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Is it time to leave.....

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Steve S, Jan 17, 2003.

  1. Steve S

    Steve S

    Jul 26, 2000
    I've been playing with a classic rock band for almost two years and wonder if it's time for me to go.

    This group has been together for 10 years and added myself on bass and a lead guitar player because the former members never practiced or wanted to practice. With the two new people, we learned a lot of different songs that required more harmony because we were willing to put the time into it. Over time, I've noticed some things that have made me wonder about my future with this group.

    1. The leader is a nice guy and sings most of the songs while playing rhythm guitar and some lead. He's not very organized so I started doing some of it like creating our song list and adding the keys. For the gigs, he makes up the set lists but seems to never look at the master list because he usually has at least 6 songs in the wrong key.....and this is for all of the gigs. Luckily, the other player and I knew the correct keys so always played the right thing. The leader.....sometimes we had to tell him the correct note while in the song and on the stage. He doesn't seem to hear the difference.....

    2. They have continued to have some gigs with their former band members....and the leader always complains after those gigs about how the former players never practice so they always sound awful....but it's been going on for almost two years.
    They have a gig this weekend without me.

    3. I love jamming with different people and creating new music. I've asked the leader to play with some other musicians but most of the time he's refused saying that he doesn't want to stand around just playing lead. He did come with me last month to a jam session with some of my friends but only played the songs that the band knows and never got into the creative aspects of jamming.

    4. The lead guitar player quit last week because he has another band that is gigging more frequently. He was the best musician in the band and the only person who noticed that I had bought another bass, a reissue '62 sunburst Precision. My other bass is a blue jazz deluxe.

    I don't know if I have the energy or desire to work with a new player. The remaining guys don't seem interested in playing music because it's fun but because it allows them the opportunity to play in front of people. I've also noticed that if I make a suggestion, the leader always dismisses it but the several weeks later, he'll repeat it only it's now his idea. An example is "You May Be Right" by Billy Joel. They were only adding harmony at the end of the song "You maybe right but you maybe wrong." When I told him that there is harmony throughout the song he just grunted. Several weeks later, he mentioned that there is a lot of harmony in the song and that I needed to listen to it to learn them.

    We're not a group of kids...all of us are around 50 with wives and children so it makes it easy to relate to each other. We've all finished college too so we can interact on the same level which is nice. However, I wouldn't consider us friends.
  2. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Why do they gig without you? That's what I would be most suspicious about, not to mention upset. Do they have a reason?

    To be absolutely honest, from the way you have phrased your post, it sounds like you have already made up your mind.
  3. from what you have said, you don't seem at all happy in this band, and your not freinds with the other members, in fact i don't think you mention one good thing about it.

    like thrash jazz said, looks like you've made up your mind.


  4. gdflash


    Dec 12, 2002
    Philadelphia, PA
    Have to agree with the others...sounds like you are ready to bail...
    Going through the same thing with my band ( well, not exactly the same ) Our singer/rhythm guitarist writes our songs, but has the habit of writing the same horrid power ballad over and over and over again. We have tried to play songs other band members have written, but because the singer can't read music...or even tablature..:eek: it is very difficult to get him to do anything. ( can't even call out a chord because all he knows is barre chords..as in 3 on the one string...) We are all very frustrated and pulling in different directions musically...but it is very hard to clip those strings...
    Plus we are all burnt out on our current material...played the same set once a week for the past three months at the same venue... .... yeek.

    (Sorry to vent, but practiced last night and it ruined my whole day today)
  5. Get out now! There's no reason to continue to deal with that situation. I was in a very similar situation- all older guys, little motivation to rehearse and a guitarist who would screw up intros and keys even when he had played the songs 500 times and had a cheat sheet in front of him. I was with the band for 4 years then moved out of state for 3 years. During that time they had exactly one rehearsal with my replacement then didn't practice again for the entire 3 years.

    By some freak of nature they fired my replacement the exact same week I moved back. Since I have a family to support I went back to that same situation, which helped to pay the bills but was totally frustrating since I kept pushing them to do more. Anyway after sticking it out for 3 years I left for good and a since then whole bunch of cool stuff has been happening for me. The question is, do you want to expend your energy on a project that sounds like it is always going to be a drain, or should you take a chance on yourself and see what might happen with something new? It's been my experience that good players with a good work ethic are seldom without a gig for very long.
  6. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Time to get those ads out so you can say, "BYEEEEE!"

