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How to tell guitarist he got the job

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by sm49341, Jan 19, 2014.

  1. sm49341


    May 12, 2013
    Replacing our guitarist in our cover band, we just held a few auditions. (We suck at that but thats another thread). I am going to call this fellow and tell him. i will be speaking for the band. When icall him I want to tell him we thought he would work out the best. But I do want to make the following points.
    Is this a fair time to lay down the band rules, over the phone? To make sure he knows what the expectations are before he commits? Or do you wait till the fist practice when he's there.

    Concerns are:
    Hes an hour away, commitment to drive that far all the time.
    Being punctual.
    Coming to rehersal prepared.
    Willingness to play recent material as much as classic (hes 55, we are mostly 46 years old).
    Having "grown-up" musical conversations over musical differences or chord disagreements. (huge issue w last guy)
    Keeping a reasonable stage volume.
  2. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum.

    Jun 5, 2011
    I'd say call him and start off telling him he's in. Then ask him if you want to go over "some band things" now or later.
  3. Carl_D

    Carl_D Guest

    Did you not lay out the expectations before the audition ??? :eyebrow:

    If not, you're wasting his time and yours.
  4. +1.

    OP: you should have already of done this and $ - but if not, do it now before telling him he got the position.
  5. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    I would agree that you should have addressed most, if not all, of these issues at the audition (which may explain why you need a second thread as to why you all suck at auditioning :D ).

    In any case, the best time to address these points is yesterday. So, by all means, indicate that the band thinks he's the best choice, but it's contingent upon meeting the requirements/concerns you itemized.
  6. Sounds like a good phone call job. I think the only things to bring up are attendance and volume.

    You call into question his musicianship with the volume issue, so be nice about it. I don't know why you would be concerned unless he had a halfstack and a more me attitude. If that's the case, wake up, he's 55 years old, too old to change for anyone.

    Arguing over chords is bush league kidstuff. The chord is the chord.

    Don't discount the possibility he already got a better offer.
  7. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Right? He can't possibly "be in" until everyone's satisfied about all the stuff you mentioned. So no, don't start with "welcome to the band." cause it won't make sense to then say "you're in the band if..."
  8. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I would open the conversation by saying thanks for coming out to audition, and the band thought it went well. But there were a few things they wanted you to talk about with him before making a final decision... then go through the talking points you mentioned to us (may as well do all of them). If he gives satisfactory answers to all of them, then end the conversation by telling him he's in. If there are any red flags in his answers, tell him thanks, you'll talk it over with the band and get back to him.
  9. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    How loud did he play at the audition? How loud is your the rest of your band? I can't believe you didn't get some feel for this at an audition...
    Chord Arguments can and will happen, that is just the nature of the beast, had one with my band a couple times, I was right the majority of the time, but actually wasn't on the last one.
    The main thing any MUSICIAN needs is BIG EARS.
  10. Joedog


    Jan 28, 2010
    Pensacola FL
    Why in the world would you want to wait??? OF COURSE be up front w/your expectations!
  11. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    +1 to M0ses: say the band liked his playing, and that you hope it's a fit for everyone. Then start negotiating.

    The band has a wish list, and you want everything on it; but at the same time, you also want him on board. So you need to know what your deal-breakers are—ideally knowing *before* you talk to the guitarist what the bad authorizes you to negotiate. (You want to practice every week, but b/c of the drive he can only see himself sustaining twice-monthly rehearsals. Acceptable? How about if he can do weekly rehearsals until he's up to speed on the band's current songbook, then drop to every other week? etc.)

    The first four items on your list can be treated as negotiations between parties with overlapping interests. The volume issue I'd omit if his volume at audition was reasonable.

    And I'd also omit the "be a grownup" commandment. Musicians who can treat one another with respect will tend to do so. And jerks either can't see their own behavior as out-of-bounds, or else they see it but choose to be a jerk to get what they want. In none of those situations do you gain anything by explicitly negotiating for mutual respect.
  12. karl_em_all


    Jul 11, 2013
    Dimension X
    I'd call him and tell him he's in, and this is how we roll. He'll either say "sounds great" or I'm out".

    That's about all I got to say about that. (Forrest Gump voice)
  13. All the time? Yeah, that's a long trip. How often do you rehearse compared with good paying gigs?

    FWIW: Unless you're paying him to rehearse or working enough good paying gigs to cover all his expenses, I seriously doubt that he'll stay with you for very long.
  14. GrumpiusMaximus

    GrumpiusMaximus I've Seen Things You People Wouldn't Believe

    Mar 11, 2013
    Kent, United Kingdom
    It's a negotiating point, really. If the guitarist can manage it and is really into the project, a couple of hours of driving isn't that expensive. If the guitarist can't manage it then it would just be a case of finding a reasonable compromise.

    Case in point. About a year ago, I joined a band (I ended up with them for 5 months and was kicked out rather than leaving - never worked out why, I did nothing wrong) as a drummer. I live in North-West Kent, they rehearsed in North-West London (despite the singer living half a mile from me). Sometimes it would take me around two hours to get to the rehearsals because I had to drive through Central London. At the time, I was unemployed/on disability benefits (I was unable to work with mental health issues but could manage weekly rehearsals with a band, long story) and just about managed financially with it.

    That wouldn't be the case for everyone, I understand that. It really comes down to the individual's time management and schedule and to a lesser extent, financial situation. If the guitarist has a full-time job and a family, it could be tricky.

    I wish you the best of luck. If you want to go through a few things, write down the salient points, keep it professional and friendly and discuss the points you have written down. Open negotiations on any sticking issues and know where your deal-breakers are.

    I teach assertiveness courses as part of my current employment and the one tip I would always give is to be prepared before entering negotiations with anybody. Keep it friendly but focussed.
  15. sm49341


    May 12, 2013
    Good responses people. I guess he was good at all those things at the audition, otherwise we wouldn't want him in. His volume was pretty reasonable. You guys bring up good points and of course make me feel a little stupid as well, but I prolly had it coming. I will let him know we would liker him to join, but echo concerns about his drive. We mentioned to him at the audition that some nights he'd make next to nothing factoring gas, cuz he drove a full size truck there! He said hes in this for fun, not money. I will leave the volume and behavior stuff out, Thats common sense I guess, and he had waay more common sense that most guys we had come in.
  16. +1 Yep, and without any $$$, driving that far will get old very fast.

    OP: Good luck and best wishes.
  17. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    Expectations should have been addressed prior to the audition but since you didn't talk about it, I would call and let him know that you want him to join and then ask him if he is sure about the drive and let him know that everyone is expected to show up prepared.
  18. Hmm, 2+ hour drive and no money - depending on how often - I'll give it maybe about 4 months max.

    Please keep us updated.
  19. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Intergalactic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon sofware
    Call him out for a second audition and discuss everything in front of the whole band so everyone is on the same page going forward. If he complains about the drive, I suggest not going forward with him.

    I also suggest you detail your "wish" list and present it as "written in stone". Be confident in your presentation. Even post it in your rehearsal space. Otherwise as time goes on, IME, things tend to drift unless it's in writing. Or you hear the famous line "I misunderstood" when things go wrong.

    If the guy can't agree with your terms, find someone else.
  20. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    I normally agree w/ a lot of Stumbo's advice, but I wouldn't ask the guy to drive 2 hrs for a face-to-face w/ the whole band.

    I'd also recommend against presenting all wish list items as written in stone. Only do this with items that are actually non-negotiable. You know this guitarist has reasons to argue himself out of this band; why add to those second doubts by coming off as rigid and unsympathetic about points that are only wants, not needs.