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I'm going to need to quit a band and I don't want to hurt these guys...

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Busker, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. Busker


    Jan 22, 2007
    But its going to hurt. The band already suffers from multiple problems. I don't want to add more onto their shoulders, but I've been more than patient until recently, when I started getting my fill.

    I could list the several problems, but its nothing you haven't heard before.

    Thing is, I accepted a position with another band. The new band has no gigs at the moment, but they have a knockout female singer and experience - we should have gigs in a reasonable amount of time, I hope. I told them my goal was to be playing out ASAP and they agreed.

    I told the existing band a week or 10 days ago that I was going to look for another band that could get me some gigs (what I really meant was a band that had it "together" more, but no sense in twisting the knife, you know?), but that I wasn't quitting them, and if I did have to quit I would give notice. I guess i should have been more direct, but I like these guys and wanted to spare their feelings. I think if they have one more band member leave they'll probably hang it up for the time being and I hate to be responsible for that. But the drummer is looking for a new gig too, I know he is. Please don't get me wrong, I know I can be replaced, but so can the guitar player who quit five months ago (and we have not yet had a single rehearsal with any new permanent guitarist, just some fill-in guitarists who can't/won't come aboard and are not committed to learning all the material, etc.).

    We supposedly have a gig on Feb. 29th, but no PA system to play it with. I'll play the gig if its not canceled, but probably need to make that my last. They may have one show sometime in March, but I'm not sure of the date or if it is even written in stone.

    How long of a notice should I give to be courteous and proper?
  2. mikethecannibal


    Jan 19, 2008
    erie pa
    id do it like two or three days after the last gig, so you have some time to finalize your decision, and who knows what might happen at that last gig ya know, there might be sopmething amazing that happens. but ya if you do decide to do it do it like 2 or 3 days later
  3. JKT


    Apr 30, 2007
    Buffalo NY
    Endorsing Artist: Barker Basses
    There are way to be up front and not hurt peoples feelings.
    You can never go wrong with the truth. Unless they are all blind and deaf, they most likely know which way the wind is blowing.

    I have tended to put it in terms of "folks it's just not working out for me as a player" sort of a thing. Be honest about what your expectation were/are vs whats really going on, without singling anyone out. Hey, I have been in bands that were doing great, working a lot, successful as far as I was concerned and yet, somebody decided to leave. Bands are complicated, organic entities that are tough to keep together under the best of circumstances.

    It will never be happy thing, but it doesn't have to be excruciating. Integrity matters. Be honest and upfront. It can be money in the bank. Life has a strange way of working out sometimes.

  4. sevenyearsdown

    sevenyearsdown Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    Just be honest. That is the best advice. I've quit 3 bands (out of several that I've played in), and was honest all 3 times with people. Sometimes it goes good, sometimes not...but it allowed to keep in touch with people years later as friends.
  5. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    I've left bands for multiple reasons... For me, the day that I make the decision is the best day to approach the members... Your resolve and reasoning are at their highest point and it eliminates all of the angst with knowing that you're leaving but waiting for the 'right' moment to broach the subject...

    As for notice, typically, at the very least, I'll play any currently booked gigs, as well as any that are actively being pursued at the time I give notice... For a couple, I've gone so far as to continue regular rehearsals as well as play anything that comes down the pike as long as they are actively looking for a replacement... Sometimes, it's not only about finding someone who can play the parts, but someone who can 'hang' as well... Only once have I quit at the moment, but that was after being blatantly lied to, which certainly isn't your situation...

    It's never fun, but the direct approach is usually the best...

  6. eedre


    Feb 26, 2007
    St. Louis,MO
    Looks like they won't playing out ASAP anymore!
  7. Busker


    Jan 22, 2007
    I meant I told the NEW band that my goal was to be playing gigs ASAP, and they agreed.

    The old band has so many problems that, IMO, they should not even be booking any gigs for now. They should be solving problems - i.e., find a new guitarist, add some new material, somehow get a PA system, and THEN book gigs (we were relying on the band manager's PA all along, then he bailed and took his PA with him - we've played one show since with a borrowed PA, and we were lucky to have gotten it for that one show).

    I did tell the band leader that we were "running the band into the ground" playing sub par shows with fill-in guitarists who would not/could not learn all of the material. We've been doing 4 set shows with probably only 30 to 32 songs for months! (Thankfully I suppose, there haven't been that many shows, only 8 in the last 5 months or so). How to play four sets with that few songs? Sometimes spending too much time in between songs and usually repeating several songs a night. One show we played two different songs three times each! I was embarrassed that night.

