Wanting to leaving our jam group. Need advice.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by fog_dee, Feb 16, 2003.

  1. Hi,

    I'm tossing and turning on this,,,, and I'd like to know what y'all think.

    I'm thinking real seriously about leaving our little jam group. Right now the group consists of a beginning drummer, a sometimes shy, but fairly good Texas style blues guitarist, and my self, a 1 year plus Bass player.

    We formed this group, with another guitarist whom has since left Colorado, a little over a year ago. All of us worked together, and it just kinda fell together. I played rhythym guitar at the time. The manager wanted to join and play Bass. We said okay,,, he bought an Ibanez GSR200, and ran it thru my spare guitar amp. He couldn't seem to pick anything up, so I bought a MIM Jazz, a LA15, and started playing when he didn't show up. He eventually gave up on it, and I became the sole Bass player.

    We just sort of freelanced our way thru various riffs and things,, and then our lead guitarist left for Las Vegas. We kept on jammin' until last summer when I told the other 2 members that I wanted to learn and play songs. I also told them that the jammin' bit just wasn't enough for me anymore. We launched into riffs, played them to death, and never really seemed to know when to end. Sort of like some of the Allman Bros. jams.

    Alcohol was becomming a problem for the drummer. You probably know the storyline there far better than I do. I can't play drunk, so I really limited my beers. The drummer didn't, and his playing, and attitued showed.

    They agreed to try to learn songs, and put the skids on the beer 'til afterwards, so that we could stay together. I agreed to stay, and we gave it a try. The problem was, and still is, that the drummer would, and still does, play the same thing, regardless of what song we were trying to learn. We just gave up on another song because he was unwilling to learn the drum part. And, the Beer God has returned, with predictable results. The guitarist says that he is getting pretty bored with all of it also.

    So,,,,,,,,,,, I'm wanting to go to our Tuesday night jam, and tell them that I'm leaving. And, the reasons why.

    I really want to learn music, and songs, and play with others, even thought at 46, I'm a little too long in the tooth to think about doing it for money. I got kind of a late start, if you know what I mean. I posted a note at the local Guitar store last week to see if there's anyone here in town who might be interested in taking a chance with me.

    So,,,, what do you think? An I wanting too much? Should I try to bring the let's-try-learning-songs-again conversation up again? Should I put an end to it, and let them go on their way?

    I'd really be grateful for your ideas. This is weighing pretty heavy on my heart.


  2. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    It's kind of a tough one, since you're all buddies. You don't mention if you've formed the group with the intention of getting gigs or just getting together to have a good time... If it's the former, then it kind of implies a little committment on everybody's part, and learning songs seems to be a natural progression of that... If you guys are just jamming, maybe you could turn it into Tuesday night poker or something, to keep the friendship going... :)

    I do a Thursday night Blues Jam with a few buddies, and sometimes the magic wears off for a while, (like when the guitar players decide that we're there to play 132 bars for them to solo over), so I stop for a bit... When I come back in, (typically 3 or 4 weeks later), It all feels fresh... Maybe a bit of a breather is in order?

    Most importantly, for yourself, don't hang out solely because you don't want to let the others down... Let them know how you're feeling and talk about it sooner rather than later... At the very least, the situation will change!

  3. Hi Robert.

    Thanks for the advice.

    It started out just for fun, then our drummer started talking about playing a small bar nearby. That's kinda hard to do if you don't have a list of songs to play. Nobody will even let you in the door without a set list..... And besides, we're not near tight enough to take a stage. Heck, we don't even know how to stop the things we start!!!! :)

    We are not pros,,, and have never pretended to be. Our drummer gets ideas of grandeur somtimes,, and it kinda spooked me. I have no desire to get up on a stage, in front of people, unprepared, and look like a complete idiot.

    We are, at times, better than a couple of bands that we've seen,, but our "stuff" is not organized near enough to call it music. And, I'd hate to take stage time away from an aspiring band, who needs the exposure. It just wouldn't be fair to them.

    I'm still thinking about leaving the group,,,, but,,, I may take another try seeing if they would like to try to learn and play some songs. I don't really think that this will go very far,,,,,,,,, but maybe it'll make it simpler and easier for everyone the next time.

    Thanks for the reply,

  4. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Look. Jam bands suck. Period. They are completely unfulfilling to the participants, and nobody else wants to sit around and listen the the mindlessly wandering crappy riffs of some self-indulgent guitarist and his beer-drinking buddies who are too lazy to turn on the TV and watch a little Fear Factor. They just go along for the ride because the danged guitarist's ego is so fragile that no one can bring himself to explode the little charade.

