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Our bass player left, now what to do....

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Jimmy4string, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. Well i set the goals to play for the new year and I can always tell when someone in the band is getting ready to bail. My spidey senses start acting up. Sure enough our bass player who is really really good decided to part with us. Now this has me thinking. It has been like pushing a rock up a hill to get this band anywhere this year. I may just relegate this band to a garage side project (really what we are now anyway since we rarley gig) and go into a wedding band or gigging bar band. Not a big deal for me really since there is always plenty for me to do on weekends as I love soccer, sporting clays and planning dinner parties. That wedding band idea though jeesh -do i have to sing Ed sheehans "shape of you"??!
  2. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    It sounds like your problem is that you don't have any gigs. If you have gigs, you don't even need formal people in the band -- you can hire people willing to do the gig as needed. I would surmise that's why the bass player, if he is really good, quit. He saw the band was going nowhere due to no gigs.

    If I were you, I'd get some really good players together and do a professional video or recording of three songs, and put them on your website. Then go out and promote the band with those three songs. Don't make everyone reeharse ad naseum. When you get a gig, call them, offer them the pay, and THEN start rehearsing. They will all be down for it, will see you as a credible leader, and will want to be part of the band.

    Ask them all to use their own contacts to refer you people as well you can direct to the band. It's about gigs. Without sales, nothing happens.

    You had this vision of a wedding band, start with it. If you private message me, then I can help you further with some things I normally don't share in an open forum. But if you want to kick off an exciting adventure in part-time music performance productions, drop me a line and I can help you, depending what city you are in...
  3. Thanks Paul some of that is def true and I feel the same. Some of it is some family issues his having with his elderly dad. I am considering some options now but will keep that last part in mind.
  4. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    People come out with excuses all the time. This may or may not be a valid excuse from your bass player. But I have had all kinds of problems myself in the last year, health, family, work, and so have the musicians I work with. But they don't want to let go of a good thing -- something fun that pays. You will be surprised how they can make adjustments in their schedule if money is on the table. And excuses evaporate. I also heard about big sacrifices some of them made in the background AFTER a spate of gigs I booked a while, and was moved by it. Get gigs and money on the table and that's your birth certificate as a leader and as a band.

    If you're not sure if the style of music will sell, or if you can even get weddings, don't be afraid to have different videos of different styles of music with the same musicians under different band names either.
    Jimmy4string likes this.
  5. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    This. All of this.

    Now that my kids are no longer babies, I have been looking at getting back into being a band member rather than strictly fill-in gigs.

    I have been able to find a DOZEN bands that want to "rehearse" half a dozen times a month (read "Jam at Bob's house) but have no plans for actual gigs.

    I am the opposite. I don't want to play with any band that needs more than half a dozen rehearsals TOTAL (even less makes more sense) before getn on stage.

    As much as I hate the thought, I'm thinking of starting the band myself. Oy :banghead:

    I think more players feel this way than you think. Stop all of this silly REHEARSING and go play shows. If you don't have ANY shows, stop rehearsing every week. It only wears people down. What's the point?

    (This rant has nothing to do with bands that are literally formed to be garage bands just for fun. If that's your thing, have fun with it. Go nuts.)

    1) Find the people.
    2) Figure out a set list whether that takes emails or a meeting.
    3) Set a specific deadline bybwhich everyone will habe the first set nailed down.
    4) Meet once to run first set.
    5) Rinse and repeat for two more sets.
    6) Go play shows.
    7) Do a rehearsal every few months to nail down more complicated new material. (All other new material should be fun through in sound check and just played. There is no need to rehearse a simple song.)

    A new band in 7 steps. :thumbsup:
    Ekulati, Oddly and Jimmy4string like this.
  6. TexasHeat


    Jun 6, 2015
    Man, there are plenty of bass players in Austin. Find a new one on BandMix. Talk to the other members to see where they are at. If someone isn't interested or have the time to gig, then find a replacement for him, too. If you gotta bring one new member up to speed, might as well bring multiple new people up to speed.

