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i got kicked out of my band.....

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by redname, Dec 27, 2017.

  1. redname


    Apr 30, 2010
    technically i asked to leave but tht was after they raised a concern.

    The concern was that i'm still using chord charts after 4 yrs in the band. to them, it makes the band look unprofessional and they gave a lame excuse of saying tht i dnt groove at songs tht i had to use my charts. y i said its lame? it's because I have nvr went thru a show my band did tht the crowd weren't on their feet dancing.

    it's like telling the drummer "hey i think u play better when u had your beard"

    personally, i think they jus wanna get rid of me cause i'm not exactly at the same wavelength with them. they even have their own gigs without me.

    anyone who had similar exp over having chord charts in front of u?
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
  2. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Have people ever stopped dancing to a big band because they all hide behind their music stands? No.

    I think many people give the idea of "no stands on stage" too much credit. Unless you're the front man or try to execute elaborate choreographies on stage, I doubt someone will care.

    My question to you would be why you still needed charts after four years with them. Did they add a lot of songs on short notice, did you have to play a metric ton of material, was it intricate?

    If none of the above implies, maybe the others had the impression that you did not care to learn the songs by heart. Just a thought.
    Ekulati, MDBass, Big Shrek and 7 others like this.
  3. darkwasthenight


    Oct 17, 2010
    Four years is a long time to be playing with chord charts unless you're mixing up the new Top 40 every month. Is there a reason you still use them? There's a lot of groups that use charts and I've often done it myself on sub or function gigs when everyone else is using them, or at least had front/back prompts out, but if there's just one guy glued to his pages in a dance group then it can definitely look out of place.

    With the details you've given us, considering they already do shows without you, it sounds like you just weren't a good fit together and they've found someone they gel with more.
    MDBass, bdplaid, Loring and 1 other person like this.
  4. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    Mybe u nd to tke of th training wheels n lern to rde the bke.
  5. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Yeah I have questions.

    How often do you add new material?

    Do you play originals or covers mostly?

    Do you honestly not remember the changes for songs you have been playing for four years????

    What style of music do you play?

    There are details left out here that I need clarified before a lower the hammer *cough* offer up my thoughtful and sensitive views on the subject.
    Ekulati, MDBass, MarkoYYZ and 6 others like this.
  6. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    When things go poorly for me, I always look at what I may have done differently before blaming others. That’s not saying I’m always the one at fault, but if I want things to be different in the future, that’s not going to happen by me believing my problems are other people’s fault.

    Also, people dancing wouldn’t be proof of my grooving to me. My own ears would be. And if I weren’t sure, then I’d be sure I had more work to do.

    I don’t mean to be cold or kick a guy when he’s down, but if they threw you out for reasons they told you - and you don’t want that to happen again with another band - I think you’d best at least consider that there’s some truth in what they said. And if charts are absolutely necessary for you for some reason, phone holders on music stands can make charts pretty much invisible these days. Music stands (if you were using one) are a thing of the past. And a major eye sore. I’d work at just learning the tunes in the future though. Not doing so IMO shows a complete lack of enthusiasm if it’s not a band that’s adding lots of tunes weekly.
  7. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    It's not if you have charts, but how often you are looking at them. In a rock band, it is EVERYONE'S job to engage the audience, and spending the night behind paper is not. Frankly after four years, unless you are constantly adding new tunss, and only using the charts for the new ones, I'd be upset as well that you were not putting your time in.
    Korladis, Conkal, pcake and 6 others like this.
  8. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    :cool:.... :D:D:D:laugh::laugh::laugh:.
  9. Old Blastard

    Old Blastard

    Aug 18, 2013
    My guitar players always have their charts and I have a cheat sheet for another band I play in. I'm fairly natural at memorizing songs however so I only sneak like at their sheets in occasion.

    In our defense, we've played like 300 songs in 3 years and it's easy to forgot.

    Try to practice the songs at home. Learn them with charts first and then wean yourself off them. When you know it, try to groove simple parts with the beat.
    Big Shrek and Sixgunn like this.
  10. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I recall an interview with Bill Bruford, in the 70s where (in a somewhat dismissive tone) he described the music he was playing with Yes as "head arrangements," meaning that the music was simple enough (!) you could keep it all in your head and not need sheet music to refer to. Most of us think of Yes as pretty complex, but with his jazz background, that was how he perceived it.

    I have used a music stand on sub gigs, and the BL lent me his giant three-ring binder of chord charts (he had switched to an ipad). That was a band that played four-hour gigs and a lot of tunes I wasn't familiar with, so I was grateful. As a sub, I wasn't under much pressure to provide stage presence and the band didn't move around much anyway. On gigs with a band I rehearse with regularly, I expect myself and my bandmates to be able to play without charts.

    At the end of the day, it's all a matter of context and the band's persona. In a lot of popular music (blues/funk/rock etc.), there IS an expectation that the band will be mobile and engaging with the audience in ways that a music stand would get in the way of. The less clutter between you and the crowd the better, and the music is generally such that, if you're practicing properly, you don't need the charts. If you take something like a wedding/corporate band, however, then 1) the band is generally much less the center of attention, and 2) the band probably needs a repertoire of hundreds of songs, that you're not going to have all flawlessly memorized. A classical chamber group or a jazz combo has a whole different presence where the stands are not the issue they would be in a rock band.

