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Should I keep playing or take a break?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by soulgroovn, Jun 3, 2003.

  1. soulgroovn


    Oct 25, 2002
    New Haven CT
    Warning: Minor RANT ahead!!

    Well, I've finally quit my band of two years and I think I've hit an all-time low in moral. While the music type was less than challenging (80's hard rock & modern rock covers), the musicianship was top notch and we were drawing 250-300 a night (good for southern CT). However, my reasons for leaving definitely outweight the 4 hours of being a rock star on a saturday night. I guess I just got sick of fighting over set lists, the placement of monitors, drunk/stoned bandmates, back stabbing band wives/girlfriends/band members, arguing and fighting 24x7, so on and so forth. It was not pleasant towards the end.

    So anyway, I received 6 calls when people heard that I quit my last band. I ended up jamming with one group that was pretty good. They played classic rock, funk and blues (which I prefer) and I had a great time but then again, I think it's going to be hard putting 100% into a new project after putting everything I had into the last one. I went home feeling great about the jam but I'm drained musically. I haven't touched my bass in 3 weeks. So my question for all you seasoned players out there - Do I hop right back into it because the calls are still coming or should I take a break to let the fire build up again? Also, how have you guys bounced back after similar situations??


  2. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    I think you should take a short break. Sometimes I get so immersed in music it begins to sufficate me. So, I put it off... put my bass down... just find something else to do for a bit. I always come back refreshed. YMMV
  3. Blueszilla

    Blueszilla Bassist ordinaire

    Apr 2, 2003
    The Duke City
    Good call Gabu, that's good advice IMO. Focus on something else for a while and one day you'll get the itch to play again. Probably happen sooner than you expect. It's always important to get away from something you've been very close to in order to get a perspective.
  4. I've been in the same situation more times than I would care to remember. The last band I was in was in 1996 and that's been my biggest break away from live performance, not counting one other informal sit-in situation to date.

    Before that, I think the average time away from being in a band for me wasn't any longer than or averaged about a year.

    In about three of the situations the band just bassically splintered apart. In three others I just left because of personal, musical, or business differences, or a combo of all three.

    Between 1992 and 1996 was my second-biggest gap between bands because the right situation hadn't existed for me at the time. In 1995 when I was a house DJ I ended up sitting in a few times with some of the bands. One night one of the regular bands, who I had sat in with a few times beforehand, who were on their second or third bassist since they had formed earlier in the year, found themselves without a bassist for the third and final set because the bassist in question was a block up the street at another club getting totally sh*tfaced. Guess who ended up playing most of the third set, and later ended up the permanent bassist a few months later? :bassist: Of course, that turned into another disaster thanks to reasons I've repeated in the past, so I won't digress (check some of my earlier posts elsewhere on the board via my profile for that!)
  5. Jonesy4fnk

    Jonesy4fnk Supporting Member

    I think it depends on the opportunities that are "knocking". I've been bounced between projects for years and finally I took about 2 months off to clear my head.

    If the current opportunities are not something that you're completly into and/or have the potential to be succesful (btw-the idea of success differs greatly between players) then take a break, not too long, and explore the road you wish to pursue. Then pursue it with everything you've got.

    I found that taking time off really helped break through to new levels of playing and composing.
  6. incognito89x

    incognito89x ♪♫♪ ♪ ♪ ♫&#983

    Sep 22, 2002
    Royal Oak, Michigan
    If you really enjoy the new band, tell them you'd like to join, but you need a couple weeks rest to relax and store up some energy. Finding a good band is tough, so I think you should let them know that you want to be in, if you do feel that way.
  7. soulgroovn


    Oct 25, 2002
    New Haven CT
    Thanks for the input everyone. I've been playing a lot of hockey lately and it's definitely taken my mind off of everything. I'm thinking about looking for a new music situation in the fall. If that happens maybe I could be back in full swing by next spring.....

  8. Devnor


    Nov 13, 2001
    Dallas TX
    I just went thru the same thing recently. What I did was I took a couple months off and started taking bass lessons from a great teacher. Now I'm in a new band I love, and have a few new skills too!
  9. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    My milage is like yours in that respect. I make sure now to take 2 days a week off from playing. Sometimes I'll go three. Everytime I come back to the instrument its fresh and Im ready to start learning peoples song lists and continue my quest of theory.
  10. incognito89x

    incognito89x ♪♫♪ ♪ ♪ ♫&#983

    Sep 22, 2002
    Royal Oak, Michigan
    Can't go wrong with Hockey :D I have two teams that I play on. One Ice hockey, the other Roller hockey. 2 games per week :D Fun stuff.
  11. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I've always been paranoid that my phone might stop ringing, so I try to get right back out there...at least going to jams or freelancing if not something more permanent.
  12. soulgroovn


    Oct 25, 2002
    New Haven CT
    Yea, I've been having a blast! I'm on two roller teams myself with maybe an ice team coming this summer.

    Brianrost - Very good point and I have considered venturing out to open mic nights just to keep an eye on the scene and perhaps find new contacts.