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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 at 11:40 AM.

  1. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    Didn't say that you liked your decision - you made an adult call, which is not always easy. Nobody is attacking you here - just pointing out, that in the end it was your call, not theirs. Again sorry you didn't like the way it ended
    arbiterusa, Wisebass and LBS-bass like this.
  2. dr doofie

    dr doofie

    Jul 6, 2017
    Jersey (New)
    Don’t let the dream die; alter the dream to fit your circumstances.
    I’m pushing 50 and the absolute last thing I would desire is to be in a nonstop touring arena playing band. At 25 it defined me. Life happens and you adapt and roll. And you will.
  3. Bunk McNulty

    Bunk McNulty It is not easy to do simple things correctly. Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2012
    Northampton, MA
    Let's see...you had to leave the band in May because you didn't want to tour. Seems very reasonable to me. But it is now August. Dunno about you, but my contract stipulates that when I part company with a band, I have 60 days to mope, and then I'm obliged to get off my butt and do something.:D

    Go to some open jams. You will never get past square one if you don't find people to connect with. And take it from me, you never know who you're going to run into who might be in a position to do you some good. Or better still, put you in a position to do them some good. No situation is perfect, but any situation that gives you an opportunity to grow as a player (like learning unfamiliar material) is worthwhile, and I would think be far preferable to sitting around contemplating giving everything up. Best of luck!
  4. dr doofie

    dr doofie

    Jul 6, 2017
    Jersey (New)
    It’s totally normal to keep going, of course. I don’t think the OP is turning into a shrinking violet over it ;)
    It’s the time and effort invested in the relationship that hurts, not losing some gig or some position. There’s always another gig and position. Memories are created in tight bands cause they’re like family.
    Onestring, you sound like a goal driven, take control kind of guy, and I admire that so much in others cause I lack it in myself. when I hear it I feel like “yeah!” Why not? :)
    onestring likes this.
  5. Robscott


    Mar 20, 2017
    Tonbridge UK
    I feel your pain buddy! First things first, you made the right call putting family before band, however hard that is. Second thing, you don't want to play in a covers band, but you also don't want to kick your heels playing to an empty bedroom, and it won't make you a better player to do that. If it was me, I would get into any reasonable band for the time being just to keep it turning over, and for the joy of playing with other musicians. You can pick up on your musical ambitions later in life. For now, enjoy your family, it's gone in a flash, but also get a gig, any gig, so you keep the flame alive :bassist:
  6. Yes! Jazz allows you to create your own bass lines! In fact, you can create your own jazz! Jazz-a-ma-tazz!

    You only need a duo (piano and bass) or trio to play jazz. Myself personally, I would have to work my #$%$# off just to get good enough to keep up with those jazz cats. Holy cow! Actually, to be honest I would have to study with someone to really pull it off. That would keep you busy, wouldn't it?
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019 at 4:35 PM
  7. LBS-bass

    LBS-bass Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2017
    What would that recognition have looked like for you? I get that you feel unappreciated for what you gave. That's fair. But the other side of the coin is that they were left having to scramble to replace a player, which is a chore. So you left them with some work to do, and appreciation for your contributions probably wasn't the first thing on their minds. I know that when someone leaves one of my bands, ideally we all go out for a beer and thank them for the time they spent with us. It isn't always like this, though, because sometimes there are bad feelings.

    I agree that you're going to have to get proactive. Before I picked my bass up again and started playing, I used to sit here every week listening to my husband's band practice in our garage and feel a little bit left out, since I knew I could do what they were doing but had just given up my interest in it. Nowadays he's the one trying to keep up. My musical friends didn't just come to me from nowhere, I had to get up, do some advertising and networking and make it all happen. You can do it, too. Get out there, put some ads up, go to some jams or open mic nights, whatever fits with what you do. You'll connect with a new bunch of players and put this recent thing behind you. Just make sure you're up front with everyone about your limitations. There are lots of weekend warriors out there with good jobs and families. You just need to find them.
  8. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    San Diego, CA
    The difference between "I just told them what I could and couldn’t do tour wise and that if they needed to play that many out of town shows I’d understand if they wanted to find someone else" and "I quit" is zero.