    I got sucked into this same thing and, while the drummer was a likeable guy (who comes to my other band's gigs), one guitar player was psycho and the other would come to practice drunk and surly, noodling all night because he didn't have a clue what the lead breaks sounded like.

    Get the hell out and go where you can learn some covers, front to back, with endings played the same way every time. People will want to hear you, and may even pay money to do it.
  5. Hi Munji,

    Thanks for the reply.

    Blunt, to the point.

    You're right about the unfulfilling part of it. It just leaves me feeling a little empty after each session.

    I called a meet tonite to let them know.

    Thanks Munji,

  6. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Dang Munj - you'd think you were abused by a jam band when you were a child ;)

    I'd agree with you that a band like fog is describing would be pretty unfufilling, but I've seen some pretty good 'jam bands' and my current band has been known to play some 20+ minute versions of Allman brothers tunes, which kinda puts us in the jam camp - and that's one of the coolest and most fufilling aspects of that band. My last band had some of our best originals start as freeform jams, too.

    My advice to you, fog: Consider looking for another project before you give this one up, unless it is filling all of your available spare time (which I doubt). Simply knowing that you aren't tethered to this project may be a liberating feeling that can let you enjoy getting to play for now, while looking past the BS. I agree, though, that you ought to find another project.

    Good luck, and let us know how things go. :)
  7. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    This is EXACTLY what I'm talking about. I don't even want to hear the ALLMAN BROTHERS jam for even five minutes on one of their own songs. Why do you think everybody HATES Free Bird, even when Lynrd Skynrd plays it?

    Judas H. Priest ... for crying out loud.


    Lordy lordy.
  8. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Besides, whenever I hear a 20-minute jam, I'm automatically thinking, "These guys are trying to fill out four sets with 25 songs."
  9. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    For Pete's sake.

    By the way Pete, you need to grow your goatee back.
  10. tyson


    Feb 9, 2000
    Dallas, TX
    come down to Dallas and play for the guys that i've been playing with... they're older and wanna play Grand Funk and Lynyrd Skynyrd and Alice Cooper. that's all fine and dandy but i just don't really like listening to that music and having to practice it all the time. i said, "hey, let's play some Police or Smashing Pumkins" and they say, "the guitar on those songs are too hard." like the frikin bass lines to their Grand Funk and Lynyrd Skynyrd songs are easy for me to learn...GOD! anyway, they're serious... lets say you and I switch groups?!
  11. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    So, Munj - I guess that wasn't you I saw at the Phish concert, after all ;)

    BTW, I don't consider Freebird to be a 'jam' tune because only the guitars are getting to go 'wheedly wheedly whee' It's not a jam tune, AFAIK, unless I'm improvising my part, as well ;)

    Tyson, I'm in the same boat. I don't care for the classic rock thing too much, but my alternatives seem quite limited right now. (Pssst... don't tell Munj, but getting in some loose freeform jam stuff is like, the one saving grace to the classic rock thing.)

  12. tyson


    Feb 9, 2000
    Dallas, TX
    yeah, i'm not sure what to do... i don't really know anyone to play with consistently that has the same taste in music as me... that online thing musicians.com stopped funtioning to link people up and the Guitar Center near me doesn't have a postings board...am i just an idiot? :bawl:
  13. Hi there,

    Thanks for the advice guys.

    Geez,,,, didn't mean to stir up anything quite like this though.

    Munji,,,,,,,, are you pissed?

    BTW,,,, I did leave the group last night. Feel relieved that I don't have to go over there tonite. I think I made the right decision.

    As far as Freebird is concerned,,,, I love the bass lines,,,,and though it's kinda taxing,,,, I'm still working on it. I like playing it. (High School memories :) )

    Looking, and waiting in Greely,,,,,,,

    Again,,,,,,,, THANKS!!!!!!!

  14. Not happening. Chicks prefer the clean look, 62.5/37.5.
  15. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Nope. Just disgusted.
  16. Hi again,


    Disgusted? At what?

    Something I said?

    The jam band thing?


  17. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    I think that in a band situation, as in all close relationships to people, you should remember that <b>if it ain't going to be working, don't try to force it</b> - you just waste your time and it gets ugly at the end.

    So, if it ain't working with these guys, find new ones. Besides, there always comes time when it's time to move on and find more suitable guys to play with, this seems like one of them.
  18. If you want to be in a Jam band and never play anywhere outside the garage then go for it. You're 46 and this is 2003, learn some new tunes!!! IMO the only people who like to hear bands do endless jam's is their friends, relatives and the real drunk guy at the bar. By the way, 46 is not too old to still rock,:D