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Ready to get out...(long post) please read

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by MicG, Mar 15, 2009.

  1. MicG

    MicG Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2006
    Garden City, Michigan
    Hey guys,

    I'm really fed up with this situation right now, my apologies for the long post...here's the story:

    Ok, first off i've known my guitar player for about 8 years (since high school). We've been in two other bands together in the past and are pretty good friends. The two bands in the past both fell apart due to lack of a proper practice space and/or commitment, so my friend and I just kept jammin' together without a 2nd guitarist or drummer.

    In November my guitar player got in touch with a friend from college who he knew could play guitar. My friend invited him to come jam with us. Things went well and the guy started jamming with us regularly.

    In December we all talked about it and decided to start looking for a drummer. I hit up Craigslist and found a guy in a week that lived reasonably close to us all and was into our genre (alt. rock). I called him and (long story short) things worked out and we form an alt. rock cover band. We started learning songs and set up a routine practice schedule.

    In January we find out that our 2nd guitarist took an internship in NYC and would be gone for the next 4 months. Our primary guitarist (my friend) declares that he doesn't want to be the primary singer/frontman forever but is willing to do so for as long as it takes to get another frontman/second guitarist or until our original 2nd guitarist returns from NYC. to give 'em some help, I start picking up vocals where I can.

    By February we've learned 6 songs and find out that our drummer has a memory problem; something about an accident a long time ago. Either way, the drummer knows some guys from his days in high school running an open mic night at a local bar and tells us we should go out there and play. We agree. The next week that we had planned to practice for the open mic (which was the next day), we show up and find that our drummer is gone to Vegas for the weekend- no practice means no open mic night. A week later we end up practicing and play 5 songs at the open mic the next day. People liked us and we had fun playing. I then find out that my guitarist can't make practice for the next 2 weeks due to his job.

    It is now March, we still know the same 6 songs. A few weeks ago my drummer mentions something about being dissatisfied at our progress. I give him another 3 songs to start learning and pass the word on to my guitarist who tells me he will be gone again (personal vacation) during the last week of March.

    Today: We set a practice time for 5:30pm because my drummer is out with friends for a St. Patricks day parade. Me and my guitarist show up at 5:30, his family member lets us in, we start setting up- no drummer (this is at his house). 6:00 he shows up, half drunk but still able to play. We start rehearsing some of the new stuff that I told him to learn...he can't play/ doesn't know the parts, so we just practice what we already know until I just say that we've got 15 min. and practice is over. Practice ends half an hour later.

    I'm trying to figure out a way to discuss my dissatisfaction with the whole situation. My drummer is a good person and a great musician, but half the time he asks me how his part goes, whats the name of that song, whats our setlist again?, etc...Talked to my guitarist friend after practice today and doesn't really see a problem- just that we should not have practiced today, infact, he thinks that i'm making the problem- constantly pushing and worrying about the direction of the group since the very beginning.

    All of us understand that the goal of this band is to ultimately be an alt. rock cover band who performs or "gigs" at least twice a month. We're not looking to be rock stars or make a living off it. Now, I'm in my 5th year of college, my drummer is in school as well, I've got my priorities just like everyone else...but why do I get the feeling that this is not going to work out the way its going :confused:

    Thx for your time
  2. welcome to the world of the musician...lol

    I'm 40 and in almost the same boat.....

    now you know why bands fall apart

    Stiff upper-lip the right few guys will eventually come along and all will be right with the world.....in the meantime relax and have fun your young
  3. Skarekrough


    Aug 7, 2006
    Fire everyone....start new.

    Seriously....get comfortable having to pick up after your drummer. I don't care how good he is when he's on...you need to ask yourself how long you're going to be able to do that until it becomes a major issue.

    I would say.....get a rehearsal space.


    Because when everyone's forced to throw down cash and there's no immediate prospect for making it back they'll bust their tails to get some goals down and accomplishing them.
  4. ErebusBass


    Feb 20, 2008
    Madison, WI
    The drummer is the weak link. He's got to go.

    Second guitarist is in NY. He's gone. Find another.

    If you still want to work with your current guitarist, go for it, but it's obvious that you two aren't on the same page. Either get on the same page, or find another band.
  5. Fred19137


    Jan 23, 2009
    active musician
    sadly the only way to do it is to have great friends who r good. and luck I am srry fer ur troubles. I would advise to stick it out until u can no longer take it and in the mean time advedtise urself and get ur name around in the area. Bands are alway going to have wierd **** going on that is just how it is. I am in a band with my brother and best friend since 6th grade so needless to say there are fights but we all love to pplay with eachother and we have fun so we stay together even when we want to break eachothers faces in. best of luck
  6. BananaKing

    BananaKing Supporting Member

    May 15, 2008
    Vancouver, B.C.
    This is something that happens throughout life, not only in bands, but with friends and school and everything.