    I'll repeat what I said earlier with an emphasis on the important part: You chose this course of action, you chose your lifestyle, you chose to prioritize the things that you think are important and it was not lost on your former bandmates that of all the things you chose to prioritize, their vision of the future, their goals, their ambitions - none of those things were on your list.

    As far as empathy goes, well, you made a choice and choices have consequences. You could have quit your job, left your wife and gone out on a money-losing tour, chasing the glory. You wouldn't be the first, hell, you wouldn't be the thousandth guy to do that. Lots of people have, and pretty much all of them are now old, single and living in shared housing or in a vehicle. That was and still is an option for you. I don't recommend it.
    Nevada Pete and ELG60 like this.
  9. There is "rock star" and there is "quitting for good", but those aren't the only choices. You can still play originals, record them, and accomplish something at a local level without being forced to choose one of the two extremes. I'm way beyond the "sell by" date as far as being rich and famous goes, but my originals band still records and plays fun shows and I call that a win.

    What I would do is try to keep in touch with local musicians and talk to them about what you want to do. Open mics and music shops and so on. Even Craigslist to find people to jam with and toss ideas around. Sooner or later you might wind up with a new project that fits your needs.
  10. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    If you have no background in it, it would. But there are a number of standards that are basically blues form, often with different chords in the turnaround. Songs like All Blues, Freddie the Freeloader, Watermelon Man. Take a listen, and tell me you couldn't back a jazz quartet with a little work. I'm a rock guy, but drummer invited me a decade ago, and I keep learning and enjoying.

    The other good thing about playing jazz is you can play with different people. I have a regular group (drums, bass, keyboards, trumpet, and sax). But if someone can't make a rehearsal or gig, we have others who step in.
    Spectrum and Nevada Pete like this.
  11. edencab


    Aug 14, 2013
    Toronto, On
    they may have a new bass player but I bet they miss you...we had a drummer who left and while the new drummer is equally a great guy, and a better drummer, we still miss the other guy too
    Spectrum likes this.
  12. RedWire75

    RedWire75 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2017
    St. Louis, Missourah
    Literally, “hey this is our bass players last show with us”. That’s it. And there was no scrambling required. I played the remainder of the shows booked.
  13. Tnavis


    Feb 25, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    I've been in a similar boat. It's tough to find bands that are the right fit of people, music, and commitment level, ESPECIALLY when you just want to do originals. During the times when I've waited for something to appear on local Facebook groups or Craigslist, if I was getting frustrated trying to write, I would work on practicing. I started working on transcribing bass lines, then shooting playthrough videos of them. Aside from keeping you playing, it also keeps your ears in shape, and you can work on video and recording skills, which never hurt.

    I commented on a similar thread a while back about how I've let a lot of decent gigs go by because they weren't perfect. There's a danger there, of course, in that you fear you're getting too selective. At the same time, I would argue that you not settle for just anything in order to keep playing. There is nothing worse than having to drag yourself to a rehearsal that you're not invested in.
  14. tradernick

    tradernick Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2008
    Sorry to hear about this change. The thing is, as you get older it'll be harder to find situations that fit the bill.

    Maybe you're not as terrible a writer as you think. Have you ever spent 6 months focusing on writing to the exclusion of everything else (I mean everything other than your life and family and job commitments, i.e. spending every spare minute honing your craft)? If you haven't, you're not doing what 90% of successful writers had to do at some point (most of them for a lot longer than 6 months). Writing songs is something that takes practice.

