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Should I leave my band?


haggard

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What do you think, experienced people:

I joined a band about 7 months ago. At first I liked it, their music (90% originals) is a kind of rock-blues with a progressive influence. After some time I found that the composers (guitar player and drummer) don't know a word of music. I mean, they don't know the notes on the fretboard, they can't tell what is the key of the song, and all that this implies. Of course their composition is based purely on ear, on trying and changing until something seems to fit. A bit chaotic, and actually totally lacking harmonical structure. Otherwise complicated music, but a complication without sense, may I say. The music is of course difficult to play and to retain, and I was forced to write everything for the rehearsals, as at the moment I lack time to work the music consistently at home (my preferred method...).

But I realized I was not having fun anymore, and they realized it. I did never reach until now the "point of no mistakes", which in my point of view is the point where you actually start taking-off and doing something real. The band began stagnating, and (still worse) I was forced to cancel rehearsals now and then, due to my job (in the medical area).

The main problem is communication, not only musically but personally. This two guys know each other since more than 10 years, and they form a closed nucleus of the band. They feel uncomfortable when I ask about a chord or whatever, because they can't talk about it. And if they dislike something they don't say it right away and directly, but make comments to each other in the kind of personal language friends develop after years. Like a family language, with double meanings, etc.

Then I met the former bass player (coincidentally he works at the same great hospital that I do...) and he told me exactly the same. He left after 2 years because of this incommunication of the 2 guys with him. I explained my vision of their music and he agreed. It was also difficult for him, and also the covers did flow nice and sweet, but the originals were heavy and difficult to retain. By the way, he also wanted to repeat songs and repeat concentrating on certain passages until it worked, which the rest of the band did not like. The same exactly happens with me, but I believe this is job one must actually do at home, and come to the rehearsal with the problems solved. I just did not do it because of the lack of time I mention.

 

2 months ago I met this other band. They are older (my age, in the 40's) with much richer influences (latin, jazz, european folklore, african folklore). I myself am not anymore so much into blues and rock as earlier, but going more into jazz and bossa nova. We had a very interesting jam sesion, and after some months met again and had 2 very good rehearsals. Bad is they don't have percussions or drummer, but they are looking for one. I must now decide myself for one of both bands.

 

My primary intention is trying myself at composing, I have some ideas written. The guys in the first band are open to that, I talked with them the first time I almost left them. Their condition was to first complete the repertoire (their songs...) and then try other things. I promised to have it after the holidays, but I really have lacked the motivation. The second band is completely open to new ideas. The communication is very good. They rehearse only once a week, and I have no problem improvising and creating. With the first band it must be always the same, no difference, no change, or they start looking at each other with strange faces...

 

What do you think? What would you do?

"If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn"

Charlie Parker

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music is communication- communication with bandmates, communication with the audience, and the effective communication of your musical ideas. if one of these avenues is closed off, the music suffers. it's obvious you're leaning toward the second band, and there's a reaon why- they'd be the better fit for you. good luck.
Insert inaccurate quote here
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Yep...

 

Move on!

 

Would you stay in a relationship with a woman who you could not communicate with?

 

Same dynamic within a band relationship.

 

Communication is the foundation of every lasting relationship of any kind, in my opinion.

 

Besides...

 

You said yourself that you feel ready to move on to the other band who are offering you a chance to play the kind of music you'd really rather be playing.

 

Just do it!

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yes, move on! I learned recently (again) that life is too short to spin your wheels in places that get you nowhere. Do what you feel in your heart and don't burn any bridges while doing it!

 

good luck

-Paul

"You look hopefully for an idea and then you're humble when you find it and you wish your skills were better. To have even a half-baked touch of creativity is an honor."

-- Ernie Stires, composer

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In every project I've been involved with, I look to what I call the Wank-Reward Ratio.

 

I've worked plenty of projects where I didn't like everything about it, but the rewards to me personally were worth it.

 

Once the scales tip to the suck side of things, I'm looking to get out. Hopefully, without burning any bridges, and with as little animosity as possible. Hell...I've even abandoned my own solo projects, because they just weren't "doing it" for me anymore.

 

As yes... you should bail. Chaos has it's moments, but not that often.

 

Ricky

Click on some ads once in a while!! :) -------------->
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i must agree with the veterans. Change is a good thing when you're feeling lack of motivation. It can be change within yourself or within the current band, or a bigger change of environments all together. I've actually picked up and moved 100's miles to different cities for that change. And life has always improved because of it.
Check out my work in progress.
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Run don't walk!

My last band I stayed past my "line in the sand", and I regret it. I was so blinded by wanting to be in a band, that I overlooked unkept promises, unbalanced workload, and off-key vocals.

I probably should have never joined just based on the main songwriter's vocals, but that wanting to be in a band thing.

Onward to better things!

"Start listening to music!".

-Jeremy C

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Originally posted by Jeremyc:

They don't really need you, they need a bass playing robot who follows instructions that are only hinted at.
Listen to Jeremy, Haggard... and the rest as well..you don't need them either. Go for the second band. And good luck.

 

Rock on....

