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The band doesn't want to commit.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by waidonchasaisew, Apr 20, 2010.

  1. So, basically, i have been with this band for almost a year now and we have played at a good number of benefit and non-profit concerts as live experience. We are only juniors in high school (1 guitarist is a sophomore), but we just cannot cut it. We entered in 3 competitions and never came close to winning. Our singers are opposites in every way and the guitarists cant seem to keep their guitars in tune.
    I'm not saying I'm the perfect bassist either, but I made a commitment. A commitment to buy a new bass and a bass rig which was a big upgrade from my starter bass and 45 watt marshall. On the other hand, my lead guitarist is still playing out of a Roland 25~watt cube and the other guitarist is using an Epiphone SG for LIVE performances. It makes me wanna slap them on their heads. I guess its just the fact that I am serious about being a semi-professional bassist with the amount of practice and time i put into music while my band just wants to have fun and not give a damn about losing to a Jonas Brothers poser band with justin beiber jr. as their singer.
    So, TB, if any of you are still reading my rant, what do you suggest I do considering I'm only a junior in a rap/r&b dominated school in hawaii?
  2. EddiePlaysBass


    Feb 26, 2009
    If I was in Hawaii I'd go to the beach to think things over. Seriously, there ARE other musicians out there. If you are having fun and honing your skills now, and playing live gigs, it's all experience under your belt.
  3. hehe, well, i do enjoy going to the beach, but not to think. I know there are other musicians, but you'd be surprised at how much rock and alternative music has degraded here. A lot of reggae and Hawaiian integrated with guitars and bass rule with an iron fist.
  4. jawnnylowend


    Apr 2, 2010
    Music is about having fun. As cheesy as it sounds. Get some friends together that you enjoy being around and just play. You have plenty of time ahead of you and you will enjoy playing so much more. Just going out and choosing the best players wont exactly make the band amazing. Find people you get along with and have fun with and see where it takes you. Countless bands could be formed with amazing musicians who can't stand each other and all of them would end up with sub par music and a band that wont function for very long. Don't get me wrong play with as many people as you can. Every experience is going to make you better. Have fun with your instrument never make it a chore and you will have fun with it forever.
  5. thank you, that's really inspiring. I really do enjoy playing music and it has been one of those things that I have taken a liking to on my own willpower instead of something my parents force on me. The only problem is, I am playing with a group of friends with the current band I'm in. We get along really well, but its just the caliber of their playing and the commitment that really angers me.
  6. jawnnylowend


    Apr 2, 2010
    Why does it anger you? Try and practice more with them. Do some one on ones with the guitar players to a metronome or tighten up the rhythm section by practicing all the songs with you and the drummer. The band knowing the songs very well is gonna make the band sound a lot better. If everyone in the band is amazing and no one knows the songs or plays well together you have nothing. You would be amazed at how well a band will sound as a whole if everyone plays together no matter if they are 50 year player or a beginner.
  7. Stumbo

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

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    A commitment to music and a commitment to a band are two different things.
  8. bassbully

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

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Well heres my 2 cents. I was kind of in your shoes allot of years ago. I was trying to become a better player and form a band in late high school but all the guys had crap gear, no jobs,money and their girlfriends who got in the way, life got in the way also and often does.

    I got down and really didnt push myself to hard due to allot of the same reasons listed above. At 21 i was getting married seen no reason to try and sold off my equipment to fund our new life together :rolleyes:. Looking back i let others not wanting the same things i wanted in music take away my fire and i let it die. It took me years until i was 40! to get back into music and play in a real band. Today... 8 years latter Im playing and love it.

    My advice is this. If you love playing and want to move ahead lose anyone who is holding you down or back. Surround yourself with positive people who inspire or encourage you to work on your music. You might have to look to older players or bands to help get this direction since they are already past the stages of what you are experiencing now. If you have this desire push it dont let it die. Most teens are dabling in music since it looks easy and cool to do and soon find its not easy and quit. The ones who push themslves take it on a journey for life. Good luck stay clean and stay positive.
  9. MikeBC


    Oct 28, 2009
    I kind of agree with bassbully. If your current band is holding you back find some other musicians to play with.

    Early on I was in a group that sort of became stagnant. The guitarists started doing their own thing, solo gigs. Sometimes they would ask me to join them. I ended up playing bass in 3 different bands for a while. Now, not sure how I pulled that off. Got better as I learned to adapt to different styles and mannerisms.

    Then one of the old guitarists sort of got jealous of my success and the old band started to get together again. We ended up being a much better band for the break we took from one another.

    Not saying that this will happen to you but you never know. You don't necessarily have to quit your current group right away. Just start playing with others and see what happens. The important thing is that you keep moving forward.
  10. A few thoughts/opinions/whatever:

    #1 : Don't ever, ever, ever worry about the final outcome of a band competition. Don't worry about who you might have lost to, the style they play, or who was judging it.

    All you can do its go out there and play what you play as best you can and be proud of it. You're not getting paid for a battle of the bands, it's all about exposure...so if you gain a few new fans, then it was worth it.

    My project was eliminated from an ongoing local competition just last week. We brought our A-game, played well, were super energetic, and had the best crowd response of the night...but we lost to a soft rock band.

    The top prize is actually nice. Studio time, photography sessions, playing an after party at an upcoming Papa Roach show, plus playing at the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte.

    Damn! We lost out on all that!

    So we applauded the winners! *gasp*

    It's not what we play, or even something we'd listed to on a regular basis...but they played well and have the 'now' sound for the area. It's not as if they were not as deserving as us or some of the other hard working acts that night.

    #2 : If you're not happy with your band...start looking to get a new one going. Even though they are friends, sticking around when you're constantly dissatisfied is only going to make you miserable and lead to resentment in the long run.