    People, and ESPECIALLY musicians, are terribly flaky.

    If it were me, I would tell everyone to get their **** together or up and leave.

    It's one thing to be friends and hang with people for fun and such.

    But if you're serious, and they're not, they have no business wasting your time. Tell them that they need to shape up or find another band.
  7. That's an old song I've heard many times before.
    Remember, a band is a collection of different people with different lives that come together for a common goal of making music.
    Remember, you are only one person in that band. And you can hold your breath till you're blue in the face, drop dead and you won't change them or make them feel the way you do. Accept this and you won't die from stress.
    Remember, being in a band and working with musicians is the best practice for having children. Cause, Children, if you chase them they'll run faster and farther.
    Solution, you should start going out to open jams by yourself and meeting other musicians and playing other types of music so you can satisfy that what is inside of you.
    Why? Cause that's the most important thing.
    Right now you are playing music with your friends. If you stop making music, try to remain friends.
    Bands are like marriages.
    Marriages break up when people stop being friends.
    I've played great music with people I wouldn't call my friends.
  8. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    "I've played great music with people I wouldn't call my friends."

    That's a great line.

    Anyway, to the OP... sounds like you are serious about music and the other guys just aren't serious enough. 6 songs in 3 months is very lame. the fact that your drummer cant remember the six song setlist is even worse.

    I say find another band that needs a bassist and who plays music you like. It seems there is always a need for a bassist. Life is too short for the BS you've been dealing with.
  9. EddiePlaysBass


    Feb 26, 2009
    In a way I can relate to your pain. I started my current band a little over 3 / 4 years ago, mainly as a hobby project and to have an excuse to actually practice. Somewhere down the line we got a bit more serious about it, dropped our entire set list (which we played terribly anyway) and switched genres towards rockabilly. About 1.5 years ago we added a lead guitarist, but since then we're kind of stuck with the same 22 songs we have. Put together it is roughly 1 hour of music and for the past year or so I've been telling the lads that we need more songs and at least 2 hours of music to play out in bars - heck here in Belgium they expect bar bands to play anywhere between 3 and 5 hours.

    I have pleaded, begged and come up with tons of ways to get them to learn new songs but they feel that playing for more than one hour would bore the audience :eyebrow: I'm finally to a point where we'll be learning new material, but we are not half as far as where we could be. The reason for this is simple: 2 guys in the band think that playing more than 60 minutes is boring and those 2 plus number 3 don't really care if we play gigs or just rehearse for the purpose of rehearsing. Me on the other hand, I would love nothing more than to play 3 sets of music every couple of weeks. So our noses don't point in the same direction and until they do, at least one person (me) will be frustrated.

    You can either give in and stop caring, or be very patient like I have and at some point see progress, or take this project for what it is and get a second band with different people, to fullfil your musical needs. I've been trying to do the latter for ages but have ultimately given up for lack of time and commitment from my own part to any given side-project.
  10. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Maybe you could convince the rest of your band to play out with one or two other bands? Maybe split the 3 hours up amongst yours and another band, that way you can start playing out now, as opposed to after learning another 20+ songs. Just a suggestion.
  11. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Its just the ugly world of being in a band. Alot of people start out all excited over an idea. They get together form, and start something thats fun and hot. Most find out there is alot of commitment, time, and work in getting a band together. There are alot of good ideas and people appear driven but after time the blisters start to appear until they ...pop!

    You can do all you can and if the drive and attitudes dont mesh its over or it will continue ...ugly. I would forget about the guitarist thats away and meet with the others. Find out where they are and what they want, then decide is this worth your personal time or not. Only you can answer that.
  12. MicG

    MicG Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2006
    Garden City, Michigan
    Wow, alot of great feedback here..thx guys.

    Yea, I think I need to talk to the other guys. What makes this situation hard is that I've been jammin' with my guitar player for so long, I thought we were on the same page..I guess he's taking exams every few months for his job (he's an actuary) and goes through cycles of intense studying followed by free time. He's told me once already that in terms of his commitment I can either "take it or leave it." His schedule is the reason why we hadn't practiced for the past two weeks. Kinda feels like a strain on the friendship to tell you guys the truth- which hasn't happened before.

    He did say not too long ago that he felt this band was the ideal situation for him. Yesterday after practice he also mentioned something about maybe not learning covers at all but rather just being a Jam band.

