Thinking about quitting my first band

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by The Big, Jun 24, 2020.

  1. The Big

    The Big

    Jun 24, 2020
    First off, first post! Hello world?

    I haven't been playing music for too long. About two years. About 9 months back, I joined a band (very diverse ages, between 17 and 45). Eventually I replaced the drummer, since he left to play jazz. I can play drums reasonably well. I'm no Steve Gadd, but I can pocket as long as I don't try overly complicated stuff.

    Months pass, no real talk of performing, our playing objectively sucks, our sound sucks, our style isn't cohesive or in any way defined. Before you blame me, programmed drums don't make it any better. BL is a great dude, but he insists on odd methods and doesn't consider any alternatives. I feel like I'm generally being ignored most days.

    They're a fine bunch of people and I really like them, but this isn't going anywhere. I feel sad about leaving, but greener pastures hopefully await? I feel that this is happening because of a disconnect in goals. I wanna record and perform (because that's what makes music fun for me), BL saw it as a passion project, everyone else is in between. I guess this end was expected.
  2. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once...

    Feb 24, 2013
    Do what you gotta.
    Bands come and go; players come and go.
    BL's that expect you to devote time and energy to their project for the glory of being involved in their project are too common.
    Take what you've learned into your next project.

    BTW -- Welcome to TalkBass !!
  3. AceOfBassFace


    Jun 23, 2019
    Fire yourself!
  4. And I

    And I

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    Sounds like this is a waste of your time. You have clear goals and this band is not meeting them. You don't owe them anything but polite and professional communication about your leaving.
  5. The Big

    The Big

    Jun 24, 2020
    Thanks! He's not really like that, he's more... Stubborn, I guess. Insists on recording all instruments direct-in, while I'd prefer micing up the cabs. Insists on all sound going through one master channel out to the same monitors, I'm for splitting it up. He doesn't do EQ, but doesn't let me play with the mixer (I'm the most tech-savvy of the group). Insists that one overhead mic is enough to record my kit, but I know I need 3 mics at the very least.

    It's just these little things that cause extremely low productivity in our band.
  6. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Rage quit!! Seriously, I'm all about Top40 Pop/R&B music. I won't go near playing anything obscure. I hate constant rehearsals and minimal gigging. If the band ain't gigging (well, no ones gigging now), it's not the band for me.
    smogg, jmon, sonojono and 1 other person like this.
  7. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    i'd definitely quit.

    but perhaps you might want to join a second band and continue with this band as a side project because you like hanging out with the guys.
  8. The Big

    The Big

    Jun 24, 2020
    Yup. That's the story. Weekly rehearsals which go nowhere... Constantly trying to 'perfect' songs before gigging. I hate to say it, but when we play a song, it sounds like everyone is playing something else, and with more rehearsal, it just sounds worse. It's a room full of talented people, sure, but completely different mindsets on all of them.

    That's the plan at the moment. I sent out a few responses and am looking to return to bass in a harder band (playing pop just gets boring on both bass and drums). Until I get settled in, I'll also play with these people and quit later, unless I see actual enthusiasm and willingness to improve from all parties involved.
  9. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's

    If you have to ask, it is time to move on. You should never get involved in someone's ego-driven "passion project". If you want to play out and entertain people, you play what the people want to hear. Period. Get out there and find a group that will appreciate you. I have had a little luck with CL and a little more with BandMix for finding suitable people to play with. Good Luck - this is all part of your musical growth.
  10. Phaenomenal


    Jun 12, 2020
    New York
    You know what you want. Look on this as a learning experience. Take what you have learned with you to your next endeavor.
    the harp unstrung and Helix like this.
  11. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years Supporting Member

    May 3, 2008
    You’re right! Move on, you’ll be better for it.
  12. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member


    you're in the cat bird's seat, OP! temper your youthful impatience a little bit, and move on with determination --- you're at the beginning of a lifetime of musical adventures.

    good luck! :thumbsup:

    and get back to that bass quest! :D
  13. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once...

