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What would you do?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by jdepriest, Feb 4, 2013.

What should I do?

Poll closed Feb 18, 2013.
  1. Quit

    2 vote(s)
  2. Stick it out

    2 vote(s)
  1. jdepriest


    Sep 20, 2005
    Waynesburg, Pa
    I play bass in a jazz quartet that has had a weekly decent paying gig for nearly 5 years. About a year ago we had to replace our drummer when he moved out of state. The new guy is a great guy, we all like him personally but his playing sucks and is getting worse. It's too loud, double bass drum pedal on a acoustic jazz gig, wrong stylistically, he doesn't listen to the recordings we recommend... I could go on and on with his issues. The band leader has spoken to him, the band members have spoken to him and I'm ready to quit the steady gig I've played for nearly 5 years. Any other band would fire him and move on. Here's the problem, the restaurant owner LOVES LOVES LOVES this guy. According to him he (the drummer) "make you guys funky!"

    I live in an area with very little live music and an almost non-existent jazz presence. Do I say screw it and be happy for the paying gig or do I walk away and try to build something new?
  2. skychief


    Apr 27, 2011
    South Bay
    Life's too short to play with a lousy drummer. IMO.
  3. Turxile


    May 1, 2011
    While i would agree that life is too short to play with a lousy drummer, the client is happy, so the drummer must be doing something right..
    Maybe you should have a discussion with the bar owner to get feedback on what he thinks his crowd wants to see, and if there would be any changes you could do that would benefit his business.
    On the other hand, if you're doing this just for fun, you should only do what you enjoy.
  4. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    You're in a pickle.

    When he's been "spoken to", what has his response been? Defensive? Tries to understand, but doesn't get it?

    If it's the later, can you sit down and listen to some records with him? "I love this thing that Billy Higgins does on the snare drum..." or "check out how much space Ahmad Jamal's bass and drums leave for him and what that does to the overall...".

    I don't know if he's learning or realizes that he's learning or thinks that he has all his stuff.

    When you said "regular gig for 5 years", I turned bright green. Those are tough to walk away from. Are there other drummers available? You're not likely to be fired from that gig after 5 years, if you bring someone good in who is a better fit for you.

    I wouldn't quit until you felt like there was no resolution. I wouldn't say "stick it out", so much as "try to work it out." In the end, the music has to be there for you, unless you're not going to be able to eat otherwise.
  5. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    I never quit a gig until I have something to replace it. My advice? Start looking.
  6. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    I feel your pain. Being in a similar situation with a drummer that needs to be replaced it's a toss up as to how to handle it. Apparently the client doesn't care that you want to stick to your jazz foundation and sounds like he may want something more 'funky'.
    If you are really stuck on jazz then it's only a matter of time before you quit. So the question is how long do you want to put up with something that you're not happy with?

    A wise old man once told me, "Don't worry about the things you can't change. Instead, concentrate your energy on the things you can change for the better".
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Time to look at playing some Kenny G tunes - that might change his mind!! :eyebrow:
  8. jdepriest


    Sep 20, 2005
    Waynesburg, Pa
    UPDATE. The band leader finally pulled the trigger and replaced him. The final straw was when he was dragging all night long after being told to keep the tempos up, I decided I was not going to allow the next song to drag. I played the most basic unmusical root only bass line you have every heard on an F blues and refused to alter the tempo that was counted off. On the band stand, during the song, loud enough for the audience to hear the drummer told me to stop rushing!

    Anyway, last night was the first gig with a different drummer. It was awesome! We're going to try out a few different guys till we make a decision but last night was the first time in a year I left the gig and wasn't physically wasted and thankful I didn't have to play another note.
  9. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Hey, I'm glad your situation has been resolved. Sounds like a positive outcome for you! ;)