who plays in multiple bands, and why?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by buldog5151bass, Jan 24, 2015.

  1. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Pretty self-explanatory. I stopped heavy gigging a few years ago, as family takes priority over coming home at 3am every Friday and Saturday. But I still love playing music:

    1 Jazz band. Fantastic musicians (including a Berklee performance grad, yet they still allow me to hang out with them), and not many places in CT that pay for good jazz. So once a week we get together, and play from the real books and such. When we can score a gig, great, but mostly for fun. We play exactly what we want. Tenor sax, trumpet, keys, drums and bass.

    2 Classic rock band. Decent players, decent set list. Recently started up, looking to gig once a month or so. Fantastic female singer (used to sing in Broadway shows), so we can pull off some stuff that many other bands can't (Boston, old Heart). Two guitars, bass, and drums.

    3 Modern country/southern rock. Got asked to join this last year. Not my style of music, but good musicians, gigs when we want them (mostly campgrounds and festivals in the summer, take most of the winter off). Guitar, bass, drums, female singer/flute/acoustic guitar.

    Same drummer in every band, so no matter what, the rhythm section is tight. He and I know each other well, so we can try some ideas when we want.
    hrodbert696 likes this.
  2. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    Darn, I'm jealous - no realbook jazz at the moment (have in the past) and I never could get a country band goin' :( .

    Presently I rehearse with four "bands":

    Singer who plays acoustic w/distortion, electric guitarist, drummer, and me - kinda bluesy rock. Doesn't gig (yet?)

    Singer who plays acoustic, electric guitarist, drummer, and me - Woodstock era and folksy originals.

    Singer who plays electric and harp, electric guitarist, drummer, me, keys, two saxes, and another guitarist - horn band R&B and blues. Tonight's gig got cancelled due to the singer being in the hospital :( .

    Singer who plays harp, two electric guitarists, drums and me - stuff like J Geils w/other blues and R&B - might gig this summer.

    I'm kinda semi-retired so have the time and want to play as much a possible to get better :) .
  3. I play in Odd Harmona a songwriting group out of Lawrence and was asked to join a rockabilly outfit called The Popskull Rebels from KC, old country 50's 60's 70's stuff and punk rock 70's stuff.

    I didn't want to quit OH and I couldn't say not to The Rebels so I do both.
  4. tmdazed


    Sep 29, 2012
    two right now was three
    1) Band that does live remixes of songs, mashes and re arranged covers of rock , funk and reggae songs
    two guitars, myself on bass, drummer, part time percussionist (when we need her) drums and DJ
    I play this one because of the creativity involved in new arrangements and putting the re mixes together, not as easy to play live as it sounds
    played about 20 gigd last year. My son also plays lead guitar in this one

    2) Originals band, guitar player , myself and my son are a pretty good song writing team. When asked our genre, we call it Alberta fried rock.
    the music is an odd mix of southern rock, NOWABM, Thrash and straight ahead old school hard rock , we tend to blend them all into all the songs we write ,
    we are in writing /recording mode , trying to get our first album out by may or june. we currently have three songs in heavy rotation on a satellite
    startup radio station called Dead Sector Radio and a single on I tunes called Bad Breaks and Getting Screwed. We are holding off gigging too much
    right now (5 shows last year) until we are done the album , but still have a healthy local following. Our promoter wants to have us headline quite
    a few shows later this year to help promote our album release. played with these guys 5 years now , we started off as pure covers, but we decided
    our free jams and such were good enough to make songs from , we started recording jams and developing them into songs from there. from that is
    where we developed our sound , and really hit the song writing vein from there. we went through 6 lead players , wrote songs as a three piece,
    and realized my son grew up listening to us in all our incarnations , so why no give him a try and the fit was perfect, so he has joined our little team
    and shines tthrough on his leads and arrangement on songs.
  5. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    I do ... cuz I can. None of my projects keeps me busy enough, but all of them (just three now) pay something. The country band gets about 40 gigs a year ... most on Sunday evenings. No rehearsals. My two other projects work sporadically, usually for a larger pay day than the band.

    It's interesting that so far Connecticut is ahead in the count. I suppose that's because we're so geographically tiny and so demographically varied it's easier to find and maintain several different, concurrent projects.
  6. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Right now, I'm in two and a half but have been in as few as zero and as many as four at any one time (bands, not just sitting in or jamming).

    Why? I like variety and I play a bunch of different instruments (bass, guitar, pedal steel, lap steel, dobro, drums). I've been in rock, blues, country, rockabilly, indie, jazz and bagpipe bands; my current "half" band is an old-timer country/bluegrass/gospel band. I also like to do acoustic solo open stages.

    Another factor is the longevity of the typical band. I try to keep going steady (not crazy busy, but steady) with this musical hobby and sometimes the commitment and availability (or lack thereof) of others can get in the way. :cool: I think, for me, being involved in multiple projects is a way of diversifying and hedging my bets. Nice thing right now is my main band is poised to earn well into the 5 figures this year - and we're only half booked right now. That's a first for me.

