Too Many Bands

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by EricMordus, Feb 5, 2018.

  1. EricMordus


    Aug 29, 2013
    deleting original post, it didn't come out the way I meant it.. but thanks for feedback!
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2018
  2. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    I would love to be in just one gigging band. I was in 3 at one time. Then I ended up driving Tractor trailers and couldn't gig at all. Now I am struggling to find a decent band to play for.
  3. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member

    All a "band" is, is a group of people who happen to be playing music together. It isn't a marriage. There's no rule that if a person plays with one group on Tuesday he can't play with someone different on Thursday. Frankly, I resent when a person I play with becomes possessive of my own time, as though the fact that I play with him gives him the right to dictate what I do when I'm not playing with him. Everyone's a free agent.

    Also, I've had the experience on several occasions of turning down good opportunities in order to concentrate on one project... only to have that project disintegrate a couple of weeks later for reasons that have nothing to do with me. Get burned like that two or three times, and I am no longer willing to put all my eggs in one basket.

    On the other hand, there is such a thing as keeping your commitments and being honest with yourself about whether you can really spare the time and flexibility to be able to meet the goals a group you're playing with has. If you say you'll play with a group that wants to gig out regularly, but you fill up your calendar with gigs with other groups, you're going to be a problem for that group, and should step away and let someone else do it.
    Bunk McNulty and Fiset like this.
  4. MrLenny1

    MrLenny1 Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    I work with several bands because there is very little work.
    The last dedicated band I was with was 8 years ago.
    Since then sports pubs have become the new norm and they
    hire fools on stools. Not much call for rythm sections.
  5. Being in several bands doesn't "water down things in my experience. If anything, playing out twice every weekend waters things down. Not to mention, it's easier to get into a rut creatively.
  6. Fiset

    Fiset I do a good impression of myself

    Jan 13, 2007
    New York
    Yep, thats where I come down as well. I've played in as many as 3 gigging bands at the same time and there's always someone who wants me to just focus on one band. I'll be happy to oblige as soon as I find one band that plays all the various kinds of music I like playing.

    Right now I'm just in one band but I'm also keeping my eyes open for other opportunities.
  7. It's such a hassle to get a band up and going sometimes that it is good to have another band, especially if one falls apart. At least with original material. Cover bands may come together easier.
  8. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    We don't need no OP!!!

    I've played in more than one band for as long as I can remember. I've turned down many opportunities because of bands that wanted me to be exclusive. I feel incredibly lucky with my current band, because despite the fact that they're booked solid, they told me it's no problem if I want to do other shows. Their original bass player wants to still play as much as possible and will fill in pretty much any time I'm not available

    I think the best way to learn, grow, and be successful as a musician is to play with as many people as one can manage. There are a few things though that I think are important to do it successfully:
    • The band must be OK with it.
    • Ya have to be OK with people subbing for ya.
    • You have to be able to set priorities well.
    • You have to be willing to make sacrifices, sometimes BIG ones (playing the gig ya don't want because you committed to it first).
    • You have to communicate well.
    • You have to stick to your commitments.
    • You have to be willing to put in whatever work is necessary.
    • You need to be good at getting your homework done.
    • Rehearsals need to be limited. Multiple bands that NEED to rehearse weekly are usually a no go. Bands that want to rehearse 2X a week are usually a no go also.
    • It works best with bands that gig (as well as rehearse) infrequently. It's a no brainer that multiple bands that play every friday and saturday will not work out.
    • It's a good idea to not talk about any of the other bands, with the other bands.
    Having all the above in place, I've successfully managed up to 5 bands. Currently working 2 1/2 :), and I think it's going to stay at that for a while. The 1/2 is a band where I'm pretty sure someone else has taken over. I had to turn down too many gigs.
    mike o, portpc, Jimmy4string and 2 others like this.

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