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Left my band and now I’m spiraling...

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by RedWire75, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. RedWire75

    RedWire75 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2017
    St. Louis, Missourah
    Back in May I had to leave my band (all originals) because they were intent on playing lots of out of town shows and I just don’t have the vacation time or even ability to get away from my job enough to do that. Plus I’m 43 years old and married with a mortgage/bills/etc. Just not reasonable for me to do that.

    Since then I’ve been trying to keep myself busy playing alone at home even picked up the guitar again but it’s not the same.

    There doesn’t seem to be anything out there that fit as well as my old band and it hurts they thought nothing of moving on without me. Like shaking off a cold.

    I don’t want to play covers. That’s just not a good time for me. I liked the creative aspect. The original bands I’m seeings ads for that needs players are bad and/or not what I’d like to play (indie, post-rock, etc).

    There’s also the issue of my inability to tour making a good match hard to find. Plus, do I want to go through all this again to play to empty rooms again?

    I miss the guys I was playing with (they don’t feel likewise... got a new bassist within a week or two). I miss getting out of the house one or two times a week for practice or gigs.

    I’m a terrible writer (alone... good at writing bass parts to songs though) and can’t sing so putting together my own project isn’t feasible.

    I spent a decent amount putting together a killer rig for this band and now it’s collecting dust. It just feels like I’m playing out the string now and it’ll be work/eat/sleep/work/eat/sleep from here on out.

    Just discouraged and needed to rant.
  2. dr doofie

    dr doofie

    Jul 6, 2017
    This isn’t a rant brother this is just legitimate pain.
    You left for noble and obviously important reasons. While I’m sure you don’t want to see the band slouching around looking “sad”, a little tact might have been in order.
    I’ve been in your spot now for years. I got all my inspiration/energy/drive from the cohesion and camaraderie of a group of like-minded people.
    Take that away and you’re standing in your room with a tired list of songs you play over and over, and it’s easy at that point to get jaded.
    I wish I could suggest something uplifting and positive. Perhaps picking up another instrument to try?
    I do feel you though.
  3. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    You have to figure out what you want, and what you legitimately have to offer.

    - You don't want to play out of town shows, which limits your worth to an originals band who wants to get to a certain level;
    - you don't write songs or sing, so that limits your worth to an originals band.
    - you don't want to play covers.

    A little dose of reality. What do you have to offer to an originals band? Not a lot, unless you can find one who has all the good songs they want, all the vocals they want, and wants to stay local, and just needs someone to play the bass - not much of that out there. I think either you have to consider covers, or start hitting up open mics.
  4. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

    I was on a tailspin for almost 4 years after quitting the band I was in at the time. Take your time looking for the right band fit. It'll come along. Or......start your own band.
    Florinda4, FretFree, b-bottom and 9 others like this.
  5. RedWire75

    RedWire75 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2017
    St. Louis, Missourah
    For sure... I don’t want them to be unsuccessful or throwing themselves on their swords (so to speak)... it just hurt.

    You’re not wrong... but most of the groups I’ve been in have had primary songwriters and the other members would write to their songs. I can do that no problem. But it might be time to let the dream die.
  6. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    Nothing wrong with growing up. Long ago, I gave up the dream of being a rock star, because I had no interest in being a starving artist. But if you love music, no reason to hang it up. Find out what you have to offer, and find something that fits. I'll give you an example. Playing jazz allows you to create your own bass lines.

    The way I found a band I liked was when I realized I'd rather play good gigs with good musicians than play the music I wanted to play.
  7. oZZma


    Sep 13, 2018
    I feel your pain... I strongly suggest to try writing your own songs and starting your own band, if you don't want any awful/frustrating compromise and/or wait forever. Writing is something you learn with practice, like playing.
    b-bottom, dr doofie and Charlzm like this.
  8. oZZma


    Sep 13, 2018
    And as soon as you have like ONE song *almost* written, start auditioning some drummers, immediately. It seems clear to me that you need to be in an originals band so there are not many other satisfying options. Nothing else will be the same.
  9. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    I also had to give up on a great band due to my Job schedule. They have done about 30 gigs in the last 6 months or so (without me). I am sad for me but happy for them.
    I finally just nailed an audition with another project but it's more of a startup.
    It ain't easy or everybody would be doing this.
  10. Warpeg

    Warpeg Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2005
    I can somewhat relate and add some advice. While I have been with my current band for roughly 18 years, there was a time a few years back when the four of us were very busy and not many rehearsals or gigs took place. It was hard on me; I was used to the band routine and it was suddenly changed. Admittedly, I got a bit depressed during the long voids between band activities.

    My background had primarily been hard rock and indie rock original bands. There were no local opportunities, so I decided to step outside of my realm and learn something new that I could work with. In came the double bass (upright bass). After learning the instrument, I've found all kinds of gigs to work with.

    Don't let yourself get stale. Maybe try something new, whatever that may be, and see what becomes of it?
  11. Wisebass


    Jan 12, 2017
    Lost in Space
    Hi RedWire75 :)

    The situation you are in $vck$!!!

    And I can feel with you. But...

    This is not an excuse to stay at home!

    I played in three bands where the bandleaders were drummers!

    They never wrote songs! And none of them was a singer!

    You are an experienced musician! Look for a singer/ songwriter!

    Look for young people! They will have more time!

    Easier to find someone who suits your time table between family and job!

    I am 53 and I play with musicians who could be my kids!

    They are freaking good and keep me busy!

    may the bass be with you

  12. Sorry, learn to like covers....
    danesdad and jnewmark like this.
  13. Never feels good when we realize how easily we can be replaced.