    Let me pose a question: whats the chances of a jam band getting out of the basement/doing more than open /mic night material?

    Again, thx.
  13. Jeb


    Jul 22, 2001
    Playing bass is a lot of fun. It can be rewarding and as challenging as you want to make it. But I've learned that the only thing good about being in a band is (as a bass player) thats what you have to do to get your share of the payout after the last set.

    I've been doing this for years, it doesn't get any better (sometimes worse) as time goes on. You deal with the personalities and they deal with yours. There are many talented players out there that seem to not get it. You and I surely contribute to that yet we all seem to take comfort in the notion that the other guy is the problem. We don't all think the same, its as simple as that.

    I love to play the bass, but, 'no likey' being in the band.
  14. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    Let's see....

    Your guitarist/friend has already laid down what he wants out of the band. Since he's an actuary, once he get certified, he'll make good money. That's something he won't give up.

    He's now stated that he would like to be in a jam band so he doesnt' have to practice.

    Your drummer has trouble remembering....what was that?

    The 2nd guitarist is gone for 4 months to NYC....who knows if he'll be back and what he'll want to do then.

    Seems like you really don't have a band of the type you want anymore.

    IMO, it's time to move on. Put your ad on Craigslist. Maybe find a gigging band. As was said before, go out on your own to open mic nights. Check out other groups. When you find one that plays what you want to play, ask them if they know any bands that need a bass player.

    Just a few thoughts.

    Good luck.
  15. EddiePlaysBass


    Feb 26, 2009
    Well I don't know what happened but at yesterday's rehearsal, after having actually worked through the 2 songs we agreed on, the singer pulled out two more that he wanted to do :eek: One of them, we decided, will be our "soundcheck" song. The other one (Great Balls Of Fire) is so short in our rendition that I doubt it lasts for more than a minute (guitar solo included) but it's good fun. I think I'll have to look into the amount of songs we play rather than the length of time. At this rate we'd need 120+ songs for a 3-hour set :grin:

    Oh and apologies to the OP for hijacking his thread.
  16. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    IMO i dont see the "Jam" band thing working. You can search your area and the kind of bands that get work but its not on the top of the list i would guess. I know a guy in my area that has a jam band /stoner rock type band thats pretty good and they play out maybe 3-4 times a years at some of those 4-5 band affairs for no pay.
    I hate to say it but your friend has carved this band into what makes it work for him and his schedule from what you are telling me. The take it or leave it approach tells me he is not too committed or not as much as you would like him to be.
    If you are serious about getting in a gigging band i fear this isnt it. You need drivin people who will progress to the goal..to get better practice and get gigs. If their personal time or commitment for whatever reason is not allowing this to happen you need to decide if this is for you.

    You could always work in a side group or project or sub if you have the time and see if this group takes off. I feel the whole jam thing your friend has layed out is an excuse to make this just a fun get together and less of a commitment.
  17. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    Like the others have said, scour Craigslist for bands needing a bassist. No need to up and quit until you find something that works for you. I think you would be better off stepping into an almost complete band with drive and direction rather than starting your own (learned that the hard way). But, just others have said, welcome to the world of bands. Flakiest people seem be in bands and it doesnt get any easier...Ive been doing this for over 20 years. Find the right people and get out of that situation.
  18. BassistX


    Mar 4, 2008
    Too true, Snakeman! 40 here... same deal. Just abouta try a new lineup this Friday as it turns out. Hang in there mates - the right ones do come along !:bassist:
  19. Well my friend, there you have it. You have answered your own questions. Take it or leave it is pretty definitive in my opinion. Now you decide, take it... OR leave it ! IMHO you do not have a band, 1 gui**** is gone, the drummer is present, but gone also, and the other gui**** has offered you an ultimatum. That ain't a band. That is a collection of knuckleheads. A jam=fusion band may be cool, if you do not really want paying gigs. NOW you must take it, or probably leave it.
  20. blubass


    Aug 3, 2007
    Modesto Ca
    Current: Blackstar, DR strings, Nady. Previous endorsements with: GK, Rotosound, Ernie Ball, Cleartone, EMG, Dean, Dava Picks, Rebel Straps, Dickies
    The reason you know it isn't going to work out, is because you know where your commitment to the band stands, and you have witnessed their commitment, or lack there of. A truely interested and dedicated member of a band will let the bandmates know that he has things going on, when they are going on, and what time it would take away from being in the band. The dedicated member doesn't want to lose his place in the band and puts in the proper communication to ensure the band will run as smooth as it can. You are lacking two of those dedicated members, and should lay down the way it needs to be, or tell them to get lost.

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