    Also you can try to find a writing partner who's willing to accept whatever you bring.
  15. vvvmmm


    Dec 6, 2016
    When I hadda get outta the live thing due to family and a move to the musical wastelands of the Chi-town souf 'burbs where tributes and covers are king, I changed my emphasis to writing and recording. But I still need interaction, and I found that thru developing ties with other musos willing to work over the 'net. I regularly (constantly) collab with a guy in the musical wastelands of the London 'burbs, and a bit more irregularly (once or a cuppla projects every year or two) with a guy in Austin, a guy near Frisco, a guy in Edinborough and one in Sauchie (the latter two in Scotland). And there have been other one-offs ...

    And now the kids is growed, I've started a new band, (lookin' for a drummer I'm posting about here in another thread).

    But I still do the 'net thing, and will as long as they wanna.
  16. LBS-bass

    LBS-bass Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2017
    Maybe they didn't realize you felt attached to the band. I get that too. I was recently involved in a project that folded because the guitarist and drummer were clashing. I really liked the band and the musicianship and thought the project had potential, but the only person who has contacted me about the drummer quitting was the drummer who quit, who I was getting to be good friends with. The BL and MD (guitarist) have not been in touch with me at all.

    I felt really sad about the drummer quitting and the project folding, although I understand why he did it. It hit me harder than I imagined it would. But me? I always knew I was just a hired hand for them. The drummer though? He and the guitarist go back many years, so I'm sad that it ended this way.

    I guess my point, if I have one, is that these things can be emotional. Just something we have to go through.
  17. onestring


    Aug 25, 2009
    Richmond, CA
    Thanks man, but I am really not that guy. We see a mountain in our way, some people plow right through it, some go around it (that's usually my lazy-ass way), and some get stuck looking at the mountain and can't see anything else.

    Not saying this is the OP, I was just thinking that in this moment he may not see the amazing options he has as a creative person (which he clearly is). When he says he can't write and he can't sing and he can't tour and he doesn't want to do covers... that's a lot of no. I think every one of us has been there at one time or another! :banghead:
  18. Yellow Bang66

    Yellow Bang66

    Jun 5, 2019
  19. Koshchei


    Mar 17, 2019
    Peterborough, ON
    Might be a good time to learn some theory and harmony so that you CAN write music? And/or take vocal lessons. Then look for some likeminded folks who might want to record and play the occasional gig, but not tour. If you have a bit of disposable income, there's nothing stopping you from improving yourself as a musician.
    fishdreams and Charlzm like this.
  20. fishdreams

    fishdreams Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    Endorsing: Arkham Vacuum Tube Amplification
    I've been there. Moved to the USA and after a while it was the day job came first, building a new life, so I quit playing for 7 years. Primarily an originals player, I had also done the tribute/cover thing and wasn't into that anymore either.

    The following things got me moving again. Not saying you should do this but it worked for me.

    -Do develop some sort of writing. Songwriting is a craft and it can be learned. Go sit behind the guitar, piano, or build tunes with samples in garageband. Or just start with lyrics. Find some courses or workshops. Lots of people also write together or get in sessions to workshop ideas with each other. It can be a fantastic outlet, and it kept me alive musically in my 7 years of drought.
    -Also, it is a good scene to get into (singer songwriters). Because they'll all need a bass player at some point and hey, who is there to save the day? You.
    -Listen to new music everyday.
    -Sell all your gear and keep one bass. (I actually sold all my basses when I started playing again but that was not the best idea after all)
    -Find a great music teacher (not necessarily a bass teacher) and reinvent yourself musically. Be open and learn to play all over again, being busy with music first and bass a distant second.
    -Allow yourself to be enthusiastic about music you had no idea about. It could be as simple as listening to Rick Beato's What makes This Song Great Youtube series. I really don't care for FM rock so I stepped into the Boston ones reluctantly and I never knew that Tom Scholz writes and plays fantastic KILLER bass parts. Surprising yourself is the best gift you can give yourself.

    Hey man, good luck. Music is for life, it will work itself out if you let it.
    Koshchei likes this.

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