    I'd almost be interested in helping out but the band I'm in now is working out great; in part due to some advice you gave a few months ago. We had our 3rd gig recently and it went well. I will let you know when we play in town again.
    Jimmy4string likes this.
  7. Seanto


    Dec 29, 2005
    This occurred with a project i left last year. The overall morale was low enough that nobody had the energy to work in another bass player and the group folded. The passion just wasn't there. Group had pretty good gigging potential too.

    To me this is just an indicator that the band was going downhill anyways, and this was just the straw needed to break the camels back.
    Jimmy4string likes this.
  8. QORC


    Aug 22, 2003
    Elberon, New Jersey
    yup, no gigs has what sent me to the exit several times in the past years. If there is nothing on the schedule, after 2-3 months, I'm done. Not worth my time.
    Jimmy4string likes this.
  9. I let those guys know that i will continue to market our band and look for gigs but relegating it more as a side project while I look for activley gigging bands. I invited the bass player to stick around as a sub.
  10. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    It sounds like that band will still be there when you come back to it as no one has the energy to book gigs. Unlike some of the other advice, though, I don't believe you need three sets to get started. You need a video with three songs to promote it and put all your energy into that. It also has the advantage of revealing who is a big talker and who is a person of action. If the video is up there, and no one does anything to book but you, you know know it's going to be a one man show from a business perspective. I've been in bands where it took 6 months to reveal the hand of the the big talkers.

    If you get a fast gig, then approach a different, established band that has the right sound and ask to be their bass player for it, or take a few strong/key members (like their singer and a guitarist) and use your own people for the rest of the band. Operate under the name of the band you did the video under in order to avoid confusing the client. Video that performance too and add it to your arsenal of marketing materials.

    Next thing you know, you have a call list of cats who can do the job, and you aren't locked into turning down gigs when one person isn't available -- you've got a network of musicians on which to call. Sometimes even multiple singers of your choice.

    It can get you to the point you don't even have to check with everyone to make sure they can make the dates you book. Just book 'em and fill 'em with with the musicians that are most suitable.

    And then every tom, dick and harry wants to work with you because you're person who makes things happen.
  11. That is all good except one thing i am the singer. My bass skills are passable at best.
    I do well as singer and front man. :)
  12. Got a CL hit for a bass player. Turns out he is 17! Dont care about age -just cannot get him into bars to play.
    In other news a Wedding band agent wants me to submit a video of singing to some of their dance songs like Bruno Mars etc.. I am not sure I am ready for gigging each weekend for 3 nights though. I am more of a couple of gigs a month kind of guy...
  13. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    Some wedding bands make some serious $$$. Just sayin'.
    Jimmy4string and Nephilymbass like this.
  14. You know you joke, I did about wedding bands for years. Then I started hearing what the surgeons I work with have paid for bands to play at their kids weddings. Some were thousands of dollars. Which made me connect the dots about some of the comments I’ve seen online. I remember Janek Gwizdala said in a vlog he doesn’t like playing wedding gigs but has in the past when he desperately needed the money.
  15. I spent all Saturday morning practicing Uptown Funk and "Cake by the ocean" THEN went to my rock band practice. :)
    That dance song transition is tough for a rock guy. Sunday my voice was shot :) :)
    Bassed in NZ likes this.
  16. lfmn16

    lfmn16 SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    I don't know about your area, but in my area the few open positions in good corporate/wedding bands are extremely competitive. If you have any thoughts about tunes you don't want to play, it's probably not going to work. In a wedding band, a good front man is as much MC/Host as they are singer.
    Ekulati and Jimmy4string like this.
  17. The dang drummer didnt show up Saturday for our first audition guy.
    Not a good start!
  18. Change your name to the White Spites and book a gig at a VA retirement home.

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