    Anyway, I'll be working up my resolve, and be honest and direct with them. Thank you.
  8. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    Do both (sort of). Tell the old band that you're very busy and to call you for rehearsals when they get some gigs lined up. They will either find another bass player or will call you when they get some gigs lined up.
  9. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    Tell them now. They have to be expecting it. No reason to drag it out.
  10. QORC


    Aug 22, 2003
    Elberon, New Jersey
    I hate dishonesty among band members. Tell them. Today.
  11. fenderhutz

    fenderhutz Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Harpers Ferry WV
    Tell them now.

    Look how many TB'ers on here complain about band issues just to find out it rolls back to the band due to friends of the band members using TB.

    It's better to tell them in person then post your woes on here and then they have a "meeting" with you.

    It will cause stinkier brew than just telling them in the first place.
  12. Busker


    Jan 22, 2007
    I told the band leader tonight (over the phone) that I was giving notice, but offered to play any remaining shows through the end of March (and beyond if necessary). He took it surprisingly well, like he was expecting it. He wasn't thrilled, but at least calm, and we both acted like gentlemen. He told me he's kind of burned out and thinking of throwing in the towel for a while.

    When I offered to play any remaining shows he said there are no shows coming up soon. The Feb. 29th show has been canceled and the one in March probably isn't going to happen. Beyond that, there were supposed to be 2 or 3 shows in late May, but that's three months down the road.

    Good grief, I'm glad that's over with, but sad. This band had a lot of potential, and the singer/songwriters still do have a lot of potential. Maybe they'll take a break, regroup and get back to it.

    Thank you for your help and advice.

    And for the record, QORC, I wasn't exactly dishonest with the old band. I told them I was looking for a new band, but didn't want to quit them necessarily, and if I did quit, I would give notice (that's how it went down too). The only thing I did wrong was to not spell out the true reasons (why I was looking for a new band). I just didn't want to tell them they had poor organization, lack of drive, and all that. But I think the band leader got that message too, without me having to spell it out.
  13. Drkwdsman@yahoo

    Drkwdsman@yahoo Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2004
    Out of fairness, I gave a month notice b/c they were trying to book some gigs in a certain timeframe, so I agreed that I would do it until that date.

    If this band has no gigs, then it maybe a different timeframe.
  14. If you don't see a good future for the band or for you within this particular band then tell them that you want out. If there is no PA for the gig you have booked will you be able to even do the music any justice? Especially when you don't have guitarist who knows the material.

    If you want to be nic ethen tell them you're quitting but play the show as the last thing you do. If I were you I would probably quit right now and have them cancel the gig since, from the sounds of it, it would not make the music justice anyway.
  15. i'm in the same situation, only our booking guy has taken the liberties of bookin us through june...if i wind up leavin after i graduate, i dunno what theyre gonna do...
  16. QORC


    Aug 22, 2003
    Elberon, New Jersey
    I wasn't being aggressive. If I offended, I apologize. But I see this far too often. People say one thing to band members, and then pursue a secret agenda. It's not how people should be treated. I've been on the business end of such dishonesty, so of course I react to it.

    In my defense, you're parsing words. In your original post, you indicated that you told your band that you were looking for another band to "add gigs" but that you weren't quitting the first band, but you also indicated that you definitely wanted out of the first band. E.g., you weren't telling them exactly how you felt. You were trying to cushion the blow by making it sound like you were merely adding another project, am I correct? That was "dishonest" on some level. If you really wanted to quit the band, you should've told them up front "this isn't for me. I'm going to look for another band and when I find one, I'm quitting this one, although I'll play whatever booked gigs you want me to." THAT would be honest. Instead, you waited until you joined another band to tell them the truth, right? Or am I reading this wrong?

    I'm not saying you're wrong. Just saying that while it may be more painful to be honest, it's more respectful to do so.

    Peace and good luck.
  17. Busker


    Jan 22, 2007
    Yes, OK, you're right. I was trying to cushion the blow. Plain and simple. Its over now, I told them. It appears there are no gigs in the near future to worry about anyway, and we hardly ever rehearsed anymore. We had rehearsed only 3 times in nearly three months. Three rehearsals since late November. But no permanent guitarist, so what's the point of rehearsing I guess.

    And its too bad. These guys (the singer/songwriters) have a lot of potential. The drummer and I were discussing this, that when we each came aboard, we both thought the same thing - that these guys had "it" and if anyone could go places, they could. They still could, and I hope they don't give up.
  18. QORC


    Aug 22, 2003
    Elberon, New Jersey
    what's done is done and these situations are rarely easy or pleasant. You did what you had to do.
  19. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    That's not really a band then. It's more like some people getting together once in a while to play. It's not like you were married to these people and were cheating on them with another band. You could easily have been in another band or two and they wouldn't have noticed.
  20. Busker


    Jan 22, 2007
    It was a band before though, the best one I've been in, in my short band playing career.

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