the best for yourself, no matter the final outcome.

    sounds like this is tough for you (could be tough for any of us!). but: if you need to move on: the journey starts with your own first step. good luck! :thumbsup:
    Jimmy4string likes this.
  5. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    The best time to quit a band is when the band has a gig in a reasonable amount of time in the future. This provides SOME incentive for a new player to join as the band already has momentum. So, in quitting when there is a gig on the table, you help the band find new members fast. You can make yourself feel better, and be the decent guy you want to be, by helping them to some extent. But it doesn't sound like the band has been progressing, so I would move on to other pastures. Just don't expect to get back in again if somehow, they make the band work in the near future...at that time, you have to reflect on your reasons for doing leaving the band at this time, as well as the information you had to make the decision at this time.

    The reason I say this is that I quit a band that wasn't progressing several years ago. [I found someone to replace me on bass, because I am just a nice guy, or at least, want to be]. It was a hard decision as I liked the music overall. But there were a lot of reasons to quit. The band kept at it, and eventually booked a couple of the main stages in town. At first I felt regret, but then I reflected on the reasons I quit -- a) abrasive band members b) their lack of willingness to listen to me when I tried to help them learn songs faster c) one member who was constantly insulting me and d) low pay that made me dread certain gigs.

    All I have to do is reflect on those reasons when I regret quitting the band, and the regret disappears. [By the way, the band folded a year ago for many of the same reasons I quit].
  6. Acoustic356


    Jul 3, 2014
    To be honest, 3 of the guys in the band are from Bengladesh. Over half the practice is spoken in Bengali and 90% of the songs that we do are in Bengali. I don't speak Bengali. As a result, I don't have the emotional attachment to the songs that they have.

    They want to migrate into English songs and play American venues, but to be honest, we're on the south, you can have all that desire... but unless you're incredible, you're not going to win over the crowd.

    I'm also a little tired with having to coach, set up Skype sessions, etc.

    We also have BIG show coming up soon, we aren't polished and the band leader is going to be gone for a month, leaving 2 weeks to get an hour set list polished. We are NO WHERE near ready. So while the BL is out, I'm going to have to get the guys together to work on get it right.

    Did I say that they still are practicing with the music in front of them?

    They know that I'm playing in 4 other projects, and have 4 shows in the same 10 day period.

    I'm hoping that my favorite project starts booking more gigs, then I can just graciously bow out... because I do have a wife and kids at home too...
  7. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    The problem some people have with leaving a project is the feeling they "owe" the band members something or are "screwing" them somehow.

    Neither is true. You owe them nothing (other than a decent notice.....which is a matter of weeks, not months). And they are screwing themselves by not learning their parts or taking the project seriously.

    So you're free to go. If they get mad tell them I approved of your departure. They won't know own who I am. And they will be totally confused by your evoking my user name. But if you do it with conviction and confidence it'll work. Trust me. "Two Fingers said it was cool so back up off me." Say it with me. "Two Fingers said it was cool so back up off me."
  8. skwee


    Apr 2, 2010
    If I was in this situation this close to a gig, I would push through to it, but when it was done, I would walk away as graciously as possible. No need to make a point ahead of time that you are leaving--just focus on making it a successful night.
    Acoustic356 likes this.
  9. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    Get drunk and show up at the bandleader's girlfriend's place, around midnight. see what happens. Problem solved.
    Beavisplaysbass likes this.
  10. Scott C.

    Scott C.

    Nov 24, 2014
    Washington, USA
    Or see if you can get the drummer to fire you.
    bdplaid likes this.
  11. LT131


    Jan 25, 2015
    Deep South
    Honesty tempered with a little tact is usually the best policy.
    Ewo, Acoustic356 and bfields like this.
  12. I was in a band with a bunch of really good musicians and we sounded awesome. Problem: Nine (9) mouths to feed. We had a few showcase gigs but the money just wasn't there for regular gigs. So, with full disclosure to the rest of the band, I auditioned for a job in a band that played out every Friday and Saturday. I got the gig. I still rehearsed with the 9 piece for a while but the grind got to be too much. Rehearsals Sunday with the 9 piece were difficult since I didn't get home until the wee hours from a Saturday night gig. Plus there was a bunch of new material I had to learn for the working band. Finally I had to depart the 9 piece. I offered to 1) help them find another bassist and 2) stick around until they were up to speed with the new bass player. We all parted friends and I still hear from them from time to time.

    Communication is the key. Consideration is paramount. If you have a commitment for a gig you MUST FULFILL YOUR OBLIGATIONS! Never go back on your word.

    The only time you can break that rule is if you are threatened with bodily harm. Yup, it happened to me. But that's my fault for getting involved with the wrong kind of people. I should have known I was in the wrong outfit when one of the members was arrested at the gig in the middle of a set!
  13. Sunset Shalom

    Sunset Shalom

    May 9, 2016
    What the hell did he do to get arrested mid set? That is so punk rock :laugh:
    Arion and skwee like this.
  14. Dana R Gregory

    Dana R Gregory Supporting Member

    May 12, 2014
    Deland, Florida
    You don't have to feel guilty at all. You have too many projects as it is. Just tell them that you just don't have the time and the wife says cut back on projects or else. If you guys are in America, then they will understand. :cool:
    Acoustic356 likes this.
  15. crguti


    Feb 14, 2011
    Smurf Village
    wait.... what? do you rehearse over the internet? o_O
  16. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    Since you've already told them you want out, it's pretty clear that it's your time to move on. You can't put that rabbit back in the hat once you say it out loud.

    It sounds like you guys all get along well enough as people. The appropriate thing to do is give them reasonable notice, tell them why, and let them know what gigs (if any) you are willing to cover. Pick an end date, and make a clean break.

    Honesty will go a long way in these situations.
    Acoustic356 likes this.
  17. you could pull the passive-aggressive bit & tell them you have to quit because you're moving, and then just stop going to the same places they go
    pcake and Acoustic356 like this.
  18. franklindayala


    Feb 8, 2015
    Like others said. Communicate honestly with them. Tell them the date you will leave (with anticipation). And as Jhonnie Walker said... Keep walking man.
    Arion and Acoustic356 like this.
  19. Tell them you don't have time due to your other band commitments. If they don't gig very often you're wasting your time learning their material.
    Acoustic356 likes this.
  20. Acoustic356


    Jul 3, 2014
    No... we rehearse in person. Sometimes I get tapped on the shoulder to help the rhythm guitarist with rhythm. (He still can't play a power chord... and primarily just plays cowboy chords). I get tapped on the should to work with the lead guitarist, and there are the band meetings that occur as well.

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