    Final factor is that I'm not getting any younger and there's still lots of stuff I'd like to try. In a way, I regret limiting myself to one project at a time when I was younger and I had more time and energy.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2015
    BassKnuckles likes this.
  7. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    I was actually trying to keep all my projects within 20 minutes of home - but finally relented and picked up the horn band 35 minute north of me in Worcester MA as the music scene kinda sucks hereabouts in CT's poorest county :( . I also do sound but mostly down by the coast - folks are too poor hereabouts to hire me, even if I often do it for 1/2 my normal fee just to try to support the local scene. Might be providing at a gig in Norwich tonight if it doesn't also get cancelled - great horn band I often work with at the Yantic River Inn :) .
  8. I've been doing three things for a couple of years now. It's fun…I enjoy playing and I enjoy all of the people I'm dealing with on multiple levels, from admiration of talent and personalities to formation of new, significant friendships.

    After putting the bass down for over 20 years, I jumped back in with both feet. I joined a band (small bars 2-3 times per month) that I was with for the first 3 years of this part of my journey. It was an experience (actually array of experiences) that I wouldn't trade for anything, but over time, I connected with people and reconnected with people, and saw that the guys in that band and I fundamentally viewed networking differently. The idea of my reconnecting with guys from my high school days, for a far less than serious project, revealed the guys I had been playing with as having attitudes that were insular, adolescent and insecure. I was told that my "loyalty to the band" had come into question and that my playing with other people would make it impossible for us "lock"…I was also told that all other bands and players represented competition, nothing else. With that, and the way they started treating me, I was out and on to new things, which has been an absolute blast. With some luck in timing, I landed in the perfect replacement "main band" within 3 weeks.

    All three bands do covers and play similar tunes (but not the same playlists...a little crossover here and there) with different purposes.

    1. "Main Band" - Working to play agency locked rooms on a "2 times" per month average.

    2. "Side Project 1" - Formed to get to play more personal favorites, booking small rooms and parties on a "1 time" per month average.

    3. "Side Project 2" - The guys from high school days, formed as an opportunity to get together and play music and have "weekly life therapy" through that...although we've never managed to get together weekly, except in the run-up to gigs. We have two regular annual event gigs and play parties and two-band bar gigs as they come up. Getting to the point of having enough material to cover a whole bar gig is a challenge with this scenario, but more than being an overall end goal, playing out is what gives direction to the efforts.

    I'm having a great time with it all and have been happy to see connections and support form between the people in all three bands.
  9. Goatrope

    Goatrope Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2011
    Sarasota Florida
    3 because they asked me to join. :)

    None are heavy gigging arrangements. Between all 3 I will occasionally have a busy month, but only 2 gigs per month lately. Rehearsals about the same.

    Enough for me as my day job keeps me quite busy.
  10. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom

    Feb 17, 2013
    Albuquerque, NM
    I currently only play in one band, my own. But I am now looking to join a second band.
    The main reason is money. I play with my own band to make money, and have my own business
    but both don't make me very much. So, I'm now looking to join a second band for a 3rd income.

    The fringe benefit, though, is the fun of playing music and gigging live. With the second band (if it happens)
    I'm looking forward to playing with a new group of people, as well as not being the BL, so I can just let someone
    else run the show, and I can just show up and play. :)
  11. PauFerro


    Jun 8, 2008
    United States
    I play in three bands now:

    a) classic, smooth, latin, and dixie style music, with some fusion thrown in there (Quartet).
    b) Classic jazz piano trio
    c) New one -- plays a core of jazz standards but have a few jazz vocal tunes and lots of instrumental pop tunes. (keyboards, drums, bass/piccolo bas, sax/clarinet.) = quartet.

    Why have three bands?

    Band a) is well established. I can call them and do 4 hours without a problem, plus we have a lot of repeat clients who expect our sound and repertoire

    Band b) is for those times clients won't pay for Band (a). With only 3 players, band (b) can get the gig, and still get decent pay to the players. It now has IT'S own repeat clients after only a year in operation.

    Band (c) is an experiment for me. First rehearsal was two weeks ago. I've started it to play those low-paying gigs that I hate to turn down. It's also an entrepreneurial effort -- I want to see how fast I can get these new, and developing musicians out performing, and also, develop a whole layer of subs for bands a) and b). And, I get to front the band more with a piccolo bass -- playing heads and stuff, and I also get to set the repertoire. I love the whole startup thing now that I've figured out how to do it efficiently, without wasting my time like I did with band (a). We rehearsed for 6 months before we had a gig. With band (c), we have a paying gig booked and I don't even have all the players I need yet since the keyboard player we brought on withdrew after our first rehearsal. I'm loving the entrepreneurship!!!
  12. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003

    You can get regular work for a jazz band? You're a better man than I. Congrats.
    PauFerro likes this.
  13. BazzTard

    BazzTard Inactive

    I played in originals bands doing some covers from 1979 til 1995. Now I'm getting back into it.

    have formed an acoustic trio with a former bandmate and a deceased former bandmate's younger brother, doing the younger brother's originals. We will probably get a drummer and go electric, adding covers.

