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When in two or more bands. Scheduling solutions?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Busker, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. Busker


    Jan 22, 2007
    How do you that play in more than one band handle scheduling problems? You know, sooner or later its going to come up, where both bands have a gig on the same night, or at least want to schedule a gig on the same night as the other.

    I imagine it can be rough, maybe make some people angry even.
  2. Jeb


    Jul 22, 2001
    I've dealt with this for years and I don't have a good answer for you.

    Some will say get a sub, but I contribute to two projects that would rather cancel than have a sub. I've gotten through it OK with a lot of juggling on my part, but its always been a challenge.

    My desire to 'play bass' outweighs my desire to 'be in a band'. Yet I have a very strong sense of commitment.

    Good question. I'm curious as to what some of the responses might be to this thread.
  3. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    I have an online calendar that is viewable to all members of the three bands I am in... As soon as a date is 'pending', it goes on the calendar... This is kind of two-fold, in that I use it to check my availability as well, so I spot a conflict immediately... First come, first served

    More of an issue for me is the fact that one band will book a date, then another band will refuse a gig for that date because it is blacked out... For one reason or another, the first gig falls through, but by that time, the second gig is unavailable. This just happened to me this past weekend, and I've yet to address it with the offending band.

  4. i'm playing in five ensembles currently plus two jazz groups in university, school comes first, no matter what. other than that it is first come first serve, whoever gets the date to me first gets that date, and everyone i play with has been very understanding of that, they understand that i am not fully dedicated to one band, i'm a bass player. that being said, i played three gigs within the space of 4 hours last saturday night, fun stuff:)
  5. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    This is a great way for everyone to see at a glance what your schedule is.

    As far as the other problem goes there are a couple of questions that need to be answered.

    Are the bands using contracts? The use of written contracts minimizes cancellation from the contractor's side.

    Do the bands tell you that something is "booked" when the date is still tentative? Sometimes a band will do this so they can reserve your time. The solution here is informing them that once the date is booked pay is expected. It is the same idea as the contract. If the gig is canceled by a certain date, (say six weeks before) nothing is owed. After the cutoff date full pay is expected.
  6. Bhuti


    May 9, 2006
    Harlem, NY
    Warehouse/Shop Asst. & endorsing artist of Warwick Basses
    +10000 on that. THis is exactly how i do it. it works amazingly. I also give notice to my clients when i'm signing on with a new act and i give my longer established clients preferential treatment. They call for a spot, they usually get it. other than that, it's my google calendar sending me Cell phone alerts of upcoming gigs, rehearsals, auditions and other things.

    EVERYONE should do it that way because it's awesome.
  7. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Since niether of the projects I'm in is doing any real gigging at the moment (next gig got cancelled over the weekend when venue lost its music license) it's not really an issue.

    To be honest I wish I was gigging enough through both groups that I did have the occasional conflict, it'd show that there was demand.:meh:

    I suppose my approach is first come, first served.
  8. mjolnir

    mjolnir Thor's Hammer 2.1.3beta

    Jun 15, 2006
    Houston, TX
    For me, it's pretty simple. I'm in two bands, both practice in the same space. There's a calendar there, and whenever one of the bands fills in a date, that date is taken. There's never any double booking.
  9. Busker


    Jan 22, 2007
    Thank you for the replies and suggestions.

    Here's the deal with me. I gave notice to my old band 12 days ago, that I was quitting, but offered to stay with them for a while, play the remaining gigs etc. Also, I took a position in another band. Then, a few days after I gave my notice, the old band talked me into staying, with the promise that things would pick up, improve, etc. And, it does look like they were serious. Just this week we secured a new lead guitarist and scheduled a gig for March 29th. The lack of a PA is still an issue.

    Anyway, both bands know of the other, and are OK with it for the most part. The old band however, the one I've been with for going on 8 months, naturally wants preference if any conflicts arise. To be honest, when I told the new band that I decided to stay with the old band, I figured they would tell me to hit the road, but they seemed to be pretty understanding about it.

