Suggestions on how to quit a band.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by edhead, Dec 24, 2016.

  1. edhead


    Nov 23, 2007
    Kent, Ohio
    In a band with some real nice people, I like them all personally.

    However I can't stand going to weekly practices. Hardly any new material is worked on, rehashing the same songs over and over. The one guitarist, it's his band, is retired, so I know he looks forward to this practices as something to do every week. His wife is the drummer, just for clarification. The other guitarist is always trying out different solos, so that is majorly annoying.

    Me I have a busy life, and commute 45 minutes to work, so practice days it's get home and have a half hour or so til I head to practice.

    Style of music is jam bandish. Some songs I really enjoy playing others I am tired of. New songs don't get played at gigs enough, so the set list is very static.

    Gigs are very infrequent and don't pay, the no pay doesn't bother me. I very much enjoy the gigs, and we get lots of compliments. I do play out about once a month or more with different groups of musicians and we never practice for those. Also those are with a stand-up bass.

    So how do I handle this? Go to a practice and spring it on them? Beginning of practice ( have to bring bass head and bass with me every week )? Wait til the end? I'd like to do it in person. Call a special band meeting, that seems awkward?

    Any suggestions? Prior experiences?

  2. alack


    Nov 20, 2000
    A simple group text, email or phone call. Short and honest. Guys, its nothing personal but this just isn't working for me. You need to find a new bassist. Don't spend time or energy worrying about their reaction.
    getrhythm, crguti, Biggbass and 16 others like this.
  3. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I was in the exact same place with a Zep tribute I play in. Wed night's was the BL's fun night, and he really looked forward to studio time. Money didn't matter to him, he just loved playing Zep and would play it all day every day for no compensation if given the opportunity.

    I don't remember exactly how I dealt with it, but at some point I said I couldn't rehearse the they wanted anymore. I'd rehearse before gigs, but that was it. I got kind of lucky because at around that same time our drummer was moving to another state, and we got a new drummer who was in the same position as me. So I had some backup with my decision. BL rolled with it better than I expected. He got involved with another band which still gave him his night out, and the Zep tribute continued with rehearsals before gigs only.

    Don't know if that helps any, but you might want to just clearly tell them where you're at. There's a chance you might not have to quit, and they'll make adjustments. If you're certain you want out, then I think you just have to be clear and honest. There ain't no easy way.
    JRA, Robus, basslifter and 4 others like this.
  4. superheavyfunk


    Mar 11, 2013
    A phone call is my preferred method, for sure. Unless you're actually friends with them IRL and hang out, in which case, breaking the news over a beer or coffee or something is usually pleasant enough. Just be "human" about it and it should all be pretty fine.
  5. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    Go grab your gear while nobody is there and just let them figure it out at the next practice. You should probably avoid all their calls too. This is the most popular method among musicians.

    ;) :D
  6. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom

    Feb 17, 2013
    Albuquerque, NM
    Do they already know how you feel about the lack of forward motion, or have you been keeping that to yourself?
    If they already know because you've told them before and nothing has changed, then just group text, or call the BL,
    let him know how you feel, basically what you wrote in your original post.

    If you have not mentioned it to them at all before, why not bring up your concerns with them and see how they feel about
    it before just up and quitting. If you like them as people and, it seems at least, you like their playing, just not their lack
    of progress, talk to them! Let them know and you may get some good results.
    JRA, Will_White, Bunk McNulty and 2 others like this.
  7. shawshank72


    Mar 22, 2009
    Exactly what I did recently.
    Damn good advice.
  8. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    Have you aired your grievances with them. It sounds like you are all mature adults, so talk it through and see if they'll make some changes. Make it clear you are out if things continue as they are.

    If you are set on leaving now, I'd call each member and explain your situation. Whatever, leave on good terms.
    gebass6, pcake and hrodbert696 like this.
  9. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member

    I would say a lot depends on how long you've known these people and how close you are to them. The more you know them/longer you've been with them, the more you owe them an in-person explanation, or at least a conversation over the phone. Texting is the least acceptable and really kind of an F U. In between would be an email, especially if it's a long haul to band practice and people live far enough away or are busy enough that a band meeting outside of practice would be impractical. I personally don't like making everyone haul all their gear to a band practice only for me to spring it on them that I'm leaving so there's a night wasted for them.

    My last band breakup, I had pretty much made up my mind to leave and was waiting until the next practice to tell them. Then that got postponed, and in the interim the guitarist up and announced HE was leaving, over email, so that kind of forced my hand. Since we'd been together about a year and I'd known them a while before that I didn't want to quit by email, but since his resignation was on the table over email I couldn't honestly write to say to the other two, "OK, let's meet up and discuss options," so I had to tell them by email that I was also out and - poof! - there goes the band.
  10. fjadams


    Jun 7, 2011
    Danbury, CT
    My boy used this method once. His band was doing the release party for their new album. He had written a few new songs for the next project. Without even listening to them the co-BL told him they weren't interested as he wanted the band to go in a different direction.
    So he called every person in the band and left this message on their answering machines. "I'm playing the show tonight, but don't worry about practice tomorrow as you're fired."

    Short, rude, and to the point.
    Bugeyed Earl and brbadg like this.
  11. brbadg


    Nov 10, 2006
    I disagree with the texting part.It is not cool.Just tell them at the next practice.
  12. edhead


    Nov 23, 2007
    Kent, Ohio
    I have voiced concerns, but not really strongly. They acknowledge what I say, but nothing changes.

    I think I'll discuss my issues ( mainly every week practices, getting new material introduced and see if they are willing to comprise ), just not sure when, the beginning of getting together or near the end.

    thanks everyone
  13. brbadg


    Nov 10, 2006
    This is something I wished I could've done.Get ahead of it.He didn't wait until he totally felt like
  14. 39-Bassist


    Jul 7, 2010
    Endorsing Artist for: Brace Audio; Duncan Pickups; Line6, Hipshot, GHS Strings, Somnium Guitars
    It is always best to communicate face to face and let them know how you feel.
    It isn't always easy but IF you do it properly you don't burn the bridge, and possibly end up playing with some of them again.
    Have a great Christmas!
  15. tpaul

    tpaul Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2011
    As I understand it, the first step is to set fire to the drummer's van, preferably while his drums are in it.
    tzohn likes this.
  16. Last band I quit, I just unplugged in the middle of a song, packed up and headed for the door. They stopped and asked me where I was going. I said this just isn't working out for me (too much hard rock, I like blues). We are good friends before and after. Thinking of quitting my current band. I'll be more diplomatic and tell them at the end of rehearsal (no gigs, paying rent, waste of my time). I'm getting more gigs with a pickup band that doesn't rehearse and getting called in to fill with others. Been retired almost 10 years and I want to enjoy it.
    brbadg and Seth Miller like this.
  17. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    I'd get on the phone. A band like that... I wouldn't be too stoked about having to force myself to go to one more rehearsal just to quit. Everything you described sounds vaguely familiar to me.
    brbadg and obimark like this.
  18. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    No offense, but that strikes me as a REALLY weird way to end one's relationship with a band.
  19. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom

    Feb 17, 2013
    Albuquerque, NM
    If you otherwise enjoy the music and the people, it wouldn't hurt. Since you've already said something and it hasn't changed, you can give it one more shot in a
    more direct manner and, if nothing changes, then you can walk away having already explained your position.

    If you didn't really care that much about the people or the music, I would just say to tell them how you feel and walk away.
  20. bobba66


    May 18, 2006
    Arlington, Texas
    Give them two weeks notice, and don't leave your stuff laying around.:woot:
    gebass6 likes this.