Please point out the red flag in my response

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by comatosedragon, May 21, 2022.

  1. comatosedragon

    comatosedragon Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 12, 2014
    Rockingham VA {616}
    I know some people will think this is foolish or a waste of time. I am also aware that things like this are posted quite frequently on this board.

    That being stated, I still would truly value input on this matter.

    Two months ago, I was browsing craigslist for band and/or jam opportunities (please don't point out that Craigslist is the red flag). My geographical area generally has very very posts, maybe one or two a month.

    I found this listing:
    Intermediate jazz guitar player in <AREA> looking for other jazz musicians for occasional jam sessions and, perhaps, some low pressure gigs. Horns, bass, keyboard, drummer, or other guitar players are welcome to reply. I enjoy playing standards, comping, trading off solos, etc. Again, very low pressure.

    So I contacted the poster, especially tantalized by the last line of their add.

    I received a response, and found out that the poster is a teacher at a nearby university. I explained my situation:

    I am a male in my 40's, playing alone 14+ years, extremely limited band experience. More into classic rock than jazz, but just wanting to get out there and play. The positives are I own all my own gear, have my own transportation, and no children, so I have very few other commitments. I mentioned I'm going through a "Steely Dan" kick right now, that might be considered a bit jazzy.

    He replied back:
    First of all, don’t be intimidated that I’m a professor - I’m a <FIELD> professor not a music professor! And you are correct, just playing in a low stress, non-judgmental environment is the best way to learn. You can only play along with recorded music in your practice room for so long and then you’ve got to get out there. Being able to read music on a fundamental level helps. If you see a Dm7, A7, Gmaj7 on a chord chart and can find the D, the A, and the G on your fretboard, you’re halfway there!
    I’ll be back in touch soon. Have a happy Easter.

    (This email has all his professional info and a picture, it is easy to verify that he is indeed a professor where he says he is.)

    A week or so later and a third response:
    Dear <comatosedragon>, <P2>, and <P3>,
    Greetings to the three of you. Thanks again for responding to my Craigslist post about a jazz jam session. It looks like we have two bass players (P3 and comatosedragon), saxophone (P2), and guitar (me). There might be a student or two at <COLLEGE> who would be interesting in sitting in as well. I have blind copied each of you on this email because I didn’t get your permission to share your email addresses with the others.
    If everyone is in agreement, one possibility is to meet and play in the band room at <COLLEGE>. That would keep those in <TOWN> from having to drive all the way to <CITY>. After graduation next weekend, the band room will be pretty empty for the rest of the spring and most of the summer. We have music stands, amps for bass and keyboard, and a nice drum kit (if a drummer pops up). There’s also plenty of parking right next to the building, so there wouldn’t be much walking.
    The college is in final exams right now and we have graduation next weekend. Give me a couple of weeks to get through this end of the semester “crunch", and then we can schedule something.
    If you are still interested, would you all email me your preferences for days of the week and time? For example, do you prefer weekend afternoons, weekend evenings, weekday evenings, etc.? In the meantime, I select five or six tunes and make copies of the lead sheets for those who would like them

    When I saw this, I got excited and immediately sent a response. I admit, when I'm nervous I tend to get flustered or try to find something "intelligent to say".

    I sent this message:
    I think meeting and playing at the college is a good idea.
    I work 3rd shift, so I guess I'm going to be the most 'difficult' member; but then again I am sure that I am the least experienced, so maybe there's an interesting dichotomy there.
    I get off around 8am, so for me; Mon-Wed I am available from 9am-noon. Thursdays do not work for me. Fridays and Saturdays work the best for me; any time should be fine as long as I have notice. I generally visit my mother on Sundays, but I can make arrangements if the other members prefer to meet on Sunday.
    I would like copies of the lead sheets of the songs you selected; that would be very helpful. Although I'm certain a lead sheet is written in musical notation (which I can not read, but I have to start somewhere I guess) I will at least be able to find online sources to help me figure it out.
    I may even be able to find a song or two transposed for Rocksmith, which has been my learning tool for the better part of a decade.
    Thank you

    I have been ghosted since.
    Obviously, there is no way to know someone's mind, but I am curious:
    If you had posted this add and received my response, what is the red flag that jumps out at you?

    Was it Rocksmith? My poor attempt at a joke? Or maybe he just knows 2 bass player is too many, especially if one is as inexperienced as me?

    It just feels like his teaching background set off his spider-sense about me or something. IDK.

    Thanks for your input folks.
    jamro217 and DJ Bebop like this.
  2. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    This guy seems pretty professional. I don't think ghosting is a common practice in these circles. He most likely is used to telling people they did not make the cut and has no problems telling you.
  3. bassinflorida

    bassinflorida turn that dang thing down

    Jan 27, 2014
    Tampa, FL
    You may have provided TMI. It happens.
  4. Nothing stood out as a red flag to me. I wouldn't take it personally, though. Something may have come for him - he mentioned end of the semester crunch, for example. Or maybe something happened in his personal life.

    In any case, best to leave it be.
  5. fu22ba55

    fu22ba55 Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2009
    He's a professor, it's exams time and graduation. I imagine he's just busy?