    One thing about stands, if you're using them, is being able to have stage presence while using them. It's pretty dull to have a rock band whose members just stand there staring at their chord charts. Of course it's equally boring if they just stare at their fretboards too.

    Still, to the OP, we're not there to observe your band. Maybe you're right and the charts were just an excuse, and they had already soured on you for other reasons. Or maybe it really was the charts. I don't know.
  11. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    Even with a jazz band doing standards from the Real Books (the band I am in has three books, with a pile of sheet music about 5" thick) tries to memorize as many songs as possible, so your head is not in the book.
  12. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    Using chord charts for playing popular music is lame, with the exceptions people have already listed. It's also a classic indicator of who isn't really putting in the time to learn the material. It's not like you're playing classical music.

    There was a guitar player in one of my old groups that was still turning pages on his music stand after 3 months of rehearsals and gigs for material that we had been playing since his audition. I was honest with him, and told him, you better lose that soon. Knew right there it meant he was either getting too baked to remember stuff, or he wasn't working on his parts. He was replaced as soon as I could find someone.
    Korladis, Conkal, Big Shrek and 4 others like this.
  13. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

    I have to agree using charts after 4 years is kinda lame. I just joined a new band and they provided charts (which are horrible) and I refuse to use them. I prefer to learn the songs by ear and memorize them. I also sub for a couple other bands and I have never used charts with them.
    MDBass, bassbully, Aqualung60 and 5 others like this.
  14. LowNloud1

    LowNloud1 Commercial User

    Jun 11, 2012
    Wilmington NC
    I am a hobbyist making stone picks that I occasionally sell but mostly give away. They made me do this anyways.
    First, I am not trying to judge you. I don't know all the details but I do want to offer my thoughts as a bass brother.

    How are you using the book? Continuously or sporadically? I use a "cheat sheet". I have a set list (single page) that I tape to the floor or a nearby wall in case I need a reminder. I list the key for each song and any important reminder I may need about a song. The other members of the band don't use music stands. I want to perform at the same level as they do.

    Unless you are creating a set on the fly or playing songs not on your set list, like JoeNerve says, get rid of your dependence on sheets and raise your game.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
  15. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    Have they talked to you about this before? If so, and you didn't change, then they might have a point.

    Do you get paid much to do the gigs, and how many new songs are you learning for each gig? I had one band where we got $35 a night in a bar just to get started. One guitarist kept at me about my charts and I finally told him with the volume of songs they had me learn, and low pay, until he put me on retainer I would get to memorizing the tunes when I got to it. And told him to give it a rest. At the time I had two other bands I was also playing in so time was an issue.

    But I agree, if you can play without charts, you connect with the audience better. But if this was a deal breaker for the rest of the band, they should have talked to you about it first and given you time to adjust before firing you.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
    Big Shrek likes this.
  16. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    Try playing the gig without chord charts.
    Maybe they will change their mind.
    Chord charts are not OK in rock/dance bands and become a BIG crutch on memorising tunes
    Go with the flow.
  17. Big Hoss

    Big Hoss Up note, down note, blue note, brown note...

    wu r u tlking bout?
    MDBass, JeffC23, bdplaid and 5 others like this.
  18. phillybass101


    Jan 12, 2011
    Artist, Trickfish Amplification Bartolini Emerging Artist, MTD Kingston Emerging Artist. Artist, Tsunami Cables
    I just rejoined a band that let me go not because of my playing but they cited some kind of personal lifestyle issue. Family Man, Masters Degree, No Police Record, Veteran, World Traveler. Now I'm back and they want to get funky again. One thing I did do was to tell them I wasn't going on tour with them to Greece. Now that my personal situation has changed and I can tour, I'm back. Go figure.
    hrodbert696 and HolmeBass like this.
  19. Seanto


    Dec 29, 2005
    My jazz group uses charts pretty religiously, but a couple members have moved away from them. I am striving to move away from them myself as i see them as crutch. The band would definitely benefit from not being so hooked on the chart. The simpler tunes i am not really reading much, but others i am dependent.

    In a bar background music situation, i really don't think the charts are a big deal from a visual standpoint. To me it is more about the cohesiveness of the group. When people are reading, they aren't listening as much and aren't quite as aware of what is going on with the band. This also limits in the moment interactions in the music as when you are reading you are more so on the rails and not as likely to react to another band member. In jazz, that element of improv is really fun and i hate to lose it.

    But the kicker is playing rock covers. When playing those songs i don't really see the chart as being an asset as there is usually a very specific riff to nail and having the chord progression doesn't really help you know that. In my rock days i never used a chart and would simply practice the songs at home until i memorized them.
    Big Shrek, bdplaid and Sixgunn like this.
  20. Hounddog409


    Oct 27, 2015
    After four years, why do you need a chord chart? That is the question.
    Korladis, Conkal, MDBass and 2 others like this.

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