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Should we play in a bar?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Manuel101, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. Manuel101


    Jul 4, 2010
    My band is an alternative rock band. we released our ep this september. We all play our instruments really well (dont mean to sound conceited but we do play well above average). We replaced our old singer and got a great female singer instead. The drummer from my band is a very opinionated person who tends to see things in black and white (no shades of grey for him).

    We have played 9 shows since last January. our drummer (he books the shows) believes that we should not play in bars because we would develop a reputation (stigma as he calls it) of bar band and thus not be taken seriously. The singer and guitarist disagree stating that we should play in bars in order to grow our audience so that we can have a better turn out when we play at a music venue. He says that playing in a bar will not increase our audience since the people will be too busy drinking. He claims that he has done research that proves that it is bad for a band to play at a bar. I am honestly not knowledgeable when it comes to band management so i dont know which side u should take. We are an original band by the way.
  2. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I guess he's never heard of the Beatles ,Stones Pearl Jam and just about every successful Rock act of this Century :) trust me after your first couple of shows you will know if you are "too big" for a bar because there won't be any room in the parking lot and they will be turning folks away.I'm always amazed why bands fail to make it "big" it's always that one band member or two that derail everything good luck I would love to hear some of your stuff also.
  3. BradCarroll


    Mar 7, 2012
    You should kick him the hell out of the band and play every bar you can.
  4. kellyrojo


    Feb 16, 2011
    South Carolina
    Guys an idiot. Get some exposure play out as much as possible. Good luck
  5. Manuel101


    Jul 4, 2010
    The issue is that he is an incredible drummer, we rehearse in his house and he started the band. But he is one of those people who thinks they have all the answers. He can be difficult to deal with because he is very assertive with his point of view.
  6. Manuel101


    Jul 4, 2010
    god forbid i mention the beatles, he hates them (except george, he likes george). he is always complaining that they suck. there are also some strick regulations in terms of what we write, he is always saying things like "we cant do that, that is played out already" lol
  7. BradCarroll


    Mar 7, 2012
    It doesn't matter how incredible of a drummer he is if he only wants to play in the basement.
  8. You sure he's not just agin pay to play?
  9. nortonrider


    Nov 20, 2007
    He sounds like the bandleader.

    If the bandleader doesn't want to play bars,
    the band won't be playing bars.
  10. ewe2


    Sep 13, 2012
    Bendigo, Australia
    The issue is you can't stand up to him. Make up your mind, what do you really want? Believe me, you can spend years hoping things will change and they will not. Vote with your feet, if you're good enough, you'll find a better band.
  11. BradCarroll


    Mar 7, 2012
    I mean he can be an incredible drummer all day, but if you don't get out of his house, the band isn't going anywhere. Stick him in a meat freezer until he either agrees or gets frostbite of the drumstick.
  12. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Aug 11, 2012
    Upstate NY, USA
    I think your drummer's opinion is kind of bizarre. One thing to be careful of, though, is you need to know what the expectations of these bars are. To me, "club" implies originals, and "bar" implies covers. If you're not doing any covers, you could seriously bomb in ones of these "bars". Trust me, been there, done that, and my band does just fine in the originals clubs, thank you very much.

    FWIW, in my hometown, the most successful bands are doing both. They play mainly covers at the bars, but sneak in a few originals, and mainly originals at the clubs, but sneak in a few covers. So far, I have not been smart enough to follow their lead. But my head is changing these days, I think....
  13. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Tampa, FL.
    Tell him to pass that research on to me; I'd love to see it.
  14. Manuel101


    Jul 4, 2010
    my good man you assume too much. How do you know that i dont stand up to him. I thought i stated that my problem is that i am not too knowledgeable when it comes to promoting the band and the logistics behind it?
  15. Manuel101


    Jul 4, 2010
    That is a good point. we normally play a single cover and about 7 to 9 original at our shows. So if we were to play at a bar it would be about 4 covers and 5 originals?
  16. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Tampa, FL.
    Honestly, you haven't given us much information to go off of. What kind of music are you playing, how long have you guys been a band, do you have any recordings done, what is your web presence like, what are your band's goals, how many fans do you currently have (and how did you get that number), and what kind of gigs are you playing if you aren't playing bars?
  17. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Intergalactic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon sofware rep.
    IME, most bars want a band to play 3 or 4 sets. Get people dancining, sweaty and want to drink.

    Are your songs "danceable"? Don't think one set will get the job done.

    What other types of venues have you played and how was the turnout? Receptive audience?

    IMO/IME, best way to deal with opinionated people is to present facts contrary to their beliefs. You can check out all the bars/clubs in your area and generate a list per bar of: how many sets, cover band?, type of music/set list, size of audience, PA provided or not, backline provided or not, hours of operation, which days are live music, etc.

    It may prove that your drummer is right that bars aren't for your band or maybe not. Until you do some research it's all gossip, IMO.

    Good luck.
  18. monti2889


    Jul 19, 2012
    you wanna increase your fan base....PLAY EVERY CHANCE YOU GET!!!!!! Promote yourselves...EVERY CHANCE YOU GET!!!!
  19. Manuel101


    Jul 4, 2010
    we have been playing since january we play mostly rock. We released our EP this september, i didnt want to include the website because you guys would then be able to identify the drummer and i wanted to keep protect his privacy. We have a good number of likes in facebook (whatever that is worth).our goal is to eventually gain enough following that we can live of our music (highly unlikely but it doesnt hurt to try)
  20. Manuel101


    Jul 4, 2010
    we usually bring about 20 to 30 people to our shows.