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Help me make a desicion on joining a band

Gasp100

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
23,786
I have done some posts lately on auditioning and things have gone very well. I went on 3 and all 3 have been positive and I've received two offers and the third offer is probably going to come tomorrow night at "practice".
The first was fun and a great ice breaker for me, but the music is too dated and I've decided I would get bored quickly and I don't want to join up just to leave months later. The best part was the gig schedule - probably ~15 gigs / year.
The second was with a pro (makes a living playing music) and his goal is at least 8-9 gigs a month, more money per gig, show up knowing the material and perform (ie. no practice). I wanted desperately to say I could handle this but I have a real job (fairly demanding), 3 small kids (10-7-3), a wife, old blind diabetic dog and now a new pupppy (don't ask!!!). I've already given him my name as a sub and he said he would definitely like to get me on some dates to come out and play which is cool. He knows the deal.
The third is the most serious "offering". I did great at the first audition (their words, not mine) and did great sitting in with them live on Saturday (again, their words not mine). I'm scheduled for a second audition tomorrow night. I brought people to two of their gigs, we partied, spent a lot of money at the bar and all stayed late. I'm not going to lie, being up on stage was LOUD and felt amazing... the house wasn't packed but a good showing and apparently the place is normally much busier (their words). In any case it was a very good showing and made me realize I have ignored music as a part of my life for way too long.
I am completely and utterly enjoying the whole process - listening, charting, learning, working on the tune and tones, practicing in a live setting and of course getting on stage and playing out again.
My ONLY concern at this point is availability. They are booked pretty solid for the end of the year. When I started my process for looking to play out again (2 weeks ago) I felt like 1-2 gigs per month would be perfect. As I auditioned more and saw the caliber of talent from gigging bands, I felt like I wanted to commit to 2x a month and get as many days as I could under my belt -- nothing makes you a better playing than getting it done onstage and I need to get "road worn" again. I'm not getting younger athough I'm doing my best to FEEL younger and my energy for music is just through the roof right now. Overall I think this band is a very good fit for where my mind is at and I seem to gel with every member, smooth conversations, comfortable and relaxed, etc... Honestly I think I can make them sound better too :)
So my problem is this - I have a full time job, 3 small kids and multiple pets. My wife also works full time and is super supportive. BUT, there may be a time where I cannot do a gig. They do schedule about 3 months out which is great for PLANNED stuff. But sometimes sh*t comes up and when you have kids you can't just blow it off. For example, if they have a gig scheduled and my wife is working out of town (very rare) and I bust ass to find a sitter, but cannot -- what do I do? Can't play the gig. This is a worst of the worst case scenario and I would do my absolute best to never let anyone down, but it's still a concern.
So how are you weekend warriors doing it all?
Am I doing the band a disservice by continuing to audition?
I need to know your thoughts -- I'm going to have this conversation with them tomorrow (I've already had it with a few of their members already... they seem to think we can figure it out and they have already asked my wife to just let me play ;)
I should add that my parents live in NH, my wife's family lives in NC and I'm talking about Delaware so we have literally NO assistance from the family for kid watching. The expense of paying a baby sitter (if my wife wants to go to the gig) is as much as I will make at a gig lol...
 

Gas-man

Unrepentant Massaganist
Messages
18,605
8 gigs a month will kill you with a family and a FT job.

I did it for a while and it had to come to an end.

Btw, I doubt the guy you mentioned "Makes his living playing music" but I will let that slide. ;)
 

Brooks

Member
Messages
5,520
Am I doing the band a disservice by continuing to audition?
yes. i've been in bands where we had to cancel gigs last minute because of someones kids or dayjob, and it really pissed me off and made me wonder why someone would be so thoughtless to join a band when they didn't have enough support at home. you need to find a less serious band of hobbyists (or a band w/ a 2nd guitarist that can handle the gig without you if needed). FWIW, i'm in a hobbyist type of band; we don't gig or rehearse often, & all the other guys have kids and their own businesses, so we miss out on some bookings due to business trips and family commitments. but, once a gig is booked, the guys have the support at home w/ wives/parents/sitters, so it doesn't get cancelled.
 