 

Tommy

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Thanks for the convincing opinions. I guess I am just energy-low and unsure about quiting because my personal life is quite unstable at the moment... I heard a recording of the last improvised rehearsal, and the second band sounds GOOD with programmed drums. :D I can imagine if we get a real drummer! Tomorrow I am picking up my head from the old studio and moving into the new one. :thu:

"If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn"

Charlie Parker

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Good luck with the move.

 

Your current sig says "If you haven't lived it, it won't come out of your bass". Makes me wonder what life I've led when I hear myself playing.....ewwww

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

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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I've always maintained that volume compensates for lack of talent. Apparently, cocaphony (complexity?) compensates for lack of structure.

 

Some really great historic bands didn't know a word of notation, most notably the percussion section that pounds on logs and the woodwind section that blows through animal long bones.

 

MMMMMMM! Marrow! The other white meat!

 

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

 

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Cripes, even I know the note locations on the neck. Those dudes are in for a lot of head-cramping in the future.

As with most (or maybe all) things in life, if it isn't fun forget about it!

Run don't walk to your new studio and good luck!

"He is to music what Stevie Wonder is to photography." getz76

 

I have nothing nice to say so . . .

 

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Originally posted by haggard:

...But I realized I was not having fun anymore, and they realized it...

 

...The main problem is communication, not only musically but personally. ...And if they dislike something they don't say it right away and directly, but make comments to each other in the kind of personal language friends develop after years. Like a family language, with double meanings, etc...

 

...The second band is completely open to new ideas. The communication is very good. They rehearse only once a week, and I have no problem improvising and creating. With the first band it must be always the same, no difference, no change, or they start looking at each other with strange faces...

 

What do you think? What would you do?

Leave Beavis and Butthead in band #1.

You're better than that, and a more advanced musician than you think, from your statements alone. Chalk it up to experience.

 

Band #2 offers more growth opportunities for you, and they're showing you more respect in the creative process. But make sure you're having FUN, because it's too much work commiting long-term to a group not to have fun now and then. Band #2 is the one!

 

Personally, I like the audiences that go to see Latin-based groups better. You'll find that out for yourself.

:thu:

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  • 3 weeks later...
To finish the story: we had 2 weeks holidays in this problem band. I got a party gig with a covers band and wanted to pick my head from our studio, but found the door lock had been changed, so my key did not function. All guys were out of town, and the female singer did not answer my calls. Strange to say the least... :mad: I got really mad! Finally I called after their return and they told a nonsense story about the changing of the lock. I picked up my things yesterday, and felt relieved afterwards. Next week I'll continue rehearsing with the new band after the holidays pause... :D

"If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn"

Charlie Parker

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Yea, Hag, I went through a very similar experience with a band where the drummer was new to playing and he was the cousin of this insanely talented singer, and they had a pretty good guitar player, too I was surprised. We had a great band until it came time to communicate and write songs together.

I posted an ad looking for a 2nd band to fill in more time and they saw the ad and kicked me out. I considered it a blessing, because working with two musically illiterate morons telling me how to play a bass line was not working.

I also had to grab my stuff from the rehearsal space-they made me wait about a week before I could get it and the goodbyes were short n sweet.

Since then, I take damned good care in choosing who my mates are.

"The world will still be turning when you've gone." - Black Sabbath

 

Band site: www.finespunmusic.com

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p.s. Chuck Rainey told me to never play an open string, and it's true if you have a "five"! And AGE doesn't make a difference. I'm 42, and the bands with kids in their twenties freek out sometimes, when I'm auditioning, till they figure out I'm 18 at heart.

Vince

 

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." ~ Pablo Picasso

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------------------------------------------------------------------------

They don't really need you, they need a bass playing robot who follows instructions that are only hinted at.

Been there, done that.

 

Last band I was in had a guitarist whose talent could only be rivalled by God. He was 1 part Vai, 1 part Satriani, and three parts Stevie Ray.

 

The only thing larger than his playing was his ego.

 

Guy wouldn't even consider me part of the band. For the three months I was the sole thumper (planning set lists, photo shoots, etc), I was still classified as 'auditioning'.

 

Practices were even worse. He'd walk in, play every song through once (even if there was a big f' up, we would never replay a song or even work on a problem area), and leave without saying a word.

 

He'd be p.o.'ed if my TONE wasn't just like how the former bassist had it on the CD, even though I had a live mix and 4-string, compared to prev. bassist's 5 string, mixed ad nauseum for the record.

 

After 3 and 1/2 months with the guy, I had my fill. One day before practice, I hopped on a local music web site to see if any other bands were in need of a lowdowner.

 

There was one ad, posted just that day... an ad for a bassist for the band I'd been in for the past three months. That's when I called and was told I was only 'auditioning' for the previous 1/4 of the year.

 

So much for communication.

 

...........

 

P.S. -- They found a new bassist lemming; made three local appearances several months ago, and (after incredible word of mouth and local press), have free-fallen off the face of the Earth again.

"Women and rhythm section first" -- JFP
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  • 1 month later...
Well, well! Just updating! I started already 2 months ago with the new band. It turned out to be great, from the musical and human points. The other guys were freaks. :rolleyes: Last week I recruited a drummer-percusionist, and we've rehearsed twice with him. It is not compact yet, but it'll be soon. :D In some months we'll be gigging around! :wave:

"If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn"

Charlie Parker

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