    Keep your chin up, though. You'll find the shoe that fits.
    StyleOverShow likes this.
  14. City

    City Supporting Member

    I recently tried out for an original band (primarily) and adding in a couple tasty covers (I got the gig). This band is just starting out and this decision is going against everything I said I would do. THat was only jump into established cover bands. I was in many cover bands for the last 20 years. I am reverting back to my youth and I'm 60. Why you ask? I just feels right. The drummer can drum, the singer can sing and play guitar, writes nice songs, and the lead guitarist is very serviceable. All are drug/booze free and want to be artistic.

    I was so tired of the cover band scene, and many more folks are getting out of retirement and are jumping into it, so in fact, it gets so damn competitive and cut-throat. I'm not saying I won't go back into that cover scene full time, but not right now. I will dabble in covers like most of the other guys my age, but wanted to get artistic again. I picked a model bassists that I wanted to emulate. That is Graham Maby, long time bassist of Joe Jackson. Graham is well known and extremely talented, but happy supporting talent and not being the man (but he has become the man because of his artistic ability on bass).

    Hold out, answer ads, be honest to others and yourself as to what you want to do, and keep trying. That's all we can do.
  15. jnuts1


    Nov 13, 2007
    5 years ago I gave up the best band I could ever ask for because my wife was preggo and they were trying to make it. it's now the present and I am back with the band full time and have turned into a recording project that plays a big show every 4 or so months, when we started the band we hit it hard so now we get a LOT of mileage out of our name and pack places as long as we don't play too frequently.

    and I've finally recorded one of my songs I wrote the lyrics, music and arranged it. AND I AM NOT A SONGWRITER!!! I too write sweet bass lines to other peoples songs. not anymore! you can do it too.
  16. Charlzm


    Mar 25, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I feel you, OP. I quit my original band back in 2011 in frustration due to the other three members being spread so thin that they didn't have time for the band hardly at all. We were stuck for a year, barely writing new songs, recording no demos and playing same-old, same-old gigs with minimal rehearsal. Ironically, my quitting lit a fire under the other three and they recorded a full album's worth of demos of material we had been working on within the next year.

    Then, they went inactive as they focused on all their other musical projects. I had zero.

    I tried to get a couple of things going for years afterward, just playing at home to try to keep my chops up. Didn't work out.

    Finally, in 2016, the three of us got back together with the goal of polishing the demos they lad down after I quit. The album is now nearly finished three years later and we have played a couple of times this year with varying results, but it does feel good to be "in it" again.

    So... don't give up. And don't play in a cover band; that way lies madness...
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
    Rodger Bryan likes this.
  17. BassCliff


    May 17, 2012
    So. Cal.

    I think it's excellent that you put your family first, providing for them, being there for them, and being a stable employee. The adult is strong with you.

    Metropolitan St. Louis is not a small area so I'm sure there are many outlets for your musical abilities. Perhaps you can play in the pit orchestra for local theater houses. It's pretty fun to be a hired gun and play with different cover bands playing a variety of musical genres. There has to be recording studios in the area who need musicians to play for songwriters when they cut a CD. How about a tribute band? Sometimes, if you can't be with the one you love, you gotta love the one you're with. (So to speak.) ;) The best of luck to you. I hope you find a good outlet. In the meantime, practice, practice, practice! :)

    Thank you for your indulgence,

    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
  18. cableguy

    cableguy Supporting Member

    Jun 4, 2009
    North Bend, WA
    You don't have to give up your dream, just modify it.:D I hate to say, but if you're in your 40's and your not a rock star yet, it ain't going to happen. But that doesn't mean you can't still have fun, make & record music and play local shows. (depending on the size of your town) I'm in my 50's and always dreamed of rock stardom through my 20's. I've since met & played with guys who lived that dream. (Signed to a major label, toured America & Europe) I was kind of in awe the 1st time we jammed. But when we talked, you know what they want. My union job's medical coverage and pension:thumbsup:...… So just learn to 1st and foremost enjoy playing music. We've all had our downtimes, keep on keepin on as they say. The rest will fall into place.:bassist:
  19. jgroh


    Sep 14, 2007
    This was my route. I did originals bands in my teens to mid 20s. Quit and played at home for years. Wanted to play again and figured my only option was to play covers. Been doing it for years now. And, you can get creative with covers too. I wrote all the music back in my originals bands and thought I would get stifled, but i havent. I can embellish things, and ive taken cover songs and turned them into new arrangements, which is alot of fun too. So, maybe give covers a try, or find some people that need hired guns for recordings ala session work.
  20. onestring


    Aug 25, 2009
    Richmond, CA
    When you say you're a terrible writer and a terrible singer... well, work on that. You obviously need to get your own thing going if you don't want to play covers (I feel the same way) and you can't feasibly hit the road (I get it).

    You know how to write well--the thoughtfulness of your post expressing a rather personal feeling (never mind the complete sentences) is a testament to that. If you are attracted to bands with original music, it probably means that you dig arrangements and writing parts.

    I'd recommend getting off your cants and writing some songs. I don't believe for a minute that you are unable to. There's a gazillion resources out there for getting going. Write a few dozen terrible songs. Then write some good ones. If you really can't sing, it's pretty easy to find someone who can, and maybe they like to write too.

    Set yourself a goal--you could have a set written and a small band ready to go within a year, custom fit for your specific level of gigging and playing in your preferred style.

    Also--I don't get why a band should be in mourning when someone leaves. That seemed a little off to me. When someone quits an active band, business, relationship, club, whatever, it's totally normal to keep going. Maybe write a song about that.

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