James_E

Member
Messages
595
IMHO Do not take the 8-9 gigs per month one. The third one sounds more promising for the stage of life you are at.
 

whsdhs1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
406
I stopped playing out for this reason, with a full time job, wife with a full time job and kids it was not fair to them. I figure when they are out of the house then I can gig again, but for now I don't want to miss them growing up because I am out at gigs or practice. Music will always be there, my kids will not.
 

guitarz1972

Member
Messages
4,775
The second was with a pro (makes a living playing music) and his goal is at least 8-9 gigs a month, more money per gig, show up knowing the material and perform (ie. no practice). ... I've already given him my name as a sub and he said he would definitely like to get me on some dates to come out and play which is cool. He knows the deal.
I'll make a bold prediction here: This pro guy WILL be calling on you to help him out and frequently-so, because you've indicated interest in him; and if you buddy-up with him then at some point you WILL have to choose between family and dog, etc. and being a sideman for him and whatever he's into. It's fine if you don't want to "out" him, but is this "pro" really anybody we might've heard about? Like Gas-man, I'd be skeptical but that's just me. IMO, don't keep this one on your radar.

I understand the boredom factor, but to me the first band you mentioned actually sounds like it has the most potential. About 15 gigs a year doesn't sound too stressful, and I assume you'd have no trouble keeping up with most of the material (?). Unless you've got real reservations there, that might be worth keeping an open mind about - IDK, your call there, just sayin'.

Last thing, and you know this: Keep family first in the equation. Good luck, OP. :JAM
 

billm408

Member
Messages
3,015
I can only speak from my experience, but with a job and family obligations, 15-20 gigs a year is my threshold. At least for me, it stops being fun beyond that and feels like a second job. YMMV.
 

JP~)

Member
Messages
1,265
sounds like you will be seeking out a good divorce lawyer in the near future :) quite frankly, with your home situation, your are completely out of your mind.
 

Scott Miller

Member
Messages
7,357
You didn't say how many gigs the third possibility requires, just that they are "booked pretty solid." Can't comment until you say how many gigs.
 

Gasp100

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
23,786
You didn't say how many gigs the third possibility requires, just that they are "booked pretty solid." Can't comment until you say how many gigs.
I didn't? Oh, my bad. They average 2-3 times a month. Some months they do a Friday/Saturday, other months it's 3 weeks in a row, etc... it varies.
I should add a few things:

1. It's a 2 guitarist band and we would share leads/parts. I plan on knowing all parts to all songs. Having reviewed the material and seeing the full set list I feel comfortable saying I could cover an entire gig with them on my own (after nailing down the tunes and getting through a couple gigs). I think the other guitarist could do it as well.
2. The guitarist who is leaving is going on good terms and actually seems like a friendly guy. I am wondering if maybe he would consider being a sub in a worst case scenario?
3. I actually know another guitarist that is quite good and plays similar stuff. He owns a music store and takes any work he can get for the most part. Although, I want this gig and I'm not ready to pass on names yet. I feel like if I gave him the set lists he has probably played 80% of it already (more than I have so far lol) and could handle as a sub.

As for the second band (8-9 gigs/month) guy he is the drummer for a long time, very successful cover band in this area. I say "pro" because he makes a living making music, period. He learned to play acoustic so he does acoustic almost exclusively Tuesday-Friday. Wednesday-Friday he actually does doubles. The second gig on Friday is live band and on Saturday he was playing drums along with a DJ in clubs and doing really well, but he has decided he wants to get back to live band on both Fridays and Saturdays. He has all the connections in the college town and also has some casino gigs lined up as well. Too much for me to handle and commit full time, just impossible really.
 

Scott Miller

Member
Messages
7,357
2-3 times a month? Do it do it do it! Especially if they could get by without you on the rare occasion. Which might not be too rare, given that you have kids. I was in a band that did 4 - 8 gigs per month, with no kids, and it was kind of making me have not much of a life out of that. No weekends free, basically, but 2 - 3 is more doable.

BTW, being the "Guy who the band is all about" (as in my case) is a whole different ball game. I can't exactly sub myself out; people come to see me. My gigs-per-month has gone WAY down. Too many fun things to do besides gig.
 

2HBStrat

Senior Member
Messages
41,223
Dose of Reality wise, it sounds to me like band #1 is the best fit for your lifestyle, although maybe not for your style of music or for your heart. I wouldn't go into a band thinking ahead of time that I would probably have to miss gigs, which I would anticipate you will encounter with bands #2 & 3, even though those bands seem to be the ones you are most interested in. It's a committment thing. How much are you willing to commit? Tough decision, but good to have choices.
 