    Sounds like too much ego-tripping going on.
  7. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Would these happen to be gigs that you can't attend, with the others filling in as backups?? I recently left my band, but played gigs with them when the replacement bass player could not make it. We have also gigged without members, and I know of at least three gigs this year that I will probably be playing with them...

    I believe it goes "You may be wrong, but you may be right"... Of course, you may be right... I may be crazy :)

  8. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    You may be right, I may be crazy. But it just might be a lunatic you're looking for. Turn out the light, don't try to save me. You may be wrong for all I know, but you may be right.
  9. Steve S

    Steve S

    Jul 26, 2000
    When I asked why they were gigging with the old band members, the answer I received was that the former guitar player was finding the gigs so wanted to use the old band. I've never been invited to those gigs so they're not using their former bass player because I can't be there. I think the situation is strange.

    I've wondered if my feelings are justified so that's why I've asked for your advice. I appreciate everyone's comments.
  10. RUN!! RUN AWAY NOW!!

    That is insane...I can't believe you're still with them. Let me see if I have this straight:

    1) You're not friends.
    2) They don't listen to you.
    3) They don't play with you (songs you want to play during practice and some gigs.)
    4) Even during gigs that you play in, they screw up.
    5) The only guy you respected just quit.

    And you're asking us if you should quit?!?!?? Maybe it's hard to see the big picture when you're involved personally, but man, you are in a horrible situation. I couldn't script a worse situation if I tried!
  11. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    If the leader cannot even hear when he is in the wrong key, I would leave as fast as I could. Try to be objective -- does this band sound any good? Would you go to their gigs if you weren't working with them? Frankly, I don't understand how this band gets gigs at all. I suppose if you and the drummer are tight, then average bargoing people might not notice vocals or leads that are off, but anybody with a musical ear would make a face and leave. Try to keep in touch w/ the good guitarist who left and see if you can sub w/ his other band or if he knows people for you to jam with.
  12. I too am in a situation that seems to be headed nowhere. Yet it's so much easier for us to stay in a crappy situation than it is for us to change.

    I keep telling myself:

    -hey they're decent, honest guys
    -nobody smokes or does drugs

    But on the other hand, I'm driving 60 miles each way to practice (once a week, thank goodness) and we don't seem to have any gigs lined up for the next couple of months. And the song list is practically putting me to sleep. Add to that: the singer and guitar player have never been in a working band. So they don't know what songs crowds like, and they can't stay focused on goals....

    Duhhh...how long before I make myself bail???? :confused:
  13. Steve S

    Steve S

    Jul 26, 2000
    -hey they're decent, honest guys
    -nobody smokes or does drugs

    I've played with so many musicians with addictions that to not have to deal with that.....keeps me around even if the music I'm playing isn't satisfying.

    Everyone's comments forces me to sit back and observe the situation more objectively....thank you. I was feeling bad that I was thinking of leaving..
  14. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Well, I don't see anything wrong with being in a band where you're not great friends and where there's overlap with another project that excludes you... It is much easier to deal with this if you, too, are working in other projects, though.

    If I were in your shoes (I am indeed in a similar, though not nearly as bad situation) I would shop for other projects while hanging on to this one. Given the situation, your bandmates should have no problem with you working with multiple projects. You're then in a great position to decide to leave when and if it suits you, without having to gamble that your next band will be even worse! :)

    Good luck!
  15. Steve S

    Steve S

    Jul 26, 2000
    Thanks Secretdonkey.
  16. Steve S

    Steve S

    Jul 26, 2000
    All of your comments has forced me to look at this situation objectively because being involved, it's hard for me to see how messed up it is. I thank all of you.
  17. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2011
    So how did this turn out?
  18. +1.

    Yeah OP, this thread is 10 Years Old - so how did it turn out. :D
  19. Ha! Now I wanna know too.
  20. Basshappi


    Feb 12, 2007
    Well, it was almost 11 years ago. Hopefully he's made a decision by now.