    There's no reason that you can't still jam with them, but there's also no reason not to get together with some folks that share you're level of dedication/commitment.

    #3 : Don't worry so much about your mates gear....especially at your age. There's nothing wrong with someone playing an Epi SG if they can play it. Gear never makes the player. Sure, there's no denying it's nice to have, but it takes most of us years to accumulate.

    Think of this...if all of a sudden I keeled over and you were invited to replace me...you'd get blown slap out of the room if you brought your rig in. It wouldn't make you a poor player, so how would you work it?
  11. Demonator


    Jun 14, 2009
    L.J. Kentucky
    Dean Street Team
    Dude your in high school, you literally have all the in the world to find a decent band o jam with.
  12. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    You do not have to be manogamous to one band. However, you do need to personally commit to being good enough to be valuable to other players and in demand. That's not necessarily gear... it's ability, versatility and tasteful playing.

    "To Me" it sounds like you think that the gear and more time together is going magically make the band better than the players it's made up of.

    (And personally, I've played many quality gigs with guitar players playing guitars the caliber of an Epiphone SG. Again... it's not the gear. It's the player, and the perception of those playing).


  13. Chuck King

    Chuck King Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2006
    Ah, the high school band . . . that bittersweet experience through which many of us learn that just because we've been best buds with a few guys for our whole short lives, that doesn't mean that we're actually fit to work together on a collaborative business (or at least quasi-business) project. Be grateful that you get to find that out in a situation where you've got a relatively small investment (if this band implodes at least you still have your gear and can still use it), as opposed to, say, putting your life savings into starting a restaurant or something with them and learning about their flakier tendencies then.

    Sometimes it works out great, but it's usually a mistake to form a band with people who are your friends, just because they are your friends. It's very rare that your friends from your non-musical life just happen to also be musicians of the same caliber and with the same drive as you.

    Do what you need to do musically, and hope that your friendships with these guys will endure, but if they're willing to tank a friendship over a band in which it should also be obvious to them that you're not all musically on the same page, then that friendship was probably destined to hit the rocks sooner or later anyway. And/or, you can keep playing with them for giggles, but look for another band for your main musical outlet.

    And, the guys above who said (a) pay no attention to the results of Battles of the Bands, and (b) don't get caught up in gear---they are right.

    Battles of the Bands are popularity contests, and even if they were real tests of musical merit, they always involve comparisons of apples and oranges, in which case the subjective preferences of the judges will make the difference, so losing doesn't mean you're worse than anybody else (well, it might---but you can't automatically draw that conclusion), or that given some time to build a following you couldn't out-popular this year's winner.

    And gear . . . good gear can certainly make it easier to sound good, but, it's almost proverbial that good players can sound phenomenal on marginal gear. Head over to the Basses forum and look at any of the dozens of threads about SX (Essex) basses. These are some of the cheapest basses you can buy---a couple rungs below Epiphone, for instance, on the gear ladder---but there are plenty of guys playing them and gigging with them, right next to or in preference to real Fenders. Actually, I think you're better off than lots of starter bands---Roland Cubes are pretty good amps and 25 watts might not fill a big room but it should be good for rehearsal, and an Epi SG is just fine, and could be upgraded with minimal effort to be pretty much on par with a bunch of professional-level instruments.
  14. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Totally in agreement with the other posters here. At your age, especially, concentrate on making yourself the best player you can be and playing with whoever you can as much as you can.

    Everyone else your age is in that process of figuring out what they want to be and for a lot of them music will be just a phase that they fiddled with before moving on to something else. Let them! Play with them when it's fun and constructive and don't sweat it if they decide to move on to other things.

    Don't assume you have to just play with people your own age, either -- think of Tal Wilkenfeld touring with Beck. An older mentor could do wonders for you.

    And while I totally envy you for living in Hawaii, if you decide to make a profession of music, you may find yourself moving to the mainland eventually. Don't assume you have to be limited by your state.
  15. thank you, this is very insightful. I really am considering joining other bands and I have been given offers by others, but I have turned them all down hoping that one day, my current band would progress. I want to be successful, not famous, but a musician who has a day job and gigs at night.
  16. hehe, well thats partly true in the sense that I have 1 more year of high school, but I am going to the mainland for college and I am just planning to bring a modded starter bass and buy a 100W Combo for the dorm wherever I decide to go. i think it will be easier to find a band in college, but if i find a new band now, I won't have too much time left.
  17. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    so what? i double on guitar professionally, and one of my amps is 35w and the other is 15w, and my guitar is even cheaper than an epiphone sg. but i get the job done. and to top it off, on my main instrument of bass, i have taken $100 basses and played arenas with them and nobody either knew or cared.

    why? because it so doesn't matter what equipment you use. if the guitarists sound like poopy caca, it's because of them and not their gear.
  18. We'll im just trying to emphasize the point. not ragging on the gear or anything. As you have also read before, they cannot seem to keep their guitars in tune and playing in a completely open air environment with a 25 watt amp turned half way sounds horrible. Unfortunately I have lost all respect for the Roland Cube. Another problem is both guitarists play out of Rolands. I am not a fan of those amps >_<
  19. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    i don't like roland amps either but if someone gets a bad sound out of them, it's not the amp's fault.
  20. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I never imagined I'd say anything like this BUT ... commitment is not about the gear. It's about practicing, learning the parts, learning to blend with the other instruments, learning to stay in tune; in other words, learning to act like professionals. Once you've got those bases covered, then you can start upgrading your gear.

    One thing for sure: nothing says SUCK like an out-of-tune guitar. Poor tuning can turn a mediocre but adequate band into an ear-torturing nightmare. Force them to buy electronic tuners before all else.

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