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Who to go with: The best friend or not-as best friend that is better?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Andy419, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. Andy419


    Aug 13, 2007
    I play bass in a band that has been playing for about 2 1/2 months. We have played one show and have about four more lined up in the next month and a half. Due to the lack of drummers in my area, we asked a guitar player we know if he wanted to play conga for us for awhile cuz all you have to do is keep beat basicaaly​

    Well he definitly worked out, but he's decided congas aren't for him and after our next few shows that he said he would do he's gonna leave. Well we are looking for a full time drummer because we wont be playing small gigs forever and we just need to get a good drummer and practice with him.​

    Well here is out dillema. We have a best friend who is decent at drums. He does get off time but with more practice he could probably pull it off. But he hates to play congas (a lot of our shows will be with that) and we don't know if we feel a real sense of dedication out of him.

    Then there is this other drummer who lives about 30 minutes away that my guitarist and I know. He's really good and really cool and would have no problem getting him and his drumset to our practice space, but his schedule is so busy that he can only practice one day a week, on Sunday, and we gig on Fridays and Saturdays.

    So the question is, do we go with our best friend who is decent but might screw up a lot and might not be as dedicated as we would like him to be but has an open schedule, or go with the guy who could definitly do it skill-wise, but wont be able to practice much and possibly not gig much?​
  2. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    The good guy who loves to play. He will kill for sure!

    You guys have your stuff together and he will follow, no problem. Seen it over and over. Go for it.
  3. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Sounds like the friend might hold you back. That should make the decision much easier.
  4. Go with the guy who is dedicated and likes to play.

    You can "special guest" your friend if you want to on certain gigs, but you'll have a better more dedicated percussionist if you don't take the friend on board.
  5. lexxmexx


    Apr 7, 2008
    Friend or not, I would rather work with someone who is reliable in terms of playing and commitment to the band.
  6. Slax


    Nov 5, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    I'd say go with the guy who's more dedicated. If he can only practice sundays, that's okay. If you need more practice in between, just ask your guitarist friend (if willing) to fill in on congas on practice.
  7. IanStephenson

    IanStephenson UnRegistered User

    Apr 8, 2006
    You think it's tough now? Let the friend in, then have to kick him out in 12 months for not pulling his weight...

    If this is a "friends" band where you're in it for the hang, then great. If it's a "real" band then keep friends at a distance - even if they're really good!
  8. I would choose the more dedicated drummer with better skills. Being only available on Sunday is a challenge but theres always practice at home too. Is training both an option, to cover each other when necessary when schedules conflict?
  9. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    Being in a band with your "best friend" can be really hard once you want to start gigging/recording...I had to let a best friend go as a lead singer because he just was singing really really poorly.
    We played a big party one time and people thought we were a joke act because the music was really tight, but the vocals were all in the wrong key. They were coming up to us after the show like, "Hey you guys were great! And your singer is hilarious!" :rollno:

    He didn't talk to me for almost 6 months because of the simple fact that he couldn't keep up with the musicians in the band. Almost destroyed our friendship.

    I'd recommend keeping your playing to musicians and keeping it on a business level. Good luck!
  10. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    I'll agree with the majority and say, go with the good guy too. ESPECIALLY if he's a drummer cause in a lot of places good drummers are hard to find. You don't say why he's so busy but I'm going to assume it's cause he's playing with other gigging bands (which would also explain why he can only practice Sundays). It's like when you're trying to decide on a restaurant... there's usually a reason the busy ones are always busy and it works the other way too.

    Now having said all that, if he's also in other bands then the rest or your band really needs to be locked-down as far as having your stuff together. If he shows up at those Sunday rehearsals and the rest of you don't have it together, he's not likely to stick around long. Also, make sure he knows about the gigs you've already booked (and give him plenty of notice as you book more down the road), as much in advance as possible so you don't wind up scrambling for a sub cause he already committed a weekend to another band.

    Best of luck. If your friend really wants to be involved maybe he can roadie for the other drummer. ;)
  11. Andy419


    Aug 13, 2007

    We could train both, but training the better guy would only involve giving him a CD of our songs and our orignials. With the other guy, it would not just be that but having to teach him how to keep time better, something you just shouldn't have to do in a band where we are all fairly experienced.

    As for some other comments, don't get the impression that we are a "best friend" band that just jams occasionally. True, me, the guitarist, and the guitarist/singer are best friends, but we have focus and take things seriously, and are starting to become frequent giggers. We all share a common goal, to produce good music, so it's not a best-friend jam.

    I just don't know if our friend drummer is for one good enough but for two will take it as seriously as we do. We love him, but he's REALLY hard-headed and we all think that if we tell him to practice with a metronome every night or be more dedicated he will be defiant and turn it back on us.

    To another message, it's not other bands that take up the better drummer's time, but the fact that he's in marching band. That single-handedly kills his weekdays and a lot of saturdays. Why are good, dedicated drummers so hard to find?
  12. BillyRay

    BillyRay Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    Asking the question is answering it. I have plenty of musicians friends, but only a select few I would ask to join a band with me.

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