    Feb 24, 2013
    FWIW - I very much prefer direct-in for everything. Helps tame volume wars and I like a quiet stage.
    Can't say I agree with one monitor mix; I get the rationale, but it doesn't hold up in practice.
    Instruments should be responsible for their own tone, with the possible exception of acoustic instruments. I run pretty much everything flat except for vocals.
    You need to mike drums for rehearsal? Hope you're using earplugs - sounds loud.
    Rehearsal is rehearsal and spending time playing with stage or heaven forbid recording setup is time wasted. If one overhead is enough for everyone to hear you (that's one ore than I ever use in a rehearsal setting) it is enough, and what you need for recording is not important. I just recorded a video session with one of my projects and used 7 channels for drums. For rehearsal? Zero...
    FlyingPigSound likes this.
  14. The Big

    The Big

    Jun 24, 2020

    Oh no no, for recording. I don't plan on micing up the drums even for venue gigs. I can hit pretty hard when I want to, but I can feather the snare too, coming from a jazz background.

    I'm mostly talking about a mix of anything my band does. We rehearse, but 'we' insist on recording too. Unfortunately, one overhead just ain't cutting it for recording. I can barely hear the snare, let alone the bass drum, and the cymbals, without any EQ (because we're recording one mixed track as opposed to multi-track, another big issue I have) or compression, are deafening.

    And yeah I understand the benefits of direct-in. I just have bad experiences with it personally. Mostly because I was introduced to it without much knowledge on using it properly. So I'm used to everyone being amped separately. Wouldn't mind, but BL doesn't really know much about what he's doing either, so it's a real mess.
    OogieWaWa likes this.
  15. The Big

    The Big

    Jun 24, 2020
    You have no idea how much I'm looking forward to it. I just need to be careful and not blow my opportunity when it meets me. I never lived when my heroes performed for huge crowds, I'm too young to remember all those amazing moments, and I hope I get to live out some of my own eventually.

    Sends shivers down my spine just imagining it. Being on stage for the first time, even in a tiny venue... I can't wait.
    Spidey2112 and JRA like this.
  16. Eddie LeBlanc

    Eddie LeBlanc

    Oct 26, 2014
    Beaumont, Texas
    Don't create no problem, won't be no problem.
    Seems you're looking for your second band.
    sonojono and The Big like this.
  17. Dincrest


    Sep 27, 2004
    New Jersey
    It's always hard to quit your first band. Being in a band is like being in a relationship. Breaking up with your first boyfriend/girlfriend is always the hardest. Heck, all subsequent breakups are hard too whether it's internal emotions or external relationship drama. But remember, you don't marry the first person you kiss. There's other musicians out there, and along with objective justifications, sometimes you just gotta go with that "gut feeling" if a band/relationship doesn't feel right for you.

    The lead vocalist in one of my favorite bands (whose ages ranged from 20s to 40s-50s) quit after almost a decade with them because though she loved her bandmates as family, she wanted to go pro while the rest saw it primarily as a hobby, so she quit, took the name with her, and is looking for a lineup to go pro with. While a part of me wonders why she didn't do that years ago, again, being in a band is like being in a marriage. And simply leaving a marriage you've invested so much into is NOT easy.

    And while this will inevitably take more time, effort, and patience, start your own band from scratch and be clear about your goals so that you will attract people into it who too are on board with those goals. If you just jump into another band looking for a bassist, well, rebounding too quickly after a breakup is a total rookie relationship mistake. I made that mistake and spent too long in a rebound band whose goals did not align with my own, but my judgment was clouded.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2020
    FlyingPigSound and The Big like this.
  18. tr4252


    May 27, 2013
    You don't have to quit; do what I did.

    Get in the band leader's face so often he fires you just to have a little peace and quiet.

    The Big likes this.
  19. The Big

    The Big

    Jun 24, 2020
    That's a good analogy, actually. Yeah. It does kind of feel like a breakup. It actually feels exactly like a breakup. Spot on.

    I'll definitely start my own band eventually. When I finish my engineering degree and make enough money to get the gear and necessary space, I'll make my own project, something proper. Until then though, I'm afraid I'll have to keep band-hopping. I'll make sure to be careful and picky about my rebounds. Who knows, maybe I'll find something that sticks! I've always been more of a follower than a leader, to be honest.
    Dincrest likes this.
  20. john_g

    john_g Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    Dude! Fire yourself...then come back here and tell everyone you fired the drummer.

    (kind of an inside TB joke)
    Bleecker and Rip Van Dan like this.