1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Which band to join?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by mustang bass, Aug 5, 2017.

  1. mustang bass

    mustang bass

    Aug 23, 2008
    I've been looking for a while to get back into a part-time working band, and now have two opportunities to choose between:

    Band A - currently a duo performing a variety of music styles probably best described as adult album alternative. Guitar player is good, and singer is good although not very dynamic. Playing a coffee house every couple of months now, but ready to slowly expand the band to include first bass, then drums. They have enough material for a 2 hour coffee house gig but will need to add a bunch of songs to work up to clubs. I like the material, although there is a learning curve (for everyone) since many of the songs are complex and not covered in the original keys.

    Band B - currently a full band performing blues and mainstream classic rock. They have been playing clubs, but need to replace their bass player, and are also considering adding a keyboard player. The drummer is good and we really locked in at the audition, guitar player is good although I'm not sure everything he plays really fits the feel for each song, and the singer is average at best. Blues and classic rock is not really my thing, but they are basically ready to go and I can get up to speed and integrated into the band pretty quickly.

    I'm leaning slightly toward Band B mostly because of the drummer and the fact that we would be ready to start booking again in a short period of time, although I wouldn't invite my friends or neighbors out to see the band. I wouldn't hide if they saw me in Band A, although it feels like background music right now. Not sure if a drummer will fix that or if the lack of vocal dynamics will always be an issue. All other factors (travel time, rehearsal commitment, personalities, etc.) are fairly equal.

    Any thoughts from others who have struggled with the decision between two bands?
  2. filmtex


    May 29, 2011
    B for sure.
    bassbully and pudgychef like this.
  3. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    B. Absolutely.
    pudgychef likes this.
  4. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I would probably lean towards B as well. The thing about A is that, because of them starting out as a coffeehouse duo, that is likely to always be their comfort zone, to which everything else is an add-on. You don't know if you'll find a great drummer for that group or not, and that can kill the band right there. Because of their comfort zone, if things don't go perfectly as they ramp up to full band, it would be very easy for them to cut and go back to being a duo, leaving you out in the cold. B sounds like your typical bar band, not brilliant but knows what they're doing and has some longevity and a slot for you to fit into. Plus there's no substitute for playing with an excellent drummer.
    pudgychef and SmokinJoe992 like this.
  5. Stevorebob

    Stevorebob Well... I Am Here, Aren't I? Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Startups with learning curves are a crapshoot — especially solos or duos expanding to full bands. Maybe they’ll pull it together, maybe they won’t. It’s been simple for them ‘till now, but how do they handle multiple instruments, schedules and personalities? Being in a band is a learned skill; leading a band even more so. The working band is almost always the better choice: B.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2017
  6. Spectre1966

    Spectre1966 Striving For Mediocrity Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2014
    Wallingford, CT
    pudgychef likes this.
  7. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    As always, the answer depends on your goals and priorities. If you want to be (almost) assured of gigging regularly, and soon, then Band B certainly sounds like the better bet. But be careful what you wish for: Do you really want regular gigs playing music that "isn't really your thing"?

    Apart from the fact that you like the music better, another reason to choose Band A is that as the band expands and adapts, you're likely to have more influence over and creative input into its direction and development (assuming that the current members are open to that). This might make it feel more like "your" band, rather than just being the bass player in somebody else's band. Personally, I'd rather take a shot at this despite the risks, but again, it depends on what is more important to you.
  8. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Cary, Il
    I just want to know why you "wouldn't invite your friends or neighbors to see band B? If they don't support your band from the beginning, you have no hope...
    Element Zero and Spectre1966 like this.
  9. mustang bass

    mustang bass

    Aug 23, 2008
    With B I probably wouldn't be encouraging my friends and neighbors to come out and see my really average band play songs they've heard again and again
  10. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    I understand that this is mainly about genre (and only partly about "averageness"), but unless I was in it entirely for the money, I don't think I'd want to be in a band that I wasn't excited about having my friends come see.
  11. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Cary, Il
    FYI, that is one of the most non-sensical things I have ever heard. That sounds like a great band to be in:rollno::rollno::banghead::banghead:
  12. mustang bass

    mustang bass

    Aug 23, 2008
    It's not about the money, but it is about time. The semi-start up status of band A has me a little concerned. I just spent several months rehearsing with a group of nice people playing material I really liked before I realized they were never going to be serious enough about music to get out of the basement. So as I search for my next group I may be bringing that along with me as baggage as I try to make a decision.
  13. btmpancake

    btmpancake Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2015
    Apollo beach, Florida
    I know lots of guys have two projects going on. They have their ways of doing both. Schedules, travel, gear etc must be in sync though. I'd choose (B) but keep (A) as a side project and let them know it.
    pudgychef, Inara and kartiste like this.
  14. ELG60

    ELG60 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Plan B
  15. I would take the band that offered the most chance for my own growth and evolution as a musician.
    If its too easy = little growth = boredom, and if the songs are too easily mastered, more boredom
    If the one band has better musicians/more advanced, and one the other musicians are mediocre = dissatisfaction and embarrassment, I'd go for personal growth., and the better players
    Sylenthunter, Element Zero and Nev375 like this.
  16. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member


    i used to make my living by playing: so it didn't make much difference what i thought of the ensembles/bands = as long as it paid well. now i'm retired: and more picky about the actual musical/artistic potential/merits of the project. if i understand your comparison correctly, i'm thinking that band A might offer more than band B. but i agree that it could just be a crapshoot, either way.

    hope you have good luck with your choice (dilemma?) :thumbsup:
  17. waynobass

    waynobass Supporting Member

    Feb 27, 2008
    A, and get the drummer from B.
  18. Stevorebob

    Stevorebob Well... I Am Here, Aren't I? Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2011
    Los Angeles
    If you're concerned about whether your friends would come see you, you're not looking for a band, you're looking for a party.
  19. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    With band B, you know what they are and are always going to be. You don't sound excited or proud to be in that band. If you wouldn't ask your friends to see them, why should anyone else.

    Band A has possibilities to become something you'll like more and be proud to be a part of. More risk, but more reward.

    I'd go A.
    Sylenthunter, waynobass and Lobster11 like this.
  20. mustang bass

    mustang bass

    Aug 23, 2008
    No, my partying days are way behind me. It's a comment about the quality of band B. I wouldn't be proud to be a member or say it's my band, although they do have some kind of following and are able to book repeat gigs.

Share This Page