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I know the answer, but I guess I'm looking for validation

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by pondscum29, Mar 9, 2013.

  1. pondscum29


    Feb 23, 2006
    Sacramento, CA
    OK, I'm thinking it's time to have at least "the talk", at most, say we're going to make a change. Our drummer texts and says she can't make rehearsal tonight. Granted, this rehearsal is not a normal scheduled night and was scheduled two days ago. She's (still) having car trouble. The same trouble that has been plaguing her since the 2nd week in Jan. So the question is: do I hold the times against that she texted and said she couldn't make a rehearsal that was going to be cancelled anyway? That scenario has happened twice. Or hold tonight against her? Had rehearsal been on as scheduled, she would have missed 6 of the last 9, been late for two more, and only on time for 1. I don't want to kick a person when they're down, but it's really affecting band momentum.

    Since Jan 05:

    1/07: cancelled
    1/15: cancelled
    1/22: cancelled
    1/29: 45m late
    2/05: 45m late
    2/08: (not rehearsal related) needed her drum kit from our rehearsal place, but left a band member waiting for 30m after he made a special trip to open the place.
    2/12: no rehearsal / she cancelled
    2/19: on time
    2/26: no rehearsal
    3/05: no rehearsal / she cancelled
    3/09: rehearsal, but on 2d notice - she can't make it.
  2. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    If you are to the point that you are making a list, you already know the answer.
  3. Was she the reason you cancelled those two rehearsals? Or were there other problems too? Why are there four other 'no rehearsals'? I get the feeling that your drummer isn't the only commitment problem in the band.

    And having missed quite a few band practices last winter due to a seized engine, I can sympathize. But that's me and my experience.
  4. pondscum29


    Feb 23, 2006
    Sacramento, CA
    "Cancelled" means she missed rehearsal. "No rehearsal": cancelled due to biz trips, work schedules, and such - but she was cancelling on those two too.
  5. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Sometimes when a band member's availability suddenly drops off, it means they are unhappy with the band, but don't have the guts to actually quit.

    Whatever's going on, she's cancelling too often and late too often to be acceptable to me, if I were in your shoes.

    A talk is definitely in order. Make sure she's still interested in being in the band. And then make clear to her that this has to change if she wants to stay on board.

    Not that it appears you were jumping to this yet, but I don't think it's fair to fire someone before you've at least had that talk.
  6. craig.p


    Sep 28, 2008
    New Hampshire
    The answer is obvious. Your drummer clearly is not in a position to be in a band. You can break the news diplomatically.

    I'm assuming this is a serious band, and not one of those God-awful "fun bands." If it is in fact the latter, however, then she just may not be aware of what's expected regarding attendance.
  7. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    No one has ever had the opportunity to no show on me a third time.
  8. pondscum29


    Feb 23, 2006
    Sacramento, CA
    We're a start-up band, but looking to get gigs this spring. The problem has been momentum. We're all (for the most part) family people, and this is a hobby, not a profession. Still, we want to gig on the local club circuit and maybe some local events. Our previous drummer bowed out due to family commitments (no ill will there), and it took us a while to replace him. Verbally, she's enthusiastic - even asking when we're going to gig (ironically). But in order to get the material tight - kinda need a drummer who's there. There were two times when rehearsal was cancelled for some other reason, but she texted and said she couldn't make it. I don't want to hold those against here since we weren't rehearsing anyway, but then again, it's a sign that had rehearsal been held as scheduled, she still wouldn't have made it.

    @ craig.p, that has been my thought, i.e. timing is everything (pun fully intended).

    I'm thinking I'll call her tomorrow and just ask her flat out if she's in or out. If the answer is "in", then let her know that we need her to show up in order to move forward.

    "80% of success is showing up." --Woody Allen
  9. That makes sense. And that is a problem. I'd start looking at other drummers, but I'd also give her the talk before you make a decision about her future with the band. Set clear expectations and if she doesn't meet them part ways. Like I said, I'm sympathetic to the car problems excuse because I've been there and done that recently and it was tough. If it's having a major effect on gigging, you know adios.
  10. 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 you want to be in the band, you have to be at rehearsals." Period.
  11. Don't hold the abnormal times against her, but if you have normal times and she's not making those then have the talk.

    That said, you can practice w/o a drummer. We use those nights to write words and arrange.
  12. She wants to be in a band without actually being in a band.
  13. YUP.
    Validation request granted.

    In this life S#!T happens.
    If you live long enough some will happen to you.
    But if S#!T happens to the same person all the time,
    they ain't living right.
  14. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Right. Tell her she can be in the band but she doesn't have to make any of the gigs or rehearsals!
  15. obimark


    Sep 1, 2011
    How many times a week are you rehearsing? IMO-NO band needs to rehearse 4 times a week, or is that just because it keeps getting cancelled.

    And of course are you originals or covers?
  16. bearfoot


    Jan 27, 2005
    schenectady, ny
    This thread title reads like my love life. Somebody shoot me. : )
  17. pondscum29


    Feb 23, 2006
    Sacramento, CA
    We only rehearse once a week. But we're looking to go to 2 times until we're solid on the material - a mix of covers and originals. Last night was the only time that we had a rehearsal that wasn't on our normal weekly time slot. We don't have a problem rehearsing without her (we have a stellar hand percussionist), but I can't be going out and bird dogging gigs unless I know I have a reliable drummer.

    Not to be offensive to the ladies that might be following, but this is the reason I don't coach co-ed softball anymore. I had cancellations every week for any variety of reasons, from hair and nail appts (you couldn't schedule for a non-softball night?) to "it's too hot, and I don't want to play."

    Then again, it might just be my choice in women (except my wife, of course) ;)
  18. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    Is no one in the band good with auto mechanics? Is she that far out of driving range that she can't be picked up?

    I know I'm going to get flamed by the "it's the musician's responsibility to maintain transportation ....blah blah blah" And of course, this IS Talkbass so, the mob won't be happy until theres blood or someone's been canned.

    I just can't help but wonder why more bands don't step up to help other band members overcome obstacles rather than sitting back watching them struggle.
  19. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
  20. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    I can sympathize to a point. I had many professional commitments when I joined my current band three years ago. I told the BL all my unavailable dates well in advance. If I had to change rehearsal night, I called everyone so the BL didn't have that extra work. My professional commitments dropped off during the last two years, so it's much more manageable.

    Even if her reasons are legitimate, if she's not there, she's not there. If it were me, I'd sit her down and have a frank discussion about what the band needs from her. You can tell her you understand, but it is still holding the band back. If she can't get things squared away, then wish her well and move on. If she can get her stuff together, then you have a drummer. If she says she can get it together and you decide to keep her, I'd keep her on a short leash. One or two more cancelations, and it's obvious.

    Good luck!

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