My band - I'm just not feeling the love...

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Forgetful Jones, Aug 8, 2005.

  1. Hey folks :)

    I'm in a cover-band at the moment, as well as an original songwriting/recording project (I don't play bass in that one).

    I've done the covers thing before, up to 4 nights a week a few years ago. After a long-ish break, I was enticed back into the fold, and after a long rehearsal/gestation, we've started playing gigs again.

    The problem is simple: I'm not having any fun. I don't look forward to rehearsals, I don't look forward to gigs! Prt of the problem is my day job I think - I quit full time work and went back to university to complete my degree a year or so back, so I'm studying 4 days, and working on the weekend to pay the bills... so time is at a premium, and most gigs are Fridays and Saturdays, so we finish up and load out at around 2:30am, and I have to be at work by 9, which means a maximum of 5 hours sleep by the time I factor in travel.

    I usually enjoy the gigs once I get there and get playing, but even that is starting to become a drag - i'm just irritable. The guitarist will ad-lib a part that should really be played verbatim, the drummer will speed up or slow down and lose the groove (only slightly - he's a pretty good player, just standard "gig tempo" stuff) and I know that these are not huge issues - hell, I make my share of mistakes too - yet I get very very annoyed about this stuff.

    Ultimately I think I have too much on my plate. Study, job, the original music (I'm currently trying to lay down keyboard tracks at home, but it's hard to steal enough time), learning new covers, rehearsing, and trying to maintain some modicum of a normal social life (My girlfriend really only sees me when we happen to be at home at the same time... and that is not a situation I'm remotely satisfied with). Something's gotta give, and... well... the covers are looking like the chopping block candidate.

    I guess my question to the forum folk, is how would you feel if someone left your band over a reason as simple as "no longer enjoying it"? Obviously I'd give them reasonable notice, and help to get someone else up to speed, but I sing about 1/4 of the repertoire as well, so I will to some extent be leaving them in a tricky spot. Part of me says "I can't let that be my problem", but then the other part doesn't want to leave these guys in the lurch - they are friends, and the drummer is in my originals project too... I don't want to burn these bridges!
  2. 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
    Interesting you should mention it. I just quit my band tonight for those very reasons. See "I feel like a bullet in the gun of Robert Ford."
  3. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    Personally, I can't think of many better reasons to leave than that. I just went through this in the last couple of weeks, but luckily a Talkbasser friend wanted to start gigging again some, and he's already done a couple of gigs, while I'll run out the ones I'd booked previously. I'll play sub as needed in the future, but my other band is a higher priority for now, and going from a gig with one band straight to one with the other one with a 20 minute break after an hour's drive last week felt like the wrong way to have fun playing music.

    I'm with you on not burning bridges though. You never know what the future may bring.
  4. I did notice that topic, and though it had a ring of familiarity. Hope time bears out your decision as the right one.

    I'm in the library at Uni right now, killing time because I have rehearsal this evening in three hours, and it's too far to go home and then come out again. I would be infinitely happier if I could just go home now, hang out with my girl, and work on my own stuff. This is not the way its meant to be. I used to love rehearsals!

    I think, ultimately, I'd probably be doing the guys a favour...
  5. MichaelScott


    Jul 27, 2004
    Moorpark CA
    You would be doing the right thing if you quit. The only thing you have a limited amount of in life is time. You can never get that hour you just wasted back. Every second you should spend on something meaningful that will give you pleasure.
  6. Blueszilla

    Blueszilla Bassist ordinaire

    Apr 2, 2003
    The Duke City
    So it had nothing to do with the shirts?

    As to the original question, if you're not having fun with it, get out. I played in a regionally known band for just over two years. When I was asked to join, it was a big deal (to me, anyway) since I beat out several other 'veterans' interested in the gig. It gave me a bit of pride to think I was chosen out of a group of several good players. I learned a lot about groove, playing behind the beat, and no goofing off. What I thought was the greatest opportunity, turned out to be not much fun at all. When the chance to leave came up, I jumped on it (not my choice, drummer left). I was sad that the band was done, but after a few weeks I noticed I felt better and going to gigs was fun again. I mean you're doing it for fun more than anything else, so if it ain't fun, sooner or later you'll leave. You're already question little things, not looking forward to gigs or rehearsal. I'm sure you'll figure it out.

    Good luck.
  7. FriscoBassAce


    Dec 29, 2004
    Frisco, Texas
    Independent Manufacturers Representative
    Sounds like the reason you're not enjoying it is because it's stealing valuable time away from your life. I've been in that "over-extended" place before too....something always has to give.

    Talk to your bandmates....tell them what's going on. What if they only gigged a couple of times a month as a compromise? If you have to go even after talking with them, don't leave them hurting....make sure you carry through on your commitments for upcoming gigs. Maybe offer to sub for them in the future if they need it.

    Best of luck to you!
  8. RD


    Jun 17, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Multitasking is what everybody does and is expected to do. We don't feel right if we're not multitasking. If everybody is doing it, shouldn't I? Sounds like the original poster may be doing a bit too much of it.
    While you are in school, focus on school, as best you can. It is harder than you might think, certainly was for me. Pare down, keep it simple till graduation. You need to be able to focus on the information that you will need to build the life you want. Otherwise, those bits will get past you and you will be in a cover band to pay for the bare essentials, if at all. Then, enjoyment may have nothing to do with it.
    If you have music in you, it is not going to disappear while you finish your degree. You can nurture the music in a less time intensive way, till you finish the degree and get a decent job. A decent job means you can have fewer time constraints in your life and hopefully more enjoyment.
    I don't think you want to quit because you are not enjoying it. Rather, it is because it can't be that high a priority now. You can't be all these things all the time!
    Do I sound like your father now? Then enough!
  9. 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
    The shirts were symptomatic of other underlying issues.
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I would probably quit if I were you, but let me give you some advice: I have caused a lot of bands I was in to break up when I first started because I was too anal about the parts everyone else played. As long as they play well and you're going over with the crowd, don't get too wrapped up in the note-for-note thing and the pickiness over what the others play. As you said, you do it, too, and probably have just as many parts that bug someone else as theirs do you. And that's not wrong...that's just the way people interpret other people's songs. Save your nitpicking for when it counts, like complaining about the monitors or how much money you're making.
  11. Bassmanbob

    Bassmanbob Supporting Member

    This is a wise post. I played in Junior High (I hear it's called Middle School now), High School, college and my first semester of podiatry school. Boy was that a rude awakenning! I just had to stop for a while. I put down a new bass six months after I bought it, and picked it up again 14 years later. You don't have to totally give it up, and you don't have to allow it to last 14 years either. Concentrate on school, and please get some sleep. I can't say it enough. I'm glad I did. Now I'm playing again, and I have the job I want.