    That won't be enough for me, plus I don't want to flog my bands, Adelaide is pretty small, don't want to drag friends and family to see us every month, so I only want to play a few shows a year,keep em wanting more is my theory.

    But I also need to get loud and grungey, I learnt to play by going thru the Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath songbooks, so I need to revisit those bands, either in a tribute band or a heavy covers band,maybe even grunge, Alice In Chains,Soundgarden RATM kinda stuff.

    I also have a possible new blues band in the pipeline with some seriously good musicians and singer.

    I'm not going to limit myself, if a project pops up, I'll try it. In my previous bands, I was working fulltime as well, I think we only jammed to add new songs into our setlist,I certainly never spent time learning the bass any further.

    But now I am a fulltime carer,I have literally hours and hours of spare time to play. I'm learning all sorts of songs, from motown, to funk,heavy rock, modern pop, classic rock, even stuff I don't like, like ummm errrr Maroon5 lol.

    Bass players were always scarce around here, so I'm gonna be a bass slut this year,play with anyone,anywhere, anyhow.
    Goatrope likes this.
  14. BazzTard

    BazzTard Inactive

    me too ! wait, are you counting the decimal point and cents too?
    GKon likes this.
  15. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member

    I love the diversity of stuff you're doing! That's very cool.

    As far as the "why" goes - after several years of startups going nowhere and bands falling apart, I realized that I didn't want to commit time to trying to get a project going, only to have it collapse and have wasted a year with nothing to show for it. So I stopped putting all my eggs in one basket and started having more than one project going at a time, usually two.

    About a year and a half ago, I moved cross state and left both of the projects I was in (there were other factors too - I could have made the longer commutes but there were issues that made it not worth it). The search for new bands began, and I was out on auditions. The first group I got into was an oldies band, great players and great guys but it was a startup and they couldn't land a gig to save their lives. I don't know if it was the genre or not being able to market themselves or what. After a few months with them, I auditioned for two other groups simultaneously, both cover bands too, one 80s-themed and well-established, the other a startup and more eclectic. I don't know if the 80s group would have taken me, but I wound up taking myself out of the running and going with the eclectic group. Basically, the 80s group was so busy with gigs that I felt like it would have to be the only project I could do, and I'd be playing 80s music wall-to-wall for the rest of the foreseeable future till I decided to quit. It was a good group, and I liked the music, but not enough for it to be all I was going to do. So I joined the eclectic group - that's Wipt, for anyone who follows what band I'm in. At that point I was in gigless oldies band and gig once-a-month Wipt (which already had a couple on the calendar when I joined, a major plus for a startup).

    Then there was another iron in the fire. I had made Dave Luke of RevSound cabs at a TB GTG in Massachusetts at TonyP's place, around the same time in the fall as I was auditioning for these other groups, and he had a friend whose band had been relying on subs for bass and wanted a permanent guy to become stable and be able to get gigging regularly. It was another covers band, mostly classic/southern rock oriented. He'd been gigging for ten years but the bass player issue had put the group in a bit of a lull. Unfortunately he lived a ways away and had no band rehearsal space, so there was quite a while of emails flying around trying to link up and do an audition. Finally he just came to a Wipt gig, confirmed that I could play, and I got the pastor of my church to let us use the building for a space, so that finally came together that spring. He had things lined up to gig 3-4 times a month, so at that point I left the oldies band.

    I guess (if anyone cares to read the rambling narrative), the point is that I don't have an array of projects to play significantly different genres like Bulldog. Both bands are rock cover bands playing bars. They play somewhat different music and have different styles. I sometimes wonder if it really makes sense to do both. But I'm enjoying both and they're both gigging, so I'm content with it for now.
  16. Winfred


    Oct 21, 2011
    I play in two, and I sub with anyone that calls.


    Classic Rock

    One band just doesn't keep me busy enough.
  17. Dojix


    May 24, 2014
    Brisbane, Australia
    I play in two because of genre and creative limits.

    Industrial/Nu Metal - probably the band with most chance of going anywhere

    Experimental Metal/Rock - solo-ish project, kinda like how Nine Inch Nails is technically just Trent Reznor with hired musicians
  18. repoman


    Aug 11, 2011
    Kinderhook NY
    I play with three seperate groups of musicans. A five piece who play nothing but originals. They are very structured and "serious". The music is sort of a folk/pop vibe.
    A three piece who cover the power trio stuff (Cream, ZZ Top, Jimi), less formal, but somewhat structured... and a third group- anywhere from two to five musicians- who play whatever anyone wants to try to play that night. We go from Beatles and Zeppelin to Miles Davis and Nina Simone. We also switch instruments routinely. I get to play my keyboard with these guys!
    Out of the three groups the third one is my favorite. :D
  19. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    Currently I'm in a studio based band that's just writing, recording and shooting the occasional video. Things with this project are moving at the speed of smell and there is zero hope to ever play out so I'm going to audition for a modern country band in a few weeks. Part of me really likes the originals thing and the other part of me misses covers and crowds dancing to them.
    AndyLES and Winfred like this.
  20. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Well, we got rid of the penny in Canada this year, so maybe just one decimal point instead of two? :thumbsup:
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