    No real red flags in your response. Rocksmith could be percieved as one, but this guy sounds pretty laid back and open to people of all skill levels, so I imagine he's just busy w school.
  6. comatosedragon

    comatosedragon Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 12, 2014
    Rockingham VA {616}
    This I thought of also. I am certainly guilty of this.
    Thank you!
    jamro217, ColdEye, db59 and 1 other person like this.
  7. BigDrew


    Jun 1, 2016
    I think it’s probably just the end of the semester. However, he may have been scared off by your schedule. I hope you work it out…sounds like fun and a good learning experience.
  8. steve_ss

    steve_ss Shiny, let's be bad guys. Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2016
    Southern NJ, USA
    How long has it been since you last heard anything? Could be he is busy with work. Send a polite and brief "Hi, how's it going" email. Can't hurt.

    I'm going to stand up for Rocksmith. Without sounding like an advertisement for it, I've been using it for five+ years now and love every minute. I'm not comfortable playing in front of others and apologize to my loving wife every time she has to hear me play. I don't think there is anything wrong with Rocksmith.
    bpc, MGCollis, King Harvest and 4 others like this.
  9. buldog5151bass

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

    Oct 22, 2003
    My guess is your schedule. You can't make evenings during the week, and if you ever plan anything for a weekend, you are out for a week.
  10. rtav

    rtav Millionaire Stuntman, Half-Jackalope

    Dec 12, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    I was a professor, too - but I can’t imagine why that would EVER MATTER IN A BAND. My last bands keyboard player was also an associate professor at Northwestern U - and she NEVER brought that up, either.

    The guy reminds me of those PhDs who insists on being called “doctor” by EVERYONE.

    Dude needs to get over himself.
  11. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    What does he need to get over. I didn't see anything in any of the correspondence that suggests he is full of himself.
    dSay, viper4000, viribus and 16 others like this.
  12. rtav

    rtav Millionaire Stuntman, Half-Jackalope

    Dec 12, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    "Don't be intimidated that I'm a professor."

    Why would anyone assume that someone would be intimidated? What's the concern? Why even mention it?
    Geo Monty, Jmartz, jamro217 and 5 others like this.
  13. jmlee

    jmlee Catgut? Not funny. Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2005
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    Don't be put off by the fellow describing himself as a professor. (I speak as a professor.) I bring what I do for a living up from time-to-time during a distance bass deal to simply reassure the buyer that I'm a respectable member of society and that, quite apart from my home address information, I can be found and recognized as being on the level via my professional address. It does reassure some buyers. In a new band situation, people sometimes are put off by the thought of playing with a professor, a physician, a company president, whatever. Sometimes it's thinking they may have nothing in common with that bandmate, or thinking that the bandmate may be too busy to commit to a serious musical project. Either way, putting that on the table up front is more courtesy than bragging.
    dSay, Fuzzbass, bassobrutto and 9 others like this.
  14. He mentioned there were two bassist that responded. I was just watching a video earlier today for some reason on YouTube not sure why I clicked but it was from 2005 and it was Chicago and Earth Wind and Fire. (Maybe that’s why big fans of both) and Chicago opened with a song and everyone in both bands were plying the song except Verdine White was just dancing. With his bass in hand! First thought was the Chicago bassist should just go sit down and let Verdine do his thing! I’d much rather hear him play! (Now if it was early Peter Cetera bass playing then that’s a different story) Then they did an EWF song and Verdine played the bass.
    So two drummers on every song. Like 6 horn players. Multiple keys and guitars. Musicians everywhere. Singers etc. but only one bassist on each tune.
    I also saw a video the other day of Greg Bissonete on a tour with two bassist, Victor Wooten and I’m sorry I forgot the other bass players name. It sounded awesome. Just that trio. So it can be done. Especially in jazz. But it’s not done often and perhaps because of your limited schedule he went with the other bassist? I think most people would assume only one bassist is needed and in fact that is exactly how Chicago and EWF approached it.

    That said. He did say after graduations and exams. Not there yet. So being that he’s a professor he’s VERY busy right now. I think it’s more likely just that.

    My question to you is why not reach out? A short email. Something unassuming like “I know your a busy guy right now but can’t wait to get my hands on those charts.”
    Or “so is it safe to say you will be starting this up near the beginning of June or so?”
    Keep in mind he’s really busy right now so keep it short.
    My guess is he will answer.
    Geo Monty likes this.
  15. Red Flag : "lead sheet is written in musical notation (which I can not read..."
    BassChuck, mrcbass, jamro217 and 14 others like this.
  16. The Bass Abides

    The Bass Abides

    Mar 3, 2019
    Sorry to interject, but...
    Millionaire Stuntman - Half - Jackalope! Get a Life Rules!!! haha!
    rtav likes this.
  17. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    He got responses from two bass players, one of whom has a difficult work schedule and apparently isn't even quite sure what a lead sheet is. I'm not trying to be mean, I'm just trying to answer your question. :)
    dSay, mrcbass, jamro217 and 10 others like this.
  18. J Wilson

    J Wilson

    Apr 22, 2022
    An Undisclosed Location
    It may have been something you said, and it could just as easily be something or someone else. Most anyone here had been through this, and can easily happen again. I never knew what happened.

    When these things happen as texts or other avenues where you don't meet in person. It's too easy to not really communicate and even easier for them to not really express what they're really after.

    Dust2Dust and George Dennis like this.
  19. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    A detailed lack-of-availability is always a red flag.

    dougjwray, Qlanq, fhm555 and 19 others like this.
  20. It is still busy time for him, this is a side project for fun after graduation.

    May not get an "update" until then, unless you ask for the charts and or is this the middle of June you were thinking to get together?

    Do not be worried about the other bass player, they may not show up or want to stick it out after the first get together.
    It is not always about how good you are at playing but your willingness to be there and grow.

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