Bigsby

Member
Messages
1,271
Maybe try to improve your roster of on-call, short notice baby sitters? Even if you work for free those nights, you'd at least be playing and keeping your band commitments.
 

Bluzeboy

Senior Member
Messages
7,850
Reality check here. Everyone will say "yeah, no biggie we understand "
the first time you miss a gig or they have to either cancel one or not take one but, the second time it happens you could end up being surprised and not pleasantly if you see what I mean.
 

JonnyQ

Member
Messages
2,029
2-3 times a month seems possible to manage without sacrificing so much time with your family, or putting too much stress on your wife or your self...assuming the band does not have a rigorous rehearsal schedule and the shows do not require significant travel. Your children are young enough that most likely they'll be sleeping when you're playing and if the gig money covers the babysitter's expense all the better.

Give it a trial run. There may come a time when such opportunities may not be an option. Enjoy your life, make music and good luck!
 
Messages
10,401
Since April, I've done 21 gigs with one last Halloween gig then we are taking a break. Personally, I need it. I got a wife who owns a hair salon and 2 young kids (13, 6), while I have a full-time job. My wife is very supportive and doesn't get jealous (thank God). 8 gigs a month is just asking for trouble. You'll wind up wanting to kill this "full-time musician" about 3 months in, so blow him off. He'll just drag you down the shithole where he is, and I'm sure he has no one to take care of. Enjoy your family. You can't get those times back. Believe it or not, you can resume a more aggressive gigging schedule when the kids are grown up. There are plenty of bands in the late-40s, 50s and even 60s playing out all the time. I'm 42, but when my kids are grown up, I'll probably gig alot more because I love doing it so much. I've been doing it since 1986, now it's too late to quit. Kinda weird.
 

Gasp100

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
23,786
2-3 times a month seems possible to manage without sacrificing so much time with your family, or putting too much stress on your wife or your self...assuming the band does not have a rigorous rehearsal schedule and the shows do not require significant travel. Your children are young enough that most likely they'll be sleeping when you're playing and if the gig money covers the babysitter's expense all the better.

Give it a trial run. There may come a time when such opportunities may not be an option. Enjoy your life, make music and good luck!
Yes, we have already increased our baby sitter roster and I definitely don't mind some shows being a wash money-wise if my wife wants to come out and see my play. The good thing is that all of the gigs are quite local. Now, during the summer if we get into some of the beach clubs I would have to travel about 1 hour, but my buddy has a house down there and I'm sure we would all make a weekend of it, that would be simply awesome.
If I get the offer I'm going to ask some hypotheticals and see what they say. I've decided today that I need this... I need to be playing gigs regularly in the band. I'm too good to sit in the basement (although I've been rehearsing more songs for tomorrow for about 4 hours in the basement lol).
 

JonnyQ

Member
Messages
2,029
Yes, we have already increased our baby sitter roster and I definitely don't mind some shows being a wash money-wise if my wife wants to come out and see my play. The good thing is that all of the gigs are quite local. Now, during the summer if we get into some of the beach clubs I would have to travel about 1 hour, but my buddy has a house down there and I'm sure we would all make a weekend of it, that would be simply awesome.
If I get the offer I'm going to ask some hypotheticals and see what they say. I've decided today that I need this... I need to be playing gigs regularly in the band. I'm too good to sit in the basement (although I've been rehearsing more songs for tomorrow for about 4 hours in the basement lol).
Hope you get it. Good luck:aok
 

Gas-man

Unrepentant Massaganist
Messages
18,605
Yes, we have already increased our baby sitter roster and I definitely don't mind some shows being a wash money-wise if my wife wants to come out and see my play.

I don't understand this mentality. At all.

If you're going to do the work required to play an entire night of covers and spend 5 plus hours doing it, you'd better come home with money in your pocket.

You seem to be in the "I'm just glad to be here--honey look I'm in a band!" phase, which you will get tired of quickly.
 

Gasp100

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
23,786
I don't understand this mentality. At all.

If you're going to do the work required to play an entire night of covers and spend 5 plus hours doing it, you'd better come home with money in your pocket.

You seem to be in the "I'm just glad to be here--honey look I'm in a band!" phase, which you will get tired of quickly.
I make six figures at my day job. I'm not going to stress over $100 a man vs. $125 a man. If I play 3-4 gigs a month and my wife wants to come out for one and a baby sitter costs ~$125 for the night, it's well worth it for us. Money is not the issue, time is currency at this point and we are short on it that is all.
 






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