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Are you a Band Leader?


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Would you consider that you are the musical director or band leader in you band? And if so...


How would you handle people that;


Did a great job at the band audition or when they didn't have the gig yet, but as time goes by you notice they are starting to sound worse and worse. Almost like they do not touch their instrument at all at home.

"Word to your mother"
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I hate being the bandleader.


But sometimes I am.


Mostly I am in the freelance world so I hire people for one specific date at a time. Personnel decsions are easy in some ways because if someone screws up they never get hired again.


It also means that I am always nervous about whether someone will show up or do a good job.


Band dynamics are pretty tough to deal with...I have proposed that people be hired on a trial basis...in other words we're hiring you for a month and then we will talk about renewing you.


Lots of people can do great auditions. Finding the right person has a lot more to do with what kind of person they are then about their "chops".


If you have to get rid of someone, do it sooner rather than later. The wrong person can drag the whole band down with them.


Be as honest and diplomatic as you can. Treat people with respect, the same way you want to be treated.

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Lately, I have just been the guy with the bass, but in my past as a leader, I must say that Jeremy has got it.

Sooner rather than later gets you faster out of a bad situation and into a (hopefully) better one ASAP. Honesty will win you more friends and gigs than deceit (most of the time :) ), and the trial basis thing works.

When in doubt, do as you would want for yourself, treat others fairly, and keep on playing...






I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.






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Jeremy, every time you describe yourself as a hired bass, I think of those old western movies. If their story line was applied to you, then some day you'll be hired to play in a doo-wop comedy band. You've always avoided entanglements, but by the time you open for Weird Al, you realize you've decided to settle down and "marry" the band, and live tough but happily ever after. I dub you "Jeremy Eastwood", you BassSlinger.


I lead my band (I half joked in a recent post that I supply 50% of the enthusiasm). Because we are not in it for the money and the band was designed to fit into our families, much of the pressure situations JeremyE mentioned don't apply. Still, I have to do the work. There are times when members have clearly not "done their homework". We tend to move on, and the guy usually feels so guilty that he's all over new material next time.


Overall band direction is still an issue. I (and a few others) want to gig at least every 3 months (4 gigs a year, plus our two summer picnics). Some guys are balking at that which I don't understand given that we've got plenty of material and have been together for years. Thing is that if they want to slow the pace, I'm not going to push them forward. I'll join another gigging band and just jam with them when they want to.... I'm going to try to get them to decide when we rehearse this Friday.




Acoustic Color


Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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BassPlayer Mag is always talking about what instruments players have in "their arsenal".


Does anyone know where I can get a gig bag that looks like a holster, so I can ride to a gig on a horse and make a quick draw when I get on the bandstand?


Actually most of the time I feel more like a plumber. Where's that broken song? Let me get my tools and fix it.

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I don't think of it as being a "band leader." I call it being "that guy." When someone comes up to the singer in one of my bands and asks him where we're playing next, he usually points at me and says, "Ask that guy." When people wanna know where we're going after a show, my bandmates point at me and say, "Ask that guy."




I book the shows, find us places to crash, locate gear, write songs, order new t-shirts, find recording studios, design CD covers, obtain groupies, wake people up, give advice, kill nasty bugs, make sure everyone goes to the bathroom before we leave, arrange songs and hold the money.


Sometimes, when the boys give me a hard time about stuff and start asking why we have to drive 450 miles for the next show, why we can't stay up late with jailbait girls or take open beers in the van, I just say, "Because I'M THE MOMMY, that's WHY!" They sometimes call me the "Fun Police," because I tend to make them stop having fun and do the right stuff (like get at least 4 hours of sleep before an 8-hour drive to play two sets.) They hate it when I do that, but they love when we are asked back to clubs because we're on time and act like professionals. We walk that tightrope between totally organized, pro rock band and crazy, self-indulgence. That's why I'm there -- to play my ass off like the fucking star I am and regulate the boys. It's my job to bust them when they fuck up -- "FREEZE, scumbag! You've been busted by The Fun Police. Get in the van."


We're kinda lucky now... #5 (our new bassist) is kind of a self-regulating guy. He doesn't like drugs and drinks only a little bit. He DOES like the young ladies, but he's pretty responsible. He has a cell phone, and he always lets me know where he's going before he disappears. I always give him a wake-up and meeting time, and he's damn punctual. Previous bassists have not been quite as responsible.


Our singer wears himself out onstage, so after our sets, he usually messes with a young lady or two at the club, hits a J and crashes wherever we land. He's easy to manage. As long as he gets his sleeping bag and a semi-private corner, he's usually fine. The drummer also gets pretty pooped on stage, but he loves beer to an unholy degree, so I have to watch his intake or he'll stay up all night waving his "Fickle Finger of Drunken Philosophy" in the face of anyone who will listen. He usually crashes pretty hard, so it's a real pain to wake him up...


I tend to be the one who gets no sleep because I'm always worried about making our load-in and set times the next day. On the plus side, this means we're hardly ever late. On the minus side, I'm also almost always totally pooped and red-eyed.


The playing part of the equation is a no-brainer to me. People don't get to play in my bands unless they can do the job like a pro (consistency, accuracy, solidity)and look like a fucking star doing it.





"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

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New band so I'm not anymore though I used to be. I kind of like having less responsability!! I show up and play. Offer what ever else I can maybe put and opinion or two out there. Life is good!!!!


If I was in charge and we had a guy doing that I'd make sure that the rest of the band agrees with me. Then as a group we'd talk to him. If he doesn't pick it up after that........Time to start up the auditions again. One and done!!

Double Posting since March 2002

Random Post Generator #26797

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