    You have a slick setup, mjolnir. The online calendar is what might work for me though, since the bands don't rehearse at the same place.
  10. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    The scenario where you find yourself in 2 bands (If the members of the group in either of the 2 bands, is the only band they play for), eventually you will have bookings overlap. I've fortunately been in these situations where there are "rotating players" (I highly suggest it, provided you can find these type of groups), which IMO is the only way to ward off the difficulty or possibility of said situation. Unless your lucky enough to find something like mjolnir finds himself in.
  11. mjolnir

    mjolnir Thor's Hammer 2.1.3beta

    Jun 15, 2006
    Houston, TX
    Yeah, I have to admit mine is a lucky setup, though I had to talk everyone into it over a period of three months first. Originally they practiced 30 miles away from each other and we were double booked on several occasions, though I was lucky enough that the times were staggered, so I'd rush between two gigs in a day. It was after the third time this happened that the band that shared the space with my second band (Frizz-Bee) left and I was able to convince my first band (The Red Line) to move in.
  12. MrLenny


    Jun 10, 2006
    So. N.H.
    Two bands. Bottom line is whoever books me first. Band A has a posted schedule. Band B checks it out first then makes a decision.
    Two subs have proven unreliable, no-show, late, not keeping up on tunes etc,etc.

    I use to wait but can't afford that anymore.
  13. Fnord Explorer

    Fnord Explorer

    Feb 3, 2008
    I play with four bands and sub here and there as well. I keep a schedule online and fill it as the dates come up. Anyone in a given band who wants to schedule something will consult that. Thankfully, only one of those bands (where I serve as purely a sideman as opposed to a creative component) plays more than once a month or so.

    For me, it's first come, first serve. I do some booking and, of course, can plan around my own schedule.
  14. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    I try to have one group that is my "Main Band" and they get preferential treatment. I usually play weekends with them.
    I try to make sure than any additional projects are scheduled during the week or on nights that I know I won't have a conflict.
    It also helps to have a member from my main group in my side group :)
  15. mike.b


    Aug 21, 2007
    i just read the posts that are here and i can't believe that the bands even entertain you.i've been in a 2 band situation before and it never works out.eventually you're gonna pee some one off.if the band i'm in had to cancel because a member is double booked in another band they'd be OUT.we might do this for fun but you've gotta be commited.
  16. Fnord Explorer

    Fnord Explorer

    Feb 3, 2008
    Well, it helps not to work with people who put up these kinds of ultimatums. Anyone who has any modicum of organizational ability can prevent double-bookings. And if a band wants to play a night I have booked something is either worked out or the band doesn't gig that night, just like if I were working, on vacation, or otherwise indisposed.
  17. i don't agree with this, maybe it's the people i play with but everyone understands that i am a bass player, this is how i make a majority of my money, if i was commited to simply one origonals band i would be broke and on the streets. i am a bassist first and a band member second and they realize this. i am commited to my projects but i have prioroties. my bands know that i will get them a sub if need be, and i will be glad to, i would never think of screwing over one band for another.
  18. DanielleMuscato


    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    My bandmates and I have access to each other's Google Calendars. As far as taking one gig over the other, whoever puts down the deposit/signs the performance agreement first gets the date. If there's no performance agreement, it's just whoever has my word first. If it's a truly amazing gig and the first-come party is okay with it, I will find a sub (and pay the difference for the sub out of pocket if necessary).

    Your word is everything in this business (and in life), IME. Never trade your word for a gig.

    Hope this helps,
  19. denhou1974


    Mar 6, 2008
    I have a 'primary' band that I book other gigs around. I'll provide my available dates to the other bands that I play with. My primary band usually books 2 months in advanced so that is a convienient solution.
  20. JKT


    Apr 30, 2007
    Buffalo NY
    Endorsing Artist: Barker Basses
    I also use the online calendar method. IMO it is the only way to fly in terms of busy people and their schedules.
    The people booking our band have only to bring up the website(often while negotiating gigs in person or on the phone) and instantly see what dates work for everyone. Anyone needing time off blocks it out on the calendar.

    This system isn't perfect as no system is, but it eliminates 99% of the headaches and resulting grumpiness that can occur.

    This system works the best when:

    EVERYONE in the band uses it diligently

    Players that sub other places block out their other gigs

    There is a priority based understanding between all involved.


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