Join the band or cut and run?

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by TheoDog, May 25, 2015.

  1. TheoDog

    TheoDog Silver Supporting Member

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    I have been asked to complete a 4 piece country band. I agreed to give it a whirl. The singer has some contacts and a little experience with singer/songwriter and cafe acoustic stuff.
    Finally got to first practice after learning that there are 2 gigs already scheduled. Private party and a bar that pays 100% of cover to the band.

    Singer sings fine. Stuck in the CAGED strum-a-song and tends to get a little lost. The bassist and I learned the 35 or so tunes as quick as we could and came prepared. The drummer, not so much... And every tune ended up about as fast as the last. Even tunes I started with my phone's click ended up freight training away.

    I am no Nashville pro, but I have worked with successful regional traveling bands. I wasn't expecting to be signing on with a rookie start up group. Am I spoiled? I don't don't feel it is my place to correct someone else's friend. I asked the singer if the drummer can play to a click track.

    Just looking for some thoughtful council.
    Thanks for reading.
     
  2. Two-Octave

    Two-Octave Member

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  3. Stefenator

    Stefenator Member

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    Is there a compelling reason for NOT bailing (not a lot of gigs/bands where you are, etc.)?

    If not, respectfully bow out and find something else...
     
  4. screamtone

    screamtone Supporting Member

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    I have a rule. I can give you music lessons, or I can play in your band. I can't do both. Doing both is just too frustrating for me.
     
  5. MGT

    MGT Member

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    I love that quote....think I might actually use it this week at rehearsal. Wish it weren't necessary to...
     
  6. TheoDog

    TheoDog Silver Supporting Member

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    That's good stuff, scream tone.

    I would be concerned with coming off condescending or arrogant.
    I took a bit of a break ending last year, and as usual, my drive to get back onstage is not coinciding with the momentum of stalling. I have one other prospect with more seasoned players but nothing booked and a pretty thin set list of pop tunes.

    I just don't want to get on stage and not present a good product. I mentioned my tempo concern to the singer -it's his project. He says he will discuss the issue with the drummer (who has never played to a click).
     
  7. o0Ampy0o

    o0Ampy0o Member

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    Dealing with a situation like that is not meant for the public.

    The audience is going know something is wrong with the band even if it isn't obvious.

    Did you say the drummer is someone's friend?

    If the project is important to the other guys they will see the need to replace the drummer.
     
  8. Rockyrollercat

    Rockyrollercat Member

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    Drummer speeds up every song? Sounds like a nightmare. It's my experience addressing the problem will last 2-3 songs then creatures of habit and all that. I wouldn't gig with them until that's fixed.

    RRC
     
  9. screamtone

    screamtone Supporting Member

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    Well, that's my rule, but I never say that out loud to anyone. It will cause me to leave a project or not accept an offer, but I keep those reasons to myself. Of course, sometimes you run into a project where it's worth doing some extra coaching, or the sound and vibe of a project dictates that you let it be what it is.

    At the end of the day, people that see the act will (possibly) associate you with it. First impressions stick. Will the vibe of the band create a good first impression? Are the problems easy to fix? Those are the questions I would be asking myself.
     
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  10. vladorg

    vladorg Supporting Member

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    You need to respectfully tell them you can't do it. As a rule of thumb I wouldn't want to be associated with a band that I myself do not consider good.
     
  11. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    Life's too short to play with a crappy drummer.

    I've been lucky enough to play with some very good ones, and it's impossible to go back, at least for me.
     
    John 14:6 likes this.
  12. Steve Hotra

    Steve Hotra Silver Supporting Member

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    I would honor your commitment to play at the first two gigs. Then let them know its not working out for you.
    A drummer who is unable to keep a steady beat / time is a deal breaker for me.
     
  13. Stefenator

    Stefenator Member

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    send this pic to the drummer:

    [​IMG]
     
  14. wire-n-wood

    wire-n-wood Member

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    Speaking as someone who needed a few pointers... I'm very grateful that some band mates filled me in on some basics. I soaked it up like a sponge.

    A drummer who races is probably trying too hard, trying to impress, imagining that mad skills is what everyone wants to see. I say - give him a little perspective on that. If he's someone who is grateful, and takes it on board, then you've won a drummer with a great attitude. If not, then bail. But it sounds like they have work, so I'd say give it a chance.
     
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  15. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    There are two kinds of people. The first adjusts in response to incontrovertible feedback. The second won't (or can't). Another vote for at least try the click track approach before bailing.
     
  16. Gas-man

    Gas-man Unrepentant Massaganist

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    They are booking gigs that only pay the cover--bad sign.

    That is not a recipe for happiness in my experience.
     
  17. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    I'd bail, and I wouldn't worry about the gigs. If the bar gig is only paying door to an unknown band, you'll probably walk home with $25 in your pocket if you're lucky, and have a bad gig to go along with it. The drummer can either play or he can't. A click track won't fix that.
     
  18. MKB

    MKB Silver Supporting Member

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    If you agreed to play the gigs and then bail on them, that can be as harmful to your reputation as being in a poor band. You don't want to get labeled as the guy that bails on booked gigs after committing to them.

    I'm with the others in thinking these guys might need a few more practices to see if they can fix the problems or not. You should see quickly if they are simply green but want to learn vs. poor musicians set in their ways and unwilling to change.

    Concerning playing for the door, every band has to start somewhere. If the other members work hard with a good attitude, then eventually the better gigs will come. The question to ask yourself is if you are willing to wait this out, or look for an already established band with good players and gigs. There are benefits to the new band/patience route; you can become an integral primary founding member with all the benefits that brings with it (choice in the music, status in the band, security, etc) rather than being just a hired gun.

    I once was in a band with a friend that wanted to learn to play bass but had zero musical experience; he was 100% green at the beginning. But he busted his tail and learned quickly (there are pictures around that show him playing a bass with pieces of masking tape on the fingerboard; he would write the notes in the songs on the tape so he could find them on the neck during the gig). He turned into an excellent player and kept playing for decades.
     
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  19. DICKIE C

    DICKIE C Member

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    I'm in this exact situation and asking myself these exact questions. I do not consider myself to be a great musician by any means but I am much more, 'skilled' shall we say, than the other guys I'm jamming with. My nature will simply not permit me to put out a bad product to an audience and it would very much become my product, at least in the eyes of the audience. I am also very concerned about coming off as arrogant.
    I have decided to stick with it because, at least for the time being, we will not do any gigs. This may change in the future and I will be faced with a difficult choice yet again. I consider them friends and would be very unhappy to lose the friendship.
     
  20. stratotastic

    stratotastic Supporting Member

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    Everyone is focusing on the drummer, which is enough reason to bail, but the face of the band is a limited, CAGED strumming singer who gets lost. Just tell them you don't think it's